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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #16  
Old 17 Apr 2009
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Official temperature records are always shade temps, and are taken a certain distance from the ground and from distorting influences. If it's an official 120 degrees (F) you can easily record 160 in the sun, close to the ground, next to a large radiant object like a car. And it's that 160 degree reading which most accurately describes the effects on the tender human changer-of-flat-tires.

The OP will have many issues to deal with, including his terrified friend, his lack of relevant experience (of which he seems totally unaware) and his own tendency to puffery. But that doesn't mean he won't make it: after all, he's presumably taking the rather straightforward coast route, and most people do make it no matter how clueless (I speak from personal experience!). It's the few who fall off the edge of the known universe in inhospitable deserts, avalanche terrain, traffic accidents or [insert your preferred hazard here] who teach us where the limits and probabilities lie.

Please remit: $0.02

Mark
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  #17  
Old 17 Apr 2009
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What they both should do is get on Interstate 80 and go East about 250 miles to Fernley Navada. Get a room at the Silverado Motel.
Within a mile of there is the Frenley motocross track.
That is sand. Practice on that. Lot of other roads around also.
Don't go on a weekend, they will be racing.
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  #18  
Old 18 Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psionick View Post
Hi there.
I was lead to believe the tale from the chap i met, as he had no reason to lie. But the truth could be in the word "tale"!
The reason behind this posting is to serve as a reminder to the chap, who wants to do the above trip.
My message is, Take it easy, we all have to start somewhere. But, maybe June isn't the best month to go north Africa?
Nick.
Actually I was being pedantic, the poster who mentions shaded readings is correct, and to be honest there's little differnce between 51 C and 53 C when you're out in it.
I was riding around in Nevada in the summer of 2005. Not a million miles from Death Valley. I felt a bit 'odd' and pulled over on the side of the road...where I promptly passed out for a few seconds. Wasn't drinking enough water (didn't have a hydro-pak back then). Dehydrated. I was very fortunate I pulled over when I did, as there was other traffic on the road.
My friend Valorie was totally unaffected by the heat.
We heard people in Las vegas saying it was 108 F to 110, which is only 42 to 43 C.
My current lady and I will be in Morocco on a BMW GS 100 with another couple on a Transalp at the end of May.
We fully expect it to be extremely hot and have prepared for that with hydro-paks, light coloured helmets, desert issue cotton clothing and fully vented (but still armoured) summer riding jackets.
If it gets too hot to function normally we'll ride early in the mornings and later in the afternoons.
We will not be doing any major desert crossings, just staying on the larger pistes and roads and visiting the main cities and places like Quarzatte and Tombuctu.

Cheers: Jaq.
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  #19  
Old 21 Apr 2009
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I heard these are quite common in the southern Sahara in July..
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  #20  
Old 22 Apr 2009
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Thanks for all your replies, and the PM bert (i don't have enough posts to PM you back). I think I will now seriously have to reconsider my adventure. I've bought the Sahara Overland and the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook. I'll study those, keep practicing on my bike, and postpone the trip until I have a better idea of how/where/when I can go.
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  #21  
Old 22 Apr 2009
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Good call! But I don't think you need years and years of experience either...get the bike you will take with you, get in a few thousand miles miles on it, including off road, practice with your adventure-seeking pillion, bring lots and lots of water, and go do it!
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  #22  
Old 22 Apr 2009
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Good plan, happy riding and reading!
It'll be a great trip when the time is right

Sam
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  #23  
Old 26 Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by saharanadventurer View Post
Thanks for all your replies, and the PM bert (i don't have enough posts to PM you back). I think I will now seriously have to reconsider my adventure. I've bought the Sahara Overland and the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook. I'll study those, keep practicing on my bike, and postpone the trip until I have a better idea of how/where/when I can go.
Hey mate

When you've got a bit more experience...

A viable alternative might be this company below.
You can either do a tour with them or hire one of their bikes and follow thier advice and maps.
Much better proposition for you I'm thinking.

Your friend who's scared of bikes...she should do a bike riding course herself...then she won't have to be worried about being a pillion, she can ride her own machine.

Anyway: There's a motorcycle hire shop run by a French couple in Marrakesh.

They have Honda 125/250/650 trail bikes.

loc2roues location motos scooters quads marrakech maroc

Cheers: Jaq.
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  #24  
Old 28 May 2009
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Hi guys. It's me again. I just returned from spending a few days riding in Baja, Mexico. I had an awesome time and wanted to thank the poster who suggested going to Baja. Thanks also to Jaq; renting a bike sounds like a smart alternative.

I wanted to ask you if you think it's a big difference crossing the desert in northern Baja and crossing Sahara (or part of it)? Are the roads/trails similar to the ones found in Baja? You can see my Baja blog and photos here in case you're interested:

[gone]

I realize I'm still a beginner rider, but after this trip I gained a lot of confidence!

Last edited by saharanadventurer; 26 Jul 2011 at 06:22.
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  #25  
Old 29 May 2009
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Hey congrats on the Baja ride! Looks like you had yourself a time ...

Perhaps the biggest difference to bear in mind between Baja / Sahara is population density and the distance between things. Spot-on planning on fuel, water, gear and various contingencies becomes much more important in the Sahara vs. Baja. (Not to say it's not important in Baja). Bike maintenance and tire changing, too, for example.

The stakes are higher, because chances are usually fair that someone will come along if you run into problems in Baja -- not necessarily the case in the Sahara, depending on where you are.

For route conditions, your copy of "Sahara Overland" has it all, no? BTW, what route do you have in mind -- run around Morocco, then the paved coastal road to Mauritania, and some more piste runs there? Good luck.
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  #26  
Old 29 May 2009
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BTW for rental bike / tour options in Morocco, might check out these recent reports from Americans who hooked up with Biker's Home in Ouarzazate. C2K 2009
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