New Zealand RTW and back on a KTM500exc.

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

  1. DavidKXF

    DavidKXF Been here awhile

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  2. HickOnACrick

    HickOnACrick Groovinator

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    Looking at the shadows on that photo...that's a skinny bridge!
  3. Bianchi

    Bianchi Adventurer

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    It´s so skinny he just had to keep his handlebar above the handrail.....:)
  4. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    So you've built a great dirt bike into just what you wanted,its all set. Dual sport and travel being what they are.................how does it do on the occasional 500 miles of slab to get to the good stuff? How does one incorporate tight trails into multi day cross country rides?
    Or it mostly stays on dirt? Would 600 miles at 80mph be a blast or not so much? Im always curious about making bikes do what they werent really meant to do.
    My DR doesnt get put into Utes,it just goes everywhere on it's own 2 wheels. As dog intended. DSCF2455.JPG
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  5. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    No I didn't. I try to keep most of the weight as far forward on my seat as I can. Try pack light. I have a heavier rated rear spring.
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  6. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    Not sure what you are getting at.
    I have no desire to do 500 miles in a day and my bike doesn't get put in utes either. But for me heading to Shatili the other day I was pretty damn happy with my bike.
    Glad you're happy with yours.
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  7. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    I rode to Prielbrusye National Park yesterday to check out Mount Elbrus. ( One of the seven summits)
    I love my mountains so even though it's not in the "right" direction I knew I had to come check it out.
    It started out pretty nice but I got a bit of rain in the last hour.
    Today I woke up to a spectacular day and found a little 4x4 track that's mostly used by hikers up to the snow line then I hiked up to about 10000ft to get a view of it.
    What a spectacular area and I tell ya Russia is setting the bar pretty bloody high right at the start with views like this. 1010187.jpg 1010168.jpg 1010130.jpg 20190528_120056.jpg
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  8. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Awesome pics @Aaron.S! Looks a bit on the cold side, but with views and terrain like that...who gives a $hit...lol.

    Glad your buddy didn't wash out into the river, farg. And I don't imagine those folks in the taxi were keen to be hanging about, likely a while before another taxi could be sent.

    Great update man, so glad you're back at it :thumb
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  9. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Effin' awesome @Aaron.S! Damn...Russia. Great shot doing the wheelie on the bridge - doesn't look too wide...lol. Going to read page 94 now, catching up :D
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  10. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    There's a reason I don't often look at travel advisories but I rode to Grozny Chechnya today and It was really warm so I put shorts on to go for a walk and after about 15 mins I heard someone yelling at me and two guys came up pointing at my legs all pissed off. I turned to go back to change and they motioned me to get in the car. I couldn't believe they stopped to hassle me.
    Well I'm not silly and I'm not getting in a strangers car without candy first and since they didn't have any I carried on walking.
    A few blocks later 3 guys followed me hassling me about the shorts. I stopped and luckily one spoke okay English and said I'm sorry and I'm going back to my room to change. They seemed okay with that.
    North Caucasus (including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus) – Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Terrorist attacks and risk of civil unrest continue throughout the North Caucasus region including in Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Stavropol, Karachayevo-Cherkessiya, and Kabardino-Balkariya. Local gangs have kidnapped U.S. citizens and other foreigners for ransom. There have been credible reports of arrest, torture, and extrajudicial killing of LGBTI persons in Chechnya allegedly conducted by Chechen regional authorities.

    Do not attempt to climb Mount Elbrus, as travelers must pass close to volatile and insecure areas of the North Caucasus region.

    The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in the North Caucasus region, including Mount Elbrus, as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to the region.
    Grozny is full of new buildings as in 2003 the United nations called it the most destroyed city on earth according to wiki.
    No beer here so I'm going to put in a big day on the bike tomorrow and get out of dodge. 20190529_155749.jpg 20190529_164658.jpg
  11. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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  12. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Could very well be a dumb question, but what's the issue with shorts? Why the heck would people take an exception to 'em - something religious? Crazy to be harassed for something like that.

    Damn man, hope you're able to get out of there and into safer territory, the bit about folks being kidnapped and killed...yikes.

    Safe travels @Aaron.S, keep that Katoom pointed away from that insanity - feel for the people living there simply trying to pursue their lives :( :(
  13. radmann10

    radmann10 Derf Supporter

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    Did you find out what's the problem with shorts. Brilliant Aaron, thanks again for taking us along for the ride.
  14. BLucare

    BLucare Inmate At Law

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    I would assume the no-shorts rule is just a cultural norm in that region. Same as not showing the sole of your shoe in some countries, or not using your left hand to eat.
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  15. DC950

    DC950 Microadventurer

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    yes, it's religious. Chechnya very well may have the most violent, hard core Muslims on the planet. Chechin jihadists are in every Islam vs. whoever conflict on the planet.

    There is a national dress code. I know skirts have to be full length; shorts are probably banned. This is 6 years old but not a bad overview:

    https://worldpolicy.org/2013/04/19/islam-and-chechnya/

    I will admit being somewhat influenced by Russians I know (and there is no doubt Chechins have legitimate grievances with Russia), but Chechnya and Dagestan are two of the few, if not the only, places on earth I would not go to. From a guy who would go to Syria tomorrow, this is saying something.

    Aaron, I'll be happy to delete this if you don't want it in your thread.
  16. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    No I think you are bang on the money.
    It was partly my naivety that I ended up smack Dab in the middle as I hadn't really heard of Grozny before and it was the place with the most places to stay in about the distance I wanted to do that day. In hindsight I would of gone another 150k more to the next place out of the area.
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  17. shuswap1

    shuswap1 Been here awhile

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    There is a prospect where this could have gone badly, so glad it didn't. It seems you handled it well Aaron.
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  18. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    Big day on the bike for me today .
    About 550k but it was hot and really windy all day and the wind was not in my favour.
    I also had a few check points which take time.
    One I stopped and pointed to the New Zealand flag on my bike and both the huge guys with guns slung over their shoulder fist bumped me and waved me on.
    Another I had to take my top bag off and put it through a Xray machine in a little building while they checked my documents.
    Really long boring roads with sand blowing over some sections and only a short part of gravel.
    I was beat by the time I got to Astrakhan and after striking out on the first two cheap places because of no parking I found a place with locked up parking and a really really nice room for 30 US . More than I like to spend but it was 5pm and I left at 7.30am along with not eating all day so I was over it so I decided to treat myself.
    One thing I miss about traveling through South and Central America there is always food to be found easily.
    Chickens roasting on the side of the road and fresh squeezed fruit juice.
    I'll hang out here tomorrow and do a oil change etc then head to Kazakhstan the next day or following.
    Ohh... I finally found a cold beer and I've seen lots of shorts around including womens legs. Winning.

    Attached Files:

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  19. Grog

    Grog Old Bastard

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    Good stuff Aaron...

    Grog
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  20. Aaron.S

    Aaron.S Been here awhile

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    I spent most of the day walking around Astrakhan and it is a nice little city.
    Nothing really sticks out but it was a great day off the bike and I managed to get a haircut and do a oil change.
    I'm going to have to stretch the next couple longer than the norm but they will be pretty easy Ks.
    I crossed into Kazakhstan yesterday and it seems Russia were happier to let me out than in and the Kazakhstan side was quick as well as filled with happy border guards all interested in my bike.
    The road turns to crap after the border and potholes all over with big ridges where the trucks drive in places.
    Sometimes there was a dirt road that paralleled the main road and it looked smoother but turned out to be slower.
    I just went into jedi mode and used the force sitting on about 100k for a heap of it dodging the big ones and it seemed to skip across the smaller ones.
    There were a couple though that caught me out and I would cringe in my helmet feeling the whack but thankfully not getting a puncture or worse.
    It's heating up and it was about 35c yesterday and 37 today so close to 100f.
    I left at 8 and rolled into this cheap hotel in Atyrau about 5.30 and while I was checking in a group of about 15 ex pats came out of the bar attached to it. All hammered and on a stag do so before I could say no my bags were in the room and I was on a bus bar hopping and not been allowed to pay for a thing getting home about 2am so I'm feeling a bit shattered today.
    They are all in the oil and gas business.
    Not very great views here as it's just flat,dry and dusty.
    I'm probably be heading to Beyneu tomorrow and cross into Uzbekistan the day after.
    The bike is running really well and I think it was a great call putting a new injector in.
    The phantom cutting out it had been doing when coming into a intersection has gone and I've noticed my fuel mileage is better.
    The other day with the string wind it seemed to be not working as hard as it had in the past also.
    I'm still building confidence in it and the last couple big days with it running mint has helped a heap.
    Oh and Kazakhstan makes country number 46 for doing a wheelie on the bike in.
    Till next time team ! 20190531_111529.jpg 20190601_125133.jpg 20190601_132616.jpg 20190601_205327.jpg
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