MotoMavericks ride WR250R's RTW. Motos, Beer, Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by CJ, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. CJ

    CJ Wheelin' & Dealin'

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Oddometer:
    409
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Bare with me here, the following photos are all pretty boring and poor quality because they're mostly cell phone images. The past week has been a grinding effort to put this thing together!! I flew out last Wednesday and John the morning after. Since then we have been spending every waking hour trying to keep the ball rolling. I landed in Astana after 30+ hours of flying, 3 layovers with barely enough time in between each one to make connecting flights. Nothing like being in a "post 13 hour flight zombie state" and then be expected to figure out where to go, do I need to recheck bag, where the fuck do I line up next, security, customs, and do I even get a chance for a beer here, all the while no one speaks any usefull English. It's a tall order. I hate flying.

    For reasons not worth discussing (dumb decision making by myself) my bike was in Kazakhstan with no battery. I knew that finding a battery in Rudny where it is parked would be impossible, and finding one in the capital city where I was flying to would be unlikely... and annoying. I did a bit of research and found that sealed AGM batteries under a certain capacity are safe to fly with. I emailed the airline, they seemed to think as long as it wasn't lithium ion it would be fine. Sweet. I stuffed the small battery into my bag and checked my luggage. I flew from Vancouver to somewhere in China, then to somewhere else in China for an unscheduled landing due to weather, then to Urumchi China, where I needed to connect for my last flight to Kazakhstan. I had to recheck my luggage. It was here, after flying all the way around the planet that they decided that this battery wasn't safe to be in my luggage. When he pulled it from my bag, it even had a "safe for flight" sticker attached to it and a document from Canadian customs stating that they'd inspected it but it met requirements to be checked onboard. He threw it in the garbage bin and send me on my way. (I kick and screamed... and begged but it didn't work) That battery travelled 15 000kms and got thrown in the bin 500 kms away from my final destination. This annoying experience earned me a 3 hour cab ride in Astana while I went to every autoparts and moto shop looking for a battery with the specs to fit my bike.... no luck. I did find one that was close but just too big physically.

    After the battery search I passed out in a hotel for the night, then i was up early and on a 10 hour train ride back to Rudny in the north west of Kaz.

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    Pasha, the guy who runs the garage that is attached to the hospital where I was laid up, agreed to pick me up at 10 from my hotel the following morning. Pasha brought his daughter and was very proud to introduce her to me! He drove me to the garage and unwrapped my bike which was in a small closet, just as I left it, SWEET! He was very keen to help me attach my new battery and confirm that it would run. We installed a Kazah battery relocation kit and turned it over. Nothing. I wasn't confident that the starter was seeing enough voltage with the extra long thin gauge wire we had used so I got Pasha to pull his car up and jump the connections... success!! It was a hard start, but a start nonetheless.

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    While it idled for a bit it was photo time!

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    Pasha loves hockey, he doesn't speak any English but when I parked my bike last year he was able to ask me if I knew Ovechkin. I thought he would like a jersey from our home team so I brought him one to say thank you for keeping my bike safe and giving it a place to rest while I healed up at home.

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    At this stage it was time to figure out how to fit the huge bag of crap I had brought all into my panniers. I also wanted to see some friends and pay a visit to the hospital. I rode to the gas station and topped up the fuel, then grabbed another room for the night and set to checking over the bike and repacking everything.

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    Once the bike was set I went to the hospital and got a warm welcome from all my nurses, big hugs all around. I also got to see my surgeon who seemed a nervous when I greeted him. Maybe he though I wasn't a satisfied customer?

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    When I was checked in last year, an Uzbek girl came to visit me once in awhile to practice her English. She organizes an English group in town and asked if I would meet them for dinner that night so they could meet the famous Canadian and practice english. We went for Shashlik and chai.

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    Next up it was the 800km asphalt push to Astana. I couldn't believe how great my bike felt. I hit the vertical side of a ditch at 90+ kms an hour, the bike and I cartwheeling down the steppe to a crushing halt in the dirt. I get multiple injuries and 5 weeks in hospital. My trusty WR gets a broken fairing mount and a superficial bend in the luggage rack, unbelievable.

    I was nervous the night before riding it out after not riding a bike since I was last on it, but words can't possibly explain how good it felt to get back on it!

    On the way to Astana, a man gave me a new sweet sticker to christen the next leg of the ride.

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    The reason for visiting Astana again was to pick up a parts cache that I had setup last year. Mishutka and Pate (of TheOffroad People) had organized a delivery of parts, fluids and tires to a friend of his just outside of town. John picked up his share of the cache last year before he rolled into the Altai. Not only was my stuff still waiting for me when I arrived, I met Andre's Dad, his cousin Nigmat and Nigmat's wife and kids, and Andre, one of the famous Off Road people.

    They were repairing Nigmat's sons "Ukraine" model bicycle.

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    (If you don't know these crazy Russians... here you go)



    Nigmat's oldest boy

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    Nigmat and Andre insisted they should take me for lunch. I tried to pay the bill to show my appreciation for their help but was quickly told that "Guests of our Kazakhstan don''t pay for lunch!".

    I wish I could really do the Russian/Kazahk hospitality and food food justice, but I suggest a visit by anyone who has the chance to experience it first hand!!

    Thanks boys!

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    Meanwhile John has been rolling through Russia and has crossed into Kaz today. Hes managed to run into some more 2 wheel celebrities! looks like we should be able to touch beers in the next couple days. It's all coming together after a lot of hard work, win!
  2. XTWalt

    XTWalt Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    261
    Location:
    Roanoke, VA
    CJ, what happened to the battery that was in the bike when you crashed? Did it get taken out and simply lost?
  3. JeepDawg

    JeepDawg Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Back in post 840 CJ said " I changed the oil on my bike with Pashas help, removed the battery, packed a few of my things and said farewell to my bike".

    Way cool that he thought to bring Pasha a hockey jersey as a thank you.
    Epic F'ing RR. Ride on!
    motomaverick likes this.
  4. motomaverick

    motomaverick Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2015
    Oddometer:
    148
    Location:
    Cultus Lake, B.C.
    Because of time constraints and the threat of bad weather my plan was to have my bike transported from UB to Ulgii in far western Mongolia by truck. This would save me about 2000 km of riding back across the vast steppe flat out in an attempt to be on time for the meet in Almaty. As usual before a trip like this I was working 7 days a week for the weeks leading up to departure and was pretty knackered even before the 3 days of travel to arrive in UB. My flights took me to Calgary first, then to Beijing where I was supposed to have a 14 hour layover but managed to fly standby to UB for a small charge. Feeling pleased with myself I landed in Mongolia hopeful that I was a day ahead of schedule but as I stood at the luggage carousel my hopes were dashed because one of my bags didn't show up. It was midnight local time and the next plane from Beijing arrived at noon the next day so I set up on the waiting area and tried to sleep. Eventually the bag arrived and I headed into town to find a place to stay for the night before heading back to the airport at 3.30am for my flight to Ulgii.

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    I got a cab into town and found wifi to ring the person that had my bike, soon after a man showed up and took me to a small garage at the back of his house where sat my bike in its crate! Deegii who I had met last year had organised having the bike crated and sent across the country all from a few emails back and forth. Thanks Deegii!

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    I set to tearing the crate apart and checking the vitals of the bike. Everything, apart from a small bend in one of my rear spokes, seemed to be fine. It wouldn't fire off the battery but my new mate gave me a push and the old girl fired to life. I took it for a spin with no seat and gently warmed it up, all good!

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    It turned out that Deegii had forgotten to send the import document for the bike that I'd left behind in UB with Kevin but promised she would send them on the plane the next day. I decided I'd take the risk and headed to the border 100km away, it felt good to be riding again.

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    I got to the border a little cold only to find it was closed because it was Sunday and I'd lost my GPS security key back in Ulgii. Bugger. I rode back and found my key ring in a parking lot and got a room for the night. There was some confusion about what time the plane with the documents was landing but after a few hours of chasing them down I was on my way back to the border. I got there around 12.50 but they were closed until 2. As I waited I got chatting with a couple of hilarious Irish blokes that turned were stuck on the inside of the border waiting for some sort of paperwork dispute to be solved. One of them turned out to be Gary, one of the BAM riders, and his cousin Mick. They had stored their Landcruiser properly the year before and paid all the appropriate taxes. I hadn't. I was a little concerned because I didn't store my bike in a government sanctioned storage facility and now I was on a different passport. It seemed that all the additional paperwork was just confusing the border people so I showed nothing other than my passport and my bike registration and was on my way in relatively short order, about 3 hours, and was back in Russia.

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    We decided to meet in Aktash, where I spent a few day last year, and have a few beers. Woke up to a beautiful but cold morning and headed off through the Altai once again.

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    We met again in the afternoon and set up camp next to a river while some cowboys wrangled their herd.

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    Another big day the next day and we made it to the Kazakh border where after lunch we said our goodbyes so they could hammer it to Bishkek in 2 days. they had flights to catch. I camped that night on a hilltop where I thought I would be free from the mosquitos, I was wrong.

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    Stopping for shashlick
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    The easterly road in Kazakhstan is rough and dangerous so it wasn't much fun blasting out 630km in one day but I did and camped next to a nice river and enjoyed a fire and a few beers
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    Up early and on the road for the 300km ride into Kapchagay. In a small town somewhere along the way a guy a guy came flying up beside me and flagged me down to stop. I was like "here we go, some dude offering accomodation or something, fuck" He jumps out of his car, askes me where I'm from and hands me 1000Tenge and says to buy myself some lunch, jumps back in his car and drives away! I was stunned!
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    I made it into town to find CJ feeling a little worse for wear after a chance encounter with the Irish lads.
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    We headed into Almaty and secured a bunch of moto supplies so we can rebuild the bikes for the next leg. With the bikes loaded down with spares we set off in the direction of Bishkek and stopped in a small village to unload the last of our Tenge on camping supplies.

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    We set up camp in an abandoned soviet village of some sort.
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    We're now in a hostel in Bishkek waiting for a storm to blow over so we can get to work rebuilding our suspension and doing a full service on the rest of the bikes.
  5. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,708
    Location:
    Okie near Muskogee
    Looking forward to this next bit:clap:lurk
    motomaverick likes this.
  6. motosx

    motosx n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6
    great report
    motomaverick likes this.
  7. juno

    juno Long timer

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    Oct 22, 2014
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    2,165
    Location:
    Jupiter
    Holy crap! Good to see you guys back together again for an adventure.
    Just the trip back to get the bikes and meet-up would have been the trip of a lifetime for a lot of folks. And you guys are just beginning again.
    Nothing beats youth and determination.
  8. Kiwi Canuck

    Kiwi Canuck Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    169
    Location:
    Langley, BC
    Hey CJ, seems like ages ago we sat down for a beer at the River Rock, well it's almost a year IIRC.

    Nice to see you getting back at it and nice that you got to go see the nurses and staff at the hospital that fixed you up.

    Ride safe and keep the stories coming.

    Cheers,

    David
    CJ likes this.
  9. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    619
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    :bow:bow:bowFuck yes to more of you guys!! :super:super:super

    And then... ?
    CJ and motomaverick like this.
  10. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
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    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    I saw some interesting pics on your Facebook, I am wondering what the story is behind that.
    motomaverick likes this.
  11. CJ

    CJ Wheelin' & Dealin'

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Oddometer:
    409
    Location:
    Vancouver BC

    Just a bit of routine maintenance... Nothing to see here.

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    During our maintaince tear downs we literally remove everything but the engine and wirifn harness....

    Both of our machines were overdue for this treatment so it must be done before we head for the hills. The advantage to complete tear downs of the bikes is it exposes every inch of the all the comoonents to be inspected for issues.

    John's bike has now travelled 60 000kms or there abouts (all on this trip) so much of that has been a hard life. Mine about 10k less but the last time I rode it was when I stacked it on the hard pack at 90kms/hr and let it cartwheel down the steppe.

    This service did expose a couple of unforseen problems on John's bike so we are glad to be in a town with a few resources around. More to come.
  12. Golfer

    Golfer n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9
    Glad to see you got the band back together! Have a great time!
    SMURPH, kalonji, CJ and 2 others like this.
  13. CJ

    CJ Wheelin' & Dealin'

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Oddometer:
    409
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Our last meal in Kazakhstan. We pulled over for Shashlik and were warmly welcomed by the owner of the road side restaurant. He served up a huge lunch and then refused to accept any money.

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    Originally we hoped to only be in Bishkek for a couple of days while we worked on the bikes... unfortunately it would takes more like 4 days. Stripping the bikes down to for a complete overhaul. Progress was made slow because of the intense heat and less than perfect work space. Fortunately the family that ran the Tunduk hostel were good to us and didn't seem to mind too much that we turned their courtyard into a shit show.

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    While we were working I got a message from a dude on instagram saying that he was also in Bishkek and wanted to link up.

    Abi showed up the next afternoon on his Royal Enfield. He was riding a big loop out of India, to Mongolia and then taking the Trans Siberian to Moscow with his bike to explore Europe.

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    I've never seen an Enfield in person before. He had a pretty tidy setup.

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    Abi is a sound engineer. During his ride he is trying to find local artists in places he visits and records their live music so he can use it in his video montages he posts online. That night he was set to record a local Kyrgyz jazz band at the Metro pub. We figured we should get out of the hostel and splurge a bit on a good meal. We ordered up some of the most delicious steaks I have ever tasted. The band played covers of many classic english tunes but I have a sneaking suspicion the singer couldn't actually understand any of the words he was singing. And as usual we were the only people in the place aside from one other table.

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    The next day we rolled out of Bishkek and headed for the hills to get a bit of a test ride on the bikes and find a place with fresh air and a camp site.

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    We rode up a valley and spotted a place by the river to set up. The access was right next to a farmhouse so we stopped in to ask if it was ok for us to camp. They insisted that we should just camp in their yard. It wasn't exactly the peace and quiet spot on the river we had hoped for, but an army of kids did run out to help us set up our tents.

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    They even rolled out our mats and laid out sleeping bags.

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    And as usual in Kyrgyzstan the view was acceptable

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  14. kennettpitstop

    kennettpitstop Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Nr Newmarket, UK
    IMG_20160809_102159.jpg As you both know, I'm regularly reading your updates & enjoying them. Good times with us in England. Talking of Royal Enfield, Sue's brother had a new Continental in 1964 (approx £200) when most of us could only afford about £50 for a 'bike. He let me ride it from time to time and I volunteered to take it for MOT test as it was about a ten mile ride - nice. This is Richard on his Royal Enfield.
  15. Oldfatbeerman

    Oldfatbeerman Enroute to a PUB

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    Loving it , power on dudes ! :clap:freaky:beer:bow .
    motomaverick and CJ like this.
  16. cristiano

    cristiano Been here awhile

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    Dec 30, 2013
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    Italy
    Great to see you back!
  17. Oldfatbeerman

    Oldfatbeerman Enroute to a PUB

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    Not pleased about Walter's problem ! :nono
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  18. CJ

    CJ Wheelin' & Dealin'

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Oddometer:
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    Vancouver BC
    At this stage we are on a bit of a shakedown ride. We are meant to be a party of 3 as of the 1st of the month but because of bike transportation drama our kick off date keeps creeping backward. John and I are trying to complete a couple of the nearby tracks to fill our time as we wait for a third bike to arrive in Bishkek.

    We set out from our campsite toward Kegety, a 3600 meter pass south east of Bishkek. The trail up followed a beautiful valley and offered many places to stop and admire the view

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    Once we reached 3000 meters we started to run into snow. Large drifts on the north faces made progress incredibly slow.

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    We rode around the snow drifts where possible but the ground was soft, steep and slippery. At 3000 meters and running what seems to be poor quality fuel it's hard work to keep the bikes tractoring upward. we traversed 3 or 4 big drifts and were feeling confident that we'd make it to the pass. Once we cross the pass and decending on the southern face we should be clear of snow.

    John makes an attempt at a very steep section but gets stuck again.

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    After pulling his bike out of the wet snow, we hiked to the next road surface to get a lay of the land. Only 900 meters or so from the top we could now have a good view of the last few switchbacks, completely covered in snow. It looked as though this section doesn't really get much, if any sun all day long. There was no way we would be able to pass this section without considerable effort, if it all. We hadn't had breakfast and were not provisioned with much food so we decided to turn back and make another attempt in a few weeks when there will be less snow. Bummer, challenge one = defeated.

    We rode back to the low valley to load up with some food and beer and decided we'd try a couple of tracks and attempt to find a lake nearby.

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    We spent 3 hours or so fighting our way up a very tight rocky hiking track.

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    Eventually after covering less than half a kilometer in over an hour we admitted defeated a second time for the day. Time to find a nice campsite to gear down and beer up!

    We set up in a small clearing next to the river

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    A couple of dudes came through our site. They seemed to be hunting for some sort of rhubarb type plant that the eat for snacks. It was pretty delicious. One of the cowboys offered me a seat up on his horse. I don't really trust horses and as general rule keep them at a distance, but I figured I'd give it a go. It felt all a bit weird and tippy up there, no brakes, no throttle, foot pegs hanging and swinging around.

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    They had a pretty awesome dog with them. John managed to snap off this shot of him mostly by accident. It turned out pretty sweet!!

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  19. ScottTenere

    ScottTenere Just want to ride

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
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    Location:
    Marble Falls, Texas
    Great pictures of some really interesting areas. Looks like you have plenty of opportunities to kill some time while waiting for the third bike.

    Very glad you guys made the extra effort to resume your journey and look forward to reading your updates.
  20. Oldfatbeerman

    Oldfatbeerman Enroute to a PUB

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    Looks like a brutal alternative :lol3, chillin' the beer in the stream then chillin' with the beer by the stream , doing it tough fellas ! :beer
    Piggdekk and motomaverick like this.