Long Way Home 1

Bike Preparation - Mick

Part 1

Sue’s ‘bike… 2002 BMW F650GS with 49,000 miles on the odometer.

Mick’s bike… 2004 BMW F650GS-Dakar (twin spark model) with just 12,000 miles.

preparation has been just ‘nuts and bolts’ and greasy, broken fingernails, but please have a look at Sue’s preparation ‘bit’ and learn about the paperwork side of things, of time schedules, dealing with foreign embassy’s, and the whole darn bureaucracy of it all!

I’ll also let Sue tell you about the injections/inoculations you’ll need! Don’t under estimate the time span required which can be many months before
your departure date. Different health clinics and doctors have different ideas, so you’ll need to check with your own. For instance, Sue’s Doctor wouldn’t give her the Japanese Encephalitis inoculation because of the side effects… mine did, and I had all the flu symptoms, severe cough and headaches etc. for five weeks, and even had to pay for the privilege!

I bought the F650GS-Dakar to do this trip on. The 1150 Adventure was too big and cumbersome, we’d had to turn back on one road in Romania last year because if the ‘bike had gone down we’d never have been able to pick it up… the road was just a wet muddy track! Anyway, the general consensus of opinion is that if you’re going on two motorcycles then they should be of the same make and model so that spares are common, and you can swap bits in order to diagnose any problems… well that’s the theory!

The words of Julia and Kevin Sanders are still echoing in my ear… “Plan by all means but not too much because it restricts your flexibility, and the problems you envisage are not normally the ones you will encounter. The problems you encounter will be ones you could never have planned for anyway!” This fitted in nicely with my findings after thirty years in the police service!

The ‘bike’s were given a thorough and full service before the trip, new brake pads front and rear, and chain and sprockets fitted. The steering head bearings, swing arm bearings and suspension links were greased, using waterproof grease. Preparation was then just a matter of fitting ‘after market’ goodies supplied by our good friends at Wunderlich. Over the years I have taken many people through their doors during my organised tours to the Eifel, and have spent much money there myself, so as soon as TG realised that Sue and myself were serious about this trip, and not just day dreaming, he volunteered to supply quite a few parts etc. in return for ‘Wunderlich’ decals on the ‘bikes, and updates and photo’s as our trip progressed… “No probs”, as they say!

Thanks too at this point must go to Rainbow Motorcycles. Over the years they have helped me cover over 250,000 miles on the four valve boxers without any problems worthy of mention. They have rendered help and assistance over those years beyond the call of duty, a superb team indeed.