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Old 01-09-2013, 05:12 AM   #2341
jspagnol
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Open face helmet

Walter ,

I have been browsing thru this thread but could not find the answer : what brand is the helmet you were wearing on that trip ?
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:25 AM   #2342
Colebatch OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspagnol View Post
Walter ,

I have been browsing thru this thread but could not find the answer : what brand is the helmet you were wearing on that trip ?
Nolan N41 was what I had

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Old 01-09-2013, 06:52 AM   #2343
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
...
The fact that I could hold the bike together with cable ties ...
That plus JB Weld and Duct Tape and you can go on forever.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:39 AM   #2344
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Here is the bike you want:



Custom built just for this --> the Weber Rally Twin.


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Old 01-09-2013, 08:54 AM   #2345
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Originally Posted by Yellow Pig View Post
Here is the bike you want:



Custom built just for this --> the Weber Rally Twin.


And only $68000. . Oh...my aching sides. Order me two!!


Taxi!!

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:57 AM   #2346
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROD CURRIE View Post
And only $68000. . Oh...my aching sides.


Taxi!!
You just need a better sponsor! LOL
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:19 AM   #2347
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I wonder how much the Beamster and Purtser have invested in their rides. From what I'm reading their bikes appear to be trouble free.... And the Beamsters smile?, well, it's as genuine as the local hospitality. Which money can’t buy.
Thanks for sharing the humanistic side of this trip..

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Old 01-09-2013, 09:28 AM   #2348
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it's all about recognizing danger, accepting the risks and mitigating them appropriately. I've tried glacier climbing, backcountry skiing, scuba, rally driving, cycling and motorcycling at times in my past. had fun at all of them and continue to enjoy several.

As was said earlier, this isn't a solo adventure. I'd do this trip in a minute with the right group given proper time and funding. Walter, Terry, Rod, Prutser and Beamster are doing it proud.

Excellent job on relating your adventures. Thank you!
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:42 AM   #2349
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Only on page 104,
Great RR Walter as normal.
I did a little write up on using google earth to plot out gps tracks a few years ago. (in my sig but needs a little updating)
Its in the GPS thread someplace.
Unless they've fixed it, gpsbabel does not handle .kmz files (*compressed google earth format) Just save it as .kml and it will convert straight to garmins gdb format.

I've been using a Lowrance gps units for years, though with the discontinuation of the Ifinders, and XOg they are rubbish now.
But they had 10k tracks for years and it would drive my garmin friends crazy cause they woulds have cut down the tracks to less detail to load them.

The Montana is the only Garmin gps I have seen that would truly replace my old XOG's.

It looks like its easy to read in bright light too.

I'm so envious of your treks across expanses like this.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:02 AM   #2350
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I fully support this opinion..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
Youre not wrong mate.

I have been visiting that country since 1994 ... and the changes are incredibly rapid.

As you now know, the streets of UB are now jam packed with brand new Landcruisers, BMW X5s, Lexus 4WDs ... traffic jammed 24/7 with $100,000 cars. Who wants to stay out in your ger, when in the city, the cash is rolling in.

Mongolia is scheduled to have the second fastest economic growth in the world this year, at 13%. The foreseeable future is the same. The huge amount of money rolling in from the new coal and copper mines and the small amount of people to share that wealth around means it will soon be a very very wealthy country indeed.

I think in coming years, the Mongolian countryside will lose population, and the traditional way of life will become little more than a fantasy, as the population moves to the mines and the big cities to seek their fortune. That what happens when money becomes so easy to make. Not many Emiratis still choose to live the traditional desert Arab life when they can have a Lamborghini in Dubai. I wouldnt expect Mongolians to be much different.

Get it while you can ... Mongolia wont be the same in 5 years.

Ask Terry ... he last saw UB in 2007. Now he saw it in 2012 ... ask him how much it changed in 5 years. And the reality is that it will change more in the next 5 years cause the money pouring into Mongolia in the next 5 years will dwarf what has come in over the past 5 years and filled the city up with neon lights, non stop bars and restaurants, and 24/7 traffic jams. Australian, Canadian, Chinese and Russian mining firms are falling over themselves to throw money at the country. Its a miners dream come true. Enormous untapped coal and copper deposits, and the worlds biggest consumer of both coal and copper is just next door .... China.


This post is dead on in my opinion of what is going on the Mongolia.

Among the many other reasons we chose to do our trip to Mongolia this year, it was the amount of rapid change happening in the area that motivated us most. Our good friend has been in U.B. for the past 2 years hanging with his wife who works for a major mining company. Just in the 2 years he has been there he has seen major change happening. We almost went the year before but our vacation time was scheduled for late Sept./early Oct. It would have been just to cold at time to cover the terrain we wanted to see. When discussing the trip with our buddy in U.B. He basically said "If you are coming to Mongolia? You need to come now!" things are just changing so fast you don't want to wait..



PS. The luxury cars driving the streets of U.B. is just mind blowing.. You have people living in tents in town and others driving a Maserati. Where does it go from here?
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:05 AM   #2351
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prutser View Post

This night I didn't new what to expect but I walked up the hill and sat down.
While scouting the hills the female Saker falcon was sitting on a big rock on the other side of the valley.
After a few minutes she flew off, and with a couple of wingbeats she reached an enormous speed. I could barely follow it as it flew down to the valley floor were it grabbed a bird. A cloud of feathers was all I could see after that.
When I took a moment to look around me the falcon had flown off and I couldn't find it anymore as the light was fading.
The rest of the crew had gone to bed by now but I couldn't resist to stay a little longer.
I had noticed some Griffon Vultures (Gyps himalayensis) resting on the other side of the valley.
When I was looking for more vultures there was something moving down the hill side. As it was running towards me I could see it was a fox (Vulpes corsac). On its way down it often stopped to look and listen before it would jump onto one of the Gerbils that were popping up out of the holes that were all over the place. With its mouth full it ran further in my direction.
On the bottom of the valley there was a small stream with a lot of big holes next to it. Just before the fox reached the holes two pups came running out. It was wonderful to see those two pups playing and chasing each other.
By now I couldn't see colors anymore and I could barely see the tents which were not even that far away.
So I walked down to get some sleep.

Ok...so I read this and closed my eyes and could picture it as if I was there.........Thanks P!! Awesome job!!!
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:12 AM   #2352
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mehaniotis View Post
.
I wonder how much the Beamster and Purtser have invested in their rides. From what I'm reading their bikes appear to be trouble free....
Their bikes did 6000 km off road, not 18,000 km off road.

All bikes were trouble free after 6000 km, apart from the KTM. My point was that 10,000 km off road seemed to be a bit of a wall.

Prutsers bike was rebuilt from the ground up for the trip, with top quality forks and shock. Engine complete rebuild. Subframe altered. Custom alloy tank fitted. Expensive after market seat, Rizoma handlebars, Excel rims, gearbox had aftermarket gear ratios fitted. The final drive altered, custom bashplate. He did most of the work himself, but the value of the work he put into it is probably in 5 figures.

Beamsters bike too was far from stock, and had the advantage of being near new when we started the trip.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:05 AM   #2353
Prutser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mehaniotis View Post
.
I wonder how much the Beamster and Purtser have invested in their rides. From what I'm reading their bikes appear to be trouble free.... And the Beamsters smile?, well, it's as genuine as the local hospitality. Which money can’t buy.
Thanks for sharing the humanistic side of this trip..

We invested in the same sort of things as Walter.
Most parts for Beamster's bike could be bought, things like the X-tank, bash plate, case saver, the stronger rims....and a lots more small stuff.
For the Airhead its a bit more difficult to find those things. So I had to make most of the parts my self.
That was very time consuming. I spent 6 months preparing both bikes, which did pay off as they were both trouble free.

The list of things we would like to improve for future trips is very short.
Beamster's bike : fork improvement (Because the damping system could be so much better)
My airhead : The air intake must be a lot higher to deal with the deep river crossings.
And I'm working on a lockable tool tube and a higher gps mount.

Other than those things the bikes were doing great.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:27 AM   #2354
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*I spent 6 months preparing both bikes, which did pay off as they were both trouble free.
So long?
How did you manage that with your work?
Ow wait...
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:40 AM   #2355
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Hi Mav: The comparison is not valid I am afraid on many levels.

Firstly ... 20 years ago I was a novice rider, and had a bike that I nursed carefully offroad in first or second gear .. maybe 30 km/h across Mongolia.

Now I ride a bike flat out in top gear off road, regularly topping 120 -130 km/h. There is probably 20 times the stress off road at that speed than at 30 km/h. Any bike can and will make it across Eurasia at moderate speeds, and nothing should break. ANY bike. The stress comes in due to the speed of riding, the sheer volume of off road distance to cover and the relentless nature of it. Its not softened by many asphalt sections at all. The way I ride a bike now vs the way I ride one 20 years ago is incomparable. If I tried to take the take the old TransAlp on this trip, it would never have made it out of Ukraine. It certainly would not have survived a single day of my thrash across Mongolia this year. The Hondas have a great engine, but they are way too heavy, have no ground clearance, have terrible brakes, brittle plastics, crap suspension, not enough low down torque for off road riding etc. Where I am now in terms of bike selection and preparation is light years ahead of where I was then.

Remember, I also rode Magadan to Europe (the kinda reverse of this trip) in 2010 on the same bike and had ZERO issues (two bolts). But I pointed out that trip was only 8000 odd off road kms (This trip now is ALL offroad.) A lot of those off road kms were ridden at more moderate speeds too because I was riding with Sherri Jo for part of it. Moderate speeds = no problems. The problems are a result of the stress of speed plus a few issues were related to the battery draining completely after the very deep water crossing near Astana. You cant design bikes to be more ford resistant than the XC currently is. Its about the best bike out there for water crossings. The only design issue that could be raised from that issue is that the starter clutch wears, especially if the starter turns too slowly (i.e. from low batter voltage). Would I take another bike because I need to be wary of the starter clutch wear issue? no.

Secondly: Bolts loosen on all bikes, even brand new Dakar bikes, specifically built to survive the Dakar ... as a result of severe vibrations at high speed. High speed riding on rocky terrain in particular can eventually shake any bolts loose. Ask any KTM LC4 owner owner how much locktite they need to use.

Thirdly ... this is not exactly the type of riding my bike is supposed to be designed for. In fact there is no bike from any manufacturer which is designed for anything like this kind of travel. There is no bike from any manufacturer that is even close to being designed for this kind of travel. Adventure bikes are designed for asphalt use with occasional light use on well groomed gravel graded roads. Off road bikes are designed for regular cleaning service and maintenance after short bursts of a few hours off road at a time. There is nothing designed to do this kind of travel. Thats not even debatable ... the products on the market are so so so far away from being fit for this kind of purpose.

In summary: I know of no other bike I would expect to have taken what I threw at it this year, at the speeds we rode at, and not had issues. Thats exactly why I started to question whether or not the trail is realistically possible. Again if you look back at all my previous trips, things that fail usually result in me or one of the people that help me with bike prep having ideas to fix it, to reduce the risk of a particular failure happening again. Thats why I have a list as long as your arm of modifications to the bike. All making it tougher, more durable. Not this time. With the exception of the prototype front subframe which was easy to recommend a fix to, the rest of the issues are just bike fatigue and or unavoidable (you can avoid a lot of issues with regular maintenance, in a warm workshed, with a complete supply of tools - but, when you are on the road in a tent in Mongolia, and its raining, and you have a deadline, the bike has to make do without the luxury of ideal maintenance - It just has to be as tough as it can be to start with.

If I had ridden at the speed I ride on a stock TransAlp or Africa twin. it wouldnt have made out of Ukraine. An XT600, DR650, etc also would have cracked subframes and numerous other problems if ridden that hard, off road, for that long. I could have taken a bulletproof KTM 690 rally on this trip and broken plenty parts of the bike. As for your question regarding how much prep do you need to do, well it depends how do you intend to ride it. The more aggressively you want to ride, the more prep work you have to do. The more things you need to protect, strengthen, improve. To do this trip in particular, you would need to do a load of prep work and make a load of bike modifications.

Its not a question of bike selection ... its a question of was I being beyond realistic to set out to do this, bearing in mind the speed I like to ride. Any bike can ride around the world. Most can ride around the world without any problems. But I don't believe any bike can take 3 months on this trail, at these speeds without a few bolts coming loose and other assorted issues. The fact that I could hold the bike together with cable ties and ride another 1300 km to Irkutsk, on a deadline, already actually speaks volumes for the toughness of this bike.

At no stage was I thinking I hadnt prepared the bike well enough, or I had chosen the wrong bike for the job.

Was this route tougher than any bike? That was what I began asking myself as problems started to mount in Mongolia.
Right on Walter any disscusion about this bikes abilities not being up to the task is just bullshit. One suggestion on your groups next trip is for you to install a top box that can hold some ice to keep Rod and Terry's martni ingrediants chilled for their truck rides when they come up!
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