November 06, 2006 GMT

After five days on the road, a little R&R at the Hotel Turist was just what the doctor ordered.


Next morning, Nikolai and I went off to explore Chita.

The city has a strong military presence


and history


pretty churches...


Aswell as signs of (ahem) Russian businessmen.


Still don't know who this dude is.


Even with Nikolai, we couldn't find an insurance company. We call our friendly
Chita biker Micha who shows up quick as a flash....


and takes me to my Insurance company where this nice lady signed me up for another 10 days for the princely sum of 200 roubles ($8.00)


Nikolai wasted no time talking to this one about his future insurance needs!


While Nikolai explored further, I needed to address the missing engine mounting bolt. Micha had arranged for his friend and mechanic, Micha (same name) to pick me up from the hotel. He took me back to his workshop. Wife and kids came by for a photo opp.


Micha informed me his 1984 CB 750 had been from Chita to Vladivostok...TWICE!!
I knew I was in good hands.

He roots through a big box of bolts until he finds one that's appropriate. The new bolt requires the frame to be retapped to receive it. Here he is tapping out the existing hole.


But what does he discover?


not one, but THREE major cracks to the BIKE MAINFRAME!!!


First, he has to get the new bolt on...nothing like a 3lb lump hammer to get the frame to line up....yikes!!!


This is bolt installed by Triumph.


This is the bolt installed by Micha!


It may not be pretty, but, with thousands of miles ahead, it's solid as a rock.
But what about the cracks to the frame?

Enter the Doctor!!!


After stripping the bike down and preparing the cracks in the metal


Micha goes to work with the oxy-acetylene!!!


Damn fine job!!!


finishing touches with a can of silver paint


Back in business!!!


Micha was a true mechanic. He reversed the front fender so that my mudguard extender became the solid leading FRONT edge of my fender...genius!!! Brilliant Russian ingenuity using the materials to hand to provide a solution. In America, a new fender would have been ordered, would have taken four weeks to arrive and would have cost me $17,495.00 plus tax!


When a torx driver broke, Micha took a nasty gouge to his finger. Didn't swear, didn't shout, just wrapped it up and continued to work!!!


The work had taken all afternoon...about six hours. Bear in mind he met me at my hotel, led me to his workshop and put aside all other work to fix my bike. Ahh the brotherhood of the bike!!!!
Micha charged me 1500 roubles for his troubles (about $60.00). I didn't have the roubles on me, but was very glad to give him a crispy Franklin for his troubles. This is his bike next to my undressed Tiger.


Last night in Chita, Nikolai with a haircut. I had spent the last 3 weeks with Nikolai and he had made the trip far more interesting and fun. I was sorry to part ways, but was also ready to go on solo. Thanks Nikolai for all the good times!!!


Sadly, the very next night, Nikolai was set upon by three thugs who beat him up really badly...they re-arranged his face, literally. He was in the hospital for a few days, then went back to Kharbarovsk to heal. He is now somewhere in Korea living free!!! God bless and good luck Nikolai!!!


I was lucky enough to meet the beautiful Olga on my last day in Chita. We are still e-mailing each other....I'll keep you posted!


And thanks to Micha who offered non stop help throughout my stay in Chita. He led me out of the city and directed me to the road to Ulan Ude. Thanks a lot Micha...true biker spirit!!!


Here I go again, on my own...


Posted by Richard Lindley at November 06, 2006 05:40 PM GMT

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!