An Aussie 990 in Africa

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by anydavenow, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. anydavenow

    anydavenow Long timer

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    I’m sitting here under unseasonal rain clouds on the Costa del Sol, stuck for a few days as I wait for a tyre order to come in. The delay is entirely my own fault as I left it late to confirm my order with the (so far very good) local KTM dealer, Motos Ortiz.

    On top of that I was ignorant of a public holiday for the region that fell on a Friday. Having arrived on Wednesday I'm now enjoying an enforced long, rainy weekend before I head off to Morocco and this has given me itchy fingers: it’s time to start a proper ride report for the ADVRider crew.

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    Riding the Trans Euro Trail in Catalonia

    These days Facebook makes it very easy to do casual updates and uploads en route, but I think it’s good to try and write up a slightly different perspective on the trip and provide some small reward for those members who helped me with advice and support when I was starting out and while I was preparing my bike for this adventure.

    So consider this a follow-on from my preparation thread in Orange Crush – Prepping an Aussie 990 for Africa – where I detailed the prep-work that went into my 990 before I shipped it to the UK to begin my journey to Cape Town.

    I can’t promise this report will be exhaustive or consistent, but I will do my best to update where and when I can!
    #1
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  2. simondippenhall

    simondippenhall Simondippenhall

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    Dave:I am hanging on every word


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    #2
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  3. anydavenow

    anydavenow Long timer

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    Great, Simon. As you will no doubt see I can be quite wordy so you'll have plenty to hang on to!
    #3
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  4. JHpowderhound

    JHpowderhound Been here awhile Supporter

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    Looking forward to this.

    Eric
    #4
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  5. braaap!

    braaap! Long timer Supporter

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    :ricky
    Hi Dave, lookin forward to your words and pics
    #5
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  6. webnetxpress

    webnetxpress Been here awhile

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    Nov 12, 2015
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    Dakar, Senegal
    Keep it coming! Best of luck. Hope to see you at the Pink Lake soon for some sand bashing!
    #6
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  7. anydavenow

    anydavenow Long timer

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    Considering this is a motorcycle forum I thought it would be good to start this ride report getting up to speed on the state and performance of the motorcycle in question. A lot of time and money went into tinkering with it before it left Australia and I'm sure everyone is dying to hear how it went on its initial 3,289 km shakedown since being extracted from its crate in Basildon, UK.

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    It's alive!

    Well, so far it's been fantastic! I've had a few very minor, self-inflicted issues but the bike feels great and is running perfectly.

    One of my biggest concerns starting off was that it would be stolen in the couple of days that I had it back in Hackney in London. I'd heard so many horror stories of bike theft running rampant in the UK and we've all seen the videos on social media.

    In reality there was nothing to worry about as the friend's apartment where I was staying had a very secure fence around the building, but I did invest in a bike cover and a fairly heavy duty cable lock anyway. I got the biggest cover I could, but it fits about as well as last year's trousers on hormone-riddled 15 year old.

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    Safe and sound

    On the way back to my base I mis-navigated (which since then has happened quite a lot) and overshot a turn-off. While making a u-turn I hit the steering stop on the right hand side much sooner than I expected and nearly dropped the bloody bike. Confused, I looked down to see that the steering stop had wound almost all the way out. Not only that, but most of the lower triple-clamp pinch bolts had fallen out and the remaining two were hanging by just a thread!

    I struggle to think how I could've forgotten to torque the pinch-bolts and given the fact that the steering stop and would itself loose I can only assume some vibration while at sea was at work here. At any rate I gave the bike a thorough check over after that, and thankfully I'd marked most torqued bolts with a paint pen as I went prior to departure.

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    Replacement pinch-bolts arrived overnight in the post courtesy of Trevor Pope Motorcycles. Great service and they were there by 9am the next day, on the desk of the Concierge, Graham, who was very keen to make sure both myself and the bike were in good shape for the coming journey.

    The day before I set off I had a solid morning of repacking and reacquainting myself with all my gear, most of which I hadn’t seen in a couple of months. I was worried that I’d have trouble fitting it all on and that I would’ve overpacked, but really it was pretty good and I have so far only identified a few things that I’m willing to let go of. There may be a small send-home package lodged at a post office soon, but nothing major.

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    The following morning I geared up and rode out early to get the ferry from Dover to Dunkirk, as it was £2 cheaper than the Calais ferry, and about half the price of the tunnel. The ride out to Dover was quite foggy but the bike was humming along nicely and everything felt great.



    Loading up on the ferry I hear a voice behind me exclaim "I wasn't expecting to see a NSW plate today", and it turned out to belong to a Ducati-riding Sydney expat, Arnold, on his way over to the mainland to finish up work on a property. We had a good chat about church, state and money while the ferry punted over to Dunkirk.

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    First night of the trip was spent in Péronne on the river Somme, where I was lucky enough to catch up with the one and only @Bounty1 who was there with his better half on a historical tour of some WWI sites that had ANZAC significance, and in particular to track down the grave of his great uncle. We spent some time the next day visiting some original battle trenches and an enormous supermarket!

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    As some of you will know @Bounty1 and I met through this very forum when I was still very wet behind the ears. He was a great source of reassurance on my first outback trip and we've done a few rides together since, including one out to Birdsville last year.

    Then it was roadwork to Paris where I spent the weekend with a French mate from Sydney, Eric, who is doing a 12 month stint over there.

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    (A few more touristy pics are on the Facebook page here).

    I was lucky enough to have access to a dedicated spot in Eric's parking garage below his apartment, so I set to work tying up a few loose ends, like reversing the direction of travel of the front tyre, which I'd installed incorrectly in Sydney.

    [​IMG]

    I also hooked up the laptop and got TuneECU going to clear out the error codes and reset the adaptions. Hard to say whether it made any difference or whether I knew what I was looking at, but at least nothing scary jumped out at me.

    To be continued...
    #7
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  8. LOFTYBOB

    LOFTYBOB Burning up 98 Octane

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    I'm in for the ride thanks
    #8
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  9. braaap!

    braaap! Long timer Supporter

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    I’ve got butterflies! Envy doesn’t even come close... Good luck Mate.
    #9
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  10. simondippenhall

    simondippenhall Simondippenhall

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    Dave

    Great to get the technical update. Do you know how much your 990 weighs in at (before all the luggage, of course)?

    And well done getting through London unscathed... you've got the worst behind you, I hope

    Simon


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    #10
  11. anydavenow

    anydavenow Long timer

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    Thank you! I think I’ll need it.
    #11
  12. anydavenow

    anydavenow Long timer

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    Well looking at the map it’s all downhill from here. Let’s hope the metaphor rings true!

    The 990 is apparently 207 Kg dry. I can carry 43 L of fuel, but I rarely do. I’ve removed a few bits like ABS but I don’t think the stock weight would include racks, heavy tubes, bark busters, etc. I would guess it would be around ~210 Kg without fuel.

    I am 73 Kg in comparison!
    #12
  13. Slick13

    Slick13 Wanderer

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    Location:
    Hong Kong, Australia (Bright) & Japan
    This should be good, I’m in. Followed your build report, stoked to see you’re on your way. Stay safe, and all the best for the ride mate.
    #13
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  14. GezwindeSpoed

    GezwindeSpoed Been here awhile

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    Looking forward to your experiences in Morocco...
    #14
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  15. simondippenhall

    simondippenhall Simondippenhall

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    Anyone heard from Dave recently?


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    #15
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  16. 1coolbanana

    1coolbanana Long timer

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    Yep, every day or two on Facebook we get to see updates.
    Well into it now
    #16
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  17. simondippenhall

    simondippenhall Simondippenhall

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    Can you share a link please?


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    #17
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  18. 1coolbanana

    1coolbanana Long timer

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  19. anydavenow

    anydavenow Long timer

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    Sorry for the lack of updates guys, it's been a bit tricky to get a good chunk of time with good internet to do the ride report justice. I'm still figuring it all out but in the mean time post the odd note and photo up on Facebook and Instagram as @1coolbanana has noted!
    #19
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  20. 1coolbanana

    1coolbanana Long timer

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    Hey mate, looks like you having an awesome adventure :thumb
    #20