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-   -   BMW R1200GS across Africa (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/route-planning/bmw-r1200gs-across-africa-2083)

LuckyStriker 24 Feb 2005 13:58

BMW R1200GS across Africa
Can my 1200GS cross Africa along the Eastern coast?
The bike is currently new – The trip is planned for May 2006 (just after the rain season). We will be two up and the trip cannot last more than 45days. I plan to remove the catalytic converter.

- Route 1
South Africa
Kenya (Service bike at authorized dealer and fit knobbly tyres)
Fly back to South Africa (including bike)

- Alternative Route
South Africa
Kenya (Service bike at authorized dealer and turn back)
South Africa

What do you think? Should I leave the big Beemer at home and buy a cheap second hand 600cc to do the trip instead? I think the 1200GS is a good tool for the job. I may not be able to fix anything if it breaks but the chances of anything breaking is surely less than with an XT or XR or DR.

Please be gentle if this is a stupid question… http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif

Werner 25 Feb 2005 05:35

Hi Lucky,
I did your Plan A in 2001 on a BMW F650. Paved roads up to Isiolo, Kenya. Then rough stretch to Moyale Ethiopia, tough but doable, very tough 2-up with luggage. Paved road 2 thirds through Ethiopia, then gravel, being improved to the Sudan border. Good on other side of the border up to paved road. Pavement to Khartoum. Depending how you feel, you can continue on sand and rough gravel to Wadi Halfa, or put bike on twice weekly train. Road in Egypt paved.
If going 2-up, I would recommend the R12GS. Anything lighter would be a chore. If going solo, a 650 gives you adequate power.
If you want more details, see my book, "Africa Against the Clock..." in "books" section on this website. Daily log, km given, Kilimanjaro ascent, Zanzibar.
East ist more fun than West, but Sudan visa could be a problem, perhaps not for you since you'll probably be considered to be a "good guy."

LuckyStriker 25 Feb 2005 12:53

Thanks Werner
I agree that a 650 would be cheaper to maintain and easier to handle but as you mentioned – it would be torture with a pillion and luggage.
I’ve noticed that many people prefer the western route when crossing Africa. When I study maps and travel books, it’s the East coast that looks more appealing to me (Though apparently it can be a bit more challenging – Don’t know if that’s true or not).

I wonder if anyone can tell me whether ‘BMW Assist’ will dispatch a Bavarian engineer to the Ethiopian highlands to fix my alternator belt/fuel injection or whatever for free. The bike will still be under factory warranty and it would be nice if help were only a phone call away. Guess not, huh? http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/tongue.gif

5 Eyes 29 Dec 2006 19:24

HI Lucky Striker

I am planning to do the same trip as yhour plan A more or less in July 2005.
Just wondering how you got on on your trip

Vaufi 30 Dec 2006 13:23

Well Lucky, I take it the bike just won't break down in Ethiopia. Why not apply for a sponsorship by Beemer ZA ;-) After seeing a guy whacking his R12GS through the Oz Outback, I'd say she can take any kind of beating. The only thing that worries me on these ultra modern bikes are the electronics.

Anyway, should you go as far as Munich, send me an email. After you let me down in CT, we might catch up with a beer here in Europe ;-))

From where do you intend to return to ZA? There are budget flights from Munich directly to CT. It cost me 1,300 Euros to fly my bike down to your place. If I can be of any help, just contact me. Jy weet, 'n boer maak altyd 'n plan.


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