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Siberian Extreme 2010 - Back for More

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,784
    Location:
    Yunanistan (Stans baby!)
    Kadykchan is still a highlight in my book for a 2nd year in a row! Thank you for the extra portion! :clap:clap

    That, posted earlier, is a very good link as well..


    http://englishrussia.com/index.php/2...broken-dreams/

    Looking at the dates, this is almost real time, great job CB, don't know how you manage to keep us up-to-date in one of the remotest places on earth, but thank you!!

    Oh, and it seems the small bush fires you saw were the little brothers of the main catastrophe taking place in Moscow, are the locals at the far east as shocked as the rest of us about what's happening in their capital?
  2. littlebike

    littlebike Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Brussels BELGIUM
    Thanks for sharing your adventure and discovery almost on a daily basis. Don't know how you manage to do this report for us but this is good therapy at least for me sitting at my desk and contemplating this part of the world through your pictures and comments:clap It feels like I'm riding along with you...wish I could :ricky
    How would you rate the 690 for this ride versus your well prepared X ?

    Have a good ride
  3. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,190
    Location:
    Schmocation
    690 feels lighter and more nimble ... but it also feels more cramped and unstable. Going thru a rocky river is a breeze on the X ... its all throttle. On the 690 the steering is kicking and bucking all over the place. On detours cross country, around logs or around muddy bogs, the 690 is fantastic. The X I often have to wrestle. I have the X set up a LOT higher than the 690 at the moment. The 690 has been lowered for Sherri Jo. It has no bar risers, so I cant ride them the same way and compare. The suspension on the X is much better set up ... Sherri Jo has stock suspension, but lowered and with a stronger WP spring on the back. Its largely been set up by guesswork from KTM dealers in Australia. Mine has been custom set up by a suspension guru in Holland ... with everything calculated and matching.

    I have the same forks as SJ, but with progressive springs and tuned valving (hers is the stock linear KTM fork springs and standard WP valving)... We have similar rear suspension, only mine has been exactly measured for weight and weight distribution, and also has a custom progressive spring ... hers got whatever heavier rear (linear) spring was at the dealer at the time. Again a bit of an uneven comparison. I would like to think if I put the same effort into prepping a 690 you could get a very light end result ... but like the X, there is a lot that needs to be done to turn the 690 into what I would consider a very good set-up for adventure riding. It definately needs a steering damper ...not sure the X does. So far, both bikes have been 100% reliable. Thats a good thing.

    The agility and twitchiness of the 690's steering means its a lot less relaxing for her on the open dirt roads. The X is extremely stable and relaxing to ride all day long.

    Its still early days, but there are pros and cons to each ... I will be better qualified to comment when we get closer to Irkutsk, in a few more weeks. :thumb
    Samoadv likes this.
  4. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,567
    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    Outstanding photos and reports. Thanks for all the work of sharing. That abandon city was awesum!
  5. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,009
    Location:
    Switzerland and around the globe
    Hi Walter,
    looking at the packing on SJ's bike I would think the nervous front wheel is due to the weight that is on it. Put some bags in front and some heavier things from the rear in those bags and the bike will be much better to handle. I've done alot of soft sand riding in the sahara and if you don't have a balanced bike there aou have a lot of work keeping your bike on track.
    Nice report by the way. Would be glad to be with you.
    Greetings from Switzerland
    Thomas
    Samoadv likes this.
  6. Gravytrain

    Gravytrain house husband

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    Boulder
    Hey Walter,
    Are those the Double take mirrors you are running?
    How are they working for you?
  7. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Yes you are right ... there is too much weight at the back and probably too much weight overall on the KTM ... but I have also ridden it a couple of times with much less weight on the back because we had taken some weight off for some obstacles ... in comparison the the Xchallenge it still has the same advantages and disadvantges tho ... its much more agile when doing total enduro terrain, and much less stable than the X crossing rivers or on the main road when you want the bike just to hold its line.
  8. lukeman

    lukeman Cool Hand

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    468
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Happy Birthday! Great report, always anxious for the next update. The mix of story, history, location, and pictures you put out really help in experiencing the trip as much as possible without actually doing the miles.

    Cheers!
  9. Tony P

    Tony P Doddery Old Fart

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia.
    Gratifying to see no one has stolen last years SibirskyExtreme sticker on that marker.
    Also says much of the usual Colebatch quest for quality for it to have survived a Siberian winter.
  10. Viking64

    Viking64 BMWarrior

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Castellum a/d Rijn
    Bas is good!!:clap

    All my bikes wear also Purple springs :wings

    Good trip, lookin' forward for more 'culture' pic's :D
  11. BlueWhiteAdventures

    BlueWhiteAdventures Ride on!

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Wow! Great RR and awesome ride!

    Is there a signup list for next year? Back for even more? :bow
  12. TchristianU

    TchristianU Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    56
    Always a good report, and..............i want your bike hella bad :rofl
  13. lukeman

    lukeman Cool Hand

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    468
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Just been reading through Sherri's blog... I think its pretty insightful as its through the eyes of someone less experienced than Walter and really learning along the way. The contrasting view points between the two of you is really encompasses the experience. IMHO, reading all these reports on ADV rider from legends kind of desensitizes me to how fucking hardcore some of this stuff is.

    Case in point from Walter, 'Sure, there were a few water crossings ... but nothing major at this point:'

    Contrasted to Sherri 'I've never ridden a motorcycle through deep water.. I have seen it done, but surely he doesn't want me to do that!? I'm just getting used to the dirt roads, can I just stick to that for a while?'

    This stuff is golden!

    I imagine its great to have such a mentor to go over things and instruct rather than trying to learn everything on your own.

    Lord knows most people would have a hell of a time keeping up with a pro. But if it gave Walter enough time to setup these killer shots of me while riding, my motivation to keep up wouldn't be as high. :D

    Good job Sherri on braving the Road of Bones! Hell of a place to learn, and Captain Magadan for teaching. :thumb
  14. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    I hadnt even noticed that ... A few places where I had looked for traces of our stickers, they were gone. I will keep looking on the Vilyuisky Trakt!
  15. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    As we turned northwest, the road began to deteriorate and it was clearly not so heavily used.
    [​IMG]

    Our speed slowed.
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    We passed the abandoned village of Adygalakh and met a couple in a landcruiser. They were from Susuman, but the man had been born and raised in Adygalakh, when the town had existed, and they often returned to the region to pick berries and soak up the utterly wild, unspoilt nature. We were offered as many blueberries and redcurrants as we could fit in our mouths.

    [​IMG]

    "Get a mouthful of my juicy redcurrants", she said ...
    [​IMG]

    The guy warned us it is a long, hard, bad road to Tomtor ... Soon after saying goodbye to them, we were on a road that to all intents and purposes looked abandoned. I could see only one set of vehicle tracks … made a day or two ago. To make matters worse, there were bushfires in the area and the area we were passing through was still smouldering all around us, and on both sides of the road.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We were heading into the fire now ....
  16. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    A tragic (for us) consequence of the bushfires, was the large number of trees that had fallen across the road.
    [​IMG]

    Some we were able to move. Some we were able to break. Some we were able to lift and ride under. And there were some we could do nothing about at all about.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Most of the time, we arrived at another tree across the road and had to find a solution.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One log took 90 minutes to get both bikes over. I had to crash my bike over it. Get the front wheel up, and then throw the back end over. Every 50-100 metres was another tree across the road.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Despite the fact that it seemed we were riding into hell, Sherri just kept up a smile and kept helping out with the bikes and with the trees. She wasnt flustered by all this but kept focussed on the simple concept "what do we have to do to get past this next obstacle?"

    [​IMG]
  17. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Having crashed my bike across one obstacle, I decided to ride Sherri's around the obstacle ... only it was a blacked out hillside beside us. The ground was 6 inches of powdery ash. There was almost zero traction, the hard surface beneath the ash was completely bumpy and unpredictable, and to add .stress to the mix, the ash piles were still smouldering in places ... there was still plenty of hot cinders, waiting to burn a hole thru the rubber if I dared to stop:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Reassembling the bikes and luggage after the ash detour:

    [​IMG]

    By now the road was clearly completely abandoned. The only vehicles who travel this section between the abandoned villages of Adygalakh and Kuranakh Sala are the occasional expedition 4wds or motorbikes doing the road for sake of doing it.

    [​IMG]

    We had said goodbye to the berry picking couple about 5pm. By 10pm we had done a mere 8km (5 miles). If we'd had a chainsaw, we might have done it in an hour. We reached a stream across the road at 10pm and refilled our water bottles. The struggle with the trees across the road had resulted in me drinking a gallon of water since 5pm. I spoke with Sherri, who was as knackered as I was. We were both covered in soot from manhauling burnt trees and driving bikes through ash. There was just an hours daylight left. It was time to set up camp. There was clearly zero traffic on this section of the road, so we set up tents in the middle of the road, right next to the stream.
    [​IMG]

    As I went to bed I wondered how much more of this tough going there would be. How many hundreds more logs and trees across the road? I was very grateful for an uncomplaining Sherri Jo. I kept telling her not to worry ... that we will get through ... and she accepted that.

    I drifted off, wondering HOW we would get through, at our current rate of 1 mile per hour.
    Samoadv likes this.
  18. skvirdi

    skvirdi n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    Livermore, CA
    Awesome RR....Subscribed...
  19. Tijuana_Taxi

    Tijuana_Taxi Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    822
    Location:
    Boise,Idaho
    WOW! Amazing! :clap :clap Thanks for taking the time to put together this fantastic report!
  20. macarron

    macarron Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Spain
    Riding through ashes or crashing over logs, that is extreme enduro. And the pics showing you struggling in the woods are impressive.