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  #1  
Old 28 Sep 2013
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UK to Mongolia starting October!!!

On another website i saw some guy put a link to this dudes websites who is now starting his trip the start of October to head to Mongolia from the UK on a BMW Dakar 650...........!!!

I would say this is p#ss poor planning to start such a trip this time of year!?!?!?

He is planning to go across to Turkey then via Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan , Uzbekistan, Tajikistan GBAO, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia Altai, Mongolia

Does anyone know this dude, is he on the Hubb???

The link to his site Too Young For A Mid Life Crisis
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  #2  
Old 29 Sep 2013
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It's me! I left today. Mongolia and the region in general are hard places any time of year, hence why few people actually live there. That region is going to be cold by then but I expect to be in a hotel in Ulaanbaatar by mid to end of November before it gets really bad. January to April are thought to be to hardest months with May often having the thickest snowfall. November is on average incredibly dry there, no rain means no snow. Ice, sure. But I will be minimizing camping as much as possible. Easier said than done in Western Mongolia I know but I'm optimistic. Ultimately people live out there all year round, I'm sure I can get through a few weeks.

Mike
Too Young For A Mid Life Crisis
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  #3  
Old 29 Sep 2013
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Good luck mate.
Will keep an eye on your blog.

Nice title of the blog BTW!

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  #4  
Old 29 Sep 2013
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Hope you've packed your long johns and a snow plough


Good on you for braving the winter out there. Not for me. I like the sunshine and HATE the cold.
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  #5  
Old 29 Sep 2013
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WOW !
I will gladly accept the tittle of "gutless wimp" by saying I couldn't do that in winter. I question peoples sanity who go on skiing holidays- Its cold ! Bloody cold!

I might add I work outside all year in all weather and consider myself weather hardened.

Mike - I hope you know your limits. Yes people do live out in these places, but they also are born into it and know mother nature well and she is not very forgiving.

Have a great trip but stay safe...........and warm
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  #6  
Old 29 Sep 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjleat View Post
It's me! I left today. Mongolia and the region in general are hard places any time of year, hence why few people actually live there. That region is going to be cold by then but I expect to be in a hotel in Ulaanbaatar by mid to end of November before it gets really bad. January to April are thought to be to hardest months with May often having the thickest snowfall. November is on average incredibly dry there, no rain means no snow. Ice, sure. But I will be minimizing camping as much as possible. Easier said than done in Western Mongolia I know but I'm optimistic. Ultimately people live out there all year round, I'm sure I can get through a few weeks.

Mike
Too Young For A Mid Life Crisis
Good luck Mike, once you get there will you literally just turn around and come home? Keep posting on your blog, here or FB, it will give me some motivation!
Bazzer
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  #7  
Old 29 Sep 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjleat View Post
It's me! I left today. Mongolia and the region in general are hard places any time of year, hence why few people actually live there. That region is going to be cold by then but I expect to be in a hotel in Ulaanbaatar by mid to end of November before it gets really bad. January to April are thought to be to hardest months with May often having the thickest snowfall. November is on average incredibly dry there, no rain means no snow. Ice, sure. But I will be minimizing camping as much as possible. Easier said than done in Western Mongolia I know but I'm optimistic. Ultimately people live out there all year round, I'm sure I can get through a few weeks.

Mike
Too Young For A Mid Life Crisis
Good luck mate and at least you are doing something different so this should be a interesting ride report!

The weather is unpredictable from October on wards i would say,

snow fall was reported a few weeks ago in Mongolia by the short way round dude who is on a DRZ400 as he put a picture up on his facebook page, Helen who is out in Kyrgyzstan riding a horse stated on her posts that her water bottle freezes in the morning. Walter was out in Kazakhstan a few years ago and snow was fallen in October. i was in Tajikistan in August and the locals i was staying with (dude was about 60 and lived in the village all his life) said the last few days weather was the coldest they have ever had as it was "Novembers weather" in August

Your trip should be "interesting" i would say from Tajikistan onwards by looking at your planned route on your map.

I was going to carry on heading back from Kyrgyzstan 2 weeks ago up to Kazakhstan, Russia ect ect and the locals who live in Bishkek advise me that the weather from now on is unpredictable so i decided not to, when i was sitting in my comfy chair looking out the window catching a flight to Moscow there was frost on the runway, in Moscow for 2 days it rained heavy. its not the stero type 2 meters of snow people think is associated to these areas near winter but more the bad weather like rain/ heavy rain frost in the morning and all the rest of it.

I am heading back to Kyrgyzstan in around 4 weeks and was going to take another ride to Tajikistan but after speaking to my friends there they said probably best to take Lada Niva to be safe

Remember the following-

The ferry to Kazakhstan (Aktau) from Azerbaijan(Baku) is unpredictable with timings, i was going to take this but decided not to and headed up to Russia instead, check info here (thanks to snoar)

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...info-may-70320

What about tires when do you plan to get a new set as i would say once you leave Turkey your only next place for "good" tires is Almaty (Kazakhstan), however maybe you could source some in Kyrgyzstan in Osh or Bishkek

In Tajikistan you cant buy "anything" (However in the Pamir lodge in Khorog there is a load of random bike/car/motorbike bits knocking around in there garage which is just crying out for the A-team to turn up and make something) for your bike and i have never been to Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan so cant comment but from other peoples blogs i would say its hard to source spares.

Your trip to me sounds the wrong time of year but also sounds something i would of done at 21 years of age also

Good luck and if you need any advice just ask on here as alot of people have done your exact route or been where you are going so have a lot of advice to give
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  #8  
Old 29 Sep 2013
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As what he said, whats the plan once you get to Mongolia?

Do you have a Facebook page as i would be very interested to see your updates/pictures from Tajikistan onward. my facebook add is at the bottom of my post

As mentioned in around 4 weeks (25 october onwards) i am heading to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan so if you need any parts taken out i can help out, i also know a great bike mechanic there should you need any work or custom welding carried out for any adjustments on your bike.
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  #9  
Old 30 Sep 2013
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I've driven across Mongolia in October / November 2010, and I can tell you there was plenty of snow. One day it was around freezing, the next it was -20 and ankle-deep snow. That might not sound like much, but remember there are basically no roads in much of the country, and all the tracks get covered with snow, leaving you with no clue where you are and where to go. Think about that.

I would recommend you stay on the main 'southern' route as there is less likely to be snow, and it is more heavily used. I got caught by the winter on the northern route... I would not have wanted to be on a bike.

Camping out in -20 is perfectly possible, and can be fun, but make sure you have a -40 bag. A -15 bag will be miserble at anything less then -5.

This may not be very helpful, but I travelled in the north of Pakistan with a guy on an F650 Dakar, and it was a pig to start when it got near freezing, though it may have been due to the moderate altitude too. Remember that Mongolia is pretty high, typically around 1800 m in the west, from memory.

With preparation, you could do this. But don't kid yourself with weather statistics.
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  #10  
Old 30 Sep 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsprague View Post

This may not be very helpful, but I travelled in the north of Pakistan with a guy on an F650 Dakar, and it was a pig to start when it got near freezing, though it may have been due to the moderate altitude too. Remember that Mongolia is pretty high, typically around 1800 m in the west, from memory.

With preparation, you could do this. But don't kid yourself with weather statistics.
You'd certainly have to change the oil for a thinner winter weight oil AND the capacity of the battery is significantly reduced in freezing temperatures too.

A deep cycle battery with good cold cranking rating would be a very sensible idea.



Jeez, I feel cold just thinking about that trip..
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Last edited by *Touring Ted*; 30 Sep 2013 at 14:38.
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  #11  
Old 30 Sep 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsprague View Post
.

This may not be very helpful, but I travelled in the north of Pakistan with a guy on an F650 Dakar, and it was a pig to start when it got near freezing, though it may have been due to the moderate altitude too. Remember that Mongolia is pretty high, typically around 1800 m in the west, from memory.

With preparation, you could do this. But don't kid yourself with weather statistics.
If your bike is FI (from 2000 onwards model) then it should not be to much affected by the altitude, my DRZ suffered a little due to the altitude as i never adjusted my carb

I would defiantly try buy a set of small diameter long jump start leads to be safe if your battery dies so you can get a jump from passing motors if needed.
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  #12  
Old 30 Sep 2013
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just a thought

you could always remove battery and sleep with it
this will keep it nice and warm , makes a big differrence

just a thought
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  #13  
Old 30 Sep 2013
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Thank you for all of your replies, all have been genuinely helpful. I understand that the timing of the trip isn't ideal and I would prefer to have gone at a time when it would be more predictable. However, due to a combination of delays I was unable to go any earlier. I know some of you will be reading this thinking that if I couldn't have gone on time, I shouldn't have gone at all. But I'm sure you know that trips like this can be a fragile thing, I was concerned that if I didn't go now, it would never happen.

If/when I get there I will be getting into a warm hotel and arranging shipping of the bike. I'll be flying back.

As for cold starting, I've changed to thin 5W40 oil and have changed the battery for a Motobatt gel battery.

Any conditions updates are very welcome.

Thanks,
Mike
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  #14  
Old 30 Sep 2013
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I was concerned that if I didn't go now, it would never happen.
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  #15  
Old 30 Sep 2013
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If you have the time/money, ride to Greece or Turkey and enjoy the winter there and ride on in the spring thaw !!
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