Around South America and beyond

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cejnys, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Man, that was pretty harrowing! I thought it was an adventure was going to an unfamiliar town and looking for an inexpensive yet decent enough place to stay. At least if it came to saving your life, you could'a hopped on Matthias' bike with him, abandoning yours. Glad it didn't come to that. How's the bike now and what was that noise?
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  2. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    Totally man, that would be pretty tough. I believe that things happen for reasons.

    My friend AJ with his old Land Cruiser texted me the other day that one of his his batteries just exploded and accid sprayed everything under the bonnet.
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  3. dano619

    dano619 Been here awhile

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    I betcha Matthias would have hopped on the back of the bike :)
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  4. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    Yeah, leaving my bike and all our stuff behind was one of the scenarios we discussed. Matt actually suggested me riding his bike and him sitting at the back.

    The thing was that I could not leave my bike behind, I would rather ride her to the last meters she could hold then just leave her there.

    The noise was from the chain, when it jumped a teeth it got tensioned, then it got released and made the strong klank noise.
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  5. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Another "lucky" thing is that you didn't have a panic attack. The going got tough but you kept your wits and resolve.
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  6. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    The next morning I woke up full of optimism. I was alive and I knew what I needed to do, my primary focus was to get spare parts for the bike as soon as possible.

    [​IMG]

    I called KTM dealer in Perth and asked them when could they get me the hose that failed. While I was doing this I also wanted to change a very shot hose at the bottom of the thermostat.

    Unfortunately they did not have it in stock but fortunately the KTM spare parts warehouse for the whole Australia was in Perth so they could source it in few hours and ship it at the same day by express envelope. I was really impressed with the service they provided.

    Then I had to decide where to send the parts. We were in the middle of nowhere and the closest road house was in Caiguna. After breakfast we headed there.


    After parking in front of the road house I walked it. Immediately I could feel something was not right. The people working there were not friendly. I explained my challenge and asked them about delivering the parts to the road house. They agreed but did not look excited about it.

    Then they told me that they receive a post once a week and that the last delivery was few hours ago. It meant I would have to wait for the parts the whole week.

    I called back to KTM dealerships and they told me that they could get the envelope to Norseman over the night. I looked at the map and it was only 400 km away. Great I thought and agreed with this arrangement.

    Together with Matt we found few chairs in front of the road house and just chilled. Around 3 pm the wind suddenly stopped and it was very quiet. At that point we could hear some unidentifiable noise. We made couple of jokes about the whole situation; in about 1 min something very unexpected happened. White golf balls started to fall from the sky. Our bikes were under a shelter so we were ok. Unfortunately that was not the case for few cars. They got totally buttered by this hail storm. I have not seen anything like this before. 5 min later all was gone.

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    This guy was not lucky, just before he drove under the roof of a petrol station his windscreen got smashed by falling ice.

    [​IMG]

    The next morning I woke up around 5 am and walked to the front of the road house to see whether anyone is going to Norseman. The tracking number of my parts was showing that the hoses were not it’s way to Norseman post office.


    It did not take long and a German guy on holiday who was driving to Perth gave me a lift. Four hours later I was in Norseman holding my parts. Going back was also easy; I really wanted to get on one of these road trains. As soon as I walked to the exit road from Norseman a guy with this road train stopped and offered a lift. Since I saw the first road train in Australia I always wanted to ride on one

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    He was fully loaded but could keep 100km/h speed all the time.

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    These guys have definitely the best view

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    It was evening when I made it back. Got something to eat and went to bed, I wanted to start early with the repair.

    Putting new hoses in was a piece of cake. When I was nearly ready two guys came in. They told us that they were making some kind of documentary for National Geographic while traveling through Australia and asked whether they can do an interview with us. They looked quite legit so we agreed. They gave us microphones under our shirts and we started rolling. Apparently the guy who interviewed us was a famous Australian rugby player; honestly I had no idea and found this from one of the cameraman after all was over.


    Anyway my main focus was to complete the bike and make it good again. Shortly after they were gone I finished the repair and all looked good.

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    We packed our tents, had some lunch and started heading north towards Rawlina. Our plan was to take the railway support track for about 1000 km until we get to the highway from Adelaide to Alice Springs.


    The track to Rawlina was nice, mostly rocky but that was ok, we could move much faster than on the last truck with bull dust

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    Rawlina was a small village where a tourist train stops and people get of the train and they are served food and drinks.

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    We took few photos and started heading east. We wanted to reach Forrest airport before the sunset. The track was mostly rocky so we could not drive very fast. Also because there was limited supply of petrol on the track I fuel up and carried 60 liters of petrol with me plus 15 liters of water. When the bike gets this heavy it’s not fun to ride it.


    One point I run out of fuel so I had to stop. When I was taking one of the canisters off I noticed unusual movement of the rear plate. When I checked closer I found out that the last part of the subframe snapped. That was exactly the part where the plate was bolted. Most of the subframe there are two bars welded together which creates very strong support, the last part where is the plate there is only one bar. I did not understand the logic, KTM engineers could make two bars all the way and it would be undestroyable.

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    After I found these cracks I had to reorganize things a bit and made little pulling system using two canisters and few straps which would keep the broken frame from dropping down.

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    After a short test ride it worked well so we kept going towards Forrest; this time I was riding much slower. We made it there just before the sunset.


    We were welcomed by Kim who is one of the caretakers of this airport. She is running it together with her husband who was at that time in a hospital due to some injury he sustained few days ago.


    Kim confirmed that they did not have aluminum welding rig at the airport and therefore they cannot help to weld it. The closes place where I should be able to get this done was Ceduna which was about 600 km away.


    When we asked Kim where could we camp she just smiled and told us that we suffered enough that day and that we need a nice hot shower and good rest (how little she knew about our serious struggle few days back, broken subframe felt like a piece of cake). She offered a space for our sleeping bags in their nice airport museum. I could not refuse this offer, I have never slept in a museum.

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    That evening we were invited for an amazing dinner. It was soooo delicious. We could not say enough of thank you to Kim for her hospitality. We were joined by two engineers who were looking after fiber optic cable between Perth and Adeline.

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    The next we looked around the airport, we were really impress how well it was run by only two people

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  7. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Amazing! Australians are cool!

    I never would have pictured your foray into Australia to be so dramatic. It's really inspirational how you get into and out of situations, and the ups and downs there seem stronger than any before on this entire epic journey. It's really a blast to read your accounts. Glad I didn't stop following once you were done with South America; your approach is very unique. Top notch both in traveling and reporting, in my estimation.
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  8. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    after Australia, Africa should be easy
  9. shuswap1

    shuswap1 Been here awhile

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    So, which of the two hoses was the old one?
    :imaposer
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  10. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    I have a feeling that in Africa we get ourselves into troubles with an ease; also there are many animals that would love to have you as an afternoon snack
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  11. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    The most expensive 1 inch of hose in Australia.....$16.50 :confused
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  12. Byah

    Byah Adventurer

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    Yeah ure getting hit 3x there on the hose;
    1)Australia tax
    2)Perth tax (most isolated city in the world by some accounts)
    3)KTM tax
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  13. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    The original plan was to ride the railway track all the way to Kingoonya, refuel and then head north. After talking to Kim and the service guys at Forrest we had to change the plan. Apparently the track was very rocky and riding with my broken subframe while carrying extra fuel did not make any sense. Plus another thing was that the track was basically all the same what we already experienced between Rawlina and Forrest . Again it was hard for me to ride my sick bike but there was not another option. If we followed the railway track all the way to Kingoonya we would have to carry quite loads of fuel because the next petrol station was about 800 km far.


    From Forrest we headed south towards the main highway. The track was exactly the same as the railway track so I had to travel between 25 and 35 km/h. It was really annoying because I wanted just to stand up on pegs and let her go.


    Shortly after our departure I realized one very weird thing. The bike was not cooling itself down. I was like wtf was happening? Surprisingly it was not the bike which was the problem (well it kind of was bikes issue because Matt’s Bmw was doing a bit bette)r.


    I realized what was going on when I stood up on the bike, then there was no wind resistance. Even when I was doing 45 km/h on some parts of the road there was still no air going through the radiator. When I stopped I could see what was going on; all the wind was traveling the same direction and even abit faster then me. It was really annoying, I could not do much else because going faster wasn’t technically possible. So I had to take it easy and every 5 to 10 km I had to stop and turn the bike towards the wind. Then it needed 4 minutes and the engine was cold; even though that day was 45 Celsius.

    Matt’s bike is facing the right direction while my 999 is facing the wind

    [​IMG]

    With many stops we eventually made it to the main road. Last 10 km of the road was good so we enjoyed a good speed and my bike enjoyed a bit of the air.


    We stopped at the first road house where we had few cold drinks and started moving east on the main highway.


    Crossing border to South Australia was a great relieve due to one main thing, the time moved by one and half hours. In the east part of Western Australia the time was totally off. The sun rose around 3:30 and sunset was 18:00. Because the sun was strong in the morning you had to wake up before 5 am; on the other hand you cannot ride late because at 6pm is already dark.


    About 60km after the border the road goes very close tho the coast. It was getting late so we picked nice sports at the top of 80 meters high cliffs.


    As soon as we set up our camp huge wind came and it was not blowing from the sea as I would expected. This time it was blowing from inland into the ocean. This meant that every little mistake with handling any of my stuff meant it would be lost as the very strong wind would take it over the cliff. To make it more interesting huge thunder storm showed up. The area was totally flat and without any vegetation so my tent and the bike were sticking out quite a bit. That was not a good set up for heavy lightening. It was very interesting night when strong wind was trying to drag the tent over 80 meters high cliff while lightening was striking everywhere around me.

    [​IMG]
  14. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

    Merry Christmas to all of you out there!!!



    I got a bit behind with the rr but will be trying to bring it up to date soon.
  15. Cuzen

    Cuzen Been here awhile

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    Have a great Holidays Rad, we all are following, take a break and enjoy:D:clap
  16. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    After surviving the scary looking thunderstorm and very strong wind on the edge of a 80 meters high clif I started riding towards Ceiduna.

    We were about 80 km from the town when we were stopped by police. Apparently the wind was so strong it was taking all the dust from surrounding fealds and blowing it through the road. Visibility at that part of the road was 1 meter and less. Police guys told us there were some bad accidents inside of that dusty wind stream. There were two dangers; first was that somebody doesn’t realize on which part of the road is and can hit you in your own line straight from front. Second is that you go slowly and then somebody from behind hits you because they go too fast and cannot see more than 1 meter in front of them.


    Because police did not want to let us go through and because we did not want to wait we decided to take a back road. We had to return little bit and then get ifbthe mani road. Sometimes it was hard to see where the track was going. On the camera it actually looks much better than it was it the real situation. The dust got into helmet and it was absolutely everywhere.

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    It was about 10 km of very challenging riding, strong side wind and dust absolutely everywhere.

    As soon as we made it to Ceiduna We found nice and cheap campsite. I immediately started to work on my bike to remove the subframe while Matt found a local supermarket and got us some beers to wash that bloody dust

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    About one hour later the subframe was out; it was actually much easier than I thought it would be

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    The next morning I dropped it to a local welder who specialized in aluminum boats.few hours later he called me to pick it up.

    I was very surprised with the result. He did amazing jo; he nicely welded it together plus added little bit of reinforcement which will make the whole rear end much stronger.

    Honestly I don’t understand why KTM cannot do small things like this. It’s not much work and the capebility of the bike would be much better

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    During the assembly process; all looked good

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    Putting everything back together was a piece of cake. Two hours later we were ready to hit the road again.
  17. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Nice find on the tig welder, looks like he did a great job fixing the subframe. He charge you much?

    Hope you have some grand holidays down under. Rock on Rad!
  18. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Rad! If you leave the subframe off, you can sell the bike as a badass custom bobber priced 2x the bike's value.

    :oscar


    Cheers mate and Feliz Navidad!
  19. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    I was seriously impressed with the job, he was a great guy; the price was not the same as you can get welding done in India but for the craftmenship he showed I was happy to pay 100 aussie dollars. Also he had to weld the stainless touratech luggage frame as it was cracked on few places. Overall I was happy
  20. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    This was exactly what I was thinking when I took the subframe off and when I started the bike without the exhaust

    Feliz Navidad!!
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