The BAM Road - ultimate test of man and machine

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Tony P

    Tony P Doddery Old Fart

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia.
    Robert. So you did the east BAM by accident. PHEWWWWW....

    It was good following in your tracks - many people remembered you.
    #81
  2. Robert Movistar

    Robert Movistar Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    56
    Location:
    Poland
    Tony P, this road was the horror of a people? Always helpful, never let you leave. " I' help you today, tomorrow you help me." Always been so. I have a small dream to go to Etyrkien, meet Roma and go BAM and continue to Tynda Severobaykalsk. For us, the end of the BAM was Fevralsk. There were only 12 days to get to the Polish. In Irkutsk 2 more days for the documents for motorcycles. From Irkutsk we traveled to the Polish 7 days ...
    Day we passed 900 km, and the 3 000 km from the Polish, it was:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #82
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  3. IJM

    IJM Hinderant Backbenderz

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    396
    Location:
    The city above T.O
    Thanks so much for sharing, I may not be able to work at all today!!!:bow
    #83
  4. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    I tell you what, I was surprised, pleasantly surprised by the guts and determination of guys like Tony ... he never wavered in his determination to get it done. He didn't want to be babysat, he didn't need comfort, he never complained ... he just wanted to achieve it. And he did.

    This road, turns into as much of a mental challenge as it is a technical challenge. The road goes on and on ... when you are in the middle of it, you feel like you will never finish it. At one point we did 65km (40 miles) in 3 days of very hard riding. Dawn to Dusk. Very physical. Picking bikes up, manhandling them through bogs, pulling them out of mud. And then when you've got one bike 50 metres through the mud bog, we all go back to do the next bike ... and then the next one. Only to find 100 metres further on there is another 50 metre wide bog. And all the time you are aware that you are doing only a few hundred metres an hour and thinking its 150km to the next village! And all the time you are getting savaged by massive aggressive mosquitoes.!!

    That's where you need the mental toughness. And Tony is mentally the toughest guy I have ever met.

    I realised after this trip that age has very little to do with it ... its all about being mentally tough.
    #84
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  5. Robert Movistar

    Robert Movistar Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    56
    Location:
    Poland
    I thought that once turn back, I'm not going on ... But I knew what the road is behind me. I did not want to go again. Next MUST be good ... But it was not .. it was only worse. Dreamed to go 2 km away at a speed of 30 km / h. But those were only dreams, the path was different.
    Anyone who has driven this route deserves respect. You can be super off road driver, but you have to be strong mentally and physically. There can only help a friend. I remember the Etyrkien Roma told the story, when the bear came to the local cemetery, broke new graves and ate the corpse. It is said that in Khabarovsk country bears more than dogs. Shot him. You do not know when it will be a threat and what is before you.

    I do not know or understand me:1drink
    Colebatch, I do not write nothing. Please pictures and relationship
    #85
  6. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Blyad' ya ponimayu kak ti vodka pit! Lyudi v Etyrken skazal ... 3 dne vodka pit!. :hide :hide :hide :grim :grim :grim :flush :flush :flush

    You are famous in Etyrken for your vodka performance !
    #86
  7. Robert Movistar

    Robert Movistar Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    56
    Location:
    Poland
    Oooo...:eek1 W Etyrkien my byli adin dnia. Kto tiebia skazal szto ja 3 dnia wodku pil?:evil Kak my byli na Kamciatku, to wodku mnogo my pili.:dutch Sejcias tolko ciut, ciut:lol3 Wy se nie bojatsa nas. Szto ty w Irkuckie dielasz?
    #87
  8. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    First thing we did in the morning was to head to the workshop to have a better look at Tony's Bike and the broken shock. The shock was ok, but the two alloy mounting lugs on the bottom had snapped off. The bike, however, looked like it was a wreck ... and a 3 month restoration project. "We might be here a while" I thought to myself.

    [​IMG]

    Komsomolsk was pretty much a closed town in the good old days. There was and still is a lot of military and hi-tech manufacturing here. Most of the guys we were meeting either worked for Sukhoi (KNAAPO) aircraft factory building jet fighters or the submarine factory. Despite being 500km upstream from the mouth of the Amur, the river is more than big enough to handle ocean going submarines! The new great white hope for Russian civil aviation, the Sukhoi Superjet, is also being built here in Komsomolsk. If that's not enough, the Sukhoi T50, the third 5th generation jet fighter aircraft in history (after the US F22 and F35) also is being built here in Komsomolsk.

    With all that hi-tech manufacturing, its not too surprising that no-one we were meeting was born here. They all moved here because they had specialised skills. So most guys here (including all our biker pals) were skilled metal workers one way or another. And good quality alloy and steel would also not be hard to find, should it be needed to repair Tony's ill machine.

    Yegor took at look at my cracked rear rack and did some touch up welding for me:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Spring compressors arrived and the spring was removed from Tony's shock. The broken end piece of the shock was removed and Kostya felt the best solution would be to remake the same part, in steel for strength, We agreed, if indeed it was possible. And they assured us it was.

    While Tony supervised progress on his suspension repairs, Terry and I took a ride down to the river, a popular sunning spot in town, and did a little sunbathing of our own. In Komsomolsk, because of the low angle of the sun, the locals have worked out its more effective getting a tan standing up, rather than lying down. Tanning is a standing process in Komsomolsk.
    [​IMG]


    It occurred to me, while Terry was bathing himself in the river, that large bikini bottoms (big pants) may not be in season in Komsomolsk;
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Now I am an open minded guy, and I don't like to nail my colours to one post or another too hastily, so in the interest of even handedness, I think its important to show that there were also plenty of big pants bikinis around too.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    But they didn't always stay up as well. Functionality is important to me. I mean, what use is a bikini that doesn't stay up?
    [​IMG]


    When we returned to the garage, there was more bad news re Tony's bike. While the shock piece was off getting remanufactured, the local lads had taken a look at Tony's front rim. It was all over the place. The local view was it was unfixable. If the locals think its unfixable, and they can fix almost anything, then its unfixable.

    [​IMG]

    A steel 21 inch rim (quite a bit heavier than Tony's original) was produced. It wasnt new, but was still in good shape. Tony's wheel was stripped and the local motorcycle wheel builder (actually just another of the gang) went about rebuilding the wheel in Yegor's garage. A couple of hours later and it was basically finished.

    [​IMG]

    We took the gang (Yegor, Oksana, Kostya, Kolya (the wheel builder) and 3 other local bikers) out for shashlik. They were housing us and looking after our bikes (including doing extensive repair work to Tony's) so it was the least we could do ... before heading back to Yegor's for evening beers.:thumb

    It was hard to work out how to thank these guys enough. We knew they would probably refuse payment for all this ... so we had to find a way to pay them, and buying the food and beers during our stay was one way to do it.
    #88
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  9. stephenaki

    stephenaki Old Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    271
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Great read, I especially like the fact that you take the time to give some history of the areas that you ride through. I would love to join your next trek in Jul 2010 but I'll probably be getting settled at my new assignment.
    #89
  10. Robert Movistar

    Robert Movistar Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    56
    Location:
    Poland
    Now I know why you do not like vodka. And I know why you're in Irkutsk. Just tell me which of these women:thumb
    #90
  11. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,525
    Location:
    Merrickville, Canada
    I'm hooked, keep it coming!!
    #91
  12. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    For those with wide enough screens, here is a map of south eastern Russia ... The Trans-Siberian Highway is in blue, and the BAM Road in purple.

    [​IMG]
    #92
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  13. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    If it was Sweden, most of the women would be chubbier. :gerg
    #93
  14. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    Nov 28, 2004
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    Crestwood, Kentucky
    We need the direct link to your FULL photos! :evil
    #94
  15. RideDualSport.com

    RideDualSport.com Zut alors!

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
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    2,197
    Location:
    Texas / France
    Colebatch, thank you very much for your most excellent report! I really appreciate and enjoy the historical and cultural aspects of the BAM and the Russian people that you are including. My roots go back to Russia. I feel privileged to be reading your report!
    Cheers!
    #95
  16. cgwt

    cgwt Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    179
    Location:
    just outside of NO gravel roads in Tx.
    Hi Patrice
    This sounds like a good ride?:tb
    Gideon
    #96
  17. flyingz06

    flyingz06 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    379
    Location:
    Indiana
    are you kidding me:lol3 you don't need alot of bikini for those tiny tiny things called breasts:lol3 :lol3 :lol3
    #97
  18. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
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    1,063
    Location:
    Kas-Antalya,Turkey
    Hi Colebatch,

    A cracking tale of derring-do. Many thanks. Looking forward to finding out how Terry's XT660R held up.

    Cheers,

    DickyB
    #98
  19. valentine

    valentine Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    43
    Awesome!

    One question... What's the furthest distance between gas fill ups? I'd imagine the gas stations are few and far between...
    #99
  20. killurtv

    killurtv free range moron

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    640
    Location:
    central oregon
    Another fantastic report, looks like a slow work day for me!:roflkeep it coming and thanks for posting.