Madrid(NYC)-Mongolia solo on a KTM 790 Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Martincito, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. tshansen

    tshansen Been here awhile

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    Does your bike use any oil?
  2. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    Zero oil consumption but I have a little of oil sweat somewhere in the engine. I'll be doing the 15k service in Almaty in a few days and going to ask to take a look at it.
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  3. moulin6801

    moulin6801 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for review/explanations!! I must have missed it... what brand is the luggage rack on 790??
    Thanks
  4. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    They are the Touratech ones. The hard cases are also Touratech but branded as KTM.
  5. mana

    mana Adventurer

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    Great RR, I'm very impressed and envious.

    Would you ride the same roads alone?

    If you had to start over, would you go with the 790, or a lighter bike?
  6. stevecb

    stevecb lost and loving it

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    Another great review of you trip and luggage
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  7. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    I’m riding alone but knew that the Pamir Highway was going to be tricky that is why I joined Florian and Roman. I met them online on the 790 Facebook group. It made a lot of sense to ride together with the same bikes.
    I couldn’t have done those two river crossing on my own, and I felt more confident riding the rough sections knowing I had company.
    Today we parted ways, they are heading to Singapore and I’m heading to Mongolia.

    I would go with the 790, no doubts. Lighter bikes are great for the rough stuff but in such a long trip where the offroad is less than 20% the 790 is the perfect compromise. I usually ride a 1200GS so the 790 feels small.
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  8. mana

    mana Adventurer

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    Would you have done the same with the GS? I'm riding on a 1290 Super Adventure S with street tires, started 7000 km ago from Nice in France to Turkey through the Balkans (incomplete log here) and got my fair share of "paved roads" according to TomTom that had their pavement totally gone or in very bad taste, especially in Albania and Turkey :-). These tend to be the sections I enjoy the most but the bike is very heavy especially with the luggage, so I am tempted to switch to the 790. I did try the 790 briefly on a paved twisty road and I was bellow my expectations. Not as nimble as I like (I used to have a KTM 990 SMT with 17'' front wheel, my favorite bike to date) and lacking a bit of power.
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  9. Eks

    Eks n00b

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    Can you somehow estimate daily average costs, please?
  10. World_rider

    World_rider n00b

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    Wow, what a great ride report. I for one really appreciate you taking the time to describe and photograph all the amazing experiences and places you are enjoying.
    Don’t underestimate how this could inspire others to follow in your footsteps (or tire tracks)
  11. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    I would have done it with a GS but with the 790 the rough sections are easier, in many situations I was looking at bad parts thinking "this will be bad" and the 790 just went though easily. I miss the comfort of the GS on the long street of tarmac though. I guess the best adventure bike is the one that is the more capable offroad while allowing you to do 140 km/h for hours on the highway.
    I guess on a 1290 all the adventure bikes would feel like lacking power ;-)
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  12. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    It's hard because varies a lot between the countries.

    Gas starts in Europe at almost $2 per liter as you go east gets way cheaper. I don't remember exactly but Turkey may be around $1 and in Central Asia $0,7. So if you ride 200 km per day is less that $10 a day.

    Food also gets cheaper out of Europe. Turkey has devaluated the Lira so food is amazing and also cheap. In Central Asia you can have a good meal for $7.

    Hotels, in Europe a cheap hotel is around $40 but in Asia it goes to around $20. Many hostels have private rooms with shared bathroom for $15 including breakfast and in the Pamir Highway you stay in guesthouse that for $15 or $20 you get dinner and breakfast. In the small towns sometimes here is not restaurants so getting the whole package makes a lot of sense.

    I feel that s cheaper than traveling in Latin America mostly because the gas is cheaper.

    Usually in the big cities I spend more. Now I'm in Almaty in a nice hotel eating at nice restaurants. I really missed having a good steak or good Italian pasta so I'm treating myself for a couple of days till I go back to the road.

    I think this trip can be done with an average of $60 a day and even cheaper if you don't mind sleeping in dorms and just eating to get full.
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  13. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    Some extra pictures from the Pamir Highway.

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  14. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    After the Pamir highway we arrived to Osh and stayed at a biker friendly hotel for a couple of days and then I parted ways with the guys.
    It felt strange being back at the road by myself, I got so use to company and now I was on my own like before.

    Big Lenin statue in Osh.

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    I headed to the mountains, kind of anxious to et back to dirt roads and Kyrgyzstan has plenty of them.
    From Osh to Kazarman there is a high mountain pass, it rained the days before and was quite muddy. I don't know why I keep washing my bike.

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    This is the pass. I spent a few hours in the dirt trying to beat the rain til I got to Kazarman. Google maps is not useful in this area and a couple of time I had to backtrack.
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    Attached Files:

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  15. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    After Kazarman I headed to Son Kul, a big lake up in a mountain platoo. To get there I had to go through three mountain passes. There is many yurt for tourist as well as real nomads living there. The road down from the road has 32 switchbacks with lose rocks and beautiful views that didn't enjoy to avoid crashing.

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    Many men in Kyrgyzstan use the same tip cal hat, these approached me at the top of a mountain pass and we exchanged pictures and head wear.

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  16. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    After Son Kul I headed to another Lake called Issyk Kul (by know I have the suspictios that Kul means lake), stayed one night there and headed to the Kazakhstan border. Weather was bad almost very day, cold and wet.

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    I'm glad that the guy in the left doesn't fancy the color orange.

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    Border crossing Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan



    Everything here is about horses.

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    I camped at the Tenge Canyon and met Song, a Korean rider that was going from Seoul to Morocco on a DR 650.
    The canyon is the second biggest after the Grand Canyon. I didn't have much food and a family camping close by came to talk to us and brought us some food.


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    I'm having a small oil leak from the top of the engine, when the bike is dirty looks worse. I have not seen a full drop on the skid plate or any difference in the oil level is just a bit of sweating . In Almaty I'm getting the 15k service but they can not fix it. Is the first 790 adventure that they had seen so far and don't have the tools or the gasket needed to fix it, they said it won't get worse.

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    Attached Files:

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  17. Gedrog

    Gedrog 1000 mile stare a 1000 stories to tell

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    It is a KTM after all, if doesn't leak oil there is something wrong :rofllove the ride good feedback
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  18. mana

    mana Adventurer

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    I've had 3 ktms, smt 990, sa 1290 2016 and sa 1290 2017, none leaked . They've actually all been trouble free. But I do enjoy the teasing
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  19. mana

    mana Adventurer

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    How many km a day do you ride and how many since you left? I wonder also the ratio of asphalt vs dirt? I assume that since you left Europe it's mostly dirt though?

    I'm at 8000 km since I left, at times missing company but still enjoying the freedom of solo riding.

    BTW how are people in the different countries you crossed? On my side I find that the warmest and most supportive have been in the Turkish countryside, which is the most eastward I've been since France. I wonder how it changes as you move east.

    Buena onda, che!
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  20. hgwilliam

    hgwilliam Been here awhile

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    Loving the ride report! Your setup is exactly what I want to do with my 790 Adventure.

    Just a quick question, are you using the 40L or 30L duffle bag? I’m using your photos to understand what my setup will be like.

    Thanks!