RTW on a H.A.T. In the slow lane.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gperkins, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Yeah It's a valid point you make KneeDrachen, it surprises us as well. For a country with a population of a little over 80,000,000 you often find these sites nearly devoid of tourists. I remember first visiting the Galipoli battlefields back in 98 and essentially the only tourists there were foreigners, particularly Aussies and Kiwis. When we last visited 2 years ago there was a notable increase in interest by the locals. In fact they easily out numbered the foreign visiters, so there is certainly a developing interest by the locals there. But these ancient sites of huge historical significance seemed to be largely over looked by the locals. They do come, but in small numbers. It should be remebered though, we are currently in Ramadan, when most locals are more interested in surviving from breakfast ( prior to the sun coming up to dinner time, after the sun sets ). Believe me, by the time we eat I'm ready to eat a horse.

    Hows this for last nights meal. As we got up to pay, we waited patiently in line at the till, but the man immediately in front of us a complete stranger payed for our meal. We are easily recognised as foreigners, without a word being said and this gent in a simple act of kindness payed for our meal. This sort of thing happens a lot in the Islamic world we have found. It is also as far as I can see one of the 5 pillars of Islam. They being from memory, in no paricular order. 1: Observe Ramadan 2: Pray more often during the month od Ramadan 3: Be charitable 4: Participate in the Haj at least once in your lifetime. (pilgrimage to Mecca) ...............and 5: I forget, you'll have to google that one. It might all sound like I'm a fan of Islam, no I'm a fan of no religion, none whats so ever. I just like to be knowledgable and learn as much as I can. Both generally and particularly about the country we are visiting at any given time.
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  2. boristhebold

    boristhebold Been here awhile

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    I hate the western Govts indoctrination of its people against stuff like Islam and countries like Colombia, Iran and Turkey. Your last paragraph would be a huge eye opener for many, disbelieved by some.
    Still loving my trip along with you both, vicariously. :clap
  3. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University

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    Epic updates G & K
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  4. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Yep they sure do peddle some BS boristhebold, but to be fair it's not just the western governments. The news buletins of both India and Pakistan for example will each inevitably begin something like the following. The evil/terrorist state of India/Pakistan has blah blah blah.......... and so perpetuates the hatred between the two country's so as to try to benefit their own ends. What people need to understand is that what goes on at a political level is a completely different thing than what happens at a personel level, two individuals a traveller and a local. Regardless if that local be from the UK, USA, Indonesia or Iran or anywhere for that matter. We have always been treated with respect and kindness. In fact the people of Iran as many travellers have discovered are in a league of their own for kindness and hospitality, shit drivers I might add, :lol3 but they are not particularly unique there.
  5. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Thanks Shaggie always good to hear from you. This next little while we will back off a little on the history and just enjoy the roads and stunning countryside.
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  6. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    As promised I've given the history a little rest, so here we are moving north, more or less following the Euphrates river. The weather has been kind, the roads are great with little traffic, the scenery fantastic, just the hunger pangs late in the afternoon to deal with on account of Ramadan. You'll be told as a non muslim you can eat. But the practicality of that is another matter. Finding food, although not impossible can at least be difficult. Little cafes will most likely be open, along with fruit & veg shops and super/mini markets. But even in these places the food is limited and in any case you just don't want to be eating in front of the faithfull. So it's best to just hold off until the sun goes down and eat with the hungry hoards.

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    Katrina taking in a vista of the Euphrates.

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    A man and his cow, actually he had a small heard of 5.

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    Lots and lots of this.

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    Note to self, for future reference, do not on any account take a hotel across the alleyway from a mosque, doesn't matter how cheap the room is. :deal

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    Then we came to the Kemaliye tunnel. I've been waiting 20 long months to do these series of tunnels over 7 klms. The construction started in 1870 and it took 132 years to complete. Why so long you may ask? Well it was built by hand by the locals so that the people of Kemaliye had relatively easy and safe access to the wider world. An amazing strech of road by anyones definition.

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    It was apparent that a grader had gone through in just the previous day or so and pushed all the stones and rubble to one side. Previous to that it would have been a pain in the arse for sure.

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    You can easily see the series of tunnels, some less than 100 metres, others much longer, all with the Euphrates below.

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    Once out and back on bitumen the boss took over and reflated the tyres. :jkam
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  7. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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    Bikes looking good mate, great update.
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  8. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Love my Tranny Super Supporter

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    I started looking at the river Euphrates and it's source. Man that is one impressive river system
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  9. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    The sources are on my to-do list. The Karasu river (Western Euphrates) starts at Kara Gol, north of Erzurum and the Murat river (Eastern Euphrates) near Dogubeyazit.
    The Tigris source is also somewhere there (about 20km south of the Murat, near Bingol) - it looks like the Kara Deresi becomes the Tigris.

    The Kizilirmak is another interesting river, the longest wholly in Turkey. I like the Hittite name for it - Maraššantiya, and the Greeks called it the Halys. Famous for the Battle of the Eclipse.

    Rivers and lakes are always good targets for adventuring.

    Most Turkish rivers have loads of history associated with them. The Eurymedon has a god and a battle named after it.

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    Statue of the river god Eurymedon in the Isparta Archaeological Museum.

    Excuse the side-track, I was getting ancient stuff deprivation.
    And sorry that you might not be getting these Wiki links, Graeme.
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  10. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Bikes going great Lostmike, no real issues at all. Jeeez I'd like it to be way lighter though. I've really been thinking lately what would make a better mount. But two up immediately puts you onto a larger bike. Solo, either a WR250R or CRF250 Rallye, but i digress. Hope S.A. is going well. Sorry I havn't been keeping up lately. Internet here in Turkey has been as poor as anywhere in the world and it takes all my effort just to do the essentials. Safe riding and enjoy the Americas.
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  11. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    It's a hell of a river system MrKiwi. I tell you what though, I'm not too sure how much of it makes it to the sea. Here in Turkey they have dammed the bejeezus out of it and a lot of it makes it's way onto the extensive surrounding farm land as irregation water. Not sure if that makes for good neighbors?
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  12. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    There have been times that I've reflected on some of the great river systems that Katrina and I have seen, followed and crossed. The Myawaddy, Brahamputra, Ganges, Indus, Euphrates/Tigris, Rhine/Moselle, Danube. Previous travels you can also count the Mississippi, and Nile along with others. They give life to the land and the people, trouble is of course many are damaged and dying. Not that you need to do something like Katrina and I are doing to realise just how much damage we humans are doing to this world. But if you do, then it really hits home to you.
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  13. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Up in the hills, just behind Trabzon, there is a road the D915. This road is high on the hit list of the "most dangerous roads of the world". It was built by the Russian army, when I really don't know. But I was keen to take a look. Trouble is, the map shows two D915's, kinda running parallel to one another. Which one I was after I wasn't at all sure. Oh and the other problem being, it is still May a little early in the year to be seeking out sketchy roads made by a bunch of vodka swilling army types. But this would be a solo venture, Katrina wasn't having a bar of it and I was under strict instructions from SWMBO to msg her on a regular basis, whilst out and about in the hills behind Trabzon.

    As i climbed to a little over 2000 metres and passed through the little village of Cencul Yayasi I was waved down by 4 coppers in a Mitsubishi 4x4. They made it very apparent that the road ahead was blocked, I wasn't entirely surprised. But after a little discussion via Google translate they did say that it was possible to get through to the town of Kavlatan. So I pressed on for a few kilometres, probaly half way there to the highest point and and a little beyond. I could see that it was taking me down into a valley. What was beyond I really don't know as I decided to turn back. The road was mostly OK, but sections were very water effected from snow melt and I didn't want to go arse up and then have to pick the big girl up. In some ways riding solo is a little more difficult than two up, because the bike sits so much higer with the heavy rear spring and stiffer front end. In any case it was clear that the Russian D915 was closed. I took a few photos and had to be happy with that.

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    Yeah they get a bit of snow up here. Actually Turkey is surprisingly mountainous.

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    More broken dreams.

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    For a moment I thought I was back in Australia.

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    Sure as hell wasn't a 22 calibre.

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    Then back down the wiggly road. Not before messaging first though. :nod
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  14. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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    No problems at all. Same thoughts have been running through my head. I don’t think you could do much better 2 up though. The At is a beautiful machine. We are a bit behind on the report actually in Nica at the moment but I’ll bang out an update this weekend. Funnily enough I had a front wheel bearing fail. I had replaced the stock one with an all balls racing bearing. Bit weird but there ya go.


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  15. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    By In "Nica" I assume you mean Nicaragua, I'm not hearing too much about the protests they recently had, so assume things have settled down a bit.

    I had a quick look at the bearing shop you mentioned. I can't really garner much info about the type of bearing they use. But yeah to have fronts fail early, something is scew-wiff. Either something wrong at assembly or cheap bearings, really can't be abything else. I changed mine at 70,000 klms and to be honest they seemed Ok, but 70k kilometres is enough for me.

    Whilst talking about the front end. Keep an eye on both the tension of your spokes and the clearances on the bobbin to disc carrier. A lot of disc carrier's are flogging out and are being replaced under warranty. Mostly the right side for some reason, but not always, the left can also fail. My right side carrier was terrible, but I had to stump up the cash in Spain last year to replace it. But of course your in the same situation as us. That is your bike is outside of Australia, so you warranty is void. Perhaps it's now more than 2 years old in any case.

    Stay between the gutters and I'll catch up with your RR when you next update.
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  16. markinthailand

    markinthailand Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I keep thinking about our conversations, and the 500X with the RRL3 kit seems to hit the sweet spot for two-up riding in SE Asia. So while I'm still mulling over an AT, for now I'm good (and with two kids in university next year, really no choice!). I think if I was in the US or another place with big roads and long distances, the AT would be it for sure, but for now, run with what you've got, right? :-)
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  17. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I see what you mean about the D915. It looks like this is the bit that everyone heads for - https://goo.gl/maps/XmEjxSuTownZDXNJ6 - a bit east of where you were.
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  18. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    The 500X is a good choice where you are markinthailand for sure and your right about the AT stateside. Really it's each to their own. But you will see a re-occuring theme amongst long term overlanders. Bigger is not better, not by a long way. Many downsize or wish they could downsize Walter Colebach, RoninMoto and others, all make the point about the weight. It's just that we are two up and I don't want to be a machistist on a DR650, WeeStrom, Tenere or what ever else. Some of these aren't actually that much lighter than the AT and are less capable.
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  19. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    While I agree that size matters (not in the normal way), and lust for the unicorn ADV bike (twin cylinder, 80-100 hp, off road capable, all for less than 400 lbs.), it was a pretty easy decision for me a couple of years ago when I upgraded to a F800GSA from a KLR. Two and a half times the power have more than made up for the extra 40 pounds.

    If the AT had been available at the time (on the used market), it would have gotten serious consideration.
  20. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Yep thats the Russian built D915 DavidM1, but it was closed. To be honest the videos I saw of it, it didn't look too bad. Oh well another day maybe, on a lighter bike.

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    I went down until the road disappeared around the hill and then turned back. The Rusky rd is somehere off to the right and over the hill. There are tracks criss crossing all over around here. If you look carefully there is a switchback climbing the hill immediately above the windscreen.

    Tonight we are in Niskar and we have decided to get a wriggle on. To be honest we are a tad weary of Ramadan and we maybe crossing over to Bulgaria in about 5 days.
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