In the search for sand

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Thomas B., Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Arek Kontrol

    Arek Kontrol Been here awhile

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    Woot! Now THIS is an adventure!!
    Phenomenal job! Subscribed and looking forward to more. :ear
    #21
  2. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

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    #22
  3. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Hi guys,

    thanks for your interest and nice coments.

    So we headed out of the sand onto a bit harder surface and with a more north direction.

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    Fast piste to the horizon. Better keep the speed up so the corrugation dosn't take your bike apart..

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    Stopping for a drink at a reataurant on the way.

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    Back on the road we come across another nice cameltranport.

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    Looking for a place to pitch the tent in the last rays of the sun.

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    Past some oil fields the next day.

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    The beer is missing on the cupboard. But maybe I'm just to late since the owner of the house left some time ago.

    It was time to do some sightseeing so we had a look at the palace of Jabrin.

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    And here it is from the outside.
    I can't give you any historical details at the moment because I'm at work. Lunchbreak.

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    During a sandwich stop the guys from the kitchen came out and asked if they could take pictures of us with the bikes and them. Of course they could and in the end we got one of them aswell.



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    Reaching the northern part of the country we headed back into the mountains.
    #23
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  4. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Soon we came across some behive graves. They were set very picturesque along a ridge.

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    Tracks were a bit rocky in parts.

    Then we had the plan to go to Nizwa and stay there for 2 or 3 nights. The main reason was the animal market that is held once a week.

    Having found a good hotel in the outskirts of the town we set of for a daytrip the next morning.

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    We aimed for Jebel Shams which is the highest mountain in Oman and you can go up pretty close to the top.

    This is on our way there. Nice views.

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    Having some fun onroad too.

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    #24
  5. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    On our way back we past the oasis Al-Hamra.

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    And the fort in Bahla.

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    Where there was also a beautiful mosque.

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    In Nizwa.

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    And then we went to the animal market.

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    Woman with a traditional mask in the market.

    The nice thing in Oman is that alot of people still wear the traditional cloths in every day life. Even the young ones.
    And that makes everyone somehow look equal. We were standing at a trafficlight in Muscat and on the one side there was a Porsche on the other an old rusty Toyota. And both drivers were wearing the same cloths. Meet the without their cars and you don't know who is rich and who not.

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    The fort in Nizwa.

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    Me on the sightseeing tour.

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    Then I decided to get a new haircut.

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    #25
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  6. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Leaving Nizwa we took a 2000m pass into Wadi Bani Awf.

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    There were spectacular views from up there and nice riding too.
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    we took a walk into a stunning gorge.

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    In the valley the going was faster.

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    Cooking a meal under the stars.

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    And the camping spot in the morning.

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    Another mosque on the way.




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    And another one.

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    Here is tea omani style. In paper cups. You hardly get anything else.

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    And then I had a bad day. We were in the northwest of the country on a main road (something like a highway) rolling along at a constant speed when suddenly my bike lost power and dropped its speed. I pulled the clutch and got off the road. Getting off the bike I saw that my boot was covered with oil. "This is not good" is what I thought. I took the tank off and found this.

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    #26
  7. spaghettilegs

    spaghettilegs Adventurer

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    Amazing pictures and story. Please continue..... :clap
    #27
  8. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Ok, this is the end of motorbike riding in Oman. I had no idea what had happend in that engine put it wasn't something that could be repared on the side of the road.
    Sandra and I thought about the situation. We only had a couple of days left and were basicly on our way back to Muscat anyway. So the timing for this to happen wasn't that bad. Our main problem was that we had to get the KTM back to Muscat and we were in the middle of nowhere. Not quite. Just a bit down the road on the other side were three buildings. A mosque, a restaurant, and an insurance. We pushed the bike to the buildings and had a look around. There were two big trucks with huge trailers that are used for the transportation of bulldozers or something like that. And they were empty. I said to Sandra that we could ly the bike on a trailer and strap it down if the guys were willing to take us. The trucks were standing infront of the mosque so the guys were probably praying so we sat down and waited.
    After a while they came out and I explained my plan to them. They were very friendly and would have liked to help but they told us that they were only drivers and were not allowed to take any one or thing with them. I understood that and didn't want them to get into trouble. So what now. There was a man standing in the door way of the insurance smoking. I went over to him and told him my story. I asked him if he knew anyone with a truck or pickup that could bring us to the next town or even to Muscat. He thought about it and got on the phone. He made a few calls, I couldn't understand anything because he spoke arabic on the phone, and then told me to wait. Someone would come that might be able to help. We waited for half an hour or so when a car pulled into the parking place where we were standing. This was the guy we were waiting for. Told my story again and showed him the bike. He looked at it and made a phone call. Then he said there would be a pickup coming to take me to the next town. Perfect. Then he left and we waited again. It was almost dark when a small pickup showed up. The driver got out and looked at the bike. He couldn't speak english only arabic. The guy from the insurance came out and translated our conversation. "Can you take the bike to the next town?" He agreed. "Can yu even take it to Muskat?" He took a moment and then agreed. Yes! Then we argued about the price which was very reasonable. The next problem was to get the bike on the pickup. There was a small step in the parking place and he drove the pickup backwards to it. It wasn't quite high enough but some other guys hanging around helped to lift the bike up. Since it was dark and getting cool and since I had geared the bikes down a bit for the offroad riding and I didn't want to go 120 km/h on that road, which is what most cars were doing, with that ratio I asked if we could put the other bike on the pickup too. He wanted a bit more for taking both bikes but really stayed very reasonable. After loading everything and strapping it down we began our 2-3 hour drive to Muscat. It wasn't very comfortable for Sandra and me since we had to squeeze onto one seat so that the driver could still shift gears.
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    The driver was a nice guy. He was from Afghanistan and working here and sending money home to his family. Very proudly he showed me a picture of his small son. After some driving he pulled into a rest area beside the road. He went into the shop and came back with tea and some sweet backery for us all. Very nice.
    Reaching Muscat I got out the GPS and directed him to the place where we were going to drop off the bikes for their transport home anyway. We found a board on a construction site down the road and unloaded everything. Then we paid the driver and I gave him some extra money for his son for all his help .

    Work done.
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    Then we parked my bike in the alley where we had picked up the bikes. We needed to get to a hotel with all our gear so I got on Sandras bike, she put my panniers on top of hers and secured them with a strap around me. I would have to hold them. And Sandra would drive us. It wasn't too far to the hotel we had stayed in when we arrived and where we had made a reservation for a room. We were just two days early.

    Heavy loaded bike.
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    We were very happy to hear that we could get a room allready since it was after12:00.

    The next morning we rented a car since we wanted to move around a bit the next days, had to bring our panniers to the drop off, and in the end had to get to the airport.

    Me being a car driver now.
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    #28
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  9. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    After we had got rid of our bikes and the panniers we went to do some more sightseeing.

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    This is the big Sultan Qaboos Mosque from the outside.

    And here is the inside.

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    A nice and a bit smelly fish market in Mutrah.






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    And a last strawl through the souks of Mutrah.

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    Sandra doing some shopping.

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    The last day we drove out of town to a fort in Bidbid and

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    had a last meal at an indian restaurant.

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    Then it was time to pack our bags, drive to the airport, and fly home into the winter - brrrr.
    #29
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  10. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    When the bikes arrived back home in Europe I picked them up with a trailer and brought them home.
    After taking the lid off of my cylinder head I found out what had happend. The axle of one of the rocker arm rollers had decided to move out, the roller had left the arm and had moved on top of it, and then the arm moved upward and forced the roller through the lid. Bad luck. Some one hadn't fastend the axle correctly. The roller was lying on top of the cylinder when I took the tank off of the bike back in Oman. But where were the other parts? The axle, a broken off part of the rocker arm, and the 13 pins that let the roller roll? I drained the oil and out came 10 pins and the broken off piece. Unluckily that was it. So there was only one thing to do. Take the engine apart and look for the rest. You don't want to stand in Sibiria or in the middle of the Sahara with a broken gearbox because the axle suddenly decides to wander into the gear wheels of your bike. So I took the engine out of the KTM and got to work.
    #30
  11. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    Outstanding report. Bad luck about the bike but it could have been a lot worse.
    Really enjoyed it! Thankyou
    #31
  12. IceCreamSoldier

    IceCreamSoldier suffering somewhere

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    great pictures and write-up. thank you!
    #32
  13. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Hello guys,
    thanks for your nice remarks.
    Just to finish this report.
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    I took the eingine apart completly, got a second hand head with cover and calm shaft (which really looked bad), and repaired the whole thing.
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    Here we are on a test ride in the Italian alps.
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    So this was it for this ride. See you somewhere on the road or should I rather say on the track.
    Would give you some older rides to look at but my free picasa account is almost full and I can't upload enough pictures for a decent report. Maybe I should throw in some money and get a different place to park some fotos.

    Ride safe.

    Till next time

    Thomas
    #33
    Oldschoolrocker and nuggets like this.
  14. KTM 950S

    KTM 950S Been here awhile

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    Greece....
    Really a beutiful report...Thank u for taking us with u and for the great photos of places that maybe most of us will never see in our lifes...!!!1
    #34
  15. pugsley

    pugsley Little Man

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    Well done Great report!
    #35
  16. achmad arief

    achmad arief dirt bastard

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    Hallo thomas,
    Great picture and report . How come machanical damagw happwn on ktm
    Keep on riding
    Greeting from indonesia
    #36
  17. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

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    Excellent report!
    Bad luck with the bike... but at least not in the beginning of trip.
    I think that we met some years ago at Fort Jafferau - I was with my friend Mario that made an article for Motociclismo Fuoristrada" wiith maybe your picture...

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    #37
  18. Mr Pif

    Mr Pif Adventurer

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    beautifull fotos indeed!
    it's a pity you didn't finish your trip ON your motorcycles.
    and a simple question.did Sandra had problems with the dress code in Oman (because of the islamic tradition and of course NO OFFENCE for our muslim friends)?

    :beer
    #38
  19. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    achmad arief :

    the problem was that someone didn't fix the axle into place properly and it moved out of place. Bad luck!

    GiorgioXT:

    sorry but that wasn't us. Never been at the Fort Jafferau up to now.

    Mr Pif :

    No problems for Sandra with the clothing in Oman. They are very relaxed with that. Maybe shorts and a sleevless top aren't such a good idea. But Sandra adapts easily with that issue. In Iran some years ago she got a chador to walk around with and wore a scarf under her helmet on the bike. only once I sent her to get some oil for the gearbox I was repairing and she drove her bike with the chador on. That caused a lot of head turnig and even a small accident by a truckdriver.

    See you guys
    Thomas
    #39
  20. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

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    great report! very interesting reading, thank you!
    #40