The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
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Any experiences with the Lada Niva?
Well my Lada trip is not the latest one (Africa Overland attempt 1991 ended being evacuated by the Belgian army out of former Zaire)
How reliable are they for overlanding?
It is not the most reliable car on earth, but shouldn’t be worse than an old Landy and its mainly simple technique used. Disadvantage is the low payload. You have to travel like a biker or the overloading causes massive problems with the suspension and trailing links. Spare parts are hardly available.
Pros and cons?
It is cheap but you have to find one with low mileage and minimum corrosion (Corrosion is a big problem!). Low payload, restricted space and at least at the petrol engines high fuel consumption (alternatively the rare Peugeot diesel engines tend to crack the gearbox). Except the former USSR allied countries the Niva is at least in Africa not very common and it is even hard to get spares in Europe. Very good off road ability.
Ways to improve it?
There are OME springs available, this should improve the worst disadvantage. Reinforcing the rear trailing links might be worth a thought.
Hopefully we get some pics of our Nivas up on the website the next week.
Also think about that fuel is not cheap at all and depending on the route you choose the necessary 4x4 challenge is limited to only 2 or 3 legs. But as a biker you probably can travel just with your bike luggage, than a Niva is not too bad. Alternatively a Patrol or a Trooper are also not as expensive and offer more space.
I am very biased, i had an amazing trip to Mali in a 20yr old Niva, i'd do it again tomorrow for sure.
I've got to agree with everything Bernd says though, i reckon that covers it very well.
This is our old girl Flickr Photo Download: IMG_2 (563)
Good luck, what ever you decide
It isn't about the vehicle.......the critical issue is local availability of spares, and to a lesser extent, local knowledge. There really are only 2 universal choices in Africa......Landrover or Toyota. If you go for Landrover, you must be a competent mechanic. It will break down. However, they are easy to repair, and the whole of Africa has access to Landrover spares, or dead LRs lying by the side of the road that can be scavenged for parts.
If you go for Toyota, it has to be either one of the older Landcruisers without all the electronics, or a Hilux. Toyota spares are everywhere too...........but more expensive.
I drove a 20 year old HJ60 'cruiser the length of Africa 15 years ago, and the only thing that went wrong on the whole trip was the radiator cap failed. My brother took a series 11A Landrover on the same trip, same age car. Everything that moved on it broke at least once. However, his total repair bills, including rebuilding both the engine and the gearbox, plus all of the suspension times over, and clutches, UJs etc, came to less than it cost me to get a Toyota original radiator cap.
If you go for anything other than those two choices, you risk being stuck in the middle of nowhere waiting weeks for DHL to ship parts in for you. Ask yourself where you would get Lada water-pumps or wheel bearings or half-shafts if you broke down in Ethiopia or Tanzania. Same deal with Mercedes, or even Nissans, Mitsubishis, Isuzus etc.........They may be great cars but they aren't what you want for a trans-Africa. Don't go for anything exotic.
I say go in the Lada. If something goes wrong you can fix it. Anything can be repaired. So what if you have to wait a few days for DHL, find a nice hotel with a good restaurant and relax by the swimming pool!
DON'T just look at Land Rovers and Toyota's, they ALL break down! Any car can have a small problem that can cause you a lot of trouble if you're in the wrong place.
Go over the Lada and make sure it's as good as it can be. Replace any parts that are worn and give it a good full service.
That's what I think!
PS, the next person that's starts a Toyota vs Land Rover debate might get a hard stare from me, or even a Vulcan death grip!
Oh, more importantly than all that, you must try a Nature Valley Trail Mix bar, they are really, really nice..
Why not consider something a little more leftfield, a Toyota Hiace perhaps. Again well supported in respect of spares and pretty robust, and in use across most of the region. Can sleep in the back and keep your storage low(water/fuel etc) to keep the vehicle balanced
Sure they're only 2wd but how much 'hard' off road usage were you thinking about where you'll truly need a 4WD vehicle.
Merc 207 and Hiaces seem to appear in most places so why shouldn't you be able to get them to the same? It's a thought I keep having for a midi RWD van for touring without a 'gin palace' style camper or an under utilised 4wd system.
I think you are on the right track by looking at what is the right vehicle to prepare in Turkey (or wherever home is).
Home is where you will purchase the car, learn about it and otherwise do 90% of your input on it. It might also be where you sell it. So go for what makes sense there - anything robust and simple to work on will do - if that is a Niva then great.
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