Good news! There is no need to spend loads of money or buy lots of fancy kit for your adventure bike.
For my ride from London to Cape Town I bought a second-hand Yamaha TTR250. To prepare it for the rigours of a trans-Africa ride I made the following modifications:
- Changed the stock 9 litre tank for a 22 litre tank
- Had the seat remodelled to make it more comfortable and covered it with a sheepskin
- Fitted a bash plate
- Fitted a small screen
- Fitted super heavy duty inner tubes
- Attached a piece of Perspex over the headlight with heavy-duty Velcro
Before I left I replaced the brake pads, cables, wheel bearings and the chain and sprocket with brand new original Yamaha parts. I also fitted semi-knobbly tyres and Michelin super-heavy duty inner tubes, which obviously worked, as I didn’t get a single puncture! The most important thing is to use quality parts and never to scrimp on the preparation – any money you save at home, you will pay for on the road when you break down and have to have parts sent out to you, and waste time and money waiting around for them to arrive.
My bike took an almighty hammering across Africa, particularly crossing the Sahara, the Congo and through Angola but I had no mechanical problems whatsoever – it just kept on going no matter what was thrown at it, and is still going strong to this day. But maybe that’s just my ladylike riding style!