Going Walkabout on an 800xc through Russia & Central Asia...and maybe beyond...

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by GuiltyParty, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. GuiltyParty

    GuiltyParty drifter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    318
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    London
    Hi All, I debated about whether to start a thread now or later because the trip may never start like we had hoped. My girlfriend and I have both made a snap decision to leave our jobs in the UK and go back to Oz with an aim of making it to Magadan via the Balkans and the 'stans. Departure is 7th May, today's date is 9th April, and we don't have a single visa.


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    Mid-march some time Noah who's riding RTW at the moment (thread http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781893) emailed me and fellow inmate stampy asking when we're going to join him and the answer was "sorry mate, not enough time to arrange visas and stuff we're gonna leave it to next year" - one week later - "see ya in Russia dude!" :rofl

    I don't think a trip like this ever truly happens on a snap decision though, it all starts with a seed that was planted many moons ago and slowly begins to form in your mind until eventually something changes and you throw caution to the wind and do it. That's at least how it started out for me. It was a restructure at work that said now's the time to do it, before kids and all that.

    The wheels have been in motion for a couple of weeks to get the LOI for a multiple entry business for Russia, an Uzbekistan LOI and the passport is now at the Kazakh embassy for that visa. Realistically we don't expect to have all the visas before we leave but if we can get the Russian, Kazakh and Azerbaijan one before we leave it will at least allow us to go east. We'll get the Georgian and Turkish visa at the border and then we'll get the Tajik and the Mongolian in places we stop long enough to wash ourselves.

    One of the harder decisions was what to call the thread without letting one's insecurities take over. One glance at the thread names there are things like 'Solo trip through Siberia, Bam Road and Mongolia', 'First Trip on 2 Wheels. 10,000 miles. 21 years old' and other such incredible feats, so it was hard to pick a name that would generate some mild interest. I called my trip through South America 'No house, no job, no girlfriend' which to me eloquently stated - do whatever the fuck you want. Now we're paying off a house, and I have a girlfriend...maybe the next major trip will be the trifecta :dunno A 'walkabout' is a rite of passage for Aborigines and basically means venturing into the bush to fend for yourself. We plan to get off the beaten track as much as time allows and to wild camp most nights. Every third night we'll stay in a hotel / hostel / whatever, so long as we can freshen up and we don't need to pitch a tent. The Touratech hair dryer and Touratech straightener are coming too (compact ones of course) - pretty sure they didn't have them in the Dreamtime. I did remind her there's no power on the Mongolian plains but that hasn't stopped her. We all need our comforts.


    We've done a fair bit of practice trips together just around the UK and I'm pretty confident the bike is up to the task.

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    Every now and again my girlfriend (inmate new-rider) will chip in with her updates as well.

    Bike service and prep starts on Friday
    #1
  2. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Okie near Muskogee
    :lurk

    Goodluck you two and happy trails.
    #2
  3. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

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    i think i'm......yes, i'm IN! :1drink
    #3
  4. Scubalong

    Scubalong Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    886
    Location:
    So Cal
    I am in for the ride :norton good luck and keep the RR coming.
    #4
  5. TravelBugged

    TravelBugged Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    15
    Mate, no pressure. Just enjoy the ride, the countries, the experiences however they may come to you.

    We'd love to hear of your journey.

    Write/ride on!
    #5
  6. GuiltyParty

    GuiltyParty drifter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    318
    Location:
    London
    We're slowly making progress

    We've now done a full service to the bike and added some farkles to add some longevity to the bike.

    First up was a tool tube to carry some spares. Alan Cole of Reginald Cole & Co Ltd (02089912232) knocked up this bracket for me. It took quite a bit of time to get the measurements all right to allow the lid to come on and off without interfering with the panniers but we got there in the end and I'm very happy with the result. I just need to whack a bit of paint on it now and job done. Now that he's done one bracket he could knock up another a lot quicker.


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    Annoyingly the rear sprocket wouldn't fit in the bash plate so I've had to strap it here. I don't mind it actually, adds a bit of bling

    Also added a fender extender to stop all the shit that gets flicked up in and around the radiator area

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    And added an Acerbis mudguard flap and R&G shock tube to give the shock a bit of love.

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    I also added a unifilter prefilter because changing the air filter is at least an hours worth of work because the tank and all the plastics need to come off. One of my only criticisms of the 800xc

    I took the bike out to Big Jims Rims in Ealing, London to use some of their tools and change the tyres over. I've been going to these guys for awhile to swap the tyres over and because the rear is such a bastard to change they know me as the "guy with the Triumph". They gave out loads of helpful advice and I may need them during the trip (hope not!) so I thought I'd give them a mention (020 89970303)

    And the finished product

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    As for the visa situation we've now got the Kazakh one in the passport :clapand then the passport was promptly dropped off at the Azerbaijan visa centre. Of all the visas I must say the Azerbaijan has been the most frustrating. When I started planning last year it was possible to get a transit visa for £5 which allowed you 5 days but that's all changed now and it's only possible to get a 3-30 day tourist visa which requires an LOI. We don't plan on spending a lot of time in the country at all, simply to pass through, and all up with visa fees, administration fee and visa fee it came up to £120 or so each. Worst part about it though is they need the passport for 12 working days....which once we get that back means we have working day to get the Russian visa :eek1 It's gonna be tight

    Still, we're getting pretty pumped now and just want it to happen!
    #6
  7. BIKE-R

    BIKE-R Been here awhile

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    Dec 6, 2008
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    Location:
    Hungary, Budapest
    Subscribed :lurk

    Good luck and ride safe!
    #7
  8. GoneAgain

    GoneAgain Huh?

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Bendigonia, Vic.
    :thumb :clap

    nice work!


    .
    #8
  9. GuiltyParty

    GuiltyParty drifter

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    great first post, really made our day
    #9
  10. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
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    450
    Location:
    The Dandenong Ranges, Vic
    Looking forward to your travels.

    :thumb

    Enjoy!

    JM.
    #10
  11. Ivanych

    Ivanych Ivanych

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    St. Petersburg. Russia
    #11
  12. New-Rider

    New-Rider n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
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    6
    Location:
    London United Kingdom


    Yep I think you definitely have to be brave to do something like this but to be honest I am far from a brave chick haha. I am shitting my pants. . . .<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    But that’s what all the preparation is for :clap

    Before I got to the UK I never thought in a million years I would be doing something like this, didn’t even think I would be ever travelling to some of the destinations let alone doing it on a motorbike but I know it will be a trip of a life time and I am very excited.
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Thank you all for your interest, I just can't wait to get up and go now..... :wings:wings</o:p>
    #12
  13. SS in Vzla.

    SS in Vzla. Totally Normal? I'm not!

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    Wish you a great trip, looking forward to seeing your updates from the road
    :lurk
    #13
  14. blacktiger

    blacktiger Tigers R great.

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    St.Leonards on Sea, England.
    I'm in. :lurk Good luck out there Craig.
    #14
  15. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

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    Splendid...all the best to you both...subscribed.

    If you're heading this way just let us know....

    :D


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    #15
  16. stickman1432

    stickman1432 Crusty Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    So.Cal.& St George UT-Baja-riding anywhere
    Have fun, but you better secure the sprocket with some metal screw type hose clamps because the zip ties will break within 50+ miles and then you will be without a spare sprocket. :eek1:wink:


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    #16
  17. GuiltyParty

    GuiltyParty drifter

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    Cheers Keith. Did you know Adam's joining us for the first 3 weeks down into France and Italy then he'll peel off as we go into the Balkans. It's not too late for you to come ya know :evil

    Will keep that in mind thanks Ivanych

    thanks for the tip, a bit of extra security too to stop it going walkabout :wave
    #17
  18. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
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    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    I will be monitoring this very closely as on the same day, 7th May 2013, I will be flying to New York and picking the same bike as you, Toger 800xc, on the 8th from customs. I will then be riding east to west accross the States & Canada to Alaska where I will start the Pan American to Tierra Del Fuego. :clap
    Obviously I am interested in the mods to your bike and how it will fare on your journey.......I had never heard of those pre-filters and have e mailed Uniflow to see if one can be shipped in time. I have put a larger sprocket on the front to see if it will increase the MPG and will let you know.

    At some point I will also try to have a thread on this forum but am a technophobe so not as savvy as you younger guys !!

    Hope the prep goes well and have a great trip.
    #18
  19. blacktiger

    blacktiger Tigers R great.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,901
    Location:
    St.Leonards on Sea, England.
    That'll be a Toga 800XC. The one with the white Roman style robes.:huh
    #19
  20. oliwoof

    oliwoof Pyrenees - paradise

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
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    Location:
    Hautes-Pyrenees, France
    Hi Craig

    Best of luck with the journey, good mod with the airfilter. Are you taking an intercom? Doesn't work for some couples but we always use one when out on the bike together. You write well, should be a good read! See you soon in the Pyrenees:)
    #20