Four weeks ago, I passed for my motorcycle test. After riding small Honda 50s for eight years it was time for something different. So why not start my motorcycling career with a long ride. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of years now. It started while I was searching for roadtrip examples with small Honda’s. I came across the heroic thread of Hitchhiker_forever crossing the US on a Honda C70. Since then a little fire started in my mind and once lit it only grew larger. Reading Ted Simon and Nathan Millward, endlessly watching Youtube videos and reading on ADVrider and the HUBB. I made a plan to ship a small motorcycle to Canada and head south to Buenos Aires. So last summer I started motorcycle lessons and took my modded Honda C50 for a 1800 mile 12 day trip through France and Spain to see if I would enjoy it, and enjoy it I did. All went well until I came across a post made on a Dutch motorcycle forum. A guy named Bert was looking for riders to join him on his three month trip to Cape Town. Bert has done this trip two times already, solo, without the use of a Carnet or applying for Visas in advance. On his website (in Dutch mind you) www.africaallroad.com, he has some pictures of his previous trips. He has five Honda XRV 750 Africa Twins, which he prepped based on experience. His other bikes where available for those who didn’t have a suitable bike. I thought why not, so a quick email was send and before I knew it I had to start gathering stuff to get me to Cape Town in one piece. Including passing my motorcycle test, because I did not have my license at that point. Asking for 3,5 months of unpaid leave was not the easiest thing to do but I am grateful they allowed me to go and learn a bit about the world. So next Sunday I’m leaving the Netherlands for a ride to Cape Town South Africa. Fortunately I’m not doing it alone. In total there are six of us, Bert, Hans, Raoel, Roel, Sef and me Joris. They are all great guys and I will introduce them later on. All on Honda XRV 750 Africa Twins, which makes bike prepping and carrying spare parts much easier. For me It will be a steep learning curve to say the least, apart from riding mopeds for a couple of years, my motorcycle experience is limited to lessons and a couple hundred kilometers on a Kawasaki I bought two weeks ago. The Africa Twin I’m riding to Cape Town I’ve only ridden’ around the block once, oh well… Other than reading stories, watching movies, hearing tails and an odd week in Marrakech, I have no experience with Africa whatsoever so I have no idea what to expect. It seems a pattern is forming here, an inexperienced pattern. Same goes for equipment, I’ve read a lot of topics about tents, sleeping bags, inflatable mattresses, clothing, shoes, helmets, etc… but only when the mud hits the fan we will see if I made the right choices. We’re with six, and although some of the gear we carry is the same, like fake Helinox chairs, it will be interesting to see what works and what doesn’t. The problem with picking gear is the more you think about it the harder it gets to pick something, and you end up spending too much money on things you don’t actually need. See I learned something already (after spending the money though). Luckily I didn’t have to worry about choosing and prepping a bike, that’s one plus! Or maybe I would have chosen a smaller bike instead, or maybe not, whatever, we will see. The coming week will be spend packing stuff, sorting out the last bits and I will make a list of the most important gear that will get attached to me and the bike, mostly for me but maybe someone else can benefit from it too. I will try to keep this blog up to date, but at this moment I am only taking my smartphone, a bluetooth keyboard, some cameras and adapters with me as electronics which wil make it hard to get anything decent online. Let alone getting internet acces. A picture of the bikes to keep you interested.