Two 400 XR in Morocco

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ERIC DN, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    The Italians end up arriving, they pass in front of me without stopping, Patrick is coming back and, in the same time, the Greek arrives with two new Italians guys of the group, there are a lot of people suddenly, their group is reconstituted, They succeeded to contact with the other group, thanks a cellular phone. So we can go now, Arrivederci raggazzi.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    We let the Italians waiting the rest of the group.<o:p></o:p>
    Before leaving, we blow up the wheel with a special cartridge for mountain bikes, It should be ok. But now is getting dark, we drive side by side, because the headlight&#8217;s bike are not on the top and we don&#8217;t see a lot, 5 or 6m no more. I must to drive only with dipped headlight otherwise the GPS is shutting down. One eye on the GPS the other on the track or what I suppose to be in the dark. The GPS is set on the map mode, and thanks to the cartography I get on internet I can see where we are. <o:p></o:p>
    Without this tool it is almost impossible to follow a track in the dark. We didn&#8217;t drive a lot of kilometers, but it seemed quite long.<o:p></o:p>
    Finally we arrive to Zagora, escorted with a lot of young beaters riding mopeds who propose hotel, garage, restaurants and so on.<o:p></o:p>
    Zagora has changed a lot during the last eight years. We stop in front of the new palace of the governor under a lamp. In the guide we select a guesthouse named Dar Raha at Amezrou close to Zagora.<o:p></o:p>

    (http://darraha.free.fr), Bonne pioche. <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    We are escorted by Said, mechanic in a garage, in the competition department please !!!<o:p></o:p>
    We park the bikes in the lobby of the guest house, there is not other customers like us. Fresh beer, hot shower, kefta with red wine from <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City><st1:place>Meknes</st1:place></st1:City>, the house is splendid and the hosts are friendly.<o:p></o:p>
    I sleep on the flat roof under the stars.<o:p></o:p>
    &#8216;&#8217; Hé Patrick, on est moulus, hein !!! &#8216;&#8217;.
    CIMG0087.jpg
    #21
  2. IDScarecrow

    IDScarecrow Long timer

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    Morroco report good, black font, bad. (That's ok, I'll just look at the pictures.)
    #22
  3. team ftb

    team ftb Befuddled Adventurer

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    Eric,

    I'm loving the story as I'm sure others will. If you can, can I request that you format your posts so that your text shows up in white rather than black? That way we can easily read your story:evil .

    Thanks again and its looking like a great adventure!!
    #23
  4. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    Thirsday 26th October Zagora Mhamid 100 Km :<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I have planed to have a day off in Zagora, but as we&#8217;re feeling good we decide to do the first part of the following stage, this means going to Mhamid, a hundred km and to go to the dunes named the Jew&#8217;s dunes, in order to test how are the loaded bikes in the sand before crossing over the erg of Chegaga.<o:p></o:p>
    Before this, mechanical workshop in the lobby, to fix the puncture, Patrick removes the tyre and I paste the repair patch on the tube, team working. There still are thorns inside the tyre, Patrick try to extract the most he can. &#8220; it will be ok, you will see &#8220; he said.<o:p></o:p>
    We go downtown to the Said&#8217;s garage to extract the baffle in the exhaust pipe with a drilling machine, Patrick buys a new tube. We change money in a bank, and we fill in the tanks in a station close to the bank, when I take my wallet I realize I lost my passport, great moment of loneliness aïe &#8230; I run to the bank, closed, but the guy inside see me and go out to give me the passport , ouf.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Okay, now we can go. We find the track quickly, but less than 2 km and Patrick stops, &#8220; I have a problem&#8221; he says, &#8220; the clutch doesn&#8217;t work anymore, it is like if the cable has been broke but it&#8217;s not &#8220;<o:p></o:p>
    Aïe the problem is inside the engine, he removes the clutch cover, all seems normal, but in fact a little part of an axle is broken, it is wedged between the fork and the casing, it is a less evil, that is better there that at the bottom of the engine.
    CIMG0107.jpg <o:p></o:p>
    #24
  5. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    It starts badly, we can drive without clutch but we have more than 1500 km to do.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Return to the departure, it should be a day off.<o:p></o:p>
    Patrick proposes to call his insurance, I propose to return to the garage, maybe they will have a solution, I read that in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place>Africa</st1:place> they was the kings of the resourcefulness. <o:p></o:p>
    We explain the matter to Said, he looks for a spare in her parts stock and then goes away with the broken part.<o:p></o:p>
    Patrick calls the assistance of her insurance and surprise they say to him, &#8220; sorry but you don&#8217;t have <o:p></o:p>
    Assistance&#8221;, oups, hopefully it is not a broken leg, otherwise&#8230;.<o:p></o:p>
    We are waiting Said for a long time, a mechanic offers us the mint tea. The mechanic calls Said and he informs us that they are welding the pieces of the axle and they are also turning a copy of the part.<o:p></o:p>
    We are surprised, Inch&#8217;allah, nothing to do but waiting. We picnic in the garage, we visit the workshops of the mechanics in the neighbourhoods. Spirits is raising.<o:p></o:p>
    Said come back, shows us the part rewelded, it seems not so bad, and the copy. We try it but it doesn&#8217;t work, return at the turner.<o:p></o:p>
    While I return at the guesthouse, I meet Antoine the boss, he is laughing seeing me, we are back for second round, it wasn&#8217;t so bad.
    CIMG0112.jpg
    The part re welded
    #25
  6. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    Return to the garage, once again we try to put the part copied, but It doesn&#8217;t work. This time I pick up Said with my bike, we go together at the turner.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    This time it works, at least engine stopped. We put back the casing. Patrick starts the engine, first gear ok, he moves on, second gear and&#8230;&#8230;&#8230; nothing the clutch get blocked Aïe.<o:p></o:p>
    Removing the clutch cover, the copied axle is blocked and it is impossible to remove it. But since this part has been turning with the clutch ( normally it doesn&#8217;t ) and it has been machined by the fork and now there are a lot of small pieces of metal in the engine oil. In fact the axle has not been well done.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> CIMG0106.jpg </o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>


    <o:p></o:p>
    We fight during an half hour with two screwdrivers and a hammer ( surgical kind of mechanical ) we achieve to remove it.<o:p></o:p>
    We put back the original rewelded part, we manage the copied axle and keep it as spare just in case. <o:p></o:p>
    I ask to Patrick if we change the oil because of the filings, &#8220;lets it down, the filter and the strainer will stop that&#8221;.<o:p></o:p>
    #26
  7. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    It’s getting late, come back to the guesthouse Dar Raha, beers, tagine, red wine, daily routine.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We have a call from the insurance, Sorry it was a mistake, here the number of file, that makes us a beautiful leg as we say here.

    CIMG0113.jpg <o:p></o:p>
    #27
  8. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    Friday 27th October Zagora Foum Zguid 240 Km :<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>

    etape 5.jpg
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We leave at 8 Am, on the track again, hoping to ride further.<o:p></o:p>
    We head off-track direction south in a stony area towards a small pass. Arrived to this pass, we see on the right hand a small goats way which is going up to an other pass, we take it.<o:p></o:p>
    On the top, we go by foot to watch how is the downhill. It seems to be ok, a small single track funny to ride. In the plain we turn around the Djebel and we arrive to Tagounite for taking the road towards Mhamid.
    In Mhamid the wind rise and starts to blow extremely, We are badgered by the guides, they say `' the dunes of Chegaga are higher than Chebbi (lying), you will lose yourself (and the GPS then), the track is very hard and so on”. After a while I’m getting irritated and I tell to a rasta guide to stop whoppers.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    #28
  9. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    goat trail

    CIMG0116.jpg
    #29
  10. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    We purchase some foods, sardines, “laughing cow”, bread, basic meal.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Normally we have enough gas to reach Foum Zguid, but to be safe we decide to refuel with 5 l each. Someone indicates a store at the exit of the town which is selling gas in jerry-can. Good.<o:p></o:p>
    We stop in front of the shop and now is time for rock’n roll.<o:p></o:p>
    I put the crutch, unscrew the stopper of the tank, and I don’t know why I decide to get out of the bike by the right-hand side. I must specify that I have short boots ( I’m a small guy ) and the bike is high<o:p></o:p>
    While wanting to pass my left leg over the motor bike, I hang with the heel the luggage, I lose balance, fall on the ground, on the bottom<o:p></o:p>
    In the movement I drag the bike down with me. I see the bike falling on me with the tank fully open, the gasoline runs on me with flood<o:p></o:p>
    I get up, and pick up the bike with a rage not contained.<o:p></o:p>
    I am soaked of gasoline from the feet to the belt<o:p></o:p>
    Obviously the gasoline starts to burn me you can imagine what (fortunately that nobody smoked in the corner)<o:p></o:p>
    Quickly I have the balls on fire. The legs a little also but there it is nothing.<o:p></o:p>
    I leave the boots, socks, bike pants, catch a bottle of water in my bag and pours it in the boxer shorts, `oh shit, my bollocks are burning because of the gas, it stings”.<o:p></o:p>
    In record time I unpack the luggage (every morning it takes 20 to 30 mn to tie up ). I catch a boxer and my jean, I’m naked in the street, I’m pouring an other bottle of water, I wipe myself with a tee-shirt , I wear my pants, ouf it’s going better.<o:p></o:p>
    A local guy goes out the shop and give me a roasting because of the striptease in the street ( we are in a muslim country ), I’m very sorry but it was urgent.
    CIMG0118-1.jpg <o:p></o:p>
    #30
  11. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    Well, this is not really the better way to cross a dunes erg. Since we are traveling light, I have only one jean and a bike pants. So I decide to wash my bike pants. I return in the shop, ask whether they have a basin and detergent. He sends me to seek that in the WC, I will avoid the description of this place.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    I filled the bucket in apnea and come back in the street to do the washing. Washing, drying, re-washing, Re-drying, even so it's stinking of gas, . The third washing I give up, It will go like that. I wear my trousers, it’s a little bit wet, but regarding the heat I have had, it’s not so bad.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The rasta guide is passing while, he is laughing.
    CIMG0118-2.jpg <o:p></o:p>
    #31
  12. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    We refuel with 5 l gas, as we planed, I buy two bottles of water. Lets go ???<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We start on a sandy track, we pass two <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City><st1:place>Toyota</st1:place></st1:City>, it’s going better than previously. We drive on sandy area, following on a stony reg, again sandy , stony etc…We use the GPS to guide our-self<o:p></o:p>
    On an other hand the wind is becoming strong a bit. In the small dunes I fall, it’s not easy to keep the right direction and find the best pass in the same time. The feeling to drive in the sand is coming back, but the bike is loaded, and with the luggage it’s not so easy.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Far from here we can see a sandstorm, we continue on stones, in front of us the sky is becoming dark, I get stuck in the sand. We stop, the weather seems to become bad. I have a look at the map and at the GPS, there is a solution to avoid the erg, heading north towards a track which goes round the erg. We discuss and decide to going out from here.

    CIMG0120.jpg <o:p></o:p>
    #32
  13. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    Storm over Chegaga

    CIMG0126.jpg
    #33
  14. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    Quickly we find the track, the sky above the erg is black. This track is a hell, riding here looks like a pneumatic drill session during 100 km
    Before the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place><st1:placeType>village</st1:placeType> of <st1:placeName>Zaouia Sidi</st1:placeName></st1:place>, some guys stop us and require gasoline for the moped, we propose to them to siphon in the tank of Patrick’s bike, during this time behind us we hear the thunder, there is lightning, I do believe we took the good decision.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    The guys want to invite us for the tea, but regarding behind us we prefer going a head.<o:p></o:p>
    We arrive on the Iriki lake, this is a flat dry lake, because the sandstorm the visibility is less than 50m, hardly we can see the large <st1:City><st1:place>cairns</st1:place></st1:City> which borders the track. And then the stony track begin again<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    20 or 30 km before Foum Zguid we pass a group composed with 7 Jeep Cherokee, we stop and they offer us to drink a fresh beer, why not, they are very well equipped, fridge etc…Further we meet two French guys who are on the road to <st1:City><st1:place>Dakar</st1:place></st1:City>, they have BMW overloaded, we discuss few minutes.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    ‘’ Hé Patrick, on est moulus, hein !!! ‘’
    <o:p> CIMG0130.jpg </o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    #34
  15. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    We stop in the center of the town, exactly where we had stopped eight years ago with Gégé and Pierre. The shibani ( old man ) which made the skewers (when it is black it is cooked) is deceased, Rachid, his son, is now the owner. We explain him we were here height years ago. He invites us for the evening to have a drink.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    There is only one hotel here , Iriki. Touring hostel.<o:p></o:p>
    The shower is almost hot, I wash my stuff ( pants, socks scented with leaded super) <o:p></o:p>
    We come back at Rachid bar, he serves us whisky, not berber whisky, real whisky, but it’s recommended to add coke and a lot, if you want to swallow it

    CIMG0136.jpg
    #35
  16. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    Return to the hotel, meal and go to the bed, the day has been exciting <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    « Hey Patrick, you don’t find that it feels a little the gasoline in the room ?? »<o:p></o:p>
    Outside the wind is blowing stronger <o:p></o:p>
    #36
  17. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    Saturday 28th October Foum Zguid Marrakech 350 Km :<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> etape 6.jpg </o:p>


    <o:p> </o:p>
    The wind blew all the night, wake up at 6:00 am, breakfast, we load the bikes and for the third time, activity dismounts tire in the garage, the front wheel of Patrick’s bike is once again flat.<o:p></o:p>
    I have to say that he is efficient now, it’s done rapidly. In the garage there is an Honda Transalp which has been fully crumpled in a crash by a german guy on the track few days before. (Without too much injury for him). There are tires Michelin desert on this bike, a short moment we thought to change the tires, we didn’t.<o:p></o:p>
    #37
  18. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    Departure, the clouds are well fixed on the mountain, we cross Foum Zguid, at the exit of the village the foundation raft for the passage to ford is covered with a thick layer of mud and the oued runs with floods, it is not good forecasts at all. Stop to the gas station, refueling, verification of the oil level.
    CIMG0135.jpg <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    #38
  19. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    Sometime the trip is ending bad

    CIMG0132.jpg
    #39
  20. ERIC DN

    ERIC DN Been here awhile

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    We leave, 9 km and we take the track. It curves around a completely dry oued , everything is ok, we are driving cool then suddenly a large hole, catastrophic braking, nevertheless I pass.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    I hope Patrick has seen my stylistic device and has been thus warned, I am turned over, and right in the middle of the ditch, a XR on the ground and Patrick sitting close.<o:p></o:p>
    I turn and go back, he doesn’t worry, it’s ok.
    CIMG0138.jpg <o:p></o:p>
    #40