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Old 04-14-2010, 11:08 PM   #16
Colebatch OP
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M53 Highway

If the truth be told, the M53 highway is pretty damn boring. For Tony and myself it was just a ferry stage, to get us from Krasnoyarsk to Irkutsk - the staging post for the next bit of adventure.

There was however one bit of excitement to be had along this bit of the Trans Siberian Highway. 15 summers earlier, when I had passed through this way with my buddy James Mudie on the Tokyo to London Project, James had lost a rear wheel bearing in the tiny village of Sheragul. The village policeman, a young 23 year old called Zhenya, looked after our bikes while we took a train to Irkutsk, then waited a month for Honda to send us some spare parts. We had built up quite a bond with Zhenya, as he also looked after us for a couple of days on our return to the bikes. He was about our age and a very nice guy.



When Tony and I passed through Sheragul, I asked around town in an effort to find Zhenya and surprise him.

Zhenya is no longer a policeman but a local entrepreneur, with a young family. He wasnt at home when we arrived at his house, but his wife was. She took one look at me and knew immediately who I was, without me saying a word. Zhenya had regaled her with tales about the two Australian bikers who passed through back in 1994.

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Colebatch screwed with this post 04-14-2010 at 11:21 PM
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:08 PM   #17
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[quote =] Colebatch Nota ... NELLA foto sopra, Dietro Il C'E verde camion delle Nazioni Unite GAZ71 ... Il Po mezzo cingolato SI e delle Nazioni Unite Visto 'di particelle Nelle remote della Siberia ... quella NELLA solo foto e Stato trainato Lungo La Strada Principale in Modo e Stata convertita uno ruote per Il transito [/ quote]


Complimenti per Il Tuo rapporto, forse per me l'unica OCCASIONE per vedere questi Luoghi.

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Old 04-14-2010, 11:19 PM   #18
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Irkutsk

Then it was on to Irkutsk, and the Baik-Konur club house of the Baik-al bikers club.






This place is the pet project of head honcho of the club, Stas:


It has a bar, with beer on tap, cafe menu, place for live music, and chromed floor to ceiling dancing pole (sadly we didnt see it in use), accommodation facilities upstairs for travelling bikers, washing machine ...





Some of the bar staff were unfeasibly flexible:
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:25 PM   #19
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True to form.



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Old 04-14-2010, 11:41 PM   #20
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Other guests

There were 3 other foreign bikers staying in the accommodation upstairs when we arrived:

Andreas Hulsmann, a well known German moto journalist:


Claudia, his biking girlfriend;


And Hannes, a Finnish biker waiting for a new shock to be shipped out for his Africa Twin ... which had broken down 500km up the highway.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:43 PM   #21
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Tony and I liked the place: the other guests were fun and chatty, and Wednesday to Sunday were all party nights in the bar ...











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Old 04-14-2010, 11:45 PM   #22
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Stas

Stas, the entertaining head honcho of the place, enjoyed his creation ... the little slice of biker paradise in Irkutsk:





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Old 04-14-2010, 11:47 PM   #23
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Touratech

Andreas and Claudia were friends with Herbert Schwantz, the Touratech supremo, and were road testing some brand new Touratech gear, including the new rounder Zega Panniers and the big F800GS fuel tank.

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Old 04-14-2010, 11:49 PM   #24
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Leon

Just before we left Irkutsk, we ran into a solo UK biker, Leon from Manchester, and invited him to stay at the clubhouse too. Leon was on a XT600





Leon would make his way to Vladivostok on the Trans-Siberian Highway ... and by sheer coincidence would spot Tony on the street there.
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*** New Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer HERE ***
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:03 AM   #25
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Our Plan

Now that we were in Irkutsk, we drew our plans for a untried, unridden route to Yakutsk and the start of the Road of Bones.

In general, from Irkutsk, you either go east, or west, along the Trans-Siberian highway. Our plan was to go North.

First it meant riding a road that was not on any maps, between Irkutsk and Ust Kut. Then taking a barge from Ust Kut up the River Lena to Lensk.

Second stage was from Lensk we would head up to Udachny and the Arctic Circle. and then return to Mirny. ... this is the Anabar Road

Third, from Mirny we head east ... through the Vilyui River valley to Yakutsk ... this is the Vilyuisky Trakt.

Neither the Anabar Road nor the Vilyuisky Trakt had been ridden before

Here's the plan ...
- Trans-Siberian in pink
- Anabar Road is the top half of the red line
- Vilyuisky Trakt in green

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*** New Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer HERE ***
Moroccan Extreme 2011 DVD available HERE
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:45 AM   #26
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subscribed!!

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Old 04-15-2010, 10:25 AM   #27
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Artyom

Just before leaving Irkutsk, I changed my tyres over to Michelin Deserts. Once we left Irkutsk we had about 300km of asphalt ... then the route we were going we would see any more till the edge of Magadan, about 6500km away (4000 miles). So there was not a lot of point running on the dual purpose Mefo Explorers anymore. They had served me well across Tajikistan and thru Tuva, but for the Anabar Road, the Vilyuisky Trakt, the BAM Road and later Mongolia, i would switch to the Deserts.



Deserts are awesome for off-road touring. Winning every Dakar since 1983 must say something. Importantly, Tony didnt use Deserts, he was running on Metzeler Karoos. The tough construction of the Deserts makes them particularly resistant to punctures ... Tony, as you will read on, with his Karoo tyres and standard inner tubes, would pay a heavy price for lesser rolling stock preparation.

We also got some final advice from the ginger Robocop ... aka Artyom, a Russian biker based in the remote town of Bodaibo. He had just bought himself a Africa twin somewhere west (I think Krasnoyarsk) and was riding it back to Bodaibo. He confirmed for us that despite the road not appearing on any maps, there IS a direct road between Irkutsk and the BAM Road near Ust Kut ... and showed us how to get there:

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*** New Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer HERE ***
Moroccan Extreme 2011 DVD available HERE
World Motorcycle Altitude Record video HERE
Sibirsky Extreme - The Home of Adventure Motorcycling in Siberia and Mongolia - On Facebook

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Old 04-15-2010, 11:08 AM   #28
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More Colebatch Madness!!!!

Bring it on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Old 04-15-2010, 12:31 PM   #29
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Great stuff
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Old 04-15-2010, 02:35 PM   #30
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Nice!
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