The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
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.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
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We(girlfriend and I) are setting off on a 6 month trip next week down the East Coast of Africa.
What I want to do, is to create a sort of a checklist, for myself, but also something that can be of benefit to other newbies. I would greatly appreciate it if the more experienced travelers can chip in with ideas of what I am missing.
Money- We've budgeted around 4000 pounds each. We also have two Credit Cards, one Master and Visa.
The Bike - 1997 Honda Transalp, recently serviced. Standard modifications, including Hagon back suspension since we are two up. 12v connection. New tyres.
Spares - Minimal since I am not the most mechanically minded. Everything needed to fix flats and service the bike. Extra inner tubes, Tyre Weld, spare fuses, spare lamps/bulbs, cables.!
Paperwork - Passports, valid for a few years with enough empty pages. Also visas for three countries that are valid for six months. Carnet. International Drivers Permit. Vaccination booklet with all required stamps, plus more! Vehicle registration document. Passport photos. Loads of copies of the above!
Equipment - Tent, sleeping bag, stove, cooking set, 10l water carrier, travel towels, hydra pack, mobile phone, 12v phone and battery charger, 5l petrol can,
Medicine - All vaccinations, Larium anti-malarial(under trial), enough bandages, plasters, medicine for upset stomachs, headaches, fever etc.
Itenary - Fairly detailed without being rigid. We are more or less aware of the tough roads, fuel availability issues and where to allow more time for visa applications, border crossings etc. We also have a list of accommodations and repair shops for most of the way, where available. Maps.
Is there something glaringly obvious that I am missing, or are we more or less good to go?
Thanks, feeling much better now, and Jeff, don't worry, there's no shortage of good old Namibian sense of humour!
Lotjamie, we are actually working on our insurance now. Worldwide gave us a quote of 102 pounds for medical cover (don't think you will be able to claim for anything else like theft anyway!) up to 5 million pounds. It does sound a bit cheap, but we did explain that we are two on one bike, going for six months through East Africa.
The only down side is that it sounds like they will try their best to stuff you into the cheapest hospital first, and only in extreme cases will they do something drastic like flying you home. However, I think most companies, even the more expensive companies will do the same.
Somewhere on this site there was a massive debate on insurance, and it seemed like the common consensus was that it is a waste of money, so this seems to be more a "peace of mind" exercise than anything else!
Get someone to look after your cat while you're away..
....or you could do what I did and just chuck it under your bed wrapped in a dirty t shirt. As you will be doing quite some distance and will inevitably have to put quite a bit of leaded fuel in your tank you might want to get the cat off and put a simple straight through road can on the back. This way you can put the cat back on when you get home and it will still work (and you can get an MOT).
My bike passed it's MOT without though......
Also double and triple chack the dates for your visas, sounds like obvious advice but I got given the wrong dates at the Uzbek Embassy in London and ended up stuck in no-man's land having left Turkmenistan but being unable to enter Uzbekistan. Turned out to be quite funny, but not that funny
Yeah I have read that discussion too. For me it is even more complicated as I am Dutch, and we have a silly system in which you pay 60 quid a month no matter whether you live there or not (only if you give up Dutch nationality will you be let off--> whaha!) so I am stuck. My partner is currently with Tesco's, which means he can only do 42 days in one go and we are currently not sure what to change to. Do you really think it is a peace of mind rather than an actual necessity as you mentioned?
Well, it seemed that the more experienced guys thought that insurance is a waste of money. I certainly think that insuring your luggage is a waste, as no insurance company will pay out for your luggage if it is just strapped/bolted on a bike.
I will definitely take insurance as in my native Namibia you won't get treated on most occasions unless you have insurance or can put down a huge cash deposit. Certainly not private hospitals, and sometimes or most of the times that is where you will have to go if you had a serious accident. We paid £102 for ours, medical only for 6 months, and even if we don't need it, I don't see it as too much of a waste.
I forgot to mention that I do have extra levers, and I layed spare cables next to the existing ones in case they brake.
VERY IMPORTANT: Before you apply for a carnet or set off, check that your chassis and engine numbers on the bike match those on your Registration Certificate!!! I stupidly trusted that the number on my Registration Certificate is correct, supplied that number to the RAC for my Carnet and now, with a week before we leave, I am sitting with a Registration Certificate and Carnet that has a different number to those on my bike. It is only a P instead of a D, but some border officials might just use it to get a hefty fine/bribe out of you, or worse, sent you back!
Just beware the Lariam - a lot of people reckon it sends you bonkers, especially if taken over a prolonged period, like for a few months.
Unhelpfully I can't offer any specific advice but I think there is loads on the HUBB about it. There are alternatives I think.
All I know, is that we took lariam ? larium ? for 6 months and yep, it affects the mind. I know a big trip in itself can bring on mood swings, depression, anxieties etc etc but in my opinion, lariam definately multiples the problems big time.
Lotty, we got our insurance from a company called Worldwide travel insurance. My girlfriend did it all, but I think if you google Worldwide Insurance, you should find the link. As I said, £102 for six months on a bike, medical only.
Dick, as I said we are now testing Larium, and so far we can't feel anything. We've only taken it once though,and in a stress free environment, as we only start our trip next week. The reason why we didn't go for the other options is:
A. We don't want to run the risk of forgetting to take the pills daily i.e doxy.
B. My girlfriend's mom is a doctor and her opinion is that it will be hard on your liver to take doxy on a daily basis for six months. For shorter trips it might well be the ideal option, but six months is quite a long time.
Rest assured, we will take it very easy and slowly!
I've just changed the tires. I've gone for Pirelli MT21 on the front, and Conti TKC80 on the back. I've done this after researching on the site, and it seemed like the perfect combination for on/off road riding. In hindsight I would've stuck with my Bridgestones till Cairo, which is mostly tarmac, and changed to the TKC's there before we hit sandy Sudan and Ethiopia. It seems that tarmac will eat the TKC's on the back. The front, as you said, is not that much of an issue.
I've changed the sprocket and chain about 2000 miles ago. It is a proper o-ring chain that I bought at quite a hefty price from a Honda dealer in Stockholm when we did a practice run there from London. I have a Scottoiler on and it really seems in good nick still. Would you say I have to get it changed after just 2000 miles?
The battery I have thought of. I bought it about two years ago, again from a Honda dealer, but again I don't know the brand. The only reason why I didn't change it is because I am very much from the "if it ain't broke..." school of thought. I might get that changed though.
One other thing that I thought of doing is getting the valve clearances checked. I don't know when it was checked last, so it probably should be done! Your thoughts?
Yeah, I'd get a new battery. And definitely have a plan for tires. The sandy part of Sudan only has to be a few days, but it is really sandy. If you try and do that two up on worn tires, you are going to have a very hard time indeed. You will have a hard time in any case, the last thing you need is anything but fresh tires. They are very difficult to find in Cairo, so I wouldn't plan on getting them there. If you can carry tires, you could use the tires you have, then pick up some knobbies in Istanbul and put them on in Cairo (paved the whole way) or, ideally, Aswan. Maybe you could buy them now and ship them to someone in an Egyptian HU Community.
You can get tires at the KTM shop in Nairobi but man, they are expensive.
After that, I wouldn't plan on finding tires until you get to South Africa, where you can anything you can get in Europe.
As a desperate backup, the police in Lilongwe, Malawi ride BMW F650s. They do have tires for them and they hooked me up with an inner tube.
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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.
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