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Old 06-07-2014, 03:02 AM   #1
dirty_harry OP
Joined: Jun 2011
Oddometer: 20
We Could Though

"We Could Though": The reply one gives when a silly idea is suggested on a night out.
Normally the task is not fulfilled, this however is a completely different kettle of fish.
Stay tuned

dirty_harry screwed with this post 06-07-2014 at 03:23 AM
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:27 PM   #2
dirty_harry OP
Joined: Jun 2011
Oddometer: 20

We Could Though took its first real life breath last week when we went to france and purchased motorcycles. The departure date is getting closer and the trip gets more ridiculous every second, however I am loving it. The video gives the full story
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:18 AM   #3
dirty_harry OP
Joined: Jun 2011
Oddometer: 20
So far very little writing has been done in this thread, this is mostly because i have been absolutely hectic trying to finalise everything for the trip and secondly because I don't particularly like writing. As we are getting so close to the departure date now there is a calm before the storm and i have a little bit more free time and as such i thought I would add an update to the ride report with a few photos from the trip to France to purchase bikes. Since the last video a lot has happened and the plans have changed slightly. For one the start date is probably going to be pushed back a few days, we were meant to leave on the 19th of July, however due to a slight lack of organisation and a few mess ups with the uzbek embassy Thibault still does not have a Russian visa, nor has it even been applied for . Secondly, Bethany has decided that due to not being able to purchase insurance legally with a CBT license in France (because she is british) it would not be a wise idea to purchase a bike, so, she is coming as a pillion on my DR650 . The trip gets more ridiculous by the second but I think thats what we love about it. I will write a proper bike and rider Bio in the near future to properly introduce the "characters" in this RR. Stay tuned because this is going to turn into an epic very soon.

The Photos below were all taken in the north of France near Froyelles which is were Thibault lives.










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Old 07-30-2014, 07:07 AM   #4
dirty_harry OP
Joined: Jun 2011
Oddometer: 20
We could though has officially started and an adventure would be an understatement for what has happened to us in the last week. I set off from Liverpool on saturday morning (19/7/2014) headed north toward the lake district, although this is completely the wrong direction I needed to pick up Bethany and wanted to see some friends who are working in Eskdale Valley. It was a grim day, raining from the minute I woke up and it was forecast to get heavier, however as lunchtime came around the rain started to ease a little and I really wanted to make it up there for Saturday so i could see my friends band playing in the local pub. Despite the rain I headed off and in fairness the weather wasn't that bad, it was wet but it was easing, that was until I rode over the Hardknott pass and dropped down into Eskdale Valley were I encountered the heaviest rain I have ever seen in my life. I quickly dived for cover under 3 roadside trees and within about 2 minutes the rain under the trees was heavier than when i took to the trees for cover so i soldiered on knowing i was relatively close to my destination. About 200 meters down the road I found were I was going, albeit sopping wet. I spent the next 3 days in this part of the lake district just generally exploring the place and riding Hardknott pass many times. It is an absolutely amazing road in terms of scenery and is very tight, the road condition is very average and narrow so you have to be wary of what is coming the other way, it is lovely on an ADV bike however I think it would be heaven on a motard.

After a few days around Eskdale it was time to say goodbye and head about 20 miles down the road to collect Bethany. As a group we are very unorganized, this is probably not great for a RTW trip but it makes for some great stories. So I arrived at Bethany's with the intention of spending about a day there to load up the bike and make sure we had everything, however that turned into 2 nights because she was still waiting on her Russian visa to be delivered. While it may seem that Bethany was cutting it fine with a Russian visa, Thibault had yet to have his passport returned from the Uzbekistan embassy let alone apply for his Russian visa. So it was decided due to the fact that the Uzbek embassy in the UK is impossible to contact, he would drive from his house in the north of france, cross the channel and go to the Uzbek embassy in person to retrieve his passport. He would then go across to the Russian embassy and get a next day visa. It would turn out to be an absolute blessing that he had to come across the channel.

Once it was known that Thibault had his passport in his hand and it would not accidentally get sent to the north of England Bethany and myself set off on our way. We had a ferry booked for Saturday morning at 6am and the plan was to camp in Dover for the night before getting on the ferry. We were later than we would have like setting off and by 4pm we had only made it to Stoke, we decided that due to time constraints we would get on the motorway and knock down a few K's. This could not have been a worse idea. After being on the M1 for around half an hour we were just outside Milton Keynes when all hell broke loose. Sitting in the outside lane, doing around 110km and an almighty rattle came from the bike, instinctively I pulled the clutch in and quickly got across to the hard shoulder. Before I had even changed one lane the bike had died, I knew it was bad. I sat on the roadside bank for about a minute to gather my thoughts when the highway patrol came to usher us away, he gave us the option of towing for 150 quid or after a little talking we were allowed to push it to the next junction, so thats what we did. it was about 1.5 miles to the next junction and let me tell you pushing a fully laden bike is not really fun, spirits were greatly increased when the electronic signs displayed the message "pedestrians on road, please slow down" with the speed limit dropped to 40 mph at 5pm on a friday afternoon. I doubt I'll ever have a nations spinal motorway slowed for me at peak hour on a friday ever again (I hope not anyway). Once off the motorway damage control was in action. My initial thought was the big end had gone as the starter was not having a bar of turning it over, so we scouted out a place to stash the bike and set up a bit of a camp. We found a lay-by to put the bike in and called Thibault who was conveniently in the country and waited a couple of hours for him to arrive. We left the bike for the night and went and found a suitable camp. We settled for a disused A road about 2 miles up the road with a bit of a forrest and a lovely lakeside view. When we woke in the morning we decided that this area would be suitable for a couple of days, it was secluded enough for us not to be hassled and the disused road would be suitable to tear the bike down for some fault diagnostics. So we went and towed the bike from the lay-by to our new "home" and i began to tear it down. I'll let the pictures do the talking but considering I was expecting a big end failure what i came across was more than surprising. safe to say I have some great souvenirs.

On the way up Hardknott pass

Friends band "Counting Days" playing a small pub gig

Above are all taken in Wasdale valley.

Top of Hardknott pass

Hardknott pass looking into Eskdale Valley

The motorway slowed for our convenience

"Marlow's Mechanics"


Home for a few days

A trip to the local Little Chef was in order to get some internet and work out what was going to happen. This trip is already being done on a stupidly small budget so I did fear that a full top end rebuild would be out of our budget, we found a top end in the UK but it was about 400 quid. Thibault then searched the french version of gumtree and we found many DR650's being wrecked and found a full top end for 160 euro, still a hit but definitely within budget. The plan now was to try and find a way to get the bike to Dover were we could push it onto the ferry and park it up in calais, it would then be easier to go back and forth between Thibault's house, the bike and wherever we found parts. We put posts on facebook, put flyers around on service station windows and went to a truck stop and started asking truckies. The first day (Sunday) we had a call from a fellow traveller who lived nearby, he said that although he wasn't going to dover at all he would give us a lift because if he was in a similar situation he would want someone to do the same. The only problem with this offer was he couldn't take us until Wednesday. We accepted his offer but told him we would keep looking to see if we could find something sooner. Monday morning we went out and did exactly the same thing and found a man called Duncan with a VW transporter. He was a railway's tester on his way to work in Germany and also a motorcyclist. Before we could even think I was jumping in his van and we went to collect our bike. Duncan is a top bloke and gave me a lift all the way to Calais. I tried to throw him some petrol money but he wouldn't take it, so it ended up costing a packet of cigarettes to get a motorbike from Milton Keynes to Calais. There are good people in the world.

So as it stands now; Bethany, Thibault and I are at Thibaults house in Froyelles while the bike is parked on the side of the road in Calais, with half a motor. We should be collecting parts today (Wednesday) and starting the roadside rebuild. Unless we can find a vehicle to bring the bike from Calais to Froyelles.

More pictures can be found on my Flickr
and a video will appear soon maybe once the rebuild is complete

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Old 07-30-2014, 08:48 PM   #5
Deaf Biker
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Seven Springs NC
Oddometer: 738
Good luck on getting your bike fixed! And yes you are right that there are good people in this world who can help!
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:55 AM   #6
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Now serving just Snohomish County
Oddometer: 1,388
What a start!

Enjoy your journey. It is refreshing to see someone who is not afraid to take the head off their bike alongside the road. It appears you have what it takes to get to where you want to go. Enjoy!
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:35 PM   #7
dirty_harry OP
Joined: Jun 2011
Oddometer: 20
Quick update after the fiasco of Milton Keynes:
We collected a full top end from a couple of hours away from my friends house in Froyelles on Wednesday (30/7/2014), the parts were in reasonable condition. there are wear marks, they are second hand parts. I believe the motor they came out of, despite "running" when it was parted, was starting to lose oil pressure, theres a few very small marks on the cam journals in the head but not a mark on the cam caps which i find slightly strange. There are also wear marks in one of the gudgeon bosses on the piston and the gudgeon is marked. The plan was to put the gudgeon out of my bike in the new piston however in the move across the channel the piston has been "misplaced" (binned I would have it a guess, don't even ask why!!). For the parts cost of 160euro it suited the budget, and every other condition I weighed up. We hired a trailer and picked the bike up from Calais as i decided the cost to get it to my friends shed was well worth it compared to rebuilding roadside. It is currently Friday (1/8/2013) and a few hours ago she fired up. Battery did not enjoy cranking to try and get oil pressure so we ended up doing laps of the garden with no plugs to get some oil movement around the motor at least. As said battery was dead it was push start time, took a few goes and a few rests but eventually she belted into a lovely loud bark with no exhaust attached . So plan is to head off early tomorrow. Hopefully such a thing happens.

The glorious moment as she fired up.

dirty_harry screwed with this post 08-01-2014 at 10:58 PM
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