Bought a new helmet - Going to SA for a long ride - The Preamble to it all.

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by grizz, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    I had stated a thread on www.wilddog.za.net another DS riding site.

    However, I have decided to start a record of my preparation for the ride of a lifetime.......

    I will copy and paste some stuff on here, then update as I go along and try to keep it interesting as the "Day-Tripping" goes on.


    I had started the thread as a bit of a tease on Wilddogs to see what guys would guess etc, so some entries may be a bit confusing until I am up to date.



    The story starts in 1977 when I was 14 years old.

    We lived in Melmoth in KZN, but went to boarding school in Eshowe. I had been there from Standard 6 aged 13 and did not enjoy it that much, as I was the only Afrikaans laaitie in my class to be in the Koshuis, so much bullying ensued.

    The only escape would be a weekend once a term (amazing that 50km was seen as a far distance then and that my parents could not afford to have us home more often) and school holidays when we would rent horses from a local farmer at an exhorbitant R1.00/hour Of course we used to just keep riding, and used to get about 5 hours riding from that rand...... Bargain.
    Growing up where we did the main things kids would do was either ride horses or motorbikes.
    My dad worked for the KZN government in the "Information department" whatever that meant. It did also mean that we would never own horses, and motorbikes were out the question too.....
    The other thing to mention is that we never got pocket money, but we never needed anything, and never went to bed hungry. My dad had a very strict financial plan, which meant he could retire successfully and could send my brother and I to University (We never went to University at his expense, I paid for my own studies and Deon went to the Army as a PF)

    During the December school holidays of 1976 my brother and I spent a lot of time at Jurgens Moolman's parents Sugar cane farm. Driving *the Kark out of the Peugeot 404 bakkie/pickup as only a fearless kid could do and hunting monkeys that used to destroy the sugar cane and anything else we could shoot at, the African sun made our holidays so idyllic.
    They had a couple of AG bikes and a Honda XL500 if I remember correctly, so it naturally ended up that we would ride the bikes...... AND WE WERE HOOKED, My brother and I.
    Ohh, and we never told my mum and dad we were riding bikes, as it was taboo, even though my dad had had a "help my trap" 50cc Honda in about 1971 that I fondly remembered.

    Back at Boarding school in 1977 I started to save up and make money any way I could, buying and selling food, coffee, hot chocolate at night in prep, I washed cars and did writing out punishment for the bad kids. I would collect comics, read them and then sell them again..... slowly the money started to accumulate, and at Easter we went home and I cut grass for neighbours for R5.00 etc....
    After the July holidays we came back home on a weekend and my dad called me into the garage..... THIS WAS BIG KARK !!
    He said to me "Ek hoor jy wil n motorfiets koop!" *Of course I was in Full Denial mode and pretty much dug a big hole for myself.
    Then he said "Hou op lieg, jy maak my kwaad, Jurgens het vir my gese jy wil n bike koop"
    FAAAARRK !! *Now I know I was in deep Kark. We were never allowed to swear or tell lies, if you got caught out, you got properly moered by mum or dad.
    I knew it was time to confess..... So I told him that I had saved some money, and that I had planned to ask his permission first..... YEAH RIIIIGHT !!
    He then asked me how much money I had managed to save and was shocked when I told him I had saved up R408.00
    He said his boys would never ride no bloody 50cc bikes as they were just fast enough to get you into trouble, but not fast enough to get you out of trouble. He then said he was proud of me working and saving up and would double my money and find us a better bike, but I had to share it with my brother who was about 12 or 13 at the time.

    The next time I came home on a hostel break weekend I found him on the front verandah cutting timber on his big circular saw, and managed to miss a huge lump covered under a couple of old grey army blankets...... After chatting to him a while he said "Gaan jy nie kyk wat onder die kombers is nie poephol?"
    I had completely missed the big lump under the blankets as he had other tools under blankets on the stoep too.

    HOLY FARK!!!

    Pulled away the blankets when I realised there was a motorike under the blankets.

    Yamaha RD350 Aircooled.

    I was in heaven.

    [​IMG]

    Burgundy colour and HUGE compared to the 50cc I had planned to buy.

    The 350 did great service for a while until my dad realised we wanted to be offroad mostly.

    Came back a few months later and there were 3 bikes in the garage.

    A Suzuki OR 50cc chopper (became my mums shopping bike)

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    A Suzuki TS 125 ER which we rode when we came home from Hostel.

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    And a Honda XL 185 S which is the bike we used to fight about.

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    We were in Heaven.

    The years went by and my mum managed to crash the 185 spectacularly at the gates of the license testing grounds as she got back from her test with Mr Deetlefs the tester close behind her.
    She got a cuppa tea, and passed her license..... where are the good old days now?

    Over the years the bikes went but we never stopped riding.

    This leads me to yesterday when I went shopping with Goose (Peter) at Helmet City and bought a stunning helmet.

    I have a good Shoei, but wanted * a cool looking MX/Enduro style crash hat.

    So there you go.....

    I will come back with the next episode of this story later, need a coffee now.

    Not a cheap helmet, but the best fit I have possibly ever had in a helmet.

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    I do appologise for the bits of Afrikaans that is slipped in here and there.

    So we finished school and I did my national service, Deon became a CMO in the Engineers, eventually becoming a WO 1st Class.

    After National Service I became a student nurse...... ja, n fokken nurse.
    I had various bikes, including a Vespa 200cc, a Honda CX500 and a wild IT250 with a YZ racing kit fitted. Somewhere in the mix was a Suzuki GS 550 - Pre Katana shape.
    Had more Vespa scooters and always kept a "propper bike" as well.

    My brother had a family and nver had another bike, other than the XL 185 my dad had given to him at some point, this he sold on again later.

    My first Vespa was a kark Orange colour.

    [​IMG]


    Black CX 500, Loved that bike.

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    I also got a R80/7 at one point and created Thunderchild.

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    My first Oil cooled BMW was a R1100R which I still think is massively under rated.

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    JUST FOUND A PIC OF IT.

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    The colour was a lovely grey metalic.

    Then I got what was a dream bike....

    I still rate this over my current R1200GS

    R1150GS

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    I actually brought the bike with me in 2002 when I moved to the UK.....

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    It was then joined by another one of my dream bikes....

    R100GS Bumble Bee.

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    Another great toy was this Aprilia Tuareg Wind 600 used mainly to play on forrest tracks etc.

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    All of this riding and bike buying was of course thanks to my mum and dad allowing us to do stuff like ride and encouraging us to enjoy our bikes.

    Got to go book a flight now.....

    Back in a while with more, if you want to see and hear more.... about why I had to buy a Pletter Pet (Crash hat) yesterday.
    #2
  3. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    Just remembered a Kawasaki KE100 I had bought for a very short ex GF, then gave it to a friends daughter who never rode it, and ended up selling it for beer money.

    [​IMG]

    Was a lovely little bike too.

    Next up I sold the 1150GS to a guy in Ireland..... thinking I would stop riding.

    Hmmmmmmm ?

    Found a very low mileage BMW F650 Dakar in original B&W and bought that for sensible money.

    Lovely bike.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    At this point I met Nicola who is a great Harley fan.... pooop.

    Anyway, she refused to ride pillion on the 650, so I offered to help her get her license and then get myself another or a bigger bike.... she refused but suggested I find an 1150 GSA because I rated them so muh and always wanted one.
    After missing out on two because guys just sold to the first cash in hand, I started to look at 1200GS bikes as well, eventually buying one.

    At the same time this Africa Twin in immaculate condition came into the market and my neighbour wanted £1500 for it, when the going rate was £3500. I offered to just put it on the forums for him and sell it for more, but he insisted I could have it for £1500, so Nicola told me to buy it as well......

    [​IMG]

    It also came with a load of kit.

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    I parked it in the garage for 6 weeks and then sold it for £3000 which was still a bargain for the buyer.

    I had found and bought the 1200GS, great for two up riding, but somehow never the 1150GS I had before.... weird that.

    [​IMG]


    I also sold the F650 Dakar shortly after that as it was clear Nicola would never ride it.


    This brings me up to date with my bike history.

    Nicola used to love helping in the garage.

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    Inbetween the last few years I also bought a Sachs Madass 50cc for Nicola's son (Now my son as well)

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    Also a Honda PC50

    Had that in the kitchen because my amazing wife insisted it was worked on in the house as the winter out here is cold and the garage was a baaaad place to be working in.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then last year Nicola made me buy a Scorpa 250cc Trials bike. What a pleasure, should have done it years ago.
    Again I can say that I have a most amazing wife. She understands parts of me, and will always only seek the best for me.

    Goose tried it out and seemed to enjoy it thoroughly.

    [​IMG]

    Maverick and Mini-Maverick also giving it a go.

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    Leading to this sort of behaviour.

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    Last pic.....

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    All of this incredible history (well, to me it is great) thanks to my mum and dad allowing us to ride, but also riding themselves.
    My dad was an absolute lunatic on the little ER 125, I remember panicking at seeing him do some of the stuff he used to do on the bikes, then again, I do the same sort of stuff today.

    Time to order Chinese take aways.... it is Friday evening after all.


    Next episode later , if anyone is still interested in why I had to go buy a new helmet yesterday.

    Remember the helmet ??

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    Well, all good things come to an end.

    My mum died in 1996 aged 59 from emphysema due to smoking 20 plus all her life and a bunch of other medical reasons.
    Nice thing is that she taught all of us to "celebrate life" rather than to mourn death......

    So we have only great memories of her and just how much of a battle axe she was.

    My dad then moved to Humansdorp as he was born in the Tsitsikama.

    He spent a few years there, then moved to PE where he lived about 1.5km from me.

    At this time we became the best of friends, as did my brother, so the three of us used to have amazing times together.

    He got cancer in time, had chemo, surgery etc, but refused to let any of that get him under.

    Eventually he died as well in 2007 at age 72 after a good innings.

    Pic of my brother and my dad at Krom river.

    At this time he had no hair due to the chemo therapy.

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    Deon , unusually not with a Brandy and Coke in hand.

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    Out at the family farm where the ashes of my parents ended up in a wall of remembrance.

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    My old house in Glencairn, Simons Town.

    Designed by me when I started repping, shell built and then I did all the finishing.

    [​IMG]

    Finally..... my brothers bike, 1150 GS which he bought from part of his inheritance from my dad.

    Interestingly, before my dad died he told Deon to make sure he bought himself a decent bike from his inheritance.

    So he bought the bike and paid about 80% deposit on his house and moved out of Army barracks or accommodation for the first time in his life.



    [​IMG]


    I guess that bikes have always been part of our lives.

    Thanks to our parents.


    Now you still have not worked it out ??

    Why did I have to buy that helmet ?


    Answers on a postcard.

    I will do the last section of this little essay tomorrow or some other time.

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    Right boys..... and girls.

    We were on our way over to Essex to a wedding that afternoon, so not much of a story right now.

    I do have a photo of *a photo that my brother took last week.....

    This was with our mum as little tjokkerkies. (Toddlers)

    But you can see that wheels seem to always feature in our lives.

    Sorry about the quality, look at the size of his fingers holding the pic and keep in mind he texted it over from an old Nokia 6300

    [​IMG]


    More story telling later, lets see if anyone can figure out the reason for the new crash hat yet.

    Guess you guys know why the helmet.

    More pics and stories later if anyone is interested.
    #5
  6. luckychucky

    luckychucky Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,411
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Are those lights for real? Looks like traffic art. Nice bikes in your past. If your headed to San Antonio thru Missouri, I can offer a stay on your way. Chuck
    #6
  7. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    THESE ?????

    [​IMG]

    They are for real..... ART that is :D:D


    You just made me aware that my heading may have been a bit misleading..... well, to some.

    SA to me is South Africa.

    So thanks for the hospitality, who knows, maybe at some point we will do parts of the USA.
    #7
  8. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    Well, its almost 10pm here in England, the wife is odd to bed, so now I can carry on with building this thread.

    We went to a wedding after the last post....

    The brides car ....

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    The grooms car.

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    Edd who got married to Nicola today is the guy who did the engine conversion on my Taunus Transit.

    A long time buddy and also a bike rider.

    My sweet and valuable Nicola loves older cars too.

    So here she is trying to be cute so that I would buy her one of the cars..... the green one was her choice.

    [​IMG]


    I will be back with more about the reason I bought the helmet.
    #8
  9. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    At this point one of the guys on Wild dogs got the right answer in that I was going to South Africa with the new helmet.

    I guess you get to win the virtual beer. *(Nicola said to give you a cigar with it)

    The plane ticket was for me. :clap:clap:clap



    It is my 50th Birthday in January.

    Every year Nicola does something special for my birthday.

    One year it was a weekend away to a a motor museum, this year it was an awesome long weekend away in the Cotswolds.

    Next year I will be 50, so she had been pushing me for the last 6 months to go back to SA as I have not been there for about 5 years.

    Because my mum and dad also rode bikes, we will be going on a tour for two weeks starting in Cape Town where I land in April next year, up via Eastern Cape, through Umtata to Durban, then up to Eshowe and Melmoth where we grew up, up to Rustenburg and back down to Dunnottar where Deon lives. I will then do the JoBurg to Cape Town leg on my own to get the bike I will be riding back to Paarl where it lives.

    Now for the logistics.

    My good mate Maverick (Dirk) who many on here know well was chatting to me a while ago about ways to tour SA and I was looking at buying something like a 650 GS or similar to export to SA, or buy something there and then sell it again.

    Anyway, Dirk suddenly said to me..... " I dont want to create crappo in your life, but you can use my Airhead GS free of charge" *This was a massive surprise and then there followed a discussion on some of the logistics.

    Mileage would not be a problem. What I would have to do was put two new tyres on his bike and get a carburetor kit fitted.
    Ohh, and of course insure myself and the bike.

    Sounds like a no brainer to me.

    One cost concern less, I could not hire a bike in SA or import one for the same money as the maintenance I was about to pay for.

    Last weekend Nicola and I went to a Ruby (40th) wedding anniversary of a couple that she was the bridesmaid for when she was 8 years old.....

    Her two brothers were both there and the older bother and I were outside speaking about cars etc when he asked me when last I had been home...... I said about 5 years ago and that Nicola was just in the process of getting me to go and tour with my brother.

    He asked if I had bought my ticket yet, to which I replied no, as I had a job interview booked for yesterday (It was cancelled by the agency when I was 50km from home already) and would first see where that would take me.

    He then said to me that he would buy me a business class ticket to SA with his air miles as long as I paid the taxes and extras.
    I agreed to look into it.

    This turned into quite a shocker for all of us, as we had not realised just what a rip off this all is.

    We have since bought the ticket, and the business class ticket would normally cost £2700.00 *YES, REALLY
    A regular ticket would be around £610.00

    If you look at the pic below you will see the various mad taxes levied on a ticket, but we decided to go that route as I could never fly Business Class to SA for effectively £40-ish.

    [​IMG]


    Back to the bike.

    Thanks to Dirks offer to use his bike, we now have two bikes and plan to do quite an extensive trip, hopefully doing all those passes between Oudtshoorn, Knysna and George and also various other trips accross the rest of SA.

    If we get lucky we will connect with some Wild dogs on our way.

    This is The Whale.

    [​IMG]

    And with Dirk on board.

    [​IMG]




    Now you know why I bought the new crash hat.

    Plans included using it for two weeks then selling it or passing it to my brother.

    I also have to get some kit this side and if he can Deon will get me some Size 11's to use, rather than dragging boots over from here.


    The reason for starting this thread was to learn from you guys where to go, and what we should look out for.

    I do plan on spending at least a night here........

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    And deffo want to do some of this....

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    Thanks Maverick. *JY IS N BOER DUISEND *!!! You are a buddy in a million.!!!

    A lot of what I plan on doing is aimed at making the whole trip mind blowing for my brother who is one of my best friends who will do anything for other people without ever expecting anything in return.

    I also want to have an awesome ride because my amazing wife, Nicola is the one who insisted and kept on pushing that i should go do this ride. *I have been speaking about it for the last 5 years.

    Lastly I want us to do it as a fitting tribute to our parents and what they made of us.


    When we go past you on the road, you will see my mum and dads ashes strapped to the back of our bikes.



    So let me know what you think, and do drop all the advice you have into this thread.
    #9
  10. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    Hein Gericke Strap-on Tankbag for the trip next year n Mavericks GS @ £2.00......... GOTTA BE A BARGAIN.

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    Went to see my dentist this morning..... Rick V D Westhuizen..... does not sound English does it?

    Nice South African, propper dentist.

    Then off to ASDA (like P&P, just a bit cheaper) to buy some stuff, which ended up including a few 8 can multi-packs of cola and also 10 cans of Pear Cider for Goose as it was on offer and he does not have an ASDA near where he lives.... a very smart upmarket area.

    Came home and parked bike outside my gate to open said gate and then take bike down to garage......


    Side stand out, off bike ......
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    .......................................................... and bloody bike off side stand.



    Bliksem !!!!

    Luckily only the crash bar got a few small scratches.



    GRRRRRR !!!

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    Mainly my ego that took a knock.

    Picked the bike up and only a small scratch on side of the crash bar.

    Just shows you..... it can happen anywhere.


    After our ride last week, I am glad it happened at home.
    #11
  12. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    Right, as part of the prep for this ride next year various things are and and have happened.

    I will copy and paste from a thread that my good mate Peter (Goose/Goosepilot) and I wrote. He is a great wordsmith, so I prefer him to do the actual wordsmithing.

    Here we go: Another pre-amble , this time for a trip to Europe.

    Goose said:

    Grizz's impending Memorial tour to South Africa (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=106063.0) had us chatting about fitting 2-way radios on the bikes in SA to allow comms between their bikes.

    Now any decent, intelligent biker knows that ANY excuse is a good excuse for a ride...... so a ride around the block/area is definitely NOT good enough if you have access to some of the best biking roads in Europe for a mere £16.00 ticket price away. P&O Ferry's have a great 2 hour service from Dover to Calais at 6am ..... which allows a full day's travelling on French soil!

    Grizz managed to get hold of a Kenwood 2-way radio and early this morning he arrived at our place to start the installation.

    We also needed to visit Halfords for some goodies to comply with the new French touring laws....... a spare set of Bulbs & 2 'orrible Straws that one has to blow into to prove to the Gendarmes that we can still ride a bike....

    By law you have to carry on your person/bike two alcohol testers when riding in France.

    [​IMG]

    Prepping bikes at Goose's mum in laws home.

    [​IMG]

    On our ride there would also be guest appearances by "Cling-on" the Wild dog puppy. This has a relevance due to a fund raising effort for the Red Cross Childrens Memorial Hospital in Cape Town, which was initiated when a member on the WD forum's daughter fell critically ill.

    [​IMG]

    I must say that it's an absolute pleasure spending time with another dude like Grizz that can "Make a plan" ........ as we had 1 x Autocom system + 1 x Kenwood, 2 x Other radio's and a kak-huis full of cables.....!

    [​IMG]

    Well Autocom installed - we found that there was no way we could get the two smaller radios working - the Kenwood was ok - but powered off the Autocom - however no PTT was in the bag, so out came a set of Sharman headphones......

    A quick installation of the Headset and we were ready to connect the radio.... or so we thought
    Two small 1,5mm screws were needed to allow the Kenwood to be connected via cables to the Autocom... but we had none - so off to Maplin and their wonderfully skilled Electronic experts to assist!



    Hier kom kark. "Here come shiit"

    I watched Grizz's stare and if he could have BLIKSEM'd (Pulverised) the salesman - he would have.............. the DUDE insited on ïnserting" the screw himself and after 2 turns both of us could see the thread was wrong into the aluminium housing. Before either of us could blurt out a word... the genius forced the screwdriver and snapped the head of the screw off............ Errrmmm?

    Fortunately......... I'm used to working on radio equipment.. so with the salesman realising he was in deep shite ......... (he would potentially be liable to replace a 70 quid radio) we were given carte blanche to open and use ANY of the tools and equipment in the store to rectify the situation!

    [​IMG]


    So on the Maplin counter top......... we did a strip & repair........... but not just ANY repair... (as the old screw was totally jammed) we promptly proceeded to strip the unit, drill a new hole (check the size of the hand-drill)


    [​IMG]


    ..... the drill-bit being so thin & flimsy - required Grizz to stabilise it with his farmer-brown fingers .....

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    and as a first ever.... used a nifty miniature Tap & Die set to tap a new thread for our fastening screw!


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    Finally we were given the screws by the salesman after being more than grateful that we were not holding him liable for the stuffed screw.
    Amazingly he commented on how he found it fascinating to watch us with the inhouse repair as he'd not realised what some of the tools we used were for..... - he works there... but no clue!

    The Autocom connector had rust and some broken wires inside the power lead sheath... causing intermittent functionality that really screw'd us around.... but nothing a soldering iron would not sort out!

    Eventually a whole rewire of the cable system was required to get it working........... using old dvd power lead (recycling's big here you know!)


    [​IMG]

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    EUREKA!!!! Comms finally working.. a quick test and a blast up to the M25 was needed to make sure it works. (another excuse for a spin on the boney ) Interestingly we had 9/10 reception at speeds approaching "license threatening" with a distance of close on a mile (1.5km) and no signs of any break-up at all. Needless to say - we are really chuffed with the performance and this adds a new dimension to riding with your mate! SUNSHINE!!!!!!!!!!! Check the LED Lights that we got on the group-buy!! Seriously NICE!!!

    [​IMG]


    P & O Ferries were contacted and our tickets booked for the Sailing on Tuesday morning at 06:00 ............ ONLY 3 more sleeps.........


    So who's coming with us.........

    Below iis my response to Peters entry above.

    It was great spending the day over at Goose's place yesterday creating havoc and then watching the guys amazing skill set..... I would never have had the balls to strip down to board level and chassis a two way radio. Then fix it.

    I TAKE MY HAT OFF TO YOU GOOSE.

    Looking forward to a nice BRAAI/BBQ tomorrow evening and a couple of pear ciders.

    We went to our usual Sunday bootfair today and got hand cut steaks 35mm thick. Pork ribs and lamb chops. Also got sweet Thai chilli sauce chicken strips and some fresh mieles to toss on the fire. If we get to it maybe some toasties too.

    I managed to pick up a Hein Gericke tankbag for £2 at the bootfair. This is to use on Mavericks bike next year.

    Cant wait to go riding on the wrong side of the road.
    #12
  13. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    Yesterday I bought a half a cow, a pig, some chickens and wors from this guy at the bootfair, have done so for years.

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    This is a whole refrigerated butchers lorry.....

    The guys have a set up where you stand out front, he has a scale and then tosses whatever you ask for in multiples of £5 into the scale for you..... often they will add a kilo of bacon or a kilo of pork sausages, a chicken or whatever on top to sweeten the deal.

    Yesterday I bought some meat for us to Braai tonight..... loooking forward to a couple of Pear Ciders (Stella Artois) with Goose and a chatting session around the fire.

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    This is the front side of the truck.

    Nicola was commenting to her friend last night that she is looking forward to sleeping like a Starfish in the bed... owning all four corners while I am not here.

    However, I have programmed our 3 cats to join her in bed to save my spot. I have promised them unrestricted access to the catnip bag

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    #13
  14. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    Right.....

    Been to pick up another item of Goose-hunting.

    Bought a 12V to 2 x 12V and 2 x USB power outlet for the bike, to charge the backup Satnav in case we need it, and also to charge up our Apple products like mobile phones. £14.99 probably well spent as part of the prep for the ride.

    Then stopped at the local GULF Pertol station where the guys still come out and fill your tank with a smile. (99% of UK fuel stations are totally self service) and filled my bike up to the neck..... its about a kilometer from home.

    I have all my stuff including sleeping bag in a pile on the floor, waiting for Goose to get here so we can double check what has been packed.

    So, my speedo is now at 20678 miles (guess thats about 33000km)
    Will be interesting to see how far we ride this week. Its not a mega miles trip, but we should see some good stuff.

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    #14
  15. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    Goose just landed and we are onto our first Stella Artois Pear Cider.

    Of course CLING-ON IS HERE TOO.


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    Last few pics.....

    Before we get up at 03.50 to get to Dover ferry port for our Ferry.

    Before we got the fire going, Peter and I got our bikes sorted, did a final comms check and then sent a pic to my brother who responded with a simple word of envy "SNOT !!! "
    In our family, "You eat snot" is the extreme form of envy.

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    Peter was great company, and his incessant excitement and chatter about this trip was really infectious ...... I am soooo looking forward to the trip.

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    Finally ended up with a medium stealk pork ribs, Bratwurst, lamb chops and bbq corn.

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    We were off to bed "early" because we would be up and away very early to get the ferry.

    Goose was awake by 02.00 with excitement and I got up at 03.00 as I was restless and did not want to bother Nicola in bed.

    We were at Dover before 06.00 and got put at the front of the rows of waiting cars and trucks.....

    First on, First off.

    Perfect.

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    #15
  16. ukdaver555

    ukdaver555 n00b on a KTM 950SM

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    UK
    Wotcha Grizz (daver555 from RR here). Great post and look forward to more updates:freaky
    #16
  17. robw

    robw Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Hexham, Northumberland
    Love the report and look forward to more updates!. Hope you have a great trip. My wife was brought up in Durban and we dream of doing a trip like yours. Stay safe.
    Rob
    #17
  18. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    Hiya Dave.

    More updates in a moment.



    Thanks Rob.


    For the benefit of speed and also because I love Peters narrative style, I will copy and paste both his and my entries into here.


    It just so happened that at the same time I needed a break from the MIL’s house (we have been living in a bedroom with 2 single beds for over a year now – without cupboards and living out of suitcases and a few plastic storage boxes in the garage)

    Jenni knew I’d been climbing walls and needed to escape so she suggested I take the bike and go and have a break…

    Now my good friend Rian (Grizz) came to the end of his work contract and was effectively “unemployed” …….. so I took a chance and SMS’d him a suggestion about maybe doing a quick trip to France. Expecting him to decline – but it was a speedy response after he received his wife’s blessing to go!

    WOW!!! What a lady!!

    Rian needed to do a bit of a shake-down for his prep for his planned trip to SA next year. Not much to shake down really – more that he needed more time in the saddle to stiffen up and tone his backside for the anticipated long saddle days.

    The plan for France was…….. well NOT to have any plans…. and best of all was that neither of us had travelled to Europe by bike before…….. so riding on the “wrong” or should I say Right side of the road was not only going to be a new experience (we’d both done it by car before) – but will be darn right interesting.

    We wanted to just go – no route planning, no accommodation at all………… everything would be spur-of-the moment.

    So we agreed on Tuesday the 11th for the outward trip and that we should return sometime on the Friday. A mere 4 days but at least this way we’d get a break – stay away from the weekend madness and still ensure we’re back to spend the weekend with our wives.

    A quick search on the Internet provided us with some “Discount Codes” for the various Ferry companies – with P&O Ferries giving us the best rate of only £32.00 per motorcycle & rider for a return trip.


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    Now a quick conversion meant it was around R 425.00 for the return trip…….. not bad at all considering that it was a nice cruise, relaxing enough to allow us to try and make some sort of plan for the road ahead….. and where else could you get such a fantastic deal to travel across the waters to another continent!

    There was ONLY one downside to the trip………. there was rain forecast for the whole of France and as we had talked of maybe camping, this would put a damper on our limited finances if we were forced into more “upmarket” accommodation.

    I ended up packing everything I needed and headed over to Grizz’s Pad the night before so we could do a final check, have a braai (thanks boet – you outdid yourself with the meat!) and get up at 4am for the dash down to Dover for the ferry that left at 6am.
    JUST LOOK AT THAT STEAK!!!!!!!!


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    You know that you’re excited ….when there’s just no flippen way that you can sleep!

    I got up at 3:30am and managed to get some of my goodies sorted before Rian went downstairs to put the kettle on. Funny though… THIS morning should have been ringing the warning bells as to Grizz’s sleeping habits as Nicola was downstairs fast asleep on the couch in their lounge.
    (Later I was to find out that this is her favourite place to sleep – Rian’s unbelievable snoring has serious repercussions)

    Hiding in amongst the clothing & kit…………


    CLING-ON !!!

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    Note just how new Peters bike actually is.

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    Got dressed with full liners, waterproofs and buff against the impending cold and wet …. Felt like the Michelin man!

    Slugging down a few cuppa’s and we were ready to push the bikes from the garage (no noise this time of the morning…) Weather was very overcast, ground wet and snotty like a slug-without-a-shell….. but we were like two kids with our new toys.

    So not bad timing at all….. we roared off towards the freeway and the Dover coast at exactly 4:45am

    Needless to say – our “dry-spell” did not last too long and soon the rain started pelting down. Fortunately the freeway’s were pretty clear and we made good time down to our destination.

    Check-in time for the 06:20 ferry was 6am and we arrived with 10 minutes to spare…. And we received our boarding passes that indicated we were allowed to jump the queue’s and board first! Now that ‘s service!!

    As Grizz called it…. “Stupid-o-clock” in the morning!!



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    One thing I have to comment on is the huge benefit of having Comms between the two riders.
    Not only was this proving very beneficial on this leg to the coast (when traffic got heavy and we were separated – it was great to still be able to advise each other when & where there were traffic and road dangers. I’d say that even at a 2 Mile distance – our communications were still 7-out-of-10)

    This was Rian’s first taste of Bike-2-Bike and he was loving it!

    We arrived in Calais around 8am (7am UK time as France is an hour ahead) and decided right away to turn South – however we were going to avoid Motorways as much as possible.

    Riding through Calais, we then turned off towards a small area called COQUELLES, where we stopped to check camera equipment and try to set the GPS for our route down the coast. We also on the spur-of-the-moment decided that DIEPPE was going to be a destination…. No specific reason, just that it was a decent distance and the name jumped out from the map!

    We started off on the E402 in a southerly direction towards BOULOGNE-SUR-MER, then FORT-MAHON BEACH and afterwards LE HOURDEL, LE TREPORT and finally DIEPPE.

    The map shows the routing with the places listed.


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    Our first stop (not really - just a lay-bye) was Esplanade de Sainte-Cécile, Camiers

    History (From WIKI)
    Camiers belonged to the Lordship of Noailles. However the waters of the lagoon between the dunes and the shore of the solid geology, for many years, presented an obstacle to its development.During the First World War the flat lands were the site of the huge base depôt of the British army in France. It is usually known nowadays as Étaples camp. Through most of the war, close to it and part of the same complex, Camiers camp was the base depôt, in France, of the Machine Gun Corps.
    Deserted parking area’s allow for perfect freedom with the bikes. A good view of the nice dark clouds awaiting us in the direction we’re travelling.



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    Massive beaches.

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    Grizz & I were sitting just contemplating the sheer size and totally exposed beaches that we were seeing – fantastic !

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    The next stop was Fort Mahon Plage (PICARDIE REGION)

    History (From WIKI)

    Fort-Mahon-Plage is not a very old town. It seems certain that it did not exist before the 18th century, except, of course, the superb sand dunes and the sea. Then considered rather cold and wild, this part of the coast would have welcomed only fishermen and shellfish gatherers. Indeed, the first town was raised there only a little more than two centuries ago, with a few small shepherds’ huts in 1790. Fort-Mahon-Plage was not considered a commune at all until 1923, when it was officially identified as a separate village from its neighbour Quend-Plage-Les-Pins. Urbanization was steady, notably in the 1950s, with the immense beach of fine sand, in contrast to many of the pebble beaches of Normandy, doing a lot to attract tourists, as well as a soft and pleasant sea during the summer. The huge beach later became famous for its water activities, most notably land-yacht racing, wind-surfing and kiting. …….. a town that has huge beaches that were actively used during the Normandy Landings. Now however these vast sandy beaches cater more for tourists and sun-lovers.

    The Main road looking up from the beach area….



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    What I immediately loved about this place were the older vehicles ambling along……… the place was exceptionally clean and definitely worth a visit again.

    A Renault 2CV Panelvan – still in daily use


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    A French Saviem 4x4 Truck (nice…)


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    Not forgetting out VW lovers.....

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    And old Grizz……… on the phone! A pose that I’d come to recognise…. Often!


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    We spent some time just to relax and then also visited the Tourist Information office. Struggling to communicate with the limited French I know and the limited English that the chap behind the counter knew… was soon resolved when Grizz and I joked in Afrikaans. The attitude quickly changed once they discovered we were Saffers and not the “Dreaded Anglaise” from across the channel.

    We were also handed some really nice commemorative stickers for the panniers!

    There was a bit of sunshine now and we decided to head on down the road to see what else attracted our fancy. This was great – with no set route or time we could really enjoy the riding. Kak-praat is also something that goes hand-in-hand with two blokes riding nowhere – something which I thoroughly enjoyed with old Grizz.
    We noticed a huge bay-area as well as what appeared as a lighthouse in the distance… so a bit of confer and we ended up in a very small village (more like a clump of houses) ………

    So our next on the list was Le Hourdel

    No real history on this place apart from the fact that it used to be a small fishing village but now seems pretty deserted…. Possibly kept alive by the odd tourists.


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    Parked at the light house.

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    Up the main street..... (Not much there)

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    And Grizz in one of his famous poses.

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    We did not stay long before we started down the road again. Our asses were itching to get to Dieppe – mainly to get settled as neither of us had a good night’s sleep before the ferry trip. And we did not want to ride on foreign roads without our wits about.


    MORE IN A BIT......
    #18
  19. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    I decided to ride ahead as Rian wanted to check out an old church – this was another situation where the 2-way radios showed their worth…. Rian could stop and tell me what he was doing – I merely carried on about 2 or 3 miles ahead of him, stopping for a few pics and then waiting for the man to come riding along for some action shots.



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    ……….. mmmmmm we’re tired!!
    This pic shows Rian pulling over on the left-side just before a bend in the road – suddenly realising he should be on the other side…. A few laughs indeed!



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    #19
  20. grizz

    grizz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    Rochester, KENT, UK.
    We had approximately 60km to go to Dieppe, so decided to hussle it for the last bit – however we still stayed off the motorways as these held no interest for us at all.
    The ride to Dieppe was uneventful – however nothing could have prepared us for the ride into the town. WOW!!!! We had a long straight section down a hill and the closer we got to the town – the better the views and the more historic the buildings became.

    There was a true awe factor looking at buildings that were indeed centuries old.

    Final stop for the day – Dieppe (Upper Normandy)


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    History (From WIKI)

    First recorded as a small fishing settlement in 1030, Dieppe was an important prize fought over during the Hundred Years' War. Dieppe housed the most advanced French school of cartography in the 16th century. Two of France's best navigators, Michael le Vasseur and his brother Thomas le Vasseur, lived in Dieppe when they were recruited to join the expedition of René Goulaine de Laudonnière which departed Le Havre for Florida on April 20, 1564. The expedition resulted in the construction of Fort Caroline, the first French colony in the New World.[4] Dieppe was the premier port of the kingdom in the 17th century. On July 23, 1632, 300 colonists heading to New France departed from Dieppe. At the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, Dieppe lost 3,000 of its Huguenot citizens, who fled abroad.
    Dieppe was an important target in wartime; the town was largely destroyed by an Anglo-Dutch naval bombardment in 1694. It was rebuilt after 1696 in a typical French classical style by Ventabren, an architect, who gave it its unique feature for a sea port. It was popularised as a seaside resort following the 1824 visit of the widowed Duchess of Berry, daughter-in-law of Charles X. She encouraged the building of the recently-renovated municipal theatre, the Petit-Théâtre (1825), associated particularly with Camille Saint-Saëns.
    During the later 19th century, Dieppe became popular with English artists as a beach resort. Prominent literary figures such as Arthur Symons loved to keep up with the latest fads of avant-garde France here, and during "the season" sometimes stayed for weeks on end.

    Our arrival as mentioned was spectacular and we took the first opportunity to stop just on the inside of the harbour wall.


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    .........................And guess who popped out the top box??

    Mr Cling-on


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    We were intigued when we saw some rather large kites flying in the distance.

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    A quick stop to draw some funds from the “Hole-in-the-wall” and we started on a little exploration tour towards the other side of the harbour.

    This was unbelievable….. we saw THIS poster on a wall….. what amazing luck. We’d arrived right in the middle of a major International Kite Festival that’s only held every 2 years.


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    We quickly found a hotel (stuff the camping) and were welcomed with open arms. We were also told that our bikes would be safer when we parked them on the pavement, right next to their reception to ensure the concierge could keep an eye on our “Moto’s”


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    A quick shower and a change after being relieved of €110.00 for the room (with separate single beds) and we were off to go and have a looksee.
    The massive beachfront was covered with kite-flyers. Massive things that filled the sky. Every conceivable shape and design and we found that even SA was represented… although the poor Saffer sitting on his own in a small tent with his Springbok jersey on… looked a bit dishevelled and even Rian’s amazing sense of humour could only wring an attempt at a smile from this dude……. HE WAS SOOOO FLIPPEN DRY……..!

    From our hotel room!


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    We got so many pics that we’ll just throw a few in here without comments chaps….
    This story/RR is taking forever and this is only the first day!
    Some stunning displays though…


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    There were 4 camels of varying sizes tethered together here.

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    THIS WAS AN AMAZING THING OF BEAUTY......

    Massive.

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    Evening time came all too soon and we had to go and find some food. Lots of restaurants and café’s – so we promptly chose one – sat down and waited for our turn to be served. The waitress finished with a couple that arrived before us and then sauntered over with a smile. Bonsoir Monsieur she said with such a cute smile – WITCH!!! As soon as I’d greeted her and explained we wanted to eat and drink… she realised we spoke “that dreaded language” and just said – “No – Impossible” no drink & no food…FINI!!

    We tried everything – pointing gesturing but all to no avail. Désolé!! And off we went with a huff.

    A few blocks further we were beckoned in and although the restaurant manager became farking rude to us (pretending that he does not speak a word of English…) his wife eventually came and helped us out – changing her attitude again with us once realising no English connection. And here we thought we as Saffers were racists!
    Rian enjoyed a really good Moules Fromage Bleu and my Moules Marinieres was also delicious! We hardly spoke as we shucked and gobbled…. It was nice but we were flippen hungry as well! Total cost for the meal, coke and a Leffe Blond came to €50.00 (with the Leffe ripping €8.50 out of the bill amount)

    We had to do the tourist thing and decided to do some walking taking in the sights …….. however the mistake was made when we walked down a narrow road section and noticed this lot in the windows…!
    DAMN – we should have bought fresh and sat on the beach with a picnic ……..


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    Some of the town centre, and harbour shots.

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    Grizz was trying something.... I reacted.... no comment..... :D:D:D

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    An amazing painting on the side of a building.

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    Well, so ends day one of our trip....


    The weather forecast on telly was not that positive.

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    A good sleep is needed and we’ll decide where our next destination will be!

    Day 2 to follow!
    #20