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Old 11-23-2012, 11:12 PM   #1
asphaltmueller OP
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About meeting friends and roadside repairs

Well, this is the place where such stupidity usually begins

My friend Birols Mechanic Workshop in the industrial suburbs of Ankara.
And this is how such ideas usually begin, by misusing the motorcycle lift :

My name is Andreas, Austrian, 47 of years and chief of Administration at the Austrian Embassy in Ankara for three years now.
In May 2011 I had visited RTW-Dougs place in Bulgaria and had been cut in the ditch by some cager there, resulting in a broken collarbone that made for a short riding season last year (though usually we don't care much about season, see the winter ride report in my sig line)

Birol than had borrowed the bike and burned a hole in the piston, old Ninja rider that he is. But anyway, the engine setup had not been ok or tuned to much to the anatolian high plains, to lean and no good for long distance highway riding. We had bought a scrap bike, changed the cylinders, worked on the jetting, etc.

The Bike itself is a 1994 Jawa police modell. A few had been imported for tests, but not accepted by the cops and sold on the open market.
After I had hacked my MZ 301 for the winter trip to Austria I didn't want to pull her apart again, as the setup was just perfect. So I needed a cheap solo bike and we found this one on turkish e-bay.

Birol, who had sold his sportsbike three years ago due to a costly divorce had in the meantime bought a Rotax-MZ 500, which had proven to be up to all situations thrown at it, including a ride to Georgia (the one in the Caucasus).

İn spring, we had made two trips to the black sea, one of them because I didn't get the vacation for our planned Balkan trip approved (had to take over for a colleague seriously ill).

For autumn I had planned a ride to eastern Turkey, as the last year of my tour here had already started ( our placements are usually four years, than you move on).

It was on coming back from our second black sea trip that Birol said ' the bikes are running well, even the Jawa will hold - we go to the meeting in Germany in October'
And so it was decided. I didn't object, as Birol is the master-mechanic - and it had at least come to my mind anyway that taking care of friends, which in our nomadic lifestyle are far to often left behind, is much more important than seeing old stones.

And so we stood outside the workshop on a Wednesday night

so after this long introduction, let's get rolling, rolling to this place

after I'm back from family shopping, that is

asphaltmueller screwed with this post 11-25-2012 at 12:08 AM
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:32 AM   #2
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I had hoped to leave work early and that we could make it to Istanbul; wasn't going to happen, the ambassador wanted a full briefing about ongoing projects. I couldn't really complain, as with our workload at that time it would not have been unreasonable for him to refuse my vacation application.

Anyhow, we had decided to go nevertheless as it meant being on the road - who knows when me might effectively get away next morning.
Just ride as far as we get; next day we wanted to stay in RTW-Dougs camp in Bulgaria, a rather long trip anyway.

My rear tire was a bit flat under the load, but the gas station compressor didn't work. Luckily the trucks around here carry compressors, and this guy was only the first of a row of help full truckers.

We had made it over the mountains to the small Town of Düzce when we called it quits long after midnight; the hotel was cheap and clean, and the breakfast typically Turkish, which is good but for the lacking coffee (had made some on the Coleman in the room before though)

room with a view

tightening the chain before Istanbul

tea break somewhere on the european side already

remnants of the past in Bulgaria

loaded with self-made ovens

on self made roof-racks

having arrived at Dougs place after a 750 km stretch a bit late in the night; for those who don't know her - this is Harley, the dog


an other traveller, Jens from Germany, coming back from Central Asia

a quick breakfast and we left Poly and Ivo to head to Serbia, where we want to stay with my old friend Slavisa. Doug was in the US, having just had finished the Canonball.

next :
Why are we going where and that on bikes a normal or better sane rider wouldn't touch with a bargepole
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:21 AM   #3
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This looks good -- bring it on. Good to see RTW Doug's place.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:37 PM   #4
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In 2004 I was recalled to Vienna, having had my 3 postings to different countries.
I had started riding again in India, after having been a keen mopped rider in my youth and some small commuter bikes in Africa I had hardly ridden - my Dad had sabotaged me effectively when making my bike license, preferring to have a living son.

near Dharamshala; my brother and a borrowed Enfıeld to the left; my beloved TVS Fiero, a bike having been tuned and used by an Indıan Rally Rıder, Rhajeev Whadwa, in the Raid de Himalaya - unfortunately no chance to legalize that one in Austria

So I 'made' a license in India, which, after a practical test, was converted into an Austrian one.
And it was my wife that encouraged me to bring an Enfield to Austria.

And with the Enfield we are back at the narrative.
Trying to solve some of the technical problems that invariably come with it, I got in touch and in the end became a member of a loosly organised group of enthusiasts of old and strange bikes, the AiA, the 'Alteisentreiber iG' or 'Scrap-Drovers Association'.

a pic to illustrate : traillering the AiA way :

The point here is to not only have an old or Russian/Indian/Chinese made bike, but to really ride it.
Members do have other bikes, even Harleys have been seen, but it's about riding, repairing and sometimes customizing the old stuff - and taking part in some of the meetings.

The most notorious one is the 'Tauern-Meeting' at the end of January in the Austrian Alps -at the same time as the well known 'Elefanten-Treffen' in Germany, but at 1.750 meters - and not in the flat lands

Me and the MZ, Mehmed and the Jawa to the left

There are others and participations in 'Grab the Flag' races, and as AiA spread out from Austria, our German mates began organizing the 'northern meeting'.
But the main thing is the people - I've never met such a bunch of simply nice guys in one place. From the moment when Albert the 'Bulletwallah' after one Internet-chat brought me the Enfield parts I needed simply to my office mind you, a guy he had never met, I was hooked and went to a ride and at once I never felt so much at home in a group of people.
Want to ride with us ? Move closer round the fire, there's a new mate.
From Brick layer and chimney sweeper to Lawyer and museum director - just doesn't matter who or what you are

Albert and Uwe

I took part in the first 'northern meeting' 2 years ago, flying into Frankfurt, where Justus the main organizer of the meeting borrowed me a bike to participate and afterwards make a tour into Austria and to my parents.

Typical scene : trying to find a DNEPRs spark in the middle of the night; once they transfered a DNEPR fınal drive to an URAL - in a snow storm

Last Year I flew in with Birol, getting borrowed 2 Beemers this time and making a nice tour through the Austrian Alps

So this time we decided - or Birol decided - we do it as it should be done; arriving 'on the axle' as we say in German. 3.000 km on 'Scrap'
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:46 AM   #5
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I'm speechless. This is just too cool, keep it coming. Danke.

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:30 AM   #6
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let's start the new etap with some appetizers :

there will be food
lot's of food, and I actually didn't loose weight as usuall on a trip and as hoped

Foto by Oliver

and bikes, again lots of bikes

the rather less brilliantly colored fotos are usually made by Birol with his mobile phone

bikes, actually rather strange bikes sometimes, and the people who ride them

but we have still the 28th of September and a long ride through the Bulgarian Countryside ahead of us.

Yummy, that's swine on the lorry.
Unfortunately we often didn't ride the real small roads, which are real a lot of fun - to far to go to Slavisa's place in eastern Serbia.

but there were enough funny roads left

and on and on, kilometer after kilometer, hour after hour

I definitely have to come back to this beautiful country for a relaxed ride, before civilization as we know it takes over, here, too

stopping only once in a while for petrol, a cigarette and coffee

very much prevalent transport mode

approaching the city of Montana and getting nearer the Danube plain

petrol and some snacks at a gas station in Montana

empty or nearly empty soviet-style office buildings doting the landscape

and then very suddenly we were at the border, a very small border crossing near Vidin and a Bulgarian Border police office who rode a Jawa 250 for 5 years.

This was very much one pic after the other, but then that's somehow how this day was; riding through a beautiful country, but with time pressing down to arrive at our day's goal - somehow I have a bad talent to choose to long ride etaps, also on other rides

chow call, read you later resp. see you on the serbian side
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:04 AM   #7
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Entertaining- thank you!
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:02 AM   #8
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Thanks Andy for sharing. Pics are better with the story.

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Old 11-27-2012, 09:20 AM   #9
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home late after a shitty day at work; well I took a good measure of serbian 'Lozovacka' (sort of Grappa) as an antidote and now let's continue a bit

after having crossed the border we head northwest, to Golubac on the Danube. The first kilometers are so-so, but then we enter the mountains and the roads are first class twisties.
Birol gives w.o. and takes a 20 min nap as is his habitude when we reach the pass.

My Serbian is not even rudimentary, but I think this spring was made by some family to commemorate it's members having been killed in the war, WW II that is.
I had been posted in Serbia in 1999-2000, from Nato Bombs to the ouster of Milosevic. Crazy years, especially for an Expat being payed in hard currency. Both my wife and me put on 16 kg due to the fantastic serbian food ( as long as you are not a vegetarian).
I still have friends from that time and we were going to stay with one of them.

just wonder how Birol made it to drive in the 2-stroke fumes; as I moreless knew the area, I rode in front here.

the sun sets and we are coming down to the Danube plain

dinner time, but I'll try to continue afterwards

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Old 11-27-2012, 12:03 PM   #10
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Arriving near Golubac, we found ourselves even some gravel roads while shortcutting through small villages. Unfortunately no fotos

This was where we would stay the night, the 'Weekend' - House. Slavko had earned quite some money in the good old embargo days, smuggling in petrol from Romania.

But first we went to the village and dug into the Jawa, which had developed unhealthy noises from the rear wheel.

Slavko in the front

the tightening mechanism of the chain had loosened on the right side and so the wheel had wandered out of line and the chain was scrapping over the sprocket, which had produced an unhealthy noise for an unhealthy situation.
Additionally the spring inside the drum break had broken and was now happily scrapping away at the aluminum of the rear hub.

the Cagiva is a nice, completely original bike Slavko got real cheap - but without papers - doesn't matter that much in the Village, though

Then it was already a bit late, and the minds wandered - and instead of reassembling the Jawa, Birol started repairing the Mercedes.

Slavko had been told that the computer fucked up, maybe the Immobilizer, and that the car would have to be shipped to the main dealership in Belgrade - read that as $$$$$$$.

Within 10 minutes Birol had identified a broken sensor on the crankshaft feeding nonsense signals to the ignition computer.
Not expensive to buy and easy to mount.

so after a good days ride and work we retired with a few beers.

In the morning we had breakfast in the village - after I had had my coffee of course. Birol as a real Turk prefers Tea.

grilled meat, pleskavica, cheese.......

As we are not real Serbs, we didn't enjoy what those people are having

see the small glasses - yep, Rakija

Romania on the other side

those had been license produced in Yugoslavia, and a few are still around

back at the 'village house' we reassembled the Jawa

Birol working

Me sleeping

Slavisa is running a security firm, the Merc and those cars belong to that

there's also some agriculture still going on, especially sheep

late enough and not without a hearty meal we were on the road again. In hindsight I wonder why I didn't make more fotos here.

toll station before Beograd; our plan was to look for a hotel near the border. We had looked a bit in the Internet, which had not been conclusive, but I knew at least there was a good and cheap one a bit after the Croatian border - in the old days we had gone there to get lead free petrol for the service car, as lead free even the embassy was not able to get in Milosevics Serbia.

having Tea - freshly brewed nearly everywhere on the Highway, courtesy of Turkish truckers

a leak and a cig sometimes

and, late enough again, at the Hotel

just early enough for the Restaurant

the real stuff, 'mesano meso', mixed grill for me, whatever he chose for Birol

tomorrow will take us to my parents

as a goodbye, a Serbian Biker; Foto from this summer (car trip)

and at last, some more yummy things, from the same family trip

NSFV (not save for Vegetarians - and, seriously, maybe city Kids)

becomes this

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Old 11-28-2012, 04:43 AM   #11
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Thank you Andi
Lets make a Gourmet Ride to Serbia
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:53 AM   #12
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a quiet breakfast

behind the Hotel

this time we got off late enough again - Birol was stuck in Facebook (I like books without faces)

on the highway again, no time for the potentially lovely Bosnian roads

wanting to use the bathroom, but the tourist bus was faster

we'd follow suite those guys in the background

a grey day on the grey anyway Slavonian plain

by chance we met a friend, colleague and customer (of Birols wokshop)

he had rammed some monument in Edirne, but most of the damage had been quickly repaired; some of the drive-train damage only yesterday, though

we had some coffee at this station

nice view

and on we go

deja vue

direction Austria; at least after 25 years the Slovenes have now some roads to show for the exorbitant tolls they charge

already on the Austrian side; Birols headlight had become loose in the fairing. Good we had enough of the universal spare - wire

On the croatian side of the border there had been quite a queue, but no one protested, when we passed between the lines of cars and trucks. Not the first time that it had come handy to ride a former police bike.

Outside the Gleinalm-Tunnel in Austria. As it was late - as usual - we stayed on the highway with it's toll-tunnels, and where caught in the next one - it closed down partially for cleaning at 8 p.m - we arrived at 08:03

one hour wait - arriving home and having at least a beer with my brother

I'm not much in form today and call it quit's; tomorrow evening I have to attend a reception, but maybe I can do something at the office after work hours.

I had promised roadside repairs - believe me, they will come, and some spectacular at that.
We are now at my parents place, a long days ride from the meeting.

a few glimpses

what Birol did I will explain later but Dad couldn't believe we would ride with such dirty plates.The good and honest man had never seen how Turkish Sports Bike Riders mount their plates

and Birol found an Airhead-Harley

and smiles that had come back after a -then - somewhat long time

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Old 11-28-2012, 12:30 PM   #13
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Was that last picture taken, when the Jawa was back together ?

Man, I do have a talent for making silly faces...

Please give some warm greetings to Birol, when you see him!
Let the world change you and you can change the world - Che Guevara
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:52 PM   #14
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awsome, thanks!
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:53 PM   #15
Bruce H
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Wow! Very different around the world, nice to see. Thanks for posting.

Bruce H, USA
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