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Old 06-21-2011, 02:10 PM   #91
edog200 OP
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Berlin?

11.05pm Tuesday 21 June, 2011, Berlin, Germany

Berlin? Yep Berlin. Darren and I headed to Prague but the rain beat us to it and traffic snarls finished us off. Very difficult filming in those types of conditions so we headed off towards Germany and ultimately kept riding. The weather was fickle, with hot sunshine one minute and torrential rain the next. I'll have a little whinge now. If I have to put that bloody rain suit on one more time

Anyway looking forward to the BMW Factory Tour for the morning of the 23rd before motoring pretty quickly back to the UK.

Oh, nearly forgot, finally another VLOG. Darren and I have commenced our recruitment drive for the bigger trip commencing June or July 2012. We are looking for a small number of riders to join us. Enquiries can be a PM, however please don't 'tyre kick' as planning starts in earnest very soon.



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Old 06-21-2011, 10:48 PM   #92
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in - loving the travel and the bike comparisons - friendly banter and rivalries
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:12 PM   #93
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BMW factory visit tomorrow

Our BMW Motorad, factory visit tomorrow. With the KTM factory visit still fresh in our minds it will be interesting to see the differences in approach to production techniques, corporate culture and commitment to product development.

Really looking forward to this. Not looking forward to the ride back to the UK as it looks like we are going to get wet, wet, wet.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:16 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edog200 View Post
Not looking forward to the ride back to the UK as it looks like we are going to get wet, wet, wet.
Sunshine & showers predicted ... clearing, with 30ºC forecast for the w/end
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:04 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by edog200 View Post
Really looking forward to this. Not looking forward to the ride back to the UK as it looks like we are going to get wet, wet, wet.

Yeah you wil have a shock, BMW is an "whitebox" manufacturer, so most of the bikes ar just "stick together" fixed components patches so complete engines come in from China, frames come in from Italy etc. and the different streams knit together into coplete bikes in a coulple of minutes, just like Ford once invented...

What the weather will do is in you know who's hands, but try to first go a bit south west onto Leipzig Jena en then go east if traveling friday because it looks like Bremen und luneburger heide will be flooded.

If traveling saterday start early and stay northerly onto bremen, until 2 o clock it should be overcast only, but then as Usual the intermittent rainshower of Assen will come into the netherlands to make the MotoGP extra interesting :-)

The brunt of the rain will pass southerly of Assen, so the "dry" corridor of friday will be soaking wet on saterday (not so nice because we live in the southern tip of the Netherlands)

If weather forecast would be better i could have shomn you are northern european Gem The Ardennes with Spa Francorshamps, but it does not look like that would be fun in thes conditions.

If you are around her on Sunday though i would be happy to give you a tour of our unique backroads through the Ardennes
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:43 AM   #96
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BMW factory visit and more rain

The factory set up for BMW for making bikes is huge in comparison to KTM, but what it makes up in size in loses in character. The huge foot print of the plant means there appears to be little interaction between employees of the plant at the varyng stages of production.

Precision and quality are what you would expect, but a surprising proportion of the production operation is still done by hand. We watched a number of different bikes being produced on the same line. BMW 1200GS, both the adventure and road versions as well as the big six cylinder tourer.

The most interesting part of the production line for me was the engine testing. I assume this is straight after initial assembly. Where a robot picks up the engine in its most basic form, connects a fuel and air mixture, pumps oil through it and connects temporary exhaust manifolds. Later the bike is fully dynoed and that too was interesting to watch. But witnessing a whole heap of metal parts being assembled and then hearing the sound of a new born engine is awesome.

At the completion of bike assembly, the bike is ridden onto a brake testing machine and then dyno.

All impressive stuff, but if I were an employee, I'd be heading to the wheat fields of Austria and that little KTM plant. But that's a personal choice and I know many others.....Darren for example, who may disagree.

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Old 06-24-2011, 09:34 AM   #97
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Rain again a big 1200k 14 hour blast to London

Before we tell you of the ongoing rain saga, and by the way, thank you all for the suggestions, we need to go back to Prestice, CZECH for a moment.

One of the goals for the trip was to visit the home of my mother in law, who, together with her husband, were political refugees when the Communists took over the Czech republic, after World War 2. Had it not been for their successful escape over the Alps and eventually onto Australia, I would not have met my wife.

Here is one of the goals successfully accomplished. A photograph in front of my mother in law's home in Prestice, Czech Republic.



The relo's took to the bikes like ducks to water.....

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Old 06-24-2011, 09:48 AM   #98
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Berlin to London non-stop

As we left the BMW factory we could see the clouds once again mounting to the east. We dodged three storm cells before we got hit. Those bridges come in handy.



Great shelter.



Darren headed off very determined to get to the train tunnel and with the assistance of the autobahns and freeways we arrived there around midnight.

Something I didn't know before it was too late...you are prohibited from using flash photography on the train as it can set off the fire alarm.



Unlike the ferry, bikes are not strapped down but are left in gear on their side stands with their front wheel to the curb. The Kato looked a little precarious, but managed to stay upright.

By 1am I was swearing and cursing a little at my mate's determination to get home come hell or high water. I did suggest cracking out the tent and crashing, but that was only wishful thinking. The job had to get done and 1,200 k's and 14 hours later we were home. However, immediately sleeping after a run like that is another matter.
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:18 AM   #99
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Where to from now?

I take this opportunity to apologise for the quality of this thread. It's a little disjointed at times and there are some big gaps in the riding experience. No excuses, but rain and lack of internet did have a hand to play in our challenges.

In the last couple of days Darren and I have been busily working to collate and archive all the video we've taken, a whopping 1.2 Terrabytes. Now I know quantity isn't everything, but Darren and I have improved in our camera work and hopefully that will be apparent in the video we produce.

There were a heap of lessons learned for this trip....basically we packed too much stuff, be it camera gear, clothing or other things. I'm going to use this entry to remind me in a couple of months.

For the big trip, London to Sydney I solemnly swear to take the following clothing, nothing more.

2 pairs of socks
2 pairs of undies
one merino wool (skinny light weight ) jumper
1 pair of away from bike light weight trousers
1 pair of riding pants
I riding jacket
1 pair of thinly soled shoes.

Camping gear worked well.
3 man tent with Annexe was great and when conditions became unpleasant it was waterproof in the worst down pours. The annexe gives you space to put all your bike gear under cover.

Now some big questions to be answered.

What bike for the London to Sydney ride?
A 110 Honda Postie, like our English friend? At the moment I'm seriously thinking of shipping my KTM640 to the UK to ride it back.

What route?
I have a couple of expectations.

1. I don't want to end up kidnapped or blown up by terrrorists or ripped off.

2. I have to complete the trip in three months absolute max and preferably 2 and a half months.

3. We must be in the Simpson Desert well before October, as it closes for the summer due to the dangerous conditions.

Size of Team?
Darren and I found very quickly that to make a decent movie you need a minimum of three riders and I think possibly four is ideal.

As you can see from the previous video we are seeking other riders and at this stage have seen interest from only one person.

I think we are going to have difficulty finding other riders for the team, for a number of reasons. Generally people who go on these types of trips are independent and self sufficient types.

Secondly, it's a real worry committing to live close and personal with two other guys you don't know, who film everything.

Finally a 3 month commitment is a big chunk out a person's busy life and believe me that is a great underestimate as the planning is going to take a lot of effort.

We'd like to hear the thoughts of others on these three points. Feel free to contribute as this will be the thread that takes us right through to the London to Sydney trip.

edog200 screwed with this post 06-27-2011 at 03:23 AM
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:35 PM   #100
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I'm no expert, but I think you're definitely right-on keeping it to 3 to 4 riders. I think its better from a filming point of view and for those following the trip. You kinda get to know each rider a little better.

Jim
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:07 AM   #101
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Sitting in Heathrow Airport contemplating

The completion of this project merely means the second, the London to Sydney trip, is a hell of a lot closer.

The more I think about it, the more I think the KTM640 Adventure is for us.

Let's go through the plus's

Long Travel suspension
Extra Reliable Engine
Long Range - exceptional by todays standards
Great carrying capacity
Mechanically pretty simple

Some say it vibrates their hands off, I've never found this problem.

And then there's the rumours of this highly dirt capable KTM800 Adventure twin, running on the net. Hmmmmm.

Anyway time to get nostalgic.



This bike has been good to me. 30,000 k's worth of solid adventures. Got to give it it's due.

The great thing is that Darren also has one and one of our current applicants to join the ride also has one.

And lately it took me on a triple crossing of the Simpson Desert.


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Old 06-28-2011, 09:14 AM   #102
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You've got my vote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frijole View Post
I'm no expert, but I think you're definitely right-on keeping it to 3 to 4 riders. I think its better from a filming point of view and for those following the trip. You kinda get to know each rider a little better.

Jim
I strongly agree.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:59 AM   #103
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just subscribing
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:55 AM   #104
Rema in Paluda
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Originally Posted by edog200 View Post
For the big trip, London to Sydney I solemnly swear to take the following clothing, nothing more.

2 pairs of socks
2 pairs of undies
one merino wool (skinny light weight ) jumper
1 pair of away from bike light weight trousers
1 pair of riding pants
I riding jacket
1 pair of thinly soled shoes.
We've been having the same learningcurve started with two sets of riding gear, leathers for warm weather, and Cordura goretex for adverse conditions, and denim for real hot weather ;-)

But soon we dumped the lining of the corura to keep the leather under it, because even goretex leaks after a a few 10k in adverse conditions, and all clothing beneat soaked...

In cold weather there is no real need for Goretax, and in warm weather it does not function, so after a soakng wet passage through teh Swiss alps we bought plain cheap bicycle rain jackets to pull over the leathers, and that is light easily compressable, and in case of mishap, very cheap to replace :-)

Thats the outher shell :-)

What i miss, and you will really need it, is a good pair of fleeces, because eventually you will have to pass some real impressive passes were the Asiatic plate bumps into the Oceanic, also known in India as the Himlayan, and further on well i don't know.

But even the lowly Alps can be freezing in midsummer !

So keep in mind the way to go is layering, not one thick vest, but several layers to beef up the isilation when needed, at leest three undies so one is always dry, and three t-shirts, same argument, because you will not have washing facilities at hand for several days, and riding with a wet undy, be it by rain or angst, gives real unpleasent irritation at your manhood...


Three pair of preformed socks, in three different knittings the cool, the normal and the ski-kneestockings of Falke do it for us.

And just one leather trousers and one AJS leather waxcoat wit airing zippers, is the real gear, a pair of Lowa (*non*-goretex) ankle covering mountain boots, perfect for riding, klimbing and extensive Dresden Krakow Capadocia sightseeing, a pair of sleek spanish bordello loafers for the evening in the Hotel Ekonomat :-)

And verry important *two* sets of gloves, Held "Steve" Kangaroo leather to realy feel what you do in good weather (dry up spectacularly fast) and a set of mounteneering gloves from Mammut "Zermatt" consisting of a Goretex outher shell to keep the wet out, and a windstopper fleece innard with thin leather inforcements were most wear will be. This gives you the choice to wear leathers in sunny or dry weather, and without the inner gloves the Zermatt is a thin fully weatherproof warm mousson glove, and with the inner glove below zero warm and dry glove. The inner gloves of the Zermatt are btw ideal as camping glove in the alps to cut wood for a campfire etc...

And one thing not being clothing, but i thing necesary, a tarp to throw over the bikes when you get surprised in the mountains by a thunderstorm, so the bicycle raingear can be pulled on, over dry leather.

And dont wait till the leather is damp by the "a its just some drizzle" argumentatiton, becaus riding in damp clothing gives itching withing two days, so as soon as it drizzles get into the looney condoms, it doesnt look very Adventurous, but man what a delight it is to stay dry :-)



Since we dumped our Goretex Cordura out of our travel gear, the Ortlib is half as full, and we just laugh at the rain, were with any "all weather" gear it will get humid within two days, and *very smelly* if the temperature goes up
(same goes for Goretex boots, oh man, what a stench !)

More tips at out site, which i may not post because of "spam" regulations, but just google on motorcycle cornering, and hit the first link.
(special google service for real lazy motobikers :-)


[QUOTE]
I think we are going to have difficulty finding other riders for the team, for a number of reasons. Generally people who go on these types of trips are independent and self sufficient types.
[QUOTE]

Yup, we've done some trips with groups, but it tends to go downhill after about two weeks, then the dirtbags allyear riders and the CC-people split like Milk on a sunny day.

Wouldn't it be a idea to get an estafette system, with riders from the neighborhood showing the hidden Gems, because the routplanners will shoiw way to big roads, while it would give a way more exclusive Film, when you really take in the local roads that really differentiate that Region from the rest of the world.?

I would gladly pick you guys up in Lille or Mons, to show you the real innards of Wallonië and belgian/dutch/german Limburg, then the unknown ardennes onto Eisengebirge without any Highway...


Quote:
We'd like to hear the thoughts of others on these three points. Feel free to contribute as this will be the thread that takes us right through to the London to Sydney trip.

Will do, and more...
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:27 PM   #105
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Here's another alternative to get us there

Here's another alternative to get us to our destination....the Triumph Tiger 800XC.

I rode this in the UK, but didn't go anywhere near the dirt with it.

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