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Old 04-17-2010, 08:13 AM   #15
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Colorado
Oddometer: 488
tires for the trip

This is one the major issues to deal with on such a trip. All 3 bikes have the same tire sizes, so that helped. There are many tires available, but not all suitable for this trip. We wanted knobbies or semi-knobbies. That makes it a bit easier to deal with some of the terrain we will encounter. TKC’s are nice, I have used them in the past, but they do not get the required mileage. We settled on Mefo Explorers. They come with an excellent reputation and should do the mileage. Shu has used them in the past as well and has been very happy with them.

The total trip length is 18,500 miles. Two sets is maybe possible but tight. We did not want to drag each a set of tires on the back. We already have too much stuff as is. Instead we opted to have 3 sets of tires shipped to Trabzon in the North East of Turkey; that leaves about 13,000 miles from there on out, which can be done on 2 sets of tires.

I send out numerous inquiries to Turkey, but could not quit get there with a good solution for tire availability for what we were looking for. I also asked the question on the Dutch GS website ( and somebody there suggested I contact Alexander at Rally Adventure Shop in Holland (][) . He has been very helpfull in figuring things out and is sending us the Mefo tires to Turkey for all 3 bikes. The tires are on the way as we speak. They will be waiting for us at an aquintance of my sister in Trabzon.

That was the “easy” part once we figured it out. The next leg of the trip was a bit more involved. The next 6000 – 8000 miles puts us in Alamaty – Novosibirsk. DHL could have shipped us tires to Alamaty, but we wanted really to be bit further down the road. There are also those who say they shopped around Alamaty and found tires locally. We did not want to mess around for days looking for tires and find who knows what. Colebatch send us in the direction of Denis Panverof in Russia ( He sells tires and can ship them to most major places in Russia. He now also sells Mefo tires. Good deal!! We are in the process of making final arrangemenst to have tires shipped to Novosibirsk. That will get us thru Mongolia on fresh rubber and back to Europe.
Lastly, there is always the possibility of a catastrophic tire failure. This is where common tire sizes come in handy. Current plan is to take one front and one back tire with us between the 3 of us. They will be the best tires that come of the bikes when we change tires in Trabzon. Not sure if this is really needed, but it is our plan, right, wrong or indifferent and we are sticking to it, …… maybe.

Latest news, as you all have heard air travel to Europe is a huge mess. I still have 10 days to go before my plane is scheduled to leave. I hope that by that time them Icelanders get some control over their vulcanoes. (iceland has been on my list to visit for 30 years, one of these days)

We also found a campground near Ancona where we will meet. I will be coming from Holland and Tom / Shu will have come their way thru Germany and Austria. The problem with all these travel plans is that the more you travel the more you realize how much else is there that remains to be explored. I would love to take more time and bike around the central Italy area. It looks great. Oh well, next year.

I believe all 3 of us are now really getting antsy to get on our bikes.


khpossum screwed with this post 04-17-2010 at 08:20 AM
khpossum is offline   Reply With Quote