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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Oct 18, 2012.
That's a brilliant teaser EtronX, very professional.
I really enjoyed Long Way Round (Long Way Down, not so much), but this is the real deal. I've been trolling, but I'm becoming more and more envious of Walter, Terry and their rotating crew. What a great adventure. Thank you so much!
Such an exciting and interesting expedition - very hard core.
Thank God you neglected to
mention the war.
Spied Terry and you boys in the back of a truck, can we assume that Terry convinced all of you to ride in a truck for some more shallow water crossings just like he did to Rod ?
Epic report and Trip Gents and Lady !!
It would seem that Terry is the real stayer - after he didn't take a trip halfway through for "parts".
Yes, you often find this question asked. I usually also rather than saying what motorcycle costs (with all modifications it has) i explained something like i dont really know how much it is, it is old bike, 14 years old but its very reliable and works well Russia and easy to fix (when i had Africa Twin) etc. When people heard bike age it satisfied their curiosity. I suppose people with BMW has much more explaining to do.
eXCactly,keep it coming.We cant wait.
I wouldnt call it HALFWAY... I believe he spent MOST of the trip miles-wise looking for parts.
Just count the miles to London and back...
Pretty but correct and spot on information. I just had a chat of norwergian guy in Tallinn some time ago (using english language naturally) and he and i am sure most of the people felt that European Union has affected to nordic contries actions. There used to be pretty strong nordic union movement among Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.
I speak at some level swedish, i am native finnish speaker and i wish to speak to danish or norwegian i use english. I could probably try to speak swedish and get understood somehow. Average finns speak very little swedish because of many things which would be topic for another discussion. Recent years russian language has become more and more poular language to learn in Finland expecially in eastern parts of Finland because there are lot of visitors from Russia. I live in central Finland and i hear more often in busses and in city russian spoken than i hear swedish language. I dont even remember when was last time i heard anyone speaking swedish in city but russian language i am certain i can hear every day i visit city or go to shop.
Does anybody care to put up a list of thing he took to this trip?
Second question is to XC pilots: why did you choose the KTM rally fairing over the touratech one and do you think the XL x-tank is needed for rideing in russia?
To: walter, like you say you did the track with google, how did you know that the rivers it crossed could be done on a bike?
In one camping picture I saw GS1200, who is rideing it?
there was a truck crossing ... this time it was justified. I tried to walk the river ... it was chest deep and fast flowing, and I was swept downstream a few times for 5-10 metres before abandoning hope of even walking across it.
It was a 6wd Kamaz and not a bongo.
The KTM fairing and subframe are lighter than the TT one, notably more aerodynamic (better wind protection despite being smaller), and it looks better.
A list of stuff we took? Including tools and spares? (bike stuff) or are you just talking living stuff ... clothes/electronics/camping gear?
You dont know rivers can be crossed 100% until to try to cross them. But a good clue is well tracked tracks either side of the river that go into it and come out the other side. At least then you know trucks cross it. Probably 4wds too ... so even if its too deep to ride, then all you have to do is find a truck nearby. A good example would be one of the crossings Terry and I did in stage 1, in the Ural mountains ... cut n paste these co-ords into google earth (or google maps) and you will see tracks entering the water, tracks leaving the water and the lighter colour of the riverbed where vehicles crossing have dislodged dark matter on the riverbed. 51.81572,57.50076
The 1200 belonged to Jacob the Israeli guy, who rode with the Norwegians along the trans siberian highway from Taishet to Irkutsk, Its a section of the highway thats about 95% asphalt, and they are asphalting the remaining 5% as we speak. He continued along the Trans Siberian highway to Vladivostok.
I went to pick my bike up from the bike shop. A few things still were waiting to be done to it. Geir and Terry came with me. Geir wanted some things done to his bike (cant remember what) and Terry was collecting his stage 3 tyres. Terry and I decided our existing tyres were ok, so we wouldnt fit the new knobbly rubber just yet. We would carry them for a couple of days and fit them once we reached the BAM. Unfortunately, we couldnt get the rubber we wanted so both had to settle for some Heidenau K79 (fronts) and K69 (rears).
I spent most of my time talking to the mechanics, going over my checklist of things I had to get done. Terry and Geir were chatting up Ice Cream ladies in the nearby shopping mall.
Earlier that morning, before Geir and I had woken up (following our late night chat) Terry had spoken to Steve and guffawed loudly at Steves luggage, before passing on some fatherly advice. Steve, remember, was on his first ever bike trip. And as always on a first trip (and even often on subsequent trips) the rider had packed too much luggage. Terry had loads of trips under his belt and packs ultralight - so if Steve was going to try the BAM, he was going to have to lighten his load. So while Terry, Geir and I were collecting bikes, tyres and taking photos with ice cream girls, Steve and Erik were stripping down Steve's luggage and going to the post office to send it back to Norway. I think they sent back about 10 kgs. (come in Steve, Erik ...?)
Once all was done, we met up and headed out of town to try and find a bikers festival that was supposedly kicking off tonight. Russian bikers festivals are often highly fotogenic occasions. The plan was to camp the night there and head off tomorrow to Olkhon Island on Lake Baikal.
Can one feel this excited about somebody else's trip starting, you better believe it. Enjoy !
As Walter said, we had a long talk that night. I was delighted that he wanted us along on the trip. We were now back on track It would be Magadan after all, or we would at least give it our best effort
We had one concern though riding with Terry and Walter. They are known to ride hard and fast. Would we be able to keep up or would we slow them down and be a burden rather than an asset. We decided to give it a go. We knew the route and we could start of early in the morning. That would give us a head start in case we had problems keeping up.
We started the day of with a nice breakfast provided by Nina.
After breakfast Erik and Steve started trimming down Steve's equipment. Note to self: DHL wants a very detailed list of all you ship home. Down to a paper clip :eek1
On my ride down to Irkutsk I had felt a slight sweet spot in my steering. Barley noticeable, but still there around center position. This was rather annoying. Especially since I had just replaced both steering bearings in Krasnoyarsk. I wanted to get this checked out before we started the BAM. Since Walter had his bike in a local shop I joined Walter and Terry going over. Walter's bike was ready and the mechanic had time to look at my bike. Nothing wrong was found, but he greased the bearings properly and put everything together. Hopefully the bearings would last...
After a fairly long day doing admin stuff we said our goodbyes to Jacob headed out. The Sibersky Extreme and Trans Sibir eXpedition 2012 had joined forces. Nothing could stop us now
Todays destination was the Baikal Bikers Festival. It was Friday and the festival should start today. We had heard a lot about Russian biker festivals This could be fun Walter had the coordinates from last years festival. We set of towards the west side of the Baikal Sea. It was only a 90 k's ride and we arrived the camping site at around 2100 in the evening. Not to many people there. A couple of families camping and swimming. They all left after a while. Slowly it dawned on us that this might not be the right place after all In the end it was only us and a Lada Niva with three young Russian couples. Someone mumbled that they had heard something about the festival being on the east side of the sea this year. Well too f****ing late for that now
We put up our tents. Had a beer and packed it in for the night. The Russian youngsters didn't. They partied the Russian way. Disco all night. Singing. Crying. Arguing. Singing. Crying... Well you get the picture. At around 4 -5 o'clock it got silent.
I mean this one, that I'm typing.
Just wanted to thank you for sharing. Spent the last week of evenings starting at the beginning and just got caught up.
Was tempted to repost the blue truck, just to be a smartass, but decided against it.
I admire your toughness, percerverence, and perspective.
Going to try to read all your ride reports, and watch for future ones as well.
The epic continues! I'm wondering how much stuff was sent back to Norway? He certainly had a lot to choose from.
Come on Steve ... time you chimed in here ... I know you're out there somewhere. Can you give us details of what you sent back?
Hey boys. Yeah, I had far to much luggage and i think I sent back home about 10 kilos. Everything from my laptop, pacsafe security net, locks, my cooker, the extra part of the windscreen, some chargers, my soft touring boots, some clothing and some other stuff I definately could live without for the next few weeks. It would be smarter to go lighter in the first place - lesson learned. Remember that I did not rig my setup for BAM or ROB at all - I was rigged for more regular roads. I would definately rigged my setup quite different if I were about to redo the BAM and ROB parts again.