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Morocco Overland: From the Atlas to the Sahara - 4WD, Motorcycle, Van, Mountain Bike

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  #1  
Old 15 Feb 2014
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Piste advice

Hi
Hope the font of all knowledge things Morrocan can help.
I am going to Morocco with a couple of guys off the forum and the route takes in some 900km of off road, I wanted some up to date info if I can get it on the routes.
The first is Chris Scott's designation MH1. His book and the net tell me that from Agoudal to Midelt some of it is sealed. Does anyone know how much and the general condition of the rest. And there is also the section from Agoudal to the Dades Gorge hairpins how hard is the piste there.
I could go round to Rich and take the sealed road to Agoudal and down through the Todra and meet them at Boumalne du Dades.
The second is the route MS6 from Chris's book. Merzouga to Tagounite
It looks a long hard day to me so I was thinking that I might go round from Merzouga to Rissani/Alnif on the N12 desert highway and then pick up the N9 down to Zagora and Tagounite. This looks like it is sealed all the way so any feedback on that would be interesting.
I am a reasonably fit man in my sixties on a NC700X with road tyres and I have done some roads/pistes in Morocco before which I think are called "graded" I did,nt find them difficult.
I could fit some enduro type tyres if you think that would help,but with a 160 back tyre my choice would be limited.
We plan to go this year in April.
Appreciate any comments/advice
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  #2  
Old 15 Feb 2014
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Did mh1 in Oct from dades to Midelt some is tar but one section took us 4 hours to do a couple of km where the piste had washed away. We had to rebuild part with rocks and some Berber help almost rolled the truck but had great fun

Last edited by TheWarden; 15 Feb 2014 at 23:29.
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Old 15 Feb 2014
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Thanks Warden useful info and confirms my feelings that it may not be in the best of condition after the winter. 4 hours to do a couple of Ks !!!
probably too much for me
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Old 15 Feb 2014
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It all depends on the weather. The Agoudal to Msemrir section isn't too difficult when the piste is in good condition, but with a bit of rain and road tyres it would be a disaster.

Photos: E23 Upper Dades Gorge
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  #5  
Old 15 Feb 2014
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You're right, the N9 Zagora to M'hamid is sealed. There is a short section that is currently being redone and was crushed stones a few weeks ago. I drove it 4 times in the past few weeks but can't for the life of me remember exactly where it was. On your bike with road tyres no problem.

There's a nice easy piste you could do from Tagounite to Foum Zguid that takes you past Source Sacree. It starts just before the petrol station on your right hand side. On your bike, I think much easier than Merzouga - Tagounite/M'hamid. I'd want trail tyres at least though.

FWIW, I'm a biker but I've not ridden Morocco. I'm on my second 'winter' tour in my 2wd VW T25 (albeit with a few 'desert' tweaks).
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Old 15 Feb 2014
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Tim
Thanks for the thread on the mh1 it has given me lots to think about. I will consider the what the weather has been before I make any decisions.
Aerovolito
Thanks for confirming that the N9 down to Tagounite is sealed.
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Old 15 Feb 2014
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Following along with this thread as I am the 3rd rider in this group and have never been to Morocco. I am very excited! Riding a 99 Transalp which I just bought and have not seen other than photos. I to am thinking of buying tires before I go as the bike has 80/20 road tires now, maybe K60 scouts? I live in Canada and will be touring for 3 months.
Steve
TKC makes a 150/70/17 which fits your bike.
Cal
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Old 15 Feb 2014
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Thought about them Cal but think they would be worn out by the time I got to Morocco 1500 miles
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Old 16 Feb 2014
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I researched tires in Malaga and came up with lots of availability and choices.
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Old 16 Feb 2014
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Sorry I drive a Landy but;

MH1. As others have said, depends on the weather and piste conditions, done this route twice both in April, weather/pistes are drier and streams are shallow. You probably know, if a stream ripples it has a stoney bottom.

MS6. Never done this, hope to in April.

"Merzouga to Rissani/Alnif on the N12 desert highway and then pick up the N9 down to Zagora and Tagounite."

Sealed all the way, IMHO we did the route as far as Zagora, good fuel and cafe in Alnif, then we took the R108 and stopped in NKOB, nice little place, then the N9 to Zagora along the Draa Valley.

Cheers Mark
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Old 16 Feb 2014
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Mark

That's great to know about the Merzouga /Zagora road route as to be honest the MS6 sounds like a long hard day at 245km,esp with the Feche Feche that Chris Scott talks about in his book.
the R108 was the road I had looked at from Tazzarine to the N9,nice to know that it is sealed all the way
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Old 16 Feb 2014
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We did MS6 over a day and a half in Oct 2012 great route but as yoou say some dunes and the river crossing at Taouz was impassable

You could take the N12 and then dop onto MS4 at Timerzit and get to Zagora on some good piste.


P1040160 by Trackasylum, on Flickr
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  #13  
Old 16 Feb 2014
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MS6

Hi,

I did MS6 (and back) in November 2011 - 5 bikes and one quad.

Would not do it alone or with road tyres - very stony on the western part.
I think it also requires some sand riding skills specially (but not only) on the Oued Rheris part.
Fuel range should be a point to think of. Distance from Merzouga to Tagounite is ca. 250km.

My impression on the HUBB here.

BR,
Luís
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Old 16 Feb 2014
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TKC80s are a good knobblie and OK on the road so long as you don't go too fast on motorways (they wear badly with heat).

I did London to Senegal and back on a 1200 GS Adventure on a single set of TKC80s and there was still tread left.
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Old 16 Feb 2014
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Luis, thanks for the info and link to the pictures on the MS6.
Tim, that's interesting about the TKC80s I thought they wore out fast.
not a fast driver so will give them some thought.
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