To the Gate of Time – 2200 kms of steppe,river crossings and empty vodka bottles by Mongolian Moped

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by KTMInduro, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. KTMInduro

    KTMInduro Off Road Montster

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
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    483
    Location:
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    February 2015 and my company were exhibiting at an international gift fair in Frankfurt. An English guy strolled into our booth and we get chatting and hit it off immediately. After 10 or so minutes Paul asked me how old I am. 49 I replied. What are you doing for your 50th he asked ? I don’t know. Maybe go to the pub ?

    No way mate. You have to do something really special to mark your half century. I’m 50 and went jumping trains in East Africa with 2 mates for a month last year. It was brilliant fun. Think about it. And off he went (without ordering anything the bastard :dirtdog )

    Anyway the seed was planted and the decision wasn’t hard to make.

    I've been an avid follower of the guys from Offroad People both on You Tube and ADV reports. Along with Colebatch and Metal Jockey their ride reports are some of the most inspiring and awesome to be found.

    Their RR https://advrider.com/index.php?threads/offroadpeople-mongolian-cosmonauts-2013.946704/ blew me away.

    Especiallly this shot

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    They called this place the Gate of Time. I know that I just had to get there one day.

    To mark 50 years of orbiting the sun, we were going to ride there.
    #1
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  2. KTMInduro

    KTMInduro Off Road Montster

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    I decided to invite 7 guys I’ve known for years, scattered all around the globe, knowing full well that only a handful at best would be able to spend a month in Mongolia. Some have a lot of off road riding experience like Mike here in Bali. Others like Trevor in the Hague were novices. The one thing we all had in common was that we were old farts and all enjoyed a drink or two.

    Starting my trip planning, I came across some RR’s from Joe Motorcross and Tahoe who had both done trips on the local Chinese 150cc Shineray Mustangs. Joe in his RR described them as the “Mongolian Moped”. Slow but reliable with locals that could fix them everywhere, they sounded perfect.

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    (I know its a 200cc Shineray, but I liked the photo..............)

    I do have a bit of a reputation with mates, that precedes me after some of my past rides. Some have been pretty extreme. Others I have returned from in wheelchairs. I therefore assured everyone that the route we would follow would be simple and easy . No KTM's. No broken bones. It was going to be a laid back ride taking in the sites of Mongolia interspersed with some beer & vodka drinking......
    #2
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  3. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    I'll be watching for this one.
    #3
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  4. canoeguy

    canoeguy Long timer

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    Alright, count me in.
    #4
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  5. Marc LaDue

    Marc LaDue Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Hancock Township, Plymouth County, Iowa
    Is the little lady going along for the ride? It would appear her skills might come in handy,

    LaDue
    #5
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  6. KTMInduro

    KTMInduro Off Road Montster

    Joined:
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    I contacted Colebatch in January and requested some route suggestions that would show me & the lads the best of Mongolia. Asphalt, extreme trails & swamps were to be avoided ……………. (In retrospect I’m not sure if Walter missed my brief of “no swamps” ………….. :lol3 )

    A month later, I received this GPX file !

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    A fantastic 4000 km track including good parts of the infamous Mongolian Sibirsky Extreme trail and also what looked like the tracks of the Offroadpeoples ride to the Gate of Time.

    It looked bloody epic !!
    #6
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  7. KTMInduro

    KTMInduro Off Road Montster

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    A taster of whats to come.

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    #7
  8. KTMInduro

    KTMInduro Off Road Montster

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    #8
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  9. KTMInduro

    KTMInduro Off Road Montster

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    #9
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  10. KTMInduro

    KTMInduro Off Road Montster

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  11. top_dog

    top_dog ADVrider wannabe

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
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    Location:
    Brazil
    In!

    Mongolia is a distant dream. But who knows tomorrow?
    #11
  12. juno

    juno Long timer

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    Jupiter
    Damn! I love me some mongolian ride reports!
    #12
  13. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Great intro.:lurk
    #13
  14. KTMInduro

    KTMInduro Off Road Montster

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    OK - I've got to get this RR finished................ :lol3
    #14
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  15. KTMInduro

    KTMInduro Off Road Montster

    Joined:
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    Right then.........

    Its June 2016………..Mike & I fly into Ulan Batur from Bali. At our guest house we meet up with the third member of our crew, Trev who arrived a few hours earlier from Amsterdam.

    We travel out to the outskirts of the city to meet with the infamous Cheke and her bike rental business. I had booked 7 bikes, 6 months earlier, which as the other guys dropped out one by one, I had been cancelling each month.

    I had asked her to reserve the newest bikes in her stable and low and behold, there they were stored out of sight on a platform in the top of a container. 3 150 cc Shineray Mustangs each with about 1000 km on the clock and still in fairly "mint" condition. Cool.

    No photos, as to why - will soon become apparent...............

    We all decide our long overdue reunion deserves a beer or 2 ,so head back into UB to the roof bar of the nearby Ramada hotel . Great views , a great band , and great booze.

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    #15
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  16. KTMInduro

    KTMInduro Off Road Montster

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    Several bottles of red wine later we decide we should head back to the guest house via the Irish pub opposite.

    We are confronted on the street by a midget who screams at us that she wants money and is hungry. She is really aggressive and is grabbing at our clothes. We decide to speed up. She speeds up after us continuing to scream at us. We run. She runs alongside us continuing to scream and grabbing at my arm. We jump the barrier in the middle of a four lane highway and rush up some stairs into the Irish pub. The whole episode must have looked pretty comical to any bystander………… :lol3

    I checked my camera case on my belt. The case was still there but it was open and the Sony RX100 gone. History. WTF !!!

    Wow – I was gobsmacked. Shocked but also not without a tiny hint of admiration. What a bloody slick operator.

    We were supposed to be leaving UB the next morning and I now had no camera for the trip. Damn. Not a very auspicious start.
    #16
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  17. KTMInduro

    KTMInduro Off Road Montster

    Joined:
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    The next morning its a Sunday.

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    Google tells me that the State Department store opens at 8.30 am. Bit of luck.

    2 hours later I’m a proud owner of a new Sony 30x Zoom that looks like my old camera. I’m also $450 poorer.

    We all pile into a UAZ van with our gear and head back out to Chekes.

    Trev seems to have 3 bags of gear with him............


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    Its pretty hot and there’s no shade. I attach some electrics to my bike for charging my phone & the Montana.

    Trev who has not been on a ride like this before seems to have brought the kitchen sink with him and trys to stick all his gear in one huge bag. Its so massive I’m sure we could stick the bodies of 2 UB pickpockets inside it if we wanted to.

    He ends up dividing it all up into a kit bag and a Giant Loop I had brought for him to put ALL his gear into...... guess that didn't go to plan !

    It takes several hours to get all of our gear and bikes sorted. We then have to teach Trev how to ride the bike on the track outside Chekes yard as this is his first time on a motorbike.........

    Chekes boys helped load the gear onto his bike.

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    The gear had to be removed again to lighten up the bike for the lesson.....

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    Mike has his gear in a Giant Loop & 2 Wolfman duffles.........a lot of gear also



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    30 minutes later, after watching some whisky throttle , my thoughts are along the lines of “this is going to be interesting…………"

    My Shineray is ready to hit the steppe. Kriega Overlanders , a Wolfman duffle and a GL tank bag. Also 2 MSR 4 litre water bladders on the front of the bike, and 3 one litre MSR fuel bottles for the Primus stove and emergencies on the trail.

    I will get into whats inside my bags later in the RR.


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    I 'm pleasantly surprised with the bikes. They don't look too badly built. Chinese made especially for the Mongolian market with offroad tyres, handguards and racks all over the bike. They have a 13 litre tank which Cheke tells me gives the bikes a range of around 350 km or so . My research tells me not to expect much at all in terms of performance.........

    Its already halfway through the afternoon due to my shopping expedition earlier and sorting out the mountains of gear we seem to have brought with us.
    Trev reports he is not confident to ride the route on my GPS that goes right through the busy city centre to the east before joining with the Sibirsky track heading north.

    We are on the west side of UB, and its fairly quiet out here, so I think it will be easy to head out a few km before looping north east …………..

    We saddle up and we're off. It feels bloody brilliant to finally be on the way after a year of planning.

    Within 10 minutes we leave the hard top and immediately find ourselves on jeep track riding literally in the middle of nowhere.

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    #17
  18. KTMInduro

    KTMInduro Off Road Montster

    Joined:
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    483
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    A little background on the 3 of us before the story goes any further

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    Mike, AKA Capt America, originally from Hawaii, 20 years resident of Bali. Rides an Africa Twin and a Royal Enfield . Experienced offroader and my riding partner on many adventures here in Indo.

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    Trev, an Aussie. Used to live in Bali , but moved to Hong Kong for 10 years and then more recently to the Hague in Holland. Spends a lot of time travelling and camping Europe on 2 wheels, but on push bikes. No offroad motorcycle experience at all.

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    And me ,a Brit. Bali resident for 23 years. Experienced off road rider, with a few bikes , but had some difficulties keeping the rubber side down a few years ago and took a sabbatical from riding for a couple of years. This is my first major bike trip for 3 years after breaking a leg in 2013.
    #18
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  19. Sl0rider

    Sl0rider Been here awhile

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    Location:
    South Australia
    Good stuff. Looks like this will be worth the wait!:-)
    #19
  20. KTMInduro

    KTMInduro Off Road Montster

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    We are following the Tuul river south east from UB. The gravel is graded early on as we meet our first nomad

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    Its soon apparent that the Shineray is underpowered. Wringing the throttle it tops out at 60 km/h (and that’s downhill with the wind behind me ), but it’s a fairly comfortable ride apart from that . The gear shifter pedal has a fore and aft paddle and when standing up on the pegs I frequently knock it down a gear by mistake with my heel which is another gripe. Mike reports he is also having the same problem. Bloody frustrating the bikes lack any guts but we’ll have to grin and bear it.

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    The sense of space of land and sky out here is amazing...

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    We're loving it out here !!

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    Trev looks like he’s getting the hang of his bike and seems much happier on the gravel than he had been on the short stretch of hardtop earlier. So far so good.

    Past the last settlement and we're riding on sand

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    After 3 or 4 hours of riding we decide to stop for the night and start looking for a campsite. I’ve brought a fishing rod with me so camping beside the river seems like a good plan.

    Not a bad spot................but look at the sky..............

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    As we are pitching the tents the temperature suddenly drops, the wind increases and it starts raining horizontally. Trev and I have our tents pegged down already but Mikes tents flies off down the hill, snapping the ridge pole. The rain passes as quickly as it arrived. Mikes not happy and talks about going back to UB to buy a new tent !
    Fortunately at this time of year its light until about 10 pm so we have plenty of time to set up the rest of our camp.

    We cook up some noodles and have some wine & Genghis Gold for insulation.

    This puts pay to any plans I have of doing some fishing. Its also pretty cold out...........

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    #20