Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It was the year 2012...

I've only ever done one blog before and that was some time ago. It was of a bit of poetry from my last year of high school. Well above the literary level my brain is at now. Possibly the reason I started using a brain training program on my phone (then forgot it was there shortly after!)...

Anyhow. As its immoral and illegal to not post a blog for friends and family, it must be done. So it shall be. Even if its not updated as frequently as requested there's a chance it may grow and become a regular thing.

This blog is about my girlfriend and myself's  intended world motorcycle trip*

*except nasty places and virtually all of Africa.

So far the flights have been booked for the 28th of April 2012 to Singapore. 

At first I considered that it would be reasonably easy and straightforward deal for actually getting overseas and beginning the journey. Alas not so much until you've researched/rang/read/googled for sometime to get the right information. On that note - three out of four people from Qantas freight told me shonky information in regards to flying our bikes with them. So watch out for the 'right information'.

Clarissa is battling hard with getting our Carnet De Passage En Douanes. That's French for 'big pain in the arse'. Its like a passport for your motorcycle. It guarantees that you will not sell your bike in the country you're passing through among other things. Can be for other things than motorbikes but we're not to concerned with 'things that can't do wheelies'. To get it you need to provide a DNA sample from your great, great, great grandfather and a handful of gravel from one of Jupiter's moons. That may be an exaggeration but for someone who just wants to ride their motorbike around the world its just another bs hurdle. 

Whilst Clarissa tackles paperwork issues in her spare time I spend my time in the shed doing bits and pieces on the bikes. Recently this has been manufacturing new guards for the cylinder heads. This originally was two sets. For each bike. Now its quite a few more. Some for friends and some for general sale. In a few weeks when they're completed they shall be sold with any luck! Also, not being happy with my wiring mess I had left after a number of modifications, a full re-wire of the dash was done. With numerous upgrades including some better radios, GPS and general wiring sexiness. One of the best things about having such a highly modified motorcycle is you decide and shape almost every aspect of the bike. Once you play/poke/prod it enough you have a bloody good chance of rectifying any gremlins that pop up later on. To justify my employment as an unemployed motorcycle traveller I've also fitted a few other bits of the last couple of months:

- New Valeo starter motors. For increased cranking power and lower weight over the Bosch option.
- Heavy duty side stand for big Blue. Thanks to my mate Dan who broke many a tool to machine the tough cromolly steel into something fit for a gold wings weight.
- semi chopped front engine cover and timing case. A modification that can be done to increase cooling air flow a bit. Any increase of cooling flow for an air-cooled engine is generally a good thing. Also makes the bike easier to work on.
- Windshields. Don't leave home without one. Just don't.
- Tank bags. Bit of a boon when travelling generally, let alone the world.
- More stuff than I can remember. The bikes evolution are far from done and probably will continue to evolve throughout the trip.

Along with this there's still many other jobs to be done on the bikes. Nothing major but fiddly stuff either way. Including the fold out tables for the panniers of big 'Blue' (1000cc BMW Paul Rooney Special), the idea promptly borrowed from Lauchlan from MTD tours who made up my fantastic aluminium panniers. Also he showed an amazing amount of hospitality to both Clarissa and myself on our very first shakedown ride.

Clarissa's bike (the orange one, nameless) still requires its pannier frames and final pannier fitting. The soft luggage (sewed by myself) is virtually done, alas the attachment system and racks have to be made delicious.

If I had a million years I could list all the things that have been done and are planned in this first post but I think that may come later... More details on our route will emerge very soon.


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