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Old 09-03-2010, 10:54 PM   #46
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you guys are living my dream, ride on!
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Old 09-04-2010, 03:20 AM   #47
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Day 10. Leaving Russia.

But morning came with surprises.
When Juho came out of tent, he couldn't believe his eyes. How's that possible? His GS parked with all lights on! Where's the key? Still in his pocket! How can the lights be switched on then? Turning ignition on and off with key didn't change much. Lights automatically switched on a minute later again. WE LOVE CANBUS!
Sure that battery was empty after such behaviour. Helpful KTM was nearby

After some charging we could start GS again. Of course now Juho could turn ignition off and remove key but GS didn't bother about this Engine continued running. Next generation BMW bikes could probably drive home alone during night. All future GS owners are supposed to hitch his bikes to prevent them leaving

Those from us without grip heaters created some hand protectors to avoid fingers freezing again. Empty plastic bottles were handy.

At least Juho's engine was running and so we could continue our trip.
We decided not to visit Rybachy peninsula, mostly because of weather, but also because we haven't planned this and it could have taken two additional days. Otherwise we could have turn north here, but now we followed main road to west.

Surprisingly only few km's after our campsite was first border control.
70km before border?! And not just a occasional check, but road closed with bar and soldiers with automatic weapons checking everybodies passports.

Are they so afraid about people leaving Russia? Sure it was very important and secret military area, but we saw such areas also in Finland and Norway and there was only a warning sign about this.
On the other hand russian army was presenting his military technology right next to main road.

Mandatory monument before gates to military base.

Hundred's of armed vehicles parked.

While refueling in Zapoljarnyi, vice president of local motorcycle club came to ask, do we need anything? Can he help us? He was wearing leather vest, probably half an inch thick. It was riveted together, probably they haven't found military grade sewing machine to sew this. We suspected that this vest is also bulletproof. And his nickname was of course "Kozanyi" - Leathery
Very frienldy biker, but most people will probably run away when meeting him in darkness. As already before, everybody have heard about Estonia and many had relatives there too. So was he living in Narva in past for two years.

His bike was also remarkable. When we asked about that huge axe tied to his bike, he answered "it will help you in life" and told a story about somebody stopping him in darkness. After he stopped, they asked him to leave

Another military checkpoint behind us, we approached Nikkel, most depressing city in the world probably. Nothing but mines and rocks.

About 20km before before border, we arrived to third checkpoint. Now with gates too. Armed guards were self-evident. Additionaly to passport check our bike numbers were sent through radio to border station. And they checked our numbers afterwards before letting us to drive to border station!

After such thorough control during last 70km usual procedures on border couldn't surprise us anymore. Another papers (now forms are in english!) to fill, but approximately one hour later our passports and luggage was checked and we are free to leave Russia!

What we remember about this? Many friendly people who are eager to help you. A lot of untouched beautiful nature. Roads what make you grin when you're on an enduro bike. So many places to see.
Will we go back to Russia someday? Definately. To Kola peninsula? There's so many places too see, so probably to some other area next time.

Norway in sight.

Border control in Norway.
"Youre passport please"
"You're from Estonia?"
"Welcome to Norway"
We're in.

Norway welcome's us with beautiful winding roads between mountains.

Beautiful light.

We picked first camping during our trip in Tana Bru.

Right after stopping we decorated our house with wet tents, socks and other accessories. Juho removed battery from GS to prevent CANBUS doing his tricks again.

Warm sauna after freezing many days in Russia - indescribable. Back from sauna, we started preparing supper.

Our norwegian neighbour came to visit us.

Two russian guys arrived to camp with chinese SUV Great Wall.

One company paid them to make tour with this car and post pictures and write stories in internet. They 're heading to Nordkapp tomorrow. SUV has 200000km on clock and only thing that seems to work, is engine. Electrical windows, air condition, radio, everything was broke. But they were still enthusiastic.

We had good time until early morning.

Tomorrow we will take a look of real northernost point of continental Europe and can finally turn back to south to warmer climate.
Beyond clouds 2011
Beyond arctic circle 2010
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Old 09-04-2010, 05:07 AM   #48
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Awsome report and pics!!!
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:36 AM   #49
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Nice report.

Looks that we have met in gas station in Kirovsk.

We arrived to revda day after you and headed to mountains.

Not so warm up there
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:44 AM   #50
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Wow, we have almost exactly the same pictures of many places, for example the memorial at Murmansk and the military base near Zapoljarny and of course Nikkel. We even ate at the same restaurant (Hutta) in Murmansk!

I don't think it's a good idea to depart from the main road to Kirkenes/Norway after Murmansk. We had a slight "incident" with the DPS, border guards, military police, FSB and such when we tried to take a "slight detour". It was made clear to us that from Murmansk onwards, only the main road to Norway should be used.



Tseta screwed with this post 09-04-2010 at 03:20 PM
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:16 AM   #51
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Hi Hono! Yes we met in Kirovsk. It's nice to meet in ADVrider too!
It was so cold we decided not to go up to mountains.

Tseta: We were told before trip, that we can take a detour in tundra before first checkpoint near Titovka river. And when we were in Murmansk and asked about Rybachy peninsula, that motorcycle shop owner told us, that we can drive there without restrictions. She was organizing tours there too. And we saw two groups of bikers (one from Poland, other from Bulgaria) heading to Rybachy peninsula. I believe it depends a lot where are you taking that detour
Beyond clouds 2011
Beyond arctic circle 2010
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Old 09-04-2010, 03:09 PM   #52
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Awesome RR!

Who makes that bag that's on the 950 SE?
2k4 Wee-Strom, black, farkled, smells like bacon.
Use this code when opening a Smugmug account and get $5 off! HkVR4XuSGKW46
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Old 09-05-2010, 02:48 AM   #53
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This saddlebag is my own design and I made it too
Beyond clouds 2011
Beyond arctic circle 2010
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:20 AM   #54
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Fantastic RR! You guys are the ultimate motorcycle testers. I wonder if BMW ever reads these reports, if they did they could fix/improve/redesign all of their products to KTM standards. I have been looking forward to a GS1200 adventure for quite some time, but without fail they keep failing as opposed to KTM's

Thanks for providing a true test of machine (and man) Your findings are indisputable, we should all send this RR to BMW!
Life is good, even in adversity!

Yucatan | Chiapas | Belize 1 | Belize 2 | QRoo | Guanajuato
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:07 AM   #55
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Day 11.
Long evening was a cause while we got up not much before midday. Of course a change in local time (from +3 GMT in Russia to +1 GMT in Norway) added some too.
Our russian friends had left a gift for us.

And our norwegian neighbour was preparing breakfast - also quite late!

We were ready to leave camp exactly 12.00.
Our plan for today is to reach northernmost point in continental Europe - Gamvik. Actually, Nordkinn (Kinnarodden) cape is few km further north, but it requires 23km walk over rocks (and another 23km back). So Gamvik was good enough for us. Nordkapp, as famous as it is, is just an island and therefore doesn't count.


Off to the mountains. Roads were nice and not too straight. Notice broken topbox frame tied upside down to GS

And while it wasn't raining, clouds were low and we are forced to drive through them, which wasn't a pleasant feeling, 100% humidity and temperatures around +5 Celsius...

Nice sweeping road going to Gamvik.

On higher parts of the road we were again in clouds, visibility not more than 100m, plus many raindeers walking around. Nice place to stay and enjoy view - but not today! Luckily no fog though!

Gamvik. Clean and nice as everything in Norway.

Barents Sea with Nordkinn on background. You can feel the cold and wind.

We made it!

Gamvik lighthouse.

Raindeers walking around in Gamvik.

And now back to south! FINALLY!

It was still gray and cold and we didn't want to stop.

Turning south after Porsanger, sky started to clear and roads were unusually straight for Norway.

We explored also smaller roads up to the mountains.

It looks better there!

Silfar canyon.

And so we drive and drive and drive. Almost until sunset.

Beautiful redcoloured mountains.

We found nice place for our tents next to water reservouir.

Raul had a birthday today. We made a birthday cake for him.

And so ended this day. We covered more than 500km today. Nothing happened, nothing broke. We were well ahead of our plans. Nice smooth european roads. It's so boring!

Beyond clouds 2011
Beyond arctic circle 2010
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:06 AM   #56
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Srednij and Ribacij

Hi !
As I reed you had great adventure! It is good:)
Ribacij and Srednij is closed for foreign people without special papers. It is possible to ride in and ride out without problems, but if military persons stooped you... you will have problems. May bee lot of problems (it depends). Before riding to this region you need to receive special papers from FSB, if you are not Russian. Be-live me.
You can enjoy the tundra in different areas. Before Titovka chekpoint around hill General or in the path from Prirecnij to Zapolarnij (there no army there are nothing except adventure). But remember from Prirecnij to Zapolarnij it is hard track. All adventures before are soft play.
Good grip!
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:19 PM   #57
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Hi Martins! Thanks for clearing this thing. It's shows again how you can not trust locals in Russia when asking for route suggestions. For others - Martins aka mazais was that Latvian guy who gave us really invaluable suggestions regarding our route before trip.

But now last days from our trip. There's really not much to say anymore.

Day 12.
It started with beautiful weather again. I was a little worried about my rear tyre as we had 1500km to go and there really wasn't much thread left.
We met Google Streetview car in Karasjok.

Roads were very good and we were cruising toward south.

Nice sandy landscape around Norway-Finland border

When we arrived Finland, my rear GoldenTyre GT200 looked like this. Still more than 1000km to go. And while it was Friday we started thinking that we must find replacement already today. But not many places to get one!

When we arrived Rovaniemi (first bigger city) it was already 8pm. We asked about motorcycle shops from local scooter-gang but of course that shop was already closed! And we didn't want to wait until Saturday. Luckily we found a pile of old tyres behind the shop. And one really nice Michelin T63 there, still some tread left. So we took this tyre with us as a replacement.

Nice bird watching tower with comfy place to have a camp next to Portimojärvi - we will stay here tonight. Sun was already low.

I decided to change my rear tyre now and not wait until it blows up. 4500km with this tyre.

Others made fire and supper at the same time.

Before our trip we booked a ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn for Sunday, but slowly we started thinking, that we will made it already in Saturday - only 800km to go to Helsinki. So we will have early start and hope to arrive Helsinki before 8.30pm.
Beyond clouds 2011
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:28 AM   #58
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:10 AM   #59
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Day 13 started before 6 am and we had 14 hours to cover 800km. Easy

Still many raindeers walking around. Luckily they all were
quite phlegmatic and just watched us, nobody didn't jump to the highway, so common behavior for wild animals in Estonia.

Long hours in saddle forced us to find comfortable position on saddle. Our favorites. BMW F800 Cruiser

And KTM 950SuperChopper. That 3rd tyre really made a difference!

And so after 12 hours of driving, refueling, driving, driving, refueling, driving, .... we arrived Helsinki, 2 hours before ferry departure, 5000km covered in 13 days.

We met Wolfgang from Germany while waiting in check-in. He bought this Fully-Touratech-Equipped BMW F650Dakar just before his trip around European Union border. He has covered already 9000km in 3 weeks, full trip is planned to be approximately 35000km and he plans to spend 3 months in saddle. Great guy and great trip.

Our ferry arrived just in time.

On board of Viking XPRS, tired but happy.


I'm working on videos now and will update this thread soon.
Beyond clouds 2011
Beyond arctic circle 2010
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:00 AM   #60
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Great ride and awesome RR!!!

Well done!!
"Good Times & Good Friends Make Life Better"
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