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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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Old 28 Apr 2007
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This is not a joke!!

Hi everyone

I'll be going to northern Nigeria next month with work, and will be based there until September. I really want to explore the Sahel (Niner, Mali, and even further west), off the beaten track, and I think that buying a motorbike when I'm there is going to proove the most exciting option. However, the problem is that I have never riden a motorbike before!!

I have bought a generic book about motorbike mechanics/maintainance, so at least I can pretend what I know what I'm talking about when trying to buy one, and so that I can check that I'm not getting a completely duff machine! I don't want to buy anything powerful or expensive, just something that will let me explore some of the region independently. My little bit of research suggests that a basic moped (50 or 100 cc) would be ok especially, if I carry a bit of spare petrol along too.

So, I have the following questions. I know they'll seem completely stupid to you, but be grateful of advice all the same!

1. I'm looking at spend as little as possible, on something that will last me a few months, which I can then sell/scrap at the end of my stay. Roughly how much do you think I'd be looking at paying for a second hand moped - is $200-300 a sensible amount.

2. What sort of mopeds are available in that part of the worlds - is there anything I should look out for/avoid?

3. How hard is it to get to grips with riding one? Presumably the bikes I'll find out there will be geared rather than automatic. Is it generally quite easy to pick it up; I'll only be going at about 30-40 mph I'd imagine

4. How many miles to the gallon do you think I'll get, roughly?

5. Can someone tell me what the difference is between a moped, scooter, and motorbike is please? There's a lot of conflicting info on the web. Why do scooters have small wheels?

6. Lastly, any words of advice that you could offer a complete novice jumping in at the deep-end.

Thanks so much!!!!
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Old 29 Apr 2007
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Small motorcycles abound in Nigeria, at least in the south, a lot of them cheap Chinese imports around 100 cc. I have seen a few Indian produced motorcycles (Bajaj etc) which may be a slightly better option. I remember when i was in India some of those bikes were claiming 70 or 80 kilometers per litre. It shouldn't be too hard to come to grips with riding a small bike like that, however the traffic in Nigeria can be intimidating.
Sean
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