The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
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So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
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Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
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Any bikers who did this route from south up to north without 4x4, i.e. carrying all the fuel water and baggage on their bikes?
I heard different opinions about which direction is easier (N - S or S - N?). From the theory, the wind should be from north-east to south-west. Therefore the "northern" dune slopes should be more firm then the southern ones. And therefore driving from Bilma to Nguigmi should be easier. Is that true?
The real difficult part of that route is between Zoo Baba and Dibella. What about the part from Nguigmi to Dibella? Is the sand there also very soft so that an higher consumption has to be taken into consideration already regarding this easier part?
Very hard if not impossibly dangerous on a bike as you have to carry too much fuel. Easier south to north - you will be lighter at Dibella up to Bilma for the very hard/impossible bit. The south bit is OK. Talk to Wolfgang at Darrs if you are serious. If it was possible he would have done it by now! (maybe he has...)
Thank you for your quick reply. What do you think how many fuel would be necessary for that route using a KTM 625 SXC or KTM 640? Would 70 Liters per bike be enough?
It seems to me that the difficulty of that route is overestimated, it's something like a myth. The reason could be that only a few bikes have passed there. I think that there are lots of more difficult routes in dunes like in Aklé dune fields in Mauritania.
That Nguigmi-Bilma is very dangerous because there is not much traffic and no help in case of trouble would be available should be not be mixed up with the degree of difficulty.
We should remember that the autochenilles of the Courtot Expedition were able to make this route in 1925 from north to south powered by 21 horsepowers and weighting 1,5 tons!!
It took them only three days to get from Bilma to Agadem! This includes the most difficult part between Zoo Baba and Dibella. Parts were even driven in the night!
Anyway, I really would like to go there once in my live!
>>> It seems to me that the difficulty of that route is overestimated, it's something like a myth.
In a car maybe - on a bike I dont think so but I have not been there and find dune driving on bikes dangerous and tiring. I have never heard of anyone doing it solo on a bike - you think after all these years someone would have tried. Her eis your chance!
70L sounds enough - 10kpl at worst. How far is it, 600km?
I found different specification as regards the length of this route. This seems clear as it depends how you drive in the dune part between Zoo Baba and Dibella. Driving mainly the diretissima should be shorter than searching for low passages within every single wave of dunes. If you follow the track as it is shown on the Russian staffmaps it is about 700 kilometers because this track makes a lot of curves in the part mentioned above.
We were in Mauretania last November where we did amongst others a 800 km track where I carried 70 L of fuel on my KTM (Atâr - Fort Sagane - Passe d'Amogjâr - Chinguetti (along the dunes) - Ouadâne (along the dunes) - Guelb er Richât (Diretissima) - El Beyyed - Bordj Bir Ziri - Bordj El Ghallâouîya - Bordj Bir Ziri - Kneïbis/ grave of Lt. Mussat - Sebkhet Chemchâm - Atâr). In the beginning, you feel like the driver of a tank truck, but then you get used to the weight!
Having made this experience and assuming that the part from Nguigmi up to Dibella is soft but not difficult I see a real chance for doing it!
But Niger is planned not until winter 2007. However, we do not get younger what holds true particularly for us bikers!!
Looks like a nice route in Mori. It is on my list to explore this northern area - up to Tenoumar and back to Zouerat would be interesting.
If by akle you mean small dunes as in northern Grand Erg then I agree - big dunes look more daunting but can be easier ride and navigate than small dunes. By the time you get to Dibella the fuel will only be in the tank but it is still riding hard dunes with nearly the weight of a passenger. I am sure Cyril Ribas has done this route (and more) in his 2CV a few years ago.
didn't Alex Marr do it by accident? I vaguely recall his account of heading south, following a black track on the Michelin map only to find he was kind of alone. forgive me for butting in if I'm wrong - its a long time since I read his account.
In October 1990 together with a second LandCruiser, we made the trip from Nguigmi to Bilma within 4 days, despite some serious problems.
During 30 years of desert driving it was the most challengeing 600km stage I ever made. Sure, crossing the Edeyen of Murzuq or the Grand Erg OCCIDENTAL would be even more difficult for a heavily loaded 4x4. I also know those nasty akle dunes in Mauretania but they do not compare at all with the crossing of the Erg de Bilma.
There are some general problems there you will be confronted with: the TOTAL lack of traffic, except of small Tubu camel caravans which are of no help in case of accident. Maybe there are other tourists in the area at the time you are in severe trouble. Maybe they pass only some hundred meters away from you but they will not remark you, believe me. One other problem is the visibility from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The sun is so bright that it is nearly impossible to recognize the sharp edges of the dunes to be crossed, which very easily results in turning down on the other side of the dune.
After Agadem there is a very steep, soft and long ascent. I do not know whether your bike will do it with its heavy load.
Of course, you can follow a direct line. You must be aware that this would force you to cross many steep and soft dunes (10-20 m high) representing an immensily high risk. It would indeed be better to drive around those barriers looking for a secure passage. I dont think this would increase you fuel consumption.
As for fuel: be sure that there is fuel in NGuigmi. If there is fuel check it whether it is clean!!
We made the experience that our diesel consumption was factor 2.5 higher than on 'normal' desert routes.
Be absolutely sure that you can take 90 liters. 7o liters would probably be not sufficient. And be sure to be able to ride your bike safely under those extrem difficult circumstances.
In my opinion it would be really crazy to make that stage from Ngourti to Bilma alone without a 4x4 driving ahead.
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