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Old 8 Jul 2009
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Tyres in Mali/Mauritania

We are planning to travel to Timbuktu this autumn and will be needing an 18 and 17 inch rear tyre in either mali or mauritania. has anyone got any info about tyre suppliers in these countries or will we have to freight replacements to us. any thoughts/ideas appreciated, dont know why but tyres is always an issue that causes me stress when trip planning.
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Old 8 Jul 2009
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Assuming it's for your XR and you want to ride the pistes, I'd try and calculate my tyre wear so I did not need a new one in RIM or Mali.

Go down on any tyre while carrying a knobbly spare. At the Mori border stash one for the way back and fit the other. Or get a car to stash for you in advance.

Otherwise a road or trail tyre ought to get you there and back, but will be poor in sand. I suspect the chances of finding decent, right-sized tyres out there, especially a 17 or in Mori, are pretty slim and getting bogged down with freight will cost. North Morocco will have tyres (but then it's nearly Spain).

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Old 8 Jul 2009
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cheers chris
yeah its for the xr and my partners dr. will try to work it out ourselves. thanks for confirming that we would be out of luck trying to buy local.
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Old 9 Jul 2009
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I did UK to Senegal and back again on a 1200GSA shod with TKC80 knobblies. So long as you don't cane the bike on motorways or with fast acceleration you should be able to get equivalent distance. Don't be too concerned that the knobbles on the centre of the tread will get a bit worn, the important part of the tyre for sand is the knobbles at the side.

Even better, do as Chris suggests and take a spare set to change over in southern Spain or Morocco.

The guy on the scooter was in a Nick Sanders group and made it to Timbuctou and back again so you'll be fine.

"For sheer delight there is nothing like altitude; it gives one the thrill of adventure
and enlarges the world in which you live,"
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Old 20 Jul 2009
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Tyres, Mali

In February 2008 'Le Marocaine' a mechanic at the Grande Marche in Bamako took me by Taxi to a small engineering complex just off the Segou Road a few miles out of town by the police checkpoint.In a shipping container there was a stash of new bike parts, including tyres.I noticed Michelin Deserts but not sizes or whether there were other choices( I managed to get a new front sprocket for my Tenere).There were also a fair few big bikes in various stages of dismantlement at his place at the market which may have had usable tyres.I wouldn't count on either but, assuming he's still about, he might get you out of trouble.
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Old 2 Aug 2009
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There used to be a stash of half used Michelin deserts left over from the Dakar rally available in the Atar marketplace.

With a bit of searching, I managed to buy two decent (at least 70% tread) 140-80-18s in Jan 07. Now that the rally no longer ventures into Africa, the chance of these still being available is probably limited, but there might be a few left overs from the Africa race, Heroes / Legends etc that might make their way to the market. Since most of the rallies stop overnight near Atar, this is probably a better option than Nouakchott. Otherwise Tidjani at Garage Sahara in Nouakchott might be able to point you in the right direction. His details are posted in the Africa workshop section.

Ask around and let us know how you get on.
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Old 3 Aug 2009
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in Bamako (this Jan) there were quite a few off-roaders in various states, in the market. and I was offered 'new' tyres for an 1150 GS. Head into the market, find the bikes and ask around. You might not (probably won't) get something new, but you'll get something.

They also claim a stash of ex-Dakar tyres in Bamako.

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