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Old 01-18-2015, 11:33 PM   #1
micko01 OP
another DR650 rider
 
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Joined: Mar 2010
Location: RTW, currently Zambia
Oddometer: 180
Earth's Ends: Riding DR650's from End to End

We are a geologist and mining engineer by profession but world travelling, adventure seeking nomads by nature. After years spent happily ensconced in the bosom of the Australian mining industry we have decided it was time to live the dream and travel a large portion of the globe on the back or our trusty Suzuki DR650s.



A bit about us

Michael a.k.a Mick - according to Tan

Nationality: Australian – he bleeds Vegemite
Profession: Mining Engineer
Likes: Motorbikes, beer (all the beer), every sport ever created or yet to be created, all things inappropriate, creepy/dark and obscure comedy (read: League of Gentlemen/Cyanide and Happiness), most outdoorsy type pursuits that present reasonable chance of an injury
Dislikes: Quality period dramas like Downton Abbey, mornings, cars that beep at you to tell you to fasten seatbelts or turn the lights off…this seriously sends him crazy. I suspect he thinks it is the first step in machines taking control of the human race.
Excels at: Beards (growing of and commentating on), picking up my motorbike, procrastination, fixing things, not liking the All-Blacks despite being half Kiwi,
Sucks at: Scrabble, Romance
Most anticipated part of the trip: Lake Turkana route in Kenya, the beer houses of Europe and Central Asia especially the Pamir Highway
Former bikes: MV Agusta F4 1000S Nero, Yamaha WR450F, BMW F800S
Dream bikes: Honda CBX 1000 streetfighter. A modern incarnation of a Triton – put a new bonnie motor in a new featherbed frame. KTM 450 rally replica. I might build the ultimate DR650 just for shits and giggles one day, 790 kit and FI, plus suspension and subframe from a RMZ450.


Tanya a.k.a Tan - according to Michael

Nationality: Australian
Profession: Geologist rock licker
Likes: Motorbikes – especially naked bikes and pricey Italian ones. Indian food. Bad TV. Really really shockingly bad TV like that Real Housewives of wherever-the-fuck franchise. And Oprah. Cat videos. She loves to read a lot. Travel. Outdoorsy stuff. Forgetting her wallet, spending my money and not giving me my change back. Loses her shit over small animals, she loves to stop and get a photo with any kind of tiny creature.
Dislikes: Getting out of bed in the morning. Cricket. Riding in sand, even though she is pretty good at it.
Excels at: Procrastination (which is a not a good combination with me as I’m already a 10th dan blackbelt procrastinator myself). Getting lost. Making desserts. Getting into conversations and interacting with completely random people. Speaking other languages.
Sucks at: Giving directions.
Most excited about visiting: Iran, Central Asia and Brazil.
Former bikes: Benelli TNT 1130, Ducati Monster Dark 750, Honda XR 250 & Honda VTR 250
Dream bikes: MV Agusta Brutale 800, Ducati 848 EVO, Moto Guzzi Grisvo SE, Norton Commando (the new one)


The Bikes:
The bikes are pretty modified and that was a mission in itself. The project kind of snowballed out of control and the end result was some very capable long-range low-tech dirt tractors. There is a (still incomplete) build thread here on ADV which shows the bikes get reborn into what they are now - link here.


The Trip:



When dreaming about this trip we thought it would be great to travel to the ends of the planet and come back again, hence the name of the trip - Earth’s Ends. We like to get off the beaten track as much as possible so we’ll be seeking out some fun remote routes to get us where we want to be.

To come up with the basic route we looked at all the places we were keen to visit, which turned out to be most places. With that small detail established, we roughly took into account the seasons and estimated/basically guessed the amount of time we’d need to join all the dots. Our original 2-year career break thus morphed into a 3 year one. More money was saved and the planning began in earnest.

The planned route will have us travelling through Africa for 10 months, before a quick dash through Western Europe into Scandinavia. This will complete our first “end to end” of the trip, riding from the Southern most tip in Africa, Cape Agulhas, in August 2014, to the Northern most tip of Europe, Nordkapp, in about August 2015. From there it’s Eastern Europe then through Turkey, Iran and Central Asia. At this point winter will stop us from continuing the journey for approximately 4 to 5 months. We plan to spend this time somewhere in Central Asia, maybe Almaty, rebuilding the motorbikes, learning Russian, drinking vodka and snowboarding. We will also likely go home for a bit, however we have also recently learned that riding in China has just gotten easier too, so going south for the winter is a real option also. Who knows, we will take it as it comes.

When the snow thaws we’ll leave on our second leg of the trip and travel through Mongolia and Russia; I’d love to travel along the BAM and the Road of Bones to Magadan. From there we’ll catch a ferry to South Korea then fly the bikes to Anchorage, Alaska. From there it’s the classic “Americas route”, up to Prudhoe bay and then all the way down until we hit ocean at the bottom of South America; our second “end to end”. That is the rough plan anyway.

We are currently over 5 months into the trip, having started in Durban on the 1st of August, 2014. Our original plan of going up the West Coast of Africa has been abandoned due to Boko Haram crazies in Nigeria and Cameroon, and also visa/border issues due to Ebola. We have done about 20000kms so far in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia and have seen an amazing amount of stuff, met some truly fantastic people and gotten thoroughly behind schedule. But who cares, here are a few pics of the journey so far…






















































micko01 screwed with this post 01-23-2015 at 01:37 AM Reason: typos
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:03 AM   #2
eakins
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Joined: May 2002
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
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Loving your DR setup!
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:34 AM   #3
Bli55
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Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Казань
Oddometer: 375
In!!
This will be...just awesome...
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Old 01-19-2015, 02:12 AM   #4
mtbbker
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Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Centurion, South Africa
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Fantastic pics there of the Ellies (Grootvoete) at Elephants sands !

South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia will keep you busy for a while if you want to see what it has to offer (Don't forget about the east - Swaziland, Mozambique etc. I look forward to folllow you on this trip - Its going to be Epic!!!!
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Old 01-19-2015, 04:16 AM   #5
GB
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Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 56,367
Awesome ride, report and pics. thanks for taking us along.
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:29 AM   #6
leandrorr
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Ponta Grossa, Parana , Brazil
Oddometer: 47
Awesome travel!!! Following together
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:12 AM   #7
MATTY
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Joined: Jun 2014
Location: THE BORDER ENGLAND
Oddometer: 344
Cool2

Impressive build report well thought out and executed, many ideas in there and a wealth of info for anyone building a long range adventure bike well done.
All the best to you folks on your travels and i am in for the RR bring it on! .
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:42 PM   #8
No False Enthusiasm
a quiet adventurer
 
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Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Small Town, Texas
Oddometer: 4,546
Looking forward to this report...

NFE
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Old 01-19-2015, 02:46 PM   #9
swimmer
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: tucson
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I like this kind of party. Subscribed.
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Old 01-19-2015, 02:55 PM   #10
joenuclear
Planning.....
 
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Oddometer: 6,250
n!
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Old 01-19-2015, 02:56 PM   #11
Dirt Road Cowboy
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Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Tyler, Texas
Oddometer: 438
Sounds like a great trip!

Nice photos too!
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Old 01-19-2015, 02:57 PM   #12
Dan Diego
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: San Diego, CA
Oddometer: 859
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Yes, please.
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:09 PM   #13
jacobsmonarch
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Location: is going to
Oddometer: 57
wowwww wonderful
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Old 01-19-2015, 04:25 PM   #14
nzrian
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Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Queenstown , NZ
Oddometer: 287
Laugh Africa twins

Amazing photos, looks like you are seeing the sights in style (DR650)

You have chosen the best bike in the world, I love my DR
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:40 PM   #15
MotorcycleWriter
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Location: N.Alabama, World's Rockiest Trails
Oddometer: 1,132
I'll be planning my adventure as I read about yours.
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