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  #1  
Old 12 Oct 2004
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River crossings?

Hi Grant and all,
My next conumdrum is this. The biggest obstacle (apart from no fuel enroute) on my Mozambique journey is the Limpopo River.
At present the wet part of the river is 70 metres (200 feet) wide and between 40 and 70 centimetres (approx. 14 - 30 inches) deep (the dry part is 900 metres of sand...) There is no current to speak of and the river bed is sandy and flat.
There is no bridge and no boats or canoes of any kind. Happily, I am told, there are also no crocodiles.
I doubt whether I'll be able to ride the R60 through but I'd be happy to be proved otherwise.
Any advice on riding, dragging, floating or other assorted river-crossing magic tricks gratefully received.
cheers
Paul
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  #2  
Old 12 Oct 2004
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What BMW you got?

Just make sure that the air filter doesn't drown into the water in too deep water level. Then the water goes into engine and your bike is almost instantly dead in the water.

I know they do a special plastic pipe for air intake to direct the air intake hole more higher thus can cross deeper water. But it rally needs water depths more than 70cm i think for need for extra pipe because most BMW enduros have quite hight air-filter position.

Margus

[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 12 October 2004).]
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  #3  
Old 12 Oct 2004
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Oh, sorry - just read again your post and you have R60 whitch i'm absolutely not technically familiar with!

Forget what i've said in pervious message!

Margus
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  #4  
Old 13 Oct 2004
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Engine air intake is one way water will stop you.

A second method is the air breathers on the carbies - if these are submerged it can upset the fuel air mixture ... or fill the float bowel with water rather than petrol.

A third method of stoping you is through the ignition system - you need water proof spark plug caps - how old are the ones you’re running now? If > 5 years I'd replace them ... and the HT wires. Check the coil for cracks. Check the points are good ... and well sealed against water penetration.

If the motor stops in this depth of water you will get water down the exhaust - drain before you try to start the bike - the back pressure of water is large.

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  #5  
Old 13 Oct 2004
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Hi Margus,
Re. Photo forum, 'Medium Format', 2 Oct- I see what you mean! Heh, heh!
Best wishes,
John


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  #6  
Old 14 Oct 2004
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One further thing - after your water crossings - check the transmission oils - if you get water in there and leave it there you will do the bearings at least. Heat will boil off the water in the engine, but the tranmissions don't usually get hot enought. You can use teh trick of waiting over night and craking open teh drain - let the water drain untill you get oil. That will get rid of most of it. But a change of oil is the best thing.
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  #7  
Old 15 Oct 2004
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I spent a bit of time working on the limpopo. Are you sure that there are no tractors or trucks plying this route. A few meticais can go a long way. If the water is deep enough you can always bargain a canoe and walk across with your bike and a few assistants.
If all else fails, put up the periscope and dive in...
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  #8  
Old 15 Oct 2004
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Hi 'lost1',
Ja, loading the bikes into the back of someone's pick-up was plan A. Plan B is to organise a gang of porters to carry the two bikes across in return for meticais, smokes and T-shirts (always carry a ready supply of all three in Moz).
Plan C is to ride... depending on how deep the water is. The river's at its lowest now, but the rains are toying with Jo'burg which means the clock is starting to tick. By late November the Limpopo will be running a lot higher.
There's quite a bit of traffic (bakkies, chapa cems) between the border and Mapai - something else to watch out for on the 98km bush track to the river...
It's strange that there are no boats or canoes at or near the drift at Mapai but both my sources confirm this.
The one guy uses the road quite a bit to get from his campsite on the coast at Vilankulo to his other job in Louis Trichardt in SA. It's a logical route from SA to central Mozambique but few people use it - for all their big talk, the SA 4x4 brigade are mostly armchair warriors. Which is fortunate, really.
Would dig to chat further - mail me at ashp@sundaytimes.co.za
cheers and thanks
Paul
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