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New Zealand RTW and back on a KTM500exc.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Aaron.S, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. husqvarna

    husqvarna Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    275
    Location:
    Darkest Efrika
    Brilliant ride and spellbinding report; excellent photographs show the remoteness well. I know a little about that feeling of vulnerability at the back of your mind; always, mostly small but always there. You stop and wonder if you should switch off, check nothing drawing current if in sand on a flat where there is no chance of a run start. Note to self; do not overthink.
    outbacktm, Aaron.S and shuswap1 like this.
  2. 86_Aidan

    86_Aidan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Oddometer:
    261
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Enjoying the report! good luck on the road! (or lack there of...)
    Caprug and Aaron.S like this.
  3. Kyron

    Kyron Oncler Inds

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,073
    Location:
    Phoenix Arizona ATR > Pacifica Ca PMA
    No idea Mongolia even looked like that ............ :eekers
  4. BLucare

    BLucare What could possibly go wrong?

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2016
    Oddometer:
    2,986
    Location:
    Green Bay, Wisconsin
    This is one of my new favorite photos on ADV Rider :clap Might even be desktop wallpaper material!

    [​IMG]
  5. cliffb

    cliffb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    24
    Agreed^^^^
  6. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    Exactly!
  7. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    Thanks. Much appreciated.
  8. DC950

    DC950 Microadventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,530
    Location:
    Seattle and Las Cruces, NM
    for 20 years there is no place I've wanted to ride more than Mongolia. I feel even more like that now thanks to you.
    mokhtario, Aaron.S and BLucare like this.
  9. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    Let's call reading my Mongolian part of my RR motivational reading for ya then huh.
    DC950 likes this.
  10. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    Pretty big day today.
    Navigating here is the hardest part.
    It's not like you can put in Google from A to B it doesn't work.
    Mapsme does but it's a little hard to trust if it's right.
    I also find it hard to ask locals as besides no English they often have trouble with my map on the phone.
    I went with a combination of mapsme, Google maps and iOverlander today.
    I'm trying to get to Gobi Gurvan and it says 650k but the route sometimes doesn't show roads on Google and the finish on iOverlander but very tiny on mapsme.
    I had about 120k sealed then it lead me off onto a dirt road that split in different directions often.
    I stopped did about 100k dirt but I saw a car often enough for it not to worry me and came back to a road into the town of Arvaikheer.
    I got something to eat got gas and soon after mapsme sent be back into the bloody huge open nothingness of Mongolia.
    It said about 315k to go.
    I knew I wasn't making it that day and had planned to camp when I got tired.
    40k in and I hadn't seen a car or anything. I stopped and I was legitimately worried.
    The road had a couple dry crossings and sometimes not looking that used.
    20190716_202248.jpg 20190716_202302.jpg 20190716_202302.jpg I could turn back but the alternative is hundreds of ks to find another route to Dalanzadgad.
    I pushed forward through the sand and dirt road which luckily wasn't hard to keep on track. I just kept thinking the next village is 70k just ride safe treat the bike right. Honestly though I would of been screwed had I broke down and I started to think about Morocco and get pissed at myself a little.
    How do I end up in places like this alone?
    I then saw a Ger and started looking at the speedo taking a mental note what distance it was once I passed it.
    Once I was about 20k from the town I started to chill a bit.
    Maybe I'm over reactinf?
    Something about this place just makes you feel pretty darn small.
    I didn't see anyone in the last hour or more.
    I arrived around 5pm with a howling wind so I got gas and found a place to sleep.
    I'm not sure if it's a hotel or just a room they let me have in this office building.
    Some of you maybe rolling your eyes thinking toughen up buttercup and you're probably right.
    Well I have another 250k tomorrow of the same and actually I think worse because the line on iOverlander and Google stops soon.
    Couldn't be bothered stopping for photos but here's one of the one horse town of Guchin and the place I'm In.
  11. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    2,407
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Nah man, being in unfamiliar territory with questionable navigation and no one speaking your language? Hell, I had the same worry when I found the track I laid out stopped and I hadn't loaded topo maps for Nevada. Didn't have the area of maps.me loaded on my phone and my Garmin wasn't much help. And I was only in SE Oregon, not frickin' Mongolia.

    Hope the 250k you're knocking out (or have already knocked out) went well. Looking forward to hearing how it went, stay safe out there man :thumb
    outbacktm and Aaron.S like this.
  12. NoelJ

    NoelJ Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,566
    Location:
    USA
    That much emptiness is scary for anyone. It's one thing to want to be there, but you'd be a fool not to be hyper-conscious of the risk. I'm sure you'll be fine though, just because you ARE aware. Lots of guys die on bikes two blocks from their house, helmetless and half naked, because they "weren't worried - it's just a neighborhood ride".

    What you're doing is the very definition of adventure riding, Aaron - I'm impressed; rock on! I love these pictures and updates.
    Manny U, outbacktm, DC950 and 7 others like this.
  13. duggyb

    duggyb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2015
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    Alberta
    UNREAL!! 1500 Hours!, Aaron are you still on stick bottom end? other than the head/cyl/piston at 869Hr have you done any other major stuff? sorry haven't had a chance to read entire thread yet just working through it here but wanted to know. Still on stock countershaft? no cush hub?
  14. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    Did the Crank after Georgia. Read on. Got cush drive from Haan when I was in the Netherlands at their factory.
    duggyb likes this.
  15. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    Well I made it!!
    What were you guys worried about?
    Gees.
    It wasn't a 250k day it turned into a 370k day all offroad.
    Today I broke it into pieces.
    The first town was 90k away so no worries and I saw three people on the way.
    The next was 140k away. Bigger stint but just head down arse up. Very remote.
    Once there I had 90k to the last town but the pressure was off because it was a route used often by people taking tourists to the flaming cliffs.
    I did a 30k detour there and back to see them but actually it was pretty unimpressive.
    Give it a Google though.
    I think on a sunny day at sunrise or sunset camping there it could be cool but it was cloudy.
    I left about 8am with a few drops of rain then it heated up a heap. I took off a layer at the first town.
    I rolled into the last town in a downpour of a thunderstorm.
    I had a bloody good day on the bike everything was just clicking.
    I kept having to rein myself in.
    I sat on 80 to 90k alot but at times clicked top then looked down and I was doing 110kmh plus.
    No need and not worth the crash but honestly it was a day where I felt I couldn't crash.
    The bike was squirrelly a heap but never felt out of control it was like she was on autopilot and I just hung in for the ride.
    What a difference a day can make.
    I gave myself a pep talk last night and this morning basically saying what are the odds it will break down and bloody well enjoy it.
    I felt like someone was looking over me the whole day.
    Sounds silly but shit at times I slowed down for no reason and round the corner was a huge water rut or something.
    For 50k of the last stint I was constantly above 100k and skimming over nasty shit no worries.
    I got a room in one of the nicest places to find out the shower hardly works ughh. Been a few days.
    The town has been out of power for 3 days. Most shops are dark and running on generators for the cashier.
    Okay bummed about the shower but the hotel had a nice restaurant so since I've had a handful of peanuts and 2 snickers bar in the last 24 hrs I went down to order and first things first I ordered a beer.
    She said no.
    I pointed to a different beer then she said no and went and got a sign.
    You aren't going to believe this but this town has a no alcohol Wednesday policy.
    Fuck worrying about snapping a chain in the middle of nowhere now I'm freaking out.
    I got up and walked to the store and grabbed a couple beers from the warm fridge. A guy pointed to a sign that I couldn't read but I knew what it sad and he motioned me to put them back.
    Well I've never thought of shoplifting untill now but it was starting to cross my mind.
    I went to the checkout and the young girl said something but I had probably a look on my face she didn't want to deal with so sold it to me.
    Ughhh thank goodness.
    So basically in the last four days I've gone from Tes to Bayantes Northern Mongolia and diagonally crossed it to Dalanzadgad by the Gobi doing about 1500k and only about 200k was paved.
    I think mentally it was the hardest 4 days of riding in a row for me.
    I think tomorrow I'll wake up and be stoked but right now I'm pretty tapped out.
    Ohh beer .. my good old friend beer... I don't even care you are warm.
    20190717_082553.jpg 20190717_095242.jpg 20190717_135347.jpg 20190717_183602.jpg
  16. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,080
    Location:
    Switzerland and around the globe
    Yeah and it's different days in different towns. One lady told me to put the 1.5 l bottle into my pants pocket after selling it to me on a no alcohol day.
  17. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    2,407
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Great to read this @Aaron.S! Wondered how you fared as you made your long trek, nothing like adding 120k to a day that was a bit intimidating to begin with :lol3 :lol3

    Sucks about the shower and completely crazy about the no booze Wednesday, at least you were able to get a few beers and enjoy 'em...all outlaw like :rofl

    Pretty cool scenery shots man, I like the one of your bike with the camels in the background. And those cliffs are pretty sweet too.

    Hope you're able to get a shower in and that the power comes back on before you head out again. After 4 days of mentally tough riding, taking some time to chill and restore is important.

    Keep the knobby side down :thumb
  18. Junya

    Junya Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    65
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    "Fuck worrying about snapping a chain in the middle of nowhere now I'm freaking out."
    LOL
    Classic
    And Slow down and wear your helmet!
    powderzone likes this.
  19. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui
    Huh? I always wear my helmett
    outbacktm likes this.
  20. mdlafferty

    mdlafferty Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    Surrey BC
    Hi Aaron. I’m heading down to Dalanzadgad from The Oasis in Ulaanbaatar tomorrow, Friday. Keep an eye out for a fellow 2016 500 EXC rider on your trip north.
    Mark Lafferty
    Digger.Jeep likes this.