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Old 01-04-2013, 10:38 PM   #2146
BELSTAFF
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It has always been my belief that its not what you ride it's that you ride

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Old 01-04-2013, 10:51 PM   #2147
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Great report but add me to the ones admiring the Tenere and GS riders, they were out there in Mongolia and I'm sitting here at a keyboard. I bet many a 1200cc bike has ridden across that area even if they aren't the perfect machine for the job.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:25 PM   #2148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switchback View Post


These guys are out crossing Mongolia which is more than l can say for most ridiculing them. They have my respect for taking 600lb bikes through these places. Let's get back to the ride.
They're doing it, I'm not, and either are 98% of the people reading this. the fact that they are heavier, not led by Walter, makes their journey worthy of review. I hope they put up a ride report. Maybe, just maybe, Walter himself didn't bring the right tool to the jobsite in his early days. I have enough love in my heart for the over, exact, and under-prepared. Let's move on with the head master
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:03 AM   #2149
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To be fair to the German chaps, before finding this website that's exactly the sort of bike I thought I would have to have ridden in order to do this sort of trip. Ewan and Charley have a lot to answer for.....

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Old 01-05-2013, 03:15 AM   #2150
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1200GS is the new Harley in parts of the US

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Old 01-05-2013, 03:24 AM   #2151
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ride on

This thread became my morning cheer-up - soo much fun to read - keep it coming
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:34 AM   #2152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhogus View Post
1200GS is the new Harley in parts of the US

Well I think he is dead right - except its not parts of the US, its the whole world.

HD sales went thru the roof in the 90s as non traditional customers jumped on the brand. Many lawyers or dentists who bought a Harley were new to the brand - just wanted to add a slice of bad boy rebel to their image. Harley has ridden that boom wave for two decades. But the current trend is not to add a bit of bad boy rebel to your motorcycling image, its to add a bit of Bear Grylls wild man adventurer to the image.

Thats the key driver behind the explosion in the adventure biking segment and why almost every major manufacturer is trying to get a piece of that action - from Honda to Ducati. Right now adventure is the hottest marketing image in motorcycling. And the 1200GS is the reigning king of that image.

I am kinda hoping some TV producer gives me a call to open up a reality tv adventure bike building business called Colebatch County Adventure Bikes
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:08 AM   #2153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norseV4force View Post
To be fair to the German chaps, before finding this website that's exactly the sort of bike I thought I would have to have ridden in order to do this sort of trip. Ewan and Charley have a lot to answer for......
To be fair to Ewan and Charley they had no idea what they were doing when they began. The only known reference points they had were Ted Simon's book Jupiter's Travels and then they bought copies of Austin Vinces Mondo Enduro and Terra Circa DVDs prior to depouarture. In any case they didn't heed the lessons you could have taken from those sources. And also to be fair to Ewan and Charley the big lessons about bike and luggage selection that you could take from Long Way Round are skipped over by most. But to me the lessons are all there in the film.

They only had two proper off road bits in the entire trip - Mongolia and the Road of Bones - and they did not complete either of them. In Mongolia, Ewan was in tears regarding how difficult it was and how he wanted to bug out to Russia at the first opportunity. The rolled 4wd gave them that chance. On the Road of Bones, the constant picking up of heavy bikes pulled out Charleys back. That again gave them the chance to just use the trucks that were part of their escort convoy.

In between Mongolia and the Road of Bones, they realised everything was too heavy and tried to ditch as much weight as possible.

So for me the message is clear - despite good health, good fitness, young age, Charley being a very competent off road rider, training courses, all bike spares being carried in the trucks, the guys struggled so much off road that they were unable to complete the only two significant off road parts of the entire trip, because they were on 320 kg bikes.

In all of the romance of the adventure and Claudios beautiful videography, that message seems to have gotten lost.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:15 AM   #2154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post

I am kinda hoping some TV producer gives me a call to open up a reality tv adventure bike building business called Colebatch County Adventure Bikes
Hell yea, I'd watch that!!! And I bet the people who STILL think HD is a pure American product will eat that show up!!!


Wonderful as usual, everyone!
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:08 AM   #2155
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I got up this morning, ready to get my Sibirsky Extreme 2012 fix, noticed there were 40 new posts..
What did I find? Four pages of GS bashing, and defending.. Oh well, maybe we'll get a update tomorrow.

I'm headed for Alaska this summer, I'm not taking my XC.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:10 AM   #2156
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The guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by OtterChaos View Post
Great report but add me to the ones admiring the Tenere and GS riders, they were out there in Mongolia and I'm sitting here at a keyboard. I bet many a 1200cc bike has ridden across that area even if they aren't the perfect machine for the job.
And all, lets be absolutely clear, we were not in any way ridiculing the guys on the big bikes. They were great guys out there doing it. They certainly had our sympathy for their choice of steeds-and respect for their balls and determination.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:27 AM   #2157
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Altai City

Todays target was Altai so we finsihed our tea and set off again. We were getting low on gas and stopped in a little town to fill up-maybe one of the guys has a pic but I've none. The only fuel they had was the 80 octane margerine gunk-but I needed gas so that's what it had to be. My old 625SXC would never have tolerated fuel of such low quality but I hoped the 690 with its more modern mapping and electronics would cope. I still had quite a lot of the super zoobs stuff in the tank so maybe diluting it with the margerine wouldn't affect it too badly
I needn't have worried, it was absolutely fine though down a little on power.
We got to Altai City later in the afternoon and set about getting a bankomat (ATM) and somewhere to stay. A warning light for the fuel injection started flashing as it'd logged a fault due to the marge's low octane. It's still flashing now 8000miles later but at the time it unnerved me a little.

Photobucket

Most towns of any size and even some tiny places have impressive memorials to The Great Patriotic War ( WW2) and this was no exception.
Even though Altai was thousands of miles from the front it would have lost a fearsome proportion of its young men. The Russians lost 20 million souls in WW2 and it is still imprinted enormously on the national psyche.
When I rode down solo to meet the guys in the Altai region (not the town), on the morning I met them in Aktash I passed a tiny town with a haunting carved memorial with sobbing female masks and arms upraised in desperate sorrow. It was a town of amaybe a hundred households, and there were dozens and dozens of names of the fallen inscribed. I didn't get a pic but it haunts me still.
How lucky are we?
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:33 AM   #2158
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P trades up

We found a hotel and started to unload the gear and hump it inside. A couple of the local kids appeared and did that thing all wee boys do-admiring the bikes and scooting round on their own bikes to impress us. P decided he would ride something lighter for the rest of the trip and is just about to test ride his new beemer.

Photobucket

Hey... great wheels P!

Meanwhile the kid who'd traded down to P's heavy old lump was about to put it through its paces

Photobucket

In the end the kid decided to keep his own bike and P just had to soldier on with his Bavarian iron.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:48 AM   #2159
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Altai City

Here's the view from the hotel window.

Photobucket

Paris it ain't ....but if it wuz we wouldn't be here!

We got our gear in and washed some gear through. Ever since the first soaking way back in Kaz my boots had smelled like a cat had pissed in them-so the socks were likewise eye-wateringly minging so it was a harrowing experience for anyone passing the room.

The hotel had a restaurant so P (I think) talked to the lady who ran it and asked her if she would do us dinner-she confirmed that'd be fine so we wandered down at 7-ish and scored a beer whilst we waited. There was a large family of Mongolians in the resto too, and whilst we were waiting an animated conversation passed between these guys and resto-lady.
Then without warning they all just got up and walked out. WTF?

We got the menus and they read something like this in Russian with an English translation below.

1) Mutton with rice
2) Mutton with buckwheat
3) Mutton without rice
4) Rice
5) Buckwheat
6) Mutton with feck all

You get the idea .....Mong cuisine still has some way to go...

We picked through the other somewhat limited choices ( I know its all part of the experience so please don't chime in accusing me of being a spoiled westerner) and managed to get something -maybe omelettes but I can't remember-we could enjoy and it was surprisingly good
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:57 AM   #2160
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Day 58

We'd managed to score some secure parking for the bikes just a few yards away and this tough wee youth was guarding them too. He had a dog with him and was sleeping in a hut just inside the yard.
I seem to remember he was an orphan whose uncle was looking after him and this was part of the deal. The kid looked like something from Dickensian times, dirty and thin, and our hearts went out to him
Next morning when we went to collect the bikes we gave him a good tip-I know it's nothing but what else can you do?

We left town and the sun was up. This was the new road out of town and was the last pic taken with my trusty Nikon that I've bounced all round the world. I didn't have the loop round my wrist and when I went to put the camera back in my jacket breast pocket the loop snagged on something and the camera fell into the road at 60mph and disintegrated...aaaagh!

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