Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Men over 40 are chatter boxes!!!!


Well its not state of the art, its a handheld it has 40 channels, and its in my Aramex UK Inbox. Now depending on the speed of delivery I can hook up this baby in a couple of hours to keep me connected with the gang. I wonder what type of intellectual conversation NOT!!! we will be indulging in? Another weekend of tweaking ahead and that will be my last! Next Friday, the fiddling stops and the action begins! Can't wait till the 9th...

Do I really wanna do this??

I am toying with the idea of taking my laptop with me on the trip. Although as I mentioned earlier, I like to be stripped from technological gizmos on an adventure. Call me old fashioned but I like it better this way. Now about my laptop, the company is in process of issuing me an eGo, Hint! Hint! 21 days on the road no access to email, 3 projects on the back burner and some pending issues, believe me I do have a work conscience, also I do have a family sitting home and looking forward to hear of my news. OK, I can always SMS them, on the other it's neater to chat with them. Hmmm, I guess I gotta think it over... or???

Updated November 3rd 2007: I just got off the phone with Zain helpdesk, to disocver that eGO works only Jordan and is not supported in either Lebanon or Syria. The communicated charges were as follows, local call +15%.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

To Do Check List

1) Mount top box with necessary LED wiring
2) Buy CB Antenna from Radio Shack
3) Wiring Harness for CB
4) Tire Puncture Kit (Done)
5) Manual Air Pump
6) One Quart of Oil
7) Tighten Bolts
8) Manufacture & Install Footpeg Lowering Kit
9) Install Highway Pegs
10) Install Risers (Done)
11) Install Butt Pad (Done)
12) Install Taller Shield (Done)
13) Install Fog Lights (Done)
14) Install CB
15) Acquire KT

The Line UP

Honda Goldwing 1800cc2006_Honda__Gold_Wing_Audio___Comfort___Navi___ABSBMW K1200LTK1200LT
VTX 1800honda-vtx1800BMW R1150GSDCF 1.0
BMW R1200GSR1200GS_2005_M5BMW R1200GS Adventuregsa
BMW R1200RTr1200rt

To CB or not to CB

cbDecisions, Decisions, every luxury cruise liner on this trip i.e the Goldwings are boasting a CB communication unit, the team recommended that I get one for my GS, in order to keep the communication and fun level on the road. I personally hate MP3 and CBs and Gizmos while riding as i like to focus on the road. Anyhow I am sold on the idea and trying to put together a communication unit on the GS, need to borrow the unit get an antenna and custom wire the bloody thing.Will keep you posted on the modifications.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Morning Planning T-14

14 days left for the trip, today the team met at Dalak Suheil in the city for breakfast to discuss some the pending issues in preparation for the trip. It was a great morning with all 12 participants, we met at 7:00AM headed to the city for a heartly breakfastthen to Marina for the usual coffee at Costa. The atmosphere was filled with laughs and anticipation, everybody is looking forward to the 9th of November, Shortly after we cruised on the Khaleej Road and headed home as Abdulah and myself have some unfinished business with the beemers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

KT Time

Its time to fill out my International Bike Certificate (Triptyque), better know as KT, which will enable me to take the bike into countries such as jordan - Syria & Lebanon. which is required for bikes imported for personal use and for a duration not exceeding three months. Otherwise, a guarantor, or a guarantee of an amount twofold the customs charges due, must be secured.

The Kuwait Automobile and Touring Club (The KT Club) provides valuable service to residents and expatriates alike. These include travel documents such as carnets de passage, international certificates of registration and driving permits.

Thumbs Up Tristar!!!

elecThis is a follow up to my previous post BMW electrical wooes, after taking the bike to Tristar service center, (where they have managed to turn it around in a sensible way, its more organized now, with a diwaniya style waiting area, the Service manager Ziad is professional and extremely helpful and friendly). The Beemer was diagnosed with a faulty switch, which was replaced and with some bad wiring that the previous owner has undertaken Total Bill 45KD, however Mr. Behbahani (Owner & Manager) who was visiting the premises at the time, would have none of it and insisted to cover all the related charges. I have to say I have never experienced a more professional & friendly service at any car or bike dealership in Kuwait.

My recommendation, if you are seriously looking to buy a new or used bike , you will not get a better service. (PS this is not an advert)

Visa Relief

After 5 days of waiting I got my visa today to SA and Jordan, now this trip is in motion, I have 2 weeks to tie up all loose ends and get the bike in travelling shape. The visa was granted through Al-Zaim travel, they submitted the passport on the 18th and was delivered on the 24th for a fee of 6KD.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Beemer Electrical wooes

A couple of days back, after starting my Beemer and as I was getting ready to set off the bike died on me. After closer inspection the culprit is most probably a pinched wire of some sort. I called Tristar garage and got an appointment for today. I drove there at 8:00am and gave them the bike for further diagnosis. At 2:30pm I received a call informing that the bike is still beeing worked on as they had to remove the tank and other body parts to get to the bottom of the problem. Good this did not happen to me on the road to Beirut!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Jordanian Visa

Its in the bag, 6 month multiple entry to Jordan in 15min, great stuff. Tomorrow the Saudi Embassy, I hope this goes wihtout any issues, the only thing they have insisted on is personal identity foto with white background.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The waiting game.

Patience is a virtue, for the coming 10 days I have to test my patience waiting for my visa and parts to show up. I hate when I am not in control of things, now the fate of my trip is with the company mandoob and Aramex. To make things worse Aramex did not ship any of my parts from the US, I guess this is due to the Hollidays. The aftermath will be a massive delay in shipments. I only have to cross my fingers and wait.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Beemer Modifications

Enhancements: In my previous post (Butt Blues) I Covered the comfort related issues of the Beemer, which need to be adddresed for the long haul and the sake of my physical well beeing. After 2 days of intensive R&D I came up with the below combination of Items, that should eliminate most of discomfort challenges. Total Price: $452


The Beemer suffers from low aerodynamics, too much turbulence and buffeting around the helmet, I purchased this Windshield from - Ztechnik for BMW R1150GS It is 100% larger and 7 inches taller than the standard screen Price $149


:Rox Risers 2" Rise x 7/8" Stem Clamp x 7/8" Handlebar Dual Sport Motorcycle Pivoting Risers. I bought this item as my riding posture on the Beemer might put me in contention with Quasimodo Price $75

Alaskan Butt Pad, I bought this item to relief the pain associated with Butt Overheating and numbness its made of Sheepskin which is a natural product that works like magic. Often used in medical applications to prevent bedsores, it keeps your "buttbones" from burning and is cool in the summer, warm in cold weather, reduces sweating, and keeps the bitch factor down. Price: $65


I bought this Gizmo as my right hand joint was emitting pain, which I am not willing to entertain on the trip.

Benefits of Using the CrampBuster
Full throttle control with a relaxed hand
Reduces hand fatigue and cramping
Comfortably fits your hand
Easier throttle operation
Eliminates throttle "creep"
Doesn't lock throttle on
Price: $5

Much needed storage as the original side bags are 30 liters. DELUXE EXTRA LARGE (45 Liters) Motorcycle LUGGAGE TRUNK TOP CASE Price $130
Turn Signal Clear Lens Kit
Price: $28

Butt Blues

P3101889 I am not a new comer to dual purpose bike, having owned 9 or more different models, ranging from 125cc Yamaha to XLV1000 Honda Varadero, one common feature they shared is a painful butt ache. On Thursday evening, I wanted to put the Beemer through some rigorous testing, fuel consumption, riding posture, performance, cornering, aerodynamics etc...

I headed with the gang to Cafe 26, 1 KM from Nuweisib the Saudi Arabian Border. The Beemer was a dream ship summarized as follows

Maneuverability: Impeccable handling the Beemer is a point & steer bike, easy to corner, flickability is great.

Brakes: 5 Stars compared to the Harley, the ABS tested on water, did the job perfectly. I hosed down the street near my house to run this test. (Tarsheed will be pissed off).

Stability: 185 KPH straight line no wobble, cruising speed at 150KPH is sustainable all day.

Consumption: The Beemer is thirsty at high speed and that was expected averaging 12.5km/l on a variable speed of 150-180kph. The bike should average 15-17 km/l at 120kph.

Comfort: Aooch, major enhancements are in the works to fix this issue, from the seat, to the riding position, to the fairing bubble upto the throttle (got cramps in my forearm), I guess German butts are made of steel I will keep you posted on the enhancements.

Value for Money: I got to give the Beemer a 4/5, loosing a point for comfort.

Motorcycle Gear

This trip is turning into a wardrobe nightmare. Being a Harley rider and proud owner, I feel like a woman stuck with designer wear. My closet is stuffed with HD shirt, jackets, boots, everywhere I travelled, I always managed to pick up some Harley gear. For the trip I needed some weather gear and boots enduro style. Obviously the best place for budget clothing is eBAY, I wanted to pick up functional yet new inexpensive stuff, this is what I came up with for $300.

Main materials: 100% Polyester, sublimated graphics

Welded front mesh panel insert

Mesh inset panels on the lower arm, under the arms, and back for ventilation

Articulated padded elbows

Cortech Fushion Motorcycle Jacket
Shell is constructed of abrasion resistant, 600-denier Rugged Weave Polyester with Polyurathane backing and waterproof seam seal tape for maximum water resistance. Waterproof zippered chest and sleeve vents combine with a rear exit vent to allow fine tuning of air flow through the jacket. The removable, quilted zip-out liner features warming Polyfill insulation, soft Nylon Taffeta shell and a zippered chest pocket.
O'Neal Element Pants features 840 denier fabric, injection molded rubber graphics, 120mm woven stretch Spandex® side panels, triple stitching in all stress areas and full Dupont® Kevlar® knee areas.

Made of cordura with a waterproof liner. These materials make this pair of gloves comfortable to wear with good waterproofing.

Tear and abrasion Aramide fabric for protection on knuckles and fingers.

Velcro lock on wrist and an elastic band for excellent fit.

Reflective piping makes in visible in low light conditions.

ICON Field Armor Boots

Three buckles,molded plastic armor, custom outsole...everything is there, it just needs your foot.

Breathable mesh inserts

Street riding specific sole

Rubber shifter interface panel

Zippered inside panel for easy on/off

3 buckle design for an ultra secure fit

Injection molded plastic toe, heel, and shin armor

Action leather chassis provides support & protection

Motorcycle Delivery

Choosing the right Motorcycle for this trip was an easy exercise, I wanted a reliable bike with a pedigree, good supporting dealer and above all fitting my budget. Enter the BMW R1150GS, I went to Tristar owned by Jaafar Behbehani and voila it was there, a 2001 Beemer Blue and White, I spoke to Salem the Sales Manager to take it out on a test drive, within minutes the bike was ready and off I went on the Gulf Road as expected the Beemer was predictable and neutral, engine pulled nicely, a small wobble was felt on deceleration. I struck the deal with Salem, and the bike was delivered promptly on the 9th at 18:00 and to my surprise fitted with a brand new Metzeler front tire, as Salem explained the old tire was worn hence the cause of the wobble. Great stuff, Tristar service is A++ and their staff is super friendly.


Welcome to BMW airways, NOT! Planning has started for the big road trip, destinations are mapped the objective is to have FUN for 20 days, 8 bikes crossing 4 countries, KSA - Jordan - Syria and finally Lebanon. We are planning to cover 6,000km over a period of 3 weeks out of which 3,600km of point to point driving and an additional 2,400km of cruising. So many things to take care of Leave Request, Visas, Bike, Luggage, Riding Gear etc. Beeing the only Euro-Lebanese on the team I have started the visa process to Jordan in order to get the Saudi, we will be crossing over from Salmi. I am crossing my fingers to finalise in the coming 2 weeks.

Kuwait to Beirut

Now that the Harley pet project is out of the way, the second challenge is around the corner. Don''t be fooled by the title, anyone can jump on a plane and head to Beirut. However not many are gonna jump on a bike and cover a 6000km journey, through Saudi, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. For this challenge I had to choose the right vehicle, my harley is out of contention, although its a touring equipped with saddlebags, it is not designed for twisties and bad road conditions. My choice fell on the venerable BMW R1150GS - 2001. I have already owned the 2006 BMW R1200 Adventure, I loved the engine, unfortunately my butt was not compatible with the seat, which left me in a love and hate dilema. I will start posting about the preparation for this trip in my coming blogs.