China is easy. RR from Karakorum Highway and Taklamakan desert...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by sambor1965, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. sambor1965

    sambor1965 Been here awhile

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    I visited China many times. More than 10x. It is easy, safe and even cheap. But by motorbike seemed to be difficult nad expensive. I spent last few summer in Central Asia, often travelling along chinese border in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. My first attempt took a place in 2008: in Bejing was Olympic Games and we tried... Everything was prepared, paid etc. but shit happened - riots started in Xinjiang and we were forced to leave the bikes on the border. Four years it is a lot of time - I explored Pamir and took my clients to northern Afghanistan on bikea, I changed my job, lost good friends, met another interesting people. I have done some stupid things on the motorcycle but finally survived.
    I love Kyrgyzstan, it is the best adv country for me. Cheap, sunny, dry. Nice people who speaks Russian, language I speak better than English. But Kyrgyzstan is too small for me. Kazakhstan is flat and boring and Pamir in Tajikistan is just a pretty high altitude desert, so maybe let's try again China?
    I rode chinese motorbikes in Eastern China (illegally of course), I was in Bejing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other cities. Cities are ugly, overcrowded, it is f... difficult to understand people even when they knows few words in English. So why to China?
    I don't know: many riders are dreaming about riding China. It is just 350 km from Bishkek. It wasn't comercial tour. I organised it for my friends, whom I know for many years. I invited guys who travelled with me in Himalaya and Africa but also people who were newbie. There were heavy bikes with us (1200GS) and some light bikes (Xchallenge, DR650, LC4, old Tenere). Car is a must in China because guide has to travel with the group. I wasn't happy because it but this is the chinese law and we had to respect it. Renting 4WD in China is bloody expensive, so we took a car from Kyrgyzstan with us. Having a a car I didn't affraid to invite for this trip my 7 years old son, he was with us all the time.
    This trip report is just about riding in Xinjiang, just one province. The biggest, but just one, Xinjang is 3 times bigger than France, Taklamakan desert is as big as Spain. China is really huge: same size as Europe incl. Russian part. So, sorry folks - it is not report about riding in China, title of this thread is misunderstanding - it was just like a week tour in France.
    We spent 3 weeks riding, and done 6000 km. To tell you the truth it was holiday riding. Maybe I am getting older? Walter is presenting on advrider his toughest ride and I am presenting the easiest ;)
    I will present here pictures taken by all participants. Sure some of them I took. Some were taken by professionalist (Kowal is a skilled photographer), some by unexperienced users...

    Sorry for my mistakes, I will try to write here something more than just describing tracks and mountains (I know: one picture is worth a 1000 words). There will be some info about Uyghur and their history. It will be difficult for me to write and I believe it could be even more difficult 4U to understand ;)

    I will start this RR atypically, with short movie presenting our trip. Then will start photo story...

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8aDhHVLWTP0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    http://youtu.be/8aDhHVLWTP0
    #1
  2. BTL

    BTL No more snow!!

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    :D I am in..
    #2
  3. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    me too ! :norton
    #3
  4. Ridesolo

    Ridesolo cereal lurker

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    Count me in as well.
    #4
  5. Deuce

    Deuce Crazy Canuck

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    In like Flint :freaky
    #5
  6. horsti

    horsti Adventurer

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    I am soooo in :D
    #6
  7. stoner_PL

    stoner_PL Adventurer

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    :thumb
    #7
  8. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Looking forward to another one of your epic rides :thumb
    #8
  9. AlpineGuerrilla

    AlpineGuerrilla Been here awhile

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    Love the video. :D But what is that wobbly effect? Is it the YouTube de-shaking option?

    The beginning of two epic ride reports - this has been a great week. Looking forward to follow your trip, Sambor.
    #9
  10. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    China is a tough nut to crack having to use a guide and all, glad you could make it work:clap:clap:clap
    :lurk
    #10
  11. lualca

    lualca motero

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    In, nice video
    #11
  12. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    I'm in, great way to start your report. I can't wait for it to unfold.
    #12
  13. Sroz

    Sroz Adventurer

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    Loved your old RR's cant wait to see this:clap
    #13
  14. NKOrange

    NKOrange Puny homer

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    Awesome video. Can't wait for more :1drink
    #14
  15. Katoom119

    Katoom119 Mmmm....Orange Kool-aid

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    Ooooh yeah..... :thumb
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  16. BTBW 01

    BTBW 01 BTBW 01

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    Wicked, great stuff.
    Keep it coming. :D
    #16
  17. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

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    Great video.

    Looking forward to the rest of your RR.

    Cheers,

    JM.
    #17
  18. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

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    N
    #18
  19. MeinMotorrad

    MeinMotorrad Long timer

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    :lurk
    #19
  20. sambor1965

    sambor1965 Been here awhile

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    Sorry guys - this RR is not about any extreme ride. It will be rather about dreaming but we will concern how to convert dream to real life. Asia is a different continent, it is not easy to adopt for Europeans or Americans. Different culture, skin, values, eyes, sense of humour, sense of time. Also different bacteria in food and water. It is definitely better to start on wheels somewhere in Europe and feel the distance: feel pain in your ass on Russian roads, bargain with policeman, taste dust from Kazakh steps. It is better to have a time than be in a hurry, and is better to be rich than to be poor.
    We are in a hurry, we have money but we don't have time. If we have time we don't have money.

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    We started in Warsaw, Poland in mid June. Preparation to the trip started few months earlier when I exchanged e-mails with my friend, who is a travel agent in Kashgar. We discussed about the route, his assistance, hotels, places to cross the Chinese border etc. I sent some useless information about our bikes, pictures, info about passengers etc. Just food for Chinese bureaucracy.



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    Getting Chinese visas is really easy here in Poland, I believe the same is in other western countries. We used agent, it cost us about 50 Euro and we received visas in one week.

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    Kuba

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    Kowal

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    Van team :rofl

    We started in Warsaw, as I wrote. Two guys, Kowal and Kuba who were rich enaugh (had enough time) started their Odyssey to central Asia, it was their first trip to the east, so it was a challenge. They wasn't great Russian speakers and they didn't have any experience with customs and police. Iveco and trailer were fully loaded: 12 bikes aboard (except our bikes we transported some bikes from other adv ride report), some equipment, good music for a week. Go East men!

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    Asia begins not far from Poland, just on the next border. Transporting private bikes on the lorry is unusual. Doesn't matter how are you prepared, how many calls you made to customs, doesn't matter how many times you crossed this border with similar luggage. It is Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and there is just one rule: no rules at all. Too many tyres, stamp on translation is badly printed, bike on the lorry doesn't have insurance &#8211; you have to wait, you have to pay, you have to waste your time. After 2 and a half days on the Belarussian border I was forced to prepare different documents and boys went around Belarus to Russia through Lithuania and Latvia. Crossing this border was very easy, after another 24 hours on the border, some calls from our embassy and Polish TV Russian customs let them cross the border.

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    Touratech mounting system

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    Russia

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    5500 km to go...

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    broken trailer

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    Russian solution (have a look at sunglasses)

    Sun rise, sun set x6 and they were in Bishkek ;)
    They left some bikes in Astana (sorry guys we were late) and arrived to Bishkek just one day later we expect them.

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    So, let me introduce the team:


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    Waldek, GS650 Xchallenge. We are friends for over 20 years, were together in Morocco, India, China, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan experienced, safe, clever.

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    Kowal, XT600 Tenere. Photographer. We were together in Morocco, good rider, always ready to help. He needs a lot of food and lot of beer for travelling.

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    Marek, KTM LC4, we were together in Morocco, good offroad rider, first time on a motorbike in Asia. He had GoPro and will be easy to recognize because this funny stuff on the helmet.


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    Kuba, DR 650 SE, the youngest guy in the team. He was in Morocco, love to ride off road. First time in Asia.

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    S&#322;awek, BMW 1200 GSA, always travelling alone, but not this time... He started this route in Poland in May, China was just detour on his journey to Wladivostok.

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    Piotrek, BMW 1200 GS, first season on heavy bike after serious crash on SV650. Heavy bike, no offroad experience and sometimes wife as a pillion...* Their first motorbike travel ever.

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    Support team: Alek, 7 years. Very first time in Asia, his mum Anita and Monika alias Black Viper, Piotrek's wife. Sometimes on a bike, sometimes in a car.* We used Mitsubishi Delica 2,8 TD, 4WD.

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    last but not least: me...
    #20