A month has passed since my last post here. It wasn't just a break from writing, but also riding. Somehow, the two seem to work together. I've only started moving one week ago so you haven't missed much of the road. A few things have to be known before I proceed. Turkey is where I was born and raised. My family and friends live in Ankara, the capital. This has been a psychological mid-point on the route. This is where the west ends and the east begins. This is where I intended to take a 15 day break to see my family, apply for visas and take a good look at the bike. I did all of these, but it took twice as much. Central Asian beurocracy operates in a weird way. The embassies have no authority in approving a visa application. They're like post offices where you submit and receive ...Read More

I was at Leif's this weekend. He was nice enough to spend his Sunday with me in the shop working on the bike. We installed the new shock and rerouted the electrical cable for the halogen lights. It doesn't sound much when you say it like that but this took almost all day. The Wilbers preload adjuster is not designed to go in the standard location on a V-Strom. Leif took his time to manufacture a steel bracket to host the adjuster on the original place. This is his art, and he does it with pleasure. I like people who give themselves to what they do. You can see it in everything they do. He had spent most of his time last few years on developing a clutch system. Patented and all... I saw the part. It is simply amazing. I can easily say that it is the most precise ...Read More

I have finally received the Mino HD. The video is surprisingly impressive. I like the possibilities it creates. I already mounted the action mount to my helmet. A RAM Mount is in order and soon I'll be recording videos from my helmet and handlebar during the ride. I had a weird issue with the battery today. It wasn't charging from the ac outlet and the car adapter. I had to reset the device and use the computer USB. I need to test this again. It may be a temporary issue with the plug I was using. Here is some other good news. I discovered another category of devices on the market. USB to USB transfer. They help transfer files and folders from one device to another without a computer. This gives me virtually unlimited video storage capacity. All I need is a bunch of solid state drives. There are so many exciting ...Read More

When it comes to recording the trip, I have serious considerations. I've done quite a few trips so far. The visual documentation has always been an issue. The problem is usually with the time and effort it takes to make a proper recording. When you have a decent sized tripod and a full feature camera, it's very easy to skip a good moment just because you are tired. Camera equipment is also a big weight and risk. It can easily be stolen or damaged. I also think the quality is secondary to the quantity of footage in this case. I don't remember too many instances where I was sorry about the focus or framing. But I do remember not having any records of those long and hard bits. With this in mind, I've been looking into solid state cameras with no moving parts. They are much smaller because they ...Read More

I found a perfect combo. The traditional Islamic prayer socks; Mes, and off-road crocs. I like wearing crocs on a campspot after riding all day in heavy boots. They are flexible and pack light. The only downside was that they are not convertible to warm shoes when your feet get cold at night. Taking another set of shoes would be too much. So I use these leather socks inside the crocs. Breathable, warm, flexible. Now I can take the crocs off to get into the tent or while dressing. And I can still wear them alone walking in rivers or swimming. East meets west. Cool. Read More

Below is a list I made earlier for a group trip that never happened. I need to update this. Panniers A solid luggage solution is necessary if you want to keep your stuff tidy and protected. Touratech, Zega, Hepco and Becker, Givi and SW Motech are some of the most reliable ones. Lockable and quick-release ones are preferable. Top Case A top case is the best way to expand your storage. It uses the rear rack of your bike and gives extra support for items you may want to tie on the back. Use the top case for most valuable and fragile items. It's less likely to break on a crash and away from water. Tank Bag Tank bags are great for quick-reach items. Some of them have transparent water resistant map pockets. Ease of removal is important when filling the tank and leaving the bike alone. Crash Bars It will probably happen and you will be thankfull. Wind ...Read More

Motorcycle Clothing Helmet, leather gloves, motorcycle boots, jacket and pants, balaclawa, waist herness. Other Clothing Hiking boots, sandals, convertible pants, magic belt with money compartment, swimsuit, T-Shirt, long sleeve shirt, thermal pants and shirt, 5 pairs of underwear, 6 pairs of socks, polar sweater, cap. Toiletries All purpose soap, lip balm, shampoo, shaving set, toothbrush and paste, nail clipper, toilet paper, sunscreen, eye drops, towel. Camping Gear Tent or bivac, sleeping bag, Therm-a-rest mattress, stove with gas container, cooking pot, plate and cup, silverware, headlight, multi-purpose torch, Swiss Army Knife, two canteens (1 and 2 L), mosquito and insect repellent, olive oil container, salt, pepper, other foods (rice, lentils, coffee, sugar, can of tomato sauce, etc.), rag for cleaning dishes, matches, rubber bands. First Aid Kit Malaria pills, constipation pills, diarrhea pills, motion sickness pills, anthistaminic pills, flu antibiotics, aspirin, Band-Aids, sterile bandages, syringe, sterile gloves, mosquito bite relief. Tank Bag and Pocket Items Sun glasses, small compass, writing book and ...Read More