no money, no gps, no Credit card working crappy bike, 3 weeks of rain. Let's go Babar, to Russia !

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by babar69, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    My rear brake now was a little bit out of tune.... I had my ear plugs put directly in my ears as I lost all my silicone and urethane top plugs... The sound quality was amazing : In between the said to be most loud band of the world : Grand funk railroad and some kid's practice on the second violin lesson. Wish I had put in my playlist shitty flute ... Too funny !

    BTW the guy seems to really knows how to play, being able to reproduce many times the same false notes !

    By pure hazard, overarching for some last candy inside my jacket, I found... my Samsung flip flop phone, with some gps Be on Road program in it !!! I tried to fix the flip phone opened , on the handle bars and wrapped in some plastic bag to protect it from rain . I gave up and found a more elegant way. African style, my friends ! I just slide the phone inside my helmet, so I was able to hear about the stupid french voice indication... The only problem was that part of phone was in half front of my right eye. but who cares.. Police ?? maybe ;
    I still had lot of km to cover, weather was turning back to rain but now I knew more or less my way when I'll be in center town. Turning slowly in a village entrance, I lost my rear wheel. Well, it's an heidenau scout, a soap under rain. I like bad tires on rain, it helps you ride carefully :) A hit with the boot and nothing to worry. I stop at the next road and put some gas... Now I have some stunt dragster, wheel acting like a spinning top. Engine off, with a noble and slow move of my left leg, your humble servant pushes back the stand and went down his blue prancer. But the iron horse, remembered he belonged to his 42 others friends horses power ... And in all in grace and slow motion, both crashed on tarmac, two moujik queens observing the scene from their windows castle, with intense disappointment .
    Playing now Retreat from Russia, I felt like a grumbler of the army of Napoleon.... Except I didn't have any drums and was not playing " La Monstreuse" from Raynaud :( :

    In the usual "Rage against the machine " style, I bounced back and erected the bike : Stand screw was sticking out and the stand hang down , kept by the spring, like a porn actor penis trapped by a shiny string...
    Bad news.. Not really, considering that I just still had the screwand just needed to put it back... Nothing around to keep my bike erected. Maybe if I turn it to the direction of the two Moujik queens, the Japanese hormones will help the bike keep erected, giving me enough time to operate some screw vasectomy ?
    Ok, let's drop the bike on the right side. You know now that I lied the bike on the ground with infinite precaution :imaposer At this point, the queens vanished behind their curtains, convinced that the knight was just in fact an actor from some Monty python movie...

    Fast repair, screw had came out helped by tons of 80w90 oil generously sprayed on the chain last evening because, yes, I started to really take care of the chain... Mainly because since a few days, as I'm use to shift all gears without clutch, I was missing the 2nd and even the 3d pulling up and just wasn't able no more to go down from 4 to 3... Told you - Regina is not a suitable name for a chain...
    And it's was a shame to see that a 53 000 km chain started to wear. Where is the good old Japanese quality ! ;)

    Concerning chain, I will make a report at the end, on my thoughts about some topics that everybody likes :D:D:D : Chain maintenance, car or bike oil, , semi synthetic or full synth , lights ( but not about tires ! )

    Repair done, I had to speed up now. I went on a bigger road and put more speed ( read : going from 88 km / h to a brilliant 112 ! ) Suddenly the engine started to rattle and stopped.... I must confess I 'm really bad in terms of failure expertise. The kind to dismount a complete engine before checking the empty tank... Because I start expertise with a pessimistic preconception... But after all these days in a love and hate relationship with my bike, I became more simplistic in my approach. I thought that I just had to put the tap from main to safe position... In fact, it was already in reserve.. So no more fuel... Reserve is UP on Yamaha and down on Honda.. bad confusion... Let's now open the cleaned top case to use the jerry can and loose more time. Fuel done, I went on and after less than 500 meters I saw a small gas station... That's life. Night coming, rain was still falling, and I was riding with open helmet, no pin lock, to avoid lot of condensation on visor. Worst was the new design of my glasses : Rain drops on it were freezing, making perfect star ice crystals. Christmas time, already ??? I just had to deal with it, as first tentative to clean just built some strange ice lines on them... Better say I was seeing nothing, sliding glasses down to my chin. Narrowed eyes, I was trying to follow the total new built tarmac, then the last H4 beam I had exploded... No problem, I switched on the LIDL leds :) But ( of course ) the switch full of water switched them off too after half an hour... Ok , let's now follow a car. And I found the perfect one !. A guy in old Lada with low beams worst than an enduro acerbic light kit ! Driving at around 50 km/h. Still 100 km to do... It took me two hours to do it but thanks to him, anyway; Now I can draw by heart the back of a blue Lada that I sucked for such a long time. And I prayed all time at every cross road that its home was near Cheboksary....

    With eyes like an owl wearing Stevie wonder glasses, I did it, and came more than tired to the flat. Brother was there and I waited for Lesya and her mother to come. Then the big meal, the big sleep, not before putting wet clothes everywhere on the big warm tubes !

    Here Lesya in her flat on the left, with the warm tubes and couch surfer's friends. Sadly I missed the next day meeting of couch surf travelers in town... Guy on the right lying is the great Denis Bachmakov now traveling on very low budget all through Europe this winter ! Looking at pic, it seems that the guy with gray pullover is the one who kindly asked me on couchsurf site if I succeed to find a place in town.

    nk14zp and Kristof Granit like this.
  2. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

    Sep 26, 2008
    vancouver bc
    awesome report. really enjoying your perspective!
  3. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    Yamalama thanks. I see you are still able to pay your internet connection, despite the fact you have a Yamaha to care about !!! :imaposer
  4. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    Next morning, rain coming :)
    I had to fight again with the free wheel of the starter and ended with a monstrous boot kick on the bike's side which of course did nothing, except to badly hurt my foot :(
    I pushed bike in the street, but I knew that my big thumper without decompress level will lock the rear wheel even with smooth clutching and bum back on saddle... I tested one more time and after a strange "clong" engine waked up. Yesss , great day coming !!!
    Lest' go Babar, to explore some small roads and join Yaroslavl but not by the traffic jam nightmare of Ivanovo this time
    And I came to....M7. don't ask me how I did it... But it was hopefully the open double lane part and not too much traffic. Except for more than around 40 radars on road side in less than 110 km, all was smooth. Sun started to shine, and Police decided that it was a good time to stop a French on road.

    First check since I was in Russia. All papers given to a young guy who meticulously took photos of them with his smartphone, went off to refer to his big chief who came, turned around bike and gave me back my half wet license, insurance, international license, and driving license. I started the bike, then ...
    "STOP !" OK? what else ? " Your immigration paper registration ! " You could see on his face that he was sure to win the game... "Of course, sir, here it is".
    First thing I done in Izhevsk was to run with Kirill to immigration office and fulfill the precious document, even if read that lots of guys were telling not to care about it too much...
    Peacock proud I leaved, to be stopped 10 km later by the Police guys in charge of truck weight control. A small fatty guy with a lunar face came to me with a pseudo smile, sort of " I'm your friend if you become mine" Again all documents, then I had to open the luggage. Strange .. They were not customs guys but not knowing about Russian laws and regulations about this process, I complied. Of course, I opened first the top case and my dream became true : Vibrations and move had put a big mess in it and again, a strange mixture of oil fuel and acetone was sprayed everywhere.
    Too concentrated at luggage opening, I still didn't realize that these guys were looking for some baksheesh ! They looked at my small bag full of magnets and small gifts for friends and family, and the tall guy show me my international driving license. Yes the stupid French print on a thick grey toilet paper. The ultimate joke of French administration. ad this rather big document was of course fold in half for my wallet.
    And of course, the ply was masking the date of emission printed with a stupid stamp on red non waterproof ink. I realized that there was no way to make him understand that he still could read the expiration date and see that it was still good for 1 year. So I made a diversion, and gave him two others documents from my wallet : the immigration paper and my insurance travel cover.: "I have these one too , if you want to control them" . Diversion worked, but the lunar face guy, like a smiling pit-bull came near e with a smile and just said " No little gift for me ?" Hahahaha !!!
    It really took me 15 min to understand it, lost in my papers process.... "no , I don't have" showing my crappy bike, my dirty gears and my watch making the time sign and mimics that I need to go to have some sleep before the night.
    They gave up !
    After some km, here came again a big traffic jam with lots of trucks stopped. I saw a guy in BMW f800, riding slowly on the road side in between the wall of trucks and safety rails. I used my klaxon, the only thing I could trust all time ( it was a 4 dollars hypermarket one :) ) and overtook the guy in a pretentious " We, French, have the greatest rally raid in the word and it's called PARIS-(Dakar) "
    Passing the green roadwork light, I rode at usual 112 km/h gps certified and the guy was coming pretty fast in my rear glass. By luck, the road had some good curves. Let's take off Babar. Yes I know : I'm far away from home, I need to preserve my bike. Blablabla, bullshit !!! We have French colors to defend !! Lots of fun, bike generously going to a good 155 km/h down hill , all in a fast and furry shaking of the dead front tire and the usual hammering of the back 140 Heidenau , definitively too large and heavy for this kind of bike... Guy overtook me in a long flat part and I gave up. No way to kill engine, playground over, kid !
    5 minutes later I stopped to the gas station. here he was with some bikers friends.
    He came to me, looked at me, at the bike, at me, and just said " Man.... You're fast !!!" Considering the situation, yes, I was !
    Honestly I don't feel comfortable with compliments. But in this case, it was very much appreciated.

    Going North West to a vain tentative of avoiding Ivanovo, I caught up a "real as in magazines and reports" very tall and slim guy in a perfect klim jacket and trousers, two aluminum toura... cases, all on a clean brand new BMW. Finland plate ! Interesting.. I overtook him, with my "I dont care no more" pilot position on my bike : " left boot out in dick position, right boot on the rear foot peg, left hand warm in between my legs... put my turning light and parked on a bus stop . He stopped too and we met. He asked where I was going but my try to wake up the smartphone bathing in 1 cm of water in the lidl box I forgot to correctly close in the morning, was unsuccessful... So he show me his next destination, suing the integrated GPS in the middle of the handle bars and .....ZOOMED IN the map from a left button on handle bars. Argggggggggggg My god. A Cylon spaceship had just landed !!! He was going to meet others bikers for a tour in Russia. Nice guy , if you read, a big hello to you !!! We said our goodbye. I hope he didn't saw me ride like mad in the newt little wood on the right side of road... Sometimes, you are very happy to have a dual sport bike to ... satisfy an imminent diarrhea :(
    You must remember the episode when I put food in Kirill's top case from supermarket . But on the way, I discovered the black wax opened, and all on my cheese . But cheese was plastic protected, so .. Let's clean it; that's all. Bad idea, because the solvent in it had passed through and contaminated the cheese. And now I was sick like a Rasta with dread locks in a variable spin and special cold wash cycle !

    Not really a problem on bike, as I could stop everywhere, but time consuming: the enduro pants, the underwear pants, all zips from all up clothes , not including my new rain jacket, and... my leather jacket ; and... the second hand bought duffel jacket, and.. the heated triumph jacket, and.. the merinos one..... Of course, with the Forma boots too, all easy !

    This time I found my way to Svetlana and Maxim flat .
    I parked the bike down the building, in the street. I didn't care no more about stealth. Again a very good evening ...
    Svetlana told me she would take two hours of her work to show me the town.
    Great, even if was a little bit anxious about my new time departure; because
    I had to book an Hotel in Valdey. No way to find any couch surf in this part of the trip.
    Later, I will have to pay high price this 11 AM take off, trying to reach the hotel, but didn't regret center town visit at all. And of course, I had to find a bank to test all my credit cards and get some cash for the fuel...

    Early day started with some fun ride with kids around the buildings. I discovered that Max came down at night to fix and secure my bike's cover. Thanks Max !. I put contact , nothing. Bike had stayed all night out in the street and I believed that someone stole the battery ! I put a big foot kick in the bike, totally fed up ; Electricity suddenly waked up. So all this rain had made bad contact , that's all :) ( not exactly, will tell you later ). Nearly no rain, but some traffic around and I didn't feel comfortable to bring unknown kids as pillions.. Considering my brakes, the nearly dead front tire, and the capricious carb, I did my best to honor my hosts and their kids. The little girl had some fun, each acceleration making her shout her joy . So let's turn left, then right, then take the other building side, then... S..........T ! I'm lost. I have no phone, no map, no address on me, a little girl from strangers behind me, I don't talk Russian and she doesn't know where she lives !! Really a crazy moment. I started to imagine myself in the police office, justifying some non pedophile action... After one minute asking her all time : "Is it the way ?" "do you know where we are ?" I just let go my mind and just slowly ride without expectations in between the narrow streets of buildings. Then 10 minutes later I found a known amer . Fixing this destroyed car at end of the street that I saw yesterday night , I knew I could find my way more or less around it. I did it after what seemed a very very long ride... Now let's take the boy. Older, he knew the place , but I couldn't prevent myself to ask him all time " ok ?? dad, mum ? ? where ??? Ok ???" . "da, da !!" Ride was too short, especially considering the past lost one. Retrospectively a very scary experience, a perfect Human factors demonstration off how little incidents can become a big one...

    Kid was a drummer too :)

    Yarolsavl too short visit :



    Preparing bike to leave, I came back down the street to install some luggage before leaving the flat with the food bag. Back to the stairs, I didn't find which level and door to go.. Don't tell me about memory loss, from start i didn't really took attention, I just never cared, no look first time, just following and enjoying my hosts... Took me a good 10 min :(

    Let's go Babar , to Valday, the last night before leaving Mother Russia !
    Kristof Granit likes this.
  5. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    It was late, about 11:00 am and I had some km to do. I choose a rather easy road, but rain, rain.. I had the feeling to be destroyed by the wet, the cold, the rain acting like needles in my eyes. There was a lot of wind and I was praying to go through deep forests which could protect me. I got two really bad tempests of rain, wind and wondered if I should stop or put some gas as I was pushed on the left part of the road... I put more throttle, shoulders hunched, gloves totally wet, stopping for fuel, again and again ... Same routine, but more and more difficult as the inner pad was full of water and fingers couldn't slide in it... I took of the top case the others old and nearly destroyed given by Kirill, in case of... Smelling fuel, oil and acetone, but no choice.. It worked for 2 others fuel stop then same : impossible to put the gloves on.
    Let's do the old trick :kboom Put on cylinder to warm up. Not a good idea with non leather gloves. Now I had a smelly smoke of burnt plastic and gloves with big holes... With a screwdriver, I succeed to form and push the inner parts inside and decided to no more pull of the gloves, even if it would take 5 min to open the pockets zip of the jacket ...

    Road work everywhere, lots of new tarmac; they seemed to be in a hurry before winter time. Each time of course 1 or 2 km of stopped cars and trucks waiting for the one way pass. Taking over to the light, I was now fed up to wait sometimes 10 min to just pass 1 km of work. But when I saw the funny faces of the workers, looking a the same clothes than mine, perfect orange fluo jacket and trousers, I tried my joker. just go , ignoring the red light, because.... I'm from the road work company , guys !! Look at me !! And it worked 3 times, 2 times they just were laughing , another time making big waves at me... I had areal good time, which helped me get rid of sorcery about my snobbish roadwork clothes past attitude ... Sun came back for one hour and stopping in front of the red light after a big overtake, i shut down the engine, knowing it was a 10 min rest. And I got a good one because I waked up to the sound of horns and mad drivers. What ? . I had slept 10 min, standing on the bike with feet on ground ??? couldn't believe it !
    And rain came again and I had to take the toll highway going to ST Peterborough. a new fresh M11 highway " à la française" with the security rails, the information panels, the clean sides, the perfect signalization and tarmac..." I wondered about the cost of this jewel, even for only more or less 90 km... And during these 90 km to Валдай , I desperately searched for some gas stations. No one, nada, niente :( Jerry can empty and bike sucking fuel like a vampire in an offshore platform, I was really stressed. Then came the night, more rain and the toll at last... around equivalency of 2€ 50. There must be some air force military airport around, all along the way, I enjoyed flight training combats in the grey sky. Now toll was near the final landing approach of the jets and the show was wonderful ! But I had to pay and had no more rubles, just 200 I kept for fuel to reach hotel.
    Hard dialog with the toll guy.. I checked my purse and asked him if some euros were ok ? " yes, ok, ok ...." Nice guy ! I gave him three coins of one euro and was able to go.... Later I discovered that it was not euros, but Turkish Lyra. Wanting so hard to be part of Europe, Turkey had made coins really similar to euros ... I often make the mix... The toll guy too !!! ;
    Just after the highway, I was magnetized by a beautiful monument.
    In fact one of the most beautiful I ever saw : 4 blue sculptures standing in rectangle, with a sort of square pyramid with a steel roof behind !
    I went to one of the 4 blue sculptures and just touched one of her long arms. Here, petrol woman, give me some !!! But first let's give our respects with some rubles to the Pharaoh in the squared pyramid...
    Above my head, fighters were dancing their ballet of down-wind, base-leg and final.
    What a perfect show to end the day !:drums

    Still some 145 km to do and find the hotel. Feeling relieved by good old ron80 fuel in the tank and full jerry can in the infamous top case, Remembering google earth pic, I knew it was in front of the lake Valdayskoye, access done by a small road. I took every right side road and found the hotel at the 7th road. No car access to the front, but easily passed with a bike. Tourist season was ending, so if I parked my trashy Т-14 Армаtа in front of the main entrance : There shouldn't be any problem for an "objet 148" ;)

    What a pity I 'll have no time to visit next day Iver monastery on the island...
    [​IMG] (web pic)

    Luggage in room, it was time to find a big, very big hair dryer !!!
    One maid, after 5 minutes of Jerry Lewis mimics to make understand that, yes, I really need an hair dryer, but a BIG one, she came back with a really BIG one. I was aware not to do the usual destruction , my specialty in hurry to dry the boots : too deep inside the boot and heat back killing the heath gun....... Let's now take some bath : Totally red rusty water. Let's try again.. still red.. No bath tonight ! What about the heating radiator ? Cold ! Running down to the reception I was told that were too early too early in the season to start the boiler. And girl ran to bring me back 3 thick warm blankets :) Tomorrow I'll be back in EU. Easy process to cross border, no ? Next morning I discovered from my window the beautiful view on the lake and the beautiful....rain, shouting to me : " you want to leave Russia, enjoy a souvenir". Time to take some breakfast. I was told it was just right outside at the corner". so just a jacket will be ok under the rain for a 30 sec run. I made 10 minutes to find the building outside and the 150 M2 breakfast room... Anyway, wet or more or totally wet soon or later, what matters ?

    Now the base of cylinder was pissing oil :

    And the other side was not so good looking
    Great for a new rebuilt engine !

    Maybe I should check the oil. but since rebuilt, the already boring process of oil level checking was worst : bike straight, engine running for 1 to 2 min , stop and let's check : Sometimes it was low level, sometimes full. I decided to check 4 times, every 3 hours and average the results...

    Even under heavy rain, the ride was great. I found lovely small roads, flying upon the potholes at my perfect throttle position of 112 km/h, nobody on road, except sometimes a few ladas and small trucks... Forests, forests... A dreamy ride !

    End afternoon I took the small road to the dembovo customs (written everywhere as a sort of "private toll road", maybe another trick to avoid this border. I saw nothing than a totally destroyed back country road....
    Of course I missed the right turn and congratulating myself during 12 km that I already went to these places 3 weeks ago, I had to admit I was lost and every places there looked the same :( I stopped some car and after some strange look "you are sure ??" they gave the way ...

    Here we are again. Russian should be smooth as I go out , and Latvian one a piece of cake, coming back home EU...
    Guy on first ice cream shop was fast : Just show him my immigration paper and : light green. Next building. S...T ! I recognized the guy bored by my bike, my papers and the rented pencil... But now were standing two other guys with him, a very tall one that I scanned as the big chief : Always a little back, clever eyes, silent, kind to give you the last lethal hit.... My pencil guy had the typical look of " Oh no, not him, it's a nightmare". Weeks ago I was rather clean. Now in orange roadwork waterproof gear full of dirt and oil, and luggage full of 80/90w oil too, it was not the same story...
    Checking the bike, they asked me to open the...infamous top case. Now the cup was full. "OKAY ! CLOSE IT NOW"."What's in the bag, pull out everything !" And I had to pull out my 40 liter decathlon backpack, the one strapped on left side at 10 cm of the chain. SO half of my things were oiled. A nightmare. Now it's gonna be on my side for the show, guys ! Because I planned the day before to have a funny joker. And waiting for it, I felt distressed. "Pull out the white bag" Oh oh, my waterproof back pack with ... a hundred of fuel tickets, and all paper receipts of the travel. So I put upside down the bag on the bench outside and with the wind, all small receipts started to go in air with the little wind, everywhere. That was a immense satisfaction. I didn't care about these bills. It will show them, that, no , traveling by bike is not same than traveling cars. Of course , computer with underwear, shirt with chargers, etc...
    Two families waiting behind were smiling at me. Mister pencil looked at them and said the magic word : " ENOUGH !" At the end, he knew some English words... Then they stayed in front of my top case full of sentences and wishes written by people along my way. Even if my Russian practice had come from 0 to 2 %, I understood they were talking about this Izhevsk trip and were still not understanding why and now ... Some shaking their heads, others smiling ironically at each other.
    I will never know if they let me go fast , being fed up or having mercy on me...

    Now comes the Latvian border. Ok, in 10 min I'm out and go meet my couch surf host in Balvi ! Wrong.... It took me more than 3 hours ...

    First there were only customs girls of around 20, 25 years old. And pretty !
    They didn't care about luggage or anything. I thought that it was all good, but the brunette picked up my passport, talked to another bond one who show me direction her McDonald shop... In the mean time the brunette was gone to the big building with my passport...
    Now in the my small Mac Donald place came the irrelevant questions for hours :
    "Why do you travel by motorbike ?"
    Because I like it, Mother F...R
    "Why do you travel alone ?"
    Because I like to travel alone, Son of a B...H
    "Why do you go to Europe ?"
    Please, an you repeat ? I'm going home
    "How long do you plan to stay in Latvia ?"
    One night and you won't see me again !
    "You know that if you stay in Latvia, you have to justify about money, work,etc.."
    I DON' WANT TO STAY IN YOUR (F.....K) country !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "Can you show me if you have some money ?"
    Ttotally irrelevant question, as UE citizen back home, but if I knew something about custom people, it's that they have all police/fiscal power; so if some asks me to sing and dance "gnan gnan style" in middle of customsn I will do it !!!
    I show my 3 bank cards, + 2 others out of date to be used as tricks in case of aggression. Will it be enough ???
    "Money ?"
    Rubles, Euros, Zloties, Forints were put all along the desk, keeping a wax smile...
    The she dived in her computer, checking google maps and proudly told me :
    "You have 22 hours before being in France, it's a long way !"
    I was near to answer that, if I can make France in 22 hours, I would keep my turbo Yamaha for eternity. I just answered
    "Yes, More or less"
    I started to felt trapped like a rat in a box. Will my phone work to call a lawyer ? Where to join the French ambassador ? etc, etc...
    And still a lot of questions.
    I sat in the corner and took a light bored face, the " I don"t have all time to loose on these stupid things"
    Nothing moved...
    At the end , the brunette girl came back from building and gave back my passport to the McDonald girl... But she was still studying the google maps and asking me
    "Where do you sleep tonight ?"
    In Balvi !
    "In an house or hotel ?"
    big mistake I made : In an house.
    "So you knows some Latvian !"
    "How long do you plan to stay in Latvia !!!"
    Here it came again ....
    "I won't stay in Latvia and I will go to an hotel in Lithuania, because its too late now !"
    And it went again and again.
    So I played a dangerous joker, as i had nothing to loose and situation was locked...
    "You know, about the guy I could meet tonight if things were faster...."
    "we plan to go to party dance, have some fun !!!'
    " Would you want to join us in Balvi tonight. We will be pleased to have a beautiful girl like you with us..."
    "Come on, join the big party !!!":viking
    Her face became red like a Ducati bike on a sunny beach. Totally shocked, she took the passport in hands, offered it back to me, and just said :
    "Thanks, but I can't":sweeti

    Now outside, on my bike, I made the most serious checklist of my life.
    No way to FRAK OF my departure !!
    Fuel : On
    Starter : Full
    Stand : On
    Neutral : On
    Deep mental celebration of the starter freewheel : Done

    broaappppppppppppppppppppppp !! Bye bye girls !!!
    ( better say : teuf,teuf, crack, teufffff teuffff)

    Conclusion :
    I was not seen as the middle guy : not poor, not rich... I was on the dark side and looked like a migrant. But a migrant would never take a TTRE 600 : too dangerous bike !
    And BTW do migrants have E.U. passports ?

    Long passport check process was surely an Interpol call and verification....

    Next time, I'll be on my shiny XR650R and perfectly clean with only two white backpacks on it. Next time.. Maybe I'm more pervert than they were. So maybe I will take the same border. Maybe....
    But to paraphrase Albert Einstein citation, it's not with people who gave you problems that you can find solutions...

    Welcome to the peanuts and hamburgers world ! Enjoy !
    And don't forget something : I you have no passport, if you pay no tax, if you have no address, no work, no family , it will be easier and faster : Migrant my friend, some ONG will come take care of you ! ;) :loco

    Kristof Granit and chudzikb like this.
  6. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    Balvi was covered in no time, now free from the custom harem !
    I waited for Janis at a gas station, still enjoying the 2 hours of dry weather.A guy passed by and pointing me and my bike put a big thumbs up ! Warming ! Thanks guy the first and only one of whole trip !
    Threatening clouds were turning around. Janis took me up and after 30 sec of ride... Rain, rain, rain.
    We came to parent's house that he had in charge during their absence. But he didn't informed me they just had a new child, a few days ago... I felt confused and told him I was going to find a place and let them quiet, but they insisted !!! The young daughter of 1 year and half was a crazy equilibrist : jumping on table, standing on chairs.. Frightening, but she always managed everything.. Used to...
    Janis works in a factory of prefabricated wood walls . In evening, we spoke about construction techniques, wood transformation, etc... It was a great time !
    Thank to him and his little family...
    Next morning I made a fast check of my bike but couldn't do any maintenance, as the garage was clean and I was afraid to put a lot of mess there !
    [​IMG]I leaved this nice family with a bottle of real good wine. Thanks again for hospitality !
  7. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    From Latvia I had to go to Augustow to meet Piotr and discuss about the "bees hives on top of trees ' movie ...
    At the "supposed Schengen opened border?" Polish custom were stopping everybody .. Guess what I did ??
    Back turn. Let's switch on my smartphone and compare different maps. I had to make a detour, but got no more boring customs.

    I stopped on the way in a small trail.
    Parked in front of a memorial, I went to see inscriptions : Long list of war killed people, including a lot of very young children.
    I couldn't finish my lunch and lost appetite for the whole day :(.

    I didn't mentioned that I had in Russia a lot of carb icing which was locking the carb at mid opening.
    But now, with temperatures around 7° Celsius, it was working pretty well except for fuel performance : More than 8 liters / 100 km :(
    And people in gas stations were a little on the boring side...
    Should I pulled out my orange worker gear ?

    I was "french driving", out taking cars as soon and fast as possible. I started to regret not having my XR . Maybe too much 'push to crime' bike !
    But the good lazy TTRE was still running, so !!!
    Except some small mechanical problems that I easily solved on gas station parking, all was smooth like Irish butter in a ...........

    Found the place in town in no time, and asked some teenagers where was my couch surf flat number . They searched with me for 10 minutes, the I realized that my bike was already parked in front of the good building :)

    His wife came to welcome me. After a stairs bodybuilding luggage session, I could at last play some piano in the flat. Then Piotr joined us. Mr 100 000 volts, full of energy and determination. A standing guy upon millions of demotivated and disillusioned people... We started to talk about the beehives, the movie project; His friend form Belorussian had bought an old house in middle of woods in his country. a place you can go only if you let all your phone, tablet, computer, etc.. at home and accept to live without any modern comfort facilities . he show me historical books about trees beehives and plan to make me go in forest with his friend on the next morning. But at the end of evening, I sadly declined. My road time schedule would be shorten by a 12:00 or 1 pm departure....And my human factors light was blinking in my mind : "don't do it, it's not the right time" I was too much in the trip and knew I would not really be attentive to the place... Let's go back next May and do some serious work !

    Alarm phone programed to 5:30 I dived in deep sleep. Dringgggggggg.
    Seems to be dark outside ? Phone still on IZH time zone. So waked up in middle of the night, I had some hours to think about my travel and mainly others to be done !
    Next morning, the trip to Lublin and (again ;) ) Mirek's place was done without any surprise : Small mechanical problems fixed in every stop-gas station. Cashiers kind like a prison door. Fuel sucked more and more by the TTRE. Now 8.5 l/100km.
    Lost in small roads and nobody able to give me any reliable information...
    So I used the usual fly " bearing / timepiece " as there was no position check follow-up possible, thanks to the sun dancing slowly behind "Whiter shade of pale".

    I came rather early to Mirek's place, helped his wife to pull out of car one million of tuyas. I think she planned to mask the house by tuyas hedges from the yard full of camping cars due to Mirek's new acclivity ! Then came Mirek : Here you are, good soul brother ! We came in town to a LIDL market buy some food and I discovered that the same goods in Hungary' LIDL were twice the price !
    I bought food to make a good family dinner. Miroslav felt a little uncomfortable about it. Come on, guy, you opened twice your house for me, I could this at the very least. But I won't tell anybody that you forgot all your documents , papers, and credit cards in a rental camping car, now thousand of miles away ;)
    here some pic of the soul brother. He sent me some at my request, I choose the "tourist" one : :jack
    and his car :

    Of course we had this evening to taste the home made liquor again :)
    Then came the usual choice in between room or camping car.
    Motor-home had been great, but I felt a little...cold to sleep in it again. Let's take the warm room !!!
    Next morning, Mirek found me an H4 for my beam light which he instantaneously identified as a Fiat model and if remember correctly , same as his car !!!

    I wish you the best in your next activity, Mirek and hope we meet ASAP !

    Time to leave for the last day trip and what will be as one of the worst day in my life....:grim
  8. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    time to take a break:snore and finish this report tomorrow...
  9. nochwas

    nochwas Adventurer

    Oct 7, 2009
    just a small note to say MERCI for your ride reporting. It's like a crazily energized novel from the soul of the earth. Looks like you've been on an alarming and excellent adventure, and your writing communicates things so well. So many gripping turns of phrase-- for example, a personal favorite:
    " like a drunk parkinsonian touching an electric fence with a penumatic hammer in left hand ! "
    thanks again for sharing your dodgy and vivid experiences with us couch people, fellow adventurers, and friends-not-yet-met !!
    welcome to Seattle if you come in this direction!
  10. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    Thanks Nochwas. I feel now more comfortable about my translation tentative.. And still makes a lot of bad typing : I type fast with two fingers and often the move on keyboard is opposite of Vibes and marimba practice and coordination. A nightmare !!! I'm gonna correct penumatic, except if it has a better meaning than pneumatic :) .

    Concerning Seattle, now it's on my list.
    Maybe with family and the two younger kids of 9 and 11, who have to be used to travel and taste the salt of the earth ! The 11 years old is counting the years until 14, to have an Derbi or Aprilia enduro 49.9 cm3 and go on road with me... But I will find one next year, so he can first practice and get some experience. Sure he will fast show me some cross/enduro techniques... I will just tell him that he does it easy because of his lighter bike ;)
    Feel free to exchange our mail adress in PM to communicate ( and others adv guys who kindly welcomed me, too !).
  11. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    Next morning was time to finish this trip... The longest day , around 800 km. I checked my bike, my chain was agonizing...
    Let's go Babar ! Weather was pretty good and cold... I switched on my electric jacket. The usual gas station ceremony. Even if it was gonna be a long way, I chose to take small roads and rode high rhythm, a mix of John Bonham and God (Buddy Rich's nick name). I was remembering the stupid joke about Buddy in paradise... "who is this guy on Buddy Rich's side? ;) ) and thousands of drummer's joke from the "to park free on an handicapped place, just put some stick on the dashboard", "an homeless guy is a drummer who had just lost his girlfriend", etc ...
    Little wind now , trees shivering...
    One hour later, small wind, trees waving
    One hour more and good wind, trees dancing
    Middle of the day, wind blowing, trees hard shaking
    Tempest of wind coming, not good for you, amateur sailor !!!
    I'm used to wind, going South France by highway, you suffer Mistral, Tramontane winds. Once at night with my Kle 500, i was swinging across the 3 lanes of the highway. Frightening ! But TTRE was standing pretty good, better say leaning against cross wind ( cross wind ?? of course, not back or front, you know that, adv riders, wind on motorbike is ALWAYS cross wind :) )
    Speaking of cross, my playlist was on Blacknuss the fantastic LP form Rashann Roland Kirk and the "old ruge cross" song and it's fantastic one long note in circular non stop breathing tenor sax solo. (at 5'03" )

    And the speech was the perfect description of my state of mood :

    "" Now, a whole lotta things been bothering me, because a lot of people think that things is cool.
    People riding around in those cars and riding them airplanes, pocket full of money and everybody think that things is cool.
    Even old jive president—Accident I mean—would make you think that things is cool.
    But I’m here to tell all o’ y’all, and him, too, that we got a cross that we must bear, and the cross gets awful heavy.

    Now there's the black cross, the green cross, the white cross, the double cross, the criss-cross, and the lost cross.
    And the cross gets awful heavy at different times, but one is supposed to keep on going on and carrying the cross on his shoulder,
    because you ain't supposed to let no cross cross you up.
    You're supposed to let a cross help you get across.
    And if you let a cross help you get across, you won't get crossed up but you'll be on the cross 'cause you done got across on the cross.
    So if you can remember this, you won't get lost on the cross while you're trying to get across.
    So we're just here to let you know about it.
    I know that you knew already, 'cause y'all the hippest people in the world, hip black and white.
    But you still know that you got a cross you must deal with.
    So when it crosses you up, go on and deal with it,
    and leave it alone."

    I stopped to a gas station , fueled up, then park outside to eat some food, near two trucks, bike on the side stand, under wind direction. Lest"go on Babar !
    But... impossible to straighten bike ! Wind too hard. I tried and tried then gave up and one truck driver spontaneously came to help me. As soon as i pulled of the side stand, I put throttle waving back some thanks !

    I thought that going South things would become better but it was worst and worst...
    I knew that i had already pulled a lot too much on the rope and that main mistake on trip was to plan too long day ride. This one was the longest....
    Body strength was at its lowest, destroyed by the three weeks cold and wet...
    I stared to deeply doubt I wouldn't make it...
    Rain was coming back and the zip of my orange fluo waterproof jacket broke...
    Murphy's law, here we go ! I stopped behind a bus shelter. Protected from wind
    I changed my double sockets to find some warm, and opened the top case to get my decathlon blue rain coat... No way I could use it with satanic oil bottle opened again in the top case.
    Rain coat was trickling like an old mop lost inadvertently in old cooking oil from Belgium chips.
    I still had a pack of black wax and put some on my leather jacket. of course, in the process, my hands and nails became black too... Gas station cashiers will love me , for sure. But now, nothing cared no more. I could be in palms, high heels with a viking helmet, I even wouldn't care !
    what could be worst now ?
    Fuel my friend, fuel !
    No more fuel in gas stations... I pushed on, every time ,no more fuel.... I used my jerry can, pushed on again. Still no fuel ! WTF ??? No fuel in Poland now ??? Are you kidding ? I could find fuel in the most lost and recluse back country village in Russia ! About 20 km of autonomy. Then I will stop, leave the bike and just take my backpack : SHUT THE DOOR ON THESES STUPID RIDES.
    And only enjoy home some rides with other bikers at summer, make some barbecue with them, some meetings there and there !
    Am I gonna ride in middle of a group of porks going to slaughter ?

    Wake up, Babar it's time to switch on the nothing to loose determination....
    Family is waiting for you, you have to arrive before kids sleep !

    All so cold, even the electric jacket was just tedious... Then I had the brilliant idea to cut by Tatras mountains. I would enjoy the view, the curves, it would surely make me feel better ! lets' go Babar. Good idea, the scenery was beautiful, curves were warming me. Rear brake was screaming more and more, then ... oups ! no more rear brake... I stopped to discovered that the left pad had just disappeared, the right one still in place but scratching the destroyed disk metal to metal...
    I still had the front brake, with an efficiency of a bottle of vodka sliding on ice.
    After half an hour, I knew i won't make it.
    and still this bloody wind !!!

    Since morning, the chain had already jumped two times and of course in middle of towns when putting first gear . very easy process to have a locked bike in a center town cross road. Unscrew the rear axle, unscrew the tension screws, push front wheel, Lean the bike on the stand to free the back wheel, turn the wheel and put back chain on sprocket. all under rain with cars overtaking around both sides... I still had my fluo orange trousers, useful to be seen. Now at every stop I had to start in 3rd gear with disks clutch slip...
    One time I had to gear down, using my engine brake,/ front brake more and more inefficient (sweet euphemism ). chain went off, rear wheel locked. Time to go back by South East and join Highway to Budapest...

    I was feeling a little bit depressed with same sentence turning in my head " I won't make it, I wont' make it :( "

    Stopping at a little gas station, I took the decision to drink k some red bull. Bought one, from the fridge. Looking at my coldness, girl in charge suggested me to take the one on the shelf. Just to show you my high state of mind : Cold and choosing a cold drink....
    I leaved the station and heard some shouting behind me. I stopped as I was even no more able to turn my head back with these baklava and clothes. There she was, tall and blond, in a white shirt,, looking like a titties wet T shirt contest under this heavy rain. With a big smile she told me " You forgot it !!" and gave me back my red bull.
    I f I could remember only one thing from the whole trip, it's surely this scene;
    Not because of what you think, old perverts on your screaming multi cylinders ! (Well maybe a little ;) ) No, just after all these unpleasant gas station people, and jsut when I was gonna give up, there she came... She could stay dry and warm but she did it ! Thanks to her !

    On e thing for sure I learned from flying is the adage "Always fly the plane !"
    No more engine, no more rudder, whatever, you must FLY it first !!!
    So I kept my mind to be totally concentrated on the road, more than ever.

    Night was coming, and of course beam gave up again, light full of water :( But LIDL leds were working again !
    I wouldn't care anymore to dazzle all people.

    I stopped again for fuel and didn't have no more starter. Great, let's try to push the bike. Happy I was to see the road was going down. I had to just push 100 meters and after a lot of speed, slowly clutched the 5th gear. Stupid bike wheel started to lock. I tried opposite way and just engaged once. In a crazy noise of the dead chain which by miracle stayed in place, it worked... Now I 'll let the engine run in gas stations; no more will care because who was gonna go outside to check in this crazy cold, rainy and windy weather ?

    It is the night
    My body's weak
    I'm on the run
    No time to sleep
    I've got to ride
    Ride like the wind
    To be free again

    Perfect song, but my body was not weak, just hibernating in -170° Celsius in a cryogenic coffin of a space shuttle powered by a lazy thumper, lost somewhere in Slovak hyper space.

    I knew I was near Hungary because traffic road became erratic. Sorry Hungarian people but the driving in this country is pure bullshit. Coming from communist time and Trabant, you came fast to new powerful modern cars. And have bad habit to cut curves on opposite lanes, as you live in a flat country.

    We could too consider the level of motorcycle driving license teaching ( you have to check the "fast part" exam on utub. seems to be filmed slow motion but it isn't... And big very big spaces signal codes. )My Hungarian wife who passed the french bike exam showed it to me, dying with laughter. Of course you have a lot of good riding bikers ( and don't go with big bikes off road guys, they are totally mad !) but majority of bikers ride like cars, same tempo, staying in hidden visibility behind cars...

    Concerning cars, the new rich people in big SUV are a nightmare. Make up in mirror riding, the "I'm the king and queen and don't even look at you , meagred income people", etc.. All others driving with their phone, texting, calling , facebooking and sometimes using their turning lights, but not before, no, in middle of turn :) And again unable to stay on their lane in a curve...:( sorry for the comments, Magyar friends. You can rest assured. French drivers think that road is a racing circuit and pedestrians in front of schools a lap tour chrono mark ! Another kind of nightmare, undoubtedly worst !

    Lost in my mind, I went on more monologue.
    Ok, maybe it 's more a problem on the attention side. In Romania and Bulgaria, I saw people, smoking, eating, phoning same time ( yes !!!) but they were always looking outside !
    Multitasking is an hard brain process. It takes decades to master different actions same time on drums.... So, not considering the lack of psycho-motricity practice, the driving pleasure had been replaced by big tactile screens in cars... They warm you all day long to be prudent on road,and same time allow cars to become geek gadgets...
    I wish cars now could be designed an engineered only by women...
    At last we would have a small trash in the car ! ...

    Then I stopped to an Hungarian gas station. I immediately knew I was in Hungary because the Cashier acted like shit. showing my bike parked at the pump to pay fuel, and helmet on head, I asked for the motorbike sticker toll. She gave me one, but was for car. Then shouted at me" You didn't told me it was for a bike!"
    Please, read last paragraph and tell me if I even did something confusing ! ;)
    Same time came a Russian guy and she again shouted at him for some unknown reasons...Maybe you have your menstruation ? Anyway, for the first time of my travel I lost temper... No comment, but she still heard me shout outside, even bike running ...
    I still had to do 240 km by M3 highway to Budapest. I felt to be a scientist checking water quality under Niagara falls, trapped same time in an aeronautical wind tunnel, all packed in a gigantic cold chamber, wishing it will not at last finish in colder mortuary drawer .
    A car nearly pushed me first on the road side. I was driving now at around 90 km/hour. It was certainly too slow for Mister "I defy the laws of physics with my super space ship which can stop instantaneously on a aquaplaned road"
    hey guy your space ship is a cage you paid 25 000 euros, and that factories build for 2000....( I used to make some ISO 900 programming in the 90's for factories making aluminum cylinder heads. After a washed down meal at restaurant, the car makers gave us the real cost of car production :) :)
    Now another car was sucking my tail. Driver could overtake me, but no, stayed at 2 meters behind me; I put some throttle to a glorious 115 but the front tire was so stairs used that it was nearly impossible to see something with the vibrations.
    visor opened, at night under rain, it was rather difficult too to keep speed.
    After one kilometer, I dived in a parking area to forget about the motorbike blowjob performer.
    Now I was looking at watch, every minute, making the final countdown : less than 2 hours, less than 1h 55, less than 1h40 , etc... being on highway I could use my leds lights without opposite traffic complains..
    Still 68 km on the highway indication panel... if I stop now, my wife could go pick me up. We would fix how to bring back the bike later. Same balance decision process : Give up on the safe side or just go on; "BECAUSE YOU ALREADY MADE NEAR 11000 KM, LITTLE PUSSY !" Choice was made, helped a lot by now playing in my ears Rage against the machine title " I won't do what you told me !" I switched off my mind, imagining I was riding my XR650R, so high that no rain splashes would hit me, so fast that sucking guys will vanish in the highway black hole; so stable that I could drink a cup of hot chocolate while ridding.
    At least , I was no more cold !
    I forgot to told you about the heated vest episode.
    When I was in the polish gas station and didn't succeed to erect the bike under the crazy wind, I forgot to unplug the electric cord, going out of bike.
    I soldered it later in toilets of another gas station using my propane stove and the trusty 90 % silver solder; People in toilets didn't even took any attention to the process... Joy to be in a travel time decompression cabin for galactic long hyperspace travelers... Now It was heating like mad, like it never did before. at a point that it was burning my back and I had to put it on first layer under my leather jacket

    It was a strange feeling to have frozen legs and burning up body...
    I think that without it, I wouldn't be able to finish the trip ( In fact, reading and correcting bad typing of this report, I would surely finish it without any heated jacket ;) )

    Then I reached Budapest and planned to go through center town, to have some street lights, enjoy some people around; to be short : fed up to swim alone in a cold dark swimming pool...I just forgot about the chain problem. First traffic light, a monstrous CLONG, bike slowing... I don't care, let's put some throttle. Nothing to loose ! Full throttle , another big clong and here we go. Don't ask me about the way problem was solved, I have no idea... Do you really think I would stop 32 km now from home to inquire if Miss Regina had some bad soul feelings ?
    Stay on your toothless throne, tonight I'm the fastest biker of Budapest !

    I took highway out of city , then the back country road to my village, which have one big curve . Of course, the leds lights stopped 500 m before, so I had time to slow down to now a ridiculous 10 km/h, aware of deer who could cross the road in between woods. A big hit on handle bars waked up my shinny stars and I went to a fast ...50 km/h. human factors, my friend ! . No way I could crash one kilometer from home.
    Arriving to my village, totally exhausted, in perfect synchronization came on the MP3 playlist the Roland Kirk song "bright moments" :
    yes yes . . . .
    You know it's good to be in a place that feels like you're in your house, you know?
    Now, it's a beautiful thing, we're glad you people are assembled here with us on this Saturday night . . .
    You know what I mean? You don't feel like Saturday night people.
    Some Saturday night people, that's the only night they get out and they act like it.
    You know like when you cage something up and when it gets out, they act like it,
    that's the way most Saturday night people act.
    Now, we would like to think of some very beautiful Bright Moments. You know what I mean?
    Bright Moments . . . .
    Bright Moments is like . . . eating your last pork chop in London, England, because you ain't gonna get no more . . . cooked from home.
    Bright Moments is like being with your favorite love and you're all sharing the same ice cream dish.
    And you get mad when she gets the last drop.
    And you have to take her in your arms and get it the other way.
    Bright Moments.
    That's too heavy for most of you all because you all don't know about that kind of love.
    The love you all have been taught about is the love in those magazines.
    And I am fortunate that I didn't have to look at magazines.
    Bright Moments.
    Bright Moments is like seeing something that you ain't ever seen in your life and you don't have to see it but you know how it looks.
    Bright Moments is like hearing some music that ain't nobody else heard, and if they heard it they wouldn't even recognize that they heard it because they been hearing it all their life but they nutted on it, so when you hear it and you start popping your feet and jumping up and down they get mad because you're enjoying yourself but those are bright moments that they can't share with you because they don't know even how to go about listening to what you're listening to and when you try to tell them about it they don't know a damn thing about what you're talking about!
    Is there any other Bright Moments before we proceed on?
    Testify! . . . .
    Bright Moments.
    Bright Moments.
    Bright Moments is like having brothers and sisters and sisterettes and brotherettes like you all here listening to us."

    For sure, it was a perfect song to finish the trip, staying in front of the gate.
    No need to ring, use horn, the low sound of thumper had warned the family.
    Gate opened I pushed the lazy Raptor in the garden.
    Dog didn't recognized me at all.
    My wife first told me it was because I was smelling like a beggar on street without washing for one decade.
    Now time to confess. Before leaving to Russia I was locking at a video on Graham Jarvis explaining that in enduro races, they don 't have time to stop and usually piss in their pants..
    What do you think I have done on the infamous highway M3 ?? ;)

    I started again the bike to put in garage. Marvelous ! Starter was now working like a charm. Bloody TTRE... 10 meters to do, and chain definitely just gave up ! Perfect timing... As usual, always good luck when bad luck.
    I felt like William Adama after a cylon battle.
    I pulled out all crappy luggage, and read one more time my inscription on the front guard : "SO SAY WE ALL!"
    Time for hugs and Russian chocolate...

    At night, I started to plan on computer a big Armenian Georgian trip....
    Because you have to be ready to jump in hyperspace anytime!

    End of report. Dear advriders, please shut down the 595 cc anti gravitational engine before leaving, and don't forget too to switch off the magnetronic leds lights !

    Next coming :
    review of the bike build up, gears, luggage, etc...
    nk14zp, Kristof Granit and chudzikb like this.
  12. chudzikb

    chudzikb Been here awhile

    Jul 17, 2016
    Please explain to me, how did you survive your trip? Seriously, you should be dead, many times over. But, congratulations on NOT being dead!
  13. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    I think it's mainly due to the Russian driving. Maybe it can be strange to affirm it, when you see all these youtub road rage, dash cam movies and accidents... But even if I never let down my guard, cars and trucks were a lot more friendly than I'm used to stand. another thing is the road choice. I don't think I would take the Moscow ring with this bike and being a little on the tired side. I planned it, coming back but preferred my loving small forest roads. Just once,, making a back turn in a village, I made a double stupid mistake. I came in a turn , sure to be in a one direction street, but I was suddenly face to face to a car ; Thanks to the past French motorbike exam, as they use to teach us a lot of "urgent pull out" and was part too of the final exam. It was just automatic, but ... very near for a complete crash. More , I went on and didn't realize that street ended with a 30 cm square and stoned pedestrian walk. Another reason why I like so much big front wheels :)
    In fact the scariest part of the ride was doing center town zhevsk under rain with a soap front tire and a serial killer throttle : Off or full On :( and have to follow Kirill's bike, with the perfect " all good, friend !" attitude...

    Second factor was speed. Low speed saved my life many times on past travel to Turkey : Horses suddenly crossing road, big refection machine parked in middle of small road out of a blind curve, etc... Traveling on small roads, 90 km/h seems to be ( for me ) the upper safe limit, whatever brakes you have, ABS or not, soft gum street tires... Fast change of adherence will help slide down ;) and surely the fact that I used to make hundreds of thousand km every year when I was on music tour. Driving non stop, playing, driving again, endlessly. Like truckers, give me a caR by example, I can drive it for 18 hours without a stop. Just an old habit :)
    ( well should be great , 18h non stop without 18 gas stops for ttre refueling ;) )

    Third factor was couch surfing fantastic people. Except for some necessary hotels, being so warmly welcomed recharged my batteries at the highest level !!!

    And last but least important for me was to be alone :
    You all know that it's very difficult to find a partner who rides with the same rhythm. Too slow , too fast, to near, to far... Each has to adjust and it can take long time. Riding along , you follow your own rhythm which could be totally disturbing for another biker. sometimes riding at 50 in safe places, but you want some rest and enjoy just the light and smell of trees, sometimes fast flying upon potholes which can destroy your bike, because you just feel it and need some fun . Being alone, as I already told about, is a permanent duality : enjoy fast with some risks, or ride slow and loose attention... You are more able to do the right decision at the right moment, not influenced in your choice.

    Maybe all this is bullshit ;) . because it's so GOOD to ride alone for hours : the loveliest way to yourself. and be able to get it without time to go to end of Mongolia was a pure joy !

    Now,on the mental side? i'm not masochist. but i'm used to feel and stand pain. From a generation where, when we crashed on bicycle on cow shit on the back country roads knees bleeding full of gravels, parents didn't care... You went to hospital only if you broke something... All now is in comfort zone in a vicious circle of people asking Doctor to kill the pain and Doctor prescribing at first pain killers for the patient comfort... All done with the benediction of pharmaceutic laboratories :)
    All adv riders here know where is the first step of travel : Going out of your own comfort zone, to meet and discover, on so many different levels.
    That's why I enjoy reading totally opposite kinds and styles of travels...

    As many already wrote there, staying home because of money, of work, of time, of family, of bike, of health ( except big problems of course) is just a pretext at the end. If we are honest with ourselves and know it's a pretext, all is good. Difficulty comes when you start to convince yourself that they are not....
    If I was with a non prepared bike, it's just because after 2 tentatives, somewhere I didn't believe in it no more until the last day, using pretexts about fatality, about documents, etc..

    Thanks to my wife who pushed me out of house, even if it was maybe to have one month of tranquility ;) ;) ;)[/QUOTE]
    forgorin and yamalama like this.
  14. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    Time to clean and fix the bike...
    The loose and worn chain made its jigsaw work...
    The left side swing arm axle was half cut, bearing dead, protection dead, spi joint exploded.
    the upper swing arm chain protection dead too, but chain didn't have time to attack aluminum. Same for the down chain guide under the swing arm. no more s sliding surface on it...

    Now my way to do things : (coming from experimentation and maintenance on flying machines too ) My way, not suitable for anyone... Not the truth, not the "You have to do this or that". Just what perfectly works for me...

    I was not joking when mentioning the 50 000 km + done by the chain...
    But I had no time and no more money to buy a new kit.
    The chain on my triumph St 955i did more than 60 000 km.
    So do I use a Scott toiler or any automatic grease system ?
    Not at all. On road, i follow the prescription of the user manual, same advice for Honda Xr and Yamaha ttre : Use only transmission oil 80w/90, using it every time I ride a bike, even for a few km. Bike back in garage : always lightly lube the chain.
    Dry lub like aluminium spray used, if riding in dust and sand.
    And of course, my chain hangs more down than proudly tensed. If after a long wet ride, I feel that there's some friction coming, I use oil for helicopters principal transmission gearbox (BTP in French) to free again the chain. Once a week I put lots of industrial grease ( rubber safe) deeply in it with tooth brush . And that's all. Checking chain tension ? it's an understatement to say I do it less often than during this trip :) From time to time, I ride slowly into street and listen carefully to the chain and sprockets noise.

    The only advice I would give to anybody preparing his bike is to avoid at any costs, Lithium grease and only use Graphite one ( or top quality marine one)
    For a test, I had put lithium on right front wheel bearing, and graphite on the left. After one year, the graphite was still the same, bearing perfect and dry, but the lithium one was just a soapy mix of bad grease and water...and bearing needed lube even with the said to be waterproof lip.

    Tires, pressure ? Everyone his own habits... :) My last flat was 7years ago because of wood screw in front of garage I forgot to clean, . I admit that I'm too much on normal / high pressure. I don't feel comfortable with low pressure when using dual sport tires.. ( but put low if I have cross titties ones !! ) I had a talk with some tires manufacturers who confirmed me it was normal sensation, as the wrapping side of these tires is not build to work well when they have to be too flexible. So let's stand the laughs of playground joking about your bad traction everywhere ;)
    Do you have the same feeling to have a total shitty bike when lowering pressure of dual sports tires when going off road ?

    OIl.... arggg Oil. So you have to use mineral oil for your 60 years old engine, because at that time, it was the oil used. So I have to use wooden shoes on the trail because at that time, middle age guys were walking in it with wooden shoes :)
    To be short, some good friends are specialist of old cars ( ferrari, Aston martin, jaguar, etc..) Guess what they put in engines... 0w 70 my friend ..
    But too much expensive for my bikes ! Just now 5w 40 synthetic and that's all.
    Last point about a big misconception. It is said that if you use synthetic oil ( i don't speak about energy saving oils with anti friction additives, of course), your clutch will slip.
    For me, it's exactly opposite my friends. I'm using synth oil in all bikes for decade and the main problem is the sticking plates of the clutch !! Synth modern oil has a high propensity to stay on surfaces ( safe lubrication when starting engine before oil pressure rises) and after a while , all my clutches plates are sticking. Impossible to find the neutral, to put 1 st gear even full clutch activated. Lesson learned, as I'm always shifting without clutch. Once a week, I slip the clutch outrageously like a real stunt guy ( but at 1000 thousandth less speed ;) )

    So, I didn't have any time to prepare the TTRE because I spent all the previous to prepare the Honda :( Spending a lot time on it... 2.5 mm2 section wires for lights, auto fuses, regulated multi-tension system for accessories, maps stand, strong but very light back frame, etc... A list as long as short was the TTRE one...

    What I will never forgot to install before a trip :

    Double big brake red light at the back, used to as a fog light. Lots of countries are not used to bikes and drivers just don't "see" you. ( "seeing" , perception analysis could make a book here; I remember my first fly alone. There was a big seagull at close distance. It was not a seagull in fact , it was the Concorde making a "promotion fly" low in the ATZ. But I never saw before a Concorde in flight line. So my brain couldn't identify it. I talked to an neurologist friend who explained me the process and pointed that it's the same for words. He was working on young delinquents, on the postulate that violence comes when you don't have the words to put on it, enough vocabulary to express yourself... Interesting and maybe topical now ;)

    A boat kill switch . Too bad to see your bike going on flames because you have not time to unscrew the battery contacts... ( don't tell me fuses will blow. My own experience ;) )

    A bottle of window cleaner and a microfiber towel on handlebar. Have you ever tried to clean your visor with a flick of glove after a bumblebee collision ? :lol3

    A small hand brush with good solvent to clean hands after mechanical problems. Because it's always a nightmare to try to clean hands and nails: hosts, hotels, gas station only have ordinary soap or rather bad dish-washing liquid...

    Lots of latex gloves for mechanical problems ( see upon, you will never find where you put them, at the end..)

    What I will bring.. or no more:

    Laptop ? never again. no use for me. Heavy, better have a tablet and small USB keyboard. Editing pics ? I need a calibrated screen for that, at home . Otherwise for social network, any crappy software is OK . (Just IMHO ) Building routes and itineraries ? Too late, on the move, no time for that ;)

    Casual clothes ? just now an ordinary pair of trousers which could be used at last as riding pants

    Walking shoes ?
    Absolutely !!!
    Water to go purification bottle ? Absolutely ! Priceless
    Another pair of gloves ? Yes and 2 other more (I took enduro gloves but too thin for the cold
    Another helmet ? Yes ! to carry a pillion if needed..
    Waterproof paper with permanent markers ? Of course, you already know why
    Leather jacket or textile one ? Leather full time... Even under rain, as long as they do nano technology wax for shoes ;) Leather cut cold wind in winter and reflect heat of sun in Summer. I cant' stand no more to cook under expensive by textile jackets whose primary material comes from China , but have the magical words on it : triple inlet , goretex , technical breathing... Not for me (don't speak for you ! :D)
    time for some TV advice :
    Yes, bring us back good and cheap leather jacket. Go back to the 70's when your friends were smoking pot, wearing flower shirts, while you were doing moped enduro, rockets which never took of and stroboscopes kits electrocuting you every week... Make up for lost time ! Come to Romanian Salina Turda cave exhibition !. Our top model will show the brand new leather Triumph jacket in the best selfie attempt ever shoot ! :

    (yes I know, with a selfie like that, nobody will buy one !)

    Airbag jacket : Yes ! it once saved my life. I have to buy a new one ASAP !

    Luggage :
    On the left the 40 liters Decathlon backpack. Les than 30 euros. Heavy loaded, it withstood everything. Falls, scratches, hits, oil, rain . A must. The small red one of 10 liters, 3 euros, was carrying a very heavy lock chain ( about 5 kg) and some tools. No problem ( as they say in Russia ). No tears ,no broken zip... A must too !

    Here in the two bags with all camping gear configuration : Weight low, front centered :

    The Buse waterproof backpack was overloaded, withe laptop and everything for one month planned trip. No holes, nothing except some scratches from the straps with buckles I put on it without any protection against metal parts. (here pic with lock cable test )

    My main luggage target is still the same : Bike crashed, killed : Must go home by train, truck, plane, whatever, with 2 backpacks maximum..

    Time to wash everything with high pressure jet and see if Legend is true..
    After pulling out all parts, yes, Legend is true : Water goes EVERYWHERE, even being careful and I won't never use a high pressure jet again ! lesson learned
    nk14zp likes this.
  15. Runswithscizzors

    Runswithscizzors Been here awhile

    Jan 4, 2015
    This is easily one of my favorite ride reports! A few posts back you commented about being worried about the translation issue....there’s no issue for me.....i chalked it up to style and rolled with it. Glad to see you made it back, and in one piece.

    Thanks again for sharing.
  16. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    All my pleasure. must give back to the forum that pushed me out of my comfort zone :)
    nk14zp likes this.
  17. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    So came the time to make some Botox and lifting.
    Lots of parts were from original year. it's gonna be funny....
    I'm always criticizing this bike but it's a real bullet proof one. With a TB3 cougar engine from the 90' XT , she's playing the MILF.
    But when times comes to undress her, things are rather hard (if I could had to that :arch)

    I found explanation of the big boot kick that waked up electricity in Yaroslavl : Screws of Battery terminal missing, contact just laying
    on each + and -...
    After putting new ones, no more starter and free wheel pb... Cheap repair !

    Let's change the rear disc first :


    End of nightmare : extract disk bolts from 2004. Of course, BTR did nothing. Screws had been secured full of loctite. But who can fight against wurth rust off ice and 2900° torch?. Tap and wrench, pure aluminum powder painting...
    "Et voilà" . Brand new wheel :
    Then maybe some electricity cleaning ? ;)

    Ok I stop there, don't want to troll the ride report place...
    Now all work done, I pray that David Lambeth will send me an YSDL carb...
    BTW guy is making crazy good renovations, check it :

    Thanks to all who took time to read me. I will continue to correct my bad typing and find more pics. Be my guest any time for ride around Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Turkey , etc.. and of course a small trip to Russia, anytime...
    Rid safe and fun
    The best.

    ps : and for my next trip, the BRP of course :
  18. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    BTW, sure I made thousand of km without any accident, but I broke my left thumb last Sunday, falling at 5 km/h in mud, on the obsolete tires from this trip I put on XR to fish them ...on road.... :jack:jack:jack
  19. chudzikb

    chudzikb Been here awhile

    Jul 17, 2016
    It is the old story, take a trip around the country, all good, then hit by a bus walking in front of your house.
  20. babar69

    babar69 Stay light as light

    Oct 31, 2013
    French drummer living in Budapest
    Fore sure ... i'm used to ;)
    BTW, reading back my report, it maybe gives the impression that I went on trip on a non operating bike, no care about. In fact, engine was rebuilt and except carb pb which was supposed to be fixed by mechanic guy, , I changed front sprocket before leaving, new brake pads, new rear tire, greased everything including steering, total pull of swing arm suspension; and chain was still pretty good ( lenght mesured). But two factors made it worst : rain/water all time which totally washed it, and dust, dirt and mud which killed my back brake, as there wasno protection on it. Years ago, disks were totally protected. Now the dirt on them scratches the pad very fast. Must make some efficient protection for next trip, for sure... A common issue for many riders...

    Now I'm putting on TTRe same light than on XR, the cheap fantastic H4 Wesem :
    true glass and homologation . + light position inside parabol. the 2 up screws are for fine tuning orientation if needed. the two middle main screws are to fast open the light.
    Traktor light, around 15 euros done by Wesem. Very good beams, ridiculous weight, , fast oientation by ball fixation too ;)