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Old 5 Dec 2007
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3-week Atlantic Route One Wayer

Just kicking an idea about in my head right now.

How comfortable would three weeks London to Dakkar be? A riding marathon or reasonably comfortable? Basically with three weeks leave what would be a sensible trip down the Atlantic route?

How would I get on trying to sell a bike in Dakkar (or elsewhere)? I might find a cheap used bike in the UK and take that. I've read a lot here previously about bringing old cars to sell and wondered how it normally works for bikes. I'm not looking to make money and am happy to take a small loss but at least recover some of the cost. Are there any paperwork hassles associated with this.

Now onto paperwork. Is this trip going to need a carnet? There seems to be some debate about Mauritania and the age of the vehicle.

Is there any real preparation needed for this trip? Can I just get on the bike and go (obviously stopping for visas en route)?

Thanks in advance for any specifics you can offer!

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Old 7 Dec 2007
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Quick answer..NO!!!

Dont even think about it! I am in Bamako at the moment and have just done that trip! It is possible but in that time you may as well ride around the M25 for that time. Your best bet is to spend the time in morocco!
You dont want to waste time selling a bike either?
Try this?
Ferry to Bilboa, 1 day effective
Through spain, 3 days and then return.
So 2 weeks in Morocco....bonus!!
As for carnet...they dont seem to give a sh1t bout bikes.(senegal) as long as you pay your 10 euro to almost everyone you meet you will be ok. customs, police etc. And never go through Rosso!!!!! go to St Louis crossing!!!!
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Old 7 Dec 2007
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Unless you can afford to just walk away from your bike in Senegal if it doesn't sell immediately, then you are going to have to allow some time to sell it. This will further eat into your 3 weeks. Morrocco is a better bet as you know how much time it will take to come back up so don't need to leave lots of contingency. What you are suggesting is doable but having done both, Morrocco will be more rewarding in that timescale.
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Old 7 Dec 2007
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That looks like a thumbs down to that then. But I don't want to be deterred just like that!

I will only get three weeks off from work in one hit and have been to Morocco before so my interest lies further south. There is a possibility that I could get the bike down to the south of Spain, leave it and then start the three week trip from there. How does that sound?

Looks like the paperwork won't present any real difficulty. Just a matter of which bike to take...

Something old and cheap. This would presumably be easier to sell or just walk away from. Alternatively, what about parking it up somewhere and coming back later in the year? Lots of folks used to do this in South America. Or maybe find a HUBBer who wants to take it off my hands.

Something newer and more expensive would be less desirable - I am kind of between bikes right now - my Africa Twin is soon going to die and needs replacing with a KTM950 I suspect. Perhaps I should take the Africa Twin to Africa........... If it makes it great! If it doesn't *%^&! it!

Looks like a bit more thinking to be done........
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Old 8 Dec 2007
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Given you have done Morrocco before, I understand you predicament. Its definitely doable but needs some forward planning to maximise the time as per your own suggestions - cheap bike, see if you can start further south. Something like getting it to southern spain before the 3 weeks - you could ride to Jerez / Malaga somewhere like that in long weekend or even just an ordinary weekend if you went on the friday night ferry but would be a lot of riding. If you can afford to walk away from it at the other end or if you could find somewhere to leave it, you could go back for a second trip and ride even further south / east from there.

Good luck.
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Old 8 Dec 2007
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You cannot leave a motorcycle in Senegal. It is better to move to Gambia. Leave a motorcycle you can (IMHO) in Sukuta camping CAMPING SUKUTA (at Peter or its friend Volfgang).
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Old 23 Dec 2007
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Originally Posted by mattpope View Post
That looks like a thumbs down to that then. But I don't want to be deterred just like that!
Hi Matt, I did it in January and from Bilbao to Dakar was 12 days riding on an 1150 GS so your 3 weeks will be plenty.

Day 1 Bilbao-Cordoba
Day 2 Cordoba-Ceuta
3 Ceuta-Azrou
4 Azrou-Erfoud
5 Erfoud-Ouarzazate
6 Ouarzazate-Tan Tan (south of)
7 Tan Tan-Laayoune
8 Laayoune-Dakhla (south of)
9 Dakhla-Nouadhibou
10 Nouadhibou-Nouakchott
11 Nouakchott-St Louis (via Diama)
12 St Louis-Dakar

I didn't take a direct route and spent a few extra days exploring in Morocco and Mauretania, so I took an extra 6 days over the 12 above. (I did the return trip in 10 days riding)
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Old 2 Jan 2008
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Thanks Andy,

It's good to hear you did it and found it manageable - always good to have more time but not always possible right now. I guess I need to do a bit of research - all I know is that the Bilbao ferry is 174GBP right now which looks reasonable. Your itinerary is helpful.

I will look to leave/abandon the bike in the Gambia should it make it that far. I am still a little concerned about whether the bike will make it - the main output shaft is worn and there is a pretty good oil leak! It's too expensive to fix given the overall condition of the bike and hope that simply keeping it topped up with oil will see me through for one last 2k mile trip. I would be interested to know how long such an injury can be sustained for......

Plan to go at the end of Feb.


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