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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Noli Timere Messorem (Don't fear the reaper)

Honda Africa Twin, London commuter

I've seen this guy in my part of SW London once before. He's riding an old school Honda Africa Twin with the full overland accessory kit.

Looks like he's having an adventure on the way to work. Nice one.


Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Another good town bike - Honda CB500

Spotted this afternoon. Sorted Givi aftermarket screen and top box.

Ideal town runabout. Bit dull though


London MET Police BMW R1200 RT-P

Today's photo; London's bike cops. They're riding the BMW R1200 RT Police variant. This one rolls out of the Bayerische Moteren Werke factory specifically designed for traffic law enforcement. The panniers are different; have a look and you can see the separate keyed locks for the top loading access on both sides. In place of the pillion seat is an extra storage locker protected with a cowl - above the rear brake light in the photo - most commonly used for the VHF radio. The blue lights front and rear run off the 12v main relay and there are two additional 12v power outlets. The bike has a back up battery wired in as well. You can just see the extra police crash bars low down at the front as well.

If you ever see one of these come up for sale secondhand then snap it up! Great touring bike.


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

BSA classic bike spotted today...


What a fantastic bike!

Part chromed tank looked pretty cool. The oil puddle underneath didn't though.

It'ss got old but very useful top loading Givi panniers.


The rise of the classics....

.... is happening. I think this is a Ducati Classic Sport with a customised tank, seat, exhaust and race plate. [Kudos to my follower on Pinterest for such a great pic!]

The Ducati Classic Sport was only made for a few years in the mid to late 'noughties. Ducati assessed it was a loss leader and stopped production.

As MCN writes this week they may have been aiming at the right market but just too soon. More people can connect with bikes and biking through the sixties era of more 'soulful' bikes.

Keep an eye on the classic market. The new Honda CB1100 is just the beginning I reckon.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Essential Travel Companions

On a Kenya Airways flight today

The inspiration for Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor.

The Long Way Round


Nairobi Couriers

These guys are doing it right!
Metal top box with lock and side inserts. Nice pink lid.
Small glass fibre box. Lighter but less room.
Big bespoke box. Lots of room.
Front racks. These are really useful. Not seen so much in the US or Europe but really handy. Austin Vince from Mondo Enduro was a big fan.

Nairobi Traffic - still dangerous

This happened in front of me last night. The car was pulled over ahead of a culvert to let a very heavy truck pass by on a narrow road at night.

The truck glanced the front wing of the car and then, weirdly, instead of stopping just kept driving. He mangled the whole side of the car in the picture and then smashed into us as well. Luckily we were in a 4 x 4 this time.

A Kenyan policeman, with an AK 47, happened to be nearby. As the truck continued to move off after the crush he ran up the road after it, made his weapon ready and then dragged the driver out of his cab. Great work and better reactions than a policeman at home!

The driver admitted it was his fault and added that it was his first day on the job. This wasn't enough to sort the situation out and he will be lucky to keep his job! The driver of the car was a Doctor and very upset. He threatened to sue for attempted murder, adding to the tension. As he said, "you don't do that if you are a normal human"!

A reminder of the unpredictability of the roads here. Ride safe guys.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

'Tumaini' - KiSwahili for 'Hope'

If you look at the side of the blue truck container you can see the word 'TUMAINI' which in KiSwahili, the lingua franca of East Africa, means 'Hope'. So who wrote it on a normal commercial truck and why?

Well, it's a mix of the amazing African characteristics of positivity and optimism, partly a blend of religious metaphors of salvation and also a symbol of the daily struggle most face here.

Now have a look in the shadow of the truck between the wheel axles. Sitting quietly in the shade is the truck driver. He's just getting on with fixing something in the cool at the hottest point of the day. He hopes to get it fixed. He hopes to get back on the road soon. He is Africa.