Crossing Flooded Rivers?? Trip Possibilities?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Sideoff, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. Sideoff

    Sideoff Been here awhile

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    I saw the Zambian Joyride post a few years ago and was totally inspired by the concept of crossing flooded rivers with a motorcycle using inflatable pontoons. There was also this other post about it as well.

    I've been working on a design and I'm about to take it out for the first test run. Here's a pic:

    [​IMG]

    Right now the pontoons are attached by 3 d-rings on the bottom of each pontoon. I'm still working on additional d-ring placement for the top.

    I was wondering what trip possibilities these pontoons might open up? I mean both in North America and also worldwide. From the Zambian Joyride post it looks like there are some Africa trips. I've also heard about the North Canol road in Canada. I know from personal experience that these would come in handy in parts of Honduras.

    Where else are people running into this river-crossing issue? What trips would be possible with a tool like this? Are there ADV riders who run into this problem regularly and who could use something like this? If so, where are you located?

    Thanks.
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  2. Scubalong

    Scubalong Long timer

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    I like it :evil
    You can take that to cross the Panama canal. There is a guy from India built his own draf and cross the Panama canal last year. He posted on ADV I cannot remember his name. How do you plan to power and steer the plantoon?:ear
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  3. Sideoff

    Sideoff Been here awhile

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    This would not be something that would be powered by the bike. The idea is just to float the bike across a flooded river, or be able to be towed across a body of water by a small boat. If the bike was on, or even hot, the pontoons would melt. So the bike has to be off. The pontoons pack down reasonably small though. With two people, one pontoon per bike, it's not bad space-wise. Pete
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  4. Witold

    Witold Been here awhile

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    There is a group of Polish riders that were going through Russia who tried to use the same idea. It didn't work at all. They had the videos of their trip posted on youtube and I think they have a ride report here as well. I will try to find it for you.
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  5. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    What's the deal with the pontoons when not inflated for water crossings, they store in a bag that attaches somewhere?

    Do they pack down or is their uninflated size going to cause more trouble than they solve?

    Manual or power inflation? How long does that take? How long to deflate?

    Hope that when you float to the other side of whatever body of water you've crossed, you don't need a crane to get the rig out of the water.

    You get the idea.....
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  6. Sideoff

    Sideoff Been here awhile

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    yeah the pontoons will pack down pretty small, but would need to be shared over two bikes.

    Deflate is fast, inflate I'm still working on. Curious how long it would take with a 12v tire pump.

    Definitely will be a two man job to get in/out of the water!

    I'm planning to do my test run this week now that the weather is better here in the NW. I glued all the d-rings on last week.
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  7. Sideoff

    Sideoff Been here awhile

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    found the Siberian trip mentioned earlier.

    http://motosyberia.com/photo_en.php

    From the pics, it looks like they used the pontoons a few times. Sometimes side by side and sometimes with the bike in the middle.
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  8. Sideoff

    Sideoff Been here awhile

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    Probably the side by side method works better on fast flowing rivers with shallow, rocky banks, whereas the bike-in-the-middle works on still water with deep, smooth banks. Will have to experiment with that.
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  9. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones AdventureDeficitDisorder

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  10. Chickenlegs

    Chickenlegs Been here awhile

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    Could you inflate them with the bikes exhaust?
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  11. Grimreaper7

    Grimreaper7 Been here awhile

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  12. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    I love resurrected threads :gyro
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  13. Sideoff

    Sideoff Been here awhile

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    Awesome!! Are you planning a trip with some gnarly water crossings? Let's chat. I have the pontoons and still haven't used them. They're prototypes, but they hold air and could possibly help you on your trip? They were made by NRS, the inflatable kayak company.
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  14. Grimreaper7

    Grimreaper7 Been here awhile

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    Yeah, sorry about that, still, saves someone posting 'Do a search!'
    Don't know about 'planning' a trip with water crossings, but I'd like to be able to get the bike across safely 'if' we find some slightly deep areas that may be an issue.
    The last thing I want is my bike drowned in the middle of Iceland with no way to get it cleaned out and running again, so if the water is too deep for the intake level (KTM 690/DRZ400) they'd be a no go but I thought the outriggers might at least stop the bike going over sideways if things got a bit out of hand.
    The inflatable hammocks could be used at overnight stops to sit on as well so they'd not be
    a single use item.
    If we could find a way to tie 2 together and lay a bike on top safely then I may be open to deeper water crossings but only if I was sure it wouldn't go terribly wrong mid stream, and I'd have to be able to get across myself of course, maybe with the option of running the bike over on a taught line to keep things straight.
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  15. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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  16. Scubalong

    Scubalong Long timer

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    Thanks mate
    His report is Amazing!
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  17. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

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    How about using tensed ropes with a teleferic ? now with dyneema one even 100 meters could be packed in little space, if the environment has trees this could be safer respect pontoons.
    Friends used something similar for a very hard core Maroc trip .

    serious water crossings needs anyway to pass by foot or swim .
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  18. kenny robert

    kenny robert Been here awhile

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    drones and a catwalk.l flat-biller chick
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