New Zealand RTW and back on a KTM500exc.

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

  1. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    954
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    Mongolia wasn't going to let me leave easy.
    The town of Darkhan is about 280k north of Ulaanbaatar. Easy. Set myself up for the border from there.
    Not so easy as the main road was closed and for the life of me I couldn't see where the detour was. I followed cars west and didn't see any turn off.
    I went back east 30k still couldn't see where you were supposed to go. I went back west and after a 100k it was either do a big loop or head inland and do a diagonal and meet the road north halfway up.
    I saw a couple towns and knew there was a road but also knew it was going to be a bit crappy after the last few days of rain.
    I wasn't entirely wrong. It was pretty muddy in places with some big puddles and slick in other spots.
    Two close calls.
    After about 150k of it I ended up back on the road north about 3k short of where the road works finished.
    It actually worked out pretty well but turned into a 450k day.
    Not the cake walk I was expecting.
    Today I woke up to rain at 6am but it stopped around 8 before I left for the border which was about 120k away.
    Great border crossing. I got waved to the front. Passport quickly stamped no questions.
    Customs wasn't to bad and the guy spoke a little English which helped because he only had Russian forms and couldn't find the English one I could use for a guide.
    Quick bag search. Well I had to pull it all out.
    They really are looking for medications.
    Wanted to see pill box which I don't have but also first aid kit which is buried at the bottom.
    Border crossings aren't always my favorite days but this felt almost sentimental as it's my last one here and I only have Indonesia to cross into with my bike the others are just flying into.
    Hard to believe really.
    Another 240k of a few showers and stiff headwind and I ended up in Ulan-Ude.
    Looks like bad weather for the next couple days then a fine spell.
    Coldest day so far in a long time.
    It's keeping me on my toes not to mess around much and it's time for a huge push.
    I've got 6000k to cover in the next few weeks.
    A long stretch of back to back days.
    Well that's all from me.
    Oh and I still have a starting issue.
    I thought my battery was going bad but I have a new one so suspect my starter motor is on the way out. Had to kickstart a couple times today.
    Rocking it in gear when pushing the start button helps also. Seems to be mainly when hot.
    I have a feeling I'm going to get really good at kickstarting the old girl because I don't really have time to wait here for a replacement. 20190726_130414.jpg 20190726_083907.jpg 20190726_134840-01.jpeg
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  2. NoelJ

    NoelJ Been here awhile

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  3. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    I was just thinking about seeing if there was someone local who repairs them.
    Great idea.
  4. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    Right what's young Mr Steinmann been up to?
    Well I headed off to Lake Baikal on a pretty gloomy day. Very windy and all head wind until I ended up in a little lake resort type place. Resort might be a stretch of the word. It perhaps maybe okay mid summer but with a bit of drizzle and a strong wing it was a pretty miserable little place. The one place I found to stay you couldn't see the lake and it was more than I wanted to pay for a room.
    The couple shops and cafe were closed and no cell service so time to leave.
    About 30k back towards Ulan-Ude I stopped at another lakeside village.
    Not much going on here but at least you could see the lake a little better and even though not many people around I found a place to stay I could see the lake.
    The wind had picked up even more and was pretty damn strong.
    I had really been looking forward to seeing Lake Baikal and months ago I had visions of camping next to it. Waking up to it with the sunrise over the clear blue water and going for a cold swim.
    It was anything but that and there was no way I thought about putting my tent up in that wind. I made the right call because it started to rain about 6pm and it poured down all night.
    It stopped about 7am and by 10 I was on the bike heading back to Ulan-Ude. It was a dark gloomy day but the wind was in my favour this time.
    I found a cheap place and went for a walk into the city to buy some socks and undies.
    I left my washing behind a couple days ago ( only a pair of socks and undies) but that put me down to only one pair of riding socks and two pairs of undies but one has a hole so they get thrown out today. Bummer was I started out with 3 pairs of riding socks but one got a big hole somehow and I've lost the other one along the way.
    Seems a little thing to find good socks but it's not easy. I couldn't find a decent camping or sporting store. I finally found a Adidas store and a pair of long football socks are going to have to do..
    I'm a bit over the weather. I've had 7 or 8 days in a row of shit. Every time I look at the weather app it says fine in 2 days then it changes the next day to another day of rain.
    Tomorrow will be the start of the big push rain ,hail or shine.
    It does look like it is going to clear tomorrow though and I'm not sure about the weather were I'm heading but at least here it's going to be fine for 5 days so hopefully it will follow me.
    Oh my the zip on my rain pants broke. Pain now because it flaps in the wind. I really haven't used them that much. Kim goretex.
    I don't know why anyone who makes motorcycle pants or jackets use such small zips. I get they want it to be waterproof but still my boots cover most and put it towards the back.
    Always been a pain to zip up and down. Also don't put webbing in them that catches on boot buckles. 1010501-01.jpeg 20190728_140219.jpg 20190729_093252.jpg 20190729_153212.jpg 20190729_152427.jpg 20190729_161718.jpg
  5. NoelJ

    NoelJ Been here awhile

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    Cool pics of the lake - makes it look as huge as it is! I can imagine the rain is pretty fatiguing after days and days! Humans need sunshine. Thanks for the update!
  6. liv2day

    liv2day Life is all about how you handle plan B Supporter

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    Damn @Aaron.S, sounds like it's been a rough few days with crap weather, not being able to find a decent place nor something as simple as socks (at least, simple for us), and gear failing. I hope the weather turns around and you're able to get some KMs down riding under blue skies and sunshine.

    That shot of your bike in front of the lake - looks more like a shot in front of an ocean, those are some waves!

    Wanted to relate a cool story from a short ride this past weekend. Went out for few days of riding and camping with a buddy in the Cascades, doing part of the Cascade Discovery Route and more. Making our way south and pass a mountain biker who'd set his tent up just off the road. Slowed as we approached and got the thumbs up, so we kept going. I ended up getting a damn flat (f*cking nails in the tire...on a forest road?) and we had to setup camp earlier than planned. Anyway, fast forward to the next morning and I'm pulling the tube, up comes the mountain biker. Turns out he's a Kiwi, Micheal, who's been pedaling around CA and OR. Had a good chat with him, he's in OR until 8/18, gave him my cel and told him to reach out if he needs anything. He has a DR650 back at home and said he's looking forward to getting into the type of riding we were doing. I told him about your ride and suggested he look this thread up when he has time. Anyway - cool to meet one of your countryman in a pretty remote spot.

    Keep the knobby side down man :ricky :ricky
    Aaron.S and shuswap1 like this.
  7. BOOTLACE

    BOOTLACE Bikie Scum. Supporter

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    Hang in there bro.

    Top ride. Find more beer!

    :1drink:-)
    Aaron.S and dano619 like this.
  8. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    Great to see some more updates! Good luck for the big push across Russia.

    Often starter issues are just worn brushes, even if you can't get the exact part these can be interchangeable between starters with a bit of bodging, so if you can find an auto sparky, or even a talented mechanic, a fix may not be too complicated.

    Cheers
    Clint
  9. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    600k day today. Crazy weather. One minute it looked fine for miles then a quick thunderstorm.
    Also had a bit of smoke from fires for a while.
    Luckily mostly I had a tail wind and only got caught briefly in the rain.
    I ended up in Chita and found a Russian biker post to stay at. They have a few bunk beds.
    It looks like I'm following the storm because this morning tomorrow was fine for the next 5 days now it's thunderstorms tomorrow and fine for 5 days after.
    I'll wake up see what the weather is.
    Seems like the storms come in later in the day though.
    Even though it was a pretty big day it didn't feel to bad as I only had a short distance of unpaved.
    Mongolia must of helped my riding fitness.
    20190730_104021-01.jpeg 20190730_194723.jpg
  10. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    Bummer about the flat.
    Awesome for your kindness of handing out your cell number though.
    Good for you.
    Blumtnman and liv2day like this.
  11. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    I smashed out another 600k today. Screw the starter the weather looked like it was going to be okay so I made the most of it.
    I'm hardly stopping to start except for gas. 20190731_135631.jpg 20190731_135631.jpg
    Rain held off and it was actually pretty warm but the sun couldn't make it's way through the smoke.
    It's got thicker the deeper I've got into Siberia.
    3.2 million hectares are engulfed now I just read and Russia has declared a state of emergency.
    Apparently people are pissed off the government didn't react earlier.
    I'm staying in a hotel in Mogocha.
    Staff are fucking horrible and nuts.
    Lady shows me a room with one big bed with it's own toilet and bathroom says 2000. Like 30us. It's shitty and overpriced.
    Opposite the hall she shows me a room with 2 beds no toilet or shower but there's one down the hall. No problem I take it. Before I take it I ask if there is hot water. She says yes.
    Once settled I go to take a shower no hot water.
    I go down Google translate and they get pissed off and say in a hour.
    A hour later I go to the shower and there is only hot water. Scolding hot you can't stand under it. No cold at all
    I go try explain they turn their back on me and basically make me feel like I'm just a dick.
    I go out try find something to eat.
    No luck.
    Buy some grain wheat type biscuits. Whatever it will work.
    I go back to my room and the receptionist lady sees me and follows me to my room with another guy.
    I unlocked my door and she points to the other bed... hang on this isn't a fucking dorm room.. she doesn't speak English I don't speak Russian but I know how to say no... she gets mad I just look and say het (no sounds lick nect) she motions me to take some stuff off the other bed then I say no fucking way she gets so mad and slams the door really hard.
    I don't give a fucking rats arse how mad she is I'm not sharing a room I paid for. Again it isn't a dorm it's a hotel.
    So tomorrow you guessed it another 600k day. Well 584 but who's splitting hairs at this stage.
    Cheers all.
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  12. BOOTLACE

    BOOTLACE Bikie Scum. Supporter

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    Definitely no beer there!!!
  13. liv2day

    liv2day Life is all about how you handle plan B Supporter

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    Fack man, sounds like she skipped the whole customer service/hospitality training bit. Sheesh, what a cluster f*ck. Hope you're able to get out of there and get to a place that's a bit more hospitable, can be hard enough traveling solo - dealing with dick people isn't cool.

    That's a lot of Ks to be kicking out, hope you don't have to deal with any starter issues and things smooth out a bit. Be careful of that frickin' wildfire smoke - not good. Pretty sure you were in OR when that idiot kid started the fire in the Gorge? Air quality was crap for a long time after that.

    Safe travels @Aaron.S :-)
  14. NoelJ

    NoelJ Been here awhile

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    Smoke and assholes may end up as the Siberia theme! I hope neither of them stops you from seeing the place for what it is - a beautiful, wild part of the world. People can ruin things in record time if you let them, but maybe the landscape can offset some of that BS. Safe travels Aaron!
  15. crownhorse

    crownhorse Been here awhile

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    interested in motoz rallz rear tire for ktoom 500 what is your opinion of tire for mostly hwy gravel, " have other set of wheels and tires for dirt" thanks
  16. Comrade Art

    Comrade Art Working stiff

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    Are you going to be using any of Colebatch's Russian GPS tracks? удачи (udachi) :thumb
  17. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    No
  18. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    Amazing rear. For a tyre that can go 10000k if need be it does really well in everything. Always going to be a compromise but over here not been able to get another easily it's better to have a half worn rear like this than a bald you name it better purely offroad tyre.
    skibum69, DC950 and crownhorse like this.
  19. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    I had planned on 5 days to do the 2800k from Ulan-Ude to Yakutsk.
    Things don't always go as planned.
    It seems like the little towns to stay at are about 550-600 k apart so it made sense it would take 5 days.
    The third day I got a early start as I wanted out of that hotel with the mad lady.
    ( btw I left her a little present... not intentionally and not that little but the toilet didn't flush so I left her a big poo to deal with)
    I got to the next town about 3.30 after 585k and one place was booked the other had a shitty room with four beds that are the single short ones with a foot board. Not dealing with it so I went and brought a couple bags of noodles and beers and thought I would just keep riding until I found a place to camp.
    I keep getting told not to camp because of all the bears but I'm yet to see one.
    I found one about a hour later. Pretty good little spot.
    The next morning my hips woke me up early so I was packed and on my bike by 7.30.
    By the time I got to the next town I should of stopped at it was about 1.30 so no point.
    I grabbed a drink and kept riding to a town I saw on the sign about 270 k away. When I got there there was nothing around not even cell service. I grabbed a feed at the cafe and after another person saying there were bears around I thought fuck it I'll do the long haul to Yakutsk.
    I did 925k yesterday and a one hour ferry crossing arriving about 8.30 pm bloody beat.
    I rode around and couldn't find 2 of the places on booking and finally after 9 I gave up and blew my budget getting a room in a really nice hotel.
    I woke up this morning to it pouring down outside so I'm so happy to be here and I even am treating myself to another night because I don't want to reapck.
    My tent is spawled out drying and I want to do a oil change on my bike but even that might get put off becuse f the rain.
    I lost my skid plate yesterday which is my fault I didn't cable tie the quick release like I normally do. I only had a couple left and thought I would save them. Dumbass.
    I was going to have a look around to find a place that might be able to make someothing quickly up out of thin aluminium. I only have 2000k to go on the Road of bones before I'm done for a month or so when I can get a new one.
    The somke here isn't bad but there were some places that it was really thick.
    I read 3,2 million hectares were engulfed and in 2015 Russia re-introduced a old Soviet era policy that gives the government the right not to extingush fires if the cost to do so is more then the value of the wood burnt.
    So up in flames goes the area the size of Belgium. 1010521.jpg 20190802_101702.jpg 20190802_145357.jpg 20190802_191730.jpg
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  20. liv2day

    liv2day Life is all about how you handle plan B Supporter

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    Glad to read this update @Aaron.S, even better that you got out of the $hithole hotel (literally...lol) and kept on your way.

    Hell man, can't believe you knocked out ~575 miles in a day on your 500, that's nucking futs. Good on you for splurging a bit after that marathon, especially if you woke to T-storms and crap weather. Probably a good time to chill and recuperate from that long of a ride.

    First pic you posted of your camp next to that river is sweet, though the thought of bears around would likely make me not sleep a wink :lol3. The sarcastic side of my brain would joke that Putin might ride up on one of those bears and wonder WTF you were doing camping on his land :D

    The fire smoke in the 2nd pic, fack - that's no joke. Breathing that stuff is hell on your respiratory system, not to mention your overall health. Glad you didn't get stuck in it too long. And that's nuts about the Russians taking that tact on fires, guess they just say the hell with the environment (though I know burns can be good for forests).

    Keep the knobby side down man, here's to a day of R&R. Looking forward to seeing your next update :D :D
    Aaron.S likes this.