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  #1  
Old 19 Apr 2013
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Husabergs to Monglia/Siberia

Hey there folks

After a failed attempt due to logistics(APEC summit in Vladivostok in Sept last year) I will be returning to Mongolia/Siberia next year as I have 'unfinished business'. We missed out on a huge area we wanted to see so wish to return and try to finish our travel plan. However this time we will be on motorbikes instead of in the Land Rover.

We plan to start in UB head North into Russia and go around East side of Lake Baikal. Onto Lena River barge and follow Vilyuisky Tract. Magadan BAM etc.

We have Xchallenge(for myself) and XT250 (for my very short legged partner michele). We are about to buy two Husabergs (FE570/450 )

We would like to take the Bergs on this trip just for a bit of fun even tho they are not the best choice and the other bikes are more 'sensible'

However Michele copes better with less weight (and more power!!) and she is actually the one pushing for the 'enduro' spec bikes to go!!

Would you risk taking these bikes and minimal gear for a 6-8000km trip with potential for crap fuel. We would run low power mode and change filters etc.

Realise there is lots of info on ADV about set up but I am looking for advice from you guys in the field.

FE570 is known for its reliable engine and I really like the idea.

Your thoughts??

Walter C you out there somewhere?? I know you have talked of it but not done it - yet??

I guess the worst that can happen is we break down a lot so no difference to taking the poor old Land Rover really ;-)

Thanks in advance

Callum
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Old 19 Apr 2013
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Originally Posted by Landroverholic View Post
We plan to start in UB head North into Russia and go around East side of Lake Baikal. Onto Lena River barge and follow Vilyuisky Tract. Magadan BAM etc.

We have Xchallenge(for myself) and XT250 (for my very short legged partner michele). We are about to buy two Husabergs (FE570/450 )

We would like to take the Bergs on this trip just for a bit of fun even tho they are not the best choice and the other bikes are more 'sensible'

Would you risk taking these bikes and minimal gear for a 6-8000km trip with potential for crap fuel. We would run low power mode and change filters etc.

...

Walter C you out there somewhere?? I know you have talked of it but not done it - yet??

...
I would do it.

If I was going to Mongolia this year it would be on my Husaberg 570. If I get back to the BAM again it will be on my 570.

Add some aftermarket fuel tanks and lightweight luggage and its perfect. I dont know how the berg will run on the occasional 80 octane fuel .. maybe buy a litre or two of octane booster in UB.

I wouldnt let it put you off the idea tho.

You would have a total ball in Mongolia on a 570.

I am a bit distracted with other things this year otherwise I would be spending my time working on Adventurising my Husaberg for exactly that sort of ride.
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  #3  
Old 19 Apr 2013
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Thanks Walter

We are actually looking at next year before we travel again.

Yes from what I read (although no Berg experience-yet) there is no reason the bikes could not do this sort of trip.

I agree about Mongolia. Lots of big wide open spaces to let the bikes 'fly'.

What would be the impact of running low octane fuel? Would they just run like a dog and potentially get hot?

Lots similar boggy Siberian type areas here in Tasmania to get some practice in. Mossies are a little less fierce however!!

It does look as if Adventure riding is heading down the enduro end of the spectrum - at long last

Thanks again

Callum
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  #4  
Old 19 Apr 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landroverholic View Post
It does look as if Adventure riding is heading down the enduro end of the spectrum - at long last
Well my take on it .. is that in the 1990s, it was enough to ride across a continent - be it Africa, South America or Eurasia ... back then when many of the main roads were dirt, there was no communications, and no info on what to expect ... just riding the main route down Africa or across Russia was already a supreme adventure and you were one of just a handful of people that did it - even locals didnt do it. That was cutting edge. Thats where the notion of Adventure Motorcycling was born. I remember doing the Tokyo to London trip in 1994, on main routes across Russia, Siberia and Kazakhstan etc, and every major motorcycle magazine in Europe wanted to buy and run the story. We sold that story a dozen times in Europe alone in different countries. If you did a story TODAY about riding a bike across Russia or Kazakhstan on the main routes, there would be zero interest from the media. Its no longer interesting. Its no longer an adventure. Its no longer cutting edge. Thousands of people do it every year.

Today, all these main routes are asphalted, lined with truck stops, motels and coffee shops, and interesting sites are surrounded by hawkers selling chinese made tourist tat. The concept of "adventure motorcycling" has to move forward or else it will become meaningless. I couldnt do the same ride today and still call it an adventure. The developing world is changing fast, and Adventure Motorcycling has to keep ahead of the development if it is still to be an adventure.

In my view, if adventure motorcycling is still all about trying to get to interesting rarely seen places, then it has to get off the main routes, and that means getting off the highways and the asphalt. Thats why it has to become more off-road focussed. That means lighter bikes, capable of reaching places tourist buses cant get to.

There are two concepts around today ... Motorcycle Travel/Touring (overlanding), and Adventure Motorcycling. They are both perfectly valid and great fun and have their own adherents. And if you want to travel the world, then seeing it from the back of a motorcycle is the best way to do it. But realistically, its not really credible to call a ride to the Dolomites in Northern Italy "Adventure Motorcycling". Almost by definition, Adventure Motorcycling has to be the sharp, pointy, cutting edge of Motorcycle Touring.

The idea of exploring Mongolia on a couple of 70 degree Husabergs is a really cool one and gives you so much more scope to really get out into the wilds and explore.

There were a bunch of ride reports on Mongolia I read this last year and I am really pleased to read more and more people getting off the "Northern Route or Southern Route" standard take on the country and taking some risk by venturing into the wilds. One of favorite reports from Mongolia this last year was this one ... http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=818258

Interesting not for the fact that the authors are Americans (you rarely meet Americans there ... foreign bikers in Mongolia seem to be about Europeans 70%, Russians 20% and Aussies and Kiwis the rest) but because they have just flown in there, grabbed some local Chinese made bikes and just really went out exploring and adventuring. A great read - take a look.
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Last edited by colebatch; 24 Apr 2013 at 06:18.
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  #5  
Old 23 Apr 2013
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Thanks Walter

A great reply and I tend to agree with you.

No doubt you have seen some of the MotoSiberia stuff from the two Polish guys. Between yourself and them certainly pushing the boundaries and its great to see.

The term 'adventure motorcycling' is perhaps no longer appropriate is it becomes more 'mainstream'.

I have found a 2009 'brand new' Husaberg so it just needs my name on it as I will never find another.

Fuel range is no issue as there are plenty of tanks available. Fuel filters similarily widely available. I guess the issue is carrying gear really. Its all very well going 'minimalist' and 'light' but there is still a bare bones minimum tent/mat/sleeping bag/water/food/spares/change of clothes and photography+nav .But it still takes up space. And the big Berg was certainly not designed to carry gear.

My partner (Michele) 5'1'' and a bit!! and 50 kilos struggles with getting her feet-or even foot- down so we need to lower one of the bikes and thats a dilemma too.

However the rewards will be worth it I'm sure .

Thanks again for taking the time to reply

Regards

Callum
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  #6  
Old 23 Apr 2013
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Hi Callum,

I you need some advice adventuring it - talk to Richie Nyhouse at Valley Force Husaberg - Home he has worked as a mechanic for a Husaberg Rallye team. Nice guy I grew up with him.

Cheers,

Craig
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  #7  
Old 23 Apr 2013
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Adventure Biking always was about Enduro based off road riding

I kinda disagree with your premise that Adventure biking may finally be turning in the enduro direction. I disagree with it, because for me Adventure Motorcycling historically always was enduro and off road focussed.

Chris Scott in the Sahara on his Tenere's in the 80s and 90s, Austin Vince and gang on their DR350s - all just dirt bikes with big tanks. And the bikes that really kicked off the first adventure motorcycling boom: Honda's 750 cc Africa Twins were just a derivative of the Dakar winning NXR 750V. BMW won the Dakar in the 80s on their dealer ready Adventure bikes - R80 G/S and R100 GS. Cagiva won it in the 90s a couple of times with its adventure bike, the Elefant 900, that you could also just buy from your local Ducati dealer. Adventure bikes historically always were tough, off road, enduro bikes with long range fuel tanks - historically VERY closely related to the exact kind of bikes that could survive and win the Dakar - just with engines and suspensions in a different state of tune. KTMs 950 Adventure is the most recent example, very closely derived from their Dakar winning 950 Rally.

The Adventure concept has been hijacked in the last 9-10 years by marketing folk who naturally enough are looking to maximise profit - as is their job. Maybe cause "Travel bike" or "overland bike" doesnt sound sexy enough.

For me Adventure Riding/Biking/Motorcycling always was and still is off road focussed. The other stuff, like riding from London to India on a big GS on main routes loaded up with aluminium boxes is "overlanding" - and these days its all asphalt. (mind you, I think Overlanding too has to move forward lest it become "Lonely Planet on 2 wheels" tours - a completely predictable process of travelling to the next lonely planet hostel, day after day - seeing the same sights, eating at the same restaurants, and photographing the same scenes as everyone else, because thats what the guide book recommends - at some point you lose the ability to call it independent travel.)

I have heard the argument that adventure is subjective ... and that one persons adventure might not be an adventure to others, but that simply dilutes the concept and makes it meaningless. Valentino Rossi might call it an adventure after returning to the pits after a track training session on an oily track. A Scooter riders definition of adventure riding might be racing thru the laneways of London's West End at full throttle at midnight while trying to avoid drunk pedestrians. If urban scooter riding and professional track racing can also be adventure riding then the concept has no meaning.

I personally have always loved reading the reports from guys like Sambor on his exploratory rides in Central Asia and Afghanistan, Swinarski's 2009 ride to Chukotka, Pete Forwood's rides, Sjaak Lucassen's rides. They all share something with videos like Austin Vince's Mondo Enduro or Terra Circa or Chris Scott's Desert Riders that makes them so enjoyable: the fact they were not even sure what they were trying to do was possible ... thats the common thread ... thats the essence of adventure -at least for me.
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Last edited by colebatch; 24 Apr 2013 at 07:07.
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  #8  
Old 24 Apr 2013
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When I up and down some snotty snow covered tracks on my 990 today I thought it was an adventure!

Truth be told what I rode was great fun on my big girl, but I would have been able to do a lot more exploring on my old 450EXC.

If I wasn't travelling two up most of time an adventurised 690 would be my pick, the one Rod Curry had on the recent Sibersky Extreme would be perfect.

If I could trust a 450-550cc dirt bike engine to keep going for 20,000ks without major mechanical work I would choose one of those.

Edit: I should add all the above said their still nothing like the experience of the doing 100mph+ down gravel roads. Everytime I do this on the 990 I get grin on my face that is hard to remove.

Last edited by craig.iedema; 24 Apr 2013 at 03:48.
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  #9  
Old 24 Apr 2013
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
... I have heard the argument that adventure is subjective ... and that one persons adventure might not be an adventure to others, but that simply dilutes the concept and makes it meaningless...
No it doesn't, Walter, context is everything. I couldn't disagree with your post more even after the heavy editing.

I do get that for some, the off road element is everything and the very essence of adventure but, to take one of your original analogies, the trip to Nordkapp by one of the German pensioners might be every bit as much of an adventure for them as the BAM Road is for you.
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Old 24 Apr 2013
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No it doesn't, Walter, context is everything. I couldn't disagree with your post more even after the heavy editing.

I do get that for some, the off road element is everything and the very essence of adventure but, to take one of your original analogies, the trip to Nordkapp by one of the German pensioners might be every bit as much of an adventure for them as the BAM Road is for you.
Like I said, a scooterist might find it an adventure to dodge drunks in the city at midnight.

Yes it is an adventure for him ... but is it adventure riding? Similarly it might be an adventure for someone to ride to Nordkapp, but is it adventure riding? It might be an adventure for a novice rider doing his riding training. Is that also adventure riding? Is it adventure riding to ride a bike to the office each day, because his bike has an "adventure" sticker on the side of it. It might be for the guy who does that. The feats of Nick Sanders are incredible ... the man is a machine. but is it adventure riding? Are we not allowed to have an opinion on that? If Nick says he considers it adventure riding, then it is adventure riding? Are we wrong to have an opinion? I have seen many others on here voice opinion that what he does is not adventure riding but never seen them criticised for having that opinion. I ask again ... are we allowed to have an opinion on that - whether Nick Sanders record breaking rides are Adventure Motorcycling? Whats your view? If yes - we are allowed an opinion, then we are effectively defining adventure motorcycling objectively.

My opinion is that I say none of the above is Adventure Motorcycling. You might think if its an adventure for the rider then its adventure riding. I disagree.

Whether something is an adventure for the rider and whether its adventure riding are two different concepts. You have implied they are the same. The former is obviously personal and subjective. That latter not necessarily so. The latter is a term coined by Chris Scott back in the early 90s, and since he created the term he also defined it.

There are plenty of other terms out there ... none of them imply anything greater or lesser. Overlanding, as I mentioned above, is one. Its not my cup of tea, and in my view its not adventure motorcycling. Just my view. The fact that I do or dont put someones travels into the category of the kind of trip that I personally would like to do, or that I personally consider to be adventure motorcycling has never stopped me providing planning help and assistance to others over the past 20 years. Almost daily I write emails or PMs of advice and help to others planning such trips. Almost weekly I meet up with bike travellers and pour over maps and atlases advising them of how I might plan a route or what will be interesting. I certainly dont need to agree with someones definition of adventure to put a lot of effort into helping them with their trips. If you are implying I am demeaning people or their trips if I dont call them an "adventure" by my definition, then clearly thats not the case. I simply defend the view that "Adventure Motorcycling" has some objectively defined qualities, while the concept of adventure is purely subjective.

Everyone should be planning the type of trips that suits them, their tastes and their mentality. Yes, everyone has different comfort zones. Yes, everyone has a different concept of "adventure". But also, I will continue to view the concept of Adventure Motorcycling as objective, not subjective.

I have spent my whole 20 year riding life with "adventure motorcycling" from the start, so I feel quite protective of the term. It stands for something for me, that it may not for you or for many other people. The term is kinda pointless to me, if I am told to accept it means anything and everything.
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Last edited by colebatch; 24 Apr 2013 at 11:23.
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Old 24 Apr 2013
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Hello

Hmmm ok wow er um!!

Hopefully nobody is offended on this thread as that was never the intention. Sure there are always different points of view and that is a healthy thing.

Anyways thanks for taking so much time for your replies. Obviously this is something very personnal to us all. I think as you say for those like Walter pushing the 'remote envelope' (an extreme enduro with luggage maybe) adventure motorcycling is one thing. For some , sadly owning an 'adventure bike' (with panniers and an adventure sticker) and going for a latte is somebody elses adventure. Horses for courses I guess.

I have done quite a few overland trips which at times have been 'an adventure'. Usually when it turns to shit!! Both on bikes and by 4WD. But as experience grows and we broaden the comfort zone and seek more of the challenging aspects of travel are we chasing 'the adventure' . I guess seeking out the unknown and dealing with whatever gets dealt for me is where I am coming from.

So again apologies for perhaps inappropriate context or wording.

Walter I have picked your brain in the past for information and it was very greatfully received. I hope I can be permitted to do so again.

Now can we get back to Husabergs? Please?

Craig thanks for your reply and I will make contact.

Walter what sort of weight were you carrying for the Andes Moto Extreme? How much is too much for a bike with no real subframe. I reckon Michele and I will need 20 kilos each not including fuel. Reasonable?

Tried to get my name on the Berg today but work turned to shit and time escaped me. Bugger.

Thanks again

Callum
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I get that and don't mean to be in any way disrespectful to the fantastic journeys you've had that I've enjoyed reading about tremendously nor the excellent advice that I've seen you give.

As you say, for you there are some absolutes about adventure riding and I guess there are for me too. I tend to use a broader brush but in line with Chris Scott's original definition says that adventure riding is, "a challenging journey into the wilderness or a significantly strange country".

I'm guessing that we simply disagree on the final five words in his definition; you see it as off road only and I don't. I believe that a tarmac trip to Morocco, Iceland or Ushuaia is an adventure despite not being off road, whereas you would not. We're all entitled to opinion and do sympathise with the frustration of the marketing hype that suggests you can stick Dakar decals on your BMW and be just like the great adventurers while heading to Starbucks or commuting to work.

The Nick Sanders question is an interesting one and I'm going to have to reflect more on it. I guess it falls within "my" definition but I have little time for him or his exploits. Mmm. Good challenge. :-)
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Old 24 Apr 2013
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Callum

Sorry for the hijack!

Paul
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Old 24 Apr 2013
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Originally Posted by Landroverholic View Post
Hopefully nobody is offended on this thread as that was never the intention. Sure there are always different points of view and that is a healthy thing.
I am sure no-one is offended Callum. Discussion is indeed healthy.

Quote:
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Walter what sort of weight were you carrying for the Andes Moto Extreme? How much is too much for a bike with no real subframe. I reckon Michele and I will need 20 kilos each not including fuel. Reasonable?
We used Giant loop coyote bags (30 litres) and had them stuffed pretty full. Probably around 10-12 kgs ... But you could go a lot bigger.

The Giant Loop Great Basin is about 50 litres so takes 15-20 kgs of stuff without having to worry about luggage racks.
(see this guy has done that So You Want a Lightweight Adventure Travel Bike….)
Tho I would avoid the big blue box on the front and skip the obsession with frame plumbing.

Bear in mind these bikes will be designed not to collapse when riders weighing 120+ kgs go over jumps on them while sitting on the seat. So an extra few kgs in luggage for lighter riders will not stress the plastic subframe.

Anything short of hard luggage will be fine
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Old 24 Apr 2013
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The big blue box?? What you dont like it ha ha. Yes very interesting mod - but not to my tastes! Very clever ideas however with tapping into the frame.

Good point about the subframe regarding weight. I'm 70 kilos and Michele 50 so both 'lightweights' really.Minimal luggage should not be too much of an issue.

I guess the biggest question will be with low octane fuel as we mentioned. I have no idea the implications of that except loss of power and generally running like crap. Might see if I can find more info on that one.

Reckon you could find octane booster in UB? Once you get to know the place it is quite amazing what you can find there.

Every where I have travelled and everywhere I have broken down(which is a lot in the old Land Rover with 400,000ks on the clock!) something always happens to allow recovery. Two light weight bikes should be no different. But what would the damage be from crap fuel filter aside??

Is there much of an enduro racing scene in Russia? Certainly lots of potential for it.

As for what to pack gear in well we are not stuck for choice really.

Will keep you up to speed with progress as we put our plans together.

(On a side note Michele is now talking about a KTM Freeride instead of a lowered Berg. Easier for her to manage for sure but thats a whole different ball game in bike prep!!!)

Regards

Callum
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