Eastbound, to the Stans

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Boarder06, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. EtronX

    EtronX Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    215
    Location:
    Norway
    Hello again Steffen. Been waiting for this 👍 Merry Christmas 🎄


    Don't look back, you are not going in that direction :-)
    #41
  2. KTMInduro

    KTMInduro Off Road Montster

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    377
    Location:
    Bali, Indonesia
    Will be watching this one :lurk:lurk:lurk
    #42
  3. SR1

    SR1 Back in S. Korea

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,796
    Location:
    Seoul Survivor
    in!
    #43
  4. casperghst42

    casperghst42 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    Rotterdam, The Netherlands (in exile)
    Last I saw Erik he mentioned that he now have a working bracket for 800 low front fender.

    Casper
    #44
  5. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    298
    Location:
    Christchurch, NZ
    The first week of the trip was planned as a bit of a family outing. This is also the reason why I left kinda late. The idea was for me and my cousin to meet up with my uncle and his buddy and ride in Corsica. My uncle is in his seventies and lives in Hungary and I sure hope I’ll still be riding a bike when I get to be his age.

    Europe had a very crappy and rainy spring. On the evening before our intended departure my cousin called and told me that they wanted to wait a few more days to see if the rain clears.

    I finally left on 28 May. It rained on and off on my way to the Vogtland region. There was a lot of snow around Schöneck, which isn’t even that high. Normally, I like the single lane roads through the Vogtland mountains but it was pretty damn slippery and I was getting cold. I pressed on to the Czeck republic and found myself a little campground in the forest. The guy running the place was genuinely surprised to see me. The place was empty and I got myself a little A frame.

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    Home for a night

    The next morning I continued on to Regensburg (literally translated Raincastle) where, funnily enough, it stopped raining. I met up with my cousin at another relative’s place for a huge breakfast and espressos. I got the news that our two oldies had pulled the plug due to the weather. Can’t blame them.

    We looked at some weather maps and webcams of passes in the Alps and decided to stick to the Autobahn for the fasted possible route. It stayed dry and we made good time, only stopping for food, fuel and the toll sticker at a rest stop right after the Austrian border.

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    Getting ready for departure in Regensburg. Just one more Espresso

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    Rest stop with a view of the Austrian Alps

    In Trento we got off the fast track and continued to Lake Garda. When we pulled over for a pee stop I noticed a small coolant leak on my bike. WTF? Just as the sun set we found a cheapish hotel with a dry parking spot where I could check out the coolant leak. I was hoping the BMW dealer just didn’t tighten some screws after changing the coolant. Well, that was not the case. All screws tight and still leaking.

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    Lake Garda


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    Somewhere near the lake, on the way to dinner

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    Lake Garda at night

    The leak wasn’t all that bad and we continued on to Livorno the next morning. We made it to the ferry dock with just enough time to buy tickets.

    When I got back to my bike on arrival, there was a pretty big puddle of coolant under the bike. I asked at a gas station if there was a motorbike repair shop and they pointed me in the direction of a BMW dealership. Well, we went up and down that stretch of road and never found it. It was getting dark and we just checked into a hotel in the industrial zone of Bastia. After I got on the internet I found the dealer, right next to the hotel. Some online research revealed that this was the water side seal of the water pump leaking. So I knew what needed to be done. I went to the dealer in the morning and first thing they told me was that they only do BMWs . Fantastic, look again mate. Than they gave me the song and dance about having to “properly assess” the problem before they could order parts from mainland France. I told them which parts I needed, but they wouldn’t have it. So first time in my life I had to use my ADAC membership. They did some phone based shuttle diplomacy to no avail. They wouldn’t budge. It was also a Friday and French repair shops are closed on Mondays as well. This didn’t look like it would get done quickly. In order to keep things moving and keep us mobile, I took ADAC up on their offer to pay for a rental car. So I would see Corsica only form a car and from the back of my Cousin’s bike.

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    My view of Corsica

    Not quite the bike tour we had hoped for but it was still fun. We would basically base ourselves in an area for a few days at a time and then go exploring from there on the 1200GS.

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    While we were traveling around the Island ADAC kept me updated on the repair status, which basically was that things weren’t moving and they were still waiting for parts. When my cousin left, the bike still wasn’t done and ADAC didn’t know what to do anymore either. They suggested that I keep bugging the shop in person to speed things up. It kind of worked but these guys really were an uncooperative bunch. I wanted to look at the clutch clover, which they had to take off anyway, to see if there was evidence of another common problem with the XChallenge. They wouldn’t let me. When I finally picked up the bike I had to return, because the coolant level was too low. In the end ADAC paid for a rental car for my entire stay in Corsica, a couple of taxi rides, and picked up the tab for the two extra nights I had to stay on the Island. That membership paid for itself this time.

    Well, not off to a good start but it could have been worse. The problem could have occurred in a much worse place, leaving me stranded for weeks while waiting for parts.

    The one good thing about my two day delay was that another ferry company was doing the run to Livorno now at a much lower price. I saw only a dozen pax on the huge ferry, most of them bikers.

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    #45
    SmilinJoe and Partynacan2 like this.
  6. 00-SEB-00

    00-SEB-00 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    from Belgium to the Canary Islands
    of course I'm in... even if this means that I have to slow down my RR... :D
    #46
  7. scooter noob

    scooter noob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    536
    Location:
    DSM, IA

    Just subscribed to yours now. This could get addictive. LOL!!! Looks great as well, Seb!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #47
  8. laouen

    laouen Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Belgium
    slowing down is NOT an option! :deal
    #48
  9. InTheMuck

    InTheMuck So it goes...

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    416
    Location:
    Amongst the has beens & the addicts (Verona, WI)
    Great report! :lurk

    Killing time at work reading this and Seb's report before a long holiday weekend :D
    #49
  10. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    298
    Location:
    Christchurch, NZ
    Yes, there has been a slight update to the prototype I had.

    #50
  11. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    298
    Location:
    Christchurch, NZ
    There was enough day left to make a dash across Tuscany, arriving at a campground just after the sun set.


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    Somewhere in Tuscany


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    Somewhere else in Tuscany



    The next day I crossed from the northwestern end of the Italian boot to the southeastern end in Bari on the Autostrada (toll road). I paid EUR 50 for the privilege.


    During my rest stops I did manage to have some parts shipped to Bulgaria, the eastern end of the EU. From the various reports on the Internet it was pretty clear that those who experience a water pump seal failure (mine was at 5000ish km) will very likely experience it again. The main culprit seems to be an alignment issue in the clutch housing. So I ordered that and all the parts to change it and another water pump seal kit, and while I get into the LHS I may as well also swap out the clutch cover w/o the bushing for a Loncin one that has the bushing. In the process of trying to order, I learned that BMW dealers are not supposed to ship to another country (all about turf protection) and that BMW had changed their ordering software a day earlier and nobody could supposedly get what they wanted. I did find a sympathetic soul at BMW (good thing I establish a prior contact) and we got everything under way.


    I arrived in Bari with enough time to buy a ferry ticket to Durrës, Albania and have dinner from a fast food truck near the ferry dock.



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    Sunset snack



    Boarding was pretty well organized and I was actually one of the first ones on board and could pick my sleeping spot in the lounge.


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    Who needs a cabin?



    Lots of people crashed in the lounge and the staff didn’t have an issue with that. Around sunrise I moved outside for the remainder of the crossing.


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    Sunrise from the upper deck



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    Arrival in Durrës
    #51
    SmilinJoe likes this.
  12. Faulpelz

    Faulpelz Offroader

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Germany,in front of Berlin
    Na dann man los :lurk

    Oh what's that... a dangerous corner, shoot holes in the decals
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    #52
  13. swamp

    swamp U lie&yo'breff stank

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,666
    Location:
    lower appalachia, Alabama
    this looks like a good one.
    ill be following along for the story.

    :thumb
    #53
  14. yeuop

    yeuop Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    462
    sexy looking bike!!
    I read your Iran RR some time ago but didn't know we were going to meet in stans!
    you have very interesting job, would love to hear more about it
    looking forward for the rest of this rr and see you some day on the road!
    piotrek
    #54
  15. STmateo

    STmateo n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Split, Croatia
    Love your south pole photos :)
    #55
  16. WesleyDRZ400

    WesleyDRZ400 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    73
    I also read your ride report and did not think we would meet in the stans Piotrek

    Its funny from reading your report i knew who you were when i saw your purple Yam XT bike coming towards me as are parths crossed in KGZ, also the same when i saw the modified X country 650 bike in the Georgian Caucasus's i knew the rider would be Terry. I think when people go on such trips the bikes becomes more than a bike but more a part of the person riding it,,, well it felt like this for me as it was the bike that was taking me to all these's amazing places, more like a good friend
    #56
  17. Redkrouge

    Redkrouge Independent

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    331
    Location:
    Carouge, CH
    Happy new year

    Great photo

    :thumb
    #57
  18. cristiano

    cristiano Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    307
    Location:
    Italy
    I was waiting for your RR...

    We met in Bishkek...maybe you can remember my birthday:-)
    #58
  19. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    298
    Location:
    Christchurch, NZ
    Hey,

    I realize now that I actually read some of your earlier reports too. You should have said "What a sulfur" at least once and I would have known :d


    #59
  20. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    298
    Location:
    Christchurch, NZ
    Well, I remember some of it :1drink. I'm surprised you remember it :D
    There'll be an update to the report very soon. Just sprinting to the finish line here at Pole.
    #60