Our Motorcycle Tour was moving along so nicely! When we left Windhoek on that morning, we still had four days of riding ahead of us. Or so we thought.
Our planning looked like this:
From Windhoek we had to go to the Border post of Buitepos (Outpost in Afrikaans) where we would camp before crossing back into Botswana.
And that morning we left with a song in our heart. It was a beautiful day, and such lovely riding out of Windhoek, pass the International Airport on the road towards Gobabis.
On this morning we made a dream of my wife’s come true. We actually stopped a long time at one of the rest stops, took out all the equipment to brew a fresh cup of coffee alongside the road…
It was just another long, straight road ahead…
And so we went along, stopping in Gobabis for lunch, and then riding on to the Eastgate Campsite, 100 meters in front of the Border to Botswana, And there our hearts broke. We paid for our campsite, and started to take off the luggage. In a short while I noticed some oil flowing from my bike’s drive shaft. We took off the back wheel, and saw that the seal keeping in the oil was completely gone. I asked some advice on facebook and the Wild Dog Forum of Adventure Motorcycling. But there was not a lot we could do where we were…
The other 3 bikes had to continue the journey the next morning, and we felt really heartbroken. Some options included that some people of Gobabis could come and fetch us, and order a new seal. We also made contact with one of Namibia’s trucking companies, which have lorries running empty to South Africa. But they could not say when the next lorry would be passing here. The passenger busroutes to South Africa do not pass here.
That evening I was really worried, not knowing how to get my wife and my broken bike back home.
The next morning three trucks of Absolute Logistics stopped at the shop, to buy some food before crossing the border. Someone of our group asked if they could help us, and they phoned their head office in Windhoek. They got the green light, and so we had to quickly get the bike, and all our luggage aboard… it took some muscle to get my bike onto the lorry!
And so, after a lot of worries, my wife and I were on two different lorries, going on to Pretoria. We had to ride in separate lorries,as each could only take one passenger. We left Buitepos at half past 8 the morning, and had a long, long day in the lorries, driving at 80 km/h through Botswana. That evening at midnight we arrived in Pretoria, where our young colleague came and picked us up.
I went to fetch my bike the Monday morning, at Absolute Logistics’ depot in Boksburg near the International Airport.
I took it to Dream Adventure Motorcycles in Pretoria. Mark there opened up the Drive Shaft, and saw what happened. The main bearing has disintegrated. In the process it took out the crown gears, and damaged the whole housing.
It is two weeks later. It took a while to get a secondhand Final Drive to fix my bike with. I only got a part yesterday, and some time in this week my bike will hopefully be fixed again. So our tour ended three days early!
The others drove on from Buitepos to Kang in the centre of the Trans Kalahari Highway.
They did this route without incident. If you ride this route, be very sure where you will find fuel, there is only about 1 fuel stop on this route!
That evening we arrived back home at half past 2 in the morning. The rest slept peacefully in Kang. The next day would be such a huge day. We were scheduled to drive on to a friend’s Guesthouse in Lichtenburg, South Africa. There we would stay over in luxury, indoors, with huge beds and hot baths…
But on this day, the rest of the group also ran into trouble. Johan’s bike had a huge problem. The back shock absorber disintegrated completely near Kanye, Botswana. They also had to abandon the tour, and load their bike into a Furniture Removal Van passing by. At the same time Francois had a huge puncture, he needed to borrow Johan’s rear tyre to complete the tour. Only Richard’s bike completed the tour unscathed…
And only two of the bikes made it to Lichtenburg and the Guest House we were all looking forward to.
Our tour ended early. But there is still so much to be thankful for. No one of us got hurt in the process. Both my bike and Johan’s bike’s failures could be extremely dangerous and life threatening, but we got off in one piece…
We did complete 80 % of the planned route, and we did see some amazing sights along the route. We had some amaing friends riding along, and that made it such good memories to treasure.
So that is the end of this ride report. Thank you for travelling along!