Mongolia to Magadan: Any which (the hard) way

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by ChrisUK, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Hi
    Here’s a ride report from a bike trip I did in the summer of 2013: It involves off-pavement riding from Ulaan Bataar, the Capital of Mongolia across eastern Siberia in Russia via Irkutsk, Lake Baikal, the western section of the BAM Road, Tynda, Yakutsk and the Road of Bones to Magadan.

    The journey started on a 1988 Honda XL600V Transalp (The Shed) and finished on a 2008 BMW G650 X-Challenge (The RBA). There were lots of adventures: Either because they would have happened on any bike, or special bonuses based on my unsuitable bike selection.

    I met lots of great local people and had some super riding buddies. They were, in chronological order:
    Mr Pete-the great dancer-Berry
    Mr Bod Waters
    Mr Andrew Don
    Mr Jon Boulton (AD and JB’s website is www.jabamundus.com )
    Mr Adam Lewis ( http://shortwayround.co.uk/ )
    And last, but by no means least, Mr Felix -Mullets are back in fashion- Wright

    Most of the images are mine, but some belong to the boys. I have asserted their copyright as appropriate. Thanks for letting me use them. There are also a few videos. They’re not really edited “with love”, but they hopefully help to tell the story of one hell of a trip.

    I’d also like to thank Mr Walter Colebatch (http://www.sibirskyextreme.com/ ) for his advice and navigation aids (Next time I’ll follow the advice more closely…) and Mr Phil Kneller for allowing me to complete the trip on his bike while he spent more with the beautiful and charming Zarina.

    Here are some pictures to give you a feel for what I encountered.

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    #1
  2. ang

    ang Adventurer

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    Sounds good Chris, keep it going!
    #2
  3. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    I am curious. What was wrong with the Transalp? What made it unsuitable?
    #3
  4. Prime Mover

    Prime Mover Anything Can Happen

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    Very nice, make sure to post up some more photos. Thanks for sharing.
    #4
  5. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    There'll be more description to come, but in summary: Taking a Shed on a motorcross track is never the best idea.
    #5
  6. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Looking forward to this, looks like you had some good company and a good photographer along with A Lewis.

    :lurk
    #6
  7. Prutser

    Prutser Long timer

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    Can't wait to hear more about this trip :thumb
    #7
  8. cristiano

    cristiano Been here awhile

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    Waiting for more!!
    #8
  9. Dazzer

    Dazzer Been here awhile

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    We said doing those River crossing in The Yorkshire Dales would one day come in useful :D

    Great photos keep it coming

    Dazzer
    #9
  10. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Dropping my DRZ in the Corwen Carwash in Wales helped me to learn how to recover from a full drowning...

    <object height="315" width="560">


    <object width="560" height="315"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/6maYFQEnokk?version=3&amp;hl=en_GB"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/6maYFQEnokk?version=3&amp;hl=en_GB" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

    Note: This video is from Mongolia in 2012. In </object>2013<object height="315" width="560"> I (mostly...:norton ) had learnt my lesson. Details to follow... :lol3

    Oh yeah: The pic above of the X-Ch riding through the water is not a river! It's the road!
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    #10
  11. KTM 950S

    KTM 950S Been here awhile

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    :clap:clap:clap
    :lurk:lurk:lurk
    #11
  12. Dr. Benny

    Dr. Benny Enjoying the Journey

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    :clap:clap
    #12
  13. potski

    potski Wiley Wanderer

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    Ey Up Chris..... this sounds like another Brighty good RR, even though my favourite bike the Honda Transalp dies a death by the sounds of it :D watcha been doin to it ?

    Bloody hell Chris " the Corwen carwash" sh1t, been through there more than a few times; though usually in spring and in a Land Rover ...too deep for a bike I always thought :rofl


    Cheers
    Potski :freaky
    #13
  14. PHILinFRANCE

    PHILinFRANCE Long timer

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    Nice one Chris , wheres the rest :deal

    Phil
    #14
  15. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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  16. tvbh40a

    tvbh40a PSUViking

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    So in! Please keep mailbox full with notifications.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    #16
  17. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Ch1: Ulaan Bataar - 200 clicks up the track - and back again in the back of a truck!

    In 2012 I had shipped the Shed from Europe to Almaty in Kazakhstan and had a good ride around bits of Central Asia and through the Altai part of Russia and across Mongolia to Ulaan Bataar. The RR of that trip is at

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=828973

    I parked the bike over winter in the heating cellar at the Oasis Guest House and returned again in early July 2013. After charging the battery overnight and turning the fuel on, it fired up first push of the button. It's a Honda after all.

    The Oasis was full of the usual motley crew of overlanders, both 2 and 4 wheeled.

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    I met up with Pete Berry and Bod Waters (3rd from left and on the right: Who had ridden with Matty Johnson (left) on XR400s from England). We agreed to ride to Irkutsk and along the BAM together. Interestingly the bike behind Matty is one of 3 Dutch Yamaha 600 Diversion road bikes (euro1000 each) that had ridden all the way from Europe and across Mongolia via the southern route without any problems. They sold the bikes in UB and flew home. Who needs a blingen 10k £/ 16k us$/ 12k euro pride of German/Austrian shiney engineering?


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    And he's off... After the first bit of dirt I took off the windscreen so I could see where I was going.


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    The long view


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    A little splash


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    The trail to the Russia border follows the railway line for a little while


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBmhHzmf_CE

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    Wired for sound


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    On the smooth easy stuff the Shed's suspension could handle it...


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    What a great ride


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    Crossing the railway track. Why, oh why, do I carry so much sh!te?


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    Bod leading, me second


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    Calamity struck! After a little bit of mis-navigation Bod took a shortcut. It's really easy to ride off piste, but sometimes over the crest of a hill there's an unexpected drop! Where I'm standing, I recon is where Bod took off. He lies where he landed. He was concussed and had hurt is foot really badly. Pete stayed with him while I rode off to try to get transport for him and his bike.


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    Bod's line up the hill to the crest


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    Loading Bod's bike onto the truck


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    Bod and bike on way to last town we had passed 10km previously.


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    Bod putting a brave face on it at the village medical centre where they looked after him well and fixed him up so he could survive the truck journey back to UB to a proper hospital.

    We managed to organise another truck for all 3 bikes and us back to UB with the help of the village mayor who phoned his daughter who could speak a little English and was able to interpret to bridge the language barrier.


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    There was only space for 3 in the cab including the driver. Pete drew the short straw and spent 300km on the bumpy track and the pavement in the cargo bay with the bikes. We arrived back in UB at 2am the following morning from when we had left 16 hours before. What a day and night!
    #17
  18. jamie92j

    jamie92j Been here awhile

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    great RR and great pictures!

    Keen for the next installment!!
    #18
  19. PHILinFRANCE

    PHILinFRANCE Long timer

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    Yeh great stuff Chris :clap i want to go there now :freaky
    #19
  20. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Ch2: Leaving Mongolia, Take 2

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    After a couple of days where Pete helped Bod to get checked out at a proper hospital, me and Pete set off toward the Russian border, this time on tarmac to make up some time. Bod had broken his heel and had to fly home.


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    A very intriguing statue heading north, in many ways less tacky than Ghengis', east of Ulaan Bataar


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    Free camping having crossed the Mongolia/Russia. Welcome to mosquito central. It only got worse, but later on I never really noticed any more. Here they were still annoying. Note the Shed is leaning against a tree: The side stand snapped again at the border ;)


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    A visitor



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    My attempt at surreptitiously taking a photo of a Russian military convoy... I needn’t have bothered: When the APC got closer I spotted the gunner taking my picture with his camera phone.



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    We met up again with Andrew and Jon whom we had seen at the border.



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    Navigation here wasn't too challenging



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    Comfort stop



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    A bridge was down and yours truly checks the options. A bit too deep to pass. The thermometer also said it was quite chilly!



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    Taking this off-road short cut we missed out on the city of Ulan Ude


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    Not all Russians are poor



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    Lake Baikal to the left



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    Lake Baikal to the right
    #20