Friday, 27 November 2009

Bon Dias

Morning campers

Let sleeping bags lie

We have reached our first destination of Luz de Tavira near Faro on the south coast of Portugal.
There was a head wind all the way down to the Algarve with the exception of 1 day.
Rain, gale force winds etc seem to have followed us all the way here.
When we arrived in Luz  locals told us its the first rain they´ve had since July. At least its warmer here. T shirt weather during the days.

Moo Moo land
We took a leisurely 4 days to get here  leaving at around 10am each day and setting up camp at around 4 - 5 pm. Nothing too strenuous. We are having a long lay down after all.
We´ve completed almost 2000km so far. (sounds more impressive than miles)

So any problems on the way down?

I had a bird hit me in the face. (Feathered kind) I was going so fast on my vespa it couldn´t get out of the way quick enough.

Lets start with my vespa - I had to change the rear light bulb which I found out from Kev that it had blown in UK.
Thats it.
I gave it a clean yesterday and changed the engine oil ready for Morocco.

Kevs van is also going well. Nothing to report except a dodgy wire in the 'break' light.

Kevs C90 - which he has hardly rode as yet - the broken indicator is now fixed with cellotape due to a few bad cornerings.

Visited the second highest town in Spain. Had octopus for breakfast which was a first for us both.
So nothing really exciting to report.
We both struggled on the second day in Spain going up and down mountains in heavy rain and strong wind but we lived to tell the tale.
We´re just chillin´ in Luz at the moment. Kev has been busy adding bits to his C90.
Look forward to seeing some of you in Morocco around xmas.
Oh yeh...Kev forgot to bring my guide books of europe and Morocco that I lent him so we have no idea of where we are going or staying and I cannot learn the basic phrases I was hoping to learn whilst here. Handy! He also forgot his duvet!
All in all we are in good spirit.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

And we're off

Due to Health and Safety reasons the picture has had to be removed.

A quick one while I'm still here. Here's me checking everything straps on to the scoot. I may be doing a few wheelies but should be ok.
We're off today. Sorry no pictures of Kevs C90 but they will be uploaded asap.
Quick up date.
We arrived at Portsmouth 3.45pm.
Kev smoked about 100 fags watching me getting blown around.
Head winds meant I had top speeds of between 40mph and 65mph in the slip stream of passing lorries.
Got pulled over by customs getting onto the boat but they let us through ok. Phew! Its going to be one hell of a journey.
Robbie Villiams is letting himself entertain us on the ferry. 
Gale force winds etc.
It could potentially be the end of the trip.
Time to get spannered.
See you all when we get back
Very windy but no rain and its quite mild for the time of year. Can't have everything!
Bhoom Shiva!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

3 days to go

We're almost ready.
These are the machines ready for adventure.
Kevs C90 has a new light weight front mudguard which effortlessly paints a perfect straight line of road water on to his face. The legshields have been removed, bulletproof rear carriers added, new indicators and a new paint job. A superb all terrain vehicle.

Here's the Vespa ready to go. 
In the last 2 months it has had 2 engines,
4 engine rebuilds,
1 puncture and 
1 seizure. (Most of these set backs were because I didn't know what I was doing during the 'restoration'). It also has a rear carrier fitted. Optional extras include a 12volt battery which runs 2 x horns and a cigarette lighter socket. I've also added Goop to my tyres as I am prone to the odd puncture.

Its going to be interesting to see what and how much we can load onto these machines.
In previous lives I've managed to transport 3 people, 50kg vegetables + passenger, car batteries, gas bottles, chickens and goats on a Vespa (not all at once)! but that was a little bit more than the law will allow.
I've not had much experience on a C90 so I do not know what they are capable of but I believe anything is possible.
Both of these machines are capable of going anywhere, it all depends on the riders skill, judgement and sheer stupidity as to how far and where they can actually go.

Cheggers Plays Pop


Monday, 9 November 2009

So where are we going?

Many people have asked us where we are going - Answer - Morocco via Spain and Portugal.
I will be riding my scooter all the way to Morocco from Diss. Kev will be taking his C90 in his van to Portugal and then from there, we will both be riding via Spain to various places in Morocco; Marrekesh, Essaouira, Casablanca etc.

This trip first takes us to Portsmouth to catch the ferry to Bilbao, Spain. We may visit Southampton on the way to Portsmouth, depending on my scooters performance and the time. This ferry is the only thing we have booked in advance.

And then?
Arrive at Bilbao after 2 days. Then, heading west, follow the coast until we reach Portugal. Keeping to the coast we plan to end up in southern Portugal where we will stay for a week or two, resting, drinking beer, preparing Kevs C90 for the beginning of his 2 wheeled adventure, drinking more beer, eat food, smoke tabs.

And then?
And then we will both be riding towards Algeciras in Spain to catch the ferry to Morocco.

Roxy Music
And then?
And then ride around Morocco until;

a) our money starts to run out
b) our petrol runs out
c) our puns run out
d) our patience begins to run out

And then?


There hasn't been much written lately as we have not decided which route to take. We only have a rough plan which will develop as we get closer to our destination. We've also been busy at work so we can actually fund the trip. Until recently there has been very little preperation.
With the exception of riding around and blowing up 2 x engines.

Lately both Kev and myself have been busy. Last Saturday Kev was booked in to take his CBT (Cumpulsory Basic Training for motorcycles).
As he was taking his test on his C90 he had to fit a few things back on it, such as
new exhaust,
'L'oser plates.
A new K and N air filter was also fitted.
A quick tune up by 2-stroke wizard Simon Venturi and it was ready for the test the next day.
I'm pleased to say Kev and Simon passed their CBT and now Kev is legally on the road!
He's been ripping up the tarmac and doing do-nuts in the dark.
A few tweaks to the clutch and indicators, take off the legshields, add one Kev and he's away!

Hit the road

As for me, I've had the 'new' engine back and have done a few hundred miles running it in again as it's had new bearings and seals etc. Thanks go to Antony at Buzzsolomoto for getting me an engine when I needed one and to Sausage and Ian for an excellent and super fast re-build.
This engine is nowhere near as fast as my previous, standard Rally 200 engine (when it was running). I get a top speed of just below 60mph if I'm lucky.
Not good. I was hoping for a cruising speed of at least 60mph.
I found out that the later Spanish P200 engines are more restricted than earlier Rally 200 engines.
So I too wanted my machine to go that little bit faster and decided to change my carb.
I took the scoot for a test ride and then it died.
It is deceased.
It is no more.
I pushed it home with my head held low. (I'm getting the practice in).
So what happened? After I pulled the engine apart I discovered that a vagrant washer had managed to lodge its way in between the crankcases and the crankshaft and made a nice snug home for itself, siezing the crank.
No time to cry. I took a quick trip to Beedspeed in Grimsby for some spares yesterday (new crank and bearings etc) and am pleased to announce my temperamental scooter is now running again. All thats left is to take it for a long test run tomorrow to find out if its going to make it to Morocco.

Snakebite and Black
I originally started this blog with the heading 'Vespa or C90, who will break down first?'
I should have written, 'C90 or Vespa, which will be ready first?'
I thought my Vespa project would be simple enough. All I wanted was a standard Vespa Rally 200 engine in a standard Vespa Rally 200 frame and ride it to Morocco. Oh yeh, and back again. I keep forgetting that bit.
Hopefully, having all these problems at 'home' will mean that I won't get any when I'm 'on the road'.
On the positive side, the optional extras I've fitted, a 12volt battery to power 2 x 'windtone' horns and a cigarette lighter socket (to charge my mobile phone) are all fully functional.
A loud horn is a must in any country.

A few days ago we went out on the road together for the first time and I'm suprised just how fast the C90 is.
I'm also suprised just how slow my Vespa is.
Thankfully for me, I'm a little quicker than the Kev on his C90. I can just keep up with the C90 when I'm going flat out in 3rd gear but when I change to 4th gear I don't have much more top speed, although it allows me just enoough to slowly overtake Kev, grin and give him the finger.
Now Kev has fitted a larger front sprocket to his C90 which made me nervous as I thought he maybe faster than me but we are yet to find out as working for a living seems to get in the way of important stuff like riding around all day.
Next I'm going to try a donated sports exhaust to see what difference it makes to my top speed. I can't have a C90 overtaking me!
If fitting the new exhaust proves a success I'm guessing  a new carb will find its way onto Kevs bike.
To retaliate that means I will then have to fit a performance kit and maybe add some faster gearing to mine.
I then imagine Kev will fit nitrous oxide boosters to catch me up again. I may then add a go faster flame design to mine. That should add an extra 20 mph to the top speed.
Trouble is, I know Kev's been eyeing up a super quick 125cc Thumpstar engine. Watch out Venturi!

Tom Cruise
If I ever get this engine, or even better, the other original one working again, I will then try to load everything I will be taking with me onto the scoot and take it for another test ride. Things such as tent, sleeping bag, small mattress (Winter sale now on), clothes etc.
Exactly what I end up taking will depend on how much stuff will fit into my bags. I plan to lay out everything I want to take in front of me and then get rid of half of it. Usually works.