Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 107 - Cape Town

RobT: We were up early today in order to get to the Hamman BMW motorcycle dealership before it opened at 8 am, figuring we'd be the first in line and get all the needed work done before the end of the day.  We found Hamman Motorrad on the POIs of Tracks4Africa GPS map and made it there without any directional lapses.  Chris, you need to thank the guys from Tracks4Africa, eh? Maybe get William to give them a free hair styling. :-)  (Inside joke folks, sorry.)

 Hamman Motorrad, Tygervalley, Cape Town ... amazing people, service and the most important ... good coffee and only because they didn't have German beer.

RobC with part of the Hamman gang.

The tall slouch in the black is Chris, who, by the way, is a BMW certified instructor of instructors in off-road riding.

After explaining to Johan (the service manager) the grocery list of items that we needed, the bikes disappeared to their downstairs service department for the day.  Chris was kind enough to take the time to offer tips on the route we planned through southern Africa, so we sat down with him in his office. He pulled up a map of southern Africa on his desktop computer and we studied the route. After doing this, we decided on a knobby front tire for traction in sand and gravel and a touring rear tire for longer wear. It' s a good combination since we won' t be spending time in extreme sandy or loose gravel roads.

Chris then took us on a tour of Cape Town, he on an BMW GS Adventure, yours truly on a 1200GS and RobC on a periwinkle 650 with a bidet up front.  RobC will have to explain that one.  All courtesy of Hamman BMW Motorrad!

RobC:  My BMW loaner was quite a sight. I called the color "powder blue" and the front "tank" area had a sunken hole for a hard case, which was absent, so I called the hole the "bidet," to the embarrassment of the BMW people and the laughter of everyone else.

 Table Rock with Cape Town the foreground

 Robben Island in the distance where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

 Road up to Signal Hill from where this photo was taken.

Cape Town from the foot of Table Mountain

Well, the final work on my F800GS included front wheel bearings, as they were completely worn, general service, spark plugs, air filter, a new tank bag, wind screen extension, new tires and a some spare parts, such as rear brake pads, extra air filter, spare rear Michelin Anakee tire, extra oil filter, etc

We got the bikes back at the end of the day.  Thanks to the great work done by Verdi, the mechanic who worked on my bike, the 800GS rode like a new bike, probably because of the new wheel bearings and tires.  It was incredible.

RobC:  The work on my bike included: final drive and transmission fluid renewal, new spark plugs, new tires and brake inspection, new windshield, as the old one was cracked in several  places, etc. Jeandré, the young but excellent mechanic, tried to repair the ABS brake system, the malfunctioning shift indicator, and straightening the front end of the frame, all to no avail, because of lack of time and parts. So, I carry on without ABS brakes, a skewed shift indicator and a crooked front end. None of these are essential and, as RobT is fond of saying, it all adds to the character of the bike.

It was enjoyable to work with a real BMW dealer, as they have the experience to do things quickly and do not charge for many hours of leaning while working on my bike.

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