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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Nov 29, 2009.
And a subscribe to this one.
I know this threads been closed for a while but I have a couple of questions:
Is this type of landscape and scenery (minus the collapsed bridges) unique to the 'Road of Bones' or is it typical of Siberia generally?
Am I likely to find similar outstanding natural beauty along the Trans-Siberian Highway to Vladivostock?
Check Doug Worthes threads, he's done the Trans-Siberia a couple times I think. He posts as rtwdoug. Keep in mind Siberia is a BIG place, almost anything is typical for some part of it, except tropical.
Thats unique to the Kolyma region, the road of bones.
Trans Siberian highway is not particularly good for scenery at all, except between Ulan Ude and Irkutsk.
That's what I thought. The more I look at your pictures of the Kolyma region the more I want to go there and ride the Road of Bones.
I was considering the Tran-Siberian Highway solo and possibly the 'Road of Bones but I'm not sure I'm that up for deep water crossings, deep sand and deep mud? I'm well up for some moderate dirt, sand and gravel: fire-road type stuff, but nothing too challenging. Especially as I have no mechanical skills to speak of and no off-road riding experience. So the Bam road is definitely way out of my league! :eek1
However, it would be a real shame to go all that way across Russia and Siberia and not visit the beautiful Kolyma region. I might have to suck it up like you and Oisin and stop being such a wuss. Especially, if I want one of those fancy new Magadan patches you've got.
You reckon a stock F800 GS, riding it very easy and solo during Aug-Sept could handle the Road of Bones from Yakutsk without any major modification? What would be the minimum you would do to it in preparation? I'm very determined, so I think if the bike can make it I probably can. The minimum I'm thinking is desert tyres (your recommendation), a bash plate, crash bars and a jerry can?
Cheers. Of course if I just opt for the Tran-Siberian I could use anything, even my Bandit! Except there's probably not much to see? Excellent ride reports, I've been reading them over the holidays - can't wait for the book & DVD. Are you going to be speaking at Ripley this year, I missed your talks last time.
The main federal variation on the road, that Oisin did will be no problem on your F800GS. There are unlikely to be any water corssings on that road in August.
Bash plate, hand guards, crash bars (optional) and I dont think you will need to worry about planning a jerry can. Just pick up an old discarded 4 or 5 litre plastic oil container when in Yakutsk or Magadan ... which ever end you start from. It will cost you nothing and while you probably wont need it, it would be a bit of "insurance".
You wont get Desert tyres to fit an F800 ... back wheel is the wrong size. I would go with a Heidenau K60 on the back ... as Oisin did ... but maybe use a Michelin T63 on the front
Finally there is a viable alternative for 17' wheels :
Tubeless and tube-type and also road approved.
Friends that tested them on motorallies praise them as good and hard wearing.
That's good to know, cheers.
Will look into them, thanks.
Before taking a F800GS to Siberia, you may want to take care of the rear shock mount.
I have just finished reading your fantastic trip report. Thank you for taking the time to post up the story and share your pictures with us. An amazing adventure to say the least.
Do you think Ewan and Charlie's "Long Way Around" has made a positive impact on the area? It seems that many other riders have added this route to the list of rides of a lifetime.
Thanks for comments :)
The Road of Bones was the standard route across Russia in the early days of Trans Eurasian adventure motorcycling. It was done quite a few times in the 1990s.
The Long Way Round effectively copied the 2001 "Terra Circa" planned route. They talked at length with the Terra Circa bikers and spoke with the Vince brothers en route for tips. They even bought the Terra Circa and Mondo Enduro videos when in the planning stages ... so in no way did they pioneer the route ...
However, a number of things came together that have made it a fantasy route ... firstly, after the tough economic 1990s in Russia, the road began to deteriorate rapidly as maintenance was cut. That began to turn it into more of a physical and mental challenge. But what LWR did do to add to that was 2 things that turned it from a tough Siberian road, to a fantasy ride. (1) they "bigged" up the road immensely. They made it clear it was the tough part. It was the hard part, it was clearly the fantasy of Ewan and Charlie ... and they conveyed that well in the series. (2) the widely watched video footage was probably the first time many westerners had looked at Siberia and thought "wow it can be really beautiful there". There are very very few documentaries from that part of the world and Austin Vince's 1995 ride "Mondo Enduro" skipped that whole section out when it came to filming - they rode what was then an easy road, but didnt bother getting the camera out.
So yes, by (1) talking it up a lot and (2) with Claudio shooting good footage of that section, they have significantly boosted awareness of the Road of Bones.
Awareness is one thing ... wheels on it is something else. Probably no more than 20 bikes a year make it from Yakutsk to Magadan on any variation of the road. I reckon the average is more like 10-15 a year. And the legendary Old Summer Road (Old Road) section that is now derelict (See the Siberian Extreme 2010 thread for more detail), probably sees about 5 bikes a year.
So its still exclusive enough to be a pretty small club.
Thank you. That's an astounding RR.
X2. Great photos and history lessons in this thread. I read the book (Long Way Around). Good read. This thread helps paint an even better picture of the area. Cheers.
I'm a bit late here, but I think maybe it's due to different brands; I had zero flats on my trip around Australia and I was riding Michelin T63's. They have stiff sidewalls aswell and the same rearwheel treadpattern, but different front.
Have read some of this thread before, but am thoroughly enjoying re-reading it from the start
"road of bones", the name says it all.....
btw, those abandoned buildings... damn, that's really creepy.
Great ride..great pics..thanks for sharing!!!
Pate, is that on the monument near Kadykchan, where the federal road meets the old summer road?