It was in summer 2011 when Magnus and 2 friends of him from Oslo talked to me whether SIP Scootershop was ready to support them with a crazy idea: they want to participate in the Rally Budapest - Bamako. On 3 Vespas! We helped them with lots of parts and 3 sets of SIP Performance shock absorbers and other stuff they needed. After a 3 weeks journey they came back home end of january 2012 and here is their report:
"We set out from Malaga in Spain on the 14th of january. Hoping to reach well into the Morroccan Rif mountains, we found that three breakdowns the first day left us in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in Africa instead. Anyway, the breakdowns we're due to sloppy mechanics from our part, and it was easily fixed. The next day we got off to a late start because of a time consuming border crossing into Morrocco. The scenery is beautiful and the roads through the Rif Mountains are exhilarating. There's relatively heavy traffic, and we are not used to the African driving style at first, but after a few hours we sort of get the hang of it. Give way to big vehicles, smile, wave, honk in a friendly manner before each bend in the road and be alert. Road rules don't really apply, but the driving style is smoother and less aggressive than what we are used to in Europe... That second day got us to Meknes, 305 km into Morrocco. A fair distance on a scooter, but nothing to write home about when in a rally like this. We had to revise our own road rules and routines. From now on, now stopping in cafés for lunch, no more sightseeing and no fooling around. We would ride for an hour, stretch our legs for 5 minutes, then ride another hour and fill up the tanks. This way we sort of managed to complete the daily 500-600 km stages that lay ahead of us the next days. We where quite often late for the Bivouac (meaning after dark), though sometimes we managed just in time for the sunset. The third day took us over the Atlas and into the Sahara - nearly 500 kms from Meknes. This was perhaps the most spectacular day of the whole rally. From the green rolling hills of Northern Morrocco we climbed up into the Middle Atlas and experienced pine forests, monkeys and after a while a heavy snowstorm at around 2200m. Pushing further south the snowstorm turned into a sandstorm and the scenery was (although still mountainous) turning reddish brown. We where now in the Sahara, and we continued on through the Sahara for the next week and a half. Further south the change was not so abrupt. Slowly the bushes along the road became larger. There was the occasional tree - and after a while, more trees. taller trees, Baobab trees and then forests. We were out of the Sahara. Roads became worse. There where more potholes and eventually the main road was just a path of red dust. Earlier on, in Morrocco, we willingly went on the pistes and tracks were the Rally's routes would take us. However, as the days went by we realized the scooters would not make it if we continued like this. The sand, the washboard tracks and giant holes we drove into were taking their toll on our poor scooters. So as we entered Senegal we decided: No more offroad. Up to that point we had to regularly clean our air filters from sand. The shifter mechanism got clogged with sand and dust all the time to the point that we were losing not only first gear but second as well. In addition to that we got stuck so many times that we'd end up replacing two burn out clutches. To top it all off, the quality of petrol was not the best, and when riding into head winds and up hills we started to get a little pre detonation. A nearly 300kg scoot is alot of work for our little engines. Anyways, all went relatively well even though we took some detours to try and stay on the main roads through Senegal. We entered Guinea-Bissau in the north east corner of the country riding through on some red clay/dust roads. Finally, at around 14.15hrs on the 29th of January we passed the finish line. And we were definately not last.. :)
3x PX 200e from the early nineties. (German models)
Luggage options: front rack, rear box (spanish Correos-special w/100L storage)
Fuel: 22L on each scoot plus the stock tank (8L)
Oil: 18L of Agip semi-synth two stroke oil (for all three scoots)
Extra headlight up front for riding in the dark (very usefull)
SIP Performance shock absorbers (very good)
Slightly tuned PX200 w/SIP road exhaust (good ground clearance) and GS piston. Extra underseat air filter.
Dynoed to 13hp @ rear wheel.
Tyres: Schwalbe Weatherman. Two spares per scooter.
(one scoot rolled through to the finish line without a single flat tyre, one had two flats, and the last had one flat tyre)
Average daily speed of about 50 km/h including stops.
Average rolling speed of around 70 km/h.
Average daily distance of around 500 km
Average fuel consumption 4.8l/100 km
Top speed 111 km/h (GPS)
Best fuel consumption between two fillings: 2l/100 km (with a hefty tailwind through Western Sahara)
Pictures you can find here:
Feb 13 2012, 05:58