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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #1  
Old 23 Jul 2012
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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!)
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Old 23 Jul 2012
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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.
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Old 28 Jul 2012
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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?
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Old 28 Jul 2012
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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.
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Old 1 Aug 2012
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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....
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Old 2 Aug 2012
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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.
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Old 7 Aug 2012
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Hi
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
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Old 8 Aug 2012
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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! ;-)
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