So you’ve finally decided to pull the pin and book up for the trip of a lifetime. You’ve got your holiday on the wall planner at work, your flights have all been booked and paid for, and perhaps most importantly, your ‘significant other’ has given you the green light. It’s all systems go for an epic riding adventure – you don’t want to be thinking about boring motorcycle travel insurance …
BUY THE RIGHT INSURANCE AND GET ON AND ENJOY THE TRIP
Except you do. Before you even start packing your Alpinestars, you need to sort yourself proper insurance. Travelling to foreign climates carries all kinds of potential risks, and if you are going to be riding bikes once you get there, then you just turned the danger factor right up to 11.
It’s an unavoidable fact that as soon as we sling our leg over the saddle of a motorcycle, whether at home or abroad, we go right to the top of the charts for risk profile – riding on unpredictable foreign roads on an unfamiliar bike unsurprisingly multiplies those risks considerably …
WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG HERE?
But you can’t just get away with off-the shelf travel insurance from a basic web search or price comparison site. Mainstream companies will be unlikely to take on your business once you tell them you’ll be riding bikes – they are more interested in the easy money of families who are looking to spend two weeks on the beach, or pensioners on a cruise round the Mediterranean.
MOTORCYCLING CAN CARRY RISKS THAT YOU NEED TO INSURANCE AGAINST
And don’t think it’s just a question of being a bit economical with the truth about the real reason for your trip – if you fail to tell the insurers you will be riding and then subsequently have a bike related issue while abroad, don’t expect to get far with your claim …
It’s important to look carefully and compare cover between suitable companies and find a level of protection that you’re happy with. You can’t insure against every possible event, but should be able to find a policy that protects you against the most likely issues that you may encounter.
BUY THE WRONG INSURANCE AND THIS MAY BE HOW YOU FEEL
So, let’s look at the main things that proper motorcycle travel insurance will cover
UNEXPECTED NEED TO CANCEL
Let’s face it – life can throw us curve balls when we are least expecting it. From an untimely death in the family to unpredicted work problems, life can sometimes conspire to screw up our plans.
Assuming that we all ride bikes all year round, perhaps the highest possibility for needing to cancel a riding trip is picking up a riding injury in the run up to your holiday. Break a collarbone on your morning commute and you are not going to be crossing the Himalayas two weeks later! Damn …
COLLARBONES CAN SNAP LIKE TWIGS. IMAGE IAIN HYSOM / NHS
From delays to actually reaching the airport; delays or cancellations to outgoing flights or the frustration of missed connections, just getting to where you are supposed to be to start your adventure is packed with pinch points where things can go wrong. Proper insurance means that you’ll be covered for the next appropriate flight and that someone’s going to sort out all the details.
Booking flights direct with an airline will ensure they will sort the problem far quicker than if you booked through a third party. It’s also important that if you have multiple flights then all of them are with the same airline as it’s their responsibility to get you to your intended destination and back.
FLIGHT DELAYS AND CANCELLATIONS CAN WRECK YOUR PLANS
IF THIS HAPPENS, YOUR TRIP WILL NOT. IMAGE THE INDEPENDENT
OK so less likely, but if the place you are travelling to is in the grip of unexpected and dangerous natural conditions, your trip isn’t happening.
You do not want to fly into a hurricane zone, or set off towards a region that is still shaking from an earthquake. With the right policy in place, you can return when things have returned to an even keel without losing out.
It’s a sad but unavoidable factor to life in the 21st century is becoming increasingly affected by terrorist acts. From problems in our home countries affecting travel plans to incidents in host destinations, we can’t afford to ignore the potential for problems with any travel plans. Your policy needs to cover you if your trip simply does not happen because of terrorist acts or the threat of terrorist acts.
LOST OR DELAYED LUGGAGE
OK you arrive in you dream destination, fresh and excited for your epic adventure, but as you wait by the luggage carousel there’s no sign of your kit bag. The bags stop coming round, the belt stops and you’ve got nothing – it’s a terrible feeling – we’ve been there!
With two weeks travel ahead of you, you’ll need a policy that will allow you replace the kit at very short notice – it’s no good your kit arriving four days later when you are 300 miles away in the Cambodian jungle.
IF YOUR LUGGAGE DOESN’T ARRIVE CAN YOU GET REPLACEMENTS? IMAGE ADORAMA
Bike kit is not cheap, so trying to persuade a mainstream insurer that a Klim Jacket does actually cost close to £700 and you are not going to be happy with a Wal-Mart replacement, may be an uphill struggle.
A good policy will have suitable levels of cover for all your bike kit from helmets to boots, allow you to source an alternative quickly in your destination. They may also factor in cover so that if those temporary purchases are not a direct replacement of what you’ve lost, allow a full replacement on your return. A bad policy won’t.
ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT COVERIF YOU ARE TAKING IT, INSURE IT. IMAGE CEEMAX
So if you’re on the trip of a lifetime, you are going to want to record it. From Go Pros to DLSRs, all this kit is expensive and if it falls out of your tank bag at 60 mph, it’s not going to survive well. You need to cover all your tech against the risks and rigours of life on the road, not to mention loss or even worse – robbery. It’s a jungle out there!
On trips when you are staying in a different destination each night, the potential for losing stuff is pretty large. If it’s just the odd sock or the charging cable for your IPhone, then it’s not an issue, but if it’s your passport, then it certainly is.
Trying to solve this while on the road is going to be really tricky, so the ability to phone somebody who is going to help you sort out a replacement is an essential. India may be nice, but you might want to leave there at some point …
LOSING YOUR PASSPORT SUCKS BIG TIME. IMAGE UNILAD
SICKNESS OR INJURY
Now we are into more familiar territory here as getting a bit poorly on holiday is not uncommon. From a bit of ‘unsettled stomach’ to insect bites or cuts and grazes or even worse we may need medical help when abroad, and getting good quality care is likely to cost.
As a motorcyclist with a higher risk profile than most, then this is the time when a motorcycle specific travel insurance policy is absolutely essential. If you break your ankle when you are off the beaten track, you need cover that is going to get you help and get it fast.
But don’t think the little injuries or wounds can be overlooked either – news reports this week feature a traveller who has developed sepsis from a simple mosquito bite in Cambodia. Medical cover could be the smartest purchase you ever make …
THINGS CAN GO WRONG SURPRISINGLY QUICKLY
Ride Expeditions travel with paramedics who can offer immediate care and we also use Spot Tracker if Emergency evacuation from remote areas is required.
In the case of severe or potentially life changing injuries or sickness, chances are that you will be better off treated back home, so travel insurance should cover the entire costs of organising and facilitating this, from medical evacuation in remote areas, to medically supported flights to your home country.
It’s uncomfortable to think about, but it’s better to know that you have the cover and never need it, than go without the cover and find yourself with an enormous and financially crippling bill.
So that’s a few pointers to consider before you take out motorcycle travel insurance. Getting proper insurance is about assessing risk and taking appropriate steps to mitigate the potential effects of unforeseen circumstances.
If asked who we would use, there are two companies, Holiday Safe – here’s a link to their site or World Nomads – and here’s their link – but make sure what they are offering works for you and the specifics of your trip.
No matter what you might have heard about people having issues with insurance companies in the past, whether those issues related to travel issues or bike problems, don’t allow this to influence your decision as to whether to take out suitable cover for a motorcycle adventure. You need it – period.
Always be honest about your plans when filling in the forms – don’t take out a policy that restricts you to a 125cc and then hire a Royal Enfield Himalayan – they will find out if you have need to claim and at that point you will find yourself without cover.
The correct policy will not be expensive when you compare the costs to the potential bills and costs you may incur if you have no appropriate insurance ….
Travelling without proper insurance is like running a red traffic light on your bike –you might get away with it, but then again, it might go disastrously wrong …
Ok Ok, so we know it’s not newsletter time but we’re so excited about this news that we can’t wait to get the word out…
OUR FIRST AFRICAN ADVENTURE IS HERE
No your eyes aren’t deceiving you, our first African tour is indeed ready and waiting – all it need’s now are a few adventurous bikers to come over and join us! What started out as a mere conversation over dinner with 3 of our Himalayan Heights riders out in India last August, soon became a whole new adventure for Ride Expeditions (our thanks again to Len, Andre & James for tempting us to SA!).
As you may already know, we had moved to Cape Town with the main intention of setting up a new head office – so far we have got HQ up and running, have some awesome new staff on our team & Toby and Anna are loving the continuous “braaing”. Our plan was to add a few South African Adventures to our tour calendar at a later stage in the game. But after a lot of exploring, we simply couldn’t resist!
So less then 7 months into our new home we are ready to release our first African Adventure. We’ve put a lot of planning into this and must admit we’re damn happy with the result…
So forget ticking just one box off your bucket list – this trip will smash through loads of boxes all in one hit…Bikes aside, you’ll have the chance to do the “Big Five” 4×4 Safari; Go whale watching; See giraffes, ostriches, wild penguins & baboons; Cable car up the famous Table Mountain; go wine tasting in the Cape Winelands; and for real adrenaline junkies you can go cage diving with great whites as well as jump off the highest bridge bungee in the world! All this tied together with adventure rider’s Heaven in Baviaanskloof, sleeping in a cave (a nice one!), riding along the stunning Chapman’s Peak Drive, an overnight in ‘The Hell’ & simply breathtaking riding on box-fresh BMW adventure bikes. Happy days!
The planning of this route has been a team effort from all at Ride Expeditions (thanks team!) and even family, as Toby’s brother flew out from the UK to get involved with the route planning (we still owe him his modelling fees apparently). For our first tour in South Africa, we will be starting in Cape Town, riding coastal roads east to spot whales in Hermanus, up to the breathtaking wilderness of the Cederberg, across to Montagu and ‘The Hell’, Oudsthoorn – the ostrich capital of the world, Knysna, Baviaanskloof and Addo Elephant National Park. There were so many amazing options to choose from but we can confidently say that this is one hell of a route!
The Ride Expeditions team simply can not wait to get this show on the road, as well as launch many more adventures over here soon. Africa is an incredibly beautiful & diverse place and we’ve yet to scratch the surface. Sand dune & riverbed riding in Namibia? Yes please. Cape Town to Victoria Falls – give us time, but Toby is on the case! Africa is our new playground and we are loving it :D
Toby will be heading off on one last ride in August to fine tune this itinerary (as well as pre-warn the hotels to stock up on beers as dusty bikers are on their way). Whilst he’s out there he’ll be riding his KTM 690 Enduro all the way up to Swaziland to take part in KTM’s 2nd South Africa Adventure Rally… well, it’s all part of the job, so he tells Anna… ‘research’.
We shall be launching the ‘Cape Crusaders’ in October of this year. Not far away we know – but like we’ve mentioned (a few times) – we simply cannot wait. We’re very proud to call South Africa our new home and we’re itching to share the experience with you!
Get in touch. Sign up. Come and ride with Toby & the team in October. We have the know how, we have the bikes, we have the most amazing adventure holiday planned. All we need now is for you to book it up and come on over. You won’t regret it…
Good morning all and welcome to a summer of fantastic riding. Oh, and for those in the Southern Hemisphere, we hope that your winter is allowing you to get out on the bikes and on the dirt as much as we are. The trails are sweet, the tarmac is sticky – what a time to be alive!
So, it’s time to update you on our activities in the last month and tell you about the exciting rides and offers coming up on our calendar. It’s wall to wall biking heaven and we’d love you to experience these epic adventures with us.
THE CAPE CRUSADER – SA TOUR LAUNCHES
Last month we shared the news that we’d be looking to start adventure tours in the wonderful landscapes of the Western Cape in South Africa. Well after a month of intense activity behind the scenes and hours of plotting and planning from our illustrious leader Toby, we are delighted that our first South African tour will be launching this month – yes, this month!
As the very first time out, the first adventure is going to be a Pioneer Tour towards the end of 2018. This will allow a select band of motorcyclists to join us on our maiden tour in this region, travelling from the busy city of Cape Town, up to the vast Cederberg region through the incredible Swartberg range before dropping down to the Garden Route in the southern coast to finish in Port Elizabeth some twelve days later. As the first outing for this ride, the Pioneer tour will be a staggering 15% cheaper than when we launch this in 2019.
And the bikes? We’ll be using the mighty BMW GS800 as our scoot of choice, having the agility for the rough stuff combined with the legs to nail the throttle on those long and sweeping roads – it’s the ideal combination. We’ll be travelling with a full crew of lead rider, cameraman and medic / mechanic in a support truck that will transport your luggage, essential spares, fuel and of course a supply of post ride beers. What’s not to like there?
If you want to be in the Cape Crusader Pioneer tour, drop us an email as soon as you finished reading this Newsletter to email@example.com and get onboard – it will be the tour of your life.
HIMALAYAN HEIGHTS KICK OFF – THE YETI RISES
With the excitement of the SA tours, it’s all too easy to forget that the first of our best-selling tour – the awesome Himalayan Heights adventure – will be dropping the clutch and pulling out of the hotel on July the first. Between now and the end of September an incredible ten tours will be travelling on Royal Enfield 500 Classics on the staggering route through the most amazing mountain range in the world.
Starting from our new base camp in the wonderful hillside former colonial town of Shimla and the beautifully old-school Woodville Palace Hotel, the tour winds its way north through Shoja, Manali, Keylong, Sarchu, Pangong Tso, Leh and Hundar, crossing the highest roads in the world and camping in incredible locations.
Toby and Carl the Paramedic – our latest recruit – flew out to India last week to sort out the bikes, fine tune the details and test the local Kingfisher lager ahead of our first guests. It’s a tough job but ….
While many of the tours are already sold out, there are still a few places left, so if you fancy taking on some of the most epic roads on the planet – it’s still just an email away …
HIMALAYAN EXTREME – MAIDEN TOUR MONEY OFF
So – the Himalayan Heights not quite hardcore enough for you? Want to go on a tour that will really test your riding skills and have you puffing like a fat lad on a treadmill? Then maybe our all new Himalayan Extreme tour will be the one to butter your parsnips. And with a 15% promotional discount on offer that’s a strong possibility.
Ride Expeditions - Himalayan Extreme - YouTube
Starting from Manali the Extreme tour cuts east towards the challenging terrain of the river valleys and rugged mountains. We’ll stay in remote hotels, camp in tiny hilltop villages, visit the highest village in the world on our way to the infamous Spiti Valley. If you imagine a road that follows a riverbed with football sized boulders, that’s some of the terrain you’ll be taking on.
And to tackle this terrain, we’ve got a fleet of the fuel injected Royal Enfield Himalayans bristling with off road purpose just waiting for you. Shod with off road tyres and with far more purposeful suspension than the Classics, the Himalayan makes the perfect companion for the trip – capable enough to tackle the terrain but plenty quirky enough to know you’re on an Indian-made bike in an Indian landscape. Perfect.
If this sounds like you and you can handle the rough stuff – speak to Anna at anna@rideexpeditions and she’ll give you the full SP on the trip.
HO CHI MINH – PRICES DOWN AND DIRTY
Now if all this talk of big bikes, tarmac and trails in India is not your thing, how would you fancy riding the route of the legendary Ho Ch Minh tour, travelling from the bustling city of Phnom Penh and heading along the most infamous trail in the world.
Not long ago, travelling on this trail was about as safe as juggling with a chainsaw, a stick of dynamite and an angry cobra as it formed the main supply route during the barbaric and drawn out Vietnam conflict. Now it’s one of the most epic trails you can ride, and we run a fantastic tour on Kawasaki KLX300s and Yamaha WRF450s that tracks the trail north over seventeen days and 2700km to finish up in the fantastic riverside resort of Luang Prabang.
TOOLS, TIPS AND TOP TEN HACKS
OK so if you’re a fan of our incredibly popular BLOG section on the website, then this month you are in for a treat. This month Mr Challis has been in the garage and fitting more additional metal than a body piercing convention. So there’s a fool-proof way of fitting wheel bearings, a guide to the tools you’ll need if you are a complete newbie and last but not least ten more wonderful bike hacks, from denture tablets in your back pack to flight socks on the trail.
Genius in ten bite-sized pieces.
OK so it’s time to sign off now, but we need a closing video – so as this one is in the blogs, it’s the right one to finish. Mole Grips you say …
OK so you’ve made the decision. After years with just cars on the drive, you’ve taken the leap of faith to finally pass your bike test and buy that motorcycle you’ve always promised yourself. But wait just a moment – while your four-wheeled box might have thrived with little more than a car wash and a service every 10,000 miles, bikes are different. They crave tinkering, they need love, they need time alone with you. If you don’t give them enough attention, they are prone to sulk like a high maintenance mistress.
So you are going to need some tools. That crappy selection of Chinese screwdrivers you got at Woolworths in 1987 is not going to cut the mustard, nor indeed is your Dad’s jumbo socket set with Whitworth, AF and Imperial sockets. So in an effort to help, we’ve listed the ten garage essentials you are going to need to keep that new toy happy …
#1 SPANNER TIME
OK so lets start things nice and simple. Your new bike will have bolts and nuts, and on occasion they will need loosening or tightening. Now don’t get terrified – you’re not going to be replacing the crankshaft, but you might need to change the bar position or adjust the chain – that kind of stuff. So for the first of our garage essentials you are going to need spanners.
Find yourself a good quality set that goes from 8mm up to around 19mm – that should cover most bases and you will probably find your bike commonly uses a limited range of different sizes. You’ll need both ring and open ended as some will be inaccessible with a ring spanner, but if you can, always try the ring first as it gives better grip and is less likely to slip and round off nut or bolt heads.
#2 SOCKET TO ME
Just as important as the spanner set and in many cases, preferable to use, is the socket. As a way of tightening and loosening nuts and bolts, sockets are going to be best tool for the job as they touch every flat on the fastener and if used correctly, give an even turning motion without any unwanted shearing forces. In reality you may often use a socket and spanner together, holding the bolt head in place while you release or tighten the nut at the other end with a socket.
So you are going to need to splash a bit of cash here, but there’s no need to go mad and buy Snap-Ons first time out. Head for a good quality mid-priced set with a wratchet, T bar and long and short extender bars as the second purchase on your garage essentials list. The sizes are likely to be from 10mm up to 22mm but not necessarily all the upper sizes – few manufacturers routinely use 18mm fasteners, but most use 17mm.
Don’t worry if the smaller sizes are not there, you can either purchase additional sockets or rely on a second small socket set or maybe T bars.
Socket sets can have different drive sizes – the bit that goes into the end of the socket. The bigger the drive, the stronger force you can use to undo things without risk of snapping, but generally as we are working on bikes, not ocean liners, 3/4 inch drive should be plenty enough ..
#3 SCREW FACE
Screwdrivers tend to be a motley selection in any household – a combination of hand-me-downs and cheap rubbish from supermarkets or petrol stations. Don’t use these on your bike – poor quality tools will wreck those small fasteners quicker than your bike can accelerate.
Go to a tool shop or good hardware store and treat yourself to a proper set from a known manufacturer. There should be a good range of sizes to cover all eventualities, and you might also need some small ones for electrical stuff or tiny fasteners on small components. Always use the correct size and for cross head screws, make sure the tip of the screwdriver is not more pointed than the screw needs ..
#4 HEX SPECS
Hex or allen bolts are infinitely preferable for small fasteners as, if you use the correct size key, then they are more or less impossible to round off or damage. And for larger bolts, particularly those in inaccesible places on you bike, there are many advantages to the internal recessed driving heads of hex or allen bolts.
So if we are going to cover all the garage essentials you are going to need a full set of good quality allen keys which should have a short arm and a long arm for more or less leverage. Many will also have a ball end to allow use at a slight angle, but never use one of these on a very tight bolt as you will risk slipping and damaging the internal faces.
From time to time you may need larger sizes, for instance for wheel spindles but these can be bought individually from tool shops or online.
#5 HIDE AND SEEK
On occasions, things on your bike will need a bit of persuasion to do what you want them to. From tapping out a wheel spindle to loosening off a tight nut, the application of a short sharp shock may be necessary. But rather than suggest a hammer, we’re going to recommend a hide mallet as the best tool for the job as it delivers the right force but not the metallic shock that a hammer might. If you’ve never seen one before, it is exactly what it sounds like – a mallet with the head made from coiled thick hide or leather .
At a push you could go for a rubber mallet, but these are for cub scouts to knock in tent pegs. Get a hide version and you will have it for life
WE RUN MOTORCYCLE TOURS - THAT'S WHAT WE DO! and we do it extremely well ....
From Royal Enfields in India to BMWs in South Africa, Ride Expeditions have got it dialled.
If you want an epic riding holiday , we need to talk ….
You might think we are getting technical too quickly here but bear with us – if you are a complete newbie to owning and maintaining a motorcycle chances are you are not going to know how tight nuts and bolts should be done up. So rather than guessing and getting it wrong, using a torque wrench and tightening to the manufacturers recommendations will ensure you will get it right every time.
In reality even old hands at mechanics would be better off using correct torque settings and a torque wrench for every bolt, but that’s not going to happen – old dog and new tricks comes to mind. But as a newbie, start by doing it right and chances are you may continue …
#7 CHAKADEMUS & PLIERS
OK before we start this one, we are not going to be using pliers instead of spanners, so let’s get that one off the table quick sharp! But you are going to need a selection of normal, taper nose and wire cutters to pull, hold and cut things in the garage. So buy some to start with and then they will be there when you need them …
#8 MOLEY, MOLEY, MOLEY
Before you ask, this has nothing to do with small burrowing mammals with a penchant for ruining lawns or indeed facial furniture. Mole grips are like pliers that you can lock onto things to assist in removing or just moving them – so you need a set in your toolbox.
Don’t buy a tiny set or one that would grip an anchor chain, go for a medium size set from a proper tool store and learn how to use them – there’s an adjuster on the bottom to vary the size of the jaw gap, and a release bar to allow you to loosen the grip of the jaws.
#9 WD for YOU & ME
Owning a bike and not having WD40 in the garage is near on impossible. This wonderful product can be used for everything from helping nuts and bolts loosen up before undoing, cleaning road grime off wheels to providing an anti corrosion coating after washing and a million other jobs in between – OK maybe not a million. We exaggerated, but it’s at least 50 – it has to be on the garage essentials list.
But whatever the exact number, WD40 is a garage must have. Yes there are altenatives, just as you can buy tomato ketchup that isn’t Heinz …
#10 CABLE GUY
The last item on our list and it’s another must have for bike ownership. Cable ties or tie wraps will hold things in place, from connectors to cables, wires to widgets.
But it’s not a one size fit’s all deal – you are going to need a selection to cover all eventualites but avoid the super cheap options from the pound shop. Your bike deserves better …
So that’s your ten garage essentials for starters, Get these and you are on the way to toolbox perfection.
Oh hang on – you are going to need a proper toolbox. One with smooth running drawers on ball bearings and a lock. And the some stickers, gotta have stickers …
After many successful years of offering tours in South East Asia, from riding Enfields in the Himalayas to Hondas in Laos and Kawasakis in Cambodia, Ride Expeditions today announced plans to expand their operations and offer two brand new tours in their new home base of South Africa.
Ride Expeditions announce new tours in the Western Cape
Company owner and founder Toby Jacobs explains
“We moved our headquarters to South Africa in December and always had the intention of running tours here at some point. After completing a hugely enjoyable recce ride into the stunning Cederberg Wilderness and the equally impressive Swartberg range in the Western Cape, we are in a position to launch tours much earlier than we had ever hoped.
BIG LANDSCAPES, FANTASTIC RIDING
“We have a fantastic partner on board to supply box-fresh BMW GS800s for our customers, with the option of upgrading to the mighty 1200 for the braver ones, and to lead the tours, we’ve also recruited a highly experienced local guide. The support trucks are in place, the mechanics are ready to go and we’re already planning some astounding places to stay during the new tours.
“For us it’s a dream team and we can’t wait to start working with them on the new tours”
Ride Expeditions will be offering two tours initially, one for those that prefer to stay on the tarmac, and a second that will mix in some fantastic trails and remote locations.
Wheel bearing replacement on a dirt bike is an occupational hazard. On road bikes you can go years without ever needing to think about replacements, but once you venture off road it’s a different story. The constant bashing from the terrain coupled with the additional vibration when those knobbies are on the tarmac means that those little bearing races have a pretty tough time in their short life.
This was the case with the trusty KTM EXC250 which managed to totally lunch it’s own bearings on the last day of a three day sortie into the Cantal region in France. Only twenty or so miles from home there was a worrying wobble and a distinct lack of feel to the front brake, so the bike was nursed to safety and consigned to the support van for the last section.
So with a complete new front wheel repair kit purchased from KTM at an eye-watering £45, it seemed like an idea to run through how we go about replacing bearings. OK – we know everyone does it a bit differently, but this is our way …
So that’s the wheel bearings replaced and good for another load of off-road tomfoolery.
And if you like our blogs you’re going to love our tours. From riding Royal Enfields in India, Hondas in Laos or even BMWs in South Africa, we’ve got adventure motorcycling dialled.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS BLOG IS PRESENTED AS AN INDICATION OF HOW WE CHANGE OUR BEARINGS ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A DEFINITIVE GUIDE. ONLY ATTEMPT ANY MAINTENANCE ON YOUR MOTORCYCLE IF YOU ARE COMPETENT TO DO SO AND HAVE SUFFICIENT KNOWLEDGE AND THE CORRECT TOOLS TO COMPLETE THE TASK SAFELY.
IF IN DOUBT, TAKE YOUR MOTORCYCLE TO A QUALIFIED MECHANIC.
Good morning all and welcome to the May 2018 Newsletter. It’s been a busy time for the Ride Expeditions team with all the behind the scenes logistics for the forthcoming tours. OK so this might not be as exciting as blasting through the landscape, but it’s all the attention to detail that makes the difference! But the big news – well that has to be South Africa ….
So we better tell you all about it …
SOUTH AFRICA IS ON!
The big news for this month is that following the relocation of our offices to sunny Cape Town, we’re going to be running tours in the epic landscapes of South Africa. So now our customers will have even more choices of where to ride – India Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos or the majesty of Africa.
To say we’re excited would be an understatement along the lines of saying Table Mountain is a little hill ….
From road tours to big bike trail tours, we’ll be riding in the stunning mountains in the world-famous Cederberg area and travelling through the best scenery in the Western Cape. We’re confident that our Southern African tours are quickly going to become some of the most sought after in our portfolio.
Armed with a fantastic KTM 690 Enduro, A BMW F800 and the superb Honda Africa Twin the gang tackled everything from sweeping dirt roads to mountain passes, even following an long forgotten railway line that traces the Western coast for mile after glorious mile. Oh, and three enormous T Bone steaks …
Watch for images and videos on FB and Instagram – we’ll be bringing the best scenery and views straight to your pocket!
But if you just can’t wait and want to find out how you can join us on our first Pioneer tours that will be substantially cheaper than when the tours join the main calendar – drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org …
With Toby and the team our researching, Devon. Anna and the Office team have been busy carrying out a total refresh of the Ride Expeditions website. There’s a raft more of Frequently Asked Questions specific to each tour to help you with all those queries from what to wear in the Himalayas to whether you can eat salad on a Royal Enfield.
We’ve also extended the information on the Ride Expeditions team, so you can find out about Phu’s shopping habits, Anna’s stray animal problem or even how Anu managed to buy his first bikes in Manali.
And we’ve included even more details on the tours to whet your appetite for the biggest adventures of your life.
On the blog front, Julian’s been busy again, reviewing the sublime fuel injected Husqvarna TE300 stroker, testing the Bejasus out of some adventure tyres on his Yamaha Tenere and freshening up the KTM EXC250 with some spanking new graphics and giving you a guide how to do it.
There’s a wealth of information on our blogs, from how to wash your bike to how to ride in a group, what to wear and how to cross water. Read it – you might just learn something you don’t know!
HIMALAYAS ALMOST FULL
As regular readers will know, our Himalayan Heights tour is our most popular tour – we took over one hundred riders last year and this year is looking to be a record breaker again. Of you are still undecided – don’t leave it too late as places are going quicker than Marquez knocking off his rivals …
And if you’ve already done the Himalayan Heights tour or want to take it up a notch – how about the Himalayan Extreme adventure? This one’s for hard core riders – so don’t book up if you’ve only had your licence for a month …
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL – PART 3
OK so if you got the reference in the title, then we know how old you are – classic Blockheads right there. But the reason we’re quoting Ian Dury is more about why you should book with Ride Expeditions. From personal service to medical back up to the very best bikes in the most stunning locations, we’ve got it dialled. And don’t just ask us – check out our customers opinions right here
OK so that’s all for the moment. Julian’s trying back home trying to wade through the knee deep grass of his once perfect lawn, Toby is happily using every opportunity to blast about on the new KTM and Anna is trying to train Roscoe the Staffie to be a tad calmer ….
KTM Reveal 2019 – KTM revealed their 2019 MY Enduro machines this week, but with most of the big changes with new engines and then fuel injected two strokes happening in the last two years, the new models have been only mildly tweaked from the 2018 versions. The biggest and most obvious change is to heap a load more orange into the mix, with the number boards and frame getting the full Jaffa treatment. The orange frame is said to make it look more like the factory machines, but it’s a move that the Austrian manufacturer has used before when there are less significant changes between model years. In reality, the most changes have been in the 125 and 150 Enduro bikes, with the engines being made slimmer and more powerful thanks to changes in the clutch, porting and power valve.
For the other models, the changes are confined to the colour, graphics, new seat with ribbing and tweaks to the suspension. At the front that translates to a new stiffer setting for the WP Xplor 48mm forks to prevent bottoming out on those big hits and also to maintain ground contact on the way back up. The same tweak has been applied to the rear shock to match the stiffening of the front end. Oh and there’s a new and more powerful lithium battery for all but the 125 – that has no e-start – but if that kind of detail excites you, you need to get out more ….
The ever popular Six Day models are in the livery for the Chile event later in the year and come with the usual upgrades and farkles, but with sister company Husqvarna starting with a higher spec to start with, the 6D versions are the closest KTM come to matching their own internal competition. No matter – they will still fly out of the showrooms.
At present the KTM website doesn’t have the information on the new models, but that will no doubt change in the coming weeks. In the meantime, just check out the gallery and start saving up.
Like the new look bikes – leave us a comment
While we can’t promise a fleet of 2019 KTMs, we can promise epic dirt bike tours – click here for details
If you can’t afford the latest box-fresh metal in the showroom, fitting new dirt bike graphics is a quick and easy way to refresh your bike and give it an instant facelift – and it’s only going to cost you for just a couple of hundred pounds rather than seven thousand … Here’s how to install dirt bike graphics: The easy way!
The faithful EXC250 was in line for a new season makeover, and while all it really needed was a top end rebuild and a new drive train, what it could really do with was a complete makeover. So with the new piston kit in place from ET James & Sons, new chain and sprockets fitted and a brand new Maxxis Trials hybrid from Classic Enduro on the rear end, it was time to hit the laptop and get shopping.
First off was a set of new plastics – we chose Acerbis as they make the OEM KTM parts, so the fit is always spot on. Online retaier Dirtbike Express in the UK came up with a complete kit including airbox and headlight cowl for £99. For the graphics we went to another UK company Danger UK as we’ve used them loads of times before and their graphics are well made and stay in place – pretty much all you need.
As we had an idea what we wanted, we sent sample images and they returned draft graphics for our approval. The theme was based on KTMs MXGP team graphics, but far enough away to avoid any copyright issues – KTM and Red Bull are very keen to protect their logos …
So with the parcels arrived and sat on the garage bench, it was time to get busy!