Six Africa Twins to Cape Town

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Joris van O, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    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.
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    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.
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    #1
  2. Ruud109

    Ruud109 Dutch in Barcelona

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    Awesome, i am jealous! Even more awesome to take the old workhorse Africa Twins. If you guys pass by Barcelona and have time for a beer or a bakkie, hook me up!

    Ruud
    #2
  3. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    :lurk
    #3
  4. at46dutch

    at46dutch n00b

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    Hi Sef, Wow i am jealous! oeps wait i,am one off the guys travelling with you :clap See you next Sunday.



    Bert
    #4
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  5. HBLQRider

    HBLQRider Been here awhile

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    I'm in.

    Safe travels.
    #5
  6. Roro

    Roro Adventurer

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    Good luck!
    This part of world is full of surprise!
    I'm just back in europe after 20000 km in africa and I still want to go back!
    #6
  7. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Hi Ruud thanks! It would be nice to stop by in Barc but I think the plan is to take the Madrid route, that is the shortest way to Tarifa for us. But we'll keep it in mind!

    Roro I enjoyed following your journey! Bummer that your ride ended too soon, but luckily you where able to finish it by car.


    I'm finishing up the last bits of packing and collecting gear, just ordered a diskbrake lock, hopefully that will be enough to secure the bike, together with the steering lock. It's getting pretty exciting now, with only a couple of days to go.
    #7
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  8. at46dutch

    at46dutch n00b

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    Yes we take the Madrid route, Ruud thanks.

    Bert
    #8
  9. Roro

    Roro Adventurer

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    Thanks! Hope for you that your african journey will be epic!!

    Envoyé de mon KIW-L21 en utilisant Tapatalk
    #9
  10. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Just one more night and then we're off. I have just finished packing my bags. For the first night we've booked a Hotel near Paris 'cause the weather seems to get really bad tomorrow, lots of rain and strong winds. It's a good thing that we're heading south and leaving the autumn behind. The plan is to camp most of the way, saving money and just enjoy being out there.

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    Everything I've packed is divided in five bags I'm taking with me. The bag on the right is a 31l Ortlieb rackpack that will be placed on top of a 10l gas can. It contains my house for the following three months. I sleep in a Coleman Darwin 2 tent, on a Therm-a-Rest Prolite 4 sleeping pad and in a Snugpak Jungle Bag. To keep the sleeping bag clean I added a silk liner. I also carry a fleece blanket for the first couple of weeks when it will be cold at night. And a sheet of pvc table protector to put under the sleeping pad. I got a inflatable pillow but I'm not sure if I really like it, so maybe it will be replaced with a helmet bag stuffed with clothes.

    The bag in the middle and on the left are 24l Ortlieb rack packs which will dangle on the left and ride side of the bike. One contains all of my clothes, 2 pair summer gloves, toiletries and quick drying towl. The left bag contains the rain gear (which I will probably wear tomorrow), a bag full of pens to give away, cooking/kitchen stuff, a fake helinox chair and some small bits an bobs (a whisky flask :D)

    The gray bag is a Moto detail tank bag which houses my first aid kit, most of the electronics/camera's and some food. The black bag is my backpack which will hold the light items like paperwork, more food and stuff.

    That's it, we're off! :D
    #10
  11. KLRalph

    KLRalph Because KTMalph sounds funny

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    Now THIS should be interesting :beer
    #11
  12. Chevette

    Chevette Adventurer

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    Goeie reis! The weather really sucks today, hope you all get to Paris okay!
    #12
  13. Kastenfrosch

    Kastenfrosch Adventurer

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    I'm in :)
    Wish you guys a great trip and loads of pitchas pls :)
    #13
  14. capeklr

    capeklr Been here awhile

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    Enjoy the trip and stay safe.
    :ricky
    #14
  15. squadraquota

    squadraquota mostly harmless

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    No tools? No tubes?

    For warmth, use reflective aluminium foil, the stuff they use for isolation and heat reflection (under wooden floorboards, behind central heating radiators). Cheap, lightweight, small and effective.

    Happy travels, looks like you are in for a great adventure!
    #15
  16. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    The first day was not uneventful, the five of us gathered at Bert's house and left around 10am. Then we went to pick up Roel who lives in the direction we were heading, and had a great lunch there :D the weather was not ad bad as predicted. It was dry but very windy. Some of us even made some unplanned lane changes because of the gusts, which made riding not the easiest. When we entered the citycenter of Liège it turned out that riding with strong winds has a negative impact on fuel economy. Raoels bike ran dry first and before we knew what happened Sefs bike ran dry as well. Luckily it was a 50 meter walk to a petrol station so we were on our way in no time. Until a couple kilometers later Sefs bike dies again. He tells us not to wait and he will catch up. 5 kilometers later still no Sef. Turns out his fuelpump died. Alright we are carrying three spare fuelpumps cause they have a habit of going 'kaput'. So switch fuelpump and of we go.. no the first new fuelpump does not want to cooperate, bummer! Luckily the second one does work and we are on our way again. Its already getting dark now and the rain started falling, yay.. Still 200km to our pre booked hotel. The winds lay down but the rain is like a monsoon so we are all soaking wet when we cross the border with France. They have better roads there so no more dodging craters and smashed up cars. At one point there were atleast five cars stopped in the middle of the road. They all hit the guardrail because of aquaplaining. So the last 100k's to our hotel we ride in total darkness and rain. We had some beers and went to sleep. Good day it was

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    #16
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  17. B2R

    B2R Been here awhile

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    You are all invited for barbeque and beers at my place in Pretoria when you get here! PM me when you are close.
    #17
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  18. wayno

    wayno Long timer

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    Im in!
    #18
  19. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Picture at the start of our trip!

    Last night we were holed up in Hotel Le Florence in Saint Quentin. The day started with breakfast, using the hairdryer to dry boots and gloves and tinkering on the bikes. Hans had a stuck brakelight switch, and a hole burned in one of his bags. Sef had (and still has) a binding front brake caliper which needs some more work. Bert tightened down his steering bearings and I only adjusted my mirrors
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    To keep the tradition we rode away just when the rain started. Not to bad though, we eventually even had sunshine and warm weather. That didn't last long, we were heading directly into very dark clouds. Lightning was flashing and rain was bucketing down. The rain gear could not keep us dry and most of us were soaked in minutes. I could feel the water running around in my shoes upon accelerating, from my toes back to my heel. My Revit jacket and cheap rain trousers do a good job of keeping the water out though, only my gloves and shoes fill up.
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    Around four the storm subsided we were in the clear again. The sun was pretty low on the horizon already and for atleast 20km we were riding directly into it. Such a cool sight! The road was empty except for the six of us, I had my sunvisor down and could only see the silhouettes of Raoel and Bert cruising in front of me. The rest was just one big bright gold and orange ball.

    We found a budget hotel in Orleans with secure parking, and the girl at the reception even dryed and folded all of our wet gear. Really nice of her! We found a steakhouse just around the corner and had some food and beers.
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    Tomorrow we'll head to bordeaux and from there on in the direction of Madrid and Tarifa, were we take the ferry to Marocco. Hopefully the weather will get better while we head south.
    #19
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  20. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    We have tools and spares, haha we will need them!

    Thanks, I will let the guys know and if we get close then you'll hear from us
    #20
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