The Moroccan Shakedown

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. irvfr

    irvfr Been here awhile

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    Nice pics. subscribed
    #41
  2. Ed Teach

    Ed Teach Been here awhile

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    Same case in my F 650 Dakar and in a 800 GS both with Metzeler Karoo.
    I think that the knobs tend to "copy" the asphalt imperfections and the bikes moves around. At first it's a bit scary but if you let the bike go it's way it better try to fight against it.
    And it's very funny how the cars get scared when they see you and left some distance thinking thath you're gonna fall down:rofl
    #42
  3. wamba

    wamba Adventurer

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    Another epic Colebatch ride report — I've been waiting for this one. :clap

    wamba
    #43
  4. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

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    Hey Walter - For once I get to follow along from the beginning! :clap:clap:clap Beautiful teaser shots man!
    #44
  5. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Thanks Dave.

    Not much single track out here man ... its as wide as you want it to be :evil

    Was going to take a Coyote down here, but this was a test run for me and I had to test out this rear rack I had designed for me ... so that meant I took an ortlieb bag. Coyote would have been better, and would have held the weight lower :clap
    #45
  6. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Definitely. Deserts, and particularly NEW Deserts, are not pleasant for riding on asphalt ... as mentioned in my post above. Get them in the rocks and the sand tho, and they rock
    #46
  7. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Most that I didnt take were taken by Roman, a few by Igor, a few on timer, and a few are stills taken from video
    #47
  8. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    The morning began when we were awoken on board the ferry by the PA system telling us we were 1 hour from Melilla. I jumped in the tiny shower cubicle in our cabin for a quick wash and a wake up. We had barely enjoyed 6 hours of sleep, now it was time already to put the bike gear on and head down to the vehicle deck to untie our bikes and head off into the tiny Spanish enclave that is surrounded by Morocco.

    Carlo, a German biker on an 1150 GS we had met also boarding the ferry the previous night, joined us and led us through the streets of Melilla. In less than 5 minutes, we were at the Moroccan border. The chaos began here. This is where the pushing and shoving starts to get access to the two tiny windows that halted our entry into Morocco – the passport window and the customs window. It was hot already, 8:30am Melilla time and 6:30am Moroccan time, but the temperature was already over 30 C. We were in full bike gear, in the sun, pushing and shoving to maintain our place in the queue. It was fortunate then, that the whole process took only about an hour. We were free to enter Morocco.

    [​IMG]

    After a quick breakfast, we said farewell to Carlo and headed off on our route across Morocco. First stop was Taourirt, where we stocked up on water, fuel and grabbed a local sim card each. 50 km to the southwest was the small village of Debdou from where we climbed up onto the Rekkam Plateau. Soon afterwards, we turned off the asphalt and began what we had come to Morocco for; the pistes (French for dirt tracks). We aimed to do almost 300 km of pistes for the remainder of that first day, hopefully finishing the day at the tiny village of Beni Tadjite (aka Beni Tajjite).

    It was a lot hotter than we were expecting. Temperatures were above 35C the whole time we were on the pistes. I seemed to have begun on Morocco a little too aggressively. Early on, I went tearing ahead at some silly speed, only to see a 1.5 m (4-5 foot) deep creek bed across the path ahead of me. I slammed on the rear brake from somewhere around 90 km/h and managed to get the bike down to about 25-30 km/h by the time I plunged into the creek bed in a controlled crash. The two Russians arrived a minute or so later and refused to help right the bike until suitable photos had been taken. We picked the bike up and inspected it. It survived the rocky impact pretty well, but my chest was hurting. A kick of the front wheel straightened the steering out and we resumed the ride. This time at a slightly more sensible pace. At least a pace that gave us ample time to react to any surprises in the piste ahead of us.

    It was silly over-enthusiasm that caused this lay-down. I had been off the bike too long and had been too eager to go nuts on it, too early.

    [​IMG]
    #48
  9. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    The fairing looks :thumb

    Subscribed

    :lurk
    #49
  10. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    Which cameras do they use?
    #50
  11. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    put something on and stay in that position.
    Is there a thread which records the details of your bike being stolen and then recovered?

    If so, please direct us.

    If not, please inform us.

    Standing by for more:
    #51
  12. VikB

    VikB Been here awhile

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    If I recall correctly the bike theft/recovery happened at the end of the RR linked to below:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=602168
    #52
  13. hansi

    hansi Teurer Abenteurer

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    :bow in
    #53
  14. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    [​IMG]

    A couple of hours later, Igor on the F800 noticed one of his fork seals was rogered. Another hour down the piste and Grom noticed his expensive new GoPro, complete with 32GB card was no longer attached to his bike, and now lay baking in the African sun somewhere behind us. So quite an eventful first day really.

    [​IMG]

    In Beni Tadjite, we asked if the hotel had any beers. We were beat. It was a hot day and we had all paid some sort of price for it. We had taken 2 litres of water each on our ride across the pistes, but it was nowhere near enough. We must have drank an extra 4 litres each that evening. Sadly, none of it was beer. Away from the touristy areas, Morocco is pretty much beer-free. There was no shower there either, but after some negotiation we managed to get a bucket of water and a cup to scoop over our heads to have some attempt at a wash. Sleep was impossible. The night time temperatures did not drop below 30 degrees. I tossed and turned and hoped in vain to get some sleep.
    #54
  15. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Cameras were very basic.

    I had a D90 in an improvised tank bag. Because it was improvised, it was hard to open, and therefore almost never got used.

    We used mainly two compact cameras and the stills from the video camera.

    I had a Sony TX5 ... which I like as a compact camera for travel for many reasons ... its waterproof, dustproof and shockproof to limited degrees, but best of all, it does NOT have a pop out lens, which inevitably fail in rough and tough conditions.

    Grom and Igor shared a old Canon Ixus 85. It has the normal compact camera pop out lens type thing, and ... it failed on the trip and is now dead.

    I had a Sony TX3 small video camera, and Igor had a Sony video camera of unknown type as well ... some of the stills are from them.
    #55
  16. motoreiter

    motoreiter Long timer

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    Walter, please a shot of this new rear rack! I am in the market for one and was about to order one from a metal fab when I saw your post. Does it mount on the standard TT pannier rack?
    #56
  17. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Ok, stand by Tom.
    #57
  18. magsd

    magsd two stroke fanatic

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    Holy shiet. Gimme more! :clap
    #58
  19. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    By the time the morning light awoke us, it was 6am. I think I had about 3 hours of broken sleep. Even at 6 in the morning the heat was unbearable. I found the other two guys and asked how they slept. Igor was in the same boat as me. Grom had climbed up to the roof of the building where at least it felt a degree or two cooler, probably because of the light breeze and had caught a few winks there, in between swatting flies away.

    Breakfast on the roof, at dawn.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    An early morning inspection of the bikes revealed a few more “issues”. One of them could even be called a “problem”. I had lost a subframe bolt. Actually it wasn’t lost. Half of it was still in my frame. It had snapped off. So just getting it out would be a major drama. I spoke a guy in the hotel, and he said a mechanic works at the local petrol station, just 100 yards down the road, but he would not be in at 7am. We had to refuel anyway, so went to the fuel station and asked about a mechanic. 9am if we were lucky was the answer.

    It was executive decision time. There was a piste I really wanted to do today, and it begins just 20 minutes from Beni Tadjite. No-one wanted to wait for 3-4 hours to have my subframe bolt fixed, including me. I played with the subframe, felt the flex and decided “fu@k it, lets do the piste”.

    [​IMG]

    The piste in question is a very much unknown one between Beni Bassia (I kept pronouncing it "Benny Benassi")and Bouanane, but was highly recommended to me by my good friend Dave Lomax from Adventure Spec. He has taken groups through there to jaw dropping responses and calls it one of the very best pistes in Morocco. I had to do it. It had about 40 river crossings in it, and I do love a good river crossing. For want of a better name, lets call it the “Lomax Piste”. There is actually a perfectly good asphalt road that goes from Benny Benassi to Bouanane, but why take the asphalt when one of the funkiest pistes in Morocco awaits ...

    [​IMG]

    Dave had mentioned that the piste could take a whole day, despite not being that long, depending on the depth of the water. Setting off for a challenging piste with a subframe bolt missing, in 40 degree heat, was definitely taking a risk. But sometimes you have to take the risk. I would ride less aggressively, trying to minimise any significant stresses and loads on my one remaining lower subframe bolt.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The piste was, as Dave said it would be, a real hoot and we got a lot of cool video.

    [​IMG]
    #59
  20. rgiroux

    rgiroux Invisible Man

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    aw, jeez! dont you ever do anything normal? :bow :D

    definitely in on another awesome RR! :clap
    #60