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Old 08-09-2013, 02:41 AM   #256
DANNOj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuiltyParty View Post
We'll have to tee up a ride when I get back, and hopefully get Danno out if he's not too busy running the mines. He's an important man.
Haha funny man. I'm being transferred to Brisbane at the end of the year, so will certainly have some time for riding! Looking forward to having a ride on the world-travelled Franken-Tiger!!

Cheers
Dan
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:57 AM   #257
gavo
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[QUOTE=GuiltyParty;22060584]We took our time getting ready, we were in no rush. We were aiming for Karakol on Issyk Kul (a lake) but if we didn't make it no big deal.

The radiator fluid had dropped to the minimum level so I had to top up with some distilled water. As bit of a byproduct of the days I was riding the KLR I brought 1L of oil to top-up but have never needed it, and instead I should have brought a litre of the HOAT radiator fluid. It's only ever been at altitude the bike has needed it though.



Be careful when topping up radiator fluid if you mix coolants they can turn to a acidic fluid and make holes in your radiator and eventually the engine. I know this because I did it to a car. better to top up with distilled water or flush and refill.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:10 AM   #258
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Just wanted to add my thanks for the fantastic ride report, and kudos to you & your lady for soldiering on despite what might be unsumountable odds to others!

Looking forward to seeing what the rest of the trip holds in store for you two.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:39 PM   #259
Grifter
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Glad to see you finally both on the road. You know, it won't be long before Touratech offers a new twin light/grill setup like yours.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:37 PM   #260
slartidbartfast
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Wow! What a great journey - and a great read, especially getting the bike so badly smashed up and putting it back on the road. I'm subscribed for the long haul!
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:15 PM   #261
freefall109
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Go tiger, go.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:35 AM   #262
sonnyboy
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Wow, how is the ride on the new XC Lada. Well done bud!
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:10 AM   #263
pirate63
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Well done guys, I think we would have gave up, my hat off to you both.
We're finally in Turkey...
Clive n Chris
Met you in Krgystan on the strom..
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:24 PM   #264
swimmer
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Update? Are you guys doing OK?
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:10 AM   #265
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You wouldn't read about it...

Leaving Almaty took some time because of traffic around markets on the north side of town. Out of town and finally on the open road a car flew up beside us beeping his horn, wedging us between his car and a truck as he overtook. Asshole. I had the satisfaction of watching him get pulled over by police as I rode past waving at him

The landscape was quite flat with sections of hills but nothing really worthy of a photo. The roads were surprisingly good though with a couple of dirt sections around roadworks. Way better than we expected.

Finding a camping spot was a little hard because it was so flat and open but eventually we found a track that led to some running water Camping beside running water makes all the difference. It's easier to wash dishes and we can give ourselves a quick wash. It adds a little bit of luxury to camping. It was a difficult spot to pitch a tent though - the ground had a layer of sand on top with rocks underneath so the pegs wouldn't go in. We made do by putting some rocks on the corners of the tent and around the guy ropes but it certainly wasn't stable - a fart would blow it over so we hoped we wouldn't get any wind during the night.







As the sun set and the stars came out I sat on a rock beside the tent and took it all in. I saw a meteor streak across the sky, a bright satellite slowly make it's way across the sky until it disappeared over the horizon and a dozen or so planes silently pass high above. A slight breeze picked up but the tent was sheltered behind a hill so it wasn't affected.



During the night the wind changed direction and picked up, blowing the tent all over the place. The rocks weren't big enough to hold it down and luckily it wasn't raining, so we just let the wind blow its course and let the tent fall around us. Rain and wind would have been a horrible combination but we were ok. Tying some ropes to the tent for anchors was added to the 'to-do' list. We ate dust for breakfast.





Not far down the road we stopped at a little shop for our favourite snack, iced tea and chips. The lady in the shop was really friendly and gave us a bunch of grapes and asked if we wanted to join her for tea. Of course we said yes.



We stayed for the next couple of hours chatting away in our bad russian and miming. We were tempted to stay the night, even though we were only 30 minutes down the road from where we camped the night before. As we were about to leave she took us around her vege patch and bagged us some tomatoes and apples. It was the best home vege patch I'd ever seen - we snacked on mulberries, and could have taken strawberries, potatoes and a bunch of other stuff. She had a rabbit hutch full of rabbits just for the pot

We weren't kitted out for all these soft fruits though with our soft panniers so we awkwardly attached it the outside of our bags while she watched on. 30 minutes down the road it all turned to juice.

We said our farewells and not long after we spotted two bikes heading towards us Seb and Kim had just come from Mongolia on two DRZ's and said "it was shit" - not the response we were expecting. Bad roads and rain.



Nothing out here but flat...and soon rain.



It was getting late and I could see Ayagoz appear on my GPS and I remembered the Russian lady that gave us the fruit saying something about Ayagoz being a nice town. About 15km out, a camping waypoint came up on my GPS. Must be a sign.

The track lead us to bit of a water crossing which looked too deep to cross so I stepped it out but it seemed ok and I decided to give it a go. There were some tracks that looked like they were recently used beside the main track that avoided some swampy muddy water. We used the side track, but on the approach the front wheel broke a rock away from the main track and the bike went over, sending Patty into the swmapy water. She was fuming and wouldn't get back on the bike for the crossing so I did it myself and she walked it.

We crossed from the other side.



The view at sunset was worth it...





...or so I thought.

The rains from the previous day had raised the crossing a bit as expected and it was starting to rain again.

We prepared ourselves for the crossing, and I gave Patty the heads up to help pick the bike up straightaway if it went over.

We entered the water and the bike held it's line, not bouncing all over the place on the rocks beneath the surface. The weight of the bike was helping keep it straight. We made it through the deepest section and had our sights firmly on the far bank. About half-way across the front wheel skipped off a rock and we momentarily lost traction - but that was enough. As the bike went over Patty ended up in the water, again, but she jumped to her feet to help pick it up. We picked it up and tried kicking it over but it wouldn't fire

We went into a panic mode and madly started unloading all the luggage to prepare it for a push. I said to Patty "this is bad, this is really bad" We dropped all the bags on the far bank. Heaving and frothing, yelling 1,2 3 we got the bike back to solid ground.



I feared the worst. The rain wouldn't let up so I couldn't take the tank off to do an inspection of the spark plugs and inlet manifolds. We pitched our wet tent and found the dryest clothes we could and sat in it, shivering. It rained, and rained, and rained and we started to worry the creek might actually cause the waters to rise up to the tent.

After a couple of hours of persistent rain we could finally see some blue sky on the horizon. Our spirits lifted, we couldn't believe it. The bike was in bad shape so we took the break in the weather and packed our bags and hid them behind a tree and headed for the main road, only about a 2km walk. We left the bike on the track.

I tried flagging down some cars for about 30 minutes but they all whizzed past and barely looked at me, so Patty thought she would give it a go. She stuck her arm out and the car practically locked on its brakes to pick her up

In Ayagoz 15km down the road we found a guy willing to help tow us into town but first we had to wait a couple of hours for his steering rack to be fixed.

Ayagoz town exists because of the military base, and as you enter town there is a checkpoint but normally they just wave you on. On the way out though our driver decided to check it was ok that he tow a motorcycle into town. The conversation went a little something like this:-

Inspector: no, no towing motorcycles in Kazakhstan, not allowed
Me: blab blab blab but I need to
Inspector: no, not possible
me: blab blab but my visa expires in two days
inspector: I feel like chai, showing Patty to the door
me: you want chai, you want me to go and buy you chai? The other inspector in the room laughs
inspector: no, I feel like chai, and pretends to sip tea and look away from the road
me: The penny drops. And I give him the equivalent of a 35 bribe

As we turned down the track to the bike I see fresh 4wd tracks and start to think the worst and sure enough the bike wasn't where I parked it. We drive a bit further and Patty is the first to point out someone towing my bike faraway in the distance and then drop it. I burst out of the car and run after them and catch up to them. Two guys start walking towards me, one wearing military gear the other wearing normal clothes. I start checking their hands for weapons but see nothing. They start saying something about taking the bike to military and I say I've just spoken to the military. They got back in their car and started to drive off in a hurry, a little too fast for my liking and I thought about the baggage so I yelled something out to them. One guy got back out of his car and opened the boot to show me he didn't have anything else so I let him go.

They broke the steering lock by force and I don't know how but they broke the front mudguard. The guy dropped the bike when I saw him because the brake cable got caught around the knobbies, putting the bike into a 15m front wheel lockup until he eventully dropped it.

We recovered our bags and got towed into town.

At the hotel I took the instrument panel off the bike and it was absolutely full of water. Not a little bit of water...a LOT of water. How could this happen on an adventure bike?! It amazes me the unit isn't a sealed water tight unit. It looked fried, and we left it overnight to dry. An electrician checked the other electrics and they seemed ok.

It was late so we hit the hay, devastated and exhausted.
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:35 AM   #266
Paratrout
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Guys Im sorry about the tough break, we're still rooting for you. If there is anything we can do from here let me know.

-Mike
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:50 AM   #267
Toblerone
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Great RR guys, sorry to hear about all your bad luck. Just look at the positives in every situation.

Cheers

Toblerone

Toblerone screwed with this post 08-16-2013 at 12:38 PM
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:50 PM   #268
DANNOj
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You have overcome worse so far Craig & Patty, I'm sure you will sort it out in no time.

You and I are now 1 - 1 for drowning bikes. I'm afraid to go for anothe ride now as it seems it is my turn!

Hope you get it mended ASAP.

Cheers
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:29 PM   #269
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Wink There are a 100 roads and 100 ways to but you only choose one - Russian proverb

The next day we had to register our details at the local police station, which is required if you stay 5 days or longer. If you don't you can get big fines. It was our sixth day because we were supposed to do it in Semey on the day the bike went for a swim but it slipped our mind. Luckily for us though the hotel was run by the Lt Col of police's wife and she smooth talked her way out of a fine for us Finally something went our way.

The lady also stopped two motorcyclists on their way through town and they were waiting for us at the hotel when we got back from the police station. Markus is a german with a kiwi accent and Jim's a kiwi. They were on the Mongol Rally.



We got to work cleaning the water out of it. I took the airbox off and the filter was very wet and the cylinders had a fair amount of water sitting in them. The spark plugs were also wet.

We cleaned the water out from the cylinders by pouring a small amount of petrol down each of the cylinders and taking the plugs out and pushing the bike and dropping the clutch in second gear. I was the lucky guy to stand at the front and got the blow back of petrol in the face as it blew out of the cylinder head. We did it 4 or 5 times to get it all out then let it dry in the sun.

The looking glass for the oil didn't look milky so we left it, and also because there was no motorcycle oil in town. In hindsight we should have still dropped the oil
and replaced it with car oil for the time being.

With the fuel tank back on, a new air filter, and spark plug contacts dried and cleaned with sandpaper we tried firing it using the electric starter - nothing. We tried a bump start - nothing. It wouldn't fire.

I had a feeling the computer was looking for the instrument panel but Markus and Jim checked over everything else that could be a problem. Jim's an engineer on helicopters and Markus is an electric engineer and these guys know what they are talking about so I let them do their thing.



Using the circuit diagram on my laptop they tried shorting the connections in the instrument panel plug but that didn't work either.

We ran DealerTool and the only fault to come up was P1695 but it didn't give a description. I called two Triumph dealers and they hadn't heard of this fault, they could only come up with P1659 which was related to the battery. I contacted DealerTool and now know this fault code is a failure between the ECU and instruments.

While we worked on the bike the lady who ran the hotel went out of her way to help us. She gave us a free dinner the night before and knocked up a two course meal for the four of us. In case the bike didn't work the Lt Col of police looked for a vehicle for us to take the bike the 500km to the border - I think he just wanted us out of his town because our visa was running out.

We spent several hours looking over the bike trying to trick the ECU into thinking the instrument panel was attached but we couldn't do it. Eventually we had to give up and admit defeat - we loaded the bike into a van for the 500km, 12 hour trip to the border.

The driver took us through the Kazakh and Russian borders and dropped us on the Russian side.









The car trip mixed the water with the oil



We spent a couple of fruitless hours at the border looking for someone to take us. Ever tried hitchhiking? It can take hours. Now imagine hitchhiking with a motorcycle. We decided our best bet was to go to the next town (Rubtsovsk) 50km away and ask around.

We hitchhiked and a driver dropped us at a timberyard and the people went out of their way to help us. They didn't have a truck we could use but while they looked for one and we waited they bought us pizza and drinks.

They found us a truck and I made the trip back to the border to get the bike and we did the transition from one truck to another for the trip to Barnaul.



Sergei and Tanya insisted we stay the night but we really wanted to get to Barnaul to meet Jim and Markus who might be able to spend more time looking for a way to get the bike fixed.



Before we left though they invited us in for dinner in the timberyard office...and then the vodka's started We munched on various greasy meats with our fingers while 6 of us got sloshed on vodka. This was just the experience I wanted in Russia! The vodka's were flowing, we were serenaded with Russian anthems and we had grease all over our fingers. The urgency of fixing the bike slowly started to disappear as the 6 vodka shots took effect. I had to get out, this is going to end badly, probably involving me soiling myself in their office.

We said our sad farewells and promised we would visit again. Awesome bunch of people but unfortunately no photos because the camera was dead.

We now have the bike in Barnaul and the instrument panel is with a guy the local auto shop calls 'the master' and he's trying to get the signal working that goes to the ECU, even if nothing else works it doesn't matter. It's looking slim though so this is probably trip over for us.

We are feeling a bit defeated. We repaired it once and the bike was performing like new but now something as simple as an instrument panel is stopping the whole bike from running. It's left a bitter taste in my mouth. What should only be giving information like speed and mileage is a key component of the bike and has stopped us in our tracks, literally. It's surprising and disappointing to see that sort of design on an adventure bike. It survived falling 12 metres down a cliff but drop it in some water and the thing gives up.

Jack Lilley Triumph can't give me a workaround to avoid the instrument panel because there is a micro-processor in it and honestly I didn't think they would because it's really outside their expertise, I need Triumph Central's help on this one. There is a back order of new instrument panels until September so that's not an option....but buying a new one costs 600 + delivery so it's not really an option anyway. I've also asked if they can send me a remap of the ECU but it's unlikely they will. Last time they couldn't even respond to my emails so I don't expect any after-service support from Triumph anymore.

We're thinking of freighting it to Vladivostok where it will be shipped to Australia and we're contacting people on the Mongol Rally to see if we can join them.
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:31 AM   #270
Tripletrouble
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Absolutely gutted for you both, what a shitty design but that's "modern" electronics for you
I've been really enjoying this so I really hope you manage to get it fixed so you can resume your travels.
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