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Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
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sub-Saharan AfricaTopics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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For the journey north to south Africa, how many front & rear tubes and how many tires do you adventurers recommend? I had intended to take two spare front and 2 rear heavy-duty inner tubes with Slime injected at the start of the trip
Do i need a spare front 21" or can i save the weight and expect to buy a spare going down the East side if needed? I'd intended to take 2 spare rear 18" tires: going from England on a TKC 80 and changing to Michelin Desert in Wadi Halfa, then having a spare Pirelli MT21. As for the front, I'd intended to use a TKC80 from the UK to Wadi Halfa and then change to a fresh TKC80 to hopefully last the remainder of the trip to Cape Town
Oh yeah, just to be pedantic, the wheels are balanced too
I would have started with T63/Desert/MT21 with heavy duty tubes and a set of thinner tubes as spares.
Then I would have bought a set (expensive) from Ian Duncan in Nairobi or got a set shipped – they will last all the way to CT.
I'm in the Congo en route to SA from the UK. So far 18'000kms and I brought 'Trellborgs' 2 rear and 1 front. changing from Avon distenzias in St Louis, Senegal and have been amazingly impressed with them. great grip in the bad stuff and on the roads, great wear rate and vastly outlived my buddies TKC 80s by nearly double! I'm on an XT600e, they're on Suzi DR650 and a KTM 950 adventure. Trellborgs are cheap and are used by many armies as testament to their durability. No balancing marks or direction required, good for 80+mph on the highway, (I've cornered at 75mph and they felt good!) and ready for the thick soldier to chuck straight on.
Getting new tyres sent from the UK or SA/Namibia is a ball ache as my buddies found out to their extremely expensive cost! $600+ for an $80 tyre! (customs, delivery, etc)
Carrying the tyres is a ball ache, rubber ball and chains but the knowledge you HAVE tyres and don't need to have them sent is a great releif. I've met guys here in Africa with no spares and slime in the tubes thinking they're fine but one of them split the tyre!! He was knackered till the one one came through, again expensive.
On the slime, I wouldn't recommend it, for if the puncture is there, stop, sort it out and you'll be assured the tubes are good, with the slime a puncture could transform into a rip giving you catastrophic failure maybe at high speeds.
Also, i'm finding using heavy duty tubes is a waste of time, if a nail get's you then it doesn't make a difference what tubes you have!. They're a pain in the arse to fit and get really hot when on the highways. I never felt comfortable so took them off and fitted normal.
Just my two penneth worth. I hope it helps and is just an opinion. Whatever you do, have a great time and enjoy every minute. Good luck
Great posts of your trip Geoff. Have read every one with interest. 'Colourful' comes to mind. As a mate of mine said to me last week, "It's a sad reflection on my personal life that I feel relieved to be back in Daddy."
I thought about Trelleborgs but didn't see many reviews so played it safe. I figured as they were made in Sweden the rubber compound might not be suitable for hot conditions.
Following advice, I'll not use Slime. And i'll take a heavy duty 4mm inner tube and a couple of normal thickness Continental inner tubes that are in my stash.
As ever on the HUBB and across the overlander community, there are varying opinions, but it makes life interesting.
I've used Michelin T63 on my KLR throughout Africa. The rear lasted 10,000+kms on a loaded bike. They are a good all round tyre, meaning they can get you through any terrain including deep sand. Certainly not as good as a Desert but we're not doing rally raids here... are we?
I swear by Slime as the first time I used it I never had a puncture in 7500kms in West Africa compared to a record 12 separate holes in one days riding in Ethiopia without. I had a poorly applied patch on a well patched inner let go at speed and a completely deflated (thankfully) rear tyre at 80km is not for the faint hearted. Besides, fixing flats sucks.
Please don't carry extra tyres as I've done in the past. It's dead weight for your trip and can get damaged along the way, like a sidewall resting against a hot exhaust for example. Of course this will happen about 10,000kms into your trip the day after you thought 'I should've put the new tyre on last night'.
Keep an extra at the home of a sympathetic friend before you leave with a few bucks for DHL. Two months into your trip call your mate to send the tyre to the next big city you're in. I've never had to pay any customs duty as I've been able to argue that the tyre is for immediate export using the carnet as evidence of onward travel.
That's my 2 cents anyway.
We are also looking for more off road orientated tyres from Kenya to Egypt and perhaps beyond. We are riding KTM 990 Adventures from Cape Town to Shanghai and presently have the stadard Pirelli Scorpions on which will need replacing in Kenya. Presently in Zambia.
I have also carried tyres in past and they are heavy ... although its true reassuring to have. I did an off road snad course and used my KLR with Metzler Karoos and they were very good. Also, in SA everyone rates the Mitas tyres E 07s but I cannot see the rear tyres in 150/70 18 size.
Probably a good idea to phone Chris at Jungle Junction, who keeps a stock of tyres, and the KTM dealer in Nairobi, ditto. Contact details easily found on the HUBB.
For what it's worth my daughter and son-in-law just left Nairobi for 5 days in the Maro and will return at the weekend. She found Mitas are available there but only the motocross type, more air than knobbles. So has bought Vee rubber at JJ's.
I bought a Vee rubber there last year and it lasted easily to Cape Town (N - S journey). But suffered a small split on hitting a rock hard in Namibia. It was a worry at first but got me to S. Africa OK.
If you're interested, they both will be leaving Nairobi again in August to ride to Khartoum and would prefer to ride with others. Timing will be to have a steady, ie. not hurried, journey to arrive in Khartoum 1st week of September.
Their situation is the reverse of your's, she being the experienced one on bikes, he, less than 6 months experience before starting their journey, so could be interesting to link up. Also they rode from Khartoum to Nairobi (me as well) last year so know a little of the route. Especially Roberts Camp, N. Kenya, where the hippos roam and munch among the tents at night - quite a highlight! (Saw your note in your blog)
Let me know if you're interested, will put you in touch.
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