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Old 10-02-2013, 04:23 AM   #2251
achesley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirty_sanchez View Post
They're here, not alot of them, but the bikes are around. There are 3 in my immediate neighborhood, and two over in Pontchatoula.

Dirty
Just looked up KTM dealers and one in Lafayette, La May have to go look ;-) .
Noah,
I totally agree with you on maintenance on any bike. Especially the bikes of today. If anyone is afraid these newer bikes will leave them on the road, they for sure did not want to be roaming about on the bikes of the 50's and 60's. Back then, you best know a bit about repairing your bike or don't have one. Even more so if you tended to be a solo rider.
By the way, what is the yen/dollar ratio now days on the average there in Japan. Hard to believer but it was 360 yen per dollar when I was there in '62/'63.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:37 AM   #2252
gen
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Originally Posted by achesley View Post
By the way, what is the yen/dollar ratio now days on the average there in Japan. Hard to believer but it was 360 yen per dollar when I was there in '62/'63.
It is about 100 yen to 1 USD these days.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:47 AM   #2253
dirty_sanchez
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Originally Posted by achesley View Post
Just looked up KTM dealers and one in Lafayette, La May have to go look ;-) .
Jessie Viator and Dad Viator at Performance Cycles in Laffy aren't KTM street bike dealers just yet and other than the EXC's, aren't going to have any of the twins or the 690's in stock...YET. Great guys and very helpful though.

I'm not selling mine, but if you're interested in throwing a leg over a 690 and twisting the grip, PM me. My Mom, Sister and her kidddo's live there and I head over to visit here and there-I could ride the bike over one weekend.

Dirty
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:49 AM   #2254
Drtbkdav
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This is my favorite RR

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Old 10-02-2013, 06:57 AM   #2255
RoninMoto OP
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Originally Posted by Blue Icebreaker View Post
Hey Noah, how is accomodation in Japan? Being one of the world's most expensive countries, did you manage to find something cheap where they let you park your bike safely also? Food prices? Ride on!
I'm not sure why everyone thinks it so expensive. I'm doing it cheaper then UK and most of western Europe. I'm spending about $30 a day on fuel... $30 on lodging if I stay at a motorcycle stay or hostel. I stayed in a really effing nice hotel the other night and it was $75. In Russia (Sakhalin) I stayed at a $90 hotel and it was nowhere near as nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by achesley View Post
By the way, what is the yen/dollar ratio now days on the average there in Japan. Hard to believer but it was 360 yen per dollar when I was there in '62/'63.
What Gen said... 1 penny = 1 Yen
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RTW Ride Report --> http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781893
Blog ------------------> http://rtwwithnoah.blogspot.com/
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:06 AM   #2256
Chet Punisher
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Are you gonna post up anything from Japan? I know you're not biking, but it would be cool to see some pics and thought...
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:14 AM   #2257
WhicheverAnyWayCan
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Originally Posted by Chet Punisher View Post
Are you gonna post up anything from Japan? I know you're not biking, but it would be cool to see some pics and thought...
+1
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:24 AM   #2258
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Originally Posted by Chet Punisher View Post
Are you gonna post up anything from Japan? I know you're not biking, but it would be cool to see some pics and thought...
Yes yes. I'm behind right now. I still have to post Sakhalin. Then I'll be posting on Japan. I haven't been riding for 5 days or so. Tokyo is one of the coolest, cleanest, nicest big cities I've ever been in. Otherwise the riding here is quite awesome... Great twisties.. The 50 kph speed limit is a pita but it is what it is.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:32 AM   #2259
gen
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RTW with Noah on a KTM 690

Japan can be cheap if you look for deals. It can also be really really expensive if you want that experience.

It is also a very, very safe country. Like how you can drop your wallet on the street in central Tokyo and be assured that you will get it back from the police with all of the cash intact (true story.)

Noah, if you get antsy for dirt, this site, while Japanese, has lots of trip reports for "rindou" which are dirt roads on mtns here in JPN.

http://rindouhunter.com/
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gen screwed with this post 10-03-2013 at 06:13 AM
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:28 AM   #2260
E-Bum
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Originally Posted by RoninMoto View Post

I don't know if I could or if I would want to make a career out of this. Right now I enjoy the writing. I enjoy the traveling and I enjoy the feedback from all you guys and gals at home or on the road. I'm worried if I start getting paid for this it is a job and won't be fun anymore? Maybe that isn't the right attitude. But I feel like I will always be a better engineer then a writer or photographer so if I need money I should take a contract. Plus.. truth be told.. I do miss it some. When I was asked the question a month ago, I hadn't really though about it. Now that I'm in clean and safe Japan.. the adventure of Siberia behind me.. I've been thinking about engineering and other things a lot more. Don't worry though. My trip is not ending any time soon.
Can't help but feel partially guilty for planting that seed in your head when I asked that... The ADV engineer's plight!

If it makes you feel any better, I've mulled over the same dilemma time and time again. After you travel a certain way, get to know the nuances of your method of travel, it becomes eerily similar to the "comfort" you feel when in a 9-5 cube farm job. You just seek to push yourself, seek out new and different challenges. Long trips like this one make that tough to find the right balance. While you are physically and emotionally being challenged while tackling Siberia, you get to a point where your brain begins to crave the stimulation it received whilst in your engineering job.

My little adventure doesn't compare with this behemoth of an ADV ride you're on, but for what it's worth, if you're like me, and it sounds like you are (I'm a little younger and more inexperienced in my ME career than you are), you'll be closer to striking that balance if you take up a contract for a little while. I had been backpacking around, climbing mountains and motorcycling for 8 months in SA before I felt that slight yearning for mental stimulation again that only school/engineering projects brought me. I was lucky and found an 8-month contract job here in Chile. I am happy I did it. Now, my contract is up, my head is filled with new knowledge and I'm ready to head out again, satisfied with having exercized the mind... A RTW a la Noah is in the works .

Take care dude, keep on riding, writing and shooting.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:52 AM   #2261
lukeman
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Looking forward to you riding around Japan. Seems like a great place to ride, they love motos over there.

Fill up on that delicious ramen while you can. Not sure if you hit up Akihabara yet, but its the electronic/anime district. Its quite interesting to see all the raw electronic part shops and the random 6 story xxx shops .
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:55 PM   #2262
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Noah,

Your trip and RR are truly epic. inspiring stuff

I purchased my 2008 KTM 690 a few years ago with the intention of doing a ride from London to Turkey with a friend but it fell through. You are inspiring me to go it alone. I have just about caught up to present day and I don't think this has been asked yet (sorry if it has). What I'd really like to know is what you are carrying (total kit).

After the post from Sprouty (quote below - thanks) I have the toolkit, and I know the saddle bags, boots you recently purchased, camera, tent etc... because you've mentioned them but I'm specifically interested in the parts you carry, the other electronics (whatever you use to post and store images), and the bag setup you use (you mentioned you have dry bags inside the rest of the bags etc...).

I'm also interested in the mods you made to Katrina to prepare her and if there is anything else you'd do.

Again I hope I'm not repeating questions.

Have fun in Japan. Keep the reports coming and stay safe.


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Old 10-02-2013, 05:24 PM   #2263
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Originally Posted by icngacsn View Post
Noah,

What I'd really like to know is what you are carrying (total kit).
Other Stuff.
-Tent - Sierra designs lightning lt 2
-Sleeping bag -Western Mountaineering down 30 degree F
-Thermorest Neoair
-MSR dragonfly.
-Small Titanium cook set.
-Small stainless MSR fry pan.
-MSR 4L water bladder. (Lost somewhere on the bam)
-MSR water filter.
-Steripen UV light.
-Klim badlands jacket and pants.
-Gerbings heated Jacket. (I will send it home after japan.. its heavy and takes up space)
-Arai XD4 Helmet
-Fox bomber gloves for warm
-Klim Adventure gloves for cold
-Forma adventure boots.
-Orvis Frequent flyer 7 piece 5 weight fly rod.
-Sony NEX 5 camera.
-Lenovo x220 computer.
-Outlet adapter with USB for charging stuff.
-2x underwear. 2x casual socks. thick, med, thin riding socks, 1x tech tshirt warm, 1x tech tshirt cold, 1x cotton tshirt, top and bottom thick thermals, 1x fleece, 1x shorts/swimsuit. 1x jeans. (usually I don't carry pants).
-First aid and medicine.
-a pair of skate shoes. I don't like sandals.

I think thats about everything. Cheers. Good luck on your trip.
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RTW Ride Report --> http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781893
Blog ------------------> http://rtwwithnoah.blogspot.com/
Facebook------------> https://www.facebook.com/RtwWithNoah
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:59 PM   #2264
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Since we're on the topic of bike prep, maintenance and gear, what did you do with the Giant Loop panniers to be able to refuel? Did you modify the flap that links the 2 panniers over the seat? Any other comments, pros and cons regarding your set-up? I'm looking into either the Adv-Spec Magadans or the GL Siskiyou paniers. And the RR rack looks like it's up to the job.

You're RR is a wealth of knowledge and a lot of fun to read! Keep it coming!

Ivan
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:04 AM   #2265
RoninMoto OP
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Tynda to Vanino

Aug 21. Tynda to Svobodny. 628 km
After a quick (and shitty) breakfast of Mountain Dew and the Russian equivalent of “pigs in a blanket” Kim and I were headed south out of Tynda. Kurt left the hotel later than us but Kim and I weren't going to wait. We had some distance to cover. I had 4 days to cover about 1800 km to get to Sveta's house on Saturday night after she got done with work. The first 160 km were various stages of construction. There were a few fun twisty gravel passes to be done. As Kim put it, I was “riding in MX mode”. So late in the morning we got to a cafe in Never. This is the junction of M58 (Trans-Siberian) and M56 (Road to Tynda and Magadan). Kim went to work changing out his fron tire for the street tire he was carrying and I sent John a text. I knew he would be getting close to Never riding from Ullan Ude. He had the $14 auto decompress weight that I had sent to Ullanbaatar. I needed the part when I was in Irkutsk before I started the BAM. I knew my buddy Matthew Johnson was still in UB at the time and the plan was he would meet us in Tynda to ride to Magadan. He blew up his XR400 south of Ullan Ude so he gave the part to John who continued the relay. John was riding with a Croatian guy on an overloaded Africa twin would join Kim and I for a few days. We sat in the Cafe chatting for about 3 hours. John was very interested in the BAM. I gave him as much info as I could. He was riding a well sorted KTM 690 and he would be meeting up with his wife again in Irkutsk in a few weeks. Their website http://intotheworld.eu/ He would end up doing the BAM successfully solo east to west. Prior to doing the BAM, I was apprehensive about going solo. But after seeing it and knowing my ability, I would have felt comfortable riding it solo. Some of the wet bridges at the start would have been a bit hairy. But all in all, I felt very comfortable in my riding ability and never really felt in danger. Kim and I along with our new Croatian friend continued east on the Trans Siberian Highway another 450 km to Svobodny. The afternoon dragged on forever. Long straight road with not much change in scenery. We covered more distance in 5 hours than we were in 3 days on the BAM. This was not adventure travel. This was necessity travel. Point A to point B. Sveta called her friend Sergey and he gave us a free place to say and eat. Again the Russian motorcycle community welcomed us with open arms and open vodka bottles. He was a great fabricator and he had some interesting motos. He hand built a faring for his KLR out of aluminum. I had 2 tanks and held 50 liters. The front take was 35L and the rear was 15L. It would not be my first choice of bike to start a project like this, but as KLRs go, this was the coolest one I have ever seen. I had seen pictures of this bike on the internet poior so it was cool to see it in person.


John


2 lovely, well traveled 690s







Aug 22. Svobodny to camping near Obluche. 443 km
Sergey welded some stuff on the Atwin and traded a road tire to Kim for the knobbie he had on the rear. Then we were off. After about 200 km it was raining hard and it was time for some lunch. When we hit gravel in some construction areas, it was very clear that the overloaded Atwin pilot was not comfortable offroad. Kim and I would stand up and keep a fast pace while our friend would slow to a crawl. Toward evening we met a guy in a VW/Toyota truck from Germany. We would all camp together in the rain. We got to share some stories for about a half hour around the camp fire before it really stared to rain hard.



Aug 23. To Khabarovsk. 312 km
Kim and I left the other 2 guys. They seemed to travel better together. When we got closer to Khabarovsk we started to see the flooding. The Amur river was very very high and getting higher. August in Siberia was very wet this year. All the rivers were either fast and high or flooding. We found a nice hotel with a hot shower and internet. Kim would be riding toward Vladivostok in the morning and I would be riding to Komsomolsk to see Sveta. We got way to stuffed on Chinese food and passed out soon after.


Near Khabarovsk







Aug. 24. Khabarovsk to Komsomolsk Na Amur. 426 km
I was very excited to start riding. I knew after a short 400 km day I would be with Sveta again. So though, I became worried. I hit a road closing. Traffic was being re-routed around the flooded area adding about 15 km. I was worried this would continue. Close to Khabarovsk, there are many roads so re-routing isn't a problem. But near Komsomolsk, there are not alternative routes. I was beginning to be worried then I came to stopped traffic. I rode past 2 km of back up cars to the front of the line. The road was in a lake. They had put dirt berms on either side but this didn't keep the water from going onto the road. They were working to add dirt on top of the road to make a “dry” route in one lane. I was scared I would not be able to continue. The police were trying to tell me that the water was to deep for me. I tried to explain to them where I had just come from the week before. Finally I showed them pictures of some water crossing on the BAM and they understood. After and hour of waiting we were able to go through. At one point the water was about 1' deep but riding on pavement is easier then rocks. Plus, there was no current. Childs play. Before I got to Komsomolsk Na Amur, I found a field of beautiful purple wild flowers. I needed to be prepared to see Sveta again. I got to Komsomolsk in the evening and Sveta met me out side of her building. I had been waiting for this moment more than anything else over the previous 2 months since I watcher her ride away in Ullan Ude. My hopes were high for what was to come.






I thought this might be the end of the road.



Aug. 24 to 28. Komsomolsk Na Amur. Denile
At first it was great to be with Sveta. On Sunday we rode into the mountains to a lake. She wanted to ride on my KTM with me instead of on her moto. Life was good. But I soon realized that it was not the same for her as it was when we were traveling together. I knew she would not say but I could feel it. The rain continued and the Amur river continued to rise. Soon the garage where the motorcycles were parked would be underwater. Originally the plan was for me to wait for my Carnett with Sveta. That is what she suggested I do. It was time to make a decision. If I stayed and the water continued to rise, It could be a whole month before I might be able to leave. Sveta and I talk and she said she only wanted to be friends with me. I asked if I learned Russian would she want to be with me? No. The dream died here.


This was the las picture I have of my beard. The next day the Russian barber lady would hack it off. Grrrr.


One of the few pictures I took in Komsomolsk.

Aug. 29. Komsomolsk to Vanino. 526 km
I left in the morning in the Rain. This was perfect for my mood (sarcasm). Soon though I was on the road toward Vanino and the pavement turned to crap and then there was gravel and construction. I was riding it stand up like I was riding in Mongolia. It felt good to stretch the Katriana's legs and work her suspension. I worse the road is, the more engaged you are. You don't have time to feel cold or to feel sorry for yourself about a girl who rejected you. You feel the bike and you feel the road. You think about the rock 20 feet in front of you. You can't let your mind wander because then your front tire will also wander. You will move from your line and you will be snatched back to reality when you feel and hear the "dooonnggg!!" of hitting a large rock with your front tire. All you can say is "foook!... sorry girl" and continue. You think "that was bad.." but then realize it was nothing compared to the one that cracked your rim so you continue. I was planning to find a hotel and a bar in Vanino to tie one on while waiting for the ferry to Sakhalin. When I got there I found there was a ferry leaving that night so I decided to take it. I made some friends with Russian truckers and Got a nap in. The ferry would leave at 3:00 AM.


Before I left, Sveta signed the bike. She was a huge part of my Russian experience. Even if it didn't turn out as we would have hoped.




You can't blame me for falling. Oh what could have been.

Waiting for the ferry in Vanino








The wind and rain stopped in the early morning before boarding.
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Noah 08 KTM 690 ADV. 111,000 km. 42 countries. 5 continents and counting.
RTW Ride Report --> http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781893
Blog ------------------> http://rtwwithnoah.blogspot.com/
Facebook------------> https://www.facebook.com/RtwWithNoah
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