Cape to Cairo on a Couple of Tiny 200s
ADVENTURE, like adrenalin, is addictive. And the most addictive form of adventure is travel - the primitive need to see what's over the next rise.
And that's why Francois and Tania Steyn of Stellenbosch ride motorcycles. A year ago they completed a 5 800km circumnavigation of South Africa on two 125cc MotoMia Enzo "delivery bikes", proving that you don't need a 1200cc beetle-crusher to see the world.
It took them three weeks, and it whetted their appetite for more - lots more. So last week the Steyns left Cape Town, on two small streetbikes, en route to Cairo.
A lot of people have ridden the length of the continent, but Africa remains a huge challenge, the adventure of a lifetime. It is not, as Dennis Beckett says, for sissies, but it is an unrelenting classroom where the most important lessons you learn are about who you are.
And that's why the Steyns are doing it. Both twentysomethings, Francois is a freelance journalist and Tania a wine industry marketing manager - or was; she quit her job for this trip.
They're not saving the world or raising money for charity; their only agenda is see what's over every rise between Cape Town and Cairo and have as much fun as possible along the way.
Each has a 650cc dual-purpose bike - Francois a Kawasaki KLR650 and Tania a BMW F650 - but for this trip they decided, once again, on much smaller machines, partly so as to ride identical bikes (thus halving potential spare-parts problems), partly to reduce the cost of their fuel and partly because petite, 1.63-metre Tania had reservations about wrestling a 'kg thumper across Middle Africa.
Their choice was the MotoMia Pachino, a cruiser-styled streetbike with a ridiculously low seat height and a straightforward, air-cooled, carburettor-fed, 198cc four-stroke single churning out a whole 11kW. …