Zambian Joyride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by metaljockey, May 28, 2010.

  1. bondiboy

    bondiboy go with the waves

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    Best ride report that I have read for a long time.:clap Next time - take me!!
  2. CTDan

    CTDan Long timer Supporter

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    I am enviouse! What a great trip.
    I have never made a trip to remote areas like that, so naturally I have a lot of questions. Would you please answer a few of them ?

    1) how long were you gone (total length of the trip)?
    2) what was the total distance you covered?
    3) what was the longest distance between fuel oportunities?
    4) was the 800's small fuel tank an issue?
    5) was the extra fuel you carried used more on one bike than the other?

    Thanks for the great RR. It's adventures like yours that I can only dream of having the time and resources to do. I guess I'll have to live vicariosly!
  3. metaljockey

    metaljockey Dodgy SOB

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    Eastern Cape, South Africa

    The trip was about two weeks, I guess 4000km. The furthest fuel distance was 426km. Small fuel tanks are often an issue on our trips, but the X-Challenge now has a tank range of 550km, so the 800 only carried fuel for itself. On this trip we often carried more fuel than was necessary because we had little info beforehand.
  4. metaljockey

    metaljockey Dodgy SOB

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    No, not really, was kinda busy. Anyway, a 250 would not have carried me and my load of spares and tools.



    No, I've never held back in where I go, what I eat or drink or what I swim in, and all I have ever picked up is a couple of cases of tick bite fever and bilharzia. You get a problem, you treat it, it's over, no different to anywhere else really.




    Hennie had a Panasonic DMC-TZ11 and I had a Nikon coolpix S4.
  5. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

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    I've had kind of this same thought a few times and I guess I'll ask. 4000km is well within the service interval on plenty of dual sports on the dirt end of the spectrum, like a KTM 525/530 or DR-Z400 or XR400 or 650R. Not as much fun on the pavement burn, but presumably much less work on some of the tougher bits.

    They wouldn't gracefully carry the same amount of kit you had along, but the different bike and different pace might enable different requirements. Some of the places that were undoubtedly very challenging on the big bikes, would be much easier on a small bike... so a different pace would require a different (lesser) level of spares/ tools/ food/ whatever.

    I'm sure you've considered a lighter smaller bike, I'd be interested for your reasoning on not choosing a 525 with a 6.6 gallon tank, for example.

    Once again, an awesome report, and at the end of the day, motorcycling is no more about motorcycles than tennis is about racquets. Necessary, but not the main thing. Thanks for capturing that and sharing it and I'm sorry to derail the conversation even a bit from the journey.
  6. Lucky:)

    Lucky:) Been here awhile

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    Originally Posted by Lucky:)
    Did you pay the other helpers as well or were they mostly just good samaritans?

    So, are we talking about American dollars, or local currency? I'd like to know what to have handy in this situation.

    Thanks,
  7. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    Noticed the Awe. Some. link up top three hours ago.
    Now I'm going, "Aw, I want some more." But I'll get some sleep before I start checking out the Angola RR.

    Thanks for the great account of a fantastic trip.
  8. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    Unbelievable. Thanks for an awesome read. Makes me feel more than a little inadequate though! :rofl

    --mark
  9. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon Tragic Donkey Throttler

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    I just started reading around page 17. Did something exciting happen here? Somebody got a new bike or something?
    :wink:
  10. mr. matteeanne

    mr. matteeanne Bender can pass him Supporter

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    I am saddened that I no longer possess what it takes to do this. I am humbled.
  11. arkridergc

    arkridergc Been here awhile

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    MJ,
    Wow! 15 pages of followers. Do you ever get the impression you're under the microscope? Brother I've got to say that you seem to peg the meter on riding hard crap. I sure hope your mate Hennie enjoys it as much as you do 'cause if he doesn't, he's got to feel like he's just survived Hell!
    Seriously though, everything about Africa seems so much more rugged than here. Lions, Elephants, Hippos, Crocs, Snakes, Flies and wet feet for days (I truly hate wet feet). Water crossings where I can't see the bottom give me ...concern and we don't have to worry about Hippos and Crocs. You truly must love it. Good for you and keep bringing Africa to us North Americans. Your RR's never fail to be edifying and I look forward to many more to come.
    Glad to see your are finding all the weak points on the X. I find that bike and the 800 tickling my fancy.
    I was also glad to read that Peanut is riding her own bike now. You must be proud. Take care and God bless.
    Gary
  12. JDK111

    JDK111 Been here awhile

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    So MJ....... how many Quacha were you carrying??:1drink
  13. metaljockey

    metaljockey Dodgy SOB

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    Eastern Cape, South Africa

    On this trip, almost any bike would do, as long as it can carry the weight that it needs to. You have to keep in mind that our trip starts 3000km away from home and spares backup. So, if you want to make sure that you get to complete the trip, you carry quite a bit of tools and some spares. This is on top of your camping equipment, food and water. The DRZ is a bit lightweight for this kind of thing.

    Speaking for myself, I chose the XC because of the engine (reliable Rotax) and the weight (144kg dry). With the Touratech tank my fuel capacity is 25l (6.6gal) and that is good for 550km (340 miles).

    When looking at those specs there is not many other 650's that can compete.

    Reliability and fuel range are the most important aspects. On this trip for instance, we could only bargain on finding a proper gas station twice in the two week period. For the rest we were dependant on black market sellers, and it is impossible to know up front where you will get them, especially as it was our first trip through this country.

    Riding this far away from medical and other backup, one tends to also ride a lot more conservatively, so the peaky delivery of the 525EXC and XR squad is not really helpful. Also, I expect that they will also have weak subframe issues.

    The one other consideration is that we invariably also cover some distance on fast open stretches, here we spent the last 1400km slabbing it. None of the other bikes you mentioned can sustain a 140km/h 9hr day.

    From Hennie's point of view, he has one bike that he uses as his main transport, and that same bike must be able to also complete the annual off road trip. The 800GS fits the bill.

    But in the final analisys, I agree with you Ned, any bike would do, I would have had no problem completing this trip on the 1200 GS if that was all that was available, likewise the DRZ.
    lexaria likes this.
  14. metaljockey

    metaljockey Dodgy SOB

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    We carried Zambian Kwatsha, in the bigger sentra you can get dollars exchanged, but generally and certainly in the rural areas, Kwatsha is the way to go. You carry quite a bundle because of the weak exchange rate. Having a calculator handy also helps quite a bit.
  15. bawa

    bawa Adventurer

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    :clap :clap :clap - A great trip and a great report!
  16. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    I am in total awe. This report was one of the best written and recorded trips that I have seen on ADV. What an undertaking, I only wish I was 25 years younger so that I could try something like this.

    Thanks for taking us along.
  17. PistonJockey

    PistonJockey vroom vroom

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    great read and even better photos. :clap
  18. Scooter_Junkie_Girl

    Scooter_Junkie_Girl Get some. Get a lot. Get it all.

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    Absolutely amazing. No words for the sort of crazy you are, but it's the good kind to be sure. :)

    I can only dream of such adventure, and you are an excellent photographer and storyteller as well. Keep it up, and happy riding!
  19. quicktoys2

    quicktoys2 ADVrider junkie :)

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  20. b00t

    b00t errrr, yes uh-huh?

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    F'n awesome!
    :super