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Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  #1  
Old 7 Mar 2013
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Riding solo in Mongolia

Hi!

I asked this on a thread about tyres, but I thought it'd be better to open a new thread, as I don't want to hijack that one

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...mongolia-68588


I'm going to ride Barcelona-Ulaanbataar this summer, leaving on the last week of June and hopefully getting there in a couple of months, which means that I should be entering Mongolia (through the Tashanta border) at the beginning of August.

I'll be riding solo on a 650cc Vstrom, with hard luggage. I've replaced the front and back springs for stiffer, progressive ones, rebuilt the rear shock and replaced the fork's inner seals and dust seals. The transmission kit, brake pads and brake discs are also new. I'll be using K60s

My experience offroad is very limited and I don't want to deliverately go looking for complicated narrow muddy tracks, as I am aware of both my limitations and the bike limitations (we're both road biased ). I can ride dirt roads without any problem, but I am wary of getting bogged down in mud, crossing rivers and any other stuff that would mean trouble if there's no one else there to give me hand.

So, the big question is... Northern or Southern route to Ulaanbaatar?

People seem to agree the Northern one is a no-no if it has been raining, and it's best avoided regardless of the weather if riding solo. It'll be August, so I hope it's drier... How hard is it?

The Southern route seems to be easier, but would it still be a problem if I'm riding on my own? And is the Northern route so much more interesting than the Southern one?

All opinions and experiences will be more than

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 7 Mar 2013
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hmm, you have a well set up bike but I see a problem:
The rims, the V Strom has no Spoke rims. That might be a problem if you go Mongolia.

If you reach Mongolia in the end of July or beginning of August there is quite a lot of guys from the "Mongol Rally" going there... You can probably tag along with them.
My riding partner in Siberia last year did the South road in Solo in Transalp 650 didn't had to much problem except maybe a river crossing in which he had to go with a truck... But then again, the rims of the V Strom could be a problem... Plus you should put a nice bash plate.
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  #3  
Old 7 Mar 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian View Post
Hi!

I asked this on a thread about tyres, but I thought it'd be better to open a new thread, as I don't want to hijack that one

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...mongolia-68588


I'm going to ride Barcelona-Ulaanbataar this summer, leaving on the last week of June and hopefully getting there in a couple of months, which means that I should be entering Mongolia (through the Tashanta border) at the beginning of August.

I'll be riding solo on a 650cc Vstrom, with hard luggage. I've replaced the front and back springs for stiffer, progressive ones, rebuilt the rear shock and replaced the fork's inner seals and dust seals. The transmission kit, brake pads and brake discs are also new. I'll be using K60s

My experience offroad is very limited and I don't want to deliverately go looking for complicated narrow muddy tracks, as I am aware of both my limitations and the bike limitations (we're both road biased ). I can ride dirt roads without any problem, but I am wary of getting bogged down in mud, crossing rivers and any other stuff that would mean trouble if there's no one else there to give me hand.

So, the big question is... Northern or Southern route to Ulaanbaatar?

People seem to agree the Northern one is a no-no if it has been raining, and it's best avoided regardless of the weather if riding solo. It'll be August, so I hope it's drier... How hard is it?

The Southern route seems to be easier, but would it still be a problem if I'm riding on my own? And is the Northern route so much more interesting than the Southern one?

All opinions and experiences will be more than

Thanks!
Ref your text that I highlighted: People don't agree i.e. Those that did it. The ones who say it's a no no in the rain haven't tried it or lack the riding ability, or both.

I've already written my answer in the other thread you've linked to. You describe your off pavement ability as poor. I suggest you stick to the S route to play it safe. Also there's, relatively speaking, a lot of traffic, so you can help with obstacles like rivers, sand etc.

I spotted this ueber-shed in western Mongolia. It belonged to a French bloke.





I saw the bike again in Ulaan Bataar, so he and his chums made it! He rode (was pushed along.... according to his mate... ) the southern route.
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  #4  
Old 7 Mar 2013
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Got a agree in entirety with Chris. Met a Swiss couple in October '11 in Bayan Olgai who'd ridden two-up on an old boxer that was never meant for dirt.

They did the southern route and found it challenging. I rode the Northern Route solo on my KTM ADV 950. It was FUN and beautiful but . . . not on a V-Strom unless you're prepared to go slow - 10 days ?

Plan on doing the Northern route again this year back out.
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  #5  
Old 7 Mar 2013
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Riding solo in Mongolia

Hello Killian! I'm from Barcelona and went to Ulanbaatar in 2010 following the southern route, easier and safer than the northern one. Don't hesitate to contact me for any info needed. I did the route with a Citroen Berlingo, taking part in te Mongol Rally, but saw plenty of bikes doing it. The surface was relatively easy, except some sand in the Gobi and 4 important river crossings, a little bit more challenging but nothing you can't achieve.
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Old 7 Mar 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post

I've already written my answer in the other thread you've linked to.

Just to keep everything in the same place, here's my reply to your question from the other thread you refer to:

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post
You seem to have a well set up bike. A VStrom is more pavement-oriented, IMHO, bear that in mind.

On either route, N or S, I wouldn't ride solo.

IMHO, by far, the most important factor when deciding where you go is your off-pavement riding ability. One person's "nightmare" is somebody else's "I had no problems, it was a piece of p!ss". You know what you can/can't do.

2 wheels is a lot harder than 4. Any novice can drive a car to most places, but novice off-pavement riders, particularly if riding a shed, will struggle. The N route is rockier and more likely to be damp. Also a lot more interesting. The S route is dryer and allegedly boring and anything will (and does) get through.

You may be an enduro champ already. Great, you'll have no problems N or S. If not, your profile says Barcelona, so ride the length of the Pyrenees off-pavement on your loaded VStrom and if you can do that you can easily ride the length of the Mongolian northern route.
Also read http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...rn-route-66127

Your question has been asked a lot. Here are some answers:

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...a-2012-a-59454

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...-through-64426

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...mongolia-59840
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  #7  
Old 7 Mar 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post
Ref your text that I highlighted: People don't agree i.e. Those that did it. The ones who say it's a no no in the rain haven't tried it or lack the riding ability, or both.
+1

Who said its impossible solo or in the wet?
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  #8  
Old 7 Mar 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post




I saw the bike again in Ulaan Bataar, so he and his chums made it! He rode (was pushed along.... according to his mate... ) the southern route.
Chris ... these pics are invaluable

Invaluable to people to learn how not to go to Mongolia. There is a lot of info on this site about Mongolia and the overriding theme of it from people who have been there is to travel as light as possible on as light a bike as is reasonable for you to take.

Another common theme of the advice here is that none of the roads in Mongolia are difficult, if you go on a light bike and pack light.

That box on the back is absurd. Not to mention the deck chair !
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Old 7 Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by YGio View Post
But then again, the rims of the V Strom could be a problem... Plus you should put a nice bash plate.
I know... I checked, but there are no spoke rims avaliable for my bike. I'll have to make do with the spokes ones and some decent tyres. I have to ride with what I have, no budget to get another bike!

As for the bash plate, I fitted one from Adventure MotoStuff, it was the one that seemed to offer the most protection.

Quote:
I saw the bike again in Ulaan Bataar, so he and his chums made it! He rode (was pushed along.... according to his mate... ) the southern route.
Is that GSA on road tyres??

Quote:
They did the southern route and found it challenging. I rode the Northern Route solo on my KTM ADV 950. It was FUN and beautiful but . . . not on a V-Strom unless you're prepared to go slow - 10 days ?
I was counting on precisely 10 days to get from the border to Ulaanbaatar, but I have allowed up to three months for the whole trip (BCN-Ulaanbaatar, back on the train from Irkutsk to Moscow and riding back to BCN), so I could take even longer. I don't plan to race across the country!
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Old 7 Mar 2013
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Quote:
Another common theme of the advice here is that none of the roads in Mongolia are difficult, if you go on a light bike and pack light.

That box on the back is absurd. Not to mention the deck chair !
i thought the same.
I woud not want to go on a rife like this with this amount of package.

Even with alu panniers, you can pack light.

Must have been a hard and difficult ride......
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  #11  
Old 7 Mar 2013
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I am amazed the rear subframe didnt collapse. When you look at the lever on it with that massive box so far back there.




I guess if you are going at walking pace there is not much stress on the subframe
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Old 7 Mar 2013
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And you dont have any weight on the front wheel, which is dangerous too
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Old 7 Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by klausmong1 View Post
And you dont have any weight on the front wheel, which is dangerous too
Good for wheelies though!

I go along with the lighter the better approach, you should be able to pick your own bike up without any help and without unloading it.
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Old 7 Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by spektakl View Post
Hello Killian! I'm from Barcelona and went to Ulanbaatar in 2010 following the southern route, easier and safer than the northern one. Don't hesitate to contact me for any info needed. I did the route with a Citroen Berlingo, taking part in te Mongol Rally, but saw plenty of bikes doing it. The surface was relatively easy, except some sand in the Gobi and 4 important river crossings, a little bit more challenging but nothing you can't achieve.
Sure! I've been planning for months, but there are still lots of questions to be answered... Send me your contact details on a PM and we can arrange a meet!
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  #15  
Old 7 Mar 2013
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Riding solo in Mongolia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian View Post
Sure! I've been planning for months, but there are still lots of questions to be answered... Send me your contact details on a PM and we can arrange a meet!
Ok, i'll do! Regards
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