Bike

The Bike: Honda XRV750 Africa Twin (MJo likes to call her “Africa Queen”)

I bought my Africa Twin about 3 hours after moving from China to Singapore. I have always loved Enduros and despite the heat, it is a great bike to get around town or up to Malaysia or Thailand. While working in China, self drive was not a realistic option, so the first thing back on the ground in Singapore was to get my own transportation.

The bike is one of the original bigger trail bikes and competed on the Paris-Dakar Rally successfully for years. It was first launched in 1989, mine is a 1999 model.

Click below for a video tribute to the Africa Twin.

I deliberated on potentially getting another bike for this trip – a KTM, BMW etc. In the end, I chose the Africa Twin as it has proven extremely reliable and in case of any problems, spare parts are hopefully not too difficult to get in the more remote areas of India and Central Asia.

We will be riding through some challenging conditions on this trip, crossing passes as high as 5600 meters, desserts, dirt tracks, thousands of pot holes as well as some snow. Riding the bike 2-up will put additional pressure on the back wheel (not to mention the additional luggage has to go somewhere to) and change the turning behaviour of the bike, all of which will be very interesting, particularly on some of the non existing roads we will have to ride over. I had to make various modifications to the bike, such as a stronger suspension, new seat, cockpit and navigation equipment, chain, tires, carry system and crash bar.

Here are some photos of the bike after its modifications.

Our Africa Twin after modifications at the bikeshop in KL

I also took some elementary lessons in how to fix the bike and carry out standard maintenance e.g. cleaning air filters.

Bike repair lessons for Mjo

MJo learns how to take his bike apart and put it together

Our helmets: Schuberth C3 and Nolan N43

Sabby's Nolan N43MJo's Schuberth C3

Our helmets: Schuberth C3 and Nolan N43, both with two-way communication equipment, so we can speak to one another while riding. Of course, this is all on MJo’s condition that Sabby “only says nice things to the driver”.

Touratech

Touratech is the leading supplier of equipment for motorcycle touring equipment, offering proprietary products like seats, panniers etc.  And it apparently has quite a cult following!  They were also involved in building a custom rally bike for Charley Boorman’s Dakar attempt.

MJo and Sabby went to the annual travel event in June 2010.  Read more about their visit here.