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Old 01-14-2013, 07:34 PM   #2626
Motorrev
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Prutser and Beamster---------- Thanks so much for you time in contributing to this report. It wouldn't have been the same without you. Great photography too. Very interesting. Thanks again and safe travels all the way home.
Bob
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:04 PM   #2627
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Originally Posted by Motorrev View Post
Prutser and Beamster---------- Thanks so much for you time in contributing to this report. It wouldn't have been the same without you. Great photography too. Very interesting. Thanks again and safe travels all the way home.
Bob
+1 Godspeed
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:24 PM   #2628
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+2

How was it trying to readjust to everyday life? If you love your job probably not too bad but if you don't I imagine it would be very tough to settle back to "normality".
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:31 PM   #2629
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Prutser and Beamster---------- Thanks so much for you time in contributing to this report. It wouldn't have been the same without you. Great photography too. Very interesting. Thanks again and safe travels all the way home.
Bob
+3

Dankjewel! Ride Safe!
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:18 AM   #2630
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Once again this is the best rr I've never read on this forum (I'm checking it everyday).

About the pic below, I was very young when it was published on a famous italian motor newspaper that was telling about the Tokio - London trip. Until now I could not figure that was Walter!! Best adventurer!!

The Tokio London RR is here in the forum?




[QUOTE=Dahveed;20472448]Its interesting to see the evolution of Walter's adventure touring rig. I just started reading the Toyko-London write up and saw how much stuff he was carrying. Contrast that with his current rig - much lighter and faster. Better suited for traveling quickly.

Then:
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:28 AM   #2631
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Originally Posted by CordR View Post
Hah! The trusty and reliable KTM saves the day!


Sorry.....it's just that I never get to say that.


So Rod.....

Did you have a short memory and attempt to charge extortionist rates for those 3 litres? Or did you have a longer memory and recall the 1K km of towing?



Quick (hopefully) hijack - Fairings vs not, would love your input.


Thanks in advance.

Cord
Hi Cord.
1) The old girl awas at last trusty and reliable. The effects of the delays were however still being felt by P & B even this morning in Irkutsk. The delays had meant we couldn't spend the amount of time or take the routes we'd envisaged in Mongolia. They have every right to feel short changed...........but when I see the stuff they did in the Altai I'm gutted and resolved to go back.

2) I clearly missed business opportunity here by not blackmialing an extortionate price for the gas out of TB. Must try harder.

3) fairing/no fairing.
I've ridden many thousands of miles without one and seldom felt the loss-you can get an awful lot of relief with a short screen, but having had one on this trip I wouldn't go back to a naked bike. The fairing blasts much of the rain over you at road speeds and it's sometimes a godsend to be able to duck down behind it. You notice the difference when you stand up to ease your arse on road stretches-there's an immediate blast that hits your full torso.... when you sit down you're back in (relatively) still air. .
The downside is when you're doing any repairs you've more dismantling to do. C'est la vie.
On balance? Fairing.

It's just an opinion and I'm not saying I'm right....just right for me.

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Old 01-15-2013, 02:05 AM   #2632
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Day 66

Terry and I got up to a grey morning and went down th the locked area behid the hotel to get the bikes out. What should we see but Pierre's little bike next to ours. He'd left the border before us but when we got to the hotel he certainly hadn't arrived.
He appeared a minute or two later and we greeted each other and got the story. He'd taken a wrong turn pretty much as soon as he'd left the Russian border post and had run on for 20 miutes or so until he realised and pulled a U-ey.
He was resticted to 50 Mph so hadn't caught up with us when Terry was having fuel issues.
He asked us to join him for a coffee but we declined -I wish we hadn't.
We always feel the road is pulling us much harder than it actually is and the loss of half an hour is often offset by some great experiences- as in the Mongolian ger. We're here to give ourselves time to smell the flowers but our work/life habits come with us and can be hard to shake.

We said goodbye and hit the road.

The first thing that hit me hard, was as Bas has said the huge Traffic Police presence after hardly having seen a cop since Astana, 2000 miles ago.
On the entry to nearly every village would be a cop with a speed trap, or an actual police post with a couple of officers standing in the road watching every vehicle and pulling anything over the through might offer a revenue opportunity. I'm not suggesting they're bent( crooks) unlike Ukraine where it's almost accpeted the police are corrupt. In Russia they're just omnipresent and vigilant.

Prutster has mentioned the poor state of much of the road, an enormous legth of it was under construction with bypasses, temporary bridges and the inevitable potholes and corrugations . It was also raining heavily yet again ( WTF?) and once again we were soaked through and riding on slippery rutted surfaces and dodging the lunatic construction drivers until the mid-afternoon.

Leaving Ulan Ude I'd been overtaken by a bongo truck ( Terry tried to flag him down for a lift-old habits die hard ) carrying a litttle car who cut me up quite badly and we'd seen this guy several times today, he was always taking unnecessary risks and was one to avoid..

There's along stretch before Irkutsk, where the road winds over and through a heavily forested hill range and as we climbed up this wet and diesel-slippery road who should I see but Bongo-man with a damaged truck-he'd clearly gone for a rash overtake on the uphill, realised he maybe couldn't make it and bottled it..the result was he couldn't get back in and was smacked by another truck heading down. No one was hurt and he was standing beside his truck looking sheepish and getting bollocked by Officer Plod. Schadenfreude..a terrible thing.

As we travelled on mighty Baikal appeared next to us. Sorry its not a great pic-next to it is the omnipresent Trans Siberian Railway






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Old 01-15-2013, 02:09 AM   #2633
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Wiki stuff on Baikal

For those who haven't heard of Baikal ( ByKALL not Bake-all) here's some info, the most relevant is it having 20% of the worlds fresh water


Located in the south of the Russian region of Siberia between the Irkursk Oblast to the Northwest and Buryat republic to the southeast it is the most voluminous freshwater lake in the world containing roughly 20% of the worlds unfrozen surface fresh water.
At 1642 m deep (5,387ft), Baikal is the deepest and amongst the clearest of all lakes in the world.

Wow!!



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Old 01-15-2013, 04:06 AM   #2634
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Irkutsk

Terry and I arrived at Irkutsk in the mid/late afternoon and sooon located Nina's guest house. She was as Bas had said fully booked up but put a couple of beds in the lounge for us to pop our gear and weary heads on. Sorted.


I've kind of lost the order here guys ( Old Timer's disease) so chime in and correct me when I get it wrong.

At Nina's we were just yards form the main town square so we all went out that evening and found that the main hotel complex on the square had a number of bars and restos, including a British pub type ...pub. Persanally I now prefer Russian beer-its the bollocks!

The one we chose had a kind of of Japanese theme, Here's the gang as we assembled in the resto in our last town together . Terry is serenading Linda "Dein ist mein ganzes hertz"

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Old 01-15-2013, 04:14 AM   #2635
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Cuties!! Y'all look like a riot of a group!!! Missing you already Prutser and Beam(st)er... Hope to see more RR reports from you. Thanks for bringing us along.....soldier on, Gentleman.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:00 AM   #2636
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What next?

It's never without risk to take a group of strangers-or even a group of friends-who might THINK they have a commonality of purpose, pace, objectives and tastes and expect nerves not to become frayed and even harsh words to be exchanged when events conspire and things just get too much.
Most of the time I'd loved riding with the group, and my only times when I was scabby, it was usually because I was angry with myself.

I think anyone who's overlanded with a group has experienced this and questioned whether riding solo might have benefits to outweight the definite disadvantages.

Group riding =
On the positive side : company, mutual support ( A towrope? ).. and security, shared experiences- another viewpoint to help consider a situation. Even just someone to watch the bike whilst one of the group nips into a shop in a dodgy town.
On the negative side: A tendency towards insularity as the group doesn't need anything external to operate and thus maybe a less interactive and intense experience, the need to go at the pace of the group, whether that be to keep up and not take pics when one might want, or maybe ride more slowly in deference to a less experieneced rider?
In essence.......... with the support comes a responsibility-and so it should.


It'd been from the start my intention to go all the way to Magadan, but a couple of things had been making me reconsider-I'llt ry to explain

1) After the bike trouble in Kaz and Russia, and my concerns in Barnaul that I might be stranded with a broken bike and no language hundreds of miles from help, when I actually did embrace the idea to ride down solo to meet the guys in the Altai I felt not fear or worry, but a tremendous sense of liberation from the worry. I absolutely loved the ride.
Riding solo wasn't better or worse, just different.

2) I'd read Walters threads on the ROB and the BAM and it looked to be a bog. I'd been wet and cold for the last 10 days now and the thought of another 5-6 weeks of it frankly filled me with dread. Walter had assured me that as long as we got a decent break with the weather it'd be fine, but I couldn't shake the feeling.

3) My mother's husband (my own dad's been dead for 35 years) had been very ill when I left and he was apparently going downhill fast-If the old boy pegged it she'd need help.

So: If I ride all the way across across Russia, from Irkutsk to Moscow then on the the UK via Lativia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany etc , it'll take about 2 weeks -my bike'll be home so no transport complications, I'll avoid the potential bog and also be available if Mum's hub dies.

As it happened, John died the day after I got to Irkutsk so that forced a decision.

Bugger it, I'd ride Irkutsk-Krasnoyarsk-Novosibirsk-Omsk- Perm-Ekaterinburg, on to Moscow and then home. About 5500 miles. Decision made.

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Old 01-15-2013, 05:15 AM   #2637
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Bugger it, I'd ride Irkutsk-Krasnoyarsk-Novosibirsk-Omsk- Perm-Ekaterinburg, on to Moscow and then home. About 6500 miles. Decision made.
Really enjoyed your perspective, Rod. I hope you continue your report here, or in a new thread.

I feel exactly how you feel about solo vs. group travel. It's a tough one for sure. Being a loner by nature, solo travel is preferred, but it sure is nice having a friend to share a beer with at the end of the day. Usually, it's too much trouble though
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:57 AM   #2638
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On balance? Fairing.

It's just an opinion. I'm not saying I'm right.
Totally second that opinion

To me an adventure bike has to be able to 80 mph off road not just for 5 mins or for a few hours but all day every day for weeks on end. Without a fairing anything above 50 mph on a sustained basis is a chore.

Terry is a man with no appreciation for aesthetics at all yet after this trip even terry is looking at getting himself a fairing.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:01 AM   #2639
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Really enjoyed your perspective, Rod. I hope you continue your report here, or in a new thread.
In here, I hope. Love the way how different threads of narrative run parallel for a while only to meet up again at some point.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:24 AM   #2640
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I had been in touch with the guys since UB and Rod had now told me he had to go back to the UK. It was looking like it was just going to be Terry and me for the last third.

I spoke to Terry in Irkutsk and he too was weary from the time and miles in the saddle. He said he needed a couple of days to think if he wanted to go on or if he too was going to say enough.

I had two days before I flew back to Irkutsk - and Terry was going to use that time to rest, recover, and consider his position.

It was all looking a bit uncertain..
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