Two months before departure. It is now time to put an update. Our itinerary is slightly different. I put a map below. Instead of crossing Scandinavia, we will ride through Poland instead.
I have now my Business multi entry Visa for Russia, and Alistair should get his in the next two weeks. We are pretty much sorted on what we are taking, keeping in line with our “minimalist” packing.
Now about the bikes. Some people spend a fortune preparing and kitting up their bikes. We don’t. However, we prepare the bikes with the best quality parts that we can find. So here is a list of what needs to be done on both bikes. We replaced about the same parts with the Hondas, 2 years ago, and doing the same with the XT and TTR. So this is for both bikes:
- New durable chain;
- New Sprockets;
- Heavy duty inner tubes;
- New “dual“ tyres;
- New wheel bearings;
- Check other bearings/replace if necessary;
- New oil filter;
- New Air filter;
- Fit power sockets;
- Replace batteries for sealed (gel) batteries;
- Fit VERY LOUD horns;
- Bigger fuel tank on the TTR;
- Fit luggage rack on the TTR;
- Check valve clearances;
- Replace oil.
And our trusted mechanic will give an all-over sanity check on both bikes, just in case. Both bikes are very tough so we do not expect any mechanic problem this time, as long as we keep them oiled :D.
Departure date is set to Sunday 12th of June. Our “home and pet sitters” will arrive on the 9th, so that give them and the dog time to know each other before we leave.
We have not booked the ferry yet, but we will ride up to Harwich and take the ferry to the Hook of Holland.
From there, we will cross quickly Germany and get into Poland and the Baltic states. Then we will have plenty of time to explore Russia high and low before we cross Kazakhstan.
Now, 2 years ago, we had to cross Kazakhstan very quickly on the 1st leg of our journey, and we had to take a detour to Almaty on the second leg, because of the registration rules. This time, things will be easier. Visa can now be obtained at the border, and that includes 15 days registration. So we may have time to check out further eastern Kazakhstan, avoiding crazy Almaty, before we get to Kyrgyzstan. From there, depending on time left, we will try to get into Tajikistan.