Thursday, 6 November 2014

Adventure Isn't Paved (or air conditioned)

Escorts in to Jakarta
The path of true adventure is never a smooth one and after 7 months of rough roads and mountain trails, Rhonda's subframe snapped!

I don't think anyone will be overly suprised at this. I was certainly under no illusions that this was a distinct possibility. The CRF250L was not really designed with world travel in mind and so all this luggage had to take it's toll at some point. Particularly as the top box sits so far back on the bike. However, despite my concerns before leaving, I decided to leave the frame as stock and see just how much it could take. Tim from MotoBreaks (ironic name considering) was kind enough to back up my decision by purchasing a spare subframe before I left with a promise of flying out to the rescue if it went horribly wrong. That was reassuring to know and a great excuse for him to have a last minute adventure of course!!

The damage
I am actually impressed that it lasted this long considering what she has been through. It lasted longer
than Ewan McGregors subframe on his Big old BMW GS1150 Adventure and that monster was built for purpose.

I was lucky to be in an area where I could get some welding done fairly quickly and so Rhonda was repaired in quick time and well enough to get me over to Jakarta where we could go about making her stronger for the second half.

I may regret my decision but after considering moving the topbox forward to the back seat I have decided this may restrict my movement on the bike. Instead Rhonda is having some bars added that will run diagonally from the tail to the foot pegs. These bars will also have a frame attached that will take off some of the pressure from the side panniers as well as add to the overall strength. Of course it's all experimental and everyone will have their own opinions I'm sure but I'm willing to give this method a go! I was a little nervous of leaving her in the workshop but I was told to pack up my role matt and go home. Sleeping next to her was not an option it seems but I was assured they would call as soon as they had news!
Temporary repairs

Now for some good news!

My original dream was not actually to ride around the world. It was merely to ride to Borneo to see the Orangutans before we managed to destroy all their habitat and there were non left to see! Very soon though, my imagination ran away with me and I thought "Hey why not keep going to Australia". From there, well it seemed only natural to keep going until eventually I was dreaming of not only seeing Orangutans in Borneo but Penguins in Antarctica! Why not?

Checking out the city with Adi
The Borneo (or Kalimantan as the Indonesian side is now known) dream looked like an impossibility after learning that the budget would not stretch to shipping the bike over. I was told by everyone that this was the only way across. It's seems "everyone" was wrong and having made some new friends here in Jakarta (particularly Adi Aghoy of  Equatorrad MotoAdventures) who have all the local knowledge, Rhonda and I will be going across on the ferry on Monday. It's a long journey (around 36 hours) but it will be worth it!

In Kalimantan I will meet up with the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation who, after a strict medical exam, have granted me access to their sites to see some of the amazing work they do in encouraging the protection of Bornean
Meeting the team at the BOS Foundation
Orangutans and their habitat.

Right now I'm staying with the lovely Dono, a fellow biker, in Jakarta after being escorted by a chain of bikers all the way from the ferry (Sumatra to Java) to Jakarta.

It's hot in the city! Hot and Humid. Very humid. With helmet, boots and jacket on, you start dreaming of the Ice Bucket Challenge and wishing it would go viral all over again! Add to the heat, the devilishly horned road users of Jakarta who will take an inch even if you don't offer, and you start to see a girl in serious need of an intravenous McFlurry!

Keeping cool with some Cincau
It should be raining now but the rainy season in Jakarta is late and the humidity is building all the time. Even the locals are complaining! What chance has a Welsh girl with heated grips got?

This is nothing new for us of course. Rhonda and I have been battling with the heat and humidity in one degree or another for several months. The traffic too. Road safety, cool air and good hair days are things of the past and looked back upon with nostalgia (but nostalgia isn't what it used to be)!

Luckily I have had the company of some great people to keep my mind off the weather and Rhonda should be back to full health tomorrow.

Pictures will follow!

In the meantime check out the newly released update, filmed by Dream Magazine, on the Honda YouTube channel.


I go Ape when anyone sits on my bike!!! 


  1. I'll be interested to know how the mods work out, Steph. Keep us posted and carry on living the dream :)

  2. Hey Steph.
    Been following your exploits since ya left the UK
    Loving the updates, immensely jealous of
    I did wonder how that sub-frame was holding up, having seen some break already.
    Can't wait to meet ya in person when you get to MotoBreaks.

    Ride Safe, Stray Dog

  3. Keep well and safe well done and best wishes x

  4. sounds like you are right into the adventure. and yes bike frames do break. even on a GS. yours will be fixed and the mods should do the trick for the rest of the journey. Ogi Bear

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