Monthly Archives: June 2012

Volumetric Weight.


Just doing some quick calculations for volumetric weight. This is a measure used by airfreight companies to account for space as well as weight. Basically if you air freight a huge sponge it won’t cost much for the weight of it, but it takes up valuable cargo space so you get charged based on volume instead. Like a minimum charge per cubic CM if your cargo is very light, but if it’s heavy it doesn’t come into play. To work it out you have to measure the consignment at the widest, highest and longest points in CM.

Very rough figures for the outfit in CM – 200 x 200 x 150.

They say multiply L x W x H in CM and divide by 6000 to give you the volumetric weight.

200 x 200 x 150 = 6000000

6000000 / 6000 = 1000

Volumetric weight = 1000kgs. Bit of a hike from the 320kgs it actually weighs!

This puts the price up considerably, so it looks like I’ll have to detach the chair. Bugger.

Friends from out of town.


A whole weekend’s worth of planning was marred by indecision on my part, but all in the presence of a good mate from England. I got a taste of what my Chinese guide will be going through when I sat in the chair while Steve learned how to ride it. That’s an experience I’d recommend to no-one! A great weekend all the same though, and I’m more confident in the ability of the COD now it’s been on one of Don’s Detours. I still haven’t found a name for the bike, but I’m using COD (the Chair Of Despair) until something finally gels.



Note to self: Time is not on your side!

I thought I’d make a little list of all the things that need sorting before I can leave. It goes a little something like this:

· Visas (Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus in the main)

· Carnet en Douane / de passage

· International License

· Travel insurance

· Health insurance

· Motor insurance

· Vaccinations

· Spares for the bike (cables, inner tubes, tools, points, coil, bulbs)

· First aid kit

· Dangerous Goods Certificate

· Crating and Air Freighting

It sounds like a lot but it’s all doable, just! The biggest job is the travel visas, which are causing me a bit of a headache. Some visas are granted in 7 working days (good), but are only valid for 30 days from the date of issue (bad). That means I effectively have to apply for them while en-route, but I won’t have a permanent address at the time. Kind of a catch 22 situation!

I’m sure there’s an answer, I’ll start by asking the universe (Google!). Watch this space.

How Far?


I ran the Guzzi dry at the weekend. I wanted to find out:

a) Whether the reserve tap works.

b) Exactly how far I can go between stops.

I purchased a 4 litre reserve can that fits nicely in the boot of the chair. I figured that would be enough to see me to the nearest garage in Central Melbourne. I brimmed the tank and went for a long (urban) ride, finally running dry at 180 miles indicated. (Next I need to find out whether the distance I’m seeing is accurate – another job on the list!). Assuming it is, then I have the following facts and figures for the anoraks out there:

Range on one tank : 180 Miles / 290 Kms.

Fuel Capacity : 4.4 UK Gallons / 20 Litres.

Fuel Economy : 40 Mpg / 14.5 kms/litre or 6.9 Litres/100km

With the spare can I can get an extra 36 Miles, or 57kms. I wonder if that’s enough? I could always take a steel 20l jerry can and attach it between the bike and the chair, which would double my range – but will fuel stops really be 600kms apart? I hope not! It’s also a lot of extra weight to carry. For now I’ll stick with my 4l spare.

Oh, and the reserve taps? Nope, they don’t work any more.