Making Amends

It has been 6 years since we last rode our Dakar’s and we wondered how the bikes would be after such a long period of inactivity, not helped by our friends in Germany reminding us that they are kaput.

One could argue that these are inanimate objects but for us they very much alive. Cherish them with decent oil, fuel and maintenance and they will respond in equal measures.

Disregard them and they will let you down in revenge.

Named after two 1920’s temptresses, Josephine (Baker) and Isadora (Duncan) each has its own distinct personality.

Mine, like myself, is sluggish at getting going in the morning. Linda’s is the complete opposite.

How would they now react to being outcast, after serving us so well through Africa and the Silk road?

And how would they feel being brought out of retirement and expected to perform again, as if it was only yesterday?

Despite their reservations, our friends at SW Motech and Heidenau spring to the rescue. Many thanks to Jurgen, Andreas, Richard and Thomas for servicing the bikes and fitting new tyres.

And for transporting the bikes to the SW Motech facility in Czech to avoid crossing the Alps in freezing conditions.

It would appear the stars have aligned as we have never had it this easy…

But we still need to curry favour with I&J.

A small tribute to them for taking us this far






Egypt- far too hot to sleep in our tent

Pyanj-Valley-Tajikistan left side , Afghanistan Rt. The arrow is Linda.

Wakhan Corridor

Countless river-crossings

Nemsis thick sand

Forced off the road by truckers far too often

Which route to choose on the Kazakhstan steps?

Thankfully there is always a compass

And emptiness- there”s Linda again

No mans land between Krygrystan and Kazakhstan

Krygrystan border-post


Traffic jams Soviet style

Many friends

Where is South Africa?

Friendly military

Sticking our fingers into China

I & J’ s revenge starts in Tajikistan

and continues to Uzbekistan

Packing the bikes in Mongolia

Re-united at last in Czech 6 years later

Richard, the Czech SW motech MD & the Czech SW Motech distributor opened up the factory for us over Easter

Final prepping

I & J’s revenge 100km down the road in Slovenia – 1st a flat battery from freezing overnight temps & then a puncture

7C at 2pm. Happy days are here again

Not Africa- before we know it an emergency van arrives from nowhere

& leaves this huge flashing billboard highlighting our plight- its impossible to remain inconspicuous

The cause of our misery- a piece of stowaway tyre changing machine , left inside the tyre , shreds the tube- Sh*t happens

Life is good again with I & J

15 Responses to Making Amends

  1. Anonymous

    What a great trip down memory lane! Each trip with it’s own beauty, uniqueness, interesting people & food. Thanks for the quick overview! Looking forward to hearing more of this trip!! Safe travels! Amelia xxx

  2. Anonymous

    Great to share the start of the journey with you.
    Love these ladies who will be your work horses for the next few months.
    The description really brings them to life.
    Happy travels tiny turtles !!
    Lots of love Stella Nicholas Lucy and Matthew xxxx

  3. Anonymous

    Hi Harold and Linda,
    If only the piki piki’s could speak. What an interesting tale would that would make. They hated the 6 years in retirement and are glad to be on the road again. Enjoy the adventures and have a safe trip. All the best Colin

  4. Anonymous

    Hi Harold & Linda,the pics of you guys are amazing. Glad to see you can still salvage the old buggers for the road. Good luck on the trip, and looking forward to more postings. Best regards Debbie

  5. Jan van der Mey

    H & L this blog is a wonderful expositipon of your past travels and then taking you into the present expedition! Because all of them are real expeditions in the true sense of the word. We were amazed at the wonderful assistance you got from the road patrol in Slowakia. We follow you ardently and know that presently you are in Armenia, readying yourself to go to Iran. Here we are all well and shortly we will have a drink on your welfare, but first of all our two fourlegged friends will have their supper.

  6. Anonymous

    No holidays this year for me… my husband fell in love with a new bike… So your blog will be my holidays every time I read it. Looking forward to your adventures! Cheers Carmen

  7. Gail van der Mey

    Great (????) start but even I am falling in love with I&J. We are looking forward to more!!! Go well L&H

  8. Naude.K

    Hi Harry & Linda. I wondered what bikes will you use… this post answered that question. 🙂 Glad to see the two Dakars (sluts) are still able and willing after all these years. And don’t forget the drama behind the action pin-up photo of Josephine Baker taken in the riverbed near Knysna that featured in SW Motech’s summer catalogue 2006 …..and ended up to be a very expensive photo shoot. These ‘ladies’ were hot in their days and we admire their loyalty to ‘pimps’ Harry & Linda …. priceless! As they say, a picture (photo) tells a thousand words – hope to see plenty more from this trip with these two legend bikes. (Never sell them!). Regards, Nods

  9. Anonymous

    Hi you two
    We are struggling with logistics getting from England to Wales in our van.
    How the hel do you two do it? Lots of laughs and love P and P

  10. Anonymous

    Hello, Great pictures and lots of fun I see, amazing service you guys have had from the two bikes, have to be impressed. very nice. Les Penny

  11. Anonymous

    Enjoy the new adventure will be looking forward to all your posts.
    Regards Ron

  12. Anonymous

    Oh my:( You guys are true troopers. Was beginning to wonder if we had missed coms. Great to share your journey again H+L. Go well.

  13. Anonymous

    Oh my:( You guys are true troopers. Was beginning to wonder if we had missed coms. Great to share your journey again H+L. Go well.

  14. Anonymous

    Oooh lovely – thanks for that. Been waiting and waiting for an update! Hahahaha – I’ve been looking out for stashes of fish fingers and frozen mixed vegetables, wondering how on earth I&J Frozen Foods come into this. I even read “curry FLAVOUR with I&J” and my curiously was peaking as to what this food advertising mission you were on was about. I was silently applauding them for perhaps sponsoring your trip. Blonde moment! Clearly. Not enough sleep. Can’t believe its 6 years already! Wow. Must have been awesome reuniting with your bikes. Sorry about your shredded tire! How fabulous that there are emergency helpers out there. No – that does not happen in Africa. Thank you for the update! Look forward to the next!!! Safe travels!! Now I have to find my calculator to do the maths below to send this (might take a while with my very foggy brain today)…..


    O, deary me…..just over a few hunderd km’s a flat tire and a flat battery…..Before waking Josephine and Isidora up you had better be very kind to them, as it is a long way to Tabriz, Teheran, Ghom, Isfahan and Bandar Khomeini etc. We are proud of you and do think at you, we love to get news. You still have your Dutch passport, Linda ? Love, peace and all the best for you both, Petra and Michiel

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