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  #1  
Old 28 Feb 2013
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UK to N.Africa March 13 - Classic bike

Hi all,

I'm heading off on my classic bike (Francis Barnett Cruiser 80 - 1958) on March 10th 2013 from Portsmouth to Santander. I intend to head south to Morocco and maybe onto the Gambia, depending on the heat - classic two-stokes aren't keen on the heat
If anyone is interested in meeting up to swap stories somewhere along the way then it would be good to hear from you.
I last headed down to Mauritania on a Honda AT, so this trip should be far more perilous I probably won't be able to ride along with you as I will only be cruising around 45-55 mph, but I will pass you whilst you fuel up. I'm currently getting over 100mpg
I don't have a timescale or itinerary, so if you think you may be in the same region at the same time give me a shout.
Happy travels
Christian
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  #2  
Old 28 Feb 2013
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I'm impressed.

And I guess with your very appropriate user name then you're pretty much stuck with that bike.

Good luck and welcome to the site.
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  #3  
Old 2 Mar 2013
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I'm guessing that's the 250cc two stroke twin is it? (I'm not too hot on F-B models but that's what Google comes up with). My first trip to Morocco (a lot of years ago!) was on a 250cc twin - an early Yamaha though and we were two up. [pause for nostalgia picture taken in Tangier campsite] -


It's about 600 miles from the ferry through Spain to Morocco so you shouldn't have any problems (we went down through France and it was 2000 each way)

I'm sure you've done your homework, particularly as you've been down there before but for what it's worth, based on my two trips to The Gambia, when you're in Morocco it's "holiday" riding (plenty of people around, backup available, good roads etc) from Ceuta / Tangier to about Agadir. From there to about Laaoune it steps up to "bike trip" level - surroundings starting to look a bit spartan, less people around, need to take this a bit more seriously etc, but south of Laaoune it's more "expedition" level. From there to Mauritania it's going to be long, lonely and potentially dangerous if you break down - particularly as you'll be there in April when things are heating up.

I wouldn't have any problems about going on a two stroke, even a "fast appreciating old classic" two stroke, but I'd be using the best oil I could lay my hands on. I looked at doing the same route on a 250 Honda two stroke a few years ago but shelved it because of problems with getting decent oil. I've even been taking another look at it in the last few weeks wondering whether the 1976 Suzuki 125 two stroke I did 2000 miles to the Elephant rally on this year could make it down there. Again the oil problem is a stumbling block - I had trouble buying it in Germany so what chance Western Sahara or Mauritania.

I hope you'll be posting up some pics and I'd be really interested to know how the bike coped.
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  #4  
Old 6 Mar 2013
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Thanks backofbeyond, I know, it's going to be a very interesting trip to say the least!
I went to Mauritania on a Honda AT a few of years ago and found the W. Sahara stretch a little irritating at times, but that's what makes the destination all the better.
You're right about the breakdown scenario, my only real concern with my bike will be the heat, what with it being two-stroke and 55 years old! Still, it makes the trip a bit more interesting I guess. I'm actually trying to pick peoples brains about the petroil mix in hot weather, but you know how it is, people are all happy to give advice without actually having the knowledge or experience in the first place.
I head out this Sunday (10th) and the bike is all prepped and as ready as it'll ever be. I'm going to take some decent SAE50 with me for when it really hots up, and as for the two-stroke oil, i'm pretty sure it's in abundance down there. When I was in Morocco a couple of months ago (drove down in the car) I found it everywhere I went. Fingers crossed.
Will keep you posted.
Regards
Christian
PS - my bike is the single 250....1 less problem to worry about!
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  #5  
Old 6 Mar 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FannyB View Post
You're right about the breakdown scenario, my only real concern with my bike will be the heat, what with it being two-stroke and 55 years old! Still, it makes the trip a bit more interesting I guess. I'm actually trying to pick peoples brains about the petroil mix in hot weather, but you know how it is, people are all happy to give advice without actually having the knowledge or experience in the first place.

I'm going to take some decent SAE50 with me for when it really hots up, and as for the two-stroke oil, i'm pretty sure it's in abundance down there. When I was in Morocco a couple of months ago (drove down in the car) I found it everywhere I went. Fingers crossed.
Will keep you posted.
Regards
Christian
PS - my bike is the single 250....1 less problem to worry about!

Just about all of my two stroke tourers have been oil injection (except for one MZ and a Lambretta best forgotten about) but the F-B must be pre mix so I can understand why you'll be wondering to add oil or take it away or use thicker or thinner or whatever when the temperature goes up. A month or two back I had pretty much the opposite - trying to buy injection oil that didn't thicken up so much in sub zero temperatures that it wouldn't flow into the pump .

As two strokes fall out of use the "database" of stuff like this - what works and what doesn't in unusual conditions seems to be vanishing. My worry over 2T oil availability wasn't so much about north of the Atlas Morocco but in WS, Mauri etc. It'll always be "available" if you ask around, it's just a case of what you'll actually get in the bottle. Last time I was down there by two stroke a bottle of oil we bought in a filling station stank of white spirit when we opened it.

Good luck with the trip. I really enjoyed my rides through W.S and I don't think I ever did more than about 45mph either time - I just wanted to be able to look around. Camping out in the desert is amazing and I'd be happy to go back just to be able to lie there and look at the stars.
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  #6  
Old 7 Mar 2013
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Best of luck to you. Really nice to hear someone doing a trip like this on something other than a modern so- called adventure bike. Hope it goes well and you'll keep us updated in your progress. All the best but most of all enjoy, Mark
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  #7  
Old 7 Mar 2013
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UK to N.Africa March 13 - Classic bike

Thanks Mark. To be honest, I found the Honda AT a little uninspiring (that'll probably put a few people's noses out of joint!) and it's always good to try and find other ways. Will update on here as and when.
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  #8  
Old 15 Mar 2013
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Made it to Morocco!

Hi all,
I arrived in Morocco tonight, the 1958 (the bike not me!)beauty made it.
No real issues on the bike, but had some snow, rain and freezing temperatures. So now for some warm sunshine and tagines. Any other travellers in Morocco for the next month or so, give me a shout. Happy travels.
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  #9  
Old 19 Mar 2013
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Hi FannyB

This is probably gonna be to late but I'm gonna be in Morocco from 03/04/2013 to the 11/04/2013 doing a 'U' shaped route of the country from Melilla to Ceuta the lowest point being Mhamid. If your still around in Morocco (I know you said you were thinking of going further) then itd be great to meet another ABR, its worth mentioning as well that this is my first time to Morroco so if you had any hotel recommendations or anything give us a shout.
Thankyou
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  #10  
Old 20 Mar 2013
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UK to N.Africa March 13 - Classic bike

Hi Jacob,
I may well be around when you're in Morocco. I'm heading down to Essaouira tomorrow (great place) and will decide from there where I go. I would say take the ferry from Tarifa if you can, always less hassle. This is my third time here, you'll love it, it's a great place to hang out and blast the time away. When you get into Morocco be patient at customs and use an unofficial helper to do the paperwork for you. Expect to pay about 5 euros for their services but don't pay them before you're cleared! Also bring Euro's, the locals love them and you get a much better deal :-)
Christian
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  #11  
Old 21 Mar 2013
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A good source of two stroke oil is chainsaw repair shops.. Note the modern chainsaw uses a very small percentage of oil compared to old two strokes because they use synthetic.
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