Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Gomoto Tips

Tips for Riding on Gravel Roads

On my recent 600km road trip, I travelled at least 200 km's on gravel roads. I made the following mental notes. Don't take them as absolutes. I might have made some wrong observations.
  • Remember that you only have two wheels. Your wheels are also rather narrow and it means your traction tends to be rather precarious.
  • Slow down. Don't drive as fast as you would in a car.
  • If each bump feels like you hit a brick, it might help to deflate your tires just a little bit.
  • Don't change direction suddenly. Even if you see the pothole coming, don't swerve sharply. You're likely to end up in another pothole a few short metres further.
  • Gravel roads tend to have soft sandy spots. Watch out for them and avoid if possible. If you cannot avoid them, keep your steering wheel as straight as possible. Reduce speed before you drive into them.
  • Check your mirrors and blindspots before you change direction; even if you have not seen a car on the entire road. I got confused by a sign that warned of upcoming road works. When I decided to turn onto the "so-called detour", a bakkie just came screeching past me. He almost ended up in a ditch, and Gomoto's and their drivers must have been the focus of every negative thought that he had for the rest of the day.
  • Some farmers have dogs who have nothing better to do than to stand on the side of the road to intimidate motorcyclists. Don't show any fear. Just accellerate and aim straight at the dog. It will get out of the way!
  • Most secondary roads in South Africa have concrete kilometre markers on the side. If you are not sure that you are on the right road, check those markers. They should usually tell you how long the stretch of road is. In that way you can decide what the consequences would be if you were on the wrong road!

Tips for Riding in Fog

I rode in fog for a second time since I've taken my Gomoto on road trips. It tends to be quite an scary experience.

  • Wear reflective clothing.
  • Expect to get wet. It is water afterall.
  • Don't waste time cleaning the visor of your helmet every few seconds, just lift it up. Your eyes will burn a bit in the wind, but you will at least be able to see where you are going.

Tips for Riding on Gravel Roads in Fog (early on Winters Mornings)

Hehe. That is exactly what happened to me just after sunrise on the road between Struisbaai and Gansbaai.

  • Wear protective clothing. You might fall. (I fortunately did not fall, but I wore protective clothing).
  • Dress warmly with several layers of clothes beneath the protective layer.
  • Expect to get dirty! Dust and water create interesting patterns on your clothes.
  • Oncomming traffic will cause dust to come into your eyes and your eyes will tear like a baby.
  • Don't take the long route if you do not plan to stop at the attractions. I had no idea what "Die Dam" was, but decided to drive past there anyway. I never stopped, and ended up driving 40km's more than I could have if I drove directly to Gansbaai.
  • Wear protective clothing. You might fall.
  • Enjoy the adventure. There is nothing like it!


Anonymous said...

where can i get an affordable mag for my gomoto or where can i get spokes that don't stretch? it's really a problem for me. the dealers rip me off! they said that they will make a special deal through gomoto to replace my mag for R1700! i found out it's cheaper. i want to beat the middle man. the whole thing about a gomoto is a cheap workhorse with a fun factor. help me. jp mercier. cell:0722164250

Weiers said...


Thank you for the comment. And I am also very interested in finding an answer for your question. I find it interesting that you are the second person who asked me the question.

Francois also wanted to know. Each one of us got different answers. When I took my Gomoto in for a service to Scooter World, I was told that it would cost R500 to replace an old wheel with a new one with mags, but that they would subsidise it for me. I went ahead and orderd the new mag wheels, but a week later they called to inform me that they would not be able to replace the old wheels with Mags, but they replaced the wheel with the broken spokes for a new one with spokes under warrantee (for free). (The told me that the new gomotos with solid rims were different than the old gomotos with spoked wheels. I am not sure if this is in fact the case.)

I stopped asking questions then, but I still have a worry that my spokes will just break again.

I am going to try to find out and blog an answer.

I wonder if you would be prepared to share some of your experiences with your Gomoto with me. What do you use it for? Have you had some fun with it? What frustrates you about it?


Anonymous said...

hello weiers. it's jp mercier. sorry i took so long 2 reply, but the other day i wrote a lot on my phone and then it just went off! i am a matric student in malmesbury and i live 10km away from school. i use my gomoto to get to and fro. so it's vital to me. i have exams; what if my spokes break? i have friends in riebeek wes and in durbanville and sea point and in paarl. i also am going to need my bike to go to monthly SAUFOR meetings in pinelands. i love the economy and the durability for the price. iv'e had 2 125cc's before and the gomoto has the least troubles....if you know how to look after it. firstly, the headlights blowing! solution: connect the headlight in series so that you get a middle beam and not a high or a low. (they have a convenient connector in the headlight) the light is ok at all times of day and night. and it does not blow! secondly, rust. solution: treat your bike with a rust converter and primer on the vulnerable spots. a good product is Holts and it costs about R70. 3rdly, the flickers breaking off. solution: reinforce the base of the flickers with pratley epoxy metal(the grey 1). 4th, dirty carb. solution: treat the fuel with Spark fuel system cleaner. your carb is dirty when your bike jerks as you accellerate. if that does not work, set your O2/ fuel mixture on the carb. always ensure that the chain is lubricated and tight( not too tight!!!) the rubber holding the battery sould be oiled. the seat cover must be treated to avoid cracks. thats a bout it. i am still stumped about the spokes stretching! they don't come loose, they stretch, as i have glued the nipples and the spokes broke without the seal being broken! buggers! thanx weiers for ur sms. good luck.

Sofia Britts said...

This is the bane of a road tripper/driver... bumpy roads, especially when your car's height is pretty low or if you don't know how to adjust to this kind of situation. Having experienced driving on uneven roads a lot of times and making me go for payday loans due to my car breaking down, I've managed to drive with sheer concentration to the road and everything around me to prevent it from happening again.