October 23, 2006 GMT
Escape from Skovorodino...

Here's Nikolai's stemming the flow of blood from his hand. He's also bootless as he had to surrender his boots when he was pinned under the bike.

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Close up of some of Nikolai's road rash. It was his index fingernail that took the worst hit.

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He was fixed up for free at the clinic. Yes, that's right...free health care...what a concept!


So, how did I come off?

The first reason, without doubt, was pilot error. I had taken to riding very close to the verge constantly seeking the best route through the rough roads. There is often a gravel build up on the edge of the roads as shown in this photo.

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It was the end of a gruelling day, sun in my eyes...

Nikolai took this shot seconds before we crashed


When I hit the gravel build up I knew I was in trouble. When you're riding solo, the immediate reaction is to standup on the footpegs. When you're riding two up, manoeverability is impaired by the dead weight of your passenger. I had two choices. I could keep going off the road into a tree, or I could try to manoever back to the road.

I chose the latter of course, which made the front tyre 'snowplough' into the gravel, loosing valuable traction and BAM!!!!! down on the flinty Russian mountain road at 35 m.p.h.

I was fine thanks to my ARAI helmet. Always wear a helmet kids!!!

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I was wearing fingerless gloves so I could have easily had my hands mashed if it wasn't for the fine safety design of the Triumph.

This guy couldn't take the bike but Nikolai gets a ride to Skovorodino to try and find a tow truck.

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In his absence, I had determined the damage wasn't too bad

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Fairing took a nasty hit but she started right up. These folks took our gear and the broken bike bits and we rode in convoy the 3 kms to Skovorodino.

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Nikolai had managed to hook up with the local Mafia dude who had a car wash business. Managed to get the bike secured.


We got a cheap hotel room, bought some food and champagne and cheered ourselves up. At this point, there was talk of putting ourselves and the bike back on a train to Khabarovsk and call it a day. There is a shock period that always accompanies an accident. Compound that with being so far from home, the uncertainty of the damage to the bike and being in an unfriendly Russian town. Thank heaven's for Nikolai's good humour and companionship.


Still smiling!!!


Next morning at the car wash, Valerie and Dima offered mechanical assistance. Check out the difference between the handgrip guards. The right hand one saved my throttle hand being mashed.

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The fairing brackett had bent again. We bent it back into it's place. I wonder if BMW GS Adventurers have this problem. With the Beemer, the fairing brackett is an extension of the main frame, not a bolt on item like the Triumph.


Other damage...

Thank heavens for the Touratech crash bars. Major engine damage avoided


Also the right hand aluminum pannier took a major hit. Because the box was mounted to a steel frame, made specifically for the Tiger by Motosport, the Triumph was bulletproof and this crash proved it. I used my 'fast steel' two part epoxy to fashion a repair to the damaged corner of the pannier.

Time to call out all the King's horses and men again...


To put my windshield together!!!

This is the bluntest drill bit in Russia


It's alive, IT'S ALIVE!!!!


With some cable ties, re-salvaged bike bits and packing tape...


The 'brave Englishman' is ready to continue his journey


Thanks to Valerie, Dima and the boys at the carwash


They refused money when I offered...true sign of quality.

Was very glad to escape from Skovorodino.


Despite initial doubts, Nikolai decided to continue on our odyssey.


The boys back on the road to Chita.


Posted by Richard Lindley at October 23, 2006 07:21 PM GMT

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