African XRs' Xtreme Xmas Braaaaap

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Osadabwa, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. Moto Vaquero

    Moto Vaquero Trail less traveled

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    San Diego & Stanley, ID
    Awesome!...again
    BTW the XR 650 can do 116mph that's 187kph for you blokes that have enough sense to be metric. I know cuz I was the one on it during the Vegas to Reno race a while back That was with 15/47 gearing I believe.

    As far as the red pig vs pumpkin debate, that's for another day,,,2Bcont...
    #21
    Osadabwa likes this.
  2. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,383
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Great vid, the riding looks spectacular! How did your air filters look after riding through that sand storm; pretty clogged up (well, more than normal given the conditions)? Bummer ending through, never good to see a fellow rider being helped to the back of a rig with a broken bone :( :(
    #22
    Osadabwa likes this.
  3. croxx

    croxx pjcroxxing

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    France
    Epic! This RR is so golden, best one yet @Osadabwa - Rawlence, Pole sana bwana, hope to see you back at it again soon!
    #23
    Osadabwa likes this.
  4. blues bob

    blues bob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    158
    Location:
    salida,co
    Most excellant RR--again. When I camped at Lk Bogoria, it stunk like hell, flamingo poo! And the monkies shit all over our tents. Tell rafiki to heal fast. Merry Christmas big red pig riders. Say hi to Sati
    #24
    Osadabwa likes this.
  5. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Super Ordinary

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,295
    Location:
    Walnut Crick, Cal.
    No croffee?
    #25
    snglfin, Ginger Beard and Osadabwa like this.
  6. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    597
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Morning fellas,

    @HardWorkingDog - that croffee stuff is a @Joe Motocross trademark, not mine! In fact, on this trip we were so knackered every evening you could almost call our behavior civilized. We had a few beers, maybe a sip or two of scotch, but that was the end of it. Kind of nice not having fuzzy heads the next day, and no need for hair-of-the-dog to get you going again.

    @Moto Vaquero - sensible of you not to enter into the Orange/Red debate. I doesn't really serve anyone's best interests. Everyone loves their bike and the sides can almost be as rabidly partisan as the political parties. We've fallen into these lovely old beasts and have dialed in how to make them work for us. We like the simplicity and reliability of the engine and the plushness of the suspension (which might be a symptom of our age as much as anything). And they haul ass! I'll never see 187kph on mine, but it won't be the bike's fault!

    Alright, let me get on with the next day...
    #26
    FR700 and Ginger Beard like this.
  7. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    597
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    With the help of Tiz and the Camp, we were able to organize a bush pilot to fly from Nanyuki to collect Rawlence at 8AM. He had an awful night, but was up and perky for breakfast. We packed him in the Land Cruiser and bid him farewell. Neb decided to poach his front wheel (that’s how we do) since his crappy front tire kept getting punctures, and once that operation was sorted, the rest of us blasted back into the void. We re-traced our steps a bit then turned South to Wamba for fuel for both bikes and men.

    [​IMG]
    Above: The babbling of idiots… me the Captain of them all in one of the Camp’s old colonial pith helmets (Clarke, I asked if I could take it for your Christmas Present, but then I figured you probably already have one parked next to your MAGA hat and Stahlhelm …)

    [​IMG]
    Above: Rawlence on his safari to the airstrip and Neb poaching the good bits off his bike…

    [​IMG]
    Above: Panic… no comment, and Neb coming out of the camp

    [​IMG]
    Above: Traffic jam leaving Kitich Camp

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Above: The Wamba Giftos Hotel… a good spot for tea and chapati

    [​IMG]
    Above: Despite just having had breakfast, we were already ready for more… mandazis, chapati and scrambled eggs please

    Leaving Wamba, I was keen to take a fantastic double-track past the pointy nipple rock possibly known as Ngai Susu if our local intel is correct (which would be weird since that means roughly “God pees”) Not long ago, I’d passed through here with Clarke, but with him, modern technology is eschewed (as are boots and long trousers, but nevermind) so we didn’t have a GPS record of our trip, so we went looking for the road for a bit…

    [​IMG]
    Above: More elephant evidence… big deep prints in the mud

    [​IMG]
    Above: Lost on the panyapanya routes and little sand river beds

    [​IMG]
    Above: Stuck by a diversion dam in one sand riverbed

    [​IMG]
    Above: We’d decided after hinting and pecking through the bush that if we went North, we’d be sure to meet the road, and we did

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Above: At last, the river crossed the road and we were back on the braaap

    The pointy nipple hill had been teasing us for awhile already, but now that we were on the road we reached it in no time. Of course, the shape of the thing brought out the juvenile in all of us… But once we’d finished goofing around, we were back on the bikes, back on the throttles and whipping our way to the Barsalinga bridge over the Ewaso Nyiro river and on to Kipsing village where I new we needed to take on more water. I thought afternoon would be tough, but I had no idea…

    [​IMG]
    Above: Yeah… so… anyway…

    [​IMG]
    Above: Neb is a happy chappy… Panic… well he had an itchy head

    [​IMG]
    Above: The bluffs off the fast, pointy nipple track

    [​IMG]
    Above: The sunny side of the nipple

    [​IMG]
    Above: Wry blasts the riverbed with no concern for his dryness

    [​IMG]
    Above: The Barsalinga bridge… Neb wheelies off to the delight of all


    [​IMG]
    Above: In Kipsing, the locals were in for a treat – weird looking guys in crazy dress came to town for cokes and water

    [​IMG]
    Above: The Samburu, having a hard time finding actual bird feathers for their headdresses, have resorted to mohawks of plastic instead…

    [​IMG]
    Above: Mama Joan’s duka

    [​IMG]
    Above: Fancy dress competition…

    ...to be continued... exceeded the limit again.
    #27
    AkTbolt, ndevu, FR700 and 7 others like this.
  8. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    597
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    So from Kipsing, I knew what we had to do: First we had to ride the riverbed for 15km, then we had to turn up through the bush and connect with a long defunct 4x4 track which I’d taken before… two years ago. We'd seen how much can change in two years… we would be reminded again.

    [​IMG]
    Above: First off, the riverbed was wet… we feared quicksand and the skid demon

    [​IMG]
    Above: At a lunch spot, some of the thorns were truly Old-Testament-esque

    [​IMG]
    Above: We cruised the riverbed, but it was much narrower than the Milgis and wet, so we had to choose our line more carefully

    [​IMG]
    Above: Still, the place inspired hooliganery (look ma, I'm wheelying!)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Above: After riding in and out of the riverbed for awhile, it was time to turn up the mountain. This was our parting riverbed shot.

    [​IMG]
    Above: it was a bit painful leaving the lugga… damn thorn trees everywhere

    The track I remembered was gone. It had been replaced by a confident line on my GPS and a very sketchy trail that no wheeled vehicle had passed over in quite some time. The volume of water that had come before us must have been impressive to remove so much soil. What was left was often just the barren rock, or at best a lot of rubble. It was the most challenging riding of the trip.

    [​IMG]
    Above: Neb blasts his way over the stones

    [​IMG]
    Above: Wry climbing the bedrock

    [​IMG]
    Above: We took lots of breaks to enjoy the view and rest a bit. Some gumdrops fell on the floor, but I wasn’t going to let them go to waste

    [​IMG]
    Above: We were challenged, but still in great spirits, even as the rain came

    [​IMG]
    Above: And the rain did come

    [​IMG]
    Above: We took wrong turns

    [​IMG]
    Above: …and negotiated bad washouts

    [​IMG]
    Above: … and got separated and stuck

    [​IMG]
    Above: … and then it really rained and the rocks got slick and the dirt turned to mud

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Above: I was hurrying to get us to this river crossing… I remembered it from before and feared it could become a serious flash-flood spot

    The higher we climbed, the more it rained. The more it rained, the slicker it became, but the views were amazing and we were still in great spirits.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Above: That’s an African view for you

    [​IMG]
    Above: We were wet, tired and happy as hell

    Happy is relative… soon the going got really tough, at least for me. I’d been leading fearlessly up to this point, and hadn’t screwed the pooch too badly, but the last push, literally the last bit that would take us out to the flat plateau above caught me off guard. I stalled the engine and killed everyone’s momentum. As a result, Panic fell on his ass and Neb had to help him get started again on the slick, rocky hillside. Only Wry had seen the easy path around the side and been able to take it.

    [​IMG]
    Above: I dropped the bike and pinned my leg…

    [​IMG]
    Above: ...which stalled everyone's progress, leading Panic to drop the bike upside down, requiring Neb to help him lift it

    [​IMG]
    Above: After much ado, the last rider emerged onto the plateau

    [​IMG]
    Above: Where the red clay was horribly slippery!

    If we thought the day was over, we were sorely mistaken. The rains had been heavy and the soil composition of the plateau is either red clay (slick) or black cotton (slick and sticky). I plodded ahead with no mishaps, but the rest of the boys were a clown show. Wry thought it’d be cool to roost the mud and saw his ass. And Panic and Neb both slid everywhichway down a bright red clay sluice before we finally reached some much-appreciated stone backfill.

    [​IMG]
    Above: laughing about the sorry state of our bikes and bodies

    [​IMG]
    Above: Panic apparently wanted to take a soil sample home with him

    Soon enough, the road was hard enough to let us move again. We ripped through the Borana conservancy gate, had a quick look at elephant, giraffe and zebra, and then just kept blasting on. I for one was freezing. The wet clothes and cold air were doing a number on me, and all I wanted was to be around a fire after a hot shower at the Timau River Lodge. It was all out for the final leg.

    [​IMG]
    Above: Wry and the elephants

    [​IMG]
    Above: Much better surface now

    [​IMG]
    Above: Brooding long views of Laikipia

    [​IMG]
    Above: Another traffic jam

    [​IMG]
    Above: Our frozen, wrinkled hands

    [​IMG]
    Above: At last, our digs!

    Timau River Lodge can kiss my ass. Man did they provide shit service. We arrived like four half-frozen sides of beef, and they couldn’t even offer us a hot shower. I don’t know why… they couldn’t seem to organize flammable material, oh what’s that called… wood, to burn. We literally (again, I don’t abuse that word) spent an hour huddled around the main fireplace feeding tiny slivers of wet/green cedar into the puny flame hoping to eek out some heat while the one bumbling doofus of a waiter/host/bartender stumbled around endlessly trying to organize food. Eventually, fatigue and cold won out and we hit the hay. The day had been exciting indeed, but sleep was calling.

    Before you nod off, have a look at the day's moving pictures:


    [​IMG]
    #28
    Lopburi, Spicciani2, 'Bob' and 18 others like this.
  9. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    740
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Outstanding!
    #29
    Osadabwa likes this.
  10. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    597
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Alright folks, it's time to wrap this thing up. Christmas is coming and I need to don my Santa hat. In the spirit of the season, maybe the mods won't demote this ride to Day Trippin, though they have every right to! We missed the week mark by a couple of days... Anyway, Merry Christmas bikers!

    ------------------------------------

    I’ll say one thing for Timau River Lodge… I did sleep like the dead. It was cold and the bed was soft. So, you grudgingly get one star. None of us were able to sleep in, even though we’d already decided that we were in no rush to head home. Wry was up first, and like a real champ (and totally contrary to his usual self) he had moved everyone’s wet kit into the sun and onto the now-working water heater to dry. Thumbs up, Wry!

    [​IMG]
    Above: Peeking at my piggy from the pooper

    [​IMG]
    Above: Drying kit

    [​IMG]
    Above: Oh yeah, and then there was this painting in our room… WTF?

    While we were getting our kit together, I was beckoned by an old Indian man. Beckoned might not be the right word, ordered may be better. He ordered me over to see him. Turns out he was the owner of the place, but I still didn’t like being ordered around. And why do you think he so badly needed me to come round? Was it to apologize for the cold shower and the lack of fire in the hearth? Nope. I was to feed his monkey. Not a euphemism. He handed me bread and I gave it to a monkey. Neb did too. Again... WTF?

    [​IMG]
    Above: Neb feeds the monkey

    Well, folks, the ride is over. At least, the good stuff. We now had 200km of tar to cover, but the sun was out and it was a lovely day, so we took a farewell snap at the foot of Mt. Kenya and hit the road. And then we re-learned that a ride is never over til it’s over, when Neb’s chain fell off just outside Thika. Seems Neb was using a clip instead of a rivet and the previous day’s mud had removed said clip and the chain finally said bye-bye. Good thing yours truly was also carrying a spare master link (see Tigo, that’s why we carry them), and even though it wasn’t a perfect fit for Neb’s chain, a bit of work with the Leatherman and Panic’s repair tool later, and we were back home safe and sound.

    [​IMG]
    Above: Parting group shot

    [​IMG]
    Above: Hello little children, would you like some candy?

    [​IMG]
    Above: Neb faffs around with his chain

    [​IMG]
    Above: Shots from home: Neb, GPS stats, Rawlence

    [​IMG]
    Above: Route map, clockwise from bottom left. Nothing about this tells the story…

    Boys, it was another excellent adventure. Rawlence, sorry you broke your leg, but very happy you did it where you did!
    Kudos to Kitich Camp for getting us sorted out so painlessly. Your place is fantastic and we will definitely return!

    Oink.

    [​IMG]
    #30
    bomose, AkTbolt, ndevu and 13 others like this.
  11. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    740
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    I have a job opportunity in Kenya and then I stumble across this RR. Certainly gets a guy thinking. Of course, if I tried to keep up with you blokes, then I'd be vulture meat in short order. Fantastic riding and scenery.
    #31
    Osadabwa likes this.
  12. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    597
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    EPILOGUE - Rawlence's Evacuation

    So while we were still donning our kit and poaching wheels of Rawlence’s bike, he was trundling toward a little dirt airstrip where one of the local Nanyuki pilots was to come to his rescue. The road over there was harrowing apparently, almost swallowing the Kitich Cruiser at one point, but they made it and the plane was there as promised. A couple of young wazungu hopped out, helped Rawlence squeeze into the back and took off for Nanyuki where he was X-rayed and patched up at Cottage Hospital. Class acts all around… sort of!

    [​IMG]
    Above: The rescue plane. Oh, how cute, it has a smiley face on the tail fin… wait a minute…

    [​IMG]
    Above: Rawlence figured he was off to see his maker. He even wrote a little note saying that if the plane should crash, I would inherit his bike. Love you man! I’ll take good care of her!

    [​IMG]
    Above: These two lads look like they’re going to a Red Bull stunt competition… Rawlence was in the back soiling his spanx (Santa too)

    [​IMG]
    Above: Once airborne, Rawlence had great views of the riding he didn’t do. That’s Ngai Susu (nipple tit hill) on the Left

    [​IMG]
    Above: Nanyuki, highlands agricultural heartland and the base camp for Mt. Kenya expiditions. There’s a British Military base there and a lot of folks with dough, so the Cottage Hospital was well equipped to sort Rawlence’s boo-boo.

    The End

    [​IMG]
    #32
    roadcapDen, AkTbolt, ndevu and 15 others like this.
  13. sages

    sages Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    276
    Location:
    Perth, West Australia
    Another nice one.
    #33
    Osadabwa likes this.
  14. Suncoaster

    Suncoaster Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Oddometer:
    811
    Location:
    Where the girls are green and the grass is pretty.
    Loved it. :-) Made me homesick.
    Merry xmas from Australia.
    #34
    Osadabwa likes this.
  15. miguelitro

    miguelitro I like the ads, in fact, give me more ads.

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,203
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Great ride! Perfect terrain for the BRP.

    Mikw
    #35
    Osadabwa likes this.
  16. BornAgain

    BornAgain Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    695
    Location:
    Rosenberg, TX
    Glad Rawlence has been cared for and is on the mend. I've always wanted to visit Kenya a 14 hour layover in the airport has been the only chance I've had. Your RR has put Kenya back on the bucket list. Thanks for taking us along. Oh and I hope Rawlence didn't have to have screws for the break. I've got two plates and twenty two screws whenever I have to fly and go through airport security. I just head straight for the strip search room and ask to go light on the vaseline please :roflMerry Christmas to you and yours
    #36
    Osadabwa likes this.
  17. Moto Vaquero

    Moto Vaquero Trail less traveled

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    San Diego & Stanley, ID
    Very well done Osadabwa! Enjoyed the ridealong.
    Merry Christmas
    #37
    Osadabwa likes this.
  18. mtnbikeboy

    mtnbikeboy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Longview, TX
    Great ride report! It would be hard to dampen Ned's spirits as long as the bike is moving. Also, if there is any hope at all of fixing anything trail side, Neb will be the one to figure it out.
    I'm surprised at how much his front wheel was actually touching the ground.
    That's some beautiful country you rode through.
    #38
    Osadabwa likes this.
  19. Gildus

    Gildus Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    789
    Location:
    Oregon Territory
    One of the best ride reports ever! Fantastic pics...usually you get a couple good ones in a report but they just kept coming. :super

    Nothing like a band of sketchy dudes on 650Rs running wild in Africa!
    #39
    AkTbolt and Osadabwa like this.
  20. forgorin

    forgorin Stuck in Japan

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Japan
    Read thro it at work. Now watching the videos. Awesome. Totally jealous!!
    #40
    Osadabwa likes this.