January - 2010
We leave in 51 days. Shit.
Bikes were due to leave on the 4th of
Jan, and the original plan was to have them packed before Christmas.
But that plan didn’t include some
warranty work that couldn’t be looked at until 4 days before Christmas.
Or a cracked valve on one of the
bikes... which was not stocked anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere.
Some panicked searching by the Donkey
turned up some promising leads but in the end we were saved by the dealer actually pulling another bike apart
to source the valve we needed. Big thanks to Kessener Suzuki for going beyond the call.
In retrospect it was a bit of a blessing
in disguise, if we didn't take them in for the warranty work, they wouldn't have found the cracked valve, and
we’d probably have found it poking out the side of the head at some inopportune time in Angola.
We got the bikes back from the dealer 2
days before Christmas, and managed to put about 800km on them in a few days on a run to Port Vincent after
Returning New Years Eve we started
preparing to put the bikes into crates and also made the decision to disassemble them again for one last
check before they were packed (which turned out to be a good thing...).
New Years day was a write
So the packing effort commenced in
earnest on the 2nd at which point the enormity of the task started to become clearer.
We worked until late into the night on
the 2nd, and then kicked off again early on the 3rd, finally at 1am on the 4th both bikes were (almost)
packed and we could start thinking about how we were going to load them onto the trailer.
“they’re so heavy...”
“Um, yes...” (285kg each to be
“how the f&*k are we going to get these
“lets worry about that later
The loading process to get them onto the
trailer went as follows:
Donkey reverses the
trailer to within an inch of one of the crates.
Quadrupeds lift that
end of the crate into the air (using a sling under the end attached to a steel pipe on each end to grab hold
of), and hold there while Miss reverses the trailer under that end.
Quadrupeds lift the
other end of the crate, and Miss inserts a fuel drum to hold it into place at that height.
Quadrupeds then lift
from the back of the crate, off the fuel drum which Miss gets out of the way, and then Quadrupeds push!
- sliding the crate into the trailer.
Drive to Mule’s
Sounds easy huh... Not
First thing the following morning we
shot out to find some fasteners we had run out of at midnight the night before, stuck them into the crates
and headed to Italian Motorcycles to unload them again.
The unloading process to get them off
the trailer went as follows:
Ask nice man with
forklift for help.
Give nice man
Don't you love the way beer make things
2 hours later the bikes were gone,
headed to Melbourne, then onto the Ship ANL Windarra - all the way to Capetown. YAH!
Fortunately we have just found out that
Customs in Melbourne don't want to open the crates (to inspect them), so they should get all the way to
Capetown intact, this is good for customs because they would have had their work cut out getting the crates
open, and good for us for the same reason in reverse.
The video cameras arrived the same day
the bikes left, which is a shame as we couldn't get them set up on the bikes, but it looks pretty
straightforward, and the POV’s are a real quality bit of kit.
Big thanks to Mike from Launch Helmet
Cams in WA for putting these kits together for us. These cameras are waterproof to 1.5m (lets hope we
don't need that!), dustproof and most importantly shock proof! Hopefully we’ll be able to upload some
good footage from them in the coming months.
The main things left to do now
Find a comprehensive travel insurance
Apply for visas for Angola, Nigeria,
Algeria and Syria.
Finalise the tool kit and electrical
power adapters we need to take (ran out of time before the crates left).
Work out what clothes to
Organise a going away party?
Only 51 more sleeps :)
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