Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > sub-Saharan Africa

sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 23 Jul 2012
dstehouwer's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Now Alberta, Canada! (originally the Netherlands)
Posts: 259
bike maintenance hotspots @ Africa

we're about to leave South Africa to head north to Egypt... and I would love to know what the hotspots are to do maintenance etc.
So, where is semi/full synth oil available and affordable?
Where can you find big-bike-tyres for a normal price?

If anyone does South America: Peru and Colombia are your bets, low import tax and everything is available for nice prices. (just to give an example of what I am looking for, and this info is true in case you head out there!)
Reply With Quote
Old 23 Jul 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 741
In regards to hotspots, there's not many alternatives. Nairobi would have to be top of list. You can get some parts, some tires (costly though) and access to a good mechanic through either Jungle Junction (where most overlanders stay) or through the KTM dealer. After that, the availability of parts and big bike mechanical advice decreases significantly.

Having said that, in general, availability and prices of parts won't be as good anywhere in Africa as it is in South Africa. Other than oil, I would plan to be self sufficient once you leave SA. For tires, I would either start on a new set I knew would make it (eg. K60) or carry a spare rear, ship a set ahead, or try to contact JJ or the KTM dealer to see if they have my size and I was ok with the price. In summary, on the east coast it's sort of ride from SA, pit stop in Nairobi, and then plan to make it all the way up to Turkey.
Reply With Quote
Old 28 Jul 2012
dstehouwer's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Now Alberta, Canada! (originally the Netherlands)
Posts: 259
yeah, we have chains andsprockets with us, and a new set of tyres. (once I see canvas om my current tyres, I'll swap them to the new ones ;-)) Must be able to make Europe like this.

But engine oil (semi-synth or synth), is that mainly available in all big cities?
Reply With Quote
Old 28 Jul 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Naivasha, Kenya
Posts: 17
I have been living in Kenya for the last 4 years. And it has proven to be difficult to find specific oils for a normal price, even in Nairobi.

I think that one of the very few chances to get full synthetic oil specifically for a bike is at KTM/Ian Duncan in Nairobi.

You can buy synthetic oil in Kenya nowadays but it will be most likely ACEA A3/B3 specification for modern pasenger cars. However those oils are not automatically compatile with a wett clutch (that is a risk). I found a specific type from Engen that is compatible and I have used it in a couple of bike without any problem.

To get specific oils outside Kenya will be even more difficult.

I don't know what kind of bike you have but your best options are to carry some stock, just use the mineral oils that are available or to do only one oil change only in Nairobi.
Reply With Quote
Old 1 Aug 2012
dstehouwer's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Now Alberta, Canada! (originally the Netherlands)
Posts: 259
I need to do one oilchange somewhere on the road, maybe in Malawi I have a chance? Don't want to carry another 5 liters of oil, as we are stocked up completely already with tyres/chains/sprockets etc....
Reply With Quote
Old 2 Aug 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: London
Posts: 543
I would not bother carrying any more than your usual day to day oil requirements with you.

You can normally find Total 7000 semi-synthetic oil at Total garages in most countries. I have been using this in my KTM for years without any problems. Occasionally you will also find Total 9000 (generally only in capital cities) if you want fully synthetic oil.
Reply With Quote
Old 7 Aug 2012
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 21
I would agree with you Matt.
Or meet a Scottish biker on the same bike (Rob) that is carrying everything and travel with him...............

Grant from Oasis Overland here,met you and rob a couple of years ago in west africa. what are you up to now?
We are in Kyrgyzstan now, about to go into China in a few weeks.
Will be back in UK november would be cool to catch up.

Sorrey to change topic,
Cheers Grant
Reply With Quote
Old 8 Aug 2012
dstehouwer's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Now Alberta, Canada! (originally the Netherlands)
Posts: 259
That Ian-guy in Nairobi has full synth on stock (25 euro's / liter) and some Libian-brand for 14 euro's /liter. So we'll make it I guess... hopefully a bit cheaper! ;-)
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kenya to South Africa: teaming up with another rider to get around import issues. davidsuk sub-Saharan Africa 11 9 Aug 2012 15:26
Looking for some help in getting started TotalTomination South America 20 30 Oct 2009 17:02
Buying and registering a motorcycle in Chile timyarb Trip Paperwork 12 23 Oct 2009 16:42
Few tips for selling your bike in Buenos Aires eyalchuck TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 3 9 Jun 2009 19:05
Transfering Title In Buenos Aires kwelfl South America 7 28 Dec 2008 15:06


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 15:44.