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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Aaron.S, Oct 21, 2016.
Its not that they are going in the opposite direction,its just they make bikes for different purposes. Maybe,maybe, 2.5 % of riders want to use a 500 single for travel so its not even a niche. Its a MX bike that has been civilized to be a street legal dirtbike. And 650/690/701 singles can do some pretty serious dirt riding and get down the hiway pretty good. But its boring to use a bike for what it's made for,gotta branch out
Smashed out about 450k today to Beyneu.
It's getting hotter and was around 37c today.
Not much to see except a few camels and lots of long straights.
The Kazakhstan people have been really nice but it's certainly not a place to come for the views or riding.
Border crossing tomorrow fingers crossed.
I'll use my Kiwi passport as it's Visa free where with my US I would need to apply online.
Let's hope they are good with my new Kiwi not having stamps in it showing where I came from.
Two concerns are 1. Fuel. Apparently not much in Uzbekistan and the route I'm taking is the worst so they say have enough for 600k. I have a couple Giant Loop gas bags but it will still be a push. I have a 2 gal and 1 gal bag.
2nd. Money. Not many ATM machines there if any besides Tashkent and I'm running low on the US I have. Having to give Georgia 350 in US at the border didn't help my cause. Lucky I had it as the bank at the border wouldn't accept a Visa card to make the payment.
It's going to be a long day I think as there isn't much of anything for quite a while from here on out.
It's all part of the game we're playing huh.
Awesome man, glad you put the other spot behind you and have moved on...especially if you can drink some cold brew and not worry about wearing shorts when it's 100f
Fantastic shot of your bike with the camel in the background too
Whew! That was a brisk 95 pages.
So far I've learned:
1) The xc4's are not made of paper mache, and can take many miles under studious oil changes and clean lungs.
2) My 990smt should be transformed into a fe501.
3) There needs to be a ride the divide trip in my near future. Some those sections are nothing short of breathtaking.
Thanks for all your mental unloading over these past couple years, you've been the push I needed to leave my isolated rock for a much needed adventure. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, best grab life by the twisty tube and give'er hell
I left Beyneu just before 8 and after filling up with gas including my 2 Giant Loop gas bags I headed the 90k to the boarder. The gas station close to the border was closed so I was going to have to make do with what I had. Basically 30litres. I have a one and two gallon gas bag.
There was a long line of cars at the border with doors open and people standing around. I rode to the front and after showing my passport the guard waved me through in front of the others.
I had to check my bike out of the country as technically it hadn't been done since Russia because Kazakhstan is included for the bike as far as Russia is concerned.
I lined up with a bunch of pushy truck drivers and noticed that the guy In front of me slid some money in his passport and documents.
Before he could hand it over a big dude walked between us all stuck his paperwork through the window then slapped one of the guys hard on the shoulder and said something in a shitty voice. They all looked pissed but didn't do anything .
I watched the guy in front of me hand his documents over and saw the guy behind the desk put them below it take the money then proceed.
I was next but two guys had tried to squeeze me out reaching for the window with their paperwork.
Not on my watch cheeky f#$kers so I said something and shouldered in on them then another guy stood up for me and they backed off.
Next was a massive line to get to passport control and a guard saw me yelled tourist and I was waved to the front.
I felt a tinge of guilt but that line wasn't moving so I was thankful to be in the front and done with it.
I switched to my Kiwi passport as you don't need a Visa for Uzbekistan and luckily they didn't say anything about not having any exit stamps in it from Kazakhstan.
They checked my bags and were checking cars over a pit one by one. Really slow going and I can't imagine how long it would take to get through if you had to wait from the back of all the lines. Probably a day or more.
By the time I got the bike documents sorted and insurance along with changing money it was about 12.00.
The first 100k the road was rough and slow going with some huge potholes. After a really rough patch I felt my bag shift and I stopped to look finding my gas bag had slipped onto my pipe and nearly burnt through. Bloody close call.
A couple hundred k down the road I stopped when I saw a couple cars at a intersection and pointed to my tank.
They made me follow their car 200 meters down the road stopped and got out with two 5 litre containers. That topped me back up and gave me piece of mind knowing I would make it the 540k to Nukus.
I rolled into the guesthouse about 6pm pretty feeling pretty spent.
It's a nice guesthouse and for 16us you get a twin room with AC and breakfast. Shared toilets and showers.
I took the day off the bike today after riding basically 1000k in the last two days.
I walked around and got a sim card and found a working ATM. The first 2 were out of service. It actually gave me US dollars. Max 200 which is good because max of the local money ( Som) was 200000 about 23us.
Back to this silly money where having a million means jack shit.
So far the people have been so nice and the people running the guesthouse speak English.
It was a last minute plan to come this way but I'm happy I did and I have a feeling I'll be staying in Uzbekistan ( country no. 47)longer than anticipated.
Next stop which will he tomorrow is Khiva.
Nice, damn luck on the gas bag!
Damn man, 47 countries
Glad you made it into the country without too much hassle and you were able to get extra fuel to make the long haul. Is the integrity of the fuel bladder still good, or will you have to get something sourced? On the fuel note - read in another thread that the bladders from Starbucks to go boxes will hold fuel after some prep and minor additions. Doubt there's a Starbucks on every corner like here in the PNW (lol), but something to keep in mind if the need ever arises (read it here).
Dig the shot of your bike in the room where crashed, it's so cool to see the variety of styles and such in the various places you've stayed man.
Continued safe travels @Aaron.S
Keep it up man!
Having followed your trek since the beginning, I'm beginning to sense a bit of melancholy in your posts. I hope you know there is a world of thumper riders out there who are with you in spirit. I know it can be difficult to find enough bandwidth to upload your pics and stories, but they ARE appreciated. My morning coffee is sweetened when I see a notification that you have posted.
If you're feeling really lonely, I can try and FedEx you an inflatable woman you can strap on as a pillion...maybe strap on is not the best choice of verbiage, but you get the idea.
Yeah man, I haven’t posted in probably over a year.
I check adv rider for 3 threads in my subscribe list.
Joe motocross solo missions in the desert
Everything else seems to be the same idea, overloaded bikes, and what I consider easy gravel roads.
Keep up the great work.
Fabulous work !!!!!
Stoked you enjoyed the read and it helped add to your motivation to plan a adventure of your own. Safe travels and looking forward to reading your RR.
Thanks for following along and I'll try to sound a bit more chipper.
Sometimes when I post it might be after a ling day on the bike without much of anything exciting going on scenery wise so I guess at times it can feel like a little grind to get through the long hot straights to the place I want to be.
Not sure how well the doll would go down in these countries but appreciate the suggestion.
From Nukus I rode to Khiva a short 200k with some welcomed cooler temps.
I just got off my bike to check into a guesthouse when another guy ( Linard from Latvia) pulled up on a KTM 690.
He decided to stay at the same place and then two other overlanders from Germany in a Nissan patrol they have driven from Australia turned up.
We all went and walked around the city stopping for beers as we did so and later went out to dinner.
It was great getting some tips of places to see and stay as they had all come from Kyrgyzstan and then the Pamir hwy.
After looking at their photos it's certainly got me thinking I'll be spending more time in Kyrgyzstan than I thought I would.
I think I say that about a few places but I'm even happier now I'm not on a time crunch like I would of been had I tried to push through last year .
I decided to stay another day here
as I wanted to look around a little more and tomorrow I'll head to Bukhara.
Check out Linards solution to making his ride a tad more comfortable.
He asked me what I did to stop from getting a sore arse but not sure if the...just toughen up advice was what he was after. Ha.
Some believe Khiva grew around the well Hewvakh, with tasty and cool water that was dug by the order of Shem, the elder son of the Biblical Noah.
What we do know is it was a city known for its brutal history of been one of the most important slave trading cities of Central Asia and in the 10th century was a major trading center on the Silk Road. All the camel caravans had a stop here on their way to China and back. To me it's an open air museum, a place that takes you back in time where it isn't hard to imagine what it was like in its day and another place in Uzbekistan where the people have been amazingly friendly.
Great post, Aaron! Really loving the architecture there. Very plain but in clean and minimalist fashion - being spotless helps. Definitely not what I think of for that part of the world. Asian deserts normally pop up mental images of dried out ancient wood and mud structures without a square corner. It certainly conjures thoughts about the difference between ancient Islam and the more common (and admittedly stereotyped) versions. Looks like you're hitting the travel groove!
Hey @Aaron.S , how are you finding the Adventure spec gear for comfort whilst you are doing long and multi day rides ?
I am thinking they might be a good thing to use here in Australia for extended rides.
The architecture and mosaic tiles are amazing. Keep posting!
Yes It's comfortable but the jacket is a mesh so it isn't waterproof at all. Also not wind proof so fantastic for the Aussie heat but you do need to think about layers and a rain shell if traveling for longer periods in different seasons .
The quality seems to be there but it's early days. The stitching and zips are all holding up so far. I'm 6ft and the large fits me perfectly.
Thanks Aaron, the quality and heat is the main concern, you know here it starts of cold and then ends up at 40deg Celsius by 11AM and almost everything is too hot by then.
No problem layering up under or over the jacket when needed...
Keep us updated with the real world testing of the AS gear, a unbiased opinion is greatly appreciated.
Another start to the morning with a goodbye.
Coraline and Fabian were heading for the Turkmenistan border while I rode to Bukhara.
It was about 480k with about 350k some of the smoothest road I've had in ages but again it's like long straights the whole way. Flat hot and sand everywhere so nothing to see or any point finding a different way.
There was a really strong wind the whole way but the wind gods were in my favour today and it was right up my arse the whole way.
I've never had that strong a tail wind for that many hours of just sitting on about 110 and hardly touching the throttle so no surprise I had such good gas mileage and lucky because it was about 400k between fuel stations.
I found a room. Really small but really clean with it's own shower and toilet. 15us for the night right next to the old town.
So I'm thinking of ditching going to Tashkent and crossing into Tajikistan lower as there is a place called 7 lakes I found out about and the photos look awesome.
Enough of this slabbing on tarmac for hours it's time for lakes,mountains and fun roads.
Looks like we timed Shatili nicely as the road got washed out recently.
Off to Samakand tomorrow and probably cross over in a couple days. I need to get my Visa printed out and probably do a oil change.
Till next time