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Part One Roundup

As luck would have it there was a multi-hour power cut in the production offices (the garage) a day before I got back and the last two messages have been stuck in limbo. [The system has processed them as I type:- Ed.]

Future Plans

As noted, there'll be news updates from time to time as I work my way through the plethora of visas required for the return trip and any other related minutiae. The return trip's paperwork is dominated, as noted elsewhere, for the requirements of China (the bike must be registered as Chinese -- I think I get a Chinese number plate, though probably not for keeps -- and I need a Chinese driving licence and then I have to get the usual visas and then arrange a guide etc.) as opposed to the sheer number of visas required this time: India (re-entry), Nepal, Pakistan, China, Krygyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Khazakstan, Russia then, depending on whether I want to put in a early challenge to my Mum's visited country count, either Ukraine and Europe or a dalliance through Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova (does anyone go there?) and somehow get to Poland before heading back across Europe. That might sound easy but Russia has closed several borders over various matters.

I'm heading out in June as being something of a warm weather sort I want to avoid going through high mountain passes (Pakistan/China border is at 4700m, the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan has at least two 4600m passes, the highest navigable road is at Khardung La, just north of Leh in Jammu & Kashmir, India and is a tempting 5655m) in anything resembling ice or snow. However, as many people have observed, that means I'll be visiting the remainder of Rajasthan in June (it was 50C in 2010), the Taklamakan desert in China in July and running across the steppes of Khazakstan and Russia in August. I might have been fine on this trip where my daily average temperature must have been close to 35C (and that includes the cold days recently) but I might be looking at something closer to an average 40-45C for part two.

I don't suppose there'll be quite as many 3* hotels either...


I was tempted to drive round the block several times to get a nice round figure but the distance from my house to AK's was 34,958km. I've kept a record of the fuel I've bought and mileage which I've not (yet) number crunched but my guesstimate is that I do about 22km per litre (about 62mpg) which means I've bought something over 1500 litres of petrol. Petrol might be cheap in Iran (approx. EUR 0.3) but in most countries outside Europe and Turkey it is a little under a Euro per litre. When the Indians, especially, asked about my "average" and found it was 22km/l they became a little less enamoured of the amazing machine in front of them. They expect something closer to 60km/l, if not more.

Bike Bits

  1. I'm on my third chain and sprocket set. I think I'll be taking another out with me.

  2. My front and rear brakes are now metal on metal so I've finished off the original front pads and burnt through a second set of rear pads.

    1. I've a spare set of front pads on the bike so those will be swapped on first thing in June and I'll take out another set.
    2. I'll take out three sets of rear pads, one to go one immediately and two as spares.
    3. I've been uming and ahing about taking out spare brake disks in case I've damaged these (by having metal on metal for a short while). Not sure about that.
  3. I used my spare oil filter a long time ago so I'll probably take out three, one to go one immediately.

  4. My tyres are not only bald but when knobblies get this low the knobbles tend to tear the main body of the tyre and, in my case, reveal the inner tube below! I have a bad picture somewhere. New tyres required.

    I think I'll only take the one set of tyres and take a chance on reaching civilization in Khazakstan/Russia to get some kind of road tyres for the rest of the trip.

    I tried to buy some luggage which would fit tyres in (as though I might be able to smuggle tyres past customs and avoid paying duty) but it turns out tyres are actually quite large and luggage isn't. Not even the rear would fit into the large suitcases. I'll need to get a quote from the Kaulson people to see how much it would cost me via them vs. simply bringing a set with me (doesn't everyone bring tyres with them as check-in luggage?) and paying the customs duty -- there's no disguising tyres, though I'd like to think I can claim them as for personal use.

Otherwise the bike seems in pretty good health. Well, apart from the exhaust bracket falling off. And the pannier rack bolts snapping. And some plastic pins falling off.


My waterproof/thermal layer trousers' waterproof layer was badly damaged when they were caught in the chain so I'll need a new pair of those (assuming I can get them otherwise I might resort to some gaffer tape...). My heated jacket was also visibly attacked by the chain but not torn. The manufacturers claim that the material itself is electrically conductive (and therefore heating) so tears do not affect it. I'll have to believe them as it's in India.

I used a single can of shaving foam and a single tub of shower gel. The latter is thanks to paying enough for (or badgering the staff for) hotel soap and sometimes shampoo (I don't need much). I'm only on my second tube of toothpaste -- I'd have thought I'd use more. I didn't use nearly as much DEET (anti-mozzie) spray as I thought I would except where melting my big drybag was concerned.

Speaking of which I think I'll buy a bigger drybag so that all my non-riding gear can fit in the one -- most night I was taking four bags off the bike (big drybag, little drybag, tent and bag containing shoes which had been in a pannier). Perhaps it doesn't need to contain the tent.

My EEEPC has died. I've not looked more closely yet but it would be a real bore if it is properly dead as manufacturers of netbooks have forgotten the reason that netbooks stormed the world initially: they are small! A 12" netbook is a laptop! Put more oomph in my 9" netbook, please!


I've not counted but I'm going to guess there are the best part of 3,000 pictures floating about. I need to make some editorial decisions on them, add lat/long information and then I'll publish them for all to see.

Poor quality holiday snaps. Don't get too excited.


I took my video and bullet camera but haven't taken them out of the bag. At all. Well, OK, I took the bullet camera out to show someone who didn't know what one was. So, no dull video. (hooray?)

Claims Department

Whilst I was away a recorded delivery letter appeared regarding filling in a claim form for something that happened on the 31st August -- the day the camp bed fell off my bike and brought the M20 to a halt. Who? Me?

It looks like this is an ambulance chaser chasing me though I'm slightly concerned about how much information they seem to have about me: registration number (which the Highway Patrol might have taken down), then name, address, telephone number. Where did they get all that from? I need to read their letter a bit more closely.

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