A solo trip to Mongolia on a 125cc

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by guerreronegro, Apr 18, 2020.

  1. live2ridetahoe

    live2ridetahoe BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, MICN Supporter

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    Hey GN!

    I’ve been watching the Vuelta again this year and thought of you. The US has been getting good coverage the past few years. Absolutely beautiful scenery! They showed the Canon de Anisclo yesterday, along with the Macizo de las Tres Sorores and the Parque National de Ordesa y Monte Perdido. Stunning...

    Tahoe
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  2. orcocop

    orcocop Adventurer

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    Absolutely amigo! I love Pyreness, I´m a lucky man that spend holidays there. Riding by bike, cycling, hiking with my family or skiing in winter. In fact my avatar pic is taken in a bikers camping in Anzanigo.
    Its a part of Spain you should not miss.
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  3. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    Once I am done with this report I will post the Trans-Pyrenees off road done this summer with a friend. We visited many of the places you mention. A must do before they close the remaining off road routes open. IMG_20200706_201536.jpg PANO_20200707_194242.jpg IMG_20200706_164349.jpg
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  4. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Damn :eek2 :eek2
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  5. td63

    td63 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Yeah, do!

    I was supposed to teach in Blibao this coming spring, and so had spent months looking into Pyreneese routes and moto rentals...but we all know what happened to those plans. :baldy
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  6. live2ridetahoe

    live2ridetahoe BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, MICN Supporter

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    Looking forward to it! Stunning scenery!

    -Tahoe
  7. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    Wow man nobody thinks of Espana as having mountains like that! Spain- AND The Pyrenees are definitely on my "list".


  8. willibauer

    willibauer Been here awhile

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    Thanks for this report. Really educating for me, as I got many prejudices (is this the word?) about this part of the world, as it seems. Damn, my biggest adventure so far was a one week trip through the french alps alone on my ktm. What you did is a different world.
    I'd love to see mongolia since I watched lyndons videos from when he was there. He did some rally in mongolia, but it appears to be a different one...there where all kinds of big trucks and bikes, while 'your' rally seems to be limited* if I understood correctly.
    Anyways, I really like your report and writing style. It really gives me a whole new view of the world. Thanks.
    *limited in ccm / displacement..arr, my english is limited, too...
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  9. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    Thanks! I might give it a try once I have everything well written and ideas around it a bit more organized. All I can say is to go for it as soon as you have the time and resources at your disposal. Never was I able to imagine that COVID was going to put all travels to a halt, a post-lesson learnt from it is that I am so glad I didn't hesitate and finally did it.
  10. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    Rally restrictions were regarding the displacement of the engine yes. That was my reason behind the Varadero's choice. In the end I understood that little does it matter which motorcycle you chose if you have the willingness to go for it. I saw all kinds of funny characters traveling around the world in somehow "inappropriate motorcycles". A GSX-R with knobby tires, Harley Davidsons, Honda CT110, C90s, etc. If I was to do it again I will stick with the same concept, simple reliable machine with a bit more power and suspension upgrades.
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  11. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    Entering in Kyrgyzstan meant switching between time zones one hour ahead. When arriving to the guest house I did not realize about it. It was one of those days that you enter zombie autopilot and you carry on with the rest of the routine for the day. The host was super friendly and spoke good English. Cannot remember exactly the name of the place but it had a closed gate, secure parking and a good comfy room for 15 USD breakfast included very close to the center of the city. The host also threw in the deal some fruit for dinner so that was great. I regret not having a bit of energy to walk a bit through Osh, it seemed to be a cool city. I was asked what time I would be having breakfast and without realizing the time change we agreed to meet at 7 AM in the kitchen. This in reality was 6 AM so one hour less of sleeping. It didn’t matter, the bed was so comfortable it was worth every penny.

    In the morning I had to take care of the usual maintenance. Taking advantage of the private parking I clean and lubed the chain. Interesting to see how despite the mileage it barely had stretched since my departure. Then after saying goodbye I went to the closest petrol station to refuel. I realized then I was short on money, so I again had to go for the cheaper 80 octane option. I figured by now the Honda would have gotten used to it. The petrol station also had a pressure machine washer, so I decided to finish off the cash remnants in this operation and then look for an ATM to take some more cash for the rest of my stay. Although Kyrgyzstan is a beautiful country to visit with a motorcycle, I decided I would ride past it as soon as possible together with Kazakhstan. The Pamirs had already taken more time I had ready to spend and I was running slightly behind schedule. Time would have to be reallocated while in Mongolia.
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    I crossed a toll road which curiously enough the employees themselves encourage me to bypass as they don’t charge anything to motorcycles. This road crossed another couple “tunnels of death” in which you cannot afford to lose one second of focus on the road, else you risk losing a big bet. After this, it seemed I would be going up the mountains one more time and then I started to feel it even worse than in the Pamirs. My old friend, engine knocking. IMG_20190819_141003.jpg I was not fully recovered from yesterday’s cold weather plus breathing the toxic fumes in Osh and in the tunnels made my mood go down. I needed to rest and find a coffee shop or something. I was looking pretty miserable, I tried 4 times in different places, but they were either closed or they didn’t serve any drinks. I was far from any village and all I had on me was the camel’s back water with a bit of isotonic powder inside. The day was not going well, and it was about to get worse. I was refused for some reason to refuel in not one but two petrol stations god only knows why. I then found a third in which I refueled 80 octane fuel as it was the only thing they had in stock. Murphy’s law was applying today to a 100%. The cops caught me speeding in an intersection of a secondary road where literally nobody was circulating. The signal said 20 kph and I was shown in the picture of what looked to me like a polaroid style radar doing 60 kph.
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  12. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Damn @guerreronegro, not feeling great, crappy fuel in the bike, and then a speeding ticket...rough day man. The 2nd pic you posted with the statue and mountains in the background; looks pretty cool from that one perspective. Don't imagine it'll be a ton of fun dealing with engine knock as you head up into them, but it makes for a good picture.

    Look forward to what comes next :D
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  13. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    @liv2day What followed after was a funny game of playing to be a fool with the cops. The police officer looked at me very suggestively as if he wanted me to break the ice with what seemed to be the deal of the century. I knew right away what he was after, but the whole situation was beyond ridiculous. I took off my helmet hoping him to feel my misery for the day I was having so far. Then pointed at the picture, the bike’s speedo and the signal speaking in Spanish the first non-sense that came to my brain regarding the stupid speed limit. In an effort for him to understand a bit my language I told him visa expires tomorrow I need to be in Bishkek to cross to Kazakhstan, and then pointing to my watch so he could see the day. I do not know if he got what I intended but eventually my mummery paid off and he let me go without a fix.

    Considering this a big win, I rode out of there as fast as possible hoping it would be the last incident of this type. I was still feeling like in living hell and I was not going to give up just yet in finding a coffee shop to rest a bit. I passed a big city, Toktogul, and several places appeared on the map. First, I needed some more cash, so I went to another ATM to withdraw. The first bank did not issue any bills and the ATM did not inspire enough trust, so I moved to the next one. The clouds were covering the sky and the soviet architecture made the town feel quite out of life. Not many people were walking around either. Maybe that day was a holiday or something, who knows. From all of the restaurants, pubs or coffee shops matching the description of a cozy place for a drink, none of them were opened. I was frustrated, worst of all I was out of provisions to eat on the go without having to take out the stove. Going for that would make me loose the last part of the day and I really wanted to get moving a bit more before it got darker. I decided to go to the only place opened in town, which was massive, the kind of place where to celebrate a wedding with 300 people. There were cars parked outside so I thought why not try. I parked and went ahead asking the first people working there with Google Translator.

    Next, it was the most bizarre conversation I have ever had. Or just a matter of cultural misunderstanding I don’t know. I asked in Russian with the translator if they were opened to the public to what I obtained a plain yes. I saw they were removing the guts out of some fish and thinking to myself this was most likely not the place to have something. I went ahead anyways with the conversation thinking I didn’t have anything to lose. Do you have something warm to drink? Positive answer, but just that. Next question, trying to not confuse Google translator in the process. What do you have available? And then havoc broke out. They told me to go to another place which was the next building to where they were working. There I asked the person that seemed to be responsible of the massive place if it was possible to drink something. She said again yes. I was so confused, they just responded with short answers and that was it. Not sure if the translator was playing it on me, I went ahead with gestures and the universal chai or café words. She said yes. Great, where can I have this? And then it was chaos one more time asking another person who at the same time asked another person. I saw where this was going and any other day, I might have had the patience to endure it. But today I was destroyed, and this made me realize today it was indeed going to be tough.

    I abandoned the place, started the bike and got out of the complex and the city of Toktogul. I was only looking forward now in camping. I didn’t want to interact for the rest of the day with any other local. So, I set my way and passed many yurts offering a place to pass the night. I was at around 2500 meters altitude. There were many alternatives for camping although the night presented itself as a cold one. I found a river and a nice place to camp right next to it. The place seemed to have been used before for this purpose so that gave me some confidence. I didn’t give much thought to the possible predator animals that could be scattered around, so far I have had no encounter with bears or any other dangerous animals. If the nomads and their cattle and domestic animals were around, this was somehow a bit of a guarantee. Nevertheless, I decided to pick up some wood and make up a fire as the temperature quickly dropped as the light faded. With the tent mounted, I prepared finally some tea, and pasta. I also boiled some water to have on a metal container as a heating element inside the sleeping bag. IMG_20190819_201955.jpg
    IMG_20190819_201937.jpg
    With the firewood in place, I went to the sleeping bag with all my clothes on. It really was about to get freezing cold for the night.
  14. Lone Stranger

    Lone Stranger Been here awhile Supporter

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    The hard times makes the good times that much better!!! Keep pushing; things will be better tomorrow.
  15. Navel

    Navel Omphaloskeptical

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    That Orlando tomato sauce has gone a long way, didnt it break your heart to finally open it?:lol3
  16. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    :jack Not one bit haha, I was surprised it had survived that long. That top case allowed it to be lost for a while though.
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  17. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    The itinearary from day 37

    Attached Files:

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  18. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    This night was probably the coldest I remember. It went bellow 0ºC as a frozen water bottle and kitchen utensils left outside revealed om the morning. The good thing is that being as exhausted as I was, I just passed out without caring much. Such was the level of exhaustion that I barely remember the incident of the night. An animal again woke me up in the middle of the night as it hit the tent wall. At this point I was already used to it so I resumed sleeping almost instantly. No idea which kind of animal it was as it didn’t emit any noise. When the sun came out, I waited a bit inside the tent for it to warm up the surroundings. I then came out and using some of the petrol left in the stove I made another fire to heat up as well as a tea.
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    Yesterday the bike was failing more than ever before. Since the spark plugs were accessible I took one out to see how was the mixture. To my eye, it seemed as if it was leaner than it should. The gap between the electrode was ok, so I put it back on and started the bike so it could warm up as I gather everything back in the bags. The engine knocking was just unbearable. This time I was puzzled on how to proceed. I was already standing at a very high altitude and unlike previous times I was not going to go down, but I had a massive mountain pass in front of me. So after packing everything I got on the road armed with tons of patience despite whatever was to happen this day. I then found a Gazprom petrol station and fueled the bike with the most premium petrol available, I think it was 98. While refueling I took a coffee and walked around the shop. It was kind of out of place such a fancy petrol station in the middle of nowhere but since they had a lot of things available, I bought a couple of liters of motorcycle oil so I could change it later on finishing all the cash I had on me. The service interval was about to run out, this would be the third time signaling almost the equator of my trip, 15,000 Km.

    Back on the road, I hit another toll road free of charge for motorcycles, but it was fun to see that although they let me in free, they wanted some money at the end of it. In the end I was let to go without paying. Following next, there was a queue to cross one big tunnel at the summit of the mountain. At the end of it a light indicating our turn to cross. I was lucky to position myself at the beginning of it. The tunnel was another death tunnel 2 km long with no ventilation, light and loads and loads of dust and particles. Going with the visor killed visibility, going without it was risky to my eyes. I had to do a combination of both, visor halfway down and eyes almost closed. Once I crossed it, I stopped to take a breath, it was really that bad, my lungs were intoxicated similarly as what I had experienced in Osh. But the worst was about to come in the capital city of Bishkek. Luckily going down the mountain was a relief in terms of comfort and beauty.
  19. Geezerguy

    Geezerguy In the shadows

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    @guerreronegro, just caught up with your great RR. Thank you for taking the time to post it. I look forward to following the rest of your trip. I haven’t ridden a 125cc in many years and you bring back some fond and not so fond memories of those years.
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  20. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    WOW what a cliff hanger you’ve left us with this last segment! This ride report is as good as (and better than) anything, ever! Bravo!
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