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Old 09-19-2012, 07:07 PM   #46
Joined: May 2007
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Originally Posted by Joe Motocross View Post
...I've dubbed "rough terrain mopeds"...
These bike're inspired by this (GL145 for Kiwis) . In past the REAL one are quite popular by Tibetan herders , individual makers saw the market & "mod" it by using pushrod machine. The end result is almost EVERY countryman rides it in rough terrain.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:52 AM   #47
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Is Mongolian mud like the slick snot of the West Desert? Or more favorable?
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:56 AM   #48
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MONGOLIA... I love it!

End of July arrived home from 50 day mongolian trip. Fascinating country, friendly people, beautiful landscape.

I started to plan the next tour for 2014
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:32 AM   #49
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Awesome report, especially since there's not a lot of pavement to get in the way of the fun.

Regarding routes were there any maps to persue or did you just use Google Earth for most of your route finding? Or something else?

I'm trying to decide Mongolia or China for enjoyable offroad exploring so looking forward to your experiences.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:46 AM   #50
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Laugh More More More...!

The preview pics look great. Looking forward to more. Subscribed. !!!
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East-West Across the Ghats, South India
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:39 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by trackhead View Post
Is Mongolian mud like the slick snot of the West Desert? Or more favorable?
It is just like this, and hidden under an inch or so of dry dirt:

1981 Moto Guzzi V50 III (being cafe'd)
2007 KTM 450 EXC
1960 Lotus 7 (hey, it's a 4 wheel motorcycle!)
1953 Matchless G80 trials
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:27 PM   #52
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When you're this deep in the mud, resist the urge to scratch when it itches on your face.

Keep it up with the report. Great ride (rather unique I'd say) and report. Oh and why didn't you register the bikes? Bureaucracy? Costs? Time?
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:12 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Joe Motocross View Post
Day 1

old crow voile'd on, classic...
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:56 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by team ftb View Post
Awesome report, especially since there's not a lot of pavement to get in the way of the fun.

Regarding routes were there any maps to persue or did you just use Google Earth for most of your route finding? Or something else?

I'm trying to decide Mongolia or China for enjoyable offroad exploring so looking forward to your experiences.
Go Mongolia mate. It's a bit harder to get there but worth the extra effort and cheap once you are there . The whole notion of no private landownership is something you'll never really appreciate until you experience it first hand. And the place is massive and littred with horse (read single) trails. Right up your alley i reckon. Coming back the fences will piss you off more than before though. I've still got a roaming trip in mind myself, but I've got a few other things I want to do first.

Cant believe how fast it's changing. First time I went there were hardly any tourists except for naadam and lada was still the car of choice. The year after there were heaps of Japanese cars with all the foreign aid and investment along with some western building sites. A few years later heaps of German cars, big add screens in the street, Irish pubs full off backpackers. Now it seems they've got a brand new Mongolian style parliament building overlooking high rises etc. it's both good and bad, because the foreign meddling means they are 'asked' to reform their laws for economic reasons and subsequent cultures which ultimately include a reform to western land reforms based on trade. I can see the end in sight for the land without fences. But maybe I'm being pessimistic caused by the romanticized memories.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:05 PM   #55
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Yup, EVERY nomad has a Chinese bike. We have some experience with mud that we'll share soon. iPhone app (GPSkit) with Google Terrain, Bing Street and some satellite maps loaded coupled with two different paper maps is how we navigated. Buuurrrt's got one that has gas stations marked. There are basically NO road signs. Actually, there are a couple on the more used routes that we couldn't read.

Crow bottles were brought for water and gas. Shoulda brought them full of whiskey.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:40 PM   #56
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Day 3

We woke up with the sunrise again, heated our coffee and noodles and started riding.

We dropped off the back of the ridge we were camped on and came across our first river crossing that we needed to cross to get back on the main route.

Minxter got bounced around and tipped over but she made it without putting her bike in the drink. She wasn't happy with her performance!!

As fall approaches the nomads were gathering grasses for their herds for the winter and we were seeing piles like these drying everywhere.

Just up the road we came across these guys with a flat. Being "flat tire technicians" ourselves we stopped to heckle them a bit and then see if they needed anything. Total language barrier of course.

They had put in a new tube and were pumping fiercely with their pump which they didn't realize had a huge split in the hose so no air was going into the tube. I pointed it out and they held it closed as Buuuuurrrt helped them pump it up. They couldn't get enough air with their pump so we finished it off with ours.

As we travel on we come to a town where we can stock up on food again. The towns kinda remind me of towns in the western US from about a hundred years ago. Wide dirt streets with businesses lined up on each side.

We were following a valley northward. It was a really nice ride with mountainous terrain and wide meadows used for grazing.

The valley we were in dumped into a larger valley with a substantial river in it and this small section of sand dunes.

We spun around on them a couple times for fun and then kept going.

We dropped into a larger town where we picked up some more food and met a Canadian couple who'd been living there for 20 years! They moved there as Christian missionaries and were currently setting up a feed lot and slaughter house. They confirmed that Mongolia was like the wild west with cattle rustlers and people killing each other for gold that they dig for. We boiled a dozen eggs at their place before leaving.

At one store some little kids came out with some sort of popsicle. We decided to try one. Frozen goat yogurt. Quite interesting to say the least.

We ride out of town and cruise until we'd had enough. Then it's up onto a ridge to find a campsite.

This turns out to be a really nice camp. As we're sitting there enjoying our Vodka we see a rainbow appear.

We walk over to see that it's actually a double rainbow (the second one not really visible in this photo). This was our favorite campsite up to now.

Now it's time for our nightly routine of cooking what we were calling "Steppe Stew". Steppe Stew consists of any vegetables you can find chopped up and cooked with powdered soup and or gravy seasonings. We were buying various sausages that were a mix of goat and other animals which we'd throw in toward the end along with some noodles. We would find potatoes, onions, turnips, carrots and cabbage in the little towns although most of the stores had a very limited selection. The Canadian Christian Cowboys gave us a few ears of really starchy sweet corn. They were nice folks.

We were running a stove that burned unleaded gasoline. It had two settings: off and weld. What it lacks for in temperature control it made up for in reliability in burning gas from our bikes tanks.

Mmmmmmmm! Looks like the Steppe Stew is ready!! Tonight it was cabbage and onions with sausage and noodles.

130km for the day.

Joe Motocross screwed with this post 08-21-2013 at 05:41 AM
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:27 AM   #57
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Great ride report. Thanks for sharing. I hope someday, i could do a similar trip to Mongolia.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:45 AM   #58
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great trip!!

got to get some of those cool looking straps.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:55 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
great trip!!

got to get some of those cool looking straps.

They are made right here in Salt Lake. Come in various lengths. PM me if you want. I'll get u some.
Want Creative Adventure Products? - See

Current rides - '14 KTM 1190 R Adv <2k, '07 990Adv 39k, '12 500EXC 7k, '09 GasGas 300 Raga

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Old 09-22-2012, 05:12 AM   #60
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Voile Straps are marketed to the skiing industry but are hands down the best motorcycle strap you'll ever have. A crucial peace of equipment for the minimalist dirt biker.

Day 4

The morning routine was set at this point; boil water, make instant coffee (w/splash of vodka), ramen style noodles (with cabbage if we were lucky) and a hard boiled egg.

This worked well for us and we always enjoyed a leisurely morning.

Horse skulls near the camp.

And we're off!

We were traveling on one of the more main routes at this point. We found that the main routes were beat up a lot more due to more traffic and no road maintenance. The yurt in the background is very widely used by the nomads. It is the traditional Mongolian nomadic family dwelling called a "ger". It's amazing that this is what is used during the winter with temperatures to -40 degrees!

In a short distance, we turn off the main route and start getting into the more obscure parts of the country. We passed through this small town and got supplies. I swear it's like the wild west!!

Even the stores reminded me of the old style from way back with the shop keeper tending the counter which sits in front of all the goods. There would typically be a bunch of different vodkas, most places had some beer, lots of sweets, a small selection of vegetables if you're lucky, a cooler with some miscellaneous items like sausage, and a chest freezer with frozen goat yogurt and large chunks of meat - sometimes a whole head!

We were getting used to the crowd we would draw in every town. One guy here spoke some broken english and he would translate to all the other geezers who were quite curious to what our story was. Pointing to his buddy he'd say to us "he is asking, where did you get the motorcycles?"

I liked this garbage can, a gas tank from an old Russian bike. From what I've heard, this is a better use for it. I guess the Russian bikes are a cousin to the Royal Enfields - not much account.

We're heading into the sticks now. These drainages are awesome.

The nomads don't seem to raise pigs. We only saw a couple and I suspect this one was wild. I'm not sure why they don't use pigs. Perhaps because their fur and hide are not good for anything? I was told that they are hard to herd also.

The two tracks in the less used routes were heavenly! Smooth and buttery! Note the "salt and pepper" on the hillside - a herd of goats and sheep. This is what the nomads thrive off of and you see them everywhere.

During lunch we realized that we'd missed a turn about 5km back. We studied the map a bit and decided we'd try an alternate route. Now we were really getting out into the backcountry. These guys stopped passing the other direction. We couldn't say anything to each other. They seemed friendly. Note the Chinese bike. It was becoming obvious to us at this point that these are what everyone rides.

We keep going deeper passing herds of yaks and ger homes scattered about.

The drainages were really beautiful! Talk about isolated.

After dead ending in a small drainage we had to back track a little and try another route to get back on track. This one panned out and dropped us back to our intended route. This little detour was a great peak into the really desolate areas the nomads live.

Late in the day we passed through another town. Some of these small towns had what seemed like a municipal pool table set up.

We picked a ridge to camp on hoping we get a good view of the full moon that night. Next thing you know we had a new friend running up the hill to visit.

We dubbed her Cheke-chow (pronounced with a heavy Mongolian dialect). She hung around for most of the evening then disappeared.

There it was! The "Blue Moon". This happens when there are two full moons that land within the same month. The blue moon is the second one.

Check out the horse head wired into the tree. Not sure what that's about.

This move is called "the Steppe". Dribble a little Mongolian vodka over your beer as you take a swig. Party night! Buuuuurrrt had a few of these and the next thing you know he loses balance, gets caught in a donut running sideways in a huge arc trying to regain and crashes to the ground rolling and almost destroying his own tent!

After celebrating the blue moon it was time for bed. I guess our friend didn't leave after all!

160km for the day.
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