Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons

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Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons

18th pictures

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

1/18
A dream destination even without a motorcycle: the Erg Chebbi mega-dune in southeast Morocco, within sight of the Algerian border.

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

2/18
Driving in the sand dune is one of the really great experiences on two wheels!

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

3/18
Arrival on the Triumph Tiger 1200: just the thing for the day’s stage from Melilla.

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

4/18
Alain Fernandez and Antonio Urrea (from left to right) organize the Morocco tour with Jordi Arcarons (right, with son) exclusively for MOTOURISMO.

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

5/18
Flirting is allowed when traveling.

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

6/18
For a change, solid ground under your feet.

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

7/18
The mechanics of sand driving are not necessarily intuitive. Motto: full throttle!

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

8/18
At first the learning curve is steep, but at low speeds you fall softly.

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

9/18
The first dunes are already piling up behind the gate of Erfoud. The place is the tourist center of the region, also popular with 4×4 and quad riders.

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

10/18
Traded down from 100 to 20 dirhams – and still paid too much.

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

11/18
It’s like surfing or water skiing. Only with your own 50 HP, so the huge waves also up.

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

12/18
So that memories are not deceptive: to the east of Tisserdmine you can see as far as Algeria.

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

13/18
This is what it looks like when the professional does it: Gerard Farres, X-times Dakar driver, lets it rip.

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

14/18
Early-stage sandstorm. Visibility drops to a few meters, there is electricity in the air – which soon discharges in the metal parts of the motorcycle.

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

15/18
Smaller dunes in a relaxed swing, as a group this is the most fun.

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

16/18
Just don’t pinch it off, just don’t lose any momentum! The sand confronts you very directly with your own driving nature.

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

17/18
Once with professionals: Santi, Oriol and Antonio (from left) have long been real sand experts, Jordi in the middle anyway. And there, up to the very back, we actually went there.

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

18/18
The day of driving south through Morocco to Erfoud is extremely scenic, but requires a bit of sitting meat for around 600 kilometers of well-developed country road.

to travel

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons

Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons
Ride sports enduro under guidance

A dream destination even without a motorcycle: the Erg Chebbi mega-dune in south-east Morocco. Taking the desert sand under your wheels on a sports enduro under the guidance of a Dakar ace is definitely an experience for the ages.


Johannes Muller

06.10.2019

Motorbike tour with Jordi Arcarons takes place twice a year

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The three-day Sahara tour with Jordi Arcarons is part of a total of seven-day round trip that starts in Málaga, Spain – which can be reached cheaply from numerous airports in Germany. From there, the Triumph Tiger 1200 and night ferry take you to Melilla, the Spanish exclave in North Africa. The following day of driving south through Morocco to Erfoud is extremely scenic, but requires a little bit of sitting meat for around 600 kilometers of well-developed country road. On-site accommodation is a comfortable hotel in Erfoud. From there it goes on three days of driving on the current Yamaha WR 450 F together with Jordi Arcarons into the dunes of the surrounding area, finally on the same route back to Spain.

This travelogue was created in collaboration with Motourismo. The Hamburg internet platform is a cooperation partner of the MOTORRAD action team and brings together motorcycle trips and training courses from over 70 providers on its website – including the Morocco tour with Jordi Arcarons, which is exclusive to Germany.


Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons


Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

MOTORRAD editor Johannes Muller reports on his first dune experiences and the Motourismo tour with Jordi Arcarons.

“Haha. Man, you really have no idea how to ride in the sand do you?” Xema, the Spanish photographer, is obviously amused by my first attempts, which take place between shirt-sleeved and crude. “Brave what you are making here” – he says cojones -, “but just take care of your bones.” It’s correct. Of course, I have no idea how to drive in the sand. From where? Our group just arrived on tarmac in Erfoud the night before, and wherever I drive there is no sand. Let alone epic dunes to the horizon. They also chose a really nasty pit as a location. After all, I’m here to learn.

But that’s still pending. Instead, Xema is now there to produce pretty photos for the organizer. So i think: “I just hang on and do the same. Then it’s in the box.” Sounded like a plan. But if you saw an experienced Dakar rider like Gerard Farres, friend of the house, loosely and fluffily through the photo dune for the picture, then you can really only do it as a field-forest-and-meadow hobby driver who only knows sand as a binding agent to lose. As always: These damned cracks make it look so light, which is miserably difficult. Consequently, I take an intensive course in humility, lying five long minutes in front of the camera more on the ground than standing in the pegs of my Yamaha for great photo action.

“Always accelerate, you don’t need to brake.”

Far beyond forgiving what follows. “Hello, I’m Jordi Arcarons. Welcome to the desert!” The man himself: six-time Dakar podium finisher – from the glory days when the Dakar still went to Dakar and not to the highest bidder sheikh – now our guide for three days in the Erg Chebbi around Erfoud and Merzouga. Our sensei of the sand. Our – desert fox?

The basics are ticked off: “Shift weight backwards. Let the handlebars loose. Always accelerate, you don’t need to brake. You will slowly take the gas off. Roll smoothly, no hard inputs.” For me nothing less than the exact opposite of what I laboriously internalized during supermoto training. “And follow my trail. Behind the high dunes it goes down steeply. That they all arrive safely to me!” Speaks it and goes off. The Catalan is not a fan of big speeches, he prefers to play it. Good this way. We follow suit, gradually internalizing the mechanics of driving on floating ground. Exactly: gas, always gas! Speed ​​is the key, it stabilizes, momentum is the most precious commodity with almost zero traction.

Aquaplaning as the only usable driving condition

The front wheel always has to be as light as possible, only then does it find its track instead of pushing and digging. Aquaplaning as the only usable driving condition. Sight guidance: wide. Also calms the nerves immensely, is food for the soul. Oh, what a setting! We obviously lack the experience of reading the sand like Jordi does. But self-confidence grows. Soon the crystalline playground opens up at greater heights, because with more courage, i.e. more speed, more daring turns can be made. It’s like surfing or water skiing. Only with your own 50 HP, so the huge waves also up. One thing is certain: this is without a doubt one of the really, really great experiences on two wheels!


Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons


Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

Driving in the sand dune is one of the really great experiences on two wheels!

What must not happen: Stand still in front of the vertex. What if your 200 meter climb ends just 50 centimeters from the ridge? Push? Forget it, you’ll only dig yourself deeper. So turn and somehow take all the momentum with you on the way back down. Draw a radius for smooth turning. And grab it too, otherwise you will come to a standstill down in the valley – then it will be bitter. Because somehow digging your way out eats grains, and even in Jersey the heat builds up like in a pressure cooker. “Well, there were three liters in my hydration bladder. Where did they go??” – you think then, and it’s not even eleven. “After all, a tight 45 kilometers!” No, four point five. “You will feel like a rally professional”, means the tender and is right in these moments: That the sandy desert can be damn relentless flashes through. Respect for the drivers and doubly for those who live here. Of what, one wonders, and how? But this is not a rally and we are not alone. And so it happens that in the evening everyone at the hotel pool rinses the grind between their teeth with a beer. Learning objective achieved!

Soft sand, harder sand, rubble with sand …

On day two, Jordi serves sand in all its facets. More soft sand, more solid sand, boulders with sand, the firm, level sand of dry river beds. Even stones and rocks that are still waiting to be turned into sand. Enduro riding is also becoming classic, more familiar. You visit oasis, fortress, nomads, film set. Flying connection stages! In fifth gear, the 450 WRs flutter over 120 – then no twitching, otherwise handstands: “Señor Arcarons, that was fast now!” – “Oh dear, with the rally LC4 we had what it takes at the Dakar 180!” – “Hm?” – “Comfortable cruising speed!” When the man is not leading tourists like us, he supports the Yamaha works team from here and teaches the rally aces of tomorrow how to navigate.


Sahara adventure with Dakar driver Jordi Arcarons


Billy Goat Garage, Johannes Muller, Rossen Gargolov

Early-stage sandstorm.

Sandstorm – it almost blows you off your motorcycle

Later in the afternoon it then trickles from all sides: sandstorm. An electrifying natural spectacle when you are inside. The view drops to a few meters, it almost blows you off the motorcycle. It rubs like sandpaper. One expects lightning, thunder and deluge, instead only a few drops, the electricity is diverted in the motorcycle through clutch and brake levers. Completely crazy! The mini-precipitation is rare, and in the form of slightly more solid sand, it gives us the opportunity to drive to the highest dunes on the final day: up to 150 meters! “We are lucky!”, says Jordi and shows how to go around the huge cauldron. In an eternal arc, for several minutes at full throttle along the ridge. We squeeze every watt out of the 450 for the test. In front of us, the dune becomes a geometric construct made up of possible and impossible lines. The terrain forces us to make the right decisions quickly. Just don’t pinch it off, just don’t lose any momentum! The sand confronts you very directly with your own driving nature, your own – wrong here! – intuition. The circle succeeds and the dune flow becomes the best that I was allowed to experience.
Jordi, who up to now has been more of the Swabian motto “Net g’meckert is enough praise” misled, nods encouragingly to us and finally even ennobles us with something like recognition: “Ritmo perfecto, pista ideal!” Ha – I’ll have to tell Xema that later!

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