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Cape Town, South Africa
August 5, 2021, 3:56 am
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
humidity: 93%
wind speed: 7 mph SSE
sunrise: 7:35 am
sunset: 6:09 pm
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August 5, 2021, 3:56 am
humidity: 55%
wind speed: 2 mph SW
sunrise: 6:31 am
sunset: 5:37 pm
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August 5, 2021, 4:56 am
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
humidity: 81%
wind speed: 9 mph S
sunrise: 6:37 am
sunset: 6:41 pm
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A year in planning …

Day -2, Jan 10, 2017

Dear family, friends and business associates,

The “All-Star Motorcycle Circus and Expedition” is a rambling travel blog that I post whenever possible, while meandering here and there on a motorcycle.

This blog has been dark since August 18, 2015.  If you received this you are on the SUBSCRIBER list which means you will be notified whenever a new post is made.

Subscribing or Unsubscribing: I broke this part of the blog.  Can’t mess with it now.  If you dislike rambling babble email me at “” and enter UNSUBSCRIBE in the Subject: line and include your email.   I’ll remove it from subscriber list.  Same with SUBSCRIBING.  Email me at the above address and enter SUBSCRIBE on the Subject: line along with your email.

To make it perfectly clear, I am not the “All-Star”.  I’m more aligned as one of life’s circus clowns.  The “All-Stars” are the strangers we meet that friend us, help us, guide us, entertain us, feed us and help get us safely down the road.
Guess I’ve always had a wanderlust spirit; it just took a while before I could make it happen.  I love the unknown and unique events just down around the turn.  Be forewarned, in many situations blogging takes time away from these great experiences.  So this blog’s posting will be made whenever convenient and based on internet availability.
My bucket list is getting shorter.  The next is Africa!
Ride Description – GlobeRiders Cape to Cairo 2017
On January 15 I’ll join Helge Pedersen’s GlobeRiders “Cape to Cairo” tour – a 64 day, 9,000 mile motorcycle ride up through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt.

It’s a small group 11 motos including 1 tour leader & 1 chase vehicle.

The red line is a rough route

Down sizing!
On the 2015 Silk Road excursion, the 2004 Suzuki V-Strompasourus DL1000 performed gallantly against all early bets.  This moto has been to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska then down through North, Central and South America to Ushuaia, Argentina.  It crossed the pond to ride all through Western Europe including St Petersburg, Russia & Nord Capp, Norway.
The problem was I got old!  Me lifting a fully loaded VStrom (~750 lbs) was no longer an option.  It also got poor fuel mileage (35mpg), AND it had cast alloy wheels.  The gravel, sand, rocks, and incredible potholes-from-hell bent the rims beyond repair.  I was lucky that there were no tire seal leaks.
2016 Honda CB500XA

2017 Honda CB500XA

In April I purchased a new 2016 Honda CB500XA – lighter, lower, amazing mileage.  A company out of England “Rally Raid” has designed, fabricated and tested a suspension and conversion to make this into a dual-sport platform.  The basis is a highly improved front and rear shock system, spoked rims, enhanced triple-tree, fat-bars, hand-guards, short hand levers, engine guard, skid plate, foot pegs.  I added GIVI saddlebags and top case, iScottoiler, wired GPS Montana, wired InReach sat com, Warm-n-Safe wireless remote heated system, etc.
The moto had to be in Tacoma Oct 18 to be packed into a shipping container.  Unfortunately the Rally Raid conversion had fitment problems.  This is a new start production and, while the hardware is mostly good I did have problems with the skid plate & engine guard.  And the ordering was confusing which resulted in not receiving everything for a continuous, smooth installation.  The installation ended up 2-steps forward, missing piece, 1-step back, wait a week.  Repeat! Repeat!  The engine skid plates mount tab broke off in Dease Lake, BC.  The Rally Raid engine mount bolt seared off too.  After being ignored by Rally Raid, I removed the skid plate and engine guard and replace with SW Motech skid plate, engine guard and center stand.

New rear and front shocks, triple tree, fat handlebars, Scott steering damper, 17" spoked rims.

I ended up finishing the moto 5-days before deliver to Tacoma and was able to do a 100-mile loop and everything seemed to work!  Moto packed with tools, spare parts, gear loaded onto my Nissan pickup and did an Iron Butt 24-hour drive to Sound BMW, Tacoma to arrive evening of Oct 17.
This was not without some minor catastrophe.  The CB500X was in the back bed with the front wheel one of those locking chocks.  The locking chock enable the rider to put the front wheel in the chock and the moto stands up by it self with no other straps.  I had 4 ratchet straps (2 on each side) held everything upright and tight.  While unloading my CB500X at South Sound, I undid the right side ratchet straps and the moto had too much tension from the left and it fell over with the left-side coming into contact with my pickup sidewall.  It did some minor plastic damage to the CB599A’s left mid-panel.

Oh great!  2 months before the Cape to Cairo ride and my new moto did a pick-up bed gravity dive!  I’m glad the first tip over is in the books!

As it turns out, the container did not arrive that day so Helge graciously allowed me to head back to SoCal.  I did another 24-hour drive back home to start my VISA applications.

The VISA hokey-pokey
The Cape to Cairo adventure was planned for over a year.  I knew my passport would be gone for 2 months getting visas for Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and Kenya.  The passport must be mailed/FedEx to each country’s embassy along with application and fees.  Each embassy takes from 4 to 14 days to approve the visa, paste it in your passport and mail it back to you.  This is a concern for us west coast travelers.  To get 7 visas, our passport must cross the country and return 7 times!
GlobeRiders recommends a visa service, Passport Visa Express, to expedite the visa process.  They are located in Arlington, VA near the DC area where most of the world’s embassies are located.  Yes, it cost more money but the ease of mind is significant!
Now good news and bad news.

The good news is — Sue and I celebrated our 50th last November.  We decided to take the immediate family to Japan.  The Japan family vacation was coming together for the last 2 weeks of November 2016.

The bad news — my passport was back east going through the Africa VISA application and approval.  I will not see that passport till the last week of December!  So I had no passport for the Japan trip.

I went online and found it was possible to obtain a 2nd 4-year passport.  I followed the online instructions and was able to get a 2nd passport in “2 days” at the Los Angeles Passport center – I was good as of Oct 20, 2016

This has been an accumulation of the past 6 months.  Next posting … Africa.
CURRENT LOCATION:  Upper right corner is my Delorme inReach Explorer satellite tracks provided by SPOTwalla.  When activated, it provides a real time track of my travels.  The tab “All-Star Motorcycle Circus & E” opens for more options.  “Adjustments” enables the viewer to select more days of the tracks.

The tracks are archived back to my arrival Cape Town, South Africa, January 13, 2017.

Use the zoom slider on the left to open up the map to see our entire route. The two tabs in the upper right “Map/Satellite” switches the map illustration with satellite photos.

GlobeRiders has it’s own BLOG “WHICH HAS NOT BEEN PUBLISHED YET”  I replace the correct link when it becomes available.   There is a complete description of the excursion, rider bios, updates of the ride, and an active satellite location link.

38 comments to A year in planning …

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