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Old 09-02-2013, 02:14 PM   #1 OP
Adventurer's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Lechistan
Oddometer: 82
Albania or bust! 2up on a 30 year old 500cc thumper

Just returned from a 2 weeks and 3700km trip around the Balkans. The unlikely mean of transportation was my 1982 Honda FT500 that's in the middle of the scrablerization project.

The route was something like:
Poland - Czech Republic - Slovakia - Hungary - Serbia - Bosnia & Herzegovina - Montenegro - Albania - Montenegro - Croatia - Slovenia - Austria - Czech Republic - Poland

Here are a few pics for starters, I'll post the report step by step when I get a grip. "So many social engagements, so little time..."

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Honda FT500 scrambler build thread
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Oddometer: 726
Nice pictures

I like the pictures

Thanks for posting

Have you tried wrapping the bar with a thin baling wire and then layering on some JB Weld (or other steel epoxy)?

What is the bike?

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Old 09-03-2013, 01:29 AM   #3
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Joined: Sep 2011
Location: On the Roads of Motherland
Oddometer: 142
If I knew that you are riding through Serbia, I'd ask you for a visit in Belgrade
Some next time, I hope to meet !

Better dead than lose momentum ...
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:35 AM   #4
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Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Copenhagen/Portugal/CA/AZ
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Cool! More pics please!
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:10 PM   #5
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Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Belgistan
Oddometer: 605
This is a familiar sight to me
In for the rest of the report, awesome region!
| KTM 690 SMC RRP | Honda RD04 Africa Twin |
| Balkan ADV RR | Bacon trip log map | KTM 690 Wiki |
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:19 AM   #6 OP
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Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Lechistan
Oddometer: 82
The idea to visit Albania emerged in my head when I couldn't find any map or travel guide about it in the book store. I got more and more convinced that it's a good idea by people's reactions to it: "Albania? WTF?". The almost cliche by now "it's not the destination, it's the journey" couldn't be more relevant here, because I managed to be one day in Albania and had a whole lottta fun getting there and going back. Two weeks for this trip was definitely not enough, specially when just getting to the Balkans takes four days. It could be attributed to the fact that my bike, fully loaded and two up, was good for cruising at a hundred kilometers per hour and didn't like doing it for longer periods of time. So did I, hence "no highways" rule which we obliged to with only one exception gave us about three hundred kilometers a day range.

Last couple of weeks before the trip I spent getting the bike ready. I managed to seize the engine in May and replaced the piston and all the gaskets after that, and went solo from Poznań in Poland to Munich in Germany in July, so I didn't doubt it would make it. That is no to say about everybody else who saw the bike. It had pretty strong rat appearance, putting it mildly. I scored a little battered windshield from a friend of mine. I was cracked and was missing the mounting system, but a little epoxy glue and a couple of aluminum angles sorted it out. I made a new seat cover only two days before the departure, before that I was riding on a garbage bag cover for some time. I found leftover curtain hanger pipes in my garage and built a luggage rack out of them. Seemed like a good idea at a time.

We did some test runs with full gear on it, tent, bags etc. and it looked like all was set up properly. Of course on the day of the departure, when we put on the bike what we were really taking with us, it looked like an accident waiting to happen. The suspension was compressed three quarters down at least and the luggage rack's bottom mounts where rubbing against the lower shocks' mounts. But it was time to go. I decided that not thinking about it will fix it. We stopped by to say good bye to my girlfriend's family and I could see from their faces that it didn't look good. The bike was helping a lot by misfiring and dying two times at their driveway. We must have looked like Guevara and Granado at the beginning of the Motorcycle Diaries movie almost having a head on with a bus. I think the only reason they let their daughter go was that they hopped we'd return the same evening.

But as usual when all the signs in heaven and earth tell me no to stop, I go. The first day went uneventful and unphotograpyful. We started in the early afternoon and as planned, by the sunset we covered two hundred and fifty to kilometers and stopped in a hostel at a Polish - Czech border in the Sudety mountains. Good weather, low traffic, nothing to write home about. I had a mighty "highlander robber schnitzel" together with two pints and went to sleep.
Badges?! What badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!
Honda FT500 scrambler build thread
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:30 AM   #7
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Joined: Jun 2004
Location: Summerville, SC
Oddometer: 3,437
Great photos- thanks for posting.

Originally Posted by View Post
I decided that not thinking about it will fix it.
I have employed this repair technique myself many times, usually regarding things around my house that need to be fixed.
2007 Buell XB12X Ulysses
1983 Honda VT500FT Ascot
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:14 AM   #8
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Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Slovenia
Oddometer: 182
Your narrative is soooo funny. WAITING FOR MORE.

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