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Thread: ABW does Morocco October 2012

  1. #17
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    What did you break???????

  2. #18
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    gearobx shaft ...or drive shaft
    when its back on thursday will split it and find out but its bad runs fine

  3. #19
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    Back in the early 80s, and the proud owner of one of those new fangled G/Ss, I started dreaming of, and planning, a Saharan trip. Of course life (and unfortunately a death) got in the way..................





    But fast forward 30 years, and those dreams (with the assistance of ABW planning ) were eventually realised - I got to ride some dunes

    I'll not be forgeting this trip for a while
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    '06 HP2 E...................2006 - 2016
    '02 R1150 GS Adv........2004 - 2006
    '01 F650 GS Dakar.......2001 - 2004
    '91 R100 GS...............1995 - 1999
    '83 R80 G/S...............1986 - 1993
    '81 R80 G/S...............1982 - 1985

  4. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spout View Post
    I got to ride some dunes

    I'll not be forgeting this trip for a while
    The ride to Zagora had a bit of everything: Water, sand trails, vast open plains, dunes, then more sandy trails which led to a surprise rocky Martian landscape, a puncture , missing riders and finally, a fast blast on a graded road to find the sign post for the aeroport which tells you that the end is near and a cold beer will soon replace your Camelbak. :beer

  5. #21
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    simply amazing photo's . . .when i was in Morocco didnt see any thing that matches this . . . looks like you guys are on the set of star wars quick question. . . . if you are planning a trip like this (like I am) whats the minum bike you can get away with ?? i dont have access to the hard core gear you are packing . .. .

  6. #22
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    We have had KTM 450`s before. We say that a bike that can comfortably cruise at 60mph is fine for our trips

    My personal thoughts are that a 600 ish CC bike is the best tool for the job

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  7. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyGod View Post
    We have had KTM 450`s before. We say that a bike that can comfortably cruise at 60mph is fine for our trips

    My personal thoughts are that a 600 ish CC bike is the best tool for the job
    I'll guess that's my bike then, if I could ride it well enough for the whole of the trip.

  8. #24
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    It's A Long Way From Derbyshire...

    ...To The Costa del Sol.

    SkyGod has already said that the ferries to Santander were on strike and we had to change our plans to get the bikes to Mijas in time for when the other riders arrive and we can board our booked ferry to Tangier Med for the trip. So on Saturday evening I get the call from Mr IFan advising me that I'd better bring what I want for the next three weeks to the ABW BBQ on Sunday morning because it looks like we're leaving on Monday morning to pick a bike up at Scratchwood Services (That's how I remember it. ) and then we're going to Dover for a ferry to France courtesy of Brittany Ferries.

    It was raining heavily in Derbyshire when we left and with an appointment to pick up Matt's bike at Scratchwood we hoped there wouldn't be any delays on the M1 heading south. Thankfully there were no major incidents, although there was a car on the hard shoulder missing some parts, on the way and the rain had stopped the further south we drove. We met Matt, an ABR forum user, loaded his bike, and shook his hand until we all see him again in Mijas at the end of the week in the Spanish sunshine.

    It's off to Dover then. That is a long and tiresome journey to be making with the knowledge that what comes after the ferry is another long and tiresome journey through France to get to near to where we should have been arriving in 48hrs if the other ferries had not been on strike. A word of advice here; The catering at Dover closes early and you're better of stopping at the Little Chef on the A2 than taking the rip-off sandwich and coffee at the port.

    Leaving Calais was a relief. We all knew we had a lot of time together in the Land Cruiser and were resigned to long stints on the road to try and break the back of the distance we had to cover (cigar sabatical then) but to end up with a few hours sleeping in a layby was not in my plan. The layby's were all full of wagons which were obviously suffering the same inconvenience as we were but, they had arrived just in time and we along with others had to drive to the early hours to find a space to stop. I didn't sleep very well but that didn't matter because I wasn't driving, and neither was MrIfan, so cigar smoking was done whilst yearning for for coffee, a baguette and a comfortable bed.

    We weren't getting a comfortable bed until Spain. It was decided after our morning coffee that northern Spain is easily within reach after our drive through the night and that if we carried on we could give ourselves an easy day when we arrive in Mijas and gain a bit of R&R for an afternoon. On Tuesday evening we find a place to stay somewhere around Vitoria and Gasteiz which was good value and well attended. I'll try and find the details for this place because it's worth a stop over if you're on the road here.

    Our current position in the morning gave us the option of driving straight to Mijas, which I wanted, or a stop somewhere earlier giving us an easy day on Thursday. The early stop-over was taken and we had a night in a reasonable Hostal near Jaen with super underfloor heating keeping the room nice and toastie.

    The following morning we took the short drive to Mijas under cloudy skies. We had been hoping that the Sierra Nevada would be the curtain beyond which the sun would shine and give us some releif from the wind and rain which we had endured for days on end. but alas, it was not to be for today. At least it was warm and tonight we would be dining at Jose's after we had unloaded the bikes and had a rest.

    We needed that time to recouperate because the following day the riders were arriving at Malaga aeroport and we are going to need to man-up and face the onslaught...


    That's SkyGod delivering Jono, Dean and Matt (apologies for the focus issues).

  9. #25
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    A Team Day In The Sun...

    That's what we were all hoping for.

    The previous evening Jono (Rudiemoto on here), Dean and Matt (ABR users) arrived after finishing their last shifts of the week in the UK to join us for a evening of food and drink in Mijas. They didn't get the time to have a look around because it was dark, getting late and we needed our dinner. They would have to wait until tomorrow, when the other riders arrive, to see the sights of the Mijas Pueblo and the views of the Med.

    Thankfully it wasn't raining this morning. Southern Spain had been washed out for days on end in late September by very heaving rain storms. In fact there had been many flash floods across Andalucia and Murcia in the last few days in which there were a few fatalities and much damage to infrastructure and a lot of ruined holidays. We where not going to be put off by any of that but admittedly there had been a couple of conversations about what we could expect in Morocco.

    At least Jono and Dean are still in one piece after their long awaited first night together...


    Jono looks content whilst Dean smokes a post coital cigarette.

    Jono can't face us when his Missus calls to see how he's getting and asks what he did last night.



    Thankfully Skygod arrives with the remaining two riders just in time to break the tension of a burgeoning love triangle.



    The vehicle contains Spout, of this parish, and Alan, another ABR forum user, to complete the newly formed team for the second ABW Morocco tour.


    From left to right: Jono, BMW HP2; Dean, KTM 640 ADV; Skygod, BMW HP2; Alan, KTM 690 ADV; and Spout, BMW HP2.
    I'm behind the camera and will be taking a Yamaha TT600RE.

    Well, it's blatantly obvious that we're not going to get sunburnt today. The hillside is blanketed in mist and visibility is variable. It doesn't matter that much, and it is not cold, but it does slightly detract from the feeling we hoped for when on the Costa del Sol. We can't even see the costa from our 400m or so elevated position. At least we have a tapas lunch to look forward to and the visit to a small tienda (shop) I found in the summer selling stickers for our bikes.


    Dean, Jono, and Paul contemplating the view.

    Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow because that's when we have an early morning ride along the coast to Algeciras and a ferry to Tangier Med. Matt is going on his own solo trip to Morocco, on another KTM 690 ADV, and will be sailing from Malaga to Melilla. We expect to be seeing him again in two weeks time here in Mijas for one more day until the group breaks up and we all take our different ways and head home to the fast approaching European winter. Before that there's a bit of last minute prep to do to the back-up vehicle and bikes (stickers), and have our first team meal together at Jose's (Restaurante & Bar Fiesta in Mijas...well worth a visit if you're there. Try the Gambas Pil Pil for an excellent starter.).



    All of us are very much looking forward to tomorrow and finding out what the next two weeks will deliver.






  10. #26
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    Spout's Diary - Day 0

    Early rise for me, flying at stupid o’clock, (not that it stopped the cafes in the airport serving beer with their breakfasts).

    I’d not flown for nearly 20 years, and with the introduction of on line boarding passes and having no luggage, I was convinced I’d missed a queue somewhere and would be turned round at the plane door, but phew, I was let on and I even found a seat with plenty of legroom.

    The flight was uneventful, if a bit overcrowded. After landing in what looked from the air like a flooded Malaga (just wet sand) it was straight through customs (with my “I’m not a drug smuggler” face on), and I then followed the crowds straight through the one way exit doors – completely missing the awaiting Gary. After 10 minutes of waving arms trying to catch his attention through the windows I nipped back through the NO ENTRANCE doors (the lesser of two evils as my gesticulating antics were beginning to catch the attention of the authorities).

    Alans flight was due to arrive an hour after mine, so I was treated to a coffee whilst we waited. I know it was only a coffee, but it set the tone for the rest of the tour, the ABW management know how look after their punters.

    All the bikes were already unloaded and ready to roll when we arrived at the hotel, and once rooms were allocated, luggage and riding gear sorted we had a stroll into town. The views over towards Africa were unfortunately obscured by mist.

    After a pleasant lunch, a short ride to fill up with petrol was suggested.

    One of the things I don’t like about air travel is that it doesn’t allow you time to adjust to different climates. So I left a cold, wet and miserable Manchester and was then dumped in a hot, humid and slightly damp Malaga with my brain telling me I still needed full sweatshirt, jacket liner and waterproofs for a bike ride. Fortunately the short ride was short – less than half a mile, but by the time I’d filled up I was uncomfortably hot and sweaty so I turned round and headed straight back to the hotel for a shower and cold beer and left the others to go for a spin in the Spanish countryside.

    After a few beers in the hotel bar, and waving goodbye to Matt, we were taken over the road to Jose’s restaurant for our last taste of European food for a fortnight. Excellent food, although Dean and Alan were not too impressed with their starter, “cheese” turned out to be a plate full of ……… cheese!

    A complimentary bottle of brandy was plonked on the table with warm goldfish bowls to drink from. Some drank more than others! but needless to say the bottle was returned empty.

    It had been a long day, and with a full belly sleep came easy, along with dreams of African adventures to come.
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    '06 HP2 E...................2006 - 2016
    '02 R1150 GS Adv........2004 - 2006
    '01 F650 GS Dakar.......2001 - 2004
    '91 R100 GS...............1995 - 1999
    '83 R80 G/S...............1986 - 1993
    '81 R80 G/S...............1982 - 1985

  11. #27
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    Day 1 30/09/2012: Sunny Sunday Morning.

    At last, it's the morning of our depature from Spain to Morocco and the sun is shining again. It's days' like these why I like Spain so much. After enduring so much poor weather recently to get here I felt a tad sorry to be leaving again, albeit for just a couple of weeks, but there is something else to look forward to because tonight I'll be dining and sleeping in Chefchaouen.

    The ride to Algerciras for the ferry is a fairly straightforward affair when taking the autopista along the coast. It is by no means a dull ride because there are some stunning views from the Sierra de Mijas and the lower slopes of Sierra Bermeja mountains but, what I noticed mostly on that ride was the extent of the fire damage which took place north of Marbella in August. I missed those fires by a couple of days when I was riding in this region during the summer and am glad I had left when I did: It would have the ride of a lifetime if you found yourself on those MA numbered roads on your own with the smell of burning grass in the air. Thankfully it was too wet now for any of that but we could smell the burnt landscape in the morning air and see many charred buildings on our ride.

    Our arrival at the port was uneventful...


    Queuing.


    Still Waiting...

    ...but thankfully we didn't have to wait too long to get to see our vessel and distract ourselves from the boredom of the dock.



    Once on board and under steam it was all to play for from now on. It's a good feeling knowing that that we'll soon be doing some proper riding and for most on this trip they'll be experiencing something very new.


    Bye Bye Europe.


    Hello North Africa.

    After an early lunch on the ferry and a scramble to get off as quickly as possible upon docking we joined another queue at immigration control. At least we have the game some of us play when away and upon arrival on Moroccan soil it was game on. It was me again, Skygod and Jono who had signed up for the ten press-up forfeit when caught using the F word and obviously Gaz got his in first whilst waiting to be allowed across the border and were easily knocked out in short time but, it was Jono's attempt which gave us something to occupy ourselves for a few minutes...


    Looks good for a moment or two.

    He's struggling now.


    That's a hopeless effort for one so strong.

    It was a swift border crossing this time with only a few confusing moments spread throughout the group but much better than the last time, and before we knew it we were on our way. It's only a short ride out of the port to our first trail but we had a bit of a shock when we pulled off the road onto what should have a well graded track. Earlier this year this track was in good condition but something has happened over the summer months because it is now a wreck of it's former self. It was so bad I couldn't even remember being here until we stopped for the first time in a convenient clearing away from the route and recognised some of the scenery.


    Skygod stops us here to check we're all okay.

    It's only after confirmation that we are on the right track and seeing this building which rings a bell in my mind, but nearly everything about the road surface is different.


    Stay Out!

    It's only when we get on our way again that it all starts to sink in for me and we make good progress because we are all confident and fired up.


    Another cigar break.


    Not for long though...

    The grading becomes better, and then worse, and then nothing at all but we are getting nicely warmed up on the relativiely easy first trails of a long two week trip.

    Dean's HeadCam provided me with a lot of images but he didn't set the clock so I can't be sure if these are the first or second set of trails for the day but nevertheless they do show the lie of the land of the northern Riff mountains...


    Crazy Paving or what?




    The sun shines on Alan.

    Get up there...



    ...and ride the ridge.



    It wasn't all plain sailing though because there was a little incident up there. Alan had the misfortune to take on a scooter rider head on and had to take evasive action. He turned a blind corner and between the both of them there was not enough room and Alan laid his bike down by command of his front brakes. He hurt his knee, tearing his trousers, and twisted the forks in the yokes. I was right behind Alan so stopped with him for a check-up and then sped off to call in the rest of the riders. We were now spread out but within time they started coming back. I was then despatched to go and find the last two and just as I was beginning to wonder where they are , they came into veiw a rode right past me and back to the crash sight where Jono was doing a realignment job on the twisted KTM. I couldn't be bothered riding through the gang of begging children again so I found a place to stop for a nice sit down with a cigar.


    I waited...


    ...and waited...


    ...and thought about dinner tonight.

    It took a while for the sound of engines to come my way, and not only from our group, because this is a well used piste with all sorts of traffic driving past wondering what the hell I was doing hanging around up here.

    Soon enough we are heading back to the roads and around the outskirts of Tetouan. Just a note here to say that I'm not that keen on Tetouan after having stones thrown at us by the local lads. They better not do that again. We're heading for the coast road to take us to the next trail which roughly goes from Cape Mazari towards Chefchaouen.


    Spout and Alan checking out dinner tonight.

    We have to stop to find the piste we want. This is the coast road to Bou-Ahmed and is very pretty indeed with wonderful views of the very blue Mederterranian Sea.


    This is the last time we will see the sea for a couple of weeks.

    The piste climbs away from the Rhomara coastline and takes us into the mountains towards ES Sebt-de-Said, a small hamlet with a road to Chechaouen, but we have to get there first. The trails around here are quite rutted in places and are created by necessity by local people taking the easiest route from one place to another.









    They are however good riding for us on our first day if you can keep your bike on two wheels. Alas is was Jono who had the first little incidents around here. I don't have those images but if Skygod would like to drop some video in here then he's welcome do so and show how easily it can go wrong.

    Ultimately we find our way to last leg of the first day and a swift ride on sweeping roads into Chefchaouen. We've had a bit of nearly everything today including dust, gravel, mud and ruts as well as a lot of up & down and I think all are content and looking forward to their first tagine dinner once we've parked the bikes and checked into the hotel.




  12. #28
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    Keep it coming

  13. #29
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    Great read thanks guys, it has really wet my appetite for this, I may be tempted too take the new toy, what do you think Gaz/ Jono ?

  14. #30
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    Spout's Diary - Day 1

    Apologies if I'm just repeating (or contradicting) events in Paul's report. And apologies if I include a few more HP2 based photos!

    I like to start the day with a coffee, but the dispensing machine at breakfast in the hotel at Mijas was confusing the hordes of Japanese tourists, creating a rather long queue, so I made do with a glass of orange (Alan managing to down half a dozen) until it was my turn to be confused by the machine. After one very milky coffee, along with bacon, eggs and toast and I was ready to roll.

    The mist had now cleared and our destination of Africa came into view in the distance.
    It was bright sunshine and already warm (my rain gear, thermals etc now sensibly stowed away in the Land Cruiser!) at the departure time of 8.30am. Most of us were ready to go at 8.15, but we had to sit around waiting for Paul, who throughout the tour “saddled up” on time – not a minute before.

    It’s been a few years since I’d ridden on the right and so the first few roundabouts and junctions were a bit wobbly but we were soon on the relative safety of the coastal toll road to Algerciras (all tolls paid by ABW).

    One of the disadvantages of having routes and destinations all organised for you is that you don’t know how far you’ll be travelling, and I’d underestimated how far the ferry terminal was.
    I now know not to travel over 60mph in a motocross helmet without earplugs! We managed another fuel stop before Gary led us on a few laps of the port complex trying to find the right terminal.

    After the queue for tickets we queued for the ferry, watching the artics being skilfully reversed into the loading bay, until we were called over and ushered into the ferrys bowels ourselves. The bikes were simply tied down with a rope lashed across the seat – a small towel would have been handy to prevent potential damage to the seat.

    A sizable area of the onboard canteen was requisitioned with helmets, jackets, bags and camelbaks strewn about the place and we were soon on our way.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    '06 HP2 E...................2006 - 2016
    '02 R1150 GS Adv........2004 - 2006
    '01 F650 GS Dakar.......2001 - 2004
    '91 R100 GS...............1995 - 1999
    '83 R80 G/S...............1986 - 1993
    '81 R80 G/S...............1982 - 1985

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    Day 1 cont

    I’m not too sure but I think this is where Gary gave the “Elf & Safety” briefing (but I go to that many at work I wasn’t really paying attention).

    It was a smooth crossing and the African hills came into view long before we lost sight of Gibralter.

    And we did have company for part of the crossing:
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    '06 HP2 E...................2006 - 2016
    '02 R1150 GS Adv........2004 - 2006
    '01 F650 GS Dakar.......2001 - 2004
    '91 R100 GS...............1995 - 1999
    '83 R80 G/S...............1986 - 1993
    '81 R80 G/S...............1982 - 1985

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    Day 1 cont

    The first Camels of the trip were also seen - after I’d been to Duty Free. It was also the last chance we’d get to eat pork for a while – so ham and cheese paninis all round!

    Passports were stamped on the ferry and then it was time to disembark onto African soil (actually smooth concrete and tarmac at the new Tangier Med terminal), skirting round the lorries and heading for customs. A slightly chaotic experience, seemingly handing bits of paper over randomly, a long sweaty walk to the police station (to be entered on their system) and then we were all through. No hasslers, or touters offering assistance at the port although there were a few behind the fences trying to get our attention – easily ignored.
    Pounds were then changed into Dirhams and those without a green card sorted their insurance out. And then we were ready to start.

    Gary had promised “off road” within a mile of the port, and sure enough once underway (waved straight through the last police checkpoint) we soon turned off the tarmac (round the back of a someones house) and had rear wheels spinning up a gravelly piste. As trails go it wasn’t the most exciting, but the joy of breaking my Africa/Bike/Piste virginity made up for it!

    I couldn’t believe how hot it was when we were stopped. It was going to take me a few days to get used to riding in and coping with these temperatures.

    Once back on tarmac some of us had our first chance to deal with the mentality of the Moroccan traffic and road conditions as we headed east along the coast. It all seemed very French to me (signage and attitudes of drivers) and I immediately felt more comfortable (a lot less foreign than Spain), I wasn’t even thinking about being on the wrong side of the road.

    It was during an overtaking manoeuvre that I first noticed my bike stuttering and misfiring under hard acceleration. I ignored it at first, but by the third day it was obvious something was wrong. I was hoping it was poor fuel from the Spanish fill, but reckoned it was more likely a faulty coil stick. With no spare coils with us I just rode trying not to accelerate hard for the rest of the tour! On return to Blighty a new coil stick solved the misfire.

    Gary missed/couldn’t find our next off road section (new piste for ABW) so we had another stop with views of the Med whilst he went searching for it.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    '06 HP2 E...................2006 - 2016
    '02 R1150 GS Adv........2004 - 2006
    '01 F650 GS Dakar.......2001 - 2004
    '91 R100 GS...............1995 - 1999
    '83 R80 G/S...............1986 - 1993
    '81 R80 G/S...............1982 - 1985

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