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Old 02-21-2013, 02:58 AM   #3946
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Moving further away from Wellington, New Zealand
Oddometer: 1,220
Quick question about Spot trackers - I'm planning to take mine on a trip of several months on the road - how did you get on with battery life? Was tracking on all day and did you carry spare batts?
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:14 AM   #3947
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Location: Yorkshire and London, England
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Russia is something of a paradox in that the economy is expanding and modernising , but in the east it is still very rural indeed outside the cities and the norm is houses made of wood. a) its warm b) It's for sure what they've a lot of. time someone says plant a tree and save the World...suggest you don't bother-there's untold trillions of them here.

Every home will have a by our standards very large garden given over growing potatoes, onions and something else...maybe beetroot and a wood store at least as large as the house itself. I never really got a great pic of these houses despite -or maybe because of passing thousands and thousands of them.

Life is still pretty untouched by development and the transport would be fifties standard 2- stroke motos, Lada Russian cars, the odd Korean or Japanese car and the ubiquitous Uazik-the grey vans you see on so many of the pics on this thread. German cars of any age are notably absent until you get to Moscow.

Riding through this country I'd cross the railway 10-15 times a day...sometimes it'd be the same train I'd stopped for a few minutes earlier-one time the driver recognised the bike and waved at me. The sun was out, the day gloriously warm, my feet were dry and I just grooved along at 65-70 mph smelling the flowers and waving at the locals as the morning wore on. Life is good.

Next. The Return of The Dragon

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Old 02-21-2013, 03:43 AM   #3948
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Yay, Rod's back in the house!
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:46 AM   #3949
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Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
Its best to go west to east for a number of reasons ... (1) since you do most of your riding in the afternoon, you dont have the sun in your eyes ... which as I found in 2010 in Mongolia, at dusk, makes riding off road at speed VERY challenging. A bit like ... well I think the road goes round to the left here ... I will lean that way and see. (2) you build into the ride. As you leave the developed world, the challenges get progressively larger and your location gets progressively more remote. Starting an off road ride in Magadan, as I did in 2010, has you feeling like its over by the time to leave Mongolia. You cant be bothered with the bit back to Europe - its an anticlimax. Psychologically, like a movie, you need to build up and up and up in your challenges, difficulties and problems .... and ending it with the Old Summer Road and them limping into Magadan has that adventure feel to it. Its a logical climax. Seeing the sign on the outskirts of Magadan is a symbol of vistory over the roads and the elements. Coming the other way, you wouldnt feel that coming back to the outskirts of London. Limping along the motorways of Europe on a half broken bike, heading towards London at the end of your journey just seems pitiful.
Walter, additional question about same theme. I am planing in next two years trip to Magadan. Not so extreme, but including west BAM and old summer ROB. Easy riding all west from east edge of Kazakhstan. But I would like to add in Pamir Highway too. I do not know, when that high altitude area is best to ride. So I thought, it should be best beginning June-July starting from Magadan. It would like to hear your advice.

I am planning to ride most of tour alone (same like in late 2011 on the trip to Mauritania - few months later than you, Grom and another Russian guy were been in Morocco). Just all east from Baikal lake will seek for company.

BMW R-1200gs Adventure

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Old 02-21-2013, 05:32 AM   #3950
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Originally Posted by ROD CURRIE View Post
Unlike the lodging-less Vikings who'd left me and gone off to sleep in a wood, I'd slept the sleep of the righteous and just -and mildly drunk so woke up early refreshed and in serious need of a pee
Rod, I'm so glad you're back to this thread ! I spilled my teaMore of that please !
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:06 AM   #3951
Yellow Pig
Allergic to Asphalt!
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Here is where they put it to use:

So Many Idiots, So Few Comets!!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:18 AM   #3952
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Tennessee
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Originally Posted by ROD CURRIE View Post
I'm as hooked on the Biking Vikings tale as the rest of the ADV world.... Just checked out the thread for a quick fix before bed ...and appalled to see we'll need to wait a week for the next thrilling instalment.

So, In the absence of Viking-biking-porn we start back towards Moscow from when I met the guys tomorrow.
There'll be an overlap once Geir and the gang come back as my trip took a couple of weeks so you'll need to put up with us trampling over each other occasionally.

A demain.

2013 Suzuki DL650 Adventure

Travels with Maw Maw
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:17 AM   #3953
One Less Harley
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Bowling Green, Ky
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Originally Posted by Yellow Pig View Post
Here is where they put it to use:

an ex girl friend has one of those, yeah I admit it.... couldn't compete w/ that!!!
2004 BMW R1150RS
1984 BMW R80G/S
(wrenching index)
2003 Suzuki DRZ 400S (TAT Prep)
One More DRZ does the TAT (Ride Report)

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Old 02-21-2013, 10:16 AM   #3954
Joined: Aug 2009
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Steve Stage Two

Steve, Have you already completed the South America trip or is that in the future.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:36 AM   #3955
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Yorkshire and London, England
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The Return Of The Witch

The day was uneventful and warm and I just settled into enjoying the ride.
The bike was going great and I started to get some idea about tank range etc. I stopped in the middle of nowhere about lunchtime to gas up and get something to eat from a small cafe associated with the gas station.
What Mrs Boris had wasn't much, nor was it too was too fresh so I settled for some of those savoury doughnut type things begining with P ..pickenicks...pokemons...(Walter?) but these weren't the best example and so I bought these (a man has to eat!)and some chai and sat outside on the grass to savour the dubious culinary delights.
There was a workshop attached to the garage and the mechanics came out and ogled the bike as if a passing pornstar had got horny and was looking for some daytime delight. . I think the local bikes (and women?)are of the more agricultural variety in the boonies.
Thankfully their lust didn't go as far as a less then fragrant biker so I was free to bugger off without getting dragged into a bush and ravaged. Well?'d fair bollox your day!

As I approached maybe 50 miles from Krasnoyarsk the sky, previously crystal clear became hazy, then smoky..then positively smoggy. I put it down to industrialisation but then could smell a strong scent of burning wood/whatever and after a while I put it down to farmers burning the stubbles off after the harvest. This went on for maybe 800 miles-1200 Ks during which time the sun was effectively blotted out.

Walter has since told me it was probably forest fires- WOW!
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:49 AM   #3956
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Look… It's not in my nature to be mysterious, but I can't talk about it and I can't talk about why.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:58 AM   #3957
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Location: Yorkshire and London, England
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Cometh the hour, cometh the witch.

I rode on until about 5.30 in the evening and was dog tired so started looking for a motel, but was well into the vast spaces between towns so didn't find anything until 6.30 when I gratefully pulled on to a seriously dodgy truckstop.
This was a total fleapit.
I went into the cafe "bit" and asked the woman (she said she was a woman and had the chest-bumps but I have my doubts) if they had "Gastinitsiya" -those who've been paying attention will remember this is Russian for Bed & Breakfast-(I'll be setting more questions for you later) and she folded her arms across her chest and fixed me with the look of loathing reserved for the unfortunate-probably everyone.

MY heart quailed..FFS...Dragon from yesterday's resto has a sister ...and she's even uglier and hates me even more.

We argued back and forward about the price and eventually we agreed on 18 quid -about 30 bucks. They'd shown me the shower ..and there was one down the corridor. Ok that'll do

I dumped my gear and hid the bike round the back of the motel where some thieving scrote couldn't see it from the road and toss it in his van.

I then went to get a shower. I turned the thing on....nothing happened..then eventually some brown water came out of the end of the shower hose-there was no shower head so I allowed it to run clear.... FFS. OK, I'll manage. At least it was warm.

After a while I went in to the cafe to face The Dragon and realised that I'd gone through a timezone and had gained 2 hours. Result!
OK. I ordered some food-I thought I was getting chicken and fries..but I got chicken and potato mash and no tools. WTF am I supposed to fuckin' do...lick it off the plate? Off I went back up to the counter and mimed the necessary.

I have NEVER been regarded with a look of such loathing as this woman now gave me. She reached into a tray and threw a spoon at while I was there I grabbed three beers-at least I wouldn't have to go back to her for anything and in the morning there'd be another face behind the counter.

I took the beers outside after I'd eaten, checked the bike over and sat in the heat with the beer. It wasn't a bad location but this place is the pits.

Todays effort took me nearly to Kemerovo from Alzamay.About 930 Kms so I'd something in the bank against breakdown and maybe to buy me some time in Moscow.

And so to bed.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:02 PM   #3958
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Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Warsaw, Poland
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Originally Posted by GSlite View Post
For those interested.

In Russian, Pierogi are kind of pies. Those are baked, not boiled. Those might be sweet or savoury.

Russian name for what Polish call 'pierogi' is either vareniki (little larger ones) or pelmeni (smaller ones). All of them are boiled. They are mostly savoury (cheese/onions, cabbage/mushrooms, various meats, spinach or whatever), rarely sweet (although my mother makes wonderful pierogi with all kinds of berries).

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Old 02-21-2013, 12:02 PM   #3959
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Location: Rancho Cucamonger, CA
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Rod's back! woot!


mario, thank you for the information! i'm going to try my hand at making some pelmeni. :)
'12 Triumph ST3R corner raper (sold, sadly), '09 HusaBerg FE570 (also sold) and a bunch of 2 strokes that you dont want to read about. :)


vintagespeed screwed with this post 02-21-2013 at 12:10 PM Reason: pelmeni
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:29 PM   #3960
Adv Grifter
on the road o'dreams
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Location: Passing ADV Stalkers in California
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Originally Posted by stemic01 View Post
The stage II of my journey from US, through Central America and to South America I bought myself a BMW G650Xchallenge with the hotrod tank and prepped up with the Magadan softbags. Oh man what a difference when you get off the road. This bike is just so much lighter and handles so easy compared to the F800GS (Which is just slightly heavier than the Sertao(?)). One person in our group had a F800GS and I saw that he had the same kind of struggle offroad which I had with mine. Now with my XC it was just so much more fun going offroad and I could keep more in control and balance on the dirtroads. On the asphalt roads the F800GS gives you more comfort and power, but while offroading this is a huge difference.

So if I were to do some heavy offroad stuff like BAM & ROB again I would definately recommend the XC or similar reliable lightweight bike. Rigg it and pack it to go as light as I can and with a set of waterproof softbags, some few comfort modifications (Seat, wind protection) and off course some major protection for vital parts like engine protection etc.

So my experience is the same as Walters recommodations!
Thanks for all the good info and comparisons.
Have you a Ride Report or Blog about your S. America trip?
Did you buy your X Challenge in Norway ... or in the USA? Ship to S. America .. or USA to start?
How did the X Challenge perform? Any problems?
What sort of bikes did other travelers ride down there? Did you meet any other riders along the Gringo trail? Did you split from your group? go on your own at all? How many months on the trip?
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