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

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

  1. stevecb

    stevecb lost and loving it

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    Another great update, I'm sure this will encourage more people to follow in your tracks
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  2. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    I ride about 6 hours a day average sometimes I ride 500km but when the road is bad can be as little as 100km.

    You can find dirt roads here and there if you look for them. Uzbekistan is basically one road and is paved. In Kyrgyzstan and Takijisan there is many dirt roads. I 'd say the in total for mr has been 85% asphalt 15%dirt.
    Now I'm at 13500km on the bike. I started the trip with 0km from the dealer.
    I met nice people everywhere in Kazakhstan are particularly nice and two times gave me food.

    Where are you heading? Route?
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  3. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    I'm using the 30L, probably the 40L is too big to carry it transversal on the bike. It's mounted on the KTM luggage plate. The side panniers are mounted in Touratech racks, try to see if there is narrower ones. These are too wide.
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  4. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    The KTM in Almaty was pretty good and has many new models but mine was the first 790 adventure ever to get in there. I got the 15k km service done and spent two days riding till dark trying to get to Barnaul in Siberia as soon as possible.

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    KTM's climbing an armored car.
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    My first fast food after two months

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    The roads to Siberia were empty with beautiful sunsets and storms.

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    The last town in Kazakhstan before crossing the border is Semey. I met a group of doctor celebrating the "National Day of the Doctors" in a restaurant on Friday night and they invited me to a picnic in the woods for the next day with all their colleagues, I couldn't say no to the invitation and neither to all the shots of vodka during the picnic. My trip got delayed by one day but had big fun and bigger hangover.

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  5. edgeoftheworld

    edgeoftheworld Been here awhile

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    That is awesome! I am jealous :)
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  6. Johnnydarock

    Johnnydarock Been here awhile

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    Great Ride Report. You put the "adventure" in ADVrider!
  7. mana

    mana Adventurer

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    @Martincito, I am attending the European KTM rally in Bosnia (totally unplanned, I met 4 1290 riders in Montenegro who convinced me to follow them to the rally!) and today they unveiled the new 790 Adventure R Rally. At the beginning of the presentation they showed pictures of 790 and they included my favorite picture of your thread :-) Well done!!!

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  8. Gedrog

    Gedrog 1000 mile stare a 1000 stories to tell

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    Only problem is there will only be 500 of these sold worldwide so it will likely sell out in seconds from launch.
  9. mana

    mana Adventurer

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    [​IMG]

    I didn’t manage to attach the picture in the previous post
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  10. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    I
    I love it !!!!
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  11. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    From Semey I crossed the border to Barnaul, Russia and got a new set of tires installed. Shinko 804/805 I hope they are up to the task in Mongolia.
    The road from Barnaul to the border was surprisingly beautiful, twisted sections with the Altay mountains in the background on smooth asphalt.

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  12. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    Welcome to Mongolia!

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  13. beltipox

    beltipox Adventurer

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    OMG...closed in the "bunker" (the production area of my company) you make me dream...
  14. Dodo56

    Dodo56 n00b

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    I bookmarked this thread a while ago and just got round to reading it. Great ride! Actually it mirrors a lot of what I'll be doing next year, as I too have just bought a 790 Adventure and will be heading east in May 2020 through northern Europe to Ukraine, then along the Trans Siberian Highway to Baikal before coming down to Mongolia, Kazakhstan and the Silk Road before ferrying across the Caspian into the Caucasus and thence back home via Turkey.

    I chose the base or "S" model 790 because it seems to me a lot of people are buying the R just because it's top of the range, not for the use they plan to get out of it. The S is a travel bike with some offroad capability while the R is an offroad bike with some travel capability, as I see it. For adventure riders I believe the S is a much better bike, setup to cover distance with ease and with a more comfortable seat for those non ironbutts among us. But frankly, offroad ability for most people is more about tyres and the Avons, while great on tarmac and gravel, don't strike me as being any use on deep stuff, and I'll probably fit TKC80s when I do. Anakees get good press but people who have tried them say they wear fast.

    Like you I have also got Touratech racking and agree it's excessively wide. The silencer sticks out much further than it needs to, which doesn't help, and the racking is a good inch further out than it could be. In fact on the left they could bring it in maybe 3 inches without any problems. It does make the pannier system quite unwieldy and I've investigated (without success) an asymmetric pair, ending up with AS Magadan soft panniers. Initially I'm going to run them straight on the pannier frames but for my Silk Road trip next year I'll fit a 6 litre Rotopax on the left one, which should even up the width plus providing a bit of extra capacity on the west Uzbekistan stretch where fuel is hard to get. The tank range is well over 400kms (it's great!) but a bit of insurance doesn't hurt. Filtering, I won't - in much of central Asia it's illegal anyway. On top I went for the KTM branded Touratech top box, it's nicely made and just big enough for a helmet. I reckon it's good for keeping electrical stuff secure and easy access to documents at borders. Also, with a Tecmate power supply installed I can use it to charge gizmos on the move.

    I applaud you taking the 790 over there as a pretty much untried machine, I'm not that brave and want to shake down the machine and myself before I go all the way out there. Agent Orange in Almaty are very good (they have English and coffee!) but support elsewhere is rather patchy. I'll also take a spare pair of tyres with me. I know that'll be a PITA but again, tyre availability isn't always easy, and when you're on the Mongolian dirt roads you don't want to be on a bald Avon ;) I already had my own teething problems, a badly leaking fork seal for which the dealer (JD Racing in Plymouth) got new forks for me. They are fine now, apart from that everything is fine, no leaks and a super comfortable travel bike with bags of power, fantastic fuel economy and a super smooth engine.

    I'll keep watch on your blog, definitely enjoying it, and while mine own is in a very rudimentary state right now I'll update it when I start my Eurotrip and next year's Asian voyage: https://www.facebook.com/motosunburn
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  15. Tim Cullis

    Tim Cullis Partially heighted

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    @Martincito: please keep the photos coming, they are inspiring. I've always wanted to do Mongolia.

    @Dodo56: I agree with what you write. In my opinion, the things that need attention to take the 'S' model on a solo tarmac/dirt road trip are (1) better tyres, (2) luggage with at least some security, (3) a better windscreen arrangement to prevent buffeting, (4) handlebar risers, and (5) larger side stand foot.

    My dealer kindly fitted Karoo tyres free of charge instead of the Avon Trailriders, but my favourite tyre is TKC80. When you are thousands of km from home you tend to ride very sympathetically and I managed to get one set of TKC80s (on a havily laden BMW R1200 GS Adventure) to last from Spain through Morocco, Western Sahara and Mauritania to Senegal and then back to the UK. No annoying road noise, fairly good on wet tarmac. Very happy with them as a tyre and will fit them on my 'S' as soon as my tyres need replacing. KTM fitted the 'R' bikes at the Morocco press launch with TKC80s rather than Karoo which says a lot about them.

    I went for Bumot luggage which has frames that hug the bike and allow either metal and soft panniers to be fitted. The lockable toolbox mounted on the pannier rails stays on the bike when the luggage is dropped, and could be used to provide basic security for documents and money. I haven't sorted handlebar risers or bigfoot side stand yet. At the moment I'm using a Darkojak windscreen extender which successfully eradicates buffeting, but am expecting many alternative laminar systems to be available soon.

    I travel on dirt roads to explore and view the scenery rather than race, and tend to get fantastic fuel economy. Being careful with the throttle I have already seen 25 km/litre which gives a range of 500km, so yes, in excess of 450 km is achievable. But don't rely on the onboard computer fuel consumption, it is more optimistic than when you calculate consumption from how much fuel you put in vs km travelled.
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  16. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    The only place where you will need the extra gas is as yo say north Uzbekistan, then there is plenty of gas so you could do it without carrying a Rotopax. I filter in traffic everywhere but except on a handful of city you won't see much traffic congestion. About the tires I don't recommend taking a spare pair with you. It's very easy to get tires anywhere in Russia as long as you order them in advance (to Denis Panferov) and in Osh and Almaty are easy to get too. Once you have a route planned I will be more than happy to point you the best place to get them as you go. The only places where you need TKC or similars are Pamir Highway and Mongolia. KTM dealers on the road (like Agent Orange) are friendly and knowledge but they don't have any parts at all, so if you have problems means you are waiting three weeks for them.
    Pm me for anything that I could help with on your trip planning.
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  17. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    H Tim,
    Do you live in Granada (is in your location)?
    My trip will end there visiting my family, we have a house 30km out of it and then fly to NY.
  18. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    I entered Mongolia and the first city was Olgh. I met some travelers in a hostel and got very useful information about places. Mongolia was the country I researched the less on my plans. From Olgh I rode to Khovd and camped on a lake. These are the picture from my previous post.
    After Khovd I rode to Altai in the region of Gobi and I had to take the decision of going into the desert or head north to the mountains. I heard contradictory version about the state of the roads, from impassable sand pits to not a big deal roads. I'm riding alone and decided to take less risks and head north tp Uliastai, also the temperature in Atai was already close to 100 F
    At the beginning was a wide gravel road but then became a bunch of jeep or goat tracks splitting and merging again in the middle of nowhere. I rode there for hours without seeing a soul, then started raining and the sand became mud and stone gardens.

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    I got to a wooden bridge and took a rest. In the Mongolian nomadic lifestyle motorcycle play a role in this modern times. You always see a bike or two parked outside the yurts. The rider always wear a particular robe and leather boots. One of them stopped while I was resting and ask him if I could take a picture, he agreed. I share some snack with him. He opened a can of beer and smoke a pair of cigarettes before getting back in the bike.

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    Finally after a long journey arrived to Uliastai.

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  19. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    From Uliastai I rode to Khorgo to a volcano next to a lake. The rain and the bad weather kept coming.

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    I slept in this yurt

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    I wish I'd know to say in Mongolian "kiddo stop licking that lighter"

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    A bit of water crossing after all that rain. Crossing river is always scary, like looking under the bed as a child never know if something bad will come underneath.

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  20. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    The Erdene Zuu Monastery in Kharkhorin

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    Sand dunes 200km before Ulanbatoor, called the mini Gobi. There was some guys having fun with small motocross bikes.


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    We are in Mongolia on top of the goats we have Yaks.


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