Careful planning for the two-wheeled long haul

24
Oct
Careful planning for the two-wheeled long haul

So we had a question on our Facebook page (thanks Geoff Simmons) about the kind of technical support we’ll have on the road. Great question “Jack” as this gives me a reason to write about our mode of transport for a moment.

Friends and colleagues question me extensively when I tell them about the route, distance and time we’ve committed to for this trip. But, it’s when I mention that we’ll be riding Harley Davidson motorcycle’s that they really stare at me in disbelief.

“Is the larger part of Africa not the domain of the dual-purpose motorcycle?”

Confidence

“Small” bike huge heart.

I started my experience with the Harley Davidson brand on a 883cc Sportster not too long ago. I remember how the older riders mentioned that I will be “upgrading” sooner or later. Even though I’ve been lucky enough to find my way onto a larger 1500cc Dyna model it was that 883 Sportster that built my confidence in the brand. The ‘little’ black iron took me on many solo adventures across South Africa, to Cape Town, Durban and even a crazy ride through the winding roads of the old Transkei, but in the end she always brought me back home to Johannesburg in one piece.

I’m more than confident that our larger V-twins will eat up the road, probably outlasting the person who controls the throttle. A fellow rider from the KTM persuasion (off-road rider) snickered and asked if we’re putting knobblies on our bikes (knobblies – term used for special off-road tyres). Lucky for us, we have Wesley Delport on the team and he’s traveled most roads on our route and I’m happy to report that they are all tarred and road-bike friendly. I’m sure that we’ll hit a few bad patches. Nothing I haven’t seen right here in South Africa, casting my mind back to a scary trip through Lady Grey (North-Eastern Cape) a year ago where they ruined the potholes with patches of tar. Whatever waits for us can’t be worse than that (keep an eye on our updates from the road – I might be eating these words soon).

Pre-caution

Kevin Nunes, Harley Davidson Johannesburg

“Confidence” will not save us in the event of a mishap and “pre-caution” is where the Johannesburg Harley Davidson dealership’s stepped in.

Mercedes Benz Bryanston sponsored a support vehicle for the trip, which will be manned by Pierre Delport and Kevin Nunes from Harley Davidson JHB. It will be up to Kevin, an experienced Harley Davidson technician, to maintain and insure the well being of our machines on the road. His team is currently setting up an inventory with essential spare parts for the vehicle, based on the model of each bike on the journey.

The dealership will also inspect and service the bikes before our departure and we’re currently working on ensuring our tyre situation is covered for the long haul.

Heaven forbid

In case something seriously goes wrong with one of the bikes or riders, Herman Potgieter from Complete Cabling Equipment (CCE) has got us covered. The support vehicle will be towing a fully equipped motorcycle trailer which will be custom built by CCE for the trip. The trailer will carry a fair portion of the spare parts, tools as well as additional fuel that we will have to take with to re-fuel the bikes on the longer stretches.

Other than what I’ve mentioned we’re not doing any modifications to the bikes accept for installing a tracker on one – to allow our fans, friends and family to track us live, 24-7, online via satellite.

Posted from Roodepoort, Gauteng, South Africa.

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  1. Lyn Leader 25 October, 2012

    You guys rock! What a fantastic experience this is going to be for all involved. I used to watch Charlie Borman and Ewan McGregor (wouldnt miss an episode) on their epic travels around the world and wished I could be there too. However, that said, you guys are doing it not just for your own ego’s, but for a very worthwhile cause. So I will be watching your every move every day as well. And “YES” I do so wish I was riding as well!

  2. Pierre Delport 25 October, 2012

    a Great thank you must go to Johannesburg Harley-Davidson for their commitment and support to this trip as well as to Herman Potgieter from CCE who is busy building a trailer that will become the norm for any Harley enthusiast. Watch this blog for a weekly update and photo’s regarding the trailer.

  3. John Koller 26 October, 2012

    Last nights workshop with the UN Women team was a real eye opener for us men. To Mbuyiselo, from Sonke Gender Justice Network I say “thank you” Sir, for a talk straight from the heart. It is time for us Speak Out! and end violence to women. Every time one of these terrible deeds is committed it is done in the name of a man. If we as men speak up others will follow

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