January 31, 2000 GMT
News News News

News News News.. and it is all good. There is a BMW shop/mechanic in Cairo.. A long and lengthy process to hook up with this chap but suffice to say another traveller not a biker introduced us to him around 10.00pm last night. This morning we have a reconditioned gearbox fitted (with a kick start.....wow)
We were back in our tent by 1.00am feeling like it was all a dream.

The day before the stripped barrel stud was repaired on the side of the road by another helpful Egyptian in the centre of Cairo. Its all happening so fast. The mechanic works on all the Police bikes and appears to have ample experience. For the reference of future travellers we have enclosed his address and name.
Business... Hanan 8 Rasha Exhibition For Motorbike Name.......Fawzi Zaki Address... 4 Hamid Radwan St., Hadaik Elkabba, El Girag Station, CAIRO.
Tel......4831471.....Mobile 0101593878.

Only problem is he speaks no English so we recommend an interpreter. Cost of the gearbox plus labour and a new rubber boot for the driveshaft was 287 Eng. Pounds. A bargain. He placed a 5 year guarantee on the box . We will contact him when we come back up from Sth Africa and let him know how it is going. This may also be a contact for tyres as we had difficulty getting tyres and he indicated that he stocked tyres as well. Its coming together now. Many thanks for help on this one. Sudan visa took 4 days to process and the Ethiopian will be done today so we will be on the road soon after two dusty weeks in Cairo. Thanks again for your help. Regards Ken & Carol.

On the way to Luxor via the western desert, Egypt.
click for larger image

On the way to Luxor via the western desert, Egypt.

Posted by Carol Duval at 01:01 AM GMT
January 27, 2000 GMT
Gearbox Problems

As you know from our previous message our fifth gear has gone on holiday. We are trying to find out the problem without removing the box as there are no facilities in Cairo to execute the repairs. All the remaining gears are functioning OK. When fifth is engaged a rattle/grate sound occurs and the gear does not engage. The oil was changed and no metal was found on the magnetic plug. The bike has been ridden 2000kms in this condition with no apparent ill effects. The gear box has 1993 internals with the kick starter adapted. It has covered approx 160000 kms, My query is, should we continue in this condition and get the repairs done in Sth Africa hoping no further damage will occur? Can the repairs be effected by someone inexperienced in gearbox repairs if the parts are sourced? (me) Any information you can advise would be greatly appreciated. Regards Ken & Carol

Many thanks for your detailed reply and the effort you have put in to find out the problem. Since the original mail I have drained the oil again looking for traces of metal from a stripped cog but have located nothing. There must be another problem as a self destructed cog surely must leave traces of metal that would attach to the magnetic plug. I am tempted to put a magnetic probe through the sump plug hole to try to locate the broken teeth. We have travelled some VERY rough tracks since the gear went 'missing' to no detrimantal effect so far. We have travelled over 2000 kilometres since the failure. I am not keen to dismantel the gearbox without the proper tools or facilities so my only options would be to obtain and exchange box (without kickstarter) Cost$$$$$$$$$? or push on to Kenya/Sth Africa where the problem may be fixed at a dealer. Being without a kickstarter with this bike leaves me a bit cold as the batteries are so suspect. I have received a second opinion stating that the 5th gear is only pressed onto the shaft and may have come loose and is just spinning freely. This would explain no metal bits floating around. The repair would be an exchange gearbox but at least I can keep moving as the the need for a fifth gear is remote in this area. I will sleep on it as we are still waiting for visas for Sudan and Ethopia and make up my mind in a day or two. Just to add a little more excitement a barrel stud has come loose. They have all been heli-coiled but this one has decided to come loose. I will try to source a double heli-coil or have a thread machined. This job I know how to do as it occurs so frequently but it is still a pain in the ....Many thanks again and we will keep you informed of our progress. Regards Ken & Carol.

Thank you again for your prompt reply. We are presently camping in the Motel Salma a dustbowl of a campground so any repairs would have to take place elsewhere. If the dogs have broken should some detrimental problems have shown up when we crossed the remainder of Tunisia and the whole of Libya. We tackled a very rough piste and then travelled across Libya maintaining a steady 65mph most of the way. Re. the k/s and battery. We have a new gel battery from motoworks but they still go flat with the pitiful charging system. We flattened it three days ago stuck in traffic in Cairo ...kickstarter to the rescue. Charging system has been totally replaced and tested before we left England. Concerning a replacement box ..we have contacted Chris Canterbury of Eurotech in California and are waiting on a reply. I have an old gearbox back in Aus I could have sent over but the kickstart thing is a problem and the cost...whew. We will wait for the moment and weigh up costs and time and make a decision in a day or two when all our queries are answered. Many thanks again, Ken and Carol.

Posted by Carol Duval at 12:58 AM GMT
January 22, 2000 GMT
Pyramids Camels and Sand Storms

Greetings from Cairo, Left Tunis and zigzagged our way south staying at cheap hotels rather than camping due to the cost and erratic weather. Over night ports included Kairouan, Tozeur, Douz and ben Guerdane. Saw plenty of Roman ruins dry salt lakes date palms camels goats sheep . People were very helpful and friendly despite the language barrier. Tunis/Libyan border crossing was O.K. once the Tunisians allowed us to leave..without a visas to Libya. This was done at the border. An exceptional case and not the norm.

Libya was a shock with the litter problem, quite unbelievable. No road signs other than in Arabic makes things difficult but again the local residents were only to pleased to either show us the way or even provide an escort. Encountered our first dust storm then rain while crossing to Tobruk. What a mess.

click for larger image

Libyan number plate

Border crossing from Libya to Egypt took 5 1/2 hours. What can we say that has not already been said.

Riding to Cairo from ElAlamein we road through 200kms of sand storms. Not pleasant. Looking forward to seeing the end of the Dakar/Cairo Rally tomorrow then we will be off sight seeing and sorting out visas for our journey south. The Bike.. is running...but we have lost 5th gear. Motor is run in after the rebuild may try to fix gear box here although we travel ok in fourth just a little slower. Will keep you informed of our progress.. Regards Carol & Ken

Posted by Carol Duval at 12:57 AM GMT
January 10, 2000 GMT
Back on the road again

We are back on the road again after dropping another exhaust valve about 115 kms north of Paris: 24hour Parts delivery from England took six days extra: Watched New Year on T.V. Wow!!! Presently in Tunis as our Moroccon leg had to be cancelled: Sorry Charlie: Spending a few extra days in Tunisia and Libya before heading to Cairo to catch the finish of the Dakar/Cairo Rally on the 23/1/00. Will be staying at the Camping ground The Motel Salma next to the Wissa Wassef Art Centre at Harrania south of Giza. Hope to meet Glynn & Jo and possibly Charlie there. Love Ken & Carol

Posted by Carol Duval at 12:00 PM GMT
January 08, 2000 GMT
Leaving France for Tunisia

Carol Duval's brother, Wayne Roberts here again. Our latest news on the Duval duo is that they now have the parts for the bike and it was being repaired (most likely finished now and they have headed off to the south of France). Ken and Carol were leaving Roye (where they have been stranded) on January 7th for an 8 hour trip to Marseille. From there they are booked on the ferry to Tunis on the 13th but hope to get the one on the 8th if possible. It is a 22 hour trip to Tunis. They plan approx. 5 days in Tunisia then on to Libya for another 4 days then by road to Cairo and be there about
21st January. Cheers Wayne

Posted by Carol Duval at 01:52 AM GMT
January 04, 2000 GMT
Blown valves in France

Carol's brother Wayne here in Brisbane. Unfortunately, Carol and Ken got to France and blew a valve in the engine about 119km north of Paris. They have been waiting for parts to come from England which were suppose to be there last week. The bike parts from England did not arrive in France as of Monday evening French time. Carol and Ken telephoned us to say they are still stuck north of Paris. They will ring again Tuesday evening to let us know their progress. They told me that once they get the bike fixed they will head to the south of France and over to Tunisia. They will be in Cairo around the 23rd January for the end of the Rally. Once they get somewhere where there is a cybercafe, they will be able to read and reply to e-mails, until then they have asked me to check them and let people know what is happening.
Best Wishes Wayne Roberts

Posted by Carol Duval at 01:51 AM GMT

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