Earth's Ends: Riding DR650's from End to End

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by micko01, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    563
    Location:
    RTW, currently Argentina
    We are a geologist and mining engineer by profession but world travelling, adventure seeking nomads by nature. After years spent happily ensconced in the bosom of the Australian mining industry we have decided it was time to live the dream and travel a large portion of the globe on the back or our trusty Suzuki DR650s.

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    A bit about us

    Michael a.k.a Mick - according to Tan

    Nationality: Australian; he bleeds Vegemite
    Profession: Mining Engineer
    Likes: Motorbikes, beer (all the beer), every sport ever created or yet to be created, all things inappropriate, creepy/dark and obscure comedy (read: League of Gentlemen/Cyanide and Happiness), most outdoorsy type pursuits that present reasonable chance of an injury
    Dislikes: Quality period dramas like Downton Abbey, mornings, cars that beep at you to tell you to fasten seatbelts or turn the lights off;this seriously sends him crazy. I suspect he thinks it is the first step in machines taking control of the human race.
    Excels at: Beards (growing of and commentating on), picking up my motorbike, procrastination, fixing things, not liking the All-Blacks despite being half Kiwi,
    Sucks at: Scrabble, Romance
    Most anticipated part of the trip: Lake Turkana route in Kenya, the beer houses of Europe and Central Asia especially the Pamir Highway
    Former bikes: MV Agusta F4 1000S Nero, Yamaha WR450F, BMW F800S
    Dream bikes: Honda CBX 1000 streetfighter. A modern incarnation of a Triton; put a new bonnie motor in a new featherbed frame. KTM 450 rally replica. I might build the ultimate DR650 just for shits and giggles one day, 790 kit and FI, plus suspension and subframe from a RMZ450.


    Tanya a.k.a Tan - according to Michael

    Nationality: Australian
    Profession: Geologist rock licker
    Likes: Motorbikes; especially naked bikes and pricey Italian ones. Indian food. Bad TV. Really really shockingly bad TV like that Real Housewives of wherever-the-fuck franchise. And Oprah. Cat videos. She loves to read a lot. Travel. Outdoorsy stuff. Forgetting her wallet, spending my money and not giving me my change back. Loses her shit over small animals.
    Dislikes: Getting out of bed in the morning. Cricket. Riding in sand, even though she is pretty good at it.
    Excels at: Procrastination (which is a not a good combination with me as I'm already a 10th dan blackbelt procrastinator myself). Getting lost. Making desserts. Getting into conversations and interacting with completely random people. Speaking other languages.
    Sucks at: Giving directions.
    Most excited about visiting: Iran, Central Asia and Brazil.
    Former bikes: Benelli TNT 1130, Ducati Monster Dark 750, Honda XR 250 & Honda VTR 250
    Dream bikes: MV Agusta Brutale 800, Ducati 848 EVO, Moto Guzzi Grisvo SE, Norton Commando (the new one)


    The Bikes:
    The bikes are pretty modified and that was a mission in itself. The project kind of snowballed out of control and the end result was some very capable long-range low-tech dirt tractors. There is a (still incomplete) build thread here on ADV which shows the bikes get reborn into what they are now - link here.


    The Trip:

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    When dreaming about this trip we thought it would be great to travel to the ends of the planet and come back again, hence the name of the trip - Earth's Ends. We like to get off the beaten track as much as possible so we'll be seeking out some fun remote routes to get us where we want to be.

    To come up with the basic route we looked at all the places we were keen to visit, which turned out to be most places. With that small detail established, we roughly took into account the seasons and estimated/basically guessed the amount of time we'd need to join all the dots. Our original 2-year career break thus morphed into a 3 year one. More money was saved and the planning began in earnest.

    The planned route will have us travelling through Africa for 10 months, before a quick dash through Western Europe into Scandinavia. This will complete our first end to end; of the trip, riding from the Southern most tip in Africa, Cape Agulhas, in August 2014, to the Northern most tip of Europe, Nordkapp, in about August 2015. From there it's Eastern Europe then through Turkey, Iran and Central Asia. At this point winter will stop us from continuing the journey for approximately 4 to 5 months. We plan to spend this time somewhere in Central Asia, maybe Almaty, rebuilding the motorbikes, learning Russian, drinking vodka and snowboarding. We will also likely go home for a bit, however we have also recently learned that riding in China has just gotten easier too, so going south for the winter is a real option also. Who knows, we will take it as it comes.

    When the snow thaws we'll leave on our second leg of the trip and travel through Mongolia and Russia; I'd love to travel along the BAM and the Road of Bones to Magadan. From there we'll catch a ferry to South Korea then fly the bikes to Anchorage, Alaska. From there it's the classic 'Americas route' up to Prudhoe bay and then all the way down until we hit ocean at the bottom of South America; our second 'end to end'. That is the rough plan anyway.

    We are currently over 5 months into the trip, having started in Durban on the 1st of August, 2014. Our original plan of going up the West Coast of Africa has been abandoned due to Boko Haram crazies in Nigeria and Cameroon, and also visa/border issues due to Ebola. We have done about 20,000kms so far in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia and have seen an amazing amount of stuff, met some truly fantastic people and gotten thoroughly behind schedule. But who cares, here are a few pics of the journey so far:



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    #1
    Kung Fury, MrKiwi, arghhh and 31 others like this.
  2. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    25,499
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Loving your DR setup!
    #2
    Foot dragger and Heugemono like this.
  3. Bli55

    Bli55 -

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    524
    Location:
    Russia, N56 E49.
    In!! :wink:
    This will be...just awesome...
    #3
  4. mtbbker

    mtbbker MtbBiker

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Centurion, South Africa
    Fantastic pics there of the Ellies (Grootvoete) at Elephants sands !

    South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia will keep you busy for a while if you want to see what it has to offer (Don't forget about the east - Swaziland, Mozambique etc. I look forward to folllow you on this trip - Its going to be Epic!!!!
    #4
    3dogrider likes this.
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    65,348
    Awesome ride, report and pics. :clap thanks for taking us along.
    #5
  6. leandrorr

    leandrorr leandrorr

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Ponta Grossa, Parana , Brazil
    Awesome travel!!! Following together
    #6
  7. MATTY

    MATTY BORDER RAIDER

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    969
    Location:
    England On the Scotish border
    Impressive build report well thought out and executed, many ideas in there and a wealth of info for anyone building a long range adventure bike well done. :D
    All the best to you folks on your travels and i am in for the RR bring it on! . :D
    #7
  8. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7,605
    Location:
    Small Town, Texas
    Looking forward to this report...

    NFE
    #8
  9. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,620
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I like this kind of party. Subscribed.
    #9
  10. joenuclear

    joenuclear Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,179
    n!
    #10
  11. Dirt Road Cowboy

    Dirt Road Cowboy I aim to misbehave.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    828
    Location:
    Tyler, Texas
    Sounds like a great trip! :clap

    Nice photos too!
    #11
  12. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,575
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Yes, please.
    #12
  13. Recep Aliskan

    Recep Aliskan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    128
    Location:
    is going to
    wowwww wonderful
    #13
  14. nzrian

    nzrian renegade master

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,196
    Location:
    Queenstown , NZ
    Amazing photos, looks like you are seeing the sights in style (DR650)

    You have chosen the best bike in the world, I love my DR
    #14
  15. MotorcycleWriter

    MotorcycleWriter Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,955
    Location:
    North Alabama - World's Rockiest Trails
    I'll be planning my adventure as I read about yours.
    #15
  16. GoodToGo

    GoodToGo n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Minnesota
    How are you liking the AS Magdan saddle bags so far? I like everything I read about them but they look a bit big on the DR650 and they seem to ride very low.
    What is your experience with them?
    #16
  17. dovetailredux

    dovetailredux Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    138
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Sign me up! Best of luck on the road.
    #17
  18. Theflyingwelshmen

    Theflyingwelshmen Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    Melbourne vic au
    Living the dream, sooooooo jealous :norton
    #18
  19. refokus

    refokus Hmmmmmm

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,059
    Location:
    North Phoenix
    Looks like a great start to an epic adventure. 😜
    #19
  20. GoodToGo

    GoodToGo n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Have you developed a technique for checking on how full your gas/petrol tank is?
    Or do you just open the cap and look inside?
    #20