Lessons learned


1. The bikes
Paul and Zoe have decided on XR250's for this trip as they found the 600cc Transalps too heavy on the last trip. Ideally they would have liked Paul on a XR400 and Zoe on a XR250 but the XR400 is kickstart only unless you buy the 1000 elec conversion kit (I don't think so!!) So they have lowered Zoe's bike so she has good foot reach and raised Paul's suspension so he doesn't look like a hippo on a tricycle.
Transalp = approx 180kg
XR250 = approx 120kg

2. The tent
The tent has been changed for two reasons
a) chose a 2 door tent as this will give much better ventilation than the previous tent which was single door (better ventilation means Paul moans less when he gets too hot)
b) smaller bikes means they need to be more concious of the load so spending more on the tent means a smaller pack-size and weight

3. Sleeping mats
Spent more on these to get a brand which is lighter weight and smaller pack size (Zoe says Paul must stop being a tight arse)

4. Riding boots
Zoe and Paul learned early on in the 2004 trip that having separate walking boots and riding boots is unnecessary. They have chosen boots that will be good for riding and walking, which sacrifices some of the safety of a proper riding boot but is more comfortable, cooler and massively reduces luggage size and weight. Paul nearly scratched his ankles to the bone because of the heat rash he got from his last pair of riding boots

5. Riding trousers
Same argument as for the boots with regards to wearing proper motorcycle trousers. Too hot and heavy! We won't tell you what Paul nearly scratched off because of the heatrash he got from those...

6. Smaller tank bag
For some reason Paul decided that a multi-story tank bag the size of an aeroplane hanger was necessary in the first trip - won't make that mistake again. This time Paul will be using a sleek, conveniently sized, enduro tank bag.

7. Throwing knife
Paul won't be taking his throwing knife on this trip. He carried it across Africa in the first trip and never used it once. For some reason he had visions of himself running through the jungle whilst throwing knives, it didn't happen. SO...this time he will be carrying his new Norwegian triple laminated steel hunting knife across Africa.

8. Camera
They used a 35mm camera in the first trip. This time they invested in a better camera and it's digital so no excuses for any more crappy pictures!

9. Basha
This is a real bone of contention between Zoe and Paul. Zoe says it's an unnecessary item that won't be used because they never sat outside the tent and needed the extra cover. Paul's argument is that they never sat outside the tent in the sun and rain because they never had the extra cover. And in any case if Ray Meares says it's important then it must be necessary.

10. Sleeping bags and liners
Lighter, smaller sleeping bags will be used with optional silk liners. The liners on their own will probably get most use and the sleeping bags can be used in addition if necessary.