RTW on a H.A.T. In the slow lane.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gperkins, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. markinthailand

    markinthailand Been here awhile

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    Thanks for sharing that! Great to get an idea of what that looks like for budgeting! You have a great co-pilot!
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  2. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Love my Tranny Super Supporter

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    Likewise, good to understand actual costs. You've done well.
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  3. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Cheers both markinthailand & MrKiwi if the total costs for us two helps anyone in their decision to tour Europe by motorcycle then I'm more than happy to post it up. I see no need to break down the costs for each major component, food, fuel, accomodation etc. Besides neither Katrina not I are that anal. We all know petrol is expensive here in Europe and we have done something like 25,000 klms in that 6 months. So it' not as if we have tried to save on fuel by restricting our riding. We do save by riding slowly though. I can now fairly easily get 400 klms out of the rediculously small 18.8 litre tank. Although when full to the point of over flowing I think it is closer to 20 litres.
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  4. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Well Morocco i've tried your beer and I thought it pretty decent. It seemed only natural then to try a local wine. Hmm, how do I say this politely? Like this i think. There have been only a handful of wines that I have ever tipped down the sink, this is one of them. :photogThere are probably better wines, there are certainly plenty to choose from at the supermarket. Maybe I've simply got to move up the cost curve a little, perhaps 4 euros doesn't cut it here in Morocco. Yeah i know last of the big spenders eh! Gotta watch the budget you know. :lol3
    [​IMG]
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  5. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    Yes, thanks for the expense info, it will help greatly to determine our 2019-2020 trip direction, along with two first birthdays during the winter.
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  6. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Not a problem at all yokesman, only too pleased to help. I'd love to know what your plans are for 19/20, or is it a little too early to reveal that?
  7. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

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    4 Euros for a bottle of wine! That's the equivalent of buying Maddog 20/20 here in the states! It will get the job done, but so will kerosene!
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  8. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    :jack

    Yeah yeah I know. But this particular wine was recommended to me by a fellow traveller from your part of the world no less. So i thought it worth a shot. Sooooo
    1, He had no idea what he was talking about
    2, My example was a dud
    orrrrrrrrrrr
    3, I have no idea what I'm talking bout :hmmmmm......................................... Nah it was shite, kero was better than this stuff.
    4, The princely sum of 4 Euro will usually get you a perfectly good quaffable wine in Europe. I mean, not great I agree. But usually good enough for our less than discerning tastes. :freaky
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  9. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    With the births of two grand children this winter, Nov23 and feb 15ish, We may do a visit for Ritter, our Gson's first birthday , then spend some time in mexico, return for the second child(unk) first birthday, then get down towards Brazil OR ,the season says south though.?
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  10. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We figured we'd like Morocco and boy were we right. We've left the tourist towns of Fez & Chefchaouen behind and crossed the Atlas mountains. The weather is perfect the drivers are courtious. The police as well. You see them regularly at intersections and round abouts pulling vehicles over, but not once do they motion to pull us over. Just wave us through every time, can't complain about that. Mind today there was a police officer that had reason to pull me over. I went through a red light. In my defence there was a heavily over loaded truck just in front and to my right. I genuinely didn't see the light because it was obstructed by the truck. The copper pulled me up, but quickly waved me on realising I was just another dumb tourist.

    Anyways crossing the Atlas mid winter in 20 deg C sunshine we spied an Africa Twin Adventure Sport. It would have been damn rude not to pull over and have a little natter. It turns out Antonio and his mate are from Cordoba, Spain and he just loves his Africa Twin. We may catch up late January as we were planning to visit Cordoba then if the weather allows. Antonio was genuinely astonished when he realised that we had ridden our bike from Australia.
    [​IMG]
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  11. jdgar

    jdgar n00b

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    Wow! Spent the last few days pouring over this RR from the very start. Should be re-badged as Life Report, because you are LIVING IT!
    Great photos, great stories, great info... We can all aspire to accomplishing only a fraction of what you have! My sparse travels, by comparison, in NA have only given me the bug to do more. When/if it happens is uncertain.
    Shiny side up, safe travels, and I look forward to following you on your continued journey!
    Also, about that perfect, smaller, one-up travel rig... still looking, and hoping...! Would you have taken the AT if you were solo? After the miles you've got, two-up, seems "easy" to consider it for a solo trip, no?
    Cheers!
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  12. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Glad to see you are enjoying our little tome jdgar. First and formost I write this for ourselves and our two sons for future reading. If others, get something out of it then that is a bonus. Especially if it motovates them to push beyond their usual boundaries. If then we get to meet some of the people that have folowed our journey, then that just tops it off. I've always said that and it really is true. The best part of any journey is meeting and spending some time with the locals.

    The ideal bike debate is an endless discussion that has no definative answer. Your question specifically, "Would you have taken the AT if you were solo"? Probably not, simply due to the weight. As I and many have said, weight is your enemy. It also has to be simple, reliable and comfy. Also I prefer chain & sprockets due their simplicity and less, yes LESS maintenance. Shafts are also heavy. Wait until you have a catastrophic shaft failure in Bolivia and come to me with your argument about shafts are low maintenance. I will admit a Japanese shaft assembly is most likely far more reliable than a BMW's.

    That leaves you/me wondering what makes a good solo mount that meets the above criteria. Hmm, pretty slim pickings thats for sure. You inevitably end up with the usual suspects and the good old DR 650 seems to sit at the top of that heap. Mind it's only a basis to start with. Maybe one day that light weight, long service interval, reliable, simple, long range, reasonably comfy unicorn will appear. Untill then we can only dream. A big part of the problem is that the market is so small for this type of bike. Even many of those that profess to want this bike would not buy one I suspect, if it were available. Furthermor to meet the above criteria and keep the weight down, costs extra. Most don't see the value of 450/650 light weight that meets the above criteria that would cost what a litre bike typically costs. That is I profess, untill their doing 100's if not 1000's of klms along shitty tracks and having to pick up their bike many times a day. BMW and others have hood winked the majority into thinking that big is better and bigger still, is perfect. "If you can adjust your suspension on the fly with blue toothed XYZ gizmo then you sir are on a winner. It has to have fly by wire throttle, cruise control, tubless rims, a thousand different engine configurations, 150 HP blah, blah, blah". All utter BS. But the paying public love this stuff.

    So two up I still see this bike as the best compromise for what we are doing. It's not perfect, like I've said I'd love it to be 30 kg's lighter, decent tank, quality components. I'd pay for the privilege, I think most wouldn't. Honda know that and have given the market what it wants. They have gone a little way down that road with the AS model, but it is heavier than ours, not lighter! Especially considering the keen price, they have done a great job. I still think that they will expand the "AT" range beyond the current 1000cc STD/DCT and AS models to smaller and lighter bikes. But in a Honda kind of way to meet the masses. That is a little under done in all departments. Then again the preverbial piggys may also fly. :dunno
  13. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

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    +1. I love the simplicity of my old bike. There isn't a new "adventure" bike I'd rather have on a long trip. It might be ugly, slow, and it will not have the ladies running to me, but it is spot on reliable. Chain and sprockets are great as long as you keep them lubed, and I never worry about any extra computer thing messing up my fuel mixture, the carb works fine.
    And it does look good at the local coffee shop, I'm not allowed to go to starbucks since it's not a beemer!
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  14. jdgar

    jdgar n00b

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    A number of years ago, I "drank the coolaid" after watching a certain duo, who had a $5M budget, ride their GS's RTW, the long way, apparently. Got myself a GSA! One local rally later that ventured off into just the forest roads convinced me, even with that unladen bike, dropping it once on a loose, steep section, that real travel alone would be problematic. The coolaid has worn off. My KTM 640 Adv is a much better, realistic choice for off piste travel. Still not perfect, but closer. For me.
    Thanks for the reply, gperkins!
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  15. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Seems we are both of the same school SOLOKLR. I will say this though, I have changed my thinking a little as the trip has progressed. I like you have no issue whats so ever with carbs, but I am coming around to fuel injection though. The other one is ABS. Previously i would have said, "if you need ABS, then you need to learn how to ride safely". I am now a proponent of ABS, however traction control, on the AT at least is unnecessary i think and is just another potential failure point.
  16. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Some people have done some great things on their 640/690's, Ronin Moto comes to mind. I'd like to add I'm not anti BMW. We were in fact preparing an 89 R100 GS/PD for the trip until that is, Honda announced the new AT. The old ones I could live with. The newer generation all singing, all dancing ones are great, fantastic even, road bikes with some off road capability's if you have the strength and ability's to muscle them around. They are simply too heavy for what we are doing. There is no escaping that their reliablity is less than steller. (do a quick google search of failed drive shafts, ABS units and front suspension units for these bikes :evil) Then there is the consideration of cost. Cost to purchase, cost to ship, cost to repair, cost to cover with insurance and Carnet De Passage. Most of these costs are inescapable for anyone doing a trip like ours. But if your bike is lighter and of less value, then all these costs are reduced. Something some people over look, or at least are surprised about when it comes to pay for this stuff.

    But at the end of the day you can take what ever you choose or prefer and damn everyone else. Arguably the most travelled motorbike in the world is Peter & Kay Forward's Harley Davidson full dresser. Their claim, seeing as it has been to every country in the world. http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/forwood/
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  17. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Crossing the Atlas mountains north to south, is like passing between two different worlds. North and west of the Atlas mountains the land is green and productive the climate mild, wet even during the rainy season and has a much greater population density. Once over the top and into the interior, your into the Morocco that most would imagine. Dry, dusty, parched landscape. Adobe buildings in villages more widely spread apart. Drop into a valley and often there will be a small stream or river even, with the accompanying cluster of date palms, an oasis if you like. The people change too, here the dominant ethnic group are the Berbers. It was at one of these small villages that we stopped to take a photograph and it didn't take too long for two young boys to run up from the village to greet us. Both out of curiosity and in the hope of receiving something from us. Having taken a couple of photos of them it occured to me that we had a banana in the tank bag. I gave this to them. If I only got a photo of that moment as both their faces lit up when they saw the banana. It doesn't sound like much, but it's these little interactions that stay with you for a very long time.

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    Two young mates that were happy to share a banana, i only wish I had two to pass over.
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    A random, abandoned fortified compound on the side of the road.
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    Tracks in the Saharan sands. Probably a beatle, but to be honest I have no idea.
    [​IMG]

    The tourist mecca of Merzouga & Hassilabeid, Morocco, where westerners come to get a Saharan experience. This train of camels ran to 150, whom were heading about 1 klm into the dunes to spend a night under the stars. Not our cup of tea but who am I to critisize. Even the locals were saying that this was a big group. Un-beknown to us, the first week of December is a holiday for many Spanish, so Morocco comes alive with tourists.
    [​IMG]

    Katrina once again doing her best, "wind swept and interesting pose" atop a bloody great big dune. Damn it was hard work climbing this sucker. Being the two athletes that we are!
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    Looking back to the town of Hassilabeid where we are spending a few nights. All the dust is kicked up by 4X4's and dirt bikes racing around at stupid speeds. The tourists come down from Europe and some of them seem to think they can do as they please at crazy speeds. They are free to cross the dunes as they want and race through and around at dangerous speeds. Speaking to the locals, they don't like it at all. But the tourist money coming in is their life blood, so they all just tolerate it. At some point someone will be hit and possibly killed, nothing is surer.
    [​IMG]

    Tourists on camels and 4X4 tracks in the Sahara.
    [​IMG]

    Not so far away is the lake, Lac Dayet Srji where we were told we could find flamingos. The flamingos were there alright, but way out in the middle and impossible to get a good photo off. What we did find were fossils. The dry pan here is what we would call back in Australia a "gibber" desert. That is a dry plain covered in stones. It turns out these stones are mostly petrified trees and other vegetation.
    [​IMG]

    This would be as close I'd get the big girl to the soft Saharan sands. I'm no Toby Price or Chris Birch and Miss Hatty is no svelt cat walk queen.
    [​IMG]
  18. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University

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    All caught up G n K! Was a whole month behind (tsk tsk)

    Gidday from Christchurch

    Shane
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  19. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Eh good to see your still breathing Shaggie. I hope summer has finally come your way down there in Christchurch. It's certainly a distant memory in Europe. The winter sun here in Morocco is just about perfect. Most days are at least in the high teens or low twenty's, yep that'l do us two.
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  20. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    talking of heavy pigs, to lift from a nap. one of the things that fell into place to buy such a sow was the motobike lift, there are others but the idea sold the the pig. mine is white so Not a Red pig.
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