Russia,Mongolia,Ukraine.....Netherlands on a KLR

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Doogle, May 7, 2013.

  1. Doogle

    Doogle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Ohio-Cincinnati
    7-12-13
    Well, I hoped to be on the road this afternoon. Got the bike running a little after 4pm.I needed to go to the store to get some money. Stas said it was closed today for some reason. Then he said we were eating in 15 minutes. I still planned to cross into Mongolia today. A biker friend that was eating with us, said the border closes at 6pm. I got on the internet and confirmed it. I guess I'll wait another day to leave.

    My bike was leaning against the white car in the back of the garage for 4 weeks.
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    Here's the engine nearly finished.
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    And ready to see the bike and motor married again. I hope they get along better this time.
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    After buying oil, a spark plug, and other things today, we stopped where Sasha works a day per week. He's retired military. But he still works there as a civilian part time. He picked up some gasket material there.He cut out several complicated gaskets from the material. He impressed me.
  2. wingnut11

    wingnut11 generally strange

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
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    Twin cities mn
    That's great news, I'm sure we are all glad to see you up and running again. Now we can get more updates from the road.
  3. ben2go

    ben2go Moto Flunky

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    :clap


    It lives! :freaky
  4. white_bear

    white_bear Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Idahoinski Oblast, Khartooshka Ul.
    I had my clutch go out just short of Kemerovo. I had folks send the parts from Germany to me. Russian Customs was a nightmare.

    First, they wanted 20 pages (I do not kid you, I counted them!) of forms filled out, stamps, a Norary, a cusroms import agent, and about 17,048 rubles for me to get the package.

    After a week and a half I wrote a VERY STRONG letter to DHL and Customs. Basically I said I'd hate for my trip to be a failure because I couldn't get a few motorcycle parts without all the bureaucracy garbage attached to it. I told them I was just importing a few parts and 1 gasket, not a Nuclear Power Plant with Uranium. I told them I would post results of my package delivery/non-delivery/fiasco on the internet for all to see.

    By coincidence, there was an article in Pravda from DHL/UPS that said Russia had dropped 3 places in the past year for world trading and doing foreign business. The reason stated was impossible paperwork for importers and the absolutely ridiculous Russian bureaucracy. Most of the Russian friends said my letter was too strong.

    Anyway, 2 days later, I am get a 1 line email from RU-customs that the customs tariff is now 2006 rubles and I can go to DHL to get my package/parts.

    Moral: Don't break down in Russia and need parts from somewhere else. YMMV
  5. Doogle

    Doogle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Ohio-Cincinnati
    7-13-13
    I was ready to leave at 830.Ate some cake for breakfast. Went out to the bike and hit the start button and it wouldn't start. After looking at many things we pulled the gas tank. The spark plug cable was loose at the coil. Finally it starts. 1045 I am saying good bye to Sasha and Stas.
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    I'm on my way after 4 idle weeks. Going through the border was relatively fast. Out of Russia and into Mongolia in an hour and a half. While there I talked with Robert and Robert from Austria. I met them at the Oasis last week. They were glad to see my bike was running. They were going North.

    When I entered Mongolia customs, a man looks at your passport and guides people in the right direction. I saw him 10 days ago.He looked at me and said did you get your bike running? What a memory. 20 minutes later I'm on the road. Welcome to Mongolia.
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    I planned to stay in the heart of Ulanbaatar. There was a hostel that advertised tours to a Mongolian military area where you could drive a Russian tank and shoot a RPG.When I got to the hostel, he no longer runs it.So I went back to the Oasis. They were over full. They let me pitch my tent for 1 night.
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    They told me the tank/RPG adventure was probably closed. They had researched it for other people.

    While here, I talked with Motomichael. I was going to ride Mongolia with him if my crankshaft had come in sooner. He went on and rode a central loop. Half of where I want to ride. And NyLon2000-Phillip is here. He broke down down near China and had to be trucked here. I thought he lost a piston. But his clutch went out on him. It's a major repair on a BMW. We talked about riding together 2 months ago. We have a lot in common. Break downs.
    It's 130pm and stopped raining. I need to get on the trail.Just wanted to get up to date with my blog. Don't know when I'll have internet again.
  6. tt100

    tt100 Been here awhile

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    May 21, 2009
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    269
    Location:
    SW Ohio
    Good to hear. I bet it's a great feeling to be rolling again...
  7. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    Dec 25, 2011
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    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    :clap Back on the road! :clap
  8. theoenhilde

    theoenhilde n00b

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    9
    Good to hear you're on the road again hope the bike brings you safe to our place. From the south of france following your adventures. Good luck!
  9. SeanF

    SeanF Long timer

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    Jun 11, 2004
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    Location:
    Tucson Arizona USA
    Back on the road! :clap Enjoy Mongolia.

    If you get near Tsetserleg, there is this nice place (Lat 47.478303, Long 101.457333) that has great food and clean comfy beds. You might be ready to spoil yourself a bit after a week or two of standard Mongolian digs.
    Be safe, take pics, write when you can.
  10. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    Feb 7, 2011
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    round the world
    great to see you on the road again and thanks for taking the time to trade emails
  11. Doogle

    Doogle Been here awhile

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    May 25, 2009
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    550
    Location:
    Ohio-Cincinnati
    Just a quick update.I'm in Altai.Last night in Uliastai.The night before tent camped near Tosentsengal after 3am.The night I left Ulanbaatar I stayed at Karakorum.They lied about internet service.But there was an old monastery there.I have daily stuff written up on my tablet.Just need WiFi to post it.And the bike is running great.Thanks to Sasha.
  12. MrGoldfish

    MrGoldfish Been here awhile

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    Sep 6, 2011
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    Chandler, AZ
    Good to hear the bike is running good. Can't wait to hear more.

    :lurk
  13. biker_gunner

    biker_gunner 2wheelsonly

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Scott AFB IL
    now this is an adventure!:clap
  14. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Great to hear all is back on track Doug with your trip and with the wife.

    :clap
  15. Doogle

    Doogle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Ohio-Cincinnati
    7-14-13
    I waited for the rain to stop before taking my tent down It was 230 before I left. If I hadn't lost a month with a bad crankshaft, I would have stayed another day. There aren't many opportunities to talk with so many bikers that have traveled to so many places. When I was just out of town, I remembered I wanted to get some money from the ATM. I never saw one again. I can probably stretch what I havens to make it.I'll just need too be frugal.

    About 150 miles out of Ulanbaatar I stopped to look at a rockets formation near some ger's and some teepees.
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    A man asked if I wanted a place to sleep or eat. I said I would eat something after I took some pictures. I wasn't that hungry. I had 2 pieces of toast for breakfast. I got soup made with mutton and pasta.When I finished eating, a young couple asked me some questions. He's from Austria and she's Mongolian. It was about 90 minutes till sunset. I was tempted to spend the night there so I could talk to them some more. More miles won over more talk.


    Right after leaving them, I saw these double hump camels available for riding. I'll see more camels. If I see one with 3 humps I'll make time for it.
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    I arrived at Karakorum as the sun was setting. Chinggis Khaan established it as a supply base. His son made it the capital. 40 years later, Kublai Khaan moved the capital tomorrow whis now Beijing.

    Before it got too dark, I took some pictures of Erdene Zuu Khiid.It was founded in 1586, and was the first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia.
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    Only 3 of about 80 temples survived the Stalinist purging of churches. In the morning I'll see what's left inside. The room I have looks out at the monastery in the distance. Before I got this room they said it has internet. Well, it's dial-up. And there phone isn't working right now.

    7-15-13 311 miles 6203 total
    I left the hotel at 830.I went to Erdene Zuu Monastery and found the 13th century Turtle Rock. There were 4 at one time. They are supposed to be protectors.
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    Then I went in the monastery. It cost $3 to visit the 3 temples. No photos allowed in the temples. The monastery must have been an amazing site before most of the structures were destroyed.
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    About 130pm I was back on the trail.
    The road became much rougher with many potholes and detours.One of my panniers came off today. No damage other than losing a quart of gas from my spare can.
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    These rough corrugated roads rattle everything loose. I kept riding so I could find a place with internet. Riding is hard in the day and tougher at night. At 2am I came to a bridge that crossed to a town. But a truck at each end blocked entry. A man indicated it was unsafe. But I saw 3 scooters cross it. We walked across it and looked at it.It looked safe for a motorcycle if I stayed to the right side. I squeezed past the truck and went hotel looking. 3 hotels and nobody answers the door at 230am. Down the road I go looking for a tent site. 200 yards off the road I set up my tent. I see lights out investigating.There must be cattle or sheep around. It was after 4 before I went to sleep. At 8am I hear horns blowing. They are moving sheep in my direction.
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    After I am packed up, a man rides over to check me out. We try communicating for a while before I leave. Interesting gun he has.
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    7-16-13 115 miles 6318 total
    The roads are worse today. I decided I would stop at Uliastai and catch up on internet things and rest the body. I saw 2 east bound riders. Klaus and Seb from Austria.I've seen Klaus posts on Advrider. We talked and took pictures for 15 minutes. Klaus said there was no internet in Uliastai. I'll need 2 days to catch up on my blog when I stop.

    I am at Jim Hotel $17, at 3pm.I laid down and rested for a while. Then I did some laundry.A can of octane booster opened in my tail box.everything in there smells like deisel fuel.

    Later I went looking for food. The hotel across the street had 4 loaded bikes. After finding them we all went out to eat. 2 Swiss, a German, and one from Scotland. They were going east. They took 2 days coming from my next destination, 120 miles away. They said there is a lot of tricky sand.

    7-17-13 146 miles 6464 Total

    I saw Jimmy from Scotland loading his bike as I left this morning.
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    His group was starting late also. I went to the grocery store and bought water, apple juice, chiips, and trail mix.Then I went to get gas. I emptied my spare gas can into my tank before going to the pump. 8 pounds less to carry. It's only about 120 miles to the next stop. And I'd heard this was one of the rougher sections. Then I ate breakfast, that I just bought at the store.

    There was a little sand here and there. It was nothing like I'd heard from several people. I thought it was a relaxed ride. If the foursome I just met thought this was tough, they better not go the route I was on the last 2 days. I miss a turn and added 20 extra miles. I got to Altai and went to a phone store to get a SIM card because nobody in town had WiFi. They tried for an hour to get it to work, then gave up. They had a worker lead me to a cafe that had WiFi. It wasn't working that day. But a man at a booth said something to me. He was Spencer from Maryville Tennessee. He said I could get online at the post office. I told him I would come back to eat and talk after I sent e-mails. When I returned he was eating with 7-8 women.
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    He teaches English to them. They were all doctors, dentists and teachers. After I ate Spencer asked if I would like to stay at his house. He said I would need to sleep on the floor because he had 2 brothers(not his) from Ohio staying with him. Sounded perfect to me.
  16. Doogle

    Doogle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Ohio-Cincinnati
    The brothers Brian and Stanton do volunteer work through their church. We talked till we were too tired to talk anymore.Then I started snoring to the floor.

    The other day I half dropped my bike. After leaving Uliastai I missed a turn and did some bonus miles. When I turned around, I tried what seemed like a shortcut. After several miles I was heading to someones ger. I tried going cross country to the road I should have stayed on. Suddenly I was riding mini moguls for about 200 yards. These are a lot deeper than they look.
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    7-18-13 271 miles
    I woke up at 615. We all had coffee and toast as we talked for another several hours.
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    At 1030 I was riding through the Gobi Desert on the laundry road. Well, it was just about all washboard. Above 50 mph it smoothed out. But there were some hidden deep ditches that could end your trip if you weren't alert. I met 2 young guys from France and Denmark riding 150cc Chinese bikes. They bought them in Ulanbaatar for $800 each. They rode across Mongolia's northern route, and were going back to Ulanbaatar on the southern route.

    The camels seem to be wild. Out in the desert, loose, and nobody around. But I'm sure they belong to somebody.
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    Taking a break in the desert.
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    Vultures taking a break in the desert.
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    There are a lot of yaks in the road too.
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    I got to Khovd at 6pm. I went to 3 hotels and found no WiFi.I met an east bound biker, Sedat, from Turkey. We exchanged information for a while. I decided to stay at the hotel he was in even though their WiFi wasn't working. When I looked at the room and found the water wouldn't be on till 8pm, I was done with them. I'll ride to Olgii- 130 miles. Maybe they'll have WiFi. 38 miles down the road a bridge is missing. And the water is quite deep and fast. I put my tent up and fought with mosquitoes for a while.


    We'll see what options we have tomorrow.
  17. Doogle

    Doogle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Ohio-Cincinnati
    7-19-13 196 miles 6981 total
    I got up a little after 6. I had everything packed except my tent. A van with 8 people in it pulled up. He wanted to know how to cross the river. I don't know. He made a phone call and motioned me to follow. We followed a trail about 2 miles north to a new looking bridge. That was easy.

    After putting on warmer clothes I passed the van, and didn't see another vehicle for 70 miles. I passed a car and 2 motorcycles a little before the border. The car and motorcycle were together. 5 people from Poland. We talked for about an hour at the border.

    The last 100 miles in Mongolia were the most scenic I've seen in their country. And in Russia it gets better. Snow capped mountains. I finally couldn't out run a rain storm. But at least it was while I was on paved road.

    Here are a few pictures I took today.
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    Taking my gas tank off at the Russian border. I was fishing my gas cap seal out. Don't ask what it was doing in there.
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  18. Mititoyo

    Mititoyo Banned

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    Jul 18, 2013
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    2

    Does that happen to be an ATK in the left background?
  19. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair

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    Wellington, New Zealand
    No Yamaha TTR 250
  20. Mititoyo

    Mititoyo Banned

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    Jul 18, 2013
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    Ok, I am on a really small screen. It would be amazing if it were an ATK