Sibirsky Extreme 2012 - The Toughest Ride of Them All

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

  1. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Well the guards at the Olyokma are friendly ... the guys at Kuanda are not.

    Vitim Bridge is 570 metres, Olyokma 380.
  2. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    We rode through some pretty countryside

    [​IMG]
    (pic courtesy of Steve)

    ... before reaching the Chara river bridge, on the outskirts of Chara. For some, its the Gnarliest bridge on the western BAM. Personally I dont mind it. Its 270 metres long, very rough surface, no edges and you have to ride along a raised ridge of 3 sleeper widths. But for me, my issue with the Vitim Bridge is its height. I dont feel good about the exposed height at all.

    The Chara bridge by comparison, is normal bridge height. Maybe 20 feet (6 metres) above the ground / water. Most of the bridge is over ground that floods in season, but is usually just ground. Sure, care and precision is still essential, and a mistake can mean the end of your trip, but somehow for me, the lack of that 15 metre (50 foot) drop makes it feel tame in comparison.

    Check out the exposed nails and stuff on the left side of the bridge.

    [​IMG]

    EtronX and I rode over ... but the other guys were having issues ... so EtronX (whose confidence had been sky high ever since the Vitim Bridge) went back and volunteered to ride Terry's bike over. Bongo accepted faster than you can say - "oi, get me a truck".

    [​IMG]

    EtronX had his helmet cam running at the time ... so this is his first crossing (first of three):

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/pWGaxUwW2VQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  3. cgvaughan

    cgvaughan n00b

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    Hello all - I was one of the travelers with the kudu team in 2012. Its great to find this site and incredible we were only a few days ahead of you and didnt know. thought i would put my 2 cents in about our trip. We also got stopped at the Kuanda bridge and there was no way that guy was letting us across. So we had to go back and arrange for a train float thing to get all our bikes from Kuanda to the next station past the bridge. Anyway, although we lost a few days at Kuanda, the stay in Kuanda turned out to be a highlight actually, everyone was so friendly and helpful. Had a great time.

    I did put together a video of the trip - here it is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdmC3QxSzbg

    I also did a quick write up of my experience with Kudu: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/ride-tales/bam-road-bones-kudu-expeditions-65523

    I dont want to send readers to another site etc, but a quick summary is that overall, it was a dream come true. For me, there was no way i was going to be able to do this by myself unsupported - kids, family, work - so i only had a small window of 4-5 weeks. So, i paid Kudu some cash, turned up in Mongolia and away i went. The logistics were all taken care of so I just had to focus on getting myself to Magadan, via the BAM and ROB in one piece. Definitely hard work and a grind for a lot of the days, but was outstanding!

    Highly recommend it to anyone! Outstanding trip!
  4. stemic01

    stemic01 Steve Royset

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    Smiling:
    What is there not to be happy about? Here I am with a great bunch of people, do something I really like and fullfilling one of my dreams! There would not be a smile on my face on all the railroad bridges which were quite stressfull for me.

    Rest of the trip:
    I have been thinking of writing a ride report from the whole trip, but did think it was not that interesting. But if it is like that people think it is interesting I might just do that.
  5. SunnyJH

    SunnyJH iADV

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    Please do that! And thank you all for this fantastic report. :clap

    Steve, one more question: what jacket and trousers are you wearing? And how did you like them?
  6. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    It might have been your video I linked to on page 219 ... it was one of the Kudu guys.
  7. stemic01

    stemic01 Steve Royset

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    I was wearing the Touratech Companero suite for this part of the trip. I kind of like it, but I might prefer the KLIM badlands for this kind of trip due to less components to drag around. But the suite worked out very well and seems to be well engineered and well made. The main advantages of this suite is that you have a two layer system. The first layer is the "summer suite" which you put on first. This also contain all the protection, several pockets and is made with sections of very breathable materials. This actually makes it a bit too cold when it gets below 20'C which tells you how efficient this ventilation is. Thumbs up for ventilation on the hot days! When it gets cold or rainy you put on the second layer Goretex suit. This gives you good protection and this part of the suit can be zipped/buttoned to the inner part of the suite if you want it to act more like one unit. What I don't like too much is that most of the time I would drive with the summer suite only which is nice, but the problem is that you than have to store the goretex suite somewhere. Remember - you want to travel as light as possible and you might not have the extra space it takes to store the goretex part of it on your bike. If you need to wear the both layers with the goretex on a warm and rainy day I guess it will be quite warm and damp on the inside.
    KLIM: I also have a KLIM Badlands suite which I like too. The klim is a Goretex suite with large ventilation. Main advantage is that it is a one unit suit and you don't have to transport the outer part of the suite, and if it starts to rain you don't need to stop to put on a extra layer. You just close a couple of zippers and you are waterproof and fine. The quality of the KLIM feels very good. The disadvantage on the KLIM is that in low-speed scenarios on a warm day - it can get too damp and hot inside the suit. Especially if you get stuck in traffic in a city on a warm day on red lights and slow traffic it can be very warm. I bought a cool west to put inside my KLIM which turned out to be a perfect combination.
    I feel that the protection on the KLIM trousers were a little bit "too loose" and it felt like they could move out of place in case of an accident. I would like the knee and hip pads placement to be customizable and also how "tight" you want them to stay in place. The protection on the touretech seems to be more adjustable and you could tighten it to stay more in place. Maybe it is not a problem.

    If I'd were about to do the same trip again I guess my choice would be the KLIM suite - due to less hazzle with fewer parts, more user friendly regarding rain and less to carry around and pack down.

    PS! I would like the manufacturers to make trousers with more adjustments or better belts to keep'em in the right place. I lost some weight and ended up using a touratech strap around my waist to keep the trousers on. I guess a set of suspenders would have been a better solution. You take what you got :)


    The rest of our team had other gear than me and I guess they all have opinions about it and what they prefer. Walter and Terry riding the KLIM suits, Erik and Geir riding the BMW Rallye suit. How did your gear hold up guys?

    *************
    That said - Please don't turn into another long off-topic discussion about riding gear and what is better or worse - there should be many threads in the forum about riding gear. Guess there are as many opinions as riders :)
  8. lipsee

    lipsee Been here awhile

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    ""I guess a set of suspenders would have been a better solution. You take what you got :)"""" Whatever floats your boat!!!!!!
  9. SunnyJH

    SunnyJH iADV

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    Thank you Steve! That was exactly the info I was looking for.

    Now - as you said - back to the ride report: F5, F5. F5 :deal
  10. Pamirski

    Pamirski Adventurer

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    When I would have to name the most beautiful spot on BAM, I would choose the region of the Leprindo lakes and the Kodar mountains. It is really awful, if you have the right weather there.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    btw, I think there is a video of Iker on the Kuanda bridge. Yeha
  11. Sroz

    Sroz Adventurer

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    The scenery in Siberia is simply amazing. Coming from a state in Australia (South Australia) where it's 65% arid or desert it really is an amazing contrast. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to write your trip up:clap
  12. K88

    K88 Adventurer

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    Link doubled up - try this.

    PS: Can anyone provide a translation of what Iker is saying when he crosses these bridges? Please?
  13. Tony P

    Tony P Doddery Old Fart

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    "OK, Colebatch - beat that!"
  14. EtronX

    EtronX Been here awhile

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  15. Bluesjammer

    Bluesjammer Adventurer

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    Steve, are using a touch of HDR in your archive photos? They look fantastic!!

    Steve
  16. stemic01

    stemic01 Steve Royset

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    Thanks a lot Bluesjammer! No HDR - just shooting in plain RAW with a Canon SLR to get maximum details out of it and a quick brightness and contrast adjustment before saving for web.
  17. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Alright, in all serious, THAT says something about this bridge:eek1
  18. K88

    K88 Adventurer

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    At one point I thought I heard him say "Bongo" ... but I may have been mistaken.
  19. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    Wow! That Vid of the big KTM with metal bags really gave more meaning to when Tony had to duck into that little side slot to avoid that train. Good thing he didn't have his metal bags on at the time. WoW!
  20. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Yes ... he may be one of the rare lucky ones ... like you. Seems no guards around for his crossing. Changing of the shift perhaps?

    Thats not the usual story.