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Car UK – March 2023

Car UK – March 2023
English | 133 pages | pdf | 130.47 MB
Welcome at Car UK Magazine March 2023 Issue
I can still see the sparks now, when I close my eyes. The High Atlas mountains looked breathtaking in the dawn light, the shafts of copper sunlight working with the jagged horizon to create a mind-blowing light-andshade masterpiece of rich, warm hues and still-chilly inky near-darkness.
It was in one such stretch of still-gloomy half-light that the motorcycle ahead of mine hit ice mid-corner and fell in a heartbeat, tarmac instantly grinding at aluminium cylinder head cover (the bike was an R1200GS, powered by a version of BMW’s flat-twin, with its protruding horizontal cylinders) without mercy as the bike slowed and, with oil gushing from a plum-sized hole in the cover, came to rest. Ah.
The Tizi n’Tichka pass, between Marrakesh and the desert city of Ouarzazate, built nearly a century ago with back-breaking hard labour by the French military (you can only wonder at the amount of rehyrdrating Orangina consumed), is a spectacular road but a remote one short on BMW motorcycle parts suppliers, official or otherwise. Clearly, we were on our own. Except that in Morocco, you never are. Just this month, in the 911 Dakar, I’d be in what looked for all the world like a wilderness, with nothing visible in any direction but sand, rock and the occasional tree so utterly desiccated as to appear fossilised, only to round the next corner and have to slow for a bunch of wildly waving kids.
And so it was high on that mountain pass. A van, one of the army of old TN Mercs that ply Morocco’s road routes, soon stopped, kindly lobbed the BMW in the back and took us south out of the mountains to the first proper village. There a mechanic scratched his head at the holed aluminium cover, made some tea, then set about patching the problem with a great wad of hand-worked plastic metal. An hour later were on the move again, the BMW’s flat-twin oil-tight bar a single hairline strand of the stuff that ran from a pin-prick leak, one that fortunately wasn’t generous enough to make a material difference.
This, the humbling scale and savage beauty of the place, together with the tangible warmth of its people, is the magic of Morocco. And with any luck that won’t change. But Morocco is changing, naturally.
It’s getting busier and it’s getting easier, with more and more motorway. So if the place appeals, and it really should, then I’d urge you to go sooner rather than later. That pass, the one on which my riding buddy and I left trace amounts of aluminium and a decent puddle of sheer panic, used to be an all but deserted tarmac playground, as Richard Bremner discovered in his 1995 classic ‘Because it’s there’, in which he piloted a Ferrari to the Sahara for CAR. ‘There’s no sign of snow south of Marrakesh,’ wrote Bremner. ‘It’s warm and cloudless, the road almost empty. Eventually it begins to climb, sometimes in extravagant sweeps, increasingly in tight twists demanding a hard haul on the Ferrari’s unassisted
wheel. We surge on, anticipating wonderful roads. And they are.’
You’d have to get up early to enjoy the Tizi n’Tichka now. So do it. But beware the ice.Download from:NitroFlare


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