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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gperkins, Sep 7, 2016.
From Izmir it was a short hop down to Bodrum, a once sleepy coastal fishing village, but now a busy (in season) tourist destination. None the less, it's still a great place to rest up for a few days. We rode with both Aliye and Ozhan on the way down and were met by Koral once near Bodrum. Then escorted to Levent and Hatice's house. We love Turkey! There is a thriving biker community, mix in the usual hospitality of this part of the world, along with great weather, good roads, food and wine, a little history and you have just about the perfect mix.
Ozhan has travelled widely throughout Europe, Morocco and central Asia. Next year both he and his partner Aliye will ride CRF250's to India and Nepal, so it was good to pass on some recently gained knowledge to fellow adventurers.
On the road to Bodrum. Up front is Ozhun on his Weestrom and following is Aliye on her NC750. For once we could just follow along and forget about Mr Garmin leading us astray.
Aliye, Ozhan & levent.
Ozhan, Koral & Aliye. Koral 2 years ago set off east on his 660 Teneree with no real destination in mind. He just kept going until he reached Australia. Well done Koral.
Koral, Alyie & Ozhan.
Ahahahaha I'm the guy with the black crf , hello my friend !!!
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Wow, well hello, once again. I hope the tyre was sorted easy enough up in Osh. We cross over to Greece in perhaps 3 weeks time and would love to catch up with yourself and Christoph. Send us a PM and we will organise something for when we get there.
We've been at it again, that is taking in some more ancient history. This time it was Stratonikeia. Initially it was Greek of course, but as is usual the Romans moved in when it was their turn to rule this part of the world. Two things strike you about this place. Firstly it has what is claimed the largest gymnasium in the ancient world and secondly, every stone here is white marble. Can you imagine this place back in the day? The whole township shimmering in the intense Mediterranean sunshine. Oh, one more thing, if a gladiator was lucky enough to survive a career entertaining the unwashed masses killing others, then it was to here, that he would retire. Not such a bad option I would have thought.
Stratonikeia gymnasium, along with the rest of the city, all built of white marble. What would that cost today?
No self respecting ancient Greek or Roman city would be complete without it's theatre. This one could hold 15000 patrons and had it's very own VIP seats up front.
We'd been escorted along the way by our great hosts, Levent & Hatice. Discerning taste in motorcycles I might add.
A pair of twins in an avenue of eucalypts. Katrina and I felt right at home her. Actually this flat land is very grateful for the eucalypts. Earlier this century this valley was a swamp. Many people died from malaria. The local council did some research and discovered that eucalypt's were excellent at both surviving in wet areas and draining that area of water. So with that information the mayor went to the Turkish government and asked for funds to buy some eucalypts. This was granted and in 1939 eucalypts were sent from Australia. Then what was swampy land was drained, become productive farm land and death by malaria was a thing of the past. Your've got to love a bit of lateral thinking, well I do.
Now here is a scene you won't see back in Australia, but oh so European. Oh hang on it's Plaj, Turkey, Asia of course.
Thank you Levent and Hatice for an outstanding few days in Bodrum, boy are we going to miss those breakfasts. We will be back, we just know we will.
I see Levent has a Hittite Motorcycle Club sticker. I thought they were based in Ankara. I guess they have members everywhere.
You sure do have a sharp eye DavidM1 I have no knowledge of the club, nor it's geographic footprint. But i do know that Levent & Hatice moved to Bodrum earlier this year after many years in Ankara.
Graeme - Lisa is keen to hear about Katrina's experiences as pillion. How easy or hard is it to manage back there while you're wrestling Miss Hattie thru Pakistani gorges and Indian cattle traffic? Any special techniques, observations, shocking moments...?
That looks like Kaputas Beach (Kaputaş Plajı). I wonder where you're headed now - Kaş?
Good fun, that Lycian Coast road - in the old days there weren't any crash barriers.
You raise a good point ridin gaijin. All things considered, Katrina manages very well. It wouldn't be the case with the original seat though. For both of us that seat was never going to cut it. The pain after only 2 to 3 hours was too much and to make it worse, the slope on the pillion seat is excessive to put it mildly. Anything more than light braking had Katrina was sliding forward into my back. Just looking at the bike in the showroom you could see that. None the less after a big day on the road the old butt is still a little sore, but manageable.
When it comes to man handling the big girl loaded and two up, up dusty, rutted and sometimes muddy slopes, it can be a bloody handful. As you can well imagine, most of the extra weight is either over or just forward of the rear axle. Making the front end very light, especially when climbing steep dirt roads. Throw in some ruts and corrugations and at times it can get very interesting. Katrina quite frankly has had enough of the dirt for now. For the foreseeable future there will be little dirt. But come 2019
I now really regret not getting any video footage when riding up the Mustang. For some reason my mind seems to be focussed on other things at those times.
Beefing up the rear shock was definitely the right thing to do. The front is standard and just wound up to the max. As others have experienced, this changes very little. I've got a fix for this though. It's called Ohlins. Ohlins are currently having their first run at manufacturing a full front end for the AT. I've got my name on one set. Logistics and events won't see the Ohlins fitted until February next year. So I just need to be patient.
Oh, I'm also carefully considering fitting up a steering damper. http://www.mscmoto.com/honda-crf-1000-africa-twin-16-17 Climbing up through the Mustang valley in Nepal was far and away the hardest days riding on the trip. When the front end got loose and started to pogo over ruts, there was a lot of slap back and forth on the handlebars. Anything to stop or reduce this has to be a bonus. We had two slow speed offs that day.
The one other thing that makes Miss Hatty a handful when riding the gnarly stuff, is the tall gearing. Many back in Australia have dropped a tooth on the front sprocket. I've also considered that. But of course it will up the revs and compromise the fuel consumption. So as always it's a trade off. I've decided to stay standard so far as the gearing goes and maintain the good consumption. When taking it easy, we are now getting up to 450 klms from a tank. Not too bad. Now just think what it could do if Honda did the right thing and fitted a 26 litre tank. I reckon that size would be about perfect.
I think your've nailed it DavidM1 After posting I realised that Plaji means beach in Turkish. I thought it was the specific name for that beach, see it's all an education. This south Mediterranean coast is a gem. Well the bits away from the humungous super resorts around Antalya that is. Certainly not our type of holiday thats for sure. Fly in park your backside on the deck chair either at the beach or by the pool for 2 weeks then fly home. Nope not for us................ever!
We stayed one night at Kas, great little town thats for sure. We have to get a bit of a move on from here though. So we are swinging up through the centre towards Capodoccia, onto Ankara, meet some people. Next weekend we are off to the Turkey AT camp weekend. Hmm, not too sure how that will go. I can see lots of inquisitive questions coming up. Then Istanbul for a few days, then before we know it October will be drawing to a close and we have to hoof it onto Greece. Tear the bike apart, see to the tappets, bearings, front end, change the coolant and anything else I can think of.
@gperkins - thanks for the heads up on the Ohlins whole new front kit, I'm going to check that out.
And also thanks for the doing the trip two up with luggage to test out solutions for me . Very much appreciated. .
Seriously though I read with keen interest your comments above about the pillion, several times in fact. I will placing an order for the Camel auxiliary tank as this will raise the bikes fuel capacity to 25 L. The advantage of their solution is because the auxiliary tank is connected to the main tank by way of the breather pipe then you only fill the aux tank when you need it. Another bit of weight to add into the suspension calculation though. My new rear Ohlins was not cheap but worth every cent, I am very pleased with it. I've been holding off on the front end until I find better solutions to the ones I've seen to date, hence my interest in the Ohlins you mentioned. Do you have a link for that? If so email or PM me.
Really enjoying seeing updates from you, this RR is a good read, you just post pics and say it the way it is, no bullshit, no hype, no 'look me aren't we fab doing this rtw trip' kind of thing. You just post and comment as you see it, this kiwi likes that...
PM sent MrKiwi. I hope it is of value to you. I need to follow up on the Camel tank solution perhaps.
Thanks for the kind words, as always I just write the way I see it. Hopefully the correct tenor of our journey comes through that way. I think if you try to embellish your story, people will see through the BS and I believe that you have confirmed that, with your comments above. Rest assured, you won't see any star jumps from either Katrina or I any time soon.
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Haha, I remember it well, as if it was yesterday and here is ours 24 hrs later. I reckon you guys jinxed us. Worth the effort and anguish though. It sure is an epic part of the world.
It was time to leave the coast and head to the geographic centre of Turkey, to an area known as Capodoccia, specifically Goreme. This area is unique and famous for one particular reason. Troglodyte houses, that is houses built underground. The area is vast, with whole towns and city's located underground. The locals moved out years ago and most have been abandoned, but some and particularly here in Goreme the locals have grasped upon a tourist bonanza. Hey, why not, it's pretty damn amazing.
These underground houses and communities date as far back as 1800 BC. The primary reason, to find sanctuary from persecution.
Not happy to just look at these fascinating dwellings from the ground, it was time to take this adventure to a higher level.
As many as 130 odd balloons can be in the air at any one time.
Now to drop down into the valley. We were skimming literally feet above the craggy outcrops, surreal.
An hour in the air felt like 10 minutes.
They actually land the basket on the trailer.
Occasionally you need to open the wallet, blow the budget and enjoy what is on offer and man was this worth every cent. To be honest, here is probably one of the cheapest places in the world to take a ballon flight and to top it off, one of the best.
MrsKiwi and I did this three years ago. Was the highlight of our trip. I have lots of photos just like yours
Hi Graeme and Katrina from Texas.
Just caught up after several days of reading. Great to see the AT on such a journey. I've got a '16 model, also, but nowhere as many miles. Absolutely appreciate the detail, and the history lessons of places I may never see. Can't wait to see where else this goes. And also like all the input from your regulars. Makes it very entertaining! Been following the fork issue, too, so will be interested to see what you find. But we know what you will find, because color anodized is NOT hard anodized. But sure you knew that. Safe travels. And if you get through the Gulf Coast of Texas, maybe we could meet up along your way.
I wish it was possible to click many times on "like" so these pictures are amazing ! Great, really GREAT !
It certainly is right up there with other outstanding experiences in the last 14 months, since leaving home, thats for sure.
Merlin44 glad you enjoyed are little meander across Asia. There is so much more on offer in that part of the world. But time constraints limit you to just so much. If we can manage it, we are somehow going to try and fit in a trans Russia, Mongolia and Japan leg. We are just not too sure how as yet.
We certainly plan on returning to North America. We've had about 15 great months there in the past and have some life long friends from 33 years ago. Stay tuned and you never know, we could meet up and share a beer.