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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    20190823_123943.jpg 20190823_124258.jpg 20190823_132123.jpg 20190823_124646.jpg 20190823_151724.jpg 20190824_101300.jpg Hey little bit of good news as I got contacted by a marketing guy from KTM HQ in Austria.
    They want to do a little thing on their blog or article. I'm unsure as yet but he is sending me a email with details.
    At least I'm on their radar now so maybe when I need another top end they can cut me a deal.
    I'm now in Seoul and yesterday I went to the war memorial/museum.
    It was really fantastic and free!
    Today I took a tour to the DMZ and got as close as you can get to North Korea and see one of the cities along with the fake city they used to attract people from the South over.
    Worth doing but I'm really not big on these organized bus tours.
    Often people ask me what is the hardest part about your trip?
    It's been a tough question to answer up until possibly now.
    Not having my bike has been an adjustment along with 6 really long days in Vladivostok.
    Loosing a big chunk of my freedom.
    The shipping also turned into the worst experience I have ever had dealing with someone.
    At one point he even said to me he was trying to make it as hard as he could for me.
    It all started because I didn't use him to ship my bike from Magadan to Vladivostok.
    I used a competitor.
    He kept saying on the phone..why didn't you call me?
    I told him I didn't think he shipped from there and we went in circles until I said I don't give a fuck who ships it from A to B it just needs to get fucking done!!
    I even have a email from him saying he didn't ship from Magadan to Vladivostok and sent it back to him.
    Apparently I'm his 3rd problem customer this year he wrote back.
    I told him he might want to look in the mirror because 3 sounds to many to me.
    60 emails later and I can't even start on the stupidity of it all. I think 3 times I had to tell him the bike doesn't have a key.
    He knew my time table and the night before I was flying out emails saying there can't be gas in the bike. He had weeks to tell me this sort of stuff. Vent over as I'm just trying to put that all behind me and hopefully the guy on the Malaysian side is a heap better. So far he has been.
    The last photo is North Korea.
    I probably won't post often as it's not much of a ride report for you guys if I'm not on my bike.
    I'm flying to Bangkok on Tuesday and will work out my next move from there.
    Oh... my carnet.. it got dent back to New Zealand. Cost me 175.00. I found out DHL had put T instead of a I on the street address so their mistake. Hopefully they will refund me. My bro in N.Z is trying to sort it out for me and now shipping it to Thailand.
  2. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    Please continue to post anything you can or want to. Most of us will never get the chance to see any of these places. Thanks for going to the trouble to chronicle your travels and adventures.
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  3. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Good to "hear" from you @Aaron.S, been wondering what's been going on on that side of the planet. Cool shots from Seoul man, and that's crazy about getting to the DMZ and being that close - can't imagine it.

    It's about f*cking time someone from Katoom reached out, it's only been a couple years...lol. I hope it turns into something cool, as a marketing moron myself, your story and tales would be a damn goldmine.

    Dude - that seriously sucks about the shipping nightmare and dealing with that ahole, I hope you're able to get it sorted and doesn't end up causing you issues down the way. Or is it already sorted?

    Ditto to what @2old2Bbold said, please throw us a bone here and there and let us know what's going on. While you might not be riding and this is a ride report, what you're doing and experiencing is still part of the report IMO. Especially as I'll likely never ride nor visit the places you are.

    Stay safe man :thumb
  4. EtronX

    EtronX Been here awhile

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    No worries, mate. What we do has an element of risk to it. We all know that. Graham knew that. Our job is to manage that risk to the best of our abilities. Sometimes we are lucky, and sometimes we are really unlucky. Beeing lucky always beats skill, but unfortunately being unlucky also always beats skill.

    If I am lucky enough to leave this earth doing something I love, and something that for me is the pure essence of life, well then I consider myself lucky. To quote Hunter S. Thompson:

    “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
  5. sparrow.2

    sparrow.2 n00b

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    Hey Aaron,
    I stumbled onto this thread and read it in two days. What an awesome adventure and what a way to do it. The older I get the lighter my bikes have tended to get and looking at the EXC it looks like an absolute blast! I have also developed an urge to travel to places on two wheels which I won't be able to satisfy until the kids are older. Your thread and all the pictures are the equivalent of motorcycle adventure travel porn which scratches the itch quite nicely for the time being :yum
    Thank you also for sharing the downs as well as the ups of the trip and the mechanical side of the trip.

    Stay upright and good luck on your trip! Looking forward to reading your updates!

    Greetings from Germany

    Thomas
    Aaron.S and wilfred like this.
  6. 08StangGT_CS

    08StangGT_CS Adventurer

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    DMZ was cool. Enjoying your report.

    Attached Files:

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  7. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Damn, it was early May 2018 when you stopped in here, Wow.....Hell of an Adventure Aaron!!! :photog
    Thanks for your most entertaining posts and keep on keepin' on!
    Aaron.S likes this.
  8. Bengt Phorks

    Bengt Phorks Been here awhile

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    I spent a year (1967) in KOREA sitting in a US outpost on the DMZ watching and recording activity on the north Korean side. It got kind of spooky at night as the border was about 300 feet from our outpost. We would have been the first dead people if the North Koreans decided to attack us.
  9. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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    Well put mate
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  10. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    I feel like 5 days in Seoul was a good amount of time. I was ready to leave and think I got to see quite alot and walked my butt off each day.
    I went up the Seoul tower which gives you a great view of this vast city.
    I got lucky on a room as after the first night not having a proper bed I ditched that place and walked around and found a place close by that was brand new and opening up in a week but the guy was really nice and rented me a room anyway. The price was cheap compared to everything I saw on booking and it was in a great location.
    I found Seoul to have a safe feeling to it, very clean and orderly but to be honest it is in a way a little boring because of that and also very expensive. Food especially for what you got.
    I flew to Bangkok a few days ago and right away were hit with the humidity, smells( good and bad) great food all over the place at local places for cheap and the hustle and bustle I kinda like from this place.
    I've been staying with my friend Moritz but I'm now at the airport about to fly to Phuket.
    Flights are so cheap. 2 days in advance and it was $40.
    I'm planning on heading over to Ko Yao Noi as Moritz recommended it and then onto Krabi probably.
    I really don't have much of a plan at all.
    While sitting here though he just sent me a link to a weather report saying that a typhoon was going to hit Phuket tomorrow so maybe I'll be stuck there for a couple days before I catch a boat over to the island.
    I got a email saying my bike is scheduled to be leaving Vladivostok on Sept 6th so it will take around 4 weeks from then to get to Malaysia.
    All the photos are from Seoul.
    That's about all that's been going on with me. Catch you all later. 20190826_110316.jpg 20190825_122128.jpg 20190825_121858.jpg 20190826_112548.jpg 20190826_111130.jpg 20190826_104235.jpg
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  11. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Good to hear you're out and about having a good time being a "typical" tourist on foot @Aaron.S! Dig the pics you posted from Korea, city looks pretty neat though way too dense for me personally.

    Hell man, I hope the typhoon isn't too bad? I know they're akin to hurricanes and my folks in FL are about to get walloped by Dorian. Any chance it's a mild one? If it's slated to hit Phuket and you're there, I'd get as far inland as possible and stay the hell away from anything that'd fall on you. Stay safe, storms like that are no joke.

    Looking forward to seeing pics of Thailand, sounds like a cool adventure even if you're not astride the 5-hunny. I hope the shipping is all good and your bike is safe and sound in Malaysia after the 4 weeks.

    Stay safe man.
  12. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    Well the typhoon never hit which was nice but the weather wasn't that great in Phuket. I stayed in Patong which is what you would think of when you think about a party type town in Thailand. Lot's of bars down a walking street and you can't go far without hearing Massage Massage. It's entertaining but it get's old pretty quick as sometimes I just want to be able to walk down the road in peace and not get pulled sideways every few minutes. I decided to head over to a Island Ko Yao Noi but I went from one extreme to the other as I only saw 8 other tourists while I was there. I did get a cool bungalow in the trees for about 20. 20190831_202607.jpg 20190902_160124-01.jpeg 20190904_103940.jpg 20190905_114402.jpg 20190905_121027.jpg 20190907_125632.jpg bikecrate.jpg US only a couple hundred meters from the beach. The one bonus for me at the moment is been off season it's easy to find a room and they are all cheaper then normal.
    Trying to find a happy medium I went to the Island of Ko Phi Phi where I had gone pre Tsunami many years ago. I stayed there a few nights and I got a couple nice lazy days on the beach. Oh and I got a tinder match... Thai girl and no not a hooker ... umm unless she just needed a place to stay for the night ... not sure ..don't care... didn't pay ha.
    From there I went to Krabi and stayed a night then not far to a place called Ao Nang. It has a pretty nice beach and I've found a nice room for about 20 a night. It's also cheaper here than Ko Phi Phi for food and beer.
    I got a email from the shipping company saying that Putin was in town on a conference with other international leaders so there were going to be road closures and because of that they delayed the shipping of the bike a week. They say the only thing you can count on with shipping by sea is you can't count on it. Nothing I can do but I feel like it's been a month since I've seen my bike and it hasn't even left yet.
    Well back to been a lazy bum. I'm feeling a tad guilty if truth be told and feel like I'm wasting my time a little. I have been doing a Ride Report with a bit of different content from here for remotemoto.com so if you are interested go check it out. Till next time my friends it's beer Chang time.
  13. BLucare

    BLucare Inmate At Law

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    Thai Tinder, huh? And you're sure it was a girl?
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  14. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    Questions were asked.
  15. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Appreciate the update @Aaron.S! I like the look of the beach pics, and that bungalow looked pretty sweet. Thai Tinder...LOL.

    Sucks about the shipping situation and your bike still being 'locked' up in a crate. Given the amount of miles you've covered, I'd say you earned kicking back on a beach somewhere nice. Especially as I'm stuck in a damn cube...lol.

    Stay safe man and keep us up on you're latest :thumb
  16. radmann10

    radmann10 Derf Supporter

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    No update/no bike yet?
  17. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    Latest I've heard is that it is in a container and should be loaded on a ship in the next few days. Last email I sent asking about a date was replied with a long winded bullshit answer yet again. A simple answer to a simple question is apparently impossible for him. I am no longer dealing with him.
    Apparently I have gone from one of his 3 bad customers this year to the top of the list he said.
    This is after I have already swallowed my pride and tried on the phone before I left to apologize for our misunderstandings and to see if we could just let the past be behind us and start fresh.
    I was running out of options dealing with him so I tried the kindness route. No Joy.
    Maybe I shouldn't of but I was pissed off with the reply and part of me thinks he has been holding the bike back on purpose so I sent one back saying I'm flying back to Vladivostok to get it sorted out in person and make sure it leaves by the 21st.
    There was not a reply to that email.
    I have been in contact with a agent in Malaysia who has taken over the process and will be the one clearing it out of Port Klang. He has been great to deal with and all going well he said the ship should be leaving on the 20th or 21st. It will take nearly 4 weeks to get there then I can probably expect a few days to get it cleared and another $550 US.
    In the meantime I'm going to have to leave Thailand soon as my 30 days will be up and I don't want to overstay. I'm not sure where I will go yet and it may only be for a day or so and then return.
    It sounds awesome to be sitting back with your feet up on a beach in Thailand and I don't mean to sound like I'm bitching but the weather isn't always nice this time of year so with clouds and rain it's not always beach weather and I would much rather be on the move.
    I feel like I'm twiddling my thumbs wasting my time and money at the moment. I really have been second guessing my decision and thinking I should of just got it sent straight back to N.Z.
    Tough call and what's done is done so I'll have to just think positive.
    I'm pretty sure I'll be happy once I look back on it and feel better about this choice when I'm back on the road and once I am finished with this journey.
    I can look back and there won't be a big gap between Russia and N.Z.
    It will be more of a true ride back overland in my mind and make it a more complete RTW. Bottom to top then around and down.
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  18. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    From Ko Phi Phi I went to Krabi and AoNang then over to Ko Samui. Back to AoNang for a while then back to Bangkok.
    I heard earlier this week that my bike has finally set sail and left Russian soil.
    Fantastic news!!!
    My 30 day tourist visa was nearly up in Thailand and since I already had a non refundable ticket to Kuala Lumpur I went there for a day.
    I was last in that city in 2003 and it didn't impress me much then and did even less for me this time.
    It's just a dirty city and walking around there is trash everywhere along with piss smelling alleyways etc.
    The return flight was only 50US so pretty good.
    It may have been easier to pay the 60US to extend my visa for 30 days but I thought a change of scenery was due.
    I'm back in Bangkok now and not quite sure what I'm going to do for the next 3 weeks while I wait.
    It's fair to say I've had my share of planes, buses,ferries and trains. I'm way overdue to mix it up with some good old seat time.
    Fingers crossed next update is from Malaysia with some good news.
  19. TheNetworker

    TheNetworker Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    Hey Aaron,

    So perhaps rent a bike and do the Mae Hong Song Loop?
  20. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    I have done some of Northern Thailand before. I rented a bike in Chang Mai about 5 years ago and rode up to the Myanmar border and did a 5 day loop. I then went to Laos and did a look around as well.
    At the moment I'm trying not to spend money.
    Great idea though. 11167701_10206981360436227_3820875074597316158_n.jpg laos.jpg 11168151_10206955370866504_2318217966356037850_n.jpg laos1.jpg 11011631_10207004744900824_4316988918348041058_n.jpg