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Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, May 14, 2010.
Hmmm good question ... thats Che ... not sure what bag it was.
I need some welding done as my luggage rack got badly bent out of shape after a rescue attempt. The bike was in a stinky black bog and needed 5-6 guys heaving to get it out. It came out but the rack had a new shape to it and was missing some welds.
So Grom and I left the track and headed into a village to find a welder. The boss of the local factory took to it. We had trouble bending some bits back into shape, so they fired up the oxy torch ...only problem it was a few mm from my full fuel tank. No problem ... just jam a sheet of asbestos in there, heat up the steel, and then bend the heated steel with bare hands. Then the rack could be removed and spot welded in a bunch of places.
It was risky, but it worked, and as is typical of friendly local russians, the 2 hours of work was not charged for. It was just an interesting project for the vegetable canning factory workers.
After fixing my rack, Grom and I hit the road and caught up with the group just in time to make the evening camp.
Gelos headed down to the water and did his funky fishing thing:
Hook, line and sinker. No, not the fish, me.
Thanks for great pics and RR!
Looks like they are causing some problems in the towns:
We crossed the Volga River ... this effectively signified the sandy stages were over. All the bikes had survived and made it through without problems.
Now we were on the steppe. Hardpack:
First campsite on the steppe was near NovoUzensk... close to the Kazakhstan border. A lovely morning scene of motorcyclists waking up and breaking camp:
It's easy to see why we take pictures of our bikes and not ourselves.
Pate about to head out onto the steppe ... vast, flat, treeless terrain:
While Gelos takes a load off his mind:
Myself with Pate and Gelos:
I hate when I stumble on your RRs before they are finished, now I have to wait to see the rest of the story....
I almost tried not to click on the thread but the temptation was too big...
Despite the grass fires (I guess the Germans over-looked that ) and the dead battery, I would expect the F800s to do well, and it is great to see those bikes on a real off road challenge...
Do hurry up and make us less productive soon please...
I love your Reports Colebatch, thanks for sharing!!!
Its difficult ... I am almost permanently on the road ... so trying to put bits and pieces up when I can find some internet :) .... just in an internet cafe in Germany at the moment, so should get a few more pics uploaded!
I hate you... I am SOOOOOO jealous!
but at least I can live through you - you do us all a great service by sacrificing so and writing these reports!
The score so far ...
apart from the grass fires and dead stock battery issue with the F800s, none of the bikes had suffered any technical problems.
The KTM 690 seemed to be the quickest of the bikes so far on the terrain we were covering, slightly ahead of the XC, the 950 and the 2 F800s, which were surprising me with how quick they were performing.
I had an advantage in experience on this open steppe terrain. The Russian guys had tons of enduro and hard-enduro experience, but this steppe riding was a different ballgame. It was all speed and navigation, and that suited me just fine! Its what I had been doing most of the last 12 months, The speed was new to them, as was the idea of navigating on the move at 100 km/h
I knew they would be better than me when the going got tough, in the forests and mud of the Ural Mountains to come a few days ahead. That was the sort of the stuff they ate for breakfast, and the sort of terrain I knew would be a real handful for me.
I had to get my kicks and be at the front of the pack now, when the going was in my favour.