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

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

  1. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    Balls of steel doing all this prep in front of god and everybody. I wish you well and look forward to this road report.

    The bike looks great, though I think the US version must be more manly or something. :evil

    I will be flying to New York and picking the same bike as you, Toger 800xc
    #21
  2. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

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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











    Morn'in young fella...
    I head off on 01.05.13 with Christophe,for a mini break over to to Marseille to see his cousin Julien. We'll scoot up to the Alpes and maybe over into Italy. After that Ricky arrives in the Alpes on his Africa Twin with another group of riders start of June. I'll keep an eye out for where you'll be in the weeks after you arrive and hopefully it'll be possible to hook up for a few 1000 kms...(have to play it by ear...keep forgetting I've kids and one of those wife thingy's!)

    (If you're in this neck of the woods we can rope Christophe and Phil into riding some forest trails here and you can stay with me here....as you want)

    Speaking of Dreamtime this CD might get you in the mood for going Walkabout...
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    :D
    #22
  3. GuiltyParty

    GuiltyParty drifter

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    Wow you're in for one hell of a trip :clap You won't want to come back from Patagonia...it's life as it should be. When you're thread is up can you PM me the details because I'd love to hear about it.

    It's interesting you've gone for a larger sprocket, but I guess that makes sense because you'll have long stretches of open road and economy will be more important than pulling power. I've done the opposite and dropped the front to a 15T because of the weight and pillion and because we're planning as much offroad as possible. I don't know if it's the new sprocket or the full service I've done to it (battery, chain, sprocket, spark plugs...that sort of thing) but the bike feels like it's brand new. I imagine the sprocket would have dropped the mileage but I'll let you know.

    I've also changed my crash bars over to the SW Motech ones to protect the radiator, tank and plastics a bit more. I was using the genuine Triumph bars and those things are like a rock but I couldn't risk taking a hit to the radiator with all the extra weight on the bike. The missing bolt is where it attaches to the frame as opposed to the engine mounts.

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    A nice British bike

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    Good luck in your travels and keep us posted!

    Hi Phil, thanks for tuning in :clap You know first hand how much of a bother it was to change the filter so I ordered that as soon as I got back from Morocco from an aussie company. We thought about an intercomm but we figured that money would be better spent on the trip....plus I like having my own head space when I'm riding. We've settled for code instead. one tap is "i'm ok", two taps is "let's stop" and lots of rapid stops with some expletives generally means I'm going too fast and I'm going to hear about it at the next stop anyway - If I had the intercomm I would hear about it twice :rofl
    #23
  4. GuiltyParty

    GuiltyParty drifter

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    With our London days rapidly counting down we thought we'd better tick off a couple of things we haven't done yet.

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    The man

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    That's a shit load of bombs. During the bombings Churchill would stand on the roof of the building
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    Incredibly during the war the bunker wasn't directly hit. A good thing, because despite all the fortifications and reinforcements they added to the building to make it bomb proof it was never fully completed. It's said that a direct hit could have caused the building above to collapse into the bunker.

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    The War Cabinet

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    The halls

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    Churchill loved his maps. Add a motorbike and some tools and this room would be an ADV'ers wet dream

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    Going to miss London...

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    We wandered over to the ACE Cafe to see what all the fuss was about. Loads of people said I should go for a visit but I thought it was just be a bunch of old guys sitting around drinking tea talking about their goldwings....boy was I wrong!!! :eek1 This place is like a circus with all types of bike enthusiast, from the aforementioned goldwing riders (not that there is anything wrong with that) to the adventure crew.


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    "We need an intercomm"

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    One of the Mondo Enduro bikes

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    Mondo Enduro - Austin Vince's bike. After Patty saw the tank bags she's now wondering why we don't have any - "if he's riding the world on his own and needs that, why don't we have that and we're two people?". "Because more bags means you'll bring your whole makeup kit babe"

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    We've been in touch with the Russian visa centre and they're pretty confident we'll have the visa before we leave....
    #24
  5. Tripletrouble

    Tripletrouble Farkle addict

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    Looking forward to reading this. I'm in :clap
    #25
  6. stamp

    stamp Adventurer

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    London
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    you want to be careful of Tony mate he is a smooth talker with the ladies :D

    how did u get on with the tools I gave u and the pesky bolt of doom??
    #26
  7. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Can't wait to see how the XC does:clap

    Subscribed!
    #27
  8. GuiltyParty

    GuiltyParty drifter

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    And I thought he was telling Patty about the intercomm so me and her could chat...sneaky devil

    Nailed it mate, cheers

    Got your esky's (panniers) ready for ice and beers yet or you going soft luggage?
    #28
  9. timbercat

    timbercat Texas ADV Rider

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    Bandera Texas USA
    Im in for the LONG Haul. :freaky

    Enjoy your trip and Ride Safe when you can.:wink:
    #29
  10. cold comfort

    cold comfort Been here awhile

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    As an XC owner this should be rather instructional. Mine has been quite satisfactory two up in areas a little outside the manufacturers recommendations so far. Great you guys can add some real world testing and i get to ride vicariously from my armchair.:1drinkLove the bar risers. Would be keen to get more detail on your set up also. Good choice on soft luggage and a small girlfriend- I tried to shrink my wife in a river but only managed to fill the cylinders with water.!
    #30
  11. cory1848

    cory1848 Been here awhile

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    Interesting to see how this trip goes as well. As a new 800XC owner I would love to do a long distance trip like this. Please give updates on equipment and how the bike is going, what you wish you had or didnt need, etc.

    Safe travels!
    #31
  12. stamp

    stamp Adventurer

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    excellent glad it worked, think I will use the ardcases, that way I can fit all the beer in and a frying pan of course :deal :D
    #32
  13. DANNOj

    DANNOj Long timer

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    Craig & Patty, you are champions for having the balls to embark on something like this. From the slopes of the Vic High Country a few short years ago, to to an epic crossing taking you a third of the way around the world..... who would have thought!

    I guess its not like Oz where I can say "give me a yell if you need a trailer or a lift if you get stuck". But keep my work email or gmail handy if you need any help at all with anything!

    And for old times sake (and to remind you of how experienced you have become) here is a reminder from that legendary High Country trip....

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    (Patty, its OK, this never happens on an XC!!)

    Cheers
    Dan
    #33
  14. blacktiger

    blacktiger Tigers R great.

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    Is that the lad? Nice crash landing. He's still having trouble with that middle finger. :lol3
    #34
  15. GuiltyParty

    GuiltyParty drifter

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    It was you that got me into this whole adventure gig mate and it really doesn't seem that long ago at all that we wheeled the KLX into the garage. I had a moment yesterday where the gravity of what we're about to do hit me and it was a bloody good feeling. Can't wait!!!

    I knew that photo would come back to haunt me...plus the many others that you have :D I learnt a lot on that trip but you taught me one very important lesson...

    That as peaceful as things may seem...

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    and we're all happy faces and in our element....

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    KTM's just weren't meant to swim...

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    :rofl

    Thanks for the offer of assistance mate, if the XC gets stuck in a tree again I'll be calling you up :evil


    The finger got a good workout that trip. Also notice the scowl behind those goggles? Thats because Danno loved a good photo opportunity and got the snap from at least 4 different angles before lifting the bike off me :lol3
    #35
  16. blacktiger

    blacktiger Tigers R great.

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    That's what mates are for. i.e. future embarrassment. :rofl
    #36
  17. DANNOj

    DANNOj Long timer

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    Cheers to that! :beer
    #37
  18. DANNOj

    DANNOj Long timer

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    Finding Nemo! :ear
    #38
  19. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    congrats for putting trip together!!!
    #39
  20. GuiltyParty

    GuiltyParty drifter

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    We're now Day 3 into the trip sitting in a hotel room just outside Geneva cooking spaghetti bolognaise in the room and drinking beers :freaky...which means we scored the multiple entry business visa along with the Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan visas :D. We paid a premium for the Russian visa (£240 each) but it was next day service as promised.

    With our belongings fully packed and on a ship to oz it was time to say farewell to the UK.

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    We made a pit stop via Adam's house (inmate stamp) who's planning to join us for the first two weeks then peel off at some point to get back to the UK. Ashamedly he carried our red backpack because it was causing Patty to lean forward on the bike because of the luggage behind her. So early on in the trip we're still carrying quite a bit of extra stuff left over from moving out that we wanted to make the most o - things like spices, half-full shampoo bottles, pastas that sort of thing. As the trip goes on and that stuff gets used the bike will get progressively lighter and lighter.

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    Waiting at the ferry at Dover

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    Once we were off the ferry and adjusted to riding on the right had side of the road it was time to make some ground. The bike is only doing about 60mpg after dropping the front sprocket to a 15 tooth but the change is worth it for the pulling power.

    We passed a couple of British cemeteries and felt quite bad for not stopping and paying our respects. We stopped at this one (Cabaret Rouge) and the number of graves was bewildering

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    ThiThere were many many more after that...

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    After making some reasonable progress it was time to find a camp spot, and we stumbled upon this cluster of woods. This was all our first time wild camping so when two blokes appeared we were a little jumpy...but after indicating we just wanted to stay a night they seemed ok. Adam made the comment they were probably casing a plant and equipment joint not too far away

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    Going camo...except the blue tent

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    With the threat of rain looming we made a quick brekky and broke camp​

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    Two wheels is better than 8​

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    Somewhere.... :huh​

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    We found a great little spot to wild camp again, away from the main road on flat ground with a little hut for tap water. ​

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    Patty had a funny feeling about it and really didn't want to stay there because it had a couple of weird things like this bracket for hanging up culled animals (?) but it was starting to get a little late so we decided to stay.​

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    But then half way through setting up the tents we saw this, what looked like a bunch of sticks on top of a mound. It wasn't the sticks themselves because maybe they were arranged like that to dry, but it was where they were located, like, not out the back of the hut like a normal person but amongst all the trees in an out of the way place. Then we started to look around and saw some other weird things...then we legged it and got the hell out of there ​

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    So we camped here instead and when it rained Adam jigged up this neat little rig​

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    800xc the beauty table​

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    Roadside cafe​

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    View of a valley in the Alps where we stopped for tea​

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    Top of the alps before dropping down into Geneva​

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    When we stopped in Geneva a guy came up to us and wanted to know if we needed any help and he suggested a couple of places. One of them was this place called Yvoire, a medieval town teeming with tourists but still pretty cool (by this point the DSLR had died so I was taking pics with the GPS)​

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    We didn't cover a lot of miles today, actually we probably spent more time trying to find a hotel than actually getting here. We later found out it's a public holiday, not cause the french like taking it easy :wink:

    Total spend in 3 days for 2 people over 600 miles - 170 euro (50 of that for tonights hotel). Review of gear needed to reduce size and weight.​

    Tomorrow we go to Mont Blanc​
    #40