Russia, Kazakhstan, back to the UK on a wing and a prayer aboard an old Russkie Ural!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jayincanada, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. Ratman

    Ratman Lucky Rider

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    Thanks for the report, Jay. I rather have a bike that anyone can fix in country like that, than the finest touring bike where parts will have to come by courier. The Ural is perfect for there.




    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/O5dCtSTxDPfuf-ujs99p2A?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_iMflBAnVD98/TKEpTNF45UI/AAAAAAAAIYY/KkX4NdJJ16Q/s288/IMG_9088.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/p.ratfab/OddsAndEnds?feat=embedwebsite">Odds and ends</a></td></tr></table>
    #21
  2. carmima

    carmima All Orange :-)

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    Thanks for taking the time to post - loved it :thumb
    #22
  3. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road Supporter

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    :clap :clap :clap
    #23
  4. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

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    Makes me glad I sold my 06.
    Very good rr & fun to read your comments.
    #24
  5. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    :clap

    A real adventure ride report, rare and awesome!

    The true spirit of adventure! :thumb
    #25
  6. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    Great report and fantastic pics. What a wonderful trip!
    Thanks for posting it.

    Joe
    #26
  7. Discojon75

    Discojon75 Been here awhile

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    Epic.
    #27
  8. vanveen

    vanveen Been here awhile

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    Wonderful report, the contrast between the wealth in Moscow and the poverty the rest of the country experiences is an eye opener, great report, interesting photos, thank you
    #28
  9. rawdog

    rawdog Been here awhile

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    Too cool! Thanks for the detailed write up. I am jealous!
    #29
  10. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    I want one of those Russian coffee grinders on wheels so bad!

    Too cool. Thanks.

    :clap
    #30
  11. lowbudget

    lowbudget _twin brothers on the go_

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    Can´t see no piccies :(
    #31
  12. jayincanada

    jayincanada Adventurer

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    calgary alberta
    Help! All the pics have died :cry I have a 30MB word document with the pics on it, can I upload that? Or do I need to repost and replace all the picture links to another host? Haven't posted anything before...
    #32
  13. xdayzgrR

    xdayzgrR n00b

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    band exceeded.
    :(
    #33
  14. Two

    Two Been here awhile

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    Haven't tried word documents here, sorry. You should try another host. Last year I used FlickR, but no idea if they have limited bandwidth too.

    If you have your own webspace from your provider you can uptload the word doc there and post a link here :)

    Looking forward to your pics, I love russia :clap
    #34
  15. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    I have used Word documents for my reports , but, put the photos in Photobucket and just used the IMG code. in the place of the pictures being inserted.

    Example:
    Some long lonely roads that completely ease your mind
    The image code > IMG]https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/a/achesley1943_JUNE%25202010_PICT0004-2.jpg[/IMG]

    And it comes out as such when viewed
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    #35
  16. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    I'm sending you detailed info via PM.
    #36
  17. jayincanada

    jayincanada Adventurer

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    I have a set of new links to Facebook, struggling with the code though. When i write

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    it shows up in the preview as what is seen above! No pic, just code...

    Thanx for all the compliments on the RR and for the suggestions of what to do about the photo hosting. The last attempt was with Google's picasa, we'll see how that goes. I did get Facebook to hotlink, but then it seized up completley. Initially it was run on Photobucket...whew...I don't mind the work, as I really enjoy reading other people's reports on here. It's a really awesome site...
    #37
  18. MrBob

    MrBob Cisgendered Supporter

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    Wish I could see the photos. I've been with photobucket for years and never managed to "Exceed Bandwidth". Smugmug really is the best hosting service, though. I'll check back and hope you get this straightened out.
    #38
  19. lukeman

    lukeman Cool Hand

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    You can upload your pics using Picasa to Google's hosting. Gives you gig free and unlimited bandwidth. Some others use flickr I suppose. But it might be a bit of work getting the pictures up linked again though. :doh
    #39
  20. jayincanada

    jayincanada Adventurer

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    The shores of the Aral Sea, mostly just desert now. The rivers that once fed the sea were diverted to irrigate wheat production for the Soviet Union, initiating an environmental disaster. The dismal old fishing villages on the shores are full of stragglers with no visible signs of an economy except maybe ‘tourism’. The dust here is unbearable when the wind picks up, with the powder like sand. I heard rumor, and hardly shocking, that the Soviets buried disused biological weapons out on the islands, which are no longer islands. Kazakhstan is often referred to the arsehole of Russia. Between the bleakness, the nuclear testing, Aral Sea…It is a fitting name. I wouldn’t visit twice!

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    There used to be many boats beached up in the middle of the desert here. It was the basis for some famous National Geographic pictures I remember as a kid growing up. The Chinese have came in and hauled many away for scrap now. There are a few boats left out there, but I figured if the Chinese have left them there is good reason? One thing about traveling in Russia and Kazakhstan is that there is no nanny state here. For example in Semey where the Soviets tested 460 nuclear tests, one can wander out and take pictures of livestock grazing in the craters. So you have to be a bit mindful of that when wandering around in desolate and abandoned places here. There are a few boats left in the old fishing town of Arlask along monuments to a fishing village, mainly as remembrance that there was once an economy here (?) and for the sake of the tourists I suppose.


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    I had many waypoints stored for camping, lodging, parts, fuel, etc. Some crackhead made off with my garmin in this hole named Luga, Russia, not far from the Latvian border. I came out of the store, just as he was walking away, playing with it. I gave chase into the back unlit lanes leading into the apartment complexes with murder on my mind, but soon lost him in the blackness. So walking back I see this Russian kicking the stuffing out of some kid. Turns out, it’s the thief’s buddy. So about a dozen or so police turn up, and it turns into a major spectacle at 11:00am. I just came in to get some water, then back to camp and ended up staying in town for the night at a hotel the police had brought me to. They were horrified that I was camping, which in my opinion is much safer than the cities. So the police are adamant my GPS is forever gone in a town of 50,000. The next day I found taxi drivers hanging out and indicated I am in the market for a Garmin, would any one per chance know of one? And what luck! One of the drivers just happened to know where I could buy a Garmin Nuvi 255! For $100 usd. So half hour later I had my Garmin back but the data had been erased. A new comparable Garmin in Russia was around $400 and I couldn’t find one close by anyways, so $100 is relatively cheap once I swallowed my pride. Dickheads. Then it starts raining for the next 400 miles and I decide I would like to stay one more night in this lovely town. The hotel clerk informs me my room has doubled in price overnight. I show her a receipt. Then she says I can’t stay, the immigration police has been around. Then the storey changes to I can stay, but must leave at 6am. They never charge me for another night. This is a great example of how Russia works. I haven’t a clue….That was my visit to Luga, anyways. This is another reason why the old Ural was relatively stress free…


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    This really hits the spot on a hot dusty day in Kazakhstan. They only cost around 50cents for a whole melon off a tractor wagon in the small villages.



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    Here is an old silk road city on the way to Almat from the days of Ghengis Kahn. This was a nice visit and I highly recommend. What’s cool about this place is that it’s the real deal. An old abandoned silk road city from the days of Ghengis Kahn. No ticket office, no crowds, no tacky shit being sold up front, unsupervised. There were a few digs going on, and a bit of reconstruction at the front. Really nice place to stop for lunch. The name is Sauran, at N43 30 49.99 E67 46 15.38 if interested.

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    Massive old grave yard. One side for the Christians, the other for the Muslims. One thing that struck me was the incredible size and recent nature of the gravesites, compliments of Stalin’s restructuring schemes. Quite often in Russia, the graveyard would outdo the town.
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    Getting the dust off everything including myself.


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    Another previously enjoyed Ural. This was at a local farm workshop in a small village somewhere. My Russian motorcycle had decided it was lunch time.





    This would be the parts room?

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    My halogen bulb, of Chinese quality, kept failing. The glass surrounding the elements would melt and droop down like a weird cave formation then explode in a spectacular fashion taking out both the high and low beams. I learned early on the importance of carrying spare bulbs on this bike. This happened three times on the trip.

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    Very typical repair shop in these countries. Many have asked why I would choose to ride such a bike. These workshop pictures explain it quite well. Everything breaks sooner or later. Riding a bike like this, even though unreliable at times, is very stress free.

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    I wanted a new oil filter. This one was offered to me free of charge. The chicken recommended it as well. The shop helper did run to the store on his Ural and fetch me a new one.

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    Another biker I stayed with in Shimkent. A bed was offered under the grapevines, great company, fantastic food, and a shower. The Ural had decided once again to rebel. I did not realize that the red light on the dash was for the alternator warning, not the oil. When it started to flicker once in awhile, I thought the worst even though the motor sounded fine.

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    I stayed with a rancher’s family for the night up in the mountains. Dinner was cooked outside by the cow.

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    Things are a bit rustic in these parts…

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    The land here strongly resembles Southern Alberta where I’m from in Canada. Maybe around Pincher Creek area, Waterton National parks…

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    This lady from S Korea had taken a ferry up to Vladivostock with her 100cc Kymco scooter and was on her way to Tashkent, then to Turkey.

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    I could hardly catch her, as the Ural was geared for 70kms/hr, tops!

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    Local biker haunt in Shimkent….nice.

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    This is a normal find in these parts. Pot grows everywhere, quite naturally.

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    The roads could be at times a bit lethal…especially the back roads.

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    This was a really nice camping spot, found compliments of the Sibersky extreme trip. That spelling is a bit off to be certain. I followed his waypoints a few times. Once in Almat, the road took me up to a lookout over the city at night. It was pretty rough going and full on off roading uphill, but the old Ural made it. The trick with old bikes and large flywheels is to keep it in at least 2<sup>nd</sup> and don’t let off the throttle at all. It’s amazing where I have taken old bikes like this with skinny tires. It’s all in the flywheel….

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    At a watering hole, clothes are tied for good luck and wishes.

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    I woke up beside the Ural in this field craving a coffee. Then this Shepard herding sheep must have some sort of telepathic sense, as he wandered over with a flask of hot water and coffee. After a bit of sign language, nodding, smiling, etc I tried to start the bike. Of course, it wouldn’t start. So the good Shepard pulls out a flathead screwdriver and proceeds to adjust the voltage regulator. How cool is that? Even a shepard in a field can fix this thing? It never worked right after that. I ended up replacing the regulator in Irbit.


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    The solenoid springs are preset from the factory and should not be altered. To be fair the thing was screwed anyways, overcharging and eating my battery. A few times I found broken grounds, but it was also a duff regulator. In the mornings, the battery would be empty so I started carrying a bottle of sulphuric acid in the trunk to refill it when required. This was after overfilling it with water several times. Sigh…
    #40