Tallinn to Cape Town on a KTM 450

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by memento13, May 25, 2019.

  1. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,203
    Location:
    SW. Idaho
    Stay safe, if you are forced to ride in the dark, stay where are n start early the next day, any good oil is better than a oil n water mix. diesel oils should be available, the shell dino is jaso rated as well as the syn.
    Also too many reports end with collisions with wild life, some due to being at dawn.
  2. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    Thanks. As my oil looks clean now, no mushiness, it shoild actually be good or you would still change it for anything I could find? This would not explain also bad starting problem. So i guess what happened is that there was actually some water in compustion chamber and it was pushed through piston rings when I tried to start it?

    Or water got into oil first and by lubrication it got into compustions chamber. Thats why it started at first and then died and was not starting anymore.

    Usually avoid riding in dark. In Gabon, especially in remote places, there not much options to wild camping. There is dense jungle starting already from road and as there was elephant shit everywhere, did not feel safe camping.
  3. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,203
    Location:
    SW. Idaho
    i assumed you would be at a safe place that morning.
  4. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    In the morning yes, but as I was camping in a luxury lodge and it was sold out, had to move out. Could have found some other camping, but didn't plan to drown the bike :)
  5. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    Other pic from the road to Loango NP:
    20191101_131254.jpg
    Hans Petter and Saso like this.
  6. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    Rode toward Congo today, bike started easy again and seems like everything is ok from yesterdays scuba diving.
  7. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    Crossed the border into Republic of Congo, all dirt so quite fun riding.
    20191104_152420.jpg

    On my way to the border, met 2 Swiss riders on BMW F850s. 10 mins later met a spaniard on a Transalp to border as well. Have not met new moto travellers after Guinea, just meeting up with people I already new before, so was quite surprise to see all the people here.

    20191104_132750.jpg

    With my light bike, I crossed the border first. Others were not enjoying the rough road and puddles that much, but we all made it to first town after border, where everyone decided to stay for the night and have some beers.

    20191104_180710.jpg

    1A800DCE-927B-4EC4-A764-9074CA5CB4B2.jpeg

    Swiss guys have came all the way from Switzerland to Congo with incredible speed of around 40 days. Everyone heading to Cape Town, I'll be probably be the last one to finish there.
    td63, Riel, Saso and 3 others like this.
  8. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    Next morning started to ride to Pointe-Noire. I'm slow starter in mornings, so when I woke up, everyone had alreadt left. Road got very muddy and extremely slippery and around 1 hours later I catched up with other riders. They already had their bikes on a truck and planned to continue on 4 wheels, it was too much for big bikes.

    I pushed forward, it was around 300km to Pointe-Noire. As I found out everything was nice dirt riding with various terrain: mud, sand, hard packed. Only last small strech before Pointe-Noire was tarmac. Was in a quite hurry, so sadly did not take many pictures.

    20191105_112258.jpg
    85km before finish, also had to replace my front tube:
    20191105_153331.jpg

    After long day of riding, arrived in Pointe-Noire in dark.
    Riel, Saso, gulfcoaster and 2 others like this.
  9. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    Went to Angola Embassy today 4 times, these are the days its hard to enjoy Africa. Now beer and beach for winding down. Tomorrow maintanence day, got Motul 15w60 for the bike, also new brake fluid.

    20191106_100230.jpg
    td63, Bt10, ScotsFire and 6 others like this.
  10. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    Got my Angola visa, washed bike and changed oil. Ready to head towards DRC now, will be probably challenging, especially border. People have had declined entry even with visas. Have double entry for Congo-Brazza and Angola, so there is backup plans, can put bike one a boat in Cabinda.
    gulfcoaster, Bt10 and DunkingBird like this.
  11. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    Great news also from Giant Loop, they gonna replace my leaking gas bag and ship me new one to Angola. I think extra fuel gonna be useful in Namibia.
    cmattina, td63, NSFW and 2 others like this.
  12. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    Some more mud fun while heading to Brazzaville. Got stuck several times, schoolkids jumped into mud and helped me out each time, I think they had even more fun than me. In the end was quite exhausted, should think more before riding head first into the mud :D

    So far loving my time in Congo, feels like underappreciated country, maybe it gets too much bad rep because of the neighbor at the other side of river. Nice riding, great people.

    20191112_114234.jpg
  13. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    Snowy Carpathian mountains, Sahara desert, Gabons rainforrest and puddles, Congolese mud, Ktm 450 still goes strong, incredible bike.
    Hans Petter, td63, NSFW and 3 others like this.
  14. squadraquota

    squadraquota mostly harmless

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    484
    Location:
    Lowlands
    Quite a mud fest there, kudos for your perseverance. Good luck and stay safe!
  15. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    Its a rainy season here, so mud and puddles. Thanks.
  16. 7800

    7800 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2018
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    UK and South Africa
    I'm loving your RR with great information and good photos. I will be following in your tyre tracks next May so very relevant to me. Good luck, safe travels and keep up the RR.
  17. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    Usually I try to avoid big cities, but had some urge to visit Brazzaville. I think because Brazzaville - Kinshasa is in so many adventure stories, so headed there. But what I found was surpricingly chill and relaxed city, had even sidewalks and trashbins, cars stopped for pedestrians, streets were clean. One of the nicest big cities in Africa so far.

    River Congo and Kinshasa on the other side:
    20191114_114330.jpg
    Hans Petter, td63, ssandijss and 2 others like this.
  18. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    After relaxing some days in Brazzaville, started to head to DRC, but first wildcamped by Loufoulakari waterfalls that flow into Congo.

    Got some great pics from it with drone, but as my computer is fried (more about it later), can't access these. So small snap with phone:
    20191114_142314.jpg
    ssandijss and gulfcoaster like this.
  19. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    People have had a lot of problems getting into DRC, so headed to the border with some suspicion. They gave me some problem at the border not getting my visa back in my home country. They tried to get 50 euro of pribe also, but I played usual waiting game and said I dont understand what they are saying. Even talked in Estonian language to confuse them more. After 2 calls to a "boss" and hour later, they stamped me in.

    Camped first night in the first town Luozi. Next day was contemplating whether to take ferry over the Congo river and continue on a good chinese tarmac or take the hard way and continue west on bad roads and take Matadi bridge. Of course I chose the hard way.

    Road first started with mud, with me faceplanting in the first buddle, getting stuck in the next and making a schoolkid in a clean uniform muddy, who came to push me out. But the mud turned into very nice open fields and mountain riding, felt like enduro paradise.

    20191116_115849.jpg

    Started to dream of maybe even doing across Congo west to east one day, but things turned worse quickly...
    td63, squadraquota, ssandijss and 2 others like this.
  20. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Estonia
    Turned south from a village Nsumbi and roads turned worse quickly. One point it started to rain and roads turned into rivers. Managed to get only one bad picture as phone doesnt work in wet conditions:

    20191116_162308.jpg

    Picture is taken when water was not yet very high, later I was just holding and securing bike, so it wouldn't be carried away with water. Luckily 3 kids came to help. One kid going in front trying to find safe way and other 2 helping me to stabilise and push the bike to houses in 500m further.

    After rain stopped in 1 hour, started riding again hoping to get to Matadi, but after a couple of kilometers found out that it was impossible to ride, mud was sticking everywhere and there was no crip. Was already looking into camping by the muddy track, but one point a local guy came with his chinese bike and got stuck badly going around my bike. We spent like 1 hour to get his bike out and it got already dark so I decided to backtrack with him to previous village 5 km back to sleep there and continue the next day.

    In the village we were greeted with friendly people and had some beers. My riding buddy shared some bread and small can of tuna with me. One point things started to get weird, people drinking sugarcane wine and doing cocaine did not help. I don't speak local language (nor french), but understood racist, homosexual and other jokes floating around. Being hungry, tired and continuesly surrounded by 50 people did not help also.

    They asked me to buy them 5L of sugarcane wine, but as things already felt like in Goldings Lord of the Flies and was a bit afraid that things can escalate out of hand quickly, I declined saying I dont have money. Seeing my riding buddy falling to sleep, I told to a cocain snorting teacher (only person who spoke english) that I don't appreciate the jokes and feeling tired, so they drove everyone out of the shop, so we could sleep on the floor. As i did not feel too comfortable, planned to start early in the morning, but was greeted with flat front tire, so had to stay longer and fix my tired while being surrounded by people again.

    Local shop where we slept is on the background and bike with front tire off is in the middle of the people:
    20191117_071932.jpg
    forgorin, td63, windblown101 and 5 others like this.