XTreme Ride to Oz
Thanks for reading my blog!
I started thinking about doing a trip like this when i was in Auckland in November 2007. Since then, i've returned to the UK to get the money together and make this adventure happen.
I'm going to ride from London to Melbourne, via Africa.
The bike I've gone with is the venerable XT600E 2002 (the 4PT model)
I had planned on using aluminium panniers; however, i've gone for canvas Andystrapz. A better choice in my opinion, with less weight and less chance of the panniers hurting me in a fall. The bike handles far better with the lighter panniers.
Technically, I've had Dave Lambeth involved. We've added Excel rims (18 and 21), Paris-Dakar exhaust and opened up the air intake with Pipercross foam filter. Ignition's better with Iridium plug and Splitfire spark diffuser. These changes have definitely increased the bike's response throughout the rev range.
For safety i've had a 55w HID light unit fitted.
Tires used are TKC 80s to get to Sudan, with a Michelin Desert rear as spare to fit at Wadi Halfa. Slime in the tyres. And a Touratech tire compressor for ease.
Dave's added a 550lb rear spring, and I've had WP front fork springs fitted. The chain is DID X2, oiled with a Scottoiler Touring reservoir. With fueling I've fitted a 23L Acerbis tank together with inline fuel filters. And i have four 2L plastic fuel containers stored in Wolfman tank bags and in the Andystrapz to bring capacity to 31L, thinking of Sudan and Namibia.
The touring screen and Touratech spoiler really keep me out of the wind well.
I've bought the Rukka Allroad suit, and I'm noticing how tight it fits. Should acclimatise to the 50 degree heat of the Egyptian and Sudanese desert expected in May!!! Feet-wise i'm wearing Vendramini Lusaka all-leather enduro boots. On my head is a Tour X3. Socks: Rev'it Summer, which are cool and fit like a glove.
For water, i've a 10L MSR Dromedary and a Camelbak Army DP 3L. I have a comprehensive medical kit with hypodermics, bandages, pills etc.
I've got a few spares: chain links, coil, regulator rectifier, seven oil filters and two spare Iridium plugs and one more oiled foam filter. Plus 1L Mobil racing oil 10-50W and 500ml Putoline racing brake fluid. Also have some instant metal and instant gasket, glue, bolts, o-rings, gaskets and duct tape. Some neat mechanics gloves too.
I'm keeping tools to a minimum to save weight: standard toolkit is bloody great, plus some allen keys, Leatherman, mole grips and two other wrenches.
I'm camping but sod the weight of the fuel and stove. I have a Big Agnes SL3: it weighs 2kg and has plenty of room for the panniers and spare tires. It has a mesh inner, which is perfect for hot nights and enjoying the African night sky. And it keeps the bugs out. I'm lying on an Exped Downmat7 DLX for comfort and Jagbags endura double size silk liners instead of sleeping bags. The double size silk bag is thick and warm enough and is minute compared to taking two one season sleeping bags. For light I've got a Petzl Tikka XP. I have rechargeable AA and AAA and a combi-charger unit to use in the 12v ciggie lighter socket.
We have a Panasonic TZ5: 10x zoom with HD video too. Bloody amazing for £170.
Route: London, Normandy, French Riviera, Italy to Bari, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt (Nuweiba), Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa (getting married in Cape Town :) ), then fly to Perth, Australia and then on to our final destination, Melbourne.
Leaving April 11 or April 18...
Hope you subscribe to the blog: I'll update it en route and add some video to YouTube whenever I can.
Thanks for reading, peace,
Posted by disco at 06:49 PM