Archive for the ‘Bike Prep’ Category


I arrived in Cape Town a few days ago. Saturday morning, I went through to KTM Cape Town to drop off the Guts Racing seat foam/cover and the Rally Raid rear aux tank.

Yesterday and today, they got the sear re-covered and fitted the aux tank for me. I have to say, I was really impressed with the work done and I am very happy with the bike. I signed a few papers, paid for the Akrapovic exhaust and I was on my way. Did only around 60km today in a very windy Cape Town.

I plan to get up early tomorrow morning and go for a ride along the coast before it gets too windy.

Friday, I am off to Bloemfontein … more pics, tweets and eventually videos to follow.

Location:Strand, Western Cape,South Africa

Countdown is on, only 2 and a half days left ….. early Tuesday morning I am on my way 🙂

Been cleaning, de-greasing, polishing and chain lubing today … the bike looks nice and clean now, dont you think ?

Sitting in my room, staring at all the things I have to pack .. especially now that I  have a spare rear tyre as well … will it all fit ? How heavy is it going to be ? … planning it in my head already. I think I should at least pack most of the stuff today or maybe tomorrow and see how it feels and how the bike handles.

As I said, I have ordered a TKC80 rear spare tyre since I do not want to struggle in Africa sourcing a suitable tyre, so I will just have to strap it on somewhere and ride with it all the way. It will be easier and I think I will be glad I did when the time comes to change tyres. I am sure the front tyre will see my all the way to Cape Town.

I also bought loads of instant “dry foods” … like noodles, soups, pastas, breakfast bars, instant 3-in-1 coffee sachets, Horlicks, Hot Choch and Smash (instant potato mash for those who don’t know). I think I actually bought too much, but it will be for those days when we find nothing to eat and nothing better than waking up, putting on the stove and having a nice cup of coffee in the morning 🙂

Anyway, speaking of which, very hungry now, so I am off to the take-away … not long now, can’t wait. Remember, follow me on twitter for the latest … laters !

Only a few more days to go … a surreal feeling that something you planned and dreamt about for a long time is now happening. I think it’s going to be so much fun, but at the same time difficult. “What have you got yourself into …?” will probably cross my mind every now and again 🙂

Anyway, recently I discovered that when BMW Park Lane/Battersea did the last service on my motorcycle, they either used loctite or over-tightened the bolts on the front of my bash plate so much, it was impossible to loosen them with the tools in my possession.

I phoned them up, but they were not very helpful, claiming that they fasten it by hand and to the correct torque settings as per BMW. It is not even a BMW bash plate, how would they know what torque settings to use … I gave up in the end, but I need to get these bolts out to access the oil filter to do my own oil changes during the trip … so I had to get some help !

I took my motorcycle to Mark Holden Motorcycles in Bromley, Kent. Awesome guys .. they too had to struggle, couldn’t believe BMW would tighten the bolts so much, but eventually got them out and replaced them for me with normal hex bolts, all this basically for free … great guys, well recommended and they are BMW specialists !

… and yeah, I know it is dirty, but I have not yet had the chance to wash the bike since the off road riding this weekend, will wash it before I depart on Tuesday though …

Tuesday morning early I am setting off on my African adventure, twitter will be my main form of updates, so be sure to follow me

2 weeks today, I will already be halfway through France heading for the Italian border.

Today, I have received my last spares, Clutch cable, front sprocket, oil filter, brake pads, rear shock upper bolt, etc ..so that can be checked off my list. Thanks Motorworks

I have also went to the post office to get some cash (euros and dollars) as well as my International Driving Permit.

Tomorrow morning I am going for the Schengen visa (for France and Italy) and then all my visas are done.

Only 2 more weeks, can’t wait, need to sort out the last stuff, pack the panniers and what doesn’t go with me, needs to go to storage. Also need my final visit to the doctor for the last HepB vaccination, then I am all set and ready to go …

Follow me on twitter, this will be the main means of updates during the trip and this blog will be updated whenever we get near to some form of internet access.

Only 5 weeks before I set off on our London to Cape Town motorcycle expedition, lots of little things to buy and they all add up. One of these “things” was a Scala Rider G4 helmet headset. With this, I can listen to my MP3’s via bluetooth (from iPhone) and make phone calls which is great, no more wires, earphones etc …

The other great thing about this and most probably the sole reason why I bought this, was to communicate with the other riders, Lindsay and Delilah going down with me to Cape Town. This is also done via bluetooth and we can communicate up to a mile, I think in ideal conditions.  We have tested it last night and it’s awesome ! This enables us to have a 3 way full duplex conversation to warn each other of potholes and just to annoy each other really ! 🙂

Very happy with it .. and it is a good purchase, get yourself one !

We also attended the Adventure Maintenance Course over the weekend in Wales hosted by BMW Off Road Skills. Although this was very interesting, one thing we found out … is that we probably need a new clutch on our F800GS motorcycles before we set off on this trip. Mine already has around 20000 miles on the clock with the original clutch and it was strongly recommended we change these. More money …. never ends hey ? 🙂 We plan to change the clutch ourselves within the next 2 weeks. Probably better now than with a burnt out clutch in the middle of Africa !

5 weeks and I’m off, almost can’t believe it …. leaving on the 21st of September 2010, follow me on twitter for the latest updates from the road ..

.. got the DVD

Posted: July 8, 2009 in Bike Prep
Tags: , ,

I received the GlobeRiders F800GS Intructional DVD and it definitely looks interesting with some good tips on doing all the “roadside” repairs which I am sure we will have to do on our African Expedetion.

I have not watched all of it yet, only bits and pieces here and there. I ordered this from Sierra BMW in the States at around $65 (including shipping), but I think it is worth the money for any Adventure F800GS motorcyclist.

Looks like I’m on a roll today … what the hell, decided to order some more stuff for the bike while I am in such a spending mood, ordered the following stuff, all from NippyNormans :

SW Motech Centre Stand for F800GS SW Motech Centre Stand for the F800GS. Apparently it’s a better design than the BMW centre stand, well, I hope so.

Touratech Mesh Headlight guard for F800GS The Touratech Mesh Headlight guard designed for Off-Road use. I guess I don’t need it now, but will definitely need it for our trip to Cape Town, so might as well get it now.

Winglets for the F800GS

The Winglets for the F800GS. Stops some of the wind coming through and hitting you on the chest. I hope this works as I do not like the wind buffeting while riding …

Front Brake fluid reservoir protector The Front Brake Fluid Reservoir protector. I have dropped my bike a few times already and with this, I know at least I have some protection around my reservoir when dropping it again.

Rear Brake Fluid reservoir protector And the same for the Rear Brake Fluid reservoir …

Things I need now still includes that bash plate and I think I will go for the BMW one, some fork seals from Adeventure Spec and stuff …

Be sure to check it out, this list will grow 🙂

BMW PanniersSo I took the plunge and ordered the BMW panniers. I have ordered them from SBW Motorrad based in Hertford, UK. Unfortuntely they were full on Saturday, so couldn’t fit it for me, but Richard at SBW said I can use their yard and tools to fit it myself, thus saving me the fitting costs. Very kind of him, I think !

My experience with the other BMW Dealerships seems like they don’ t really care if they have your business or not, which is a shame and I will probably not go back to them again.  I also had my bike serviced by SBW last Saturday and they gave me a R1200GS for the day, friendly and helpful, bit of a ride out for me every time, but SBW it is for me then.

I am also re-doing my seat this Saturday morning, going to VikingVinyl in Kent, hoping it will be much more comfortable afterwards.

Other things I need to get now, is the centre stand and bash plate, but I can get that with next months pay cheque 🙂

Keep you posted on the panniers and what I think of them …

BMW PanniersWell, I was gonna go for the Stahlkoffer panniers for the F800GS which comes in at £399+vat which is a very good price, but I am now reconsidering and maybe I should go for the BMW aluminium panniers instead. I am not sure how much more they will be, but I think it might be worth it.

I have emailed the dealership to get some pricing as it might be the deciding factor.

Thus far, I have been traveling without any panniers, just 2 waterproof rollbags/duffelbags on the back, but I think for any serious long distance trip, the panniers are essential. You can pretty much pack everything in there, strap stuff to the back (i.e. petrol containers) and on top (tents, etc..) and your done ! I think they are also a little bit more secure than soft luggage, you can use it as a chair at the campsite or even a little table … definitely something I need !

I will report back on the price and my decision regarding the panniers …

In preperation to prepare for the trip  … 🙂

I have ordered the “BMW F800GS Instructional DVD” from GlobeRiders …

I hope this will give some great tips on how to prepare and fix the bike througout our adventure. I am expecting to receive the DVD this week … will get some pizza for a great night in !