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Old 07-11-2013, 12:14 PM   #1
Laurus OP
Greenhorn on a Vespa
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Sliedrecht, Holland
Oddometer: 46
The Silk Road on a '62 Vespa



Welcome to this ride report! This first post is an introduction to the trip I did in the past months. I started at the 28th of April and I finished in the end of June in Almaty, Kazakstan. The total mileage of this trip was around 11.000km. In the next months I will try to update this thread as much as possible.

My name is Laurens de Rijke, I am 25 years old and I am a student Industrial Design Engineering. After a trip to Banjul, Gambia through the Sahara in Mauritania by car, in 2009, I have been dreaming of a new trip. Almost four years later I finally realized this dream and I now want to share it with you!

On my previous trip to Banjul I got pissed because I was in a car with three people... That's why I was sure that for the next trip I would go on a motorcycle. In first instance I wanted to go on a 'normal' adventure bike and I even bought myself a Africa Twin. Than I decided that doing this trip on a 'modern' bike would be too 'easy', I thought that if I am 50 years old I will be able to do it on a more 'modern' bike as well... (at least I hope so...) If you are young you have to do stupid things. So I rebuilt my Vespa last winter and prepared it for the trip, which can be seen here: http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...=835275&page=3.

I did the trip together with two friends. However, they don't have their motorcycle license and thus they bought a car to do the trip. The car they bought was an appropriate Lada Niva.

The route we had planned was following the old silk route through Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Oezbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and than up to Kazakstan, Russia and Mongolia. However during the trip I decided to quit in Almaty, Kazakstan because of a too ambitious route planning for the last weeks. The guys in the Lada continued to Mongolia.


In the next months I will try to update this thread as much as possible. During the trip I had to do quite a lot of wrenching, I got in to some very tricky situations and we have seen some amazing landscapes... So stay tuned!

Along the Afghan border in Tajikistan


Working on the front shock absorber in Turkmenistan


Grandmother with grandchildren in Tajikistan


Checking carbadjustment in Tajikistan
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:02 PM   #2
thecanoeguy
just a yobbo from oz
 
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Joined: May 2006
Location: Albury N.S.W.
Oddometer: 1,846
way to go man

i did bali to bangkok on a 71 , super 150 ,love your work ,makes me want to go and sell the KLR and get another ,mine is sitting at home in the lounge since 97, and yes i can vouch for the lot of wrenching
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:51 PM   #3
Rutabaga
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Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Southeast Lower Carolina
Oddometer: 729
I'm in from the word Vespa. My first love.
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:26 PM   #4
Eagletalon
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Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Apopka, FL
Oddometer: 382
Incredible! Can't wait for more

Later
John
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:46 PM   #5
davidbrundage
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: costa mesa, ca
Oddometer: 157
Amazing!

Subscribed, can't wait to see how this one plays out!
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:22 PM   #6
125uCrazy
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Fantastic,

I shall be following your posts
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:06 PM   #7
Mcgee
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Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Pacific NW
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Looks like fun! I will be following along. Have fun.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:27 PM   #8
Scubalong
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Joined: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
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Crazzzzzzzy

I like it
Reminded me when I was in high school young and dump bought a Vespa200
And almost got run over on the freeway looking forward to your RR
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:15 AM   #9
Ciph3r
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Location: Germany, Hamburg
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I'm in!
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:01 AM   #10
antipode
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Location: Berowra, Australia
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Looks promising.
Subscribed!
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:43 AM   #11
going south
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Alaska, Mazatlan. sometimes seattle!
Oddometer: 995
I gotta see this!!!
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:05 AM   #12
Laurus OP
Greenhorn on a Vespa
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Sliedrecht, Holland
Oddometer: 46
Time to say goodbye...

Thanks for the positive replies!!

We had been preparing the trip for over a year and the last year I spent a lot of time in the preparations. Just to give you an idea; I totally rebuild the vespa which took me about one to two days a week, we had to arrange seven visa, I had to give up my appartment and sell my most valuable stuff to finance the trip, I had to quit college for half a year and work as much as possible etc etc. You can imagine that after months of preparation, it was very weird to actually leave the country...

The morning we left I cut off my hair and beard and than it was time to say goodbye to the wife and family...









The first day we left late due to saying goodbye and stuff but we still managed to do 400km. We arrived somewhere in Germany. We had planned to do a lot of miles on the highway for the first days, as you can imagine, driving on the german highway (no speed limit) with max speed of the vespa around 90-100km/hour is rather exhausting. The second day we did about 5-600km but my back was seriously hurting... We had only left for a few days and my back was already hurting! What had I got myself into! I just hoped that after getting off the highway things would become better... Fingers crossed...


Our second camping in Austria




We did a very small lunch break in Vienna, Austria




The third day we crossed in to Hungary. Just a few kilometers after we passed the border I experienced my first break down. The highway in Hungary was brand new and very empty so I wanted to make some pictures while riding.


I managed to make a nice picture...



But than the rear tire went flat... With 90km/hour and one hand on the steering wheel this resulted in a tricky situation... The Vespa started to shake violently. Luckily I managed to get the Vespa at the side of the road without too much trouble...


The flat rear tire...



With the adrenaline rushing through my body I put the vespa on its side and replaced the tire in 10 minutes.


The Vespa on its side ready for a new tire.


After the first three days we got off the highway and we had managed to do around 1400km. I really experienced this as the first major step in my journey. Driving on the highway with a 50 year old scooter is not fun and very exhausting, but I survived and from now on it would be only smaller roads. However the first three weeks of our journey were still very important because we had to make it in time to our ferry in Azerbaijan. We had a fixed visa for Turkmenistan, starting at the 22 of May and ending at the 27 of May. Besides, the ferry from Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan is notorious for its unreliability; it only leaves when it is full and it sometimes waits in front of the Turkmen harbor for cheaper harbor dues. If we would make it in time to the ferry and if we had a little bit of luck with the passage we would make it to Central Asia...
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:27 AM   #13
donny662
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Location: Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurus View Post
The morning we left I cut off my hair and beard and than it was time to say goodbye to the wife and family...

At first glace of this photo, I thought, "wow, he got Olivia Wilde to cut his hair!"

You're very lucky, and I hope you enjoyed your trip!
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:32 AM   #14
thecanoeguy
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Joined: May 2006
Location: Albury N.S.W.
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springer seat

i am following this post ,loving it ,just for your next trip get your self the single springer seat ,i rode many long days with one on my 71 super and tried the double seat and it was the same, very sore back,went straight back to the single, nice job on the rebuild ,not overdone
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:51 AM   #15
Laurus OP
Greenhorn on a Vespa
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Sliedrecht, Holland
Oddometer: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by donny662 View Post
At first glace of this photo, I thought, "wow, he got Olivia Wilde to cut his hair!"

You're very lucky, and I hope you enjoyed your trip!
Haha thanks! She will be happy with the compliment ;)
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