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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by CJ, Sep 28, 2015.
Game on! Great to see the adventures continue.
I took a bit of a slide in Kazakhstan which wore a hole in my pannier, I'd been meaning to fix it but hadn't got around to it and wasn't too concerned about it. The trouble is that my computer lives in a pelican case which is waterproof. However, I didn't notice a small pebble stuck in the o ring that allowed it to fill up with water while I struggled to free the bike from the mud.. lesson learned
I came here via Mr Sibirsky Extreme re-posting some images of yours on FB the other day. I am currently way back on pg 17.. but wow I am loving this report. I can't say I've followed anything here on ADV since the Noah days, and in many respects this report has some of the same aspects as his. The tandem duo is great, having two perspectives chiming in is something new. I wish you guys knarly roads and cold beers. I feel fortunate I still have 30 pages to read before catching up .. rating 5 cold beers out of 5
The Oasis Guesthouse isn't fancy but it's clean, has decent food and an honour system beer fridge. Hence I stayed here for a while not doing much other than eating, drinking, working on the bike and drinking some more. There was a lot of cool people there including the famous "From Estonia with Love" duo who were waiting for a new stator for the DR. Through another traveler I met Kevin, an Aussie that lives most of the year with his Monglian wife and runs an off road tour company using exclusively WR250 and 450F's. He's a top bloke and offered to look after my bike for the winter in his compound full of blue bikes. One day I rode out to his place and we went for a rip through the surrounding country side with his nephew Monco. They let me take an unladen 250F which was a nice change but the suspension still felt lacking compared to my GORACE set up.
Kevins brand new 250F with fuel injection.
Eventually Justin,TheSeeker, from Outpost Alaska showed up with everything but a bike and any gear! The airline had lost his gear and the plan was to borrow a bike from one of the local tour companies. After many more nights partying with the crew of bikers and Overlanders we sorted him out a bike, a well worn transalp 600 and after many more frustrating days chasing down his bag we decided that we should head to the Gobi for a few days with another guy Stefan, who had ridden from Germany on a KTM1190.
Justin preparing "Rocinante" for the adventure ahead. Luckily he had brought a spanking new Giant Loop set up and we were able to ditch the heavy and rattly aluminium and steel boxes.
We headed out of town with Justin struggling to control the old Honda, I'm no Transalp expert but it seemed it has rubber bushings in the triple clamps that were badly worn causing the steering to be incredibly vague and prone to sudden changes in direction. Also the brakes were lacking to say the least. The plan was to hammer south towards Dalanzagrad (DZ) and hit the sand from there. Stefan showed us what the advantage of 1190cc is when on the highway by blasting by us at 200km/h on several occasions!
First nights camp
As usual these guys were scathing of my little 250 and how they feel you need a big bike for long trips. The sand would change their tune..It was also funny that I was always the one to carry all the firewood and extra beer........
Justin can ride! He lives and breathes big BMW and his skill on the Transalp was impressive. Here he is lighting up Rocinante
As we approached the Gobi proper we were constantly chasing or running from a rain/sandstorm
One of the frequent stops to fix the old Honda, notice the sweet badge we found at UB black market
One minute the track was dry soft sand
Not long after it was a torrent
Stefan didn't have a lot of experience off road and struggled to contain the massive power of the big KTM but soldiered on uncomplaining.
We hid out in a shelter
Until the rain passed
That night we camped in fabulous red canyon
Stefan working hard to keep the big girl upright
We all set up camp and watched as a crazy sand, rain and hail storm moved in. The wind was fierce and filled our tents with sand in short order.
Stefan feeling knackered after a long day of picking up the beast.
Eventually the skies cleared and we were able to have a fire against the rock and enjoy some beers
We decided to take a straight shot across country for 100km or so and meet up with the track heading north. Doesn't get much better than just following the line on the GPS completely free styling the route through sandy rolling hills
Eventually we met up with the track and continued north
We stopped in a town for gas where some locals were keen to check out the bikes
I encouraged that we should take a "short cut" scenic route over the mountains heading toward some hot springs that we planned to stop at in a few days time. Shortly after town we came to this river which I promptly rode into
And promptly got stuck in
Once I got the bike out unaided by the guys on the other side of the river I found a better exit and after a bit of cursing back and forth over the noise of the river I convinced them it was OK and they went for it
Once they were safely over they asked "how many more crossings are there" "No idea I'm afraid boys but this is what we came for so lets go"
Turned out there were many more
Eventually we started to climb and we found a beautiful spot in a meadow, I dumped my gear and hammered 20km into town to get beer because I felt a little guilty about sending them through some pretty arduous terrain and came back to a roaring fire and set up camp.
The next day was to be our second last together and was only a short one into the hot springs. At one of the stops Justin pulled up and said (insert whiney Amerian accent here) "my suspension feels bagged, I'm getting hammered by this thing, my back hurts.". Sure enough the lower shock bolt had fallen out and become mangled in the linkage. We didn't have a 10mm fine thread bolt quite long enough in our spares so started to flag down passer-bys. As usual everyone was willing to help and on about the 3rd try we managed to snag an old piece of bent and rusted shaft which had one end turned down to 10mm with fine thread on it! Nothing a few hours with a file and a hacksaw couldn't fix and we had turned it into an almost perfect OEM replacement. While all this was going on a couple of guys on bikes pulled up to oversee operations and pulled out some vodka which we diligently did our duty with. He was fascinated with Stefan's pliers and decided to give his face a little spruce up, he plucked the majority of his beard out then passed out in the arms of his mate for an hour snoring blissfully in the sunshine.
Eventually we had the old Honda reassembled and headed to the hot springs through a few more rivers
We had built the hot springs up to be a magical place but as usual the tourist specific places were a bit of a disappointment. However as a treat we got a yurt for the night and had a dip in the springs. I was carefully cutting up kindling in the fireplace of the yurt when the caretaker person came in, threw out my carefully prepared fire and proceeded to fill the fire box up with huge pieces and light them in the traditional Mongolian way, with a big blow torch!
The next day Stefan and I said our goodbyes to Justin who was going solo to Ulgiy in the far west to see the Eagle Festival. We got on the main road and hammered it to UB. Boring but effective.
As we entered town we had just missed a torrential downpour and the roads were flooded, I don't want to know what kind of filth was being forced into my gear.
We got back to Oasis, and the next day I rode up to Kevin's compound and changed my oil before parking my trusty steed. For now.......
Kevin and Monco gave me a ride to the airport and then pretty soon I was back in Canada and right back into day to day life. I can't thank Monco and Kevin enough for their generosity!
Since then I've been home to Australia for a few months with my girlfriend to visit my family and been doing all the regular life stuff like working too much and dreaming of riding my bike some more.
I'm writing this from the arrivals lounge at Ulan Bator airport where I've been for 13 hours waiting for a lost bag of my very own that didn't make the flight from Beijing. CJ has a post ready to fly about the next stage of this adventure so stay tuned!
Fantastic update! Glad to see you both back and it and can't wait to see what lies ahead...
Why the hell was that man pulling his beard out?
So, 2 Months ago John and I got together to confirm that we were both prepared to return to our bikes and continue our ride to Magadan. We spent the next few weeks emailing all of the online Visa support companies we could find. Again the requirement of a Russian visa would bring our plans to a frustrating standstill. Because of the need for multiple entries, no one would guarantee that they could secure us the paperwork. The "business Visas" we had secured while we were in England seem to be even more elusive for Canadians. I'm not sure if this is the case because the relations with Canada as far as immigration are on different terms than with the UK, or is it because border officials are cracking down on tourists who are arriving in possession of a business Visa when it is quite clear that they are travelling on motorcycles and not there for any sort of business.
Things were looking bleak. Until 3 weeks ago we had no visas, no plan and felt a little helpless about it all. Out of nowhere, a good friend of ours texted with plans of a trip he had arranged in the Pamir mountains. The timing looked good, the jump off point of the trip is in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, only about 4 or 5 days ride from where my bike is being kept. I called John and pitch the idea to him. The logistics from his point of view present a bit more of a challenge. His bike was in Ulaanbaatar, 4500 kms away, with Russia in between. He was sounding unsure as he only had questionable contact with the guy were his bike is being stored. It didn't take much name calling to convince him that this would be worth a valiant effort to make happen. A chance to ride with one of the greats who inspired us to ride our bikes all the way there in the first place!
"Buy the ticket, take the ride". Let's do this!
Game on! Looking forward to following along (again). Cheers from Canuckistan.
Makes me really happy to see that you guys are on the move again. As a fellow 'broken bones far from home' club member (though mine was quite minor compared to CJ's) I applaud you, LOUDLY, for going back to finish the trip. Looking forward to the new entries & photos.
ride on guys, can't wait to see what this summer brings, that area is great for riding for sure
At one of the stops Justin pulled up and said (insert whiney Amerian accent here) "my suspension feels bagged, I'm getting hammered by this thing, my back hurts."
yer I can imagine that whiney accent .
Justin might be a good rider on those big BMWs but did he tell you he couldn't keep up with an Englishman on a moped ?
its a small world this ADV thing. Good luck with the trip guys looking forward to the rest of the RR
A ride through the Pamir mountains would be a chance of a lifetime. It doesn't get more epic than that. FIND A WAY to make this happen.
Great updates guys! It is awesome to see you back on the road again and I am looking forward to the report through the Pamirs with your undisclosed friend!
Yes , but did you pick up on the alluded to cohort ?
I know who he be , on a 690 Rally he'll be ridin' . Famous in these parts he is !
And boy am I looking forward to reading another CB RR .
Some of your suggestions are incorrect sir. Let's stick to the facts!
It's not CB but WC, this will be fun anyway.
^ no W in his username here . The Cb was a reference to his user name on this site only .
I can only assume that means another bike will be under his Butt , I was wondering about the logistics of transporting to the Stans , but figured maybe Krystoff had a trailer load going for this Summer or something similar . No matter .
All will be revealed in due course as is the MO . All this was only added here to stir up a bit of extra interest .
My mind is likely a little over active as the rest of me is inactive .
Please continue normal transmission , I am much enjoying the vicarious ride from my couch nursing a broken foot .
After all the Mongolian RR's I have read , it makes me just chuckle at this scene , people just going about their business regardless of the conditions presented to them , as that is how they get by . Would not have been a fun experience on a bike I'd imagine though !
if those in the picture are hybrid prius and drivers didn't get electrocuted You should probably sell the picture to Toyota!
there is no air pollution tax in mongolia for the prius, that's why nowadays you see a lot of them
when i first saw one fording a river, i was quite surprised, too
Great pics, looks like the WR is very much at home in Mongolia.