The Norwegian Schwalbe importer Cyklon has sponsored us with enough tyres to get us all the way down to Guinea Bissau. The tyres needed to be long lasting and durable and as we cannot carry different types for all the different types roads we will be riding on we needed to find a happy compromise.
We will be riding in wet and perhaps snowy conditions through the Atlas. Hot tarmac in Western Sahara. Loose sand and hard sand in Mauretania and dusty dirt roads down to Guinea Bissau.
Rob at Cyklon recommended we choose Schwalbe Weatherman:Small 10 inch vespa tyres spin quite fast at 90 km/h. This is also the reason rear tyres on these scooters rarely last much longer than 2000km. I’ve just come back from a 1600km trip to Finland and back and the rear tyre still has about 2/3 of the tread depth left. Most of this distance was spent on the motorway cruising at rather high speeds (for a Vespa, that is) which normally would wear out a rear tyre even faster.
Anyway, this is quite promising. We’ll be bringing one or two spare tyres each and this should be just about what we need to arrive in Bissau with a bit of tread left.
In this post I tested som traditional knobbly tyres in the mud. They were brilliant there, but on tarmac and even gravel roads the handling was too squirrely. There will probably be some stages in the rally where knobblies could be usefull, but we will probably not bring them along unless we can put them in someones car.
The Schwalbe’s, on the other hand, handled wonderfully on gravel. Here’s a short video clip from a field test on a wet dirt road in the mountains around Skeikampen:
(As you might have noticed, this was written in English. Our blog will be in English from now on.)