So what is in my Africa Twin toolkit?


I have had lots of requests to make up toolkits for riders and my advice is almost always the same, you only need to worry and carry the tools you both know how to use and will fix the bits on your bike you know how to fix… That said, as promised, apart from spare tubes here is what I carry in my CRF1000L toolkit…

  • 8mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm and a 15mm open end and ratchet spanner (all these will do the chain adjusters, and all the remaining odd nuts and bolts on the CRF).
  • Three MotionPro tyre levers (08-0284 12-13mm), (08-0288 27mm), (08-0286 22mm).
  • Two MotionPro Rim Shield II plastic covers.
  • 27mm and 22mm socket and drive (you will not break the rear axle torque with the MotionPro levers so either under torque your axle or carry these).
  • 8mm, 10mm and 12mm long reach socket and small driver.
  • HW5 Hex.
  • 17mm Axle key.
  • Flat and cross head screwdriver.
  • Tube patches, glue and rubber gloves.
  • Cable ties.
  • Spare brake lever (53170-MEJ-016) – the only thing that has stopped me dead on the CRF is a broken front brake lever.
  • All in a Kriega tool roll and wrapped in a Karrimore waterproof kit bag.

Africa Twin Toolkit

Preplanned service is always best…

First bit of preplanned roadside maintenance required on the Honda in the form of replacement rear pads – after about 11,500km on the DCT and a lot of mountain and track work the rear pads are looking decidedly worn with less than 1mm left of the 8mm original – I have to say the bike is very balanced, but dragging the rear brake and using the DCT G mode is the best way I have found to maintain effective low speed control on the loose stuff. The job is best done early in the comfort of my present location, with a small swimming pool handy and in the shade rather than later in the next week or so by the side of the road in +33 degree temperatures. I am sticking to conventional organic fibre pads (EBCFA174) and the job is simple, a couple of torx and a slider pin to move followed by maybe a cold beer…  These will see me out for the rest of this trip and beyond… and before anyone comments, apart from tubes and my puncture kit and tools these were the only parts I carried with me as I could foresee this happening looking at the existing wear rate, but they were not worn enough to change pre trip. One questions remains… why is it EBC fibre pads smell so badly of fish?



The clutch lever is dead, long live the clutch lever

So I finally took the plunge… last weekend I picked up my Honda CRF1000D, a victory red Africa Twin. Initial impressions of the bike are very good and the DCT gearbox is exceptionally smooth, it is certianly intuitive and perhaps even better than I thought it might be. So far I have only been off road in the Epynt Ranges but the gravel and forest tracks locally proved how good the G Mode DCT box can be – and with the traction control light flashing away, warning and then controlling the rear wheel slip, I scrubbed in the standard Dunlop Trailmax road tyres. I took some stick from bikers old and new telling me it was not a real bike, but I’ve been riding since the age of 16 and I am now aged 52, so even with my poor maths that’s 36 years on two wheels… I don’t have anything else to prove. I am still keeping a manual bike but quite honestly if the technology is this is good then one might wonder if the clutch lever is going to become redundant – I suspect not, or at least not quite yet.Africa Twin

Always a pot of gold – Karma

Riding down the coast road near Ytre Svartvik, I was pondering the need for waterproofs… if you ride you know that time. Picture this, it looks like its going to rain so you need to decide if the chance of wetness is greater than the faff required to put on a one piece over-suit designed to keep your textiles from dripping all over the place at the campsite? Trust me putting on wet clothing the following morning is not a pleasant experience but then is neither squeezing yourself into your boil in the bag waterproof over-suit. As I waited, contemplating outpacing the clouds, an Italian scooter rider stopped and with the international language of gesticulation we agreed he needed petrol and with the R1150GSA holding 30 litres I gave him enough to see him on his way, I thought that was my good deed of the day but then I got a puncture…. so much for karma!Always a pot of gold - Karma

The GS is finally home

So my GS is finally home – been a long time coming with a rebuilt gearbox, new clutch plate and third input drive shaft. Its a real shame that this design fault still remains, its a non service item but really would benefit from routine lubrication but with complete gearbox removal and bike strip down required its a difficult and long job to do. At the same time a new clutch hydraulic slave cylinder has been installed, which I know was leaking. The story is that when BMW introduced the hydraulic clutch design they miscalculated and inadvertently moved the clutch disc 8mm further forward towards the engine and off the transmission splines, this results in the splines of the clutch disc falling short of the input drive shaft hence the wear. Apparently Brunos Machine and Repair have a fix so I am on the case now for the new shaft design.

Return of the GS1150

The GSA is Dead – Long live the GSA

Been a topsy turvy month with the gearbox on my 02 R1150 GSA wearing the main bearings and damaging the gearbox case, its in Cardiff Mototrrad still with Phil working his magic and within a few weeks he will have cannibalised three gearboxes into one new refurbished one for me. In the meantime I have a new blank canvas to play with – the Bumble Bee.The Bumble Bee

More kindness in Sweden

It never ceases to amaze me just how kind and generous people are – having shredded the rear Dunlop after only about 1800 miles and being recovered by Assistancekaren to Huskvarna – the guys in the Alex Autoservice workshop deserve a mention, spending ages on the phone tying to find me a tyre the right size, staying open late and then driving me into town to find me a hotel and then working right through to get me back on the road. So if your stuck in central Sweden and need some help go to Grannavagen 18 and the junction with Tenhultsvagen 54… Mekonomen Bilverkstad