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Old 07-25-2011, 07:49 AM   #91
racki OP
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Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney
Oddometer: 171
Day 29 (and few after that)

We tried to leave Almaty and were pretty good at it. Up to about 40 km. Then John's bike started to stall - it was just like before, but because we thought problem is fixed we were a bit worried.

Just in case we decided to get back to Almaty and try to look into it again in BMW service. The only thing they could do really is to check fuel pump and fuel filter. Not much, but at least that is something.

The only problem was that we had to wait untill Monday, so this time we checked into proper hotel. For just 20$ more we've got Internet, breakfast, swimming pool and general hygiene.

It turns out my Dad is coming here - he will be at the airport on Tuesday night, so I decided to use his courier services to deliver some goods - proper battery, new front tyre for me (I'm pretty sure that Mefo Explorer could last all the way to Turkey, but it's got about 13000km and shows weired wear pattern) and few proper front tubes. I hope they will work like a talisman - the more of them we've got - the less chance for a flat.

Our cunning plan is to leave on Wednesday, heading to Bishkek. Sambor1965 is there, we've made some sort of contact so at least if we break down again - we will be in good company :)

Bart
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Just one ride so far, but at least a long one - http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=699434

racki screwed with this post 08-06-2011 at 12:01 AM
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:31 PM   #92
horseman474
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Location: Wollongong, Australia
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Fingers crossed

Fingers crossed for your guys..
A few days off....time to get medievil on the GS800
Might be worth stripping the GS down to minimum and checking all electrical connections and junction points for moisture/looseness etc...
I'd also run it while she's stripped and jiggle connections points /earth etc, disconnect systems etc while it's running.
I'd unplug everything electrical on the bike bike that did not stop it from running as a way of narrowing down the issue....
and trouble shoot from there.....spray all connections and devices with a CRC type repelant and remove any corrosion from joints.
Also the extra gear being carried on the bike may be rubbing or putting weight on an electical connection ?
Just a simple little thing......
Hope I'm not stating the bleeding obvious to you...
Just really enjoying your RR and wan to see you guys back on the road...

Horseman
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:16 PM   #93
Kodi
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.... SZACUN PANOWIE SZACUN !!!

Amazing!
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:38 PM   #94
Africa_Twin
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Excellent RR! Please, give Sambor my regards (tell him it's the crazy Portuguese Africa Twin guy who's been talking to him about the Aral Sea).

Have a safe journey.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:24 PM   #95
Master Shake
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Where is the bloody tiler?
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:18 PM   #96
horseman474
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sealings done so where is the tiler !

Typical tradesmen..
Never around when you need them...

lets go and get this report happening.

Horseman
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:56 AM   #97
racki OP
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I made it to Dushanbe - I'll try to get some breath and post updates soon.
Spot decided to ignore it's duties. It looked normal but couldn't send message.
Bart
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:50 PM   #98
Cornay
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Superman...rides a BMW?

Hi Bart,

Just sat down and read all 7 pages of your reports.
Outstanding adventure, and very funny writing.

Looks like you are my new hero.

Please keep up the contact.
Really lifted my day out of the doldrums.

Regards, Cornay.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:33 PM   #99
racki OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornay View Post
Hi Bart,

Just sat down and read all 7 pages of your reports.
Outstanding adventure, and very funny writing.

Looks like you are my new hero.

Please keep up the contact.
Really lifted my day out of the doldrums.

Regards, Cornay.
Hi Cornay,
Thanks for your kind words.
To keep you interested - there is Superman stunt coming in next few episodes! Although I've got not enough skills and it hurt a lot
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racki screwed with this post 08-06-2011 at 12:59 AM
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:57 AM   #100
racki OP
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Day 30 to 33 - Almaty to Bishkek


After all we made it out of Almaty. This city was like a swamp for us – not that nice, not that interesting and very expensive at the end. We wasted three days here, saw a few interesting buildings and a lot of expensive shops. They have money here, but it’s very unevenly distributed.
John wanted the service guys to check his bike as good as they could. They don’t have bike mechanic, but somehow managed to plug car diagnostics into the bike. The only error they found was something with grip heaters – irrelevant to our problems. Just in case they clean out the fuel pump and tank. It’s not like they didn’t try or wanted to rip us off – they were super helpful and wanted us to leave and not come back again. I realise that getting all motorbike bonanza just for a couple of tourist is not worth investing for them, but I BMW chipped in more bikers would feel safe doing such a trip on their machines. Anyway, 90$ was the damage and a lot of praying was advised. It can be said that they did all the Voodoo I did, but with more impressive workshop.
Almaty is bordered by the mountains on the South. There is a lot of water flowing down the gutters - handy, when you need a flushed toilet on the way home late at night.





Meeting my Father at the airport was super cool. We haven’t seen each other for something like almost three years so we talked one over another. He brought new battery for John, front tyre for me and a couple of front tubes. My front started to wear out in weird way – every second knob was shorter. It’s still god for a couple thousands k’s, but I figured having good knobby for Pamir and keeping old one for tarmac in Europe would be a smart plan. I ended up looking like a Gypsy of course and it annoys me so there is a chance I’ll change my mind and leave old tyre somewhere.




Few random photos from Almaty:



Having all tyres is overrated:




Low rider:





Remember I said something about lack of ‘no bikes allowed’ road signs? Scratch that.





‘New’ enters the ‘old’ territory just like it did in Poland in 90’:





Pretty much the only touristy thing we visited – apparently the second tallest timber building in the world:





To be a true macho, Kazakh must train or realistic target:





Local communists are a bit like Satanists – they’ve got similar ideas and they didn’t put much effort into trademark design:





We got to the border without problems, there was just one hiccup – we didn’t register ourselves in Kazakhstan. Apparently you have to do this after 5 days of staying, but it escaped our attention. Some more sweet talking solved the problem and we went to Kirgiz side. Passports got stamped and that was it. No rego papers required.
Biskek is just a few kilometres from the border. Sambor1965 invited us to stay with him and we were happy to do so. He knows this area like no one else so it would be a great chance for us to ask about route options. After loosing Izi he works with Aussie Steve (from Townsville, QLD), so he was curiou s to see another Polish-Aussie couple on the road.
They were invited to see local motocross track, but because of us they were running late. We joined them, chasing Sambor through Biskek traffic was exciting – luckily there is still some orange hoon in my blood, so it was a great fun. People were leaving already, but one guy invited Sambor to his night club.

Steve launching ‘Dirty Slut’ into orbit:





The plan was to catch a taxi and split as we were not invited really, but somehow we ended up together. Owner was super generous – waiter was running like he had a weak bladder, beer and food was in abundance and at the end there was no bill. Traditional Russian hospitality, although we felt like a pair of weasels still.

Stats:




Map - http://ridewithgps.com/trips/342346
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racki screwed with this post 08-08-2011 at 08:32 AM
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:19 AM   #101
racki OP
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Day 34 - Bishkek – almost Aral



In the Morning Sambor advised us which route we could take, where to get fuel and what’s worth seeing. He’s such a nice guy. Basically we were asking for his trade secrets, but he was still happy to help. If I had about two weeks time and wanted to see Pamir, he would be the guy to call. It’s much better to fly in, ride and fly out than to travel 5000 km from Europe through boring transit countries, loosing holiday time in the process. It’s better to spend this time here, using Sambor’s bikes and experience. You can check his website here – www.advfactory.com








After changing tyre and battery we had little time left – just half a day for riding. There was nice mountain pass, stinky tunnel and spectacular valley on the other side. Small villages, vast plain and white-capped mountains in the background.




John’s bike got a hiccup again. This time I jump straight on it to experience it myself. John is a dirty liar – he said previously that during cut-off gear number disappears from the display. Experiment proved that extending side stand with gear on gives no such result, so it was excluded as a potential reason. When I jumped on his bike to see what really happens, there was no gear number disappearing at all. It was great news as side stand switch was an obvious reason this time. I was super pissed by that – it was my first diagnosis but I didn’t want to damage 200$ worth of device in the process of elimination. There was no time to do this now, so I just tied side stand to the frame for now.




Sambor promised, that it won’t rain. During his trips he bets with people, that it if rains twice he buys beer.







Half of our beer was earned in the evening -it rained heavy.





There was no other choice than to ask locals for a room to stay. We hit jackpot in third try – Aida agreed for us to stay. She had five children (all of them as cute as childer come), a husband with big nose and a nice house. She treated us way better than we deserved – dinner, their biggest room to sleep in and breakfast in the morning. It was incredibly tasty – home baked bread, home made cheese and home made apricot jam.






Of course she didn’t want to hear about the money, so we left our supply of Snickers for kids with some money hidden between them. Maybe it was an insult for her – I don’t know. All I know is that it’s not fair to invade their privacy, eat their food and then leave like nothing ever happened. They are not rich – compared to us they are super poor and I simply had to leave something in exchange.



Stats:




Map - http://ridewithgps.com/trips/342347
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racki screwed with this post 08-08-2011 at 08:36 AM
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:04 AM   #102
racki OP
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Day 35 – almost Aral – a bit past Baetow


Previous evening we promised to leave early – we didn’t want to disturb their lives too much. When asked what time should we leave – she said she wakes at 6. It’s the middle of night, but we managed somehow.

Last evening I spotted broken rack on my bike again – the same spot as previously, but this time two bolts had damaged threads. Local people knew who’s got the welding machine. He wasn’t a welder by any lengths – being a butcher was the closest. His first attempt was a failure, but after putting extra braces, tying everything with a piece of wire and generous application of epoxy – it worked at 3$ total cost.




Sambor told us about last fuel before next pass. We panicked and stopped at the first one in a village – poured from the bucket, by the woman while her husband was drinking vodka to our trip. We totally appreciate his sacrifice. Of course couple hundred meters further was a proper station...



They might not have pipelines here, but old method of water transportation is still good:



Road was gorgeous again – gravel surface, nice mountain pass. It could be even better if it was dry. When Sambor promised a good weather he had no clue about our cloud seeding skills. There was some shelter, so we waited this one out, making a coffee, sorting photos and writing stuff.



Coffee was a rarity recently – we run out of it in Mongolia and couldn’t get any grinded beans up to Almaty. This time we stocked up properly, it should last for longer.
























As they say – there’s a sunshine after rain. At least for a while... Due to next rainfall we couldn’t continue along the route proposed by Sambor – surface was slippery as a greased pig again, so decision was to bypass it by making extra 150 km of mostly tarmac. It should pay off, although we run out of daylight and had to stop midway.








Stats:







Map - http://ridewithgps.com/trips/342348
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Just one ride so far, but at least a long one - http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=699434

racki screwed with this post 03-27-2012 at 10:17 PM
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:19 PM   #103
Muddler
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Location: Dardanup, Western Australia
Oddometer: 734
Great photos, love that country
Im feeling nervous for your fuel pump........
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:47 PM   #104
racki OP
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Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney
Oddometer: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by horseman474 View Post
Fingers crossed for your guys..
A few days off....time to get medievil on the GS800
Might be worth stripping the GS down to minimum and checking all electrical connections and junction points for moisture/looseness etc...
I'd also run it while she's stripped and jiggle connections points /earth etc, disconnect systems etc while it's running.
I'd unplug everything electrical on the bike bike that did not stop it from running as a way of narrowing down the issue....
and trouble shoot from there.....spray all connections and devices with a CRC type repelant and remove any corrosion from joints.
Also the extra gear being carried on the bike may be rubbing or putting weight on an electical connection ?
Just a simple little thing......
Hope I'm not stating the bleeding obvious to you...
Just really enjoying your RR and wan to see you guys back on the road...

Horseman
Hi Horseman,

Thanks for your advice - I've done pretty much it all at some stage, and the reason was trivial... First suspect - side stand switch. Although symptoms were wrongly described and that delayed the fix. After all I must say that f800gs is a very well build bike - it seriously takes more abuse than it deserves, but is still going strong. It's bit heavy, but of course it's still featherweight compared with 1200gs . When compared with my g600Xchallenge if feels just a bit heavier, but of course is nowhere near in off-road capabilities - but then again I've got custom suspension that mekes the difference. Put the same sort of upgrade to 800 and you can go really far on it.

I just realised that you didn't ask for comparison, but I still used your post to write useless stuff

Cheers,
Bart
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:08 PM   #105
racki OP
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Day 36 - a bit West of Baetow - a bit past mountain pass West of Kazarman


Day started nicely – road was easy enough for John to go at 90 km/h, which hardly ever happens on a gravel. Of course it started to rain after some time...

John’s bike died for good that day – there was no other choice but to perform some bush surgery. After removing side stand switch I noticed that although it look OK on the outside, inside it looked more like a minced meat. It was enough to splice wires and job was done. Under 10 minutes to fix something that swallowed 4 days and about 500$ so far. It would be easier had John not made up ‘missing gear number’ theory... After fixing that I left my Leatherman Crunch on the side of the road – I noticed it way too late to go back so it joined my ‘missing in action’ gear, as a second item after folding knife lost in Mongolia.



Since there was nothing wrong with his bike, John decided to throw it on the ground at some speed. Passenger foot peg is welded to the rear sub-frame and during accident it bent it badly – it was basically ripped out of the frame, posing serious risk of braking the frame itself. One more accident like that and his bike might get grounded, so we had to do something with that. Later, of course – we don’t like to act to quick.





Problems with road supply:





Our detour took us to Kazarman right in time for lunch. Grilled chicken with fresh bread did the job while we chatted to French couple on bicycles. I’ve got no clue what makes people want to scale mountains on a bicycles. I understand that riding down the hill might be fun, but you need to get there in the first place. It took them the whole day to get to the mountain pass that was ahead of us. We were there after about two hours, without sign of exhaustion.







There was enough daylight to get into the valley, set up camp and hit the bed.




Stats:



The map - http://ridewithgps.com/trips/342350
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racki screwed with this post 08-08-2011 at 08:39 AM
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