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Old 08-31-2010, 01:43 AM   #14
randel OP
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Mattighofen
Oddometer: 316
Let's go on.
Day 4

When we woke up, we saw our neighbours. They have arrived during night and we didn't hear them at all.

Today's plan - cross arctic cyrcle, arrive to Kola peninsula and follow White Sea coastline as far as we can. We were quite early and hope to make first few hundred km's fast.
As we already experienced, if everything seems ok, something will happen. So was it this time
My KTM was having strange problem, during riding on road, it cuts off ignition for a fraction of second. Following a loud bang from exhaust. It did it seldomly, so I didn't bother a lot. Now it started to shut down after every second or two and I had no other choice as to stop and start looking what is causing this problem. I already checked wiring at home, but everything seemed ok.
We stopped next to an old russian sidecar, old relative to boxer-BMW's.

Owner of this bike was fishing and his lady gathering mushrooms.

Let's check kill switch first.

Looks good. Now ignition switch.

Also ok. Let's go deeper. Others were already getting nervous as time goes and we didn't move again.

We didn't find anything and put everything back together hoping that problem has solved by itself. Meanwhile Juho tightened topcase fastening bolts as they were quite loose. This topcase was a pain, it didn't want to stay connected to the rack at all. Obviously german engineers haven't been in Russia before designing GS.

Old school motorcycle clothing and helmet. Still good!

After an hour we were moving again and my KTM was acting better indeed. Did we solve the problem? Time will tell. Arctic circle was close and we started looking fort signs of it. Nothing. But we discovered a sign "Poljarnoi Krug (Polar cicrcle) 5km". Sure we went to look for it. Road to the villages was inspiring.

Village itself was small and didn't look different from others. No signs from arctic circle at all.

Back to the Murmansk highway, direction north. Now already above arctic circle.

During one stop Anton tried to catch others and while moving at fuill trottle his Dakar suddenly lost power. Damn! We went off the road and started looking what cause this problem. During our trip to Romania in 2008 Erik's Dakar fuel pump died so we started with fuel system inspection.

Fuel pump seems ok, we checked also fuel filter and injector too.

Looked ok, but how to evaluate is there enough fuel pressure in system? Yes, let's take another Dakar apart too

Fuel system seems to be ok. Spark was also strong, but mabe its not generated in correct time? After consulting with estonian BMW dealer we checked generator too, while thay have had a problem with a bike, where small pieces of metal in oil have caused mistimed spark.

Also looking ok. Is there really a major failure? Something with piston and valves? Actually Anton's Dakar started when engine was cold and idled quite ok. It didn't work on higher rpm's though. We decided to go to small workshop, which happens to be only few km's away where Anton's bike stopped. Erik was installing stuff back to his Dakar and while trying to start the engine, his Dajkar refused to start! What the hell?

After cursing Anton that he has stolen something for his broken bike we discovered that Erik has forgotten to connect wiring conector to fuel injector. Sure that engine will work better when fuel is able to enter to cylinder.
Now we were on the local workshop and checked compression.

Bad news, only around 4 bar. Seems like his trip has ended here. Asking BMW service in Murmansk about spare parts they confirmed possible delivery for next week. Sorry, but our visas will be expired then and what to do a week in Murmansk? So we better organize Anton's bike back to Estonia. Sure he wasn't happy with this but what can we do? First task is to get Anton bike away from Russia to finnish border. Salla was the closest border station ca 200km away. Guys from workshop organized a Gazelle truck in 30 minutes.

We agreed the price and started loading Anton's Dakar.

Luckily we had some proper straps with us.

And away they went.

To rush ahead, Anton's way home wasnt so straightforward as it looks. Truck driver didn't have a finnish visa and while they are allowed to pass first checkpoint in Alakurtti (70km's from border!) they were sent back from another one, 15km from border. It was after midnight when they returned to starting point. Truck driver offered Anrton a place to stay this night and refused to take money for the 400km ride. Next day another driver with finnish visa was found and after two days of staying in most boring village of his life he finally arrived Finland where another truck was already waiting. 1000km later he was in Helsinki and another 2 hours later back in Tallinn.

Meanwhile we continued our way north. It was already evening and we were behind our schedule again

We arrived Kola peninsula and turned right to direction Kandalaksha and Umba, having plans to reach Umba already today. It was getting cold, we were used to have 20+ Celsius, now it was only +13.

Kandalaksha is quite big city and of course there is a mandatory monument in city center

We tried to register us in this hotel while we heard from finnish bikers that you have to get registration to your passport during 3 days. It was already our 4th day in Russia and sure we didn't get the registration from here too. Let's hope that we don't met any police next days while we will be in areas with very few people.

Every real russian man must own a garage

We are heading to Umba. White Sea in sight, nice coastline.

It was already getting dark when we reach Umba. Last fuel station for next 300+km, let's put all tanks full

"During thunderstorm don't come closer than 4meters" sign in fuel station

We found a place to put up our tents shortly after Umba, temperature was around +10 Celsius and we were freezing.
And despite we were worried about Anton and tired from today's problems, we were looking forward to oncoming days as real adventure will start now.
Next days plans - northernmost desert in Kuzomen and disappearing roads from Umba to Revda with numerous water crossings.
Beyond clouds 2011
Beyond arctic circle 2010
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