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south africa and back
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went to the annual thundersprint event at northwich last weekend(bikes bikes and more bikes) and on the saturday they small exhibition type thing outside the town hall(i think) where you can show your bike anyway while wandering around there i saw a 55 plate ttr250 with saddle bags and dybags hanging off of it every where so wandered over to take a look and turns that the guy had ridden to south africa and back on his own except for the first part all the way to italy which he done with his daughter and son in law, he bike was standard except for an acerbis 22ltr army coloured tank, acerbis hand gaurds and a rack that he had made by soldering 3/4 copper pipe together, he also had a windscreen on it which had milage readings on it although i didn't ask the significance of this, i dont know wether this gy was the first owner of this bike but altogether the bike had done just under 78 thousand miles with no engine problems and was his everyday bike, he even rode it to and from the thundersprint event



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ttr raid wrote:

went to the annual thundersprint event at northwich last weekend(bikes bikes and more bikes) and on the saturday they small exhibition type thing outside the town hall(i think) where you can show your bike anyway while wandering around there i saw a 55 plate ttr250 with saddle bags and dybags hanging off of it every where so wandered over to take a look and turns that the guy had ridden to south africa and back on his own except for the first part all the way to italy which he done with his daughter and son in law, he bike was standard except for an acerbis 22ltr army coloured tank, acerbis hand gaurds and a rack that he had made by soldering 3/4 copper pipe together, he also had a windscreen on it which had milage readings on it although i didn't ask the significance of this, i dont know wether this gy was the first owner of this bike but altogether the bike had done just under 78 thousand miles with no engine problems and was his everyday bike, he even rode it to and from the thundersprint event


 What a man! Just goes to prove you don't need big Beemers to do it eh?

"78 thousand miles with no engine problems" - what a great endorsement for these superb little trail bikes biggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrin

Anyone know what the guy is called? Can't find anything on Google.

Brian



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He wouldn't be the first, to ride a TTR to SA, there was a woman called Lois Pryce who did it, and wrote a book (Red Tape and WHite Knuckles) which is a very good read. Before that she had ridden an xt225 Serow from Alaska to Argentina(lois on the loose) also a very good read. By all accounts both bikes required very little work during the trips (Oil, tyres, brakes and in the case of the Serow a clutch). Well worth a read!

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His name is Ken Thomas

 

Details Here :-

 

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/thomas/

 

Best wishes from Turkey on my overlanding tt250r - Alec



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THETFORD. UNITED KINGDOM.



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Thats him, was a really nice bloke and was quite happy to talk about any part of his trip and the ttr you see in the picture is the exact same one he had with him at the weekend

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ken


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Hi All,

 

Thanks to ttr_raid for introducing me, so to speak.

 

I had a nice day at the Thundersprint and was surprised at how many people wanted to know all about my bike.

My blog address is posted in an entry up above and in my signature. More than 3 years' worth now so it's pretty big but with an index of months and countries down the right hand side.

Just to fill in a couple of gaps here:

The bike's just reached 73,000 miles. Before I bought it (I'm the second owner) it had new mains and big-ends fitted, although I'm not very sure why.  Before I set off for Africa (mileage about 48,000), top and 5th gears were whining so I put a 2nd-hand gear cluster in which fixed it. The pinions on the cluster that I removed were quite pitted.  I also fitted a new sprag clutch - 'just in case'. Everything else except service parts is as original. The home-to-Cape Town total mileage was 20,000.

Now, it burns quite a bit of oil (I don't think the air filter is up to the dust and sand of Africa), so a re-bore will be done soon. Also, in the last few hundred miles (on the ride back from Loch Ness where I was headed when I stopped off for the Thundersprint) the steering bearings have given out in quite a major way. It needs significant effort to steer out of the 'straight-ahead notch', which with knobblies in the wet on tarmac gives the occasional worrying moment! So that'll be done before the re-bore.

I didn't ride the bike back from Cape Town, it came back by air, like me.

The wonderful rack was made by the previous owner (a British Rail engineer) out of 15mm copper pipe and Yorkshire solder fittings. It's filled with epoxy resin. I umm'ed and arr'ed a lot before departure about whether it would be strong enough. Well, there were a thousand miles and more of pretty horrendous roads, quite a few spills (at walking pace mostly), and I carried too much weight of luggage. But nothing broke at all, on bike or luggage rack.

The mileages scrawled all over the screen are what I came to call "The flight plan." I determined to stick religiously to a 1,500 mile oil-change interval and the easiest way to keep a record was just to write it all on the screen. It made for oil changes in some strange places.

When planning the African trip I came across both of Lois Pryce's books, which struck a chord with me. I too had a Serow, back in the 90s, and like her rode it a long way around eastern Europe (3 months, up to North Cape, down along the Belarus border and on almost to Croatia).

When I saw she had ridden one from Alaska to Ushuaia, and then swapped to a TTR250 for Africa, that persuaded me to follow suite. And it turned out to be absolutely the right bike.  w00t.gif

I've always made quite a bit of use of the TTR250faq site, so thanks to Brian for keeping that going. He'll soon be getting an order for the AllBalls taper-roller head bearings!

All the best

Ken.

 



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www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/thomas

 



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hi ken glad to see you made it on here ok and hope i didn't get too much wrong with your history

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Hi Ken

 

Been following your exploits for some time now via HU.  Hope you're in goode shape.  Pop in for a cuppa any time you're visiting your rellies in Embra.



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I think it will take a long time to go through all of Ken's blogs but I was impressed with the bike loading - see http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/thomas/004279.php

Any Harari jit amongst your music collection Ken?

Fantastic thumbsup.gif



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