Archive for July, 2010

Well, my bike has been fixed ! The top-end noise is still there, but the stalling issue has been fixed. New fuel pump assembly and new idle actuator.

They have tried to look for the noise, but they can’t find anything, no wear, no sign of damage and funnily enough, I believe them. I do believe they have tried there best to find the source of this “noise” .. I guess it’s just the nature of the beast as they say !

This whole trip is becoming more and more of a reality, we have most of the stuff we need now, all the vaccinations, malaria tablets, some of the visas and time off at work, for me at least. I am leaving UK soil on the 21st of September, meeting Lindsay and Delilah on the 23rd of September in Venice, Italy . We will arrive in Egypt on the 27th of September already .. so please follow me on twitter for updates while we are on the road.

I would also like you to have a look at the following video. We are trying and raise some awareness, support and hopefully some donations for the Tembaletu Project run by our Church, Hillsong in Cape Town. If you are in the States or in South Africa, please take some some to donate anything you can by clicking here

If you are in the UK, I think we are trying to find a way for you to donate easily and will keep you updated … so please take a quick look at the following video and lets support them as much as we can … Thanks !

More information here …

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Just booked my place on the  Channel Tunnel  from UK to France, departing Tuesday 21 September at 6:50am, arriving in Calais, 8:25am.

I will probably grab a bit to eat, then head straight towards the Mont Blanc tunnel for Italy. Not sure where I will sleep yet, probably some cheap Formula 1, Etap hotel somewhere.  Our ferry from Venice, Italy to Egypt has also been booked and that departs 16:00 on the 23rd of September arriving in Alexandria on the 27th of September. So there you have it, 6 days from leaving London and UK soil, I will be in Egypt ! Cool hey ?

We have also paid our Carnet de Passage fees today to the RAC, a lot of money !

My motorcycle is still with BMW Battersea, they originally told me the engine dying and stalling issues were battery related, but after some diagnostics, they found some problems with the idle actuator and fuel pump electronics, so will get that fixed. They have also changed my chain and sprockets under a recall, fixing my rocker cover leak under warranty. They will also listen to my diesel tractor engine noises … which I think could be valves, tappets or cam chain .. horrendous noise when the engine is hot, hopefully they can sort that as well. I hope to get my motorcycle back today.

Things still outstanding, visas for Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania and a few minor things, so pretty much set ! Almost there, can’t wait. It is in a way bitter-sweet, the sooner it happens, the sooner it will be finished … and then what,  back at work 😦

Well apart from the noisy top end, which BMW Battersea told me again the dreaded line “They all sound like that” … on Friday night while riding home, I entered quite a busy roundabout just to discover I have no more power. I have had a few stalling issues before, but it always restarted, not this time though, completely dead !

I had a engine rebuilt at around 14500 miles, new pistons, conrod, etc … recently developed a “diesel tractor” like sound when the engine is hot from the top end, sounds like noisy tappets, valves or something, maybe even the camchain. The funny thing was, when I took it into BMW Battersea, the person on the front desk, said he just walked a bike from the washing area and also sounded like that. No way man, not sure on what planet you live on? Is he even a technician ?

Anyway, so stranded next to a busy A road on the east side of London, I got recovered and they took me home. Took my bike to BMW Battersea again yesterday morning and checked it in with security. Hopefully they will fix the damn thing now once and for all ! Really loosing confidence in this bike, does not really enjoy riding it any more, always worried about what will break next !

If it didn’t even last 5000 miles from the engine rebuilt till now, how will it do 15000-20000 miles down to Cape Town …. not entirely convinced …. follow me on twitter to get the latest and if it makes Cape Town at all !

Here’s the latest … first of all another “self-designed” job on the left hand side … ready to tackle Africa, hopefully without being chased down by a lioness !

Secondly, we have yet another new route, but at least some fixed dates now. We are leaving for Egypt on the 23rd of September using the new Visemar Line ferry service from Venice in Italy to Alexandria, Egypt. It takes 4 days arriving on the 27th of September. It looks awesome and I have read of people who have used it before without any problems.

This means, with me skipping the bulk of Europe, I will leave London around the 21st of September to arrive in Venice, Italy on the 23rd in time for departure. So the new list of countries for me at least will be: UK, France, Italy, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, (maybe Rwanda), Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and then South Africa.

I plan to hopefully attend a wedding on the 11th of December in Hermanus, South Africa and then fly straight back to the UK to be back at work on the 13th of December … hope it all works out .. will have to wait and see !

My main source of updates for the trip will be via txt messages to twitter, so follow me on twitter for up to the minute updates while in Africa 😉

We decided to take part in the UK GS Trophy Challenge Qualifying event down in Wales this year and it was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. It was divided into 5 parts, 5 different sections with 5 different bikes. I only scored full marks (that is not to put down your foot once or stall/stop the bike) on the F800GS section right at the beginning …. but after that it just went downhill. I had a slightly painful fall on the last section (at the end of the video) and that was it for me … hot, tired and had a flu as well … 🙂