Sibirsky Extreme 2012 - The Toughest Ride of Them All

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,756
    Location:
    Ol' Smokie
    I love my big bike for riding here in the states and we do a lot of 2-up stuff and a ton of good gravel, occasional passable jeep tracks, but nothing like the terrain these guys are crossing...that's where I am on the KTM, alone :lol3. There is nothing wrong with the big bike if you use it for what it is good for, hauling a ton of luggage for two people or myself even, but not this trip! If you ride a lot, you will own a bunch of bikes! I do think it's incredible that they did this ride and Kudos to them!
  2. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,623
    Location:
    East Bay
    Perhaps they believed the marketing?

    In any case, my adventure bike (a wee) has never been east of the Continental Divide, and only has been on 20 miles of silt and baby head rocks. Perhaps they misjudged the ride conditions, but they are riding a bike, not a keyboard.

    Big thumbs up for even attempting a trip like that. :clap

    Excellent ride report.
  3. switchback

    switchback Eatin' Dirt Since 1982

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,485
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    Have 450s to 1200s in my garage and have to say that the Tenere is amazing for its size off road, better than my DR650 was IMHO but neither are fun in deep mud or sand. I think I would have a WR250r or a true enduro on this trip.
    Boxall likes this.
  4. CavDoc

    CavDoc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Dyrtie Myrtle, SC
    In Iraq we called trucks like this "bongo trucks" - and let me tell you, when someone said we were going hunting for a VBIED in a blue bongo truck we just shook our heads and looked at the ground! Those damn things are everywhere...

    Been following the RR for awhile, love it! Don't think my FZ6 will cut anything quite like this, but if you dream long enough eventually you'll make anything happen! :freaky
  5. sparklr

    sparklr Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    52
    If you are a true ADV rider you would ride whatever, wherever and however it takes to complete said adventure. The Alternative option is to buy the sticker for your Starbucks Adventure and quarterback from there.
    Boxall likes this.
  6. BELSTAFF

    BELSTAFF ADV NOMAD

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,863
    Location:
    Arizona--Land of the free and heavly armed
    It has always been my belief that its not what you ride it's that you ride

    That's what makes it work for me
  7. OtterChaos

    OtterChaos Guzzi Sud!

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    968
    Location:
    Grover Beach, Ca
    Great report but add me to the ones admiring the Tenere and GS riders, they were out there in Mongolia and I'm sitting here at a keyboard. I bet many a 1200cc bike has ridden across that area even if they aren't the perfect machine for the job.
  8. IceCreamSoldier

    IceCreamSoldier suffering somewhere

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    494
    Location:
    "X" cramento
    They're doing it, I'm not, and either are 98% of the people reading this. the fact that they are heavier, not led by Walter, makes their journey worthy of review. I hope they put up a ride report. Maybe, just maybe, Walter himself didn't bring the right tool to the jobsite in his early days. I have enough love in my heart for the over, exact, and under-prepared. Let's move on with the head master :lol3
  9. norseV4force

    norseV4force Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Plymouth, UK
    To be fair to the German chaps, before finding this website that's exactly the sort of bike I thought I would have to have ridden in order to do this sort of trip. Ewan and Charley have a lot to answer for.....

    Sent from my campfire using digital smoke signals.
  10. rhogus

    rhogus n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Ireland
    1200GS is the new Harley in parts of the US

    :rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl
  11. kuhjunge

    kuhjunge 3wheel enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    860
    Location:
    Earth
    This thread became my morning cheer-up - soo much fun to read - keep it coming :clap :freaky
  12. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,093
    Location:
    Schmocation
    Well I think he is dead right - except its not parts of the US, its the whole world.

    HD sales went thru the roof in the 90s as non traditional customers jumped on the brand. Many lawyers or dentists who bought a Harley were new to the brand - just wanted to add a slice of bad boy rebel to their image. Harley has ridden that boom wave for two decades. But the current trend is not to add a bit of bad boy rebel to your motorcycling image, its to add a bit of Bear Grylls wild man adventurer to the image.

    Thats the key driver behind the explosion in the adventure biking segment and why almost every major manufacturer is trying to get a piece of that action - from Honda to Ducati. Right now adventure is the hottest marketing image in motorcycling. And the 1200GS is the reigning king of that image.

    I am kinda hoping some TV producer gives me a call to open up a reality tv adventure bike building business called Colebatch County Adventure Bikes
    Boxall likes this.
  13. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,093
    Location:
    Schmocation
    To be fair to Ewan and Charley they had no idea what they were doing when they began. The only known reference points they had were Ted Simon's book Jupiter's Travels and then they bought copies of Austin Vinces Mondo Enduro and Terra Circa DVDs prior to depouarture. In any case they didn't heed the lessons you could have taken from those sources. And also to be fair to Ewan and Charley the big lessons about bike and luggage selection that you could take from Long Way Round are skipped over by most. But to me the lessons are all there in the film.

    They only had two proper off road bits in the entire trip - Mongolia and the Road of Bones - and they did not complete either of them. In Mongolia, Ewan was in tears regarding how difficult it was and how he wanted to bug out to Russia at the first opportunity. The rolled 4wd gave them that chance. On the Road of Bones, the constant picking up of heavy bikes pulled out Charleys back. That again gave them the chance to just use the trucks that were part of their escort convoy.

    In between Mongolia and the Road of Bones, they realised everything was too heavy and tried to ditch as much weight as possible.

    So for me the message is clear - despite good health, good fitness, young age, Charley being a very competent off road rider, training courses, all bike spares being carried in the trucks, the guys struggled so much off road that they were unable to complete the only two significant off road parts of the entire trip, because they were on 320 kg bikes.

    In all of the romance of the adventure and Claudios beautiful videography, that message seems to have gotten lost.
    Boxall likes this.
  14. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,176
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Hell yea, I'd watch that!!:ear! And I bet the people who STILL think HD is a pure American product will eat that show up!!!:deal


    Wonderful as usual, everyone!
    Boxall likes this.
  15. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,992
    Location:
    Fly over zone
    I got up this morning, ready to get my Sibirsky Extreme 2012 fix, noticed there were 40 new posts..:clap
    What did I find? Four pages of GS bashing, and defending.. Oh well, maybe we'll get a update tomorrow.:cry

    I'm headed for Alaska this summer, I'm not taking my XC.:D
  16. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Yorkshire and London, England
    And all, lets be absolutely clear, we were not in any way ridiculing the guys on the big bikes. They were great guys out there doing it. They certainly had our sympathy for their choice of steeds-and respect for their balls and determination.
  17. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Yorkshire and London, England
    Todays target was Altai so we finsihed our tea and set off again. We were getting low on gas and stopped in a little town to fill up-maybe one of the guys has a pic but I've none. The only fuel they had was the 80 octane margerine gunk-but I needed gas so that's what it had to be. My old 625SXC would never have tolerated fuel of such low quality but I hoped the 690 with its more modern mapping and electronics would cope. I still had quite a lot of the super zoobs stuff in the tank so maybe diluting it with the margerine wouldn't affect it too badly
    I needn't have worried, it was absolutely fine though down a little on power.
    We got to Altai City later in the afternoon and set about getting a bankomat (ATM) and somewhere to stay. A warning light for the fuel injection started flashing as it'd logged a fault due to the marge's low octane. It's still flashing now 8000miles later but at the time it unnerved me a little.

    <a href="http://s1283.beta.photobucket.com/user/rodcurrie/media/Russia2012114_zpsd3eefc36.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a555/rodcurrie/Russia2012114_zpsd3eefc36.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    Most towns of any size and even some tiny places have impressive memorials to The Great Patriotic War ( WW2) and this was no exception.
    Even though Altai was thousands of miles from the front it would have lost a fearsome proportion of its young men. The Russians lost 20 million souls in WW2 and it is still imprinted enormously on the national psyche.
    When I rode down solo to meet the guys in the Altai region (not the town), on the morning I met them in Aktash I passed a tiny town with a haunting carved memorial with sobbing female masks and arms upraised in desperate sorrow. It was a town of amaybe a hundred households, and there were dozens and dozens of names of the fallen inscribed. I didn't get a pic but it haunts me still.
    How lucky are we?
  18. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Yorkshire and London, England
    We found a hotel and started to unload the gear and hump it inside. A couple of the local kids appeared and did that thing all wee boys do-admiring the bikes and scooting round on their own bikes to impress us. P decided he would ride something lighter for the rest of the trip and is just about to test ride his new beemer.

    <a href="http://s1283.beta.photobucket.com/user/rodcurrie/media/Russia2012116_zpse5e8a247.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a555/rodcurrie/Russia2012116_zpse5e8a247.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    Hey... great wheels P!

    Meanwhile the kid who'd traded down to P's heavy old lump was about to put it through its paces

    <a href="http://s1283.beta.photobucket.com/user/rodcurrie/media/Russia2012118_zps2932018e.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a555/rodcurrie/Russia2012118_zps2932018e.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    In the end the kid decided to keep his own bike and P just had to soldier on with his Bavarian iron.
  19. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Yorkshire and London, England
    Here's the view from the hotel window.

    <a href="http://s1283.beta.photobucket.com/user/rodcurrie/media/Russia2012119_zps1b902eb6.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a555/rodcurrie/Russia2012119_zps1b902eb6.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    Paris it ain't ....but if it wuz we wouldn't be here!

    We got our gear in and washed some gear through. Ever since the first soaking way back in Kaz my boots had smelled like a cat had pissed in them-so the socks were likewise eye-wateringly minging :cry so it was a harrowing experience for anyone passing the room.

    The hotel had a restaurant so P (I think) talked to the lady who ran it and asked her if she would do us dinner-she confirmed that'd be fine so we wandered down at 7-ish and scored a beer whilst we waited. There was a large family of Mongolians in the resto too, and whilst we were waiting an animated conversation passed between these guys and resto-lady.
    Then without warning they all just got up and walked out. WTF?

    We got the menus and they read something like this in Russian with an English translation below.

    1) Mutton with rice
    2) Mutton with buckwheat
    3) Mutton without rice
    4) Rice
    5) Buckwheat
    6) Mutton with feck all

    You get the idea .....Mong cuisine still has some way to go...

    We picked through the other somewhat limited choices ( I know its all part of the experience so please don't chime in accusing me of being a spoiled westerner) and managed to get something -maybe omelettes but I can't remember-we could enjoy and it was surprisingly good
  20. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    473
    Location:
    Yorkshire and London, England
    We'd managed to score some secure parking for the bikes just a few yards away and this tough wee youth was guarding them too. He had a dog with him and was sleeping in a hut just inside the yard.
    I seem to remember he was an orphan whose uncle was looking after him and this was part of the deal. The kid looked like something from Dickensian times, dirty and thin, and our hearts went out to him
    Next morning when we went to collect the bikes we gave him a good tip-I know it's nothing but what else can you do?

    We left town and the sun was up. This was the new road out of town and was the last pic taken with my trusty Nikon that I've bounced all round the world. I didn't have the loop round my wrist and when I went to put the camera back in my jacket breast pocket the loop snagged on something and the camera fell into the road at 60mph and disintegrated...aaaagh!

    <a href="http://s1283.beta.photobucket.com/user/rodcurrie/media/Russia2012120_zps078e3f67.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a555/rodcurrie/Russia2012120_zps078e3f67.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>