Africa - The Return

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by DesertSweeper, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. DesertSweeper

    DesertSweeper Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Fellow adventurers the adventure continues…<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on">Cape Town</st1:City> to <st1:City w:st="on">Nairobi</st1:City> on the same Honda Rallye 450’s some mate’s and I rode from <st1:City w:st="on">Nairobi</st1:City> to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Cape Town</st1:place></st1:City> last year.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    For those who didn’t follow the previous part of this journey you can catch up here:<o:p></o:p>
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=685969&highlight=africa+revisited
    <o:p></o:p>
    and if you are further interested in another recent adventure of ours the <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Cambodia</st1:place></st1:country-region> trip is here:<o:p></o:p>
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=737344&highlight=long+drowned<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The first part of this story may be a little technical for some but as usual the story will quickly degenerate into the stuff of adventures. Watch this space!
    #1
  2. bjmoloney

    bjmoloney n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
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    1
    Go on the lads!!! Best of luck on yer merry way. :-)) :norton
    #2
  3. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    :o)
    we'll be here following you :D
    #3
  4. Dr LC8

    Dr LC8 ...soon or later

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    970
    Location:
    Manchester...but from Rome!
    Looking forward to some pictures...

    Nic
    #4
  5. camwaugh

    camwaugh n00b

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    3
    Good luck Wayne, have fun as I am sure you will. Mr. BLian will ensure that....
    :D
    #5
  6. DesertSweeper

    DesertSweeper Been here awhile

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    I am running around semi-blind in a downpour in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Johannesburg</st1:City></st1:place> trying to save the exposed innards of my trusty bike from the deluge above. Brian’s knee is the size of a football, his luggage is lost in Nairobbery, the Carnets were left in Cape Town and my right eye is bloodshot from getting a full blast of carb-cleaner squirted into it. And we are many days past our departure. But as always I am ahead of myself and must return to the start of the story.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I always used to chuckle at the vast army of support-staff the McGreggor/Boorman saga’s employ to organise and facilitate their journey. The pretty girls in the back ground making phone calls with impressive maps on the wall, local “fixers” and meetings with important looking people. All of which stretches over months and months. Who needs all that – lets just go and ride from the start to the finish and see what happens in between! But they are very clever people that lot. And I am not very bright at all…. Well the fact is – when you mix time deadlines into adventure riding it does need a degree of planning…which I just never do…<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    As those who have read my previous blog will know the bikes have been sitting in CapeTown South <st1:place w:st="on">Africa</st1:place> waiting for something to happen. They carried three mates and I down from <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Nairobi</st1:City></st1:place> over some superb terrain and now their carnets are going to expire. I could ship them back in crates (sacrilege) or I can just ride them all the way back! So much more fun. So mere weeks before D-Day I put the word out for inmates to join the madness and Brian of many previous adventures immediately books two legs. My Brother will start and take the bikes up to Johannesburg where an as yet unfound rider will join the journey north to meet Brian in an as yet unsure city…good planning from the word go!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    But all this assumes the bikes will actually start and happily frolic north. The truth is the bikes were hammered on the way down and these are old 450’s that need loads of TLC. This will be their third <st1:place w:st="on">Africa</st1:place> trip and they have raced the Desert Challenge many times. They are tired. They need attention. So I will fly early and rebuild the sick bits and then everything else will just work itself out sort-of. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I never did do an equipment appraisal on the last blog but to summarise most of the kit just didn’t cut it. Amongst the casualties were a Garmin 62s, Trail-Tech trip computer, oxford luggage and most of the bikes themselves. They all just rattled themselves into paperweights. So lets go with another Garmin (when will I learn) but a big change is to try out the Giant Loop luggage system, discussed in these very forums. The other big step is to chuck out the insanely unreliable Honda stators and replace them with aftermarket jobbies. I settle on the Ricky Stators. Oh and a borrowed rear Safari tank to get more fuel on board to increase our range. There is no fuel in Malawi…So armed with new gear and spares I set about rebuilding the bikes in cape Town with the help of my Brother and his army of wonderful friends who tackle various jobs with a smile.<o:p></o:p>
    #6
  7. DesertSweeper

    DesertSweeper Been here awhile

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    We are hosted by the very generous and patient Peter and Carolyn who give us their lock-up garage to work in. I assure them this will only take a few days. But then this is <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Cape Town</st1:City></st1:place> where there is no official speed-limit as everyone has fallen asleep and no longer bothers to actually drive anywhere.
    We begin by stripping the bikes down to assess the workload. Memories come back of all those niggles on the way down. There is much to be done. These bikes are not built for adventure riding. They are thoroughbred race machines, fussy and temperamental.

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. DesertSweeper

    DesertSweeper Been here awhile

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    Although the forks feel fine we pull them out and send them to a local workshop for a rebuild. They have come a long way and must go back even longer.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Trying the bofrrowed Safari Rear tank for fit and feel

    Things seem to progressing smoothly so far...
    #8
  9. DesertSweeper

    DesertSweeper Been here awhile

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    We set about redoing the electrics and replacing rusted grubby nuts and bolts with shiny new CRF Bolt kit versions.
    [​IMG]
    So that’s where it goes…

    [​IMG]
    Bling bling
    #9
  10. DesertSweeper

    DesertSweeper Been here awhile

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    To ease the load on the battery we replace the indicators with LED units

    [​IMG]
    Baby indicators

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    Local Adult-shop in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Cape Town</st1:place></st1:City> with “repairs”
    #10
  11. DesertSweeper

    DesertSweeper Been here awhile

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    As I had limped into <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Cape Town</st1:place></st1:City> last year with tow-starts becoming the norm I have decided to rebuild my top-end with a shiny new piston and a refurbed head:

    [​IMG]
    crusty old piston

    [​IMG]
    crusty old adventurer

    [​IMG]
    Shiny new piston

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    A rare moment of cleanliness

    [​IMG]
    The other crusty old adventurer - polishing his swingarm as one does
    #11
  12. DesertSweeper

    DesertSweeper Been here awhile

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    Yes its been 8 days now and we are starting to eat into riding time. This town is insanely sloooow. By now we have successfully spread a large quantity of bike related ooze into our host’s garage. Still they smile and are happy. Amazing. It’s time to ease the Ricky Stators into their new home. I am hoping this will once and for all cure our Stator woes (see last trip where we blew through three oem Honda Stators).

    [​IMG]
    Hopeful happiness

    [​IMG]
    this is where a stator lives when it's at work

    [​IMG]
    this is what spins around it to make juice and create timed pulses of electricity for the explosions that ultimately make the wheel go 'round

    [​IMG]
    Fear and Loathing - seasoned adventurers will know what this is...it is what used to be thread in the engine but now sits in the hand...time for a heli-coil...
    #12
  13. DesertSweeper

    DesertSweeper Been here awhile

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    Finally one bike is ready to test. Brother Bowen juices her up and I do a test ride down to the local coffee shop to get a caffeine boost…

    [​IMG]
    Happy juice

    [​IMG]
    Happy juice

    [​IMG]
    Perky sweetness
    #13
  14. DesertSweeper

    DesertSweeper Been here awhile

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    As one of the bikes’ fuel tanks was punctured by a thorn bush I had the idea of using mini “bush-bars” that would serve to both support tank-bags and allow plastic strips to be cable tied to them to protect the plastic from nasty’s. The finished bike goes over to the incredible Gavin who is fabricating the concept and our attention turns to the remaining bike. Gotta fit the safari-tank and the lowered under foot-peg exhaust:

    [​IMG]
    Gavin's input amongst many

    [​IMG]
    Safari tanks and titanium exhaust being fitted

    [​IMG]
    Of course the kit didnt come with the exhaust mounting bracket so we had to fabricate something to sort the issue. Gavin to the recue once again! A local fabrication shop alu-welded it up for us.

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

    Joined:
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    Off route, recalculating
    Sa. Wa. Eet. :clap
    #15
  16. DesertSweeper

    DesertSweeper Been here awhile

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    Shiny new bash-plates go on…but we have to hack one to accommodate the low exhaust. Speaking of which the loaner exhaust is louder than a Thai working girl. The neighbours 4km away complain to the police every time I start her so we take it down to the local exhaust shop where they re-pack it and fabricate a “noise-nut”. If you need exhaust mods done in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Cape Town</st1:place></st1:City> go and see the kind folk at “Bossal”..or is it “Bossun”?
    [​IMG]
    BTO Sports is a winner

    [​IMG]
    Cape Town exhaust mods...sorry james but it needs to be quieter...dont want to scare the lions away!
    #16
  17. DesertSweeper

    DesertSweeper Been here awhile

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    The low exhaust means carving up the shiny new bash-plate:

    [​IMG]
    Snif-snif
    #17
  18. DesertSweeper

    DesertSweeper Been here awhile

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    377
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    Finding a decent luggage solution for a small enduro bike is always a challenge. I have tried various solutions over the years but none comes close to the recent offering from Giant Loop.
    www.giantloopmoto.com

    I saw the product being discussed in these forums and when I saw a picture knew instantly that this is THE solution for hard-core adventure riding. No hard panniers to crack and break, low-center of gravity, quick removal, easy modular storage and as tough as nails. This very impressive luggage system however is designed for bigger bikes that have pillion footrests which hold the system down. Our 450’s are skinny and lack the second set of foot-pegs so mods are required. We enlist the help of that marvellous man Gavin yet again who comes up with a sheet-metal saddle idea for the stock bike while my rear safari tank provides a decent enough home without one. Marine stainless eyelets replace strategic sub-frame bolts to anchor the system down:

    [​IMG]
    You go ahead and work while I take pictures

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    Safety beading takes care of those sharp edges

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    Test Fitting with the Rear Safari Tank

    [​IMG]
    Gavin and his handy-work. Brother Bowen managed to find the sheepskin seat-cover in
    an Australian adult-shop. He knew Brian would smile contentedly...
    #18
  19. DesertSweeper

    DesertSweeper Been here awhile

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    The final product looks like this and works very well:

    [​IMG]
    Giant-Loop saddle bag with added safety from AGV helmets...

    [​IMG]
    My exhaust is now stabilised with brackets

    [​IMG]
    And a bling lithium battery goes in the second bike. Brian's knee is "bad" so kicking will be
    problematic. I would like to assure readers that this has nothing to do with riding bikes.
    It's a more a case of riding in the bedroom...allegedly...so have no pity on the man...
    #19
  20. DesertSweeper

    DesertSweeper Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    377
    Location:
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    New TKC's front and Rear. I ship a set of Michelin Desert rear tyres to Lilongwe in Malawi which is about half-way to Nairobi.
    #20