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Old 02-20-2013, 06:35 PM   #3931
Creeker747
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROD CURRIE View Post

So, In the absence of Viking-biking-porn we start back towards Moscow from when I met the guys tomorrow.
There'll be an overlap once Geir and the gang come back as my trip took a couple of weeks so you'll need to put up with us trampling over each other occasionally.
+5 Trample on!
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:21 PM   #3932
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Dammit, now I want a Fordson Snow Motor!
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:32 PM   #3933
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Do you think the Fordson Snow Motor is OSHA approved?
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:28 PM   #3934
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Geir---

Do you have anymore pictures of that Max guy? If so---please?
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:56 PM   #3935
Theshantha
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Dear Walter,

The best ride adventure I ever read. BAM road is one of my dream. I'm a poor fellow who lives in Sri Lanka and ride Honda XR250R. I did most of the Sri Lankan dirt roads when time/money permits me.

All the best for your future riding. If you have any plan to visit Sri Lanka let me know. My contact details theshantha@hotmail.com

Best regards
Theshantha
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:58 PM   #3936
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Hi

This is for your honor:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater

best regards
Theshantha
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:07 AM   #3937
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Originally Posted by Lornce View Post
That idea's been around quite a while. Surprised it hasn't seen broader application over the years.
Absolutely ... very strange they exist only in the world of bizarre engineers. But they seem so funky. Maybe fuel consumption is insane ?
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:22 AM   #3938
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Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
Absolutely ... very strange they exist only in the world of bizarre engineers. But they seem so funky. Maybe fuel consumption is insane ?
Also, since it so easily digs terrain, it is unsuitable for any type of road. You would have to leave it somewhere on the outskirts of your town and change vehicles. Good for remote places, but pass over the same patch of earth few times and you will have a quagmire there...
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:24 AM   #3939
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Originally Posted by EtronX View Post
For the next week I will be off the grid. I am paying back and taking the whole bunch to Italy for skiing We have rented an apartment with no internet. ...
EtronX:
if I may ask: where in Italy?
I live in Trento - relatively near the northern border with Austria. If you are within reach, I would be honored to come and meet you and family (and offer you a beer as a very partial repayment for taking us along in your wonderful adventure on the bikes).

If you still read me, please send me mail at azorat@gmail.com

By the way: today the weather here has changes and it is raining in Trento - probably nice fluffy snow higher up in the mountains.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:24 AM   #3940
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Originally Posted by Theshantha View Post
Dear Walter,

The best ride adventure I ever read. BAM road is one of my dream. I'm a poor fellow who lives in Sri Lanka and ride Honda XR250R. I did most of the Sri Lankan dirt roads when time/money permits me.
I am very grateful, but I should say that I dont have a lot of honour, so be wary of doing too much for it !

The world is changing and what may seem impossible now financially may be simple in 10 years time. I have no doubt that Sri Lanka will grow much faster than western countries in the next 10 years and so too will your ability to do rides like this. 19 years ago I visited the dirt poor countries of China and Russia and Mongolia on a bike for the first time and the idea that they would be doing stuff like I was doing seemed impossible. Now adventure biking and enduro travelling are quite popular in Russia and I travel many times with Russian guys. This year in Mongolia I met ONLY russian adventure bikers. Mongolia itself has become the fastest growing economy in the world (18% GDP forecast for 2013 and about the same rate for the last bunch of years too) and UlaanBaatar has gone from an impoverished city cast off from Soviet economic protection with 3-4 cars sleepily making their way down the main street, to 24/7 traffic jams of Lexuses and current model Landcruisers. I guess the Chinese dont do adventure motorcycling yet, but they are the largest global market for many luxury products such as Omega swiss watches etc. This was unthinkable 19 years ago when I toured the impoverished country where the really really rich back then were lucky if they could afford a volkswagen. Now its all Range Rovers, Bentleys etc. Same in Russia. 19 years ago you were rich in Russia if you even had a car. Now half of Moscow drives current model Range Rovers.

If you have an XR250R now, I can barely imagine what you will have in a decade, but certainly your dream of riding the BAM road will happen if you keep your determination and keep the dream alive. And that pleases me.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:05 AM   #3941
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I have the same inquiry as mbravo, ... , what do you think about the Sertao as a basic platform for something like what your doing. I say like because I see the type of riding (terrain) you have been riding for the last few months as part of a greater journey that would also include a fair amount of city/road riding.

This been said assuming you properly ''Adventurize" (forks, shocks, rims, gear, etc...) would the Sertao indeed be a good platform, or does some of the electronic bells and whistles that comes with it makes it subject to too much breakage.

Thanks so much
Well i dont think the Sertao offers any potential that the XC doesnt, except 30+ kgs more weight.

The only advantage I see it has over an Xchallenge (or Xcountry if you are of the shorter persuasion), is that its probably better for someone who wants to make no modifications.

If you are going to spend time, effort and money adventurising, then you are better off starting with one of the much lighter XC bikes. They have same brakes, better engine (same basis but with 10% more power - 53hp vs 48 hp), better wheels, better standing position, and are more spacious. The F650 Dakar / Sertao are much more cramped in the leg due to a much shorter spacing between seat and footpeg.

If you definitely wanted a new bike, then look at the Husqvarna 650 Terra - again, same brakes, same engine / gearbox, more power, lighter and cheaper than a sertao. It handles better, is a 10 years more modern design ... And now that Husky is being sold, BMW dealers will probably offer them even cheaper !

I gotta be honest with you, I dont see a lot of upside for the sertao. Its not a bad platform, just that there are better options from exactly the same stable that offer the same engine / gearbox / brake /general engineering combination. Its very difficult for me to find an angle where I think the Sertao is a better choice. Every single angle seems to point to other bikes. Same engineers behind all of the above bikes. Mostly the same key components.

I dont think there is any notable upside in city / road riding in a sertao over an XC bike or the Husky. Again, same engine, same brakes, same size (21 inch) front wheel. If anything the Husky is said to have excellent handling on the road ... it is after all a much more modern design.

The level of electronics on a bike like Sertao or XC or Husky is very very low by modern standards. Its definitely not a major issue. A modern 1200GS will have about 10 times the electronic complexity. These really are very simple bikes whose only main electronic component is the EFI system. And BMW sourced bikes have very reliable EFI generally so to me its a non issue.

Chris Scott of Adventure Motorcycling Handbook fame reviewed the Husky here:
http://adventure-motorcyclingh.com/2...ra-quick-spin/
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:35 AM   #3942
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Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
Absolutely ... very strange they exist only in the world of bizarre engineers. But they seem so funky. Maybe fuel consumption is insane ?
additionally to gravity force, this kind of vehicle must overcome friction force between they "wheels" and ground.
It's a big waste of engine power, I think
So they could be used only on the soft ground with low friction...
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:17 AM   #3943
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Ride Report - ROB The old summer road

As Geir wrote, after fueling up in Kyubyueme, crossing the first river we camped in the abandoned village. All the gear in one of my paniers were wet and had to be layed out for drying. I guess the paniers were waterproof at one point, but after the beating they'd got at the BAM road they were pretty shooked up now. They are quite robust, but I guess they were never made for extreme offroad use. I kind of like them if the condtions are mainly on-road and not to rugh dirt roads.

The reason we put up our tents inside one of the houses were 1.dark clouds and possibly rain, 2.moscitos, 3.Tent might keep other bugs out of your sleepingbag :). So after having the bonfire going and some good talk with the Russian hunter we went to bed. It was a cool night and I guees it was close to freezing temperatures. With good sleepingbags the temperature was fine.

After getting up in the morning we had one a tiny breakfast, packed up camp and drove off. Todays target was getting in to Tomtor and stay the night there. There were some dark clouds on the sky, but it kept staying dry. The roads were dry, but there were potholes and puddles of water in the road so there had been rain in the area just before we entered. We could also see that there were a high water level in rivers and waters along the road. So with frothing rivers we did not know what to expect of the old summer road. For now the conditions and roads were OK, but the streams along the road were close to flooding the road and we knew that these were not good signs.

Just an hour or so after leaving the camp I felt that my bike (F800GS) were behaving strange and it was bouncing around more than regular. I had to pull over and stop to check it out. As soon as I stopped I could smell oil and I saw that there were oil spill around the rear part of my bike. It was obious that my rear shock had lost all it's oil and was now out of the game. Fu.. this was just what we not needed now, the day before we get in to the harderst part of our journey.

There was nothing to do about it here so the only thing to do was taking it easy and go on. The rear of my bounces like a tennis ball on every dump in the road. Man this is not nice at all!

After a quick lunch, composed of cold noodles and spices, we continued in direction of Tomtor. The roads were not too bad and the scenerey were amazing.

After a quite short day we arrived Tomtor in the afternoon. The clouds were now really dark and we knew there were bad weather moving in. We took some photos at a couple of Tomtor's monomuents before start looking for accomodation for the night. Tomtor has a moment for being the coldest inhabited place on earth with the record of -71.2'C. This place has a mean temperature of around -50'C in January which in best case can be looked as interesting :)

There were not too many houses in the village of Tomtor, but we still had to ask around to find our way to the guesthouse where we were staying the night. The rivers went beyond its banks and flooded the area and the streets in the village. This did not look too good regarding our attempt drive the old summer road. We need low water levels in the rivers to be able to cross them. With dark clouds above our heads and bad weather moving in, this did certainly not look good for our mission.

To get to the guesthouse we had to drive through flooded streets and there were water up on our engines and it was quite hard - mostly because you did not see where the roads go and what is underneath the surface. We all managed pretty well and found the underwater road to the guesthouse. Here we met a group of polish guys who were on a rafting expediotion. Their goal were to do a two week rafting trip in one of the rivers here and end up by the coast. To do this they had to bring all of their equipment 160 kilometres through the mountains with pack horses to the starting point. Quite a project gentlemens. Just when we had parked our bikes and got the luggage to our room the sky opened and we got some heavy showers. Just what we did not need now.

Me and Erik took the bikes into a shop to buy some food. The assortment is quite small and there were not too many things to buy. When we came out of the store there were this local guy who were curious about us. We spoke with him and he asked where we were heading. We told him our plan about the old summer road and he was just shaking his had and telling ut that it was impossible to go there now. Not even with a Kamaz or a 4WD you could go in to that area now. The rivers are too big, the road is partly missing, the weather is bad and there is no way we can go in there with motorcycles. He was more than clear on that!

This was just another nail in the coffin and with this message, the exhausted bikes and crew, the dark clouds in the sky, the flooded rivers it did not look to bright now. Had we come to Tomtor, just to give up - turn around and get back to the federal highway and taking the boring way around? Things did not look to bright and we could just throw ourselves into some beer and Whisky with the polish guys and see what happens with things tomorrow. We shared some beers, food, stories and had a great night with the polish gang.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:30 AM   #3944
stemic01
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Sertao

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Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
Well i dont think the Sertao offers any potential that the XC doesnt, except 30 kgs more weight.
I used my big and heavy F800GS on this trip to BAM and ROB and it was possible to get the big and heavy bike through there. BUT on the other hand, it would be MUCH easier and MUCH more fun if I had brought a lighter bike more tailored for this kind of adventure riding.

I was riding with 4 BMW G650X bikes on this journey and I saw how much easier they handled their bikes than me. I actually thought that it was more about riding skills than about the bikes itself.

The stage II of my journey from US, through Central America and to South America I bought myself a BMW G650Xchallenge with the hotrod tank and prepped up with the Magadan softbags. Oh man what a difference when you get off the road. This bike is just so much lighter and handles so easy compared to the F800GS (Which is just slightly heavier than the Sertao(?)). One person in our group had a F800GS and I saw that he had the same kind of struggle offroad which I had with mine. Now with my XC it was just so much more fun going offroad and I could keep more in control and balance on the dirtroads. On the asphalt roads the F800GS gives you more comfort and power, but while offroading this is a huge difference.

So if I were to do some heavy offroad stuff like BAM & ROB again I would definately recommend the XC or similar reliable lightweight bike. Rigg it and pack it to go as light as I can and with a set of waterproof softbags, some few comfort modifications (Seat, wind protection) and off course some major protection for vital parts like engine protection etc.

So my experience is the same as Walters recommodations!
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:55 AM   #3945
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Day 69

Unlike the lodging-less Vikings who'd left me and gone off to sleep in a wood, I'd slept the sleep of the righteous and just -and mildly drunk so woke up early refreshed and is serious need of a pee.
I wandered down presently, got some chai and started to pack the bike up. It was a beautiful mild morning, and I looked like having a great days riding.

I'd set myself a target of 500kms a day minimum if I was to get to Moscow in 10 days, and despite getting lost in Irkutsk with lost settings on the GPS and a 70 mph front wheel puncture (the memory still gives me the willies) just north of Irkutsk I'd still managed to rack up 600kms -about 400 miles-between getting going again and arriving at the motel at Almazay.

For information: There are no trans-Russian autoroutes/interstates/motorways apart from some 4 lanes ( 2 each way) around some of the major cities. Once you're out of the city limits the roads revert to 2 lane -just one each way and these carry all the traffic. In fairness this is usually adequate as local traffic thins out 20-30 miles outside the main centres and you're often pretty alone on the vast spaces between urban conurbations. The downside is that these 2 lanes are also carrying the large 60 ton interstate trucks- Macks, Volvos and Peterbilts and they aren't really up to it. The consequence is often roads smashed to pieces-literally in a state of collapse-and under constant repair.
I've no idea if a modern road network is planned-maybe Tony or Walter can inform.

The Trans-Sib highway I was using today is under upgrade and nearly finished so I hoped I'd enjoy the ride.

I was gone by 6.40 and left on empty roads, with deer stepping out of the forest next to the road and little roadwork detours through villages just waking.

Traffic building up a bit here....




For the next 2 thousand miles, the road shadows the Trans-Siberian railway, and although you sometimes can't see it for a little while, it's never long until you have to stop at one of these .

Each of the crossings is manned (womanned?) by a babushka who may or may not come out of her hut so check on traffic or wave at the train. I was never tempted to jump the crossing-the locals seem to take it seriously even if you could get over the rising road barrier and I had plenty of time anyway.

Also I had a suspicion that if I'd jumped it she'd leap into the road with a submachine gun, and feet spaced, would hose me down like the grandma in Goldfinger!


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