Category Archives: BMW R1150 GS Adventure

Have we actually left yet?! Read on! (says Adrian)

Yes! I thought about stringing you on a bit more for added suspense, but with the all the problems we’ve had, it’s such a relief to finally be on our way.

Russell’s bike stolen

Yesterday was not a good day, I woke up to find the beast missing. A walk up and down the street and it is definitely not where I parked it the night before. Knowing that we are supposed to be leaving on Friday, I can’t begin to express my shock, anger and disappointment at finding my bike had been stolen.

I frekking love that bike.

Looking back on it now, I’m seeing this as a test of my determination to do this trip. That and that I could possibly set a new world record for finding a replacement bike, get it up to spec, register it, process carnets, all before we leave. Something always works out, it always does…  Dont get me wrong, Im still angry, fuming in fact. But I’ve have been quite touched by some of the support I’ve received from various friends and acquaintances.

Within seconds of posting on UKGSer about the theft and needing a new bike, I got a call from a member offering support. The RAC reckon they can fast track a new Carnet in a few days, reissuing paperwork is my biggest concern. I only hope that the various other agencies that I need to deal with are as helpful.

As I ran out of fuel 20 miles from Gaya, I tucked my gloves into my helmet and stood my the bike wondering who was going to help me this time, and what it would lead to this time. I did not doubt that help would come, and with it most probably some unexpected twist in my fortunes. It had taken years to achieve this measure of confidence and calm, and as I waited I allowed myself some pleasure in knowing it.

Ted Simon, Jupiter’s Travels

P.s. If you came to this site becuase you nicked a bike with Pikipiki Safari stickers on, you can forget all that hippy stuff I’ve just said. On the trip, I will be actively seeking out some of West Africa’s best voodoo, putting the strongest curses on you and your dog.

Disaster! Adrian’s accident

Bike accident

Not how it's supposed to be

Fate, if it exists, has dealt me a very cruel blow indeed. My Monday commute was very rudely interrupted by an accident. It was one of those accidents that are the equivalent of winning the lottery.

An incident on the other side of the road, caused by a truck rear-ending a taxi, forced the taxi right into my lane in a millisecond. I braked VERY hard, but not hard enough and I collided with the side of a black cab that was now parked sideways in the middle of my lane.

I fortunately didn’t sustain any major injuries. The force of the impact bent both my thumbs down to my wrists spraining my thumb knuckles and wrists. When the paramedics asked me if I was ok and if I had any injuries, I stuck up both my thumbs. They took this as a good sign and left me alone.

So BMW Battersea have the beast and are compiling a quote for the damage. My biggest fear is they rack up such a bill for the repairs, the insurance company decides to right it off. I can only hope and pray it’s not that serious. Update to follow.

Motorcycle tyre repair kit

I use the following tools and kit for plugging punctures on the go. I ride on tubeless tyres mainly so most repairs involve plugging the puncture and then re-inflate, a really simple procedure. I do carry tubes in case the tyre needs to be removed on the roadside and I can’t re-install the tubeless tyre, a more involved job. If you use a tube in a tubeless tyre make sure that the tyre can support this setup!

Stop ‘n Go – Tubeless tyre repair kit
The easiest tyre plugging kit that I have used to date, a punctured tubeless tyre can be plugged in a couple of minutes without removing the wheel.

The Plugging device ‘drives’ the plug into the hole with a turning of the hex wrench. The plug expands under pressure to fill the punctured area. A firm pull on the stem with your pliers’ seats the mushroom head on the inner wall allowing no air to escape.  The re-inflate, simples…

Slime 12v air compressorPortable 12v air compressor
Great little air compressor, weighing only 950g and can inflate a tyre to 37 psi in only 4 minutes. It conveniently powers directly off the bike’s external power socket. An air compressor is handy as you can deflate your tyres if you need more traction on sand etc. and then easily re-inflate the tyres when the surface improves.


2 x 8” tyre levers – Motion Pro
Compact and lightweight. I only carry 2 levers; I improvise a 3rd lever from another similar shaped tool at hand.

Rema Top Tip
Tube puncture repair kit, includes a few spare valve cores.

Spare Tubes
I carry 2 spare tubes, a front and rear, for emergencies or for replacing a tyre and I don’t have access to the right kit for installing the tubeless tyre. If space/weight is a concern, a single front tube as it will work in both wheels.

Temporary 90’ valve adapter
A handy solution for accessing those hard to reach tyre valve stems. Just screw the adaptor onto the valve stem and any air hose or foot pump will fit easily.