Live your Dream and Ride on!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Live your Dream and Ride on!
This journey was accomplished on a 2001 Beemer, purchased with 38000km from Tristar with a 3 month warrantee. The Beemer is equipped with the famous Boxer Engine designed in 1923 by Max Friz. The Boxer engine tend to produce more noise than inline and V-engines because of valve clatter. The Beemer is smooth throughout the rev range, however vibration can be felt in the handlebars above 120 km/h, the Beemer can cruise happily at 150km/h all day without any signs of fatigue. Consumption was frugal up to 120km/h, wind the throttle open and that gas tank empties too quickly. Best range achieved on a tankful was 330km (grandpa) worst 240km. The range is about right, however make sure you always top it, on long hauls to avoid surprises. Comfort, its not a Goldwing, the modification done to the bike made it an acceptable tourer, although it lacked the juice on straight motorways, it stood its grounds on mountainous roads and will out run any superbike. Longest day in the Saddle 924 km, 14 hours, I was still fine and did not suffer any pains. Handling simply amazing, predictable, loads of feedback, I carved corners at 160km/h. ABS I was always skeptical, now I am sold, I avoided some serious mishaps with the ABS, from now onwards a standard on all my bikes. On the plus side was the heated grips, worked wonders on my frozen fingers in the arid desert cold. No major issues encountered burned floodlight, loose front turn signal nut and a loose Speedo cable, none of which are considered crippling. Overall the GS is a solid performer, its due for a free service courtesy of Tristar.
The unfortunate common denominator across these countries is the apparent poverty particularly visible in the small villages, I can not describe the state of the inhabitant of these areas, but low standard of living is a common sight, which bring me back to reality, that although we are enjoying ourselves we should consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to embark on such a journey. I was interviewed by a magazine in Jordan and a question was asked on what are the objective of this trip, to be honest, we never had any.
However I am positively impressed that the most common question asked by people all along the trip, why are we doing this? Is it that people sympathized with the hardship of riding a bike across so many countries, or is it because we should have adopted a cause. I have started writing this post prior to meeting Alex Wettstein, maybe next time we should think of adopting a cause, get sponsorship and achieve some sort of humanitarian relief.
Friday, November 30, 2007
From the desert of Saudi to the Ruins of Palmyra trough the mountains of Lebanon and along side the shores of the Dead Sea, this has been an unforgettable vacation and a memorable ride to treasure for years to come. After 7500km and 21 days of riding, here are some of the tips I would like to share with you, if you are planning to undertake such a vacation.Total cost of the trip 750KD, that's inclusive, Petrol, Insurance, Food, 5 Stars hotel accommodation.
Cost can be reduced with cheaper accommodation.
12 people was a bit of a crowd , it is recommended not to exceed a number of 6, that eases most of the movement.
Objective, make sure you know your traveling companion very well, before you embark on a such a journey, and you all agree on the same objective.
Riding Skills, I do not recommend this trip for novice riders, driving in Syria and Lebanon whether in the mountain or in the city can be pretty hazardous and involves swift reaction and proper vehicle control.
To insure safe riding, make sure to take thermo undies, Goretex, Cordura Jacket & Pants, Flip Up helmet to enjoy the weather on mountain trips, warm gloves, 2 pair of jeans, 5 T-shirts, fleece sweater, 2 long sleeves T-shirts.
Basic understanding of motorcycle repairs and proper tools.
I am in the process of planning my European Vacation in 2009, so expect some interesting blogs, meanwhile I will keep updating this blog with more pictures so keep visiting.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Whichever way I think of it, I fail to find the right words to describe what I have seen today. The words stupendous, marvelous etc will short fall of The Petra Experience. This is one place which is a must see, and its only 1400km away from Kuwait and 550km from Lebanon. I stood in awe today facing the this beautiful city carved in the mountain. Unfortunately since time is not on our side we had to rush the sightseeing process, it would take at least 2 days to cover the area, which I am planning to do in the future. I will not bore you with any details I will let you enjoy the pictures of this wonder.
Majestic landscapes is how I can describe today's ride, we set off from Amman at 9:00am, taking the coastal road to the Dead Sea, the weather was exquisite, we passed by the newly opened Movenpick resort with excellent amenities and surroundings worth taking the kids to, on a vacation. We continued to Karak, An ancient Crusader stronghold, situated on a hilltop about 1000 meters above sea level and is surrounded on three sides by a valley. Karak commands a magnificent view of the Dead Sea. A city of about 20,000 people has been built up around the castle, I did have enough time to view the place, due to our tight schedule. After Karak we headed down towards Dana Reserves and took the Desert Road to Aqaba, the wind was chilling and as usual I broke away from the pack.
One incident was about to end this journey for me today, was a flock sheep on the motorway, that appeared out of nowhere that made my heart sink to the abyss of my stomach, as I applied the brakes in vein, I managed to pass between 2 sheep within an opening of less than a meter.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Our Buddy Bu Faysal invited us today to his family House in Zay, this is the first time I try an Authentic Jordanian Mansaf. Mansaf is the traditional dish in Jordan. Its main ingredients are lamb, rice, and a dried yoghurt-like product called Jameed. I can not describe the settings of the beautiful home, the warm welcome and the tasty food, I will leave the pictures to do the talking. Thank you Bu Faysal for this invitation our Jordanian experience just got the icing it needed.
Yet another great of riding today, Jordan does not ceases to amaze me, today we rode to Jerash which is known for the ruins of the Greco-Roman city of Gerasa. Jerash is considered one of the most important and best preserved Roman cities in the Near East. We had the opportunity to watch a Gladiator Show, the historical facts narrated were highly interesting, depicting the combat tactics of the Roman Army. Our trip continued towards Ajloun Castle, which built in 1184 by a nephew of Saladin who defeated the Cruisaders in 1189. This castle is considered a fine example of Islamic architecture. It was built atop a hill and protected the communication routes between south Jordan and Syria, and was one of a chain of forts that lit beacons at night to pass along signals from the Euphrates as far as Cairo.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
We have been driving over the course of the past 12 days in mountainous regions, worth 700km of winding roads and probably a guesstimate of 300 and more corners. Yesterday's ride saw the most abusive day of cornering, with speeds exceeding 150km/h, the bike's leaning angle was beyond the 40% mark, that's steep on a GS as a couple of degrees more might cost a trip to the canyon, on a couple of occasions the tire broke loose but was easily managed. This type of riding is unfortunately non-existent in Kuwait which leaves a lot of bike riders in a troubled situation.
Wonderful Jordan, on the 14th day of the trip and after some bad weather encountered in Lebanon , we were greeted with great weather and gorgeous scenery. I am mesmerized by the beauty of the surroundings and the beautiful roads that the country has to offer. On this first day we have logged 200km of great driving through the mountainous roads. Our lunch break was at Haret Jdoudnah in Madaba, I highly recommend you pay them a visit they have a great menu in a great setting. I am truly looking forward for the days ahead.