The Anabar Road and Vilyuisky Trakt

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    #1
  2. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    We left off with Tony and I in Kyzyl, the capital of the Tuvan Republic.

    From there is was a leisurely ride north for two days to get to the big smoke, Krasnoyarsk. Probably the most progressive, modern city in all of Siberia.

    We were met on the outskirts of Krasnoyarsk by Dima, a lawyer there and Adventure biker. He was about to head to Tuva himself on his WR ... and later in the summer would go to Mongolia.

    Dima took us straight to the James Shark Pub ... an English pub type establishment in the centre of town where a decent steak, fish n chips and Guinness on tap was available.

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    #2
  3. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Krasnoyarsk has the only BMW Motorrad dealer in Russia to the east of the Ural mountains, so Tony and I decided to pop in for a electronic diagnostic check.

    As you would expect from a BMW dealership, the facilities were spotless. I hadnt seen such plush toilet facilites since Moscow.

    As for the diagnostics, the bikes were in perfect shape, Nothing more was needed than some contact spray on a few of the electrical connections.

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    #3
  4. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Then it was off to Zhenya, a good friend of Dima and one of the top off-road Mechanics in Siberia. We (Tony in particular) had list of things we wanted changed or fixed on the bikes, and it was Zhenya and his team who would do all the mods.

    I needed my forks serviced, and steering head bearings changed - Tony needed a few bits manufactured, including a beak extender for his Dakar, and extensive modification, strengthening and repair to his surprisingly weak metal mule luggage racks.

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  5. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    We're always up to seeing more of your epic Siberian adventure!! :clap

    :lurk
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  6. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Dima took us to visit another mate of his, a bike restorer. Mikhail Shestakov doesnt just restore normal motorcycles ... unless it was involved in WWII, then he isnt interested.

    He takes a pile of bits like this:
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    and turns it into this: (fully working Afrika Korps Zundapp).
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    And then there was a US Harley from the Western European theatre ... note the chain drive.
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    There were almost a dozen other bikes ... BMWs, british bikes, russian bikes, german bikes. Everything was either sourced from other similar enthusiasts in Russia and Germany or new parts made. Mikhail was working on some bolts when we arrived to visit ... the makers stamp on the bolt heads was all being replicated too.

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  7. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Krasnoyarsk was not just a source of good bike mechanics and restorers, as mentioned earlier, its probably the most progressive, modern city in Siberia. We stopped for lunch at a huge modern mall, complete with indoor palm trees. I revelled in the 3G phone coverage, and we soaked up this island of civilisation in our route through remote regions.

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    #7
  8. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    This good stuff just keeps coming. Thanks for taking the time to post it up:clap
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  9. RedWolf

    RedWolf Corporate Zombie

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    Excellent!!! I was afraid I was going to go cold turkey from your Moto-porn that I have become so addicted to. :clap

    Thanks for bringing us along with such fantastic commentary. (And of course the porn, can't forget the porn!)
    #9
  10. Thorne

    Thorne Sherpa-ing around

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    :clap:clap:clap
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  11. East Coast Rider

    East Coast Rider Just Me...

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    The more I read about the XChallenge, the more I like it! With the aux fuel tank you have mounted on the right side, what kind of range did you get? Does it handle oddly with the aux tank full?
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  12. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    525km - 315 miles ... I have a 12 litre tank on the side rather than the standard 7 litre X-tank. No it doesnt handle oddly. I balanced the weight with the heavier side bag on the left side of the bike. Whether the tank was full or empty tho I was unable to tell any difference in terms of sides being unbalanced
    #12
  13. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    The we hit the Trans-Siberian Highway for 1150km (2 days) to get from Krasnoyarsk to Irkutsk.

    Its one of the worst sections of highway. Irkutsk and the Irkutsk region are notably poorer and more backward than Krasnoyarsk. While most Russian cities have moved on since the dark old days of the 1990s, Irkutsk still seems mired in them. Local governments seem too spend no money on repaving roads, beautifying the city et al. While organised crime in general has been heavily quashed under the Putin regime, in Irkutsk rumour has it that organised crime is still quite active.

    With it being one of the worst stretches of highway on the whole Trans-Siberian, its hardly surprising that we saw a lot of this:
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    #13
  14. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Tony and I stopped at a Motel half way between Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk for the night and woke up the next morning to see this ...

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    3 poles and a Greek riding 3 1200GSs and 1 Africa Twin heading for Mongolia. They were worried about handling all the off-road in Mongolia, as they were struggling with the short stretches of non-asphalt road on the Trans-Siberian Highway. They had very little off road experience ... I advised them they should be fine! One way to get a lot of off road experience quickly, is to go to Mongolia. They may be inexperienced when they arrive, but they will be considerably more experienced by the time they leave Mongolia! :thumb
    #14
  15. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Note ... in the picture above, behind the green truck there is a GAZ71 ... the tracked vehicle we saw quite a bit of in the remote parts of Siberia ... only the one in the picture was being towed along the main highway so has been converted to wheels for the transit
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  16. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    If the truth be told, the M53 highway is pretty damn boring. For Tony and myself it was just a ferry stage, to get us from Krasnoyarsk to Irkutsk - the staging post for the next bit of adventure.

    There was however one bit of excitement to be had along this bit of the Trans Siberian Highway. 15 summers earlier, when I had passed through this way with my buddy James Mudie on the Tokyo to London Project, James had lost a rear wheel bearing in the tiny village of Sheragul. The village policeman, a young 23 year old called Zhenya, looked after our bikes while we took a train to Irkutsk, then waited a month for Honda to send us some spare parts. We had built up quite a bond with Zhenya, as he also looked after us for a couple of days on our return to the bikes. He was about our age and a very nice guy.

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    When Tony and I passed through Sheragul, I asked around town in an effort to find Zhenya and surprise him.

    Zhenya is no longer a policeman but a local entrepreneur, with a young family. He wasnt at home when we arrived at his house, but his wife was. She took one look at me and knew immediately who I was, without me saying a word. Zhenya had regaled her with tales about the two Australian bikers who passed through back in 1994.

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    #16
  17. ennebigi

    ennebigi Adventurer

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    [quote =] Colebatch Nota ... NELLA foto sopra, Dietro Il C'E verde camion delle Nazioni Unite GAZ71 ... Il Po mezzo cingolato SI e delle Nazioni Unite Visto 'di particelle Nelle remote della Siberia ... quella NELLA solo foto e Stato trainato Lungo La Strada Principale in Modo e Stata convertita uno ruote per Il transito [/ quote]


    Complimenti per Il Tuo rapporto, forse per me รจ l'unica OCCASIONE per vedere questi Luoghi.:1drink
    #17
  18. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Then it was on to Irkutsk, and the Baik-Konur club house of the Baik-al bikers club.

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    This place is the pet project of head honcho of the club, Stas:
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    It has a bar, with beer on tap, cafe menu, place for live music, and chromed floor to ceiling dancing pole (sadly we didnt see it in use), accommodation facilities upstairs for travelling bikers, washing machine ...

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    Some of the bar staff were unfeasibly flexible:
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    #18
  19. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    :lol3 True to form.



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  20. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    There were 3 other foreign bikers staying in the accommodation upstairs when we arrived:

    Andreas Hulsmann, a well known German moto journalist:
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    Claudia, his biking girlfriend;
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    And Hannes, a Finnish biker waiting for a new shock to be shipped out for his Africa Twin ... which had broken down 500km up the highway.
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    #20