The Eastern Trail Nirvana - BE to Central Asia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by OldManJoris, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Twinmike

    Twinmike Grandpa

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    which dashboard holder are this
    thank you in advance for the answer
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  2. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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  3. Twinmike

    Twinmike Grandpa

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    a shop in Europa would be better to make a order from Austria
  4. TaZ9

    TaZ9 Been here awhile

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    Just found this ride report, and finally finished it after sitting/standing at my desk for the past several hours.
    I've been a member here for almost 10 years and have to say your inspiring photos and perfectly written account of this amazing journey is one of the very best I have read.

    The fact that you picked a 1996 DR650 as your bike of choice was also an added plus, as I am a big fan of the DR650. I live in Colorado and have ridden all over the Southwestern United States for many years, and have found the simplicity and reliablity of DR650 to be the perfect bike for my adventure travels.

    I have some guestions about the setup of your bike. What was the milage on the DR when you bought it and started your trip? What gearing were you running? Did you use some type of pannier rack or support for the bags, and how well did they work for your needs.

    Thanks again for for sharing your adventure.

    Ride safe,

    Taz9
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  5. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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  6. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    Thanks Taz9, always nice to hear the RR is being appreciated.

    The DR is indeed a magical machine in its simplicity. On top of that, the old one (like yours) is purple. You can't really argue with the fact that it's the most sexy colour for a frame :).
    I had the pleasure to own other bikes, and still ride big bikes now and then. This DR is the only one i ever rode where you can actually understand the bike by listening to it and feeling it. Wonderful machine, cheap in every way and oh so reliable. I'll never sell it, and will keep on using it for future travels. So far, i haven't found a disadvantage using it. Still riding it today, in the mud in European winter scenery and it doesn't skip a beat.

    To your questions:
    - I bought the bike with 22000Km (15000 miles) on the clock. The previous owner used it as a bike-for-show, to drive around the town center, so it was in decent shape. When i started the trip, it had another 2000km extra on the clock, only for test rides during and after the rebuild. Of course, all crucial parts (suspension, drive train, bearings, ..) had been replaced right before the trip started, as well a complete rebuild of fuel intake (carb, top end) and exhaust (new muffler, weld grinding, ...) and other well known problem areas (countershaft, NSU, ...). That's another great feature of this bike, it's so well documented how to get the best out of it, as the design is unchanged for 20 years.
    - Gearing: At the rear is used standard sprocket size. Front was 15 tooth at the start and i carried 14 tooth as spare with the plan to mount it at the start of the sand trails, or whenever needed. But there wasn't a need for it, the 15 tooth worked just fine in any circumstance. Spare sprockets were attached to the bike, below the top rack together with spare clutch plates. Also those, i never needed them. I also changed from 525 to 520 chain and sprockets, as 520 was easier to find in the East. Also carried spare chain section (10-15 links) and a number of master links together with a chain tool. Never needed it on my bike, but did help others who weren't carrying it.
    - Racks: The Mosko Moto R80 is supposed to work rackless and i was determined to use it that way. At the rear side, there are 3 straps to mount the kit. Mosko supplies hinges to mount on the rear fender plastics, but i wasn't convinced this provided enough strength in case of a crash or hours on washboard roads. I installed a Moose top rack, as it's very slim (doesn't interfere with R80 width) and has grooves that can be used for the straps. That worked out just fine. I did not install side racks so the R80 was attached with standard straps to the passenger peg mounts. This allowed the whole kit to be very compact and made sure the handling of the bike with full loaded luggage wasn't impacted. In normal circumstances, i didn't even feel i had luggage. That only changed when i filled up the water and fuel bladder (Russia/Kazakhstan steppe, Tajikistan) which made the rear top-heavy. Big bonus here is that you'll never get a cracked rack (as there is none :) ), and center of gravity is optimal in my opinion. I had 2 bigger crashes where the bike landed on the panniers. The only noticeable result of that is a small dent in the muffler caused by the heatshield. This is a 30EUR/40USD muffler from Ebay, which i believe is way more cheap than a busted rack :p. In a nutshell: the top rack was required, but the side racks ... well i never missed them and only saw proof i made the right choice by looking at other bikes, who struggled with weight and cracked steel. Maybe it was luck, or not :).
    I am convinced though that this setup only worked so well in this combination. I've seen other bikes with R80 which just didn't fit as well. The R80v2 has a fixed size (will change in v3) and will only be a true solid kit if the size of the bike is optimal. If you have a new bike with big rear (usually the case as emission standards dictate bigger mufflers), the R80 is too narrow and doesn't fit well. This is also the case if you add side racks, which mean you'll loose the strenght of the luggage system.

    You can see the top rack and rear straps setup in the video below, at 10-15 sec. This was recorded a few days before departure.



    Cheers,
    charschmitz likes this.
  7. Didado

    Didado Long timer

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    I hate this Ride Report. It sucks! I'm exhausted.

    Woke up at 2.00 this morning, was forced to read it until 5.00 in the morning. Slept till eight and was forced to continue reading the RR until 11.30! No one warned me?

    Didn't get any work done. Man I just can't stand this Ride Report...
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  8. StannisBaratheon

    StannisBaratheon Been here awhile

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    Wow thats awesome!
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  9. Twinmike

    Twinmike Grandpa

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  10. TaZ9

    TaZ9 Been here awhile

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    Joris,

    Thanks for the quick response. The information you provided is very interesting and helpful. I went back and reviewed your vids and all those great photos. I know it takes a lot of time and effort in preparing and posting such an epic amount of information, but their are many of us that only dream about such a ride, and we certainly appreciate the effort. I posted a link to your report on the DR650 thread. I know all the DR owners will love it. As a side note, my mother's family (the VanSchoubroek's ) are originally from Belgium. Thanks again!

    Ride Safe,

    Taz9
    DR650_Monument_Valley.jpg
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  11. SteveTheLocal

    SteveTheLocal Been here awhile

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    For a self-described A-hole, a dedicated solo rider and an enemy of humanity, you seemed to have made many friends, found a lifelong riding companion, and shared your wonderful experiences freely with a worldwide audience. Perhaps you are being a little too hard on yourself? ;-)
    Thanks...it's was great and your efforts in writing it up are very much appreciated!
    Keep on keeping on...
    Cheers,
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  12. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    You're welcome :D
  13. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    Thanks!
    Every picture of a purple thumper prince is worth a thumbs up. Nice one!
  14. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    (Bending the knee) Thank you Your Grace.
    :bow:queenie
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  15. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    You would learn the truth soon enough when we would meet on the road :evil.
    Thanks for the comments, it's been a pleasure to contribute here.
    charschmitz likes this.
  16. trolik

    trolik n00b

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    We went this year thru Buston as well. Exactly same sh..t on the border, border guards making fun of poor people, lot of wasted time, fake bomb alarm (1 hour lost), one local guy taken with handcuffs...
    I liked UZB sightseeing (Chiva, Buchara, Samarkand), but this dictatorial country reminded me Poland during the communism. I was really happy when we touched TAJ ground...
    greets trolik
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  17. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

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    I remembered the same sort of experiences long time ago, doing border crossings in former Yugoslavia. Well.. it is what it is, and part of the world in the past and the present. There are recent reports of same stuff happening at TAJ, RUS and KAZ, China, ... crossings, and i've seen it myself. Sometimes it goes from bad to good and visa versa during a shift change. Human nature i suppose, give people power and all bets are of. Without that, there wouldn't be a story to tell :D
  18. RobH1

    RobH1 Adventurer

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    Great ride report, been reading on and off for a couple of days. Experienced Fesh-fesh for the first time this year in Morocco on the 990, made things quite lively. I found the power of the 990 was useful for getting out when stuck. Going back next year and contemplating taking my DR650SE. How did you like the tyres? I used Meffo SE on the 990 and they did seem as good as anything anyone else had. One guy had some super knobblies but these seemed to slide through the sand without providing much more grip than the Meffo's, maybe the traction of the 990 compensated, just a guess.

    Looking to buy the Reckless 80 for the DR to keep it narrow, used the new Kriega 32 on the KTM, worked really well but too wide for the DR.
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  19. trolik

    trolik n00b

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    On our way from Kalaikum to Khorog (mid-August) we've met two Polish guys on big GS's. They did Bartang from the East and said that it was super easy for them and water levels were low...
    My riding buddies however didn't want to commit - probably read too many horrible stories in internet :-)
    One more reason for me to visit that beautiful country again
    greets trolik
  20. trolik

    trolik n00b

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    Could You send/ post the GPS coordinates of that place...?
    thx in advance!
    greets trolik