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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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Old 30 Nov 2002
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Location: south poland
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hallo everybody!

I got a anusuall problem, because
I'm planning a trip to a mauritania,
and i'm not sure the way of tarvelling...
So, I have got 97' toyota hilux 2.4D
(4x4 of course)
But i'm not sure that maybe buying a motorbike would be a better way?
but i'm still not sure which will be the best? i'am thinking about used motorbike
from years 85-95. I have looked at: Suzuki DRBig, DR350, Honda XR600 or Yamaha xt600 tenere... so what do you think about that?
Is going by the motorbike is better???
I must say that I will go with a friend that is going by yamaha tt600r...

thanks for your help..
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Old 30 Nov 2002
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Location: Denmark, Western Australia (previously Derbyshire, UK)
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Hi Peter,

Have you thought about taking your bike *and* your 4x4?

It is such a long way to get to Mauritania, all tarmac, in my view it is best to get there as quickly and as comfortably as possible. Maybe you could put your friend's bike on too and share the fuel costs?

You could arrange to leave the car with a camping when you get to Nouadhibou, whilst you ride around.

Again, in my view, a bike is the best experience and fun in the desert. Plus travelling with few belongings makes for a better sense of harmony with the peoples and the desert.

I have always thought Honda were the most reliable of the Japanese motorcycles. If you can find an XL600R in good condition, it may be worth considering. My friend sold one recently (1991 model), we rode together on UK trails, surprisingly it was very similar in capability as my XR650R, but with greater economy (kpl) and carrying capacity.



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Old 1 Dec 2002
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Location: Somerset, Great Britain
Posts: 315
Mervin - I actually use a '98 Hilux 2.4D here in England. A couple of months ago I tried to get to Nouadhibou on my Honda Pan European ST1100. I (not surprisingly) could not get through from the Morocco/Mori border on the piste, the sand quickly brought it to a standstill. I would have been very glad of my Hilux (or a trail bike) at that point!

It's a long straight haul down through Western Sahara, even on a big bike averaging 150 kph, but I would think it will seem even further on either a trail/enduro or in a Hilux! Still you'll need one or the other once you get to the bottom of Morocco, although I think people make it OK to Nouakchott in cars.
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Old 2 Dec 2002
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Location: south poland
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thanks for your help...
So I decided to buy a yamaha xt600 tenere 85'
I will go by CAR from poland to South Spain (gibraltar) and further by XT600 tenere
with my friend on TTR600...
I think thats a quite good plan.
so we have to do about 8oookm in marocco, western sahara and mauritania by our bikes.

So what do you think about that?
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Old 3 Dec 2002
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Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
Posts: 49
I'm not really sure driving the 2'500 km from Ceuta to The mauritanian border on a tenere will be loads of fun: perfect tarmac all the way down... Great landscapes, sure, but if you want to rush... At least in the Hilux you get the chance to chat & listen to music :-)

If you're not planning to drive remote pistes in the Atlas mountains, why not drive with the hilux to Dakhla at least? you should be able to leave the in a safe palce there. The ony issue is are the maroccan customs gonna let you get out of morocco without your car??? I'm not quite sure!

Good luck!
Normal cars go to paradise, 2CV's go everywhere!
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Old 4 Dec 2002
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Location: the netherlands
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Im currently on a transafrica on a dommie, looking at all these overlanding trucks and 4*4 you do realise that you are doing it the hard way in terms of sheer comfort etcetc. If you could take a bike and the 4*4, you got the best of both worlds.

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