After Stephen's hard work testing the structural integrity of his last Africa Twin, the insurance company signed off on the purchase of a new one. Only problem is, there aren't any.
An earthquake a few months ago has dramatically affected Honda's ability to produce some of its Japan-built bikes, and the Africa Twin comes out of the plant that suffered damage. So new Twins are pretty thin on the ground on Australia at the moment. In fact, we are pretty sure the bike that Westerns Motorcycles found for Stephen may well be the last one still for sale in the country.
He's stuck with the base model AT and resisted the temptation to try and find one with ABS. Pretty gutsy after crashing from locking a brake!
So despite the remaining pain throbbing from his almost healed hand, ribs and collar bone, he picked up his new bike today and rode it back to the Heartland Workshop.
The only problem is he's named the bloody thing. Horse. Why you'd call a bike Horse, I have no idea. But then I have no idea why you'd ever name a motorcycle. I'm pretty sure it's a bit daft, and definitely bad luck. I'm superstitious like that. I tried to tell him not to name the last one, but he wouldn't listen, and look how that ended up. Upside down is how.
So welcome to Heartland HQ "Horse". Hope you have better luck than your predecessor.
But the good news is the arrival of the new bike means we are a step closer to getting this show on the road. I mean literally on the road. Stephen's crash put everything back a bit, but now we can get back into fitting the remaining upgrades and then get into planning the first of our trips.
We've fitted up the Bumot Defender luggage, BarkBusters, Centrestands and front fender risers, now we just need to get new dirt-oriented rubber, crash bars, skid plates, get the extra electronics hooked up for phones and GPS, and then figure out a way to strap on the bulky camera gear like tripods and monopods.
Meet Horse. Looks just like the old one, only cleaner.
This side looks like the old one too
Safely tucked away back at Heartland HQ
Yeah... so it appears Stephen named his bike after a cat. A cat called Horse. Don't worry, I'm confused too.