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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    After a couple of hours on the trails, we cut back to the asphalt road at a town to grab some lunch. Usual story. Waitresses either wanted to sit on the bikes or pose for photos with us.

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    After lunch we were back on the trails for the final 2 hours into Astana.

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    But the wildness and remoteness was gone. We always felt we were close to civilisation ... the romance of the fisrt third of this trail was coming to its end ...

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    We encountered stuff like other traffic !

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    Infrastructure that wasnt out of date ...

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    And even brand new VW Polos ...

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    It all meant we were approaching the outskirts of Astana
  2. ROD CURRIE

    ROD CURRIE Been here awhile

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    I second what Walter said. The further east you go, if you're on a bike ( but only one bigger than a local 150cc 2stroke) you truly are the coolest thing on God's earth and all the guys are delighted to make your acquaintance. In Kazakhstan and Mongolia almost every vehicle coming towards you will be a mass of waving arms, flashing lights and honking horns. It actually gets a little tedious. In Russia they're a little "cooler" but they'll pull up alongside you making the "peace" fingers or giving you a thumbs up. Near the Volga a car load of girls pulled up beside me waving and hooting . Doubtless they were disappointed that the guy riding the bike looked more like the old and decrepit Dennis Hopper rather than the young and cool Peter Fonda :waysad but they were too polite to show it.
    In Britain you get the finger Ok...but usually just the one.:lol3
  3. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    And 30 km before Astana, the trails stopped. New satellite towns were springing up in our path. We joined the highway for the last 20 minutes into town.

    The highway was being doubled up ... a kind of motorway fantasy for the residents ...

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    Then we came to the traffic police checkpoint ... every major Russian or Kazakh city has these on the entrance and exit to cities ... traffic slows down to 20 km/h and the cops make decisions who they will wave on into town and who has to stop to have their papers and vehicle inspected.

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    Now we were in Astana, and our hotel was in the outer western suburbs. Turning off the highway in into the burbs puts you in touch will real life ... away from the glossyness of the centre of town (and the centre of Astana is very glossy indeed). Here a woman hand pumps water from a well.

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    The main street on the suburb - people waiting outside a shop for a bus.

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    And on the banks of the river that runs through Astana, we found our hotel. It had a kinda sandy beach backing onto the river and many locals would pay to use the beach during the day and evening.

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    This was our home for the next week.

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  4. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Another guy I had spoken to about this Sibirsky Extreme Trail idea back in 2011 was Rod Currie. He is a UK rider with a extensive pedigree. It was Rod who had introduced Rick to the group. Rod, like Rick, was a veteran of the TAT and CDT in the States and countless other dual sports adventures.

    We had numerous mutual friends in UK adventure riding circles and finally met up in a London pub after I had been amazed by the feats of Rod and others on the Salt and Gold expedition (theres a RR on here by Pyndon as well as a entertaining DVD). Over a few glasses of red wine I had told Rod what my plan was, and like Terry, his immediate reaction was "count me in".

    Sadly, work commitments meant it was going to be tough for Rod to commit to the whole 3 month ride, but over time, logistical solutions opened up, enabling Rod to do the middle third of the trip. Now he was flying into Astana, his bike on a Polish motorcycle trailer.

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    Rod was riding a KTM 690 (2008) that he detailed a few pages back.

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  5. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Welcome on board Rod... now it's triple the fun! And thank you for the continued updates and pics. :thumb
  6. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Also flying into Astana, and also with their bikes on board Sambor's trailer, was an enthusiastic couple from Holland, Prutser and Beemster.

    I had known Prutser for 3 years. He was a good friend and mechanically very savvy. I had often talked about him joining on one of my rides, but never thought he would get the time off work. This time, when I suggested it to him in late 2011, he said yes - he would do the middle third of the trip - as long as his girlfriend Beemster can come too. I said it sounded like a great idea.

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    And so a man with 12 BMW airhead boxers, began building up a special off road, stripped down, lightened airhead, to do this ride on. He went into training at his local motocross track, not on lightweight motocross bikes, but on one of his BMW boxers, to get himself used to throwing the bike around. Beemster too was down at the motocross track for months, throwing herself around the track in a BMW G650 X-Country that was being modified for the job.

    I will leave it to Prutser and Beemster to fill you in on what was done to prep their bikes for the ride.

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    For luggage, Prutser (below) was using the Steel Pony Gascoyne pannier, plus a small roll bag on the back, and a way too big tank bag !. He also had these cool small easy access bags that sat right above each cylinder. Beemster (above) had the Adventure-Spec Magadan panniers, a small roll bag,and the Giant Loop Fandango tank bag - basically identical luggage to my set up.

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  7. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    interesting G/S setup .. wonder why he didn't go with larger fuel tank?
  8. rgiroux

    rgiroux Invisible Man

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    How fortuitious for Walter to end up in a motel, right by a beach. Coincidence? (waiting for pics....................)
  9. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    End of Stage 1 ... Europe to Astana - 8600 km from London and 6400 km (4000 miles) since the start of the Trail ... from Mostyska on the Poland - Ukraine border

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  10. Corkonian

    Corkonian Been here awhile

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    Looking at those pics of wide open steppe and the grain silos has me thinking that it wouldn't be much fun around harvest time - dodging combines and slow moving tractors.
    When is the harvest Walter - August/September?
  11. mikecbrxx

    mikecbrxx Been here awhile

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    There is a 'home' built custom aux fuel tank under the seat.....
  12. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    any idea why? industry? I can't get over the expanse when you look at a global map China and the US are about the same size.

    When you look at Russia it's just a tad bigger. :huh

    Like huge. Talk about undeveloped land. How much grain can they grow/sell from out of there it must make the US grain fields of Kansas look like a back yard garden.

    fascinating glimpse thanks so much for taking the time to post all of this I for one find "boring" places usually somewhat interesting.
  13. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    I kind of figured that but just had to ask. Really make's riding in the US seem like a joke for the most part you're never too far from gas, hotels, tow trucks, etc etc etc compared to where this is and if I'm looking at the global maps right he's still in the "populated" area's. :eek1

    awesome trip and report as are all of his. :deal
  14. Prutser

    Prutser Long timer

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    There is an extra fuel tank under the seat. Before this ST I had a R100GS and felt it was top heavy.
    Thats why I sold the 100GS and re-build this ST with a lower center of gravity.
    All together I have 24 liter and never had a problem during this trip.

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  15. trailtosakhalin

    trailtosakhalin Adventurer

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    Looks good. Nice job :-)
  16. Prutser

    Prutser Long timer

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    Thanks for the introduction Walter,

    Great report ! And nice to see what we missed before Astana.

    Our bikes had some modifications.
    But more or less the same sort of things as Walter and Terry's bike.

    Things like :
    Extra fuel storage, bash plate, racks for soft luggage, some suspension upgrades, handle bar risers, stronger rims (exel)
    and loads of other small details.

    But I believe this post is in the RR section so I won't bother you all with bike build stuff.

    The training Walter mentioned was not specially for this trip. It's one of the few ways to enjoy off road riding here in The Netherlands. There is simply not enough space or too many rules for off road riding here !!!

    That's why this trip was so great, to be free to go where ever you like without someone bothering you :clap
  17. Tony P

    Tony P Doddery Old Fart

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    Moscow R&R Control here!

    Now we have seen 4 faces and 5 motos that I spent time with as they returned through here over the weeks and months ahead, in various stages of disrepair (the motos - not the faces!).

    Knowing more of the coming terrain. I am interested to see how it has changed.

    I am as hooked as everyone and wishing more than them that I had been on this one ....

    Keep it flowing.
  18. Gale B.T.

    Gale B.T. Long timer

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    Next time Tony , you will be on the next one I am sure.:D

    gale
  19. MTrider16

    MTrider16 Ridin' in MT

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    Hmm... Rob Currie, I think I saw him on the trip to Timbuktu with Pyndon. Salt and Gold right? Kinda famous entourage Walter. :lol3

    David
  20. TEWSTER2

    TEWSTER2 Long timer

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    I was told that an emergency flair gun is legal to carry anywhere in the world. I guess a bad guy would be quiet concerned if that big barrel was pointed at him!