ARTICLES

KTM 690 ENDURO – 100.000 km / 60.000 mi without a breakdown!

“TRIBUTE TO AN UNDERESTIMATED THUMPER”

It’s done: My black beauty Чернота crushed the 100.000 km or 60.000 mi mark!

Back in 2014, when I first informed myself about the 690ty, I learned two things: The 690ty is 1.) a unicorn and 2.) it’s very unreliable. I can’t confirm this. My black beauty Чернота proofed the opposite … .

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TET HUNGARY 2019-Day 04

“BACK PAIN”

I like the two simple words “Adventure Riding”: “Riding” with a motorcycle is in my opinion the modern incarnation of freedom and the word “Adventure” adds some enjoying small risks into the formula “Adventure Riding”.
This riding day no. 4 showed me well, that sometimes the “Adventure” can be bigger than estimated. In my special case it was a bit too big for my modest riding skills. But fear not, at least I managed the situation …

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TET HUNGARY 2019-Day 03-Part 01

“SANDY TRAILS”

Since riding a dualsport motorcycle I haven’t made much experience with sandy riding conditions. My old girl Чернотa and I have been a few times within a sand pit, but there was never a constant closed sand surface for proper practicing. That was one of the reasons why I’ve chosen this part of the TET for this journey. On one hand side it is easy reachable from my hometown, on the other hand side it is providing a very long sand part. Here is the first part about solving my deficit in sand-riding on the third day of our journey along the Hungarian Trans-Trans-Euro-Trail …

Continue reading TET HUNGARY 2019-Day 03-Part 01

TET HUNGARY 2019-Day 02

“SPIDER BIKE”

Riding along the Trans Euro Trail, or generally riding along remote tracks means, that you have to deal sometimes with unexpected happenings. Often the riding conditions turn worse, a breakdown happens, or other things went odd which you haven’t thought about in advance. On day two of this ride, short after the early mornings entrance to Hungarys Trans Euro Trail, my black beauty and I have been confronted with a combination of bad conditions and unexpected happenings, which let us change the plan. It seems that it’s not possible for to ride a planned route in one piece. But hey, that is what makes my little ride outs adventurous …

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TET HUNGARY 2019-Day 00

“OVERVIEW”

It seems like the TET-Virus got me in 2019! After doing the eastern section of the Polish TET in April, I did just two months later the Hungarian TET. Beforehand I can say, that it was a superb ride which brought me with my six-ninety two times on my own limits whilst trying to follow it. What I learned from this ride is the following thing: Never ever overestimate your own skills! Riding about one quarter below the own maximal abilities would be good personal posture for future rides. More about the origin of this inspiration in the incoming reports of that ride.
Let’s start with the plan behind this adventurous undertaking …

Continue reading TET HUNGARY 2019-Day 00

DAYRIDE 2019_02

“THE INDUSTRIEVIERTEL RIDE”

Like my last day ride, the “WEINVIERTEL RIDE”, this day rides route is located in the state Lower Austria and went mostly through the “Industrieviertel” (= English: “Industrial Quarter).
I planned a good amount of the route along gravel, which wasn’t that easy, because the Industrieviertel is dense populated. But hey! Чернотa is a Dual-Sport-Motorcycle so its also able to handle some tarmac when necessary. So, here’s the report of this fine day of riding …

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TET POLAND 2019-Day 04

“STRUCKING HOME”

It was bucketing the whole night. In the very early morning also some distant lightning started and I woke up. A look at the weather forecast was predicting heavy showers all the day in southeastern Poland-the area I was currently riding. With the less knobby back tire such heavy mud like yesterday along Poland’s TET wouldn’t be a pleasure to ride, …

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TET POLAND 2019-Day 03

WET & DIRTY

Already at the end of first day of this ride to Eastern Poland, I had an apprehensive look at the weather forecast. It announced for the third day of my ride incoming heavy showers in the area, which I was going to ride through. Often these forecasts are not reliable, but I knew from the Late Spring Ride 2018 and the Iron Curtain Ride 2018, that I’m not the luckiest guy, when it comes to the factor weather.
Also, on this riding day number three along Polands-Trans-Euro-Trail, the weather was a real pain in the ass …

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TET POLAND 2019-Day 02

“HOGS AND SAND”

Like the first night of the “Iron Side Ride 2018”, I was disturbed during these trips first camping night. Around midnight, I woke up because of a pack of wild hogs, which was rummaging around in the dry leafs around my tent.
The noises they’ve made like: grunting, sniffing and loud breathing had been very frightening to me! I haven’t had any experiences with these animals before. Horror stories of big teethed boars ripping my tent into pieces came up in my mind …

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TET POLAND 2019-Day 01

“RIDE THE LINE”

My plan for this trip was to make plenty of miles on the first and on the last day. Therefore, I created a route from Vienna to the Polands northeastern corner, which was as straight and short as possible. The sooner we would reach the TET, the better it would be! Because I haven’t planned any sights along this route, I was curious what this first day ride along many small and big roads and also some gravel tracks would bring …

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TET POLAND 2019-Day 00

“THE DRAWING”

In the year 2018 I tried with a buddy of mine to ride parts of the Slovenian TET. Due to an accident of my riding buddy and bad weather conditions I was forced to abort this plan. A year later I gave the superb TET Project (Trans Euro Trail) a new chance and planned this ride to the eastern section of Polands TET-Trail. Here’s the simple plan behind this adventure …

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DAYRIDE 2019_01

“THE WEINVIERTEL RIDE”

With the beginning of 2019 I found out, that I was slowly running out of gravel roads in my closer surrounding. Most of them I had already ridden. Hence, I made the plan to conquer new territories and had a closer look to the maps. The Austrian state “Lower Austria” is divided in four quarters, what seems to be a good idea to start with. One quarter is the “Weinviertel”, where I decided to make a gravel focused dual-sport riding day. Here you will find the report about this nice dual-sport-day-ride, which I call “The Weinviertel Ride” …

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THE IRON SIDE RIDE 2018-Day 03

“WEATHER”

Being alone on an adventure trip is sometimes a risky thing. You have to overthink some decisions twice before making a final choice. Hence, your choice should be a good one, because you have to deal with the consequences on your own.
Most of the time such decisions are related to simple tasks like where to go back on road for the next stop for fuelling up or to buy some food. Often also an estimation is needed regarding if a track is ride able without taking too much peril (slope, dense vegetation, road damage …) for you and your bike.
But none of these listed points is so difficult to calculate in advance like the dynamic factor weather is. On this last riding day of the Iron Side Ride 2018 this unknown factor in the adventure-riding-formula was steadily growing during this day’s riding progress …

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THE IRON SIDE RIDE 2018-Day 02-Part 1

“FORMER LINES”
Part 1

*Scratch*, *scratch*, *scratch*, …, …, *plonnng* *crinkle* *crinkle*
… that are just a few noises which you can hear while lying in a tent, trying to sleep. Often fine needles, leaves or branches from a tree falling down onto the tent sheet, or some insects are rummaging around make this noises.
During the first camping night from the Iron Curtain Ride a mouse or something similar “big” found its way underneath the groundsheet of my tent and caused an uncommon annoying noise. Normally I’m not the person which is paying attention to these noises, but this time that thing had stamina and came back again a few times during the first camping night of this ride. Sadly I wasn’t able to get this little disturber. -_-

But now enough of this, here’s the first part of the ride report of the second day of the Iron Side Ride 2018 …

Continue reading THE IRON SIDE RIDE 2018-Day 02-Part 1

THE IRON SIDE RIDE 2018-Day 00

“THE UNDERTAKING”

During one of my day rides in 2017 I was following a short part of the Iron Curtain in eastern Austria. There I got the idea that it would be interesting to plan a ride along this former border, which found its end 1989, when the USSR began to fall apart.
So the plan for the Iron Side Ride 2018 was made, which followed the remnants of this former, continent dividing and human made continental breach. Here’s the story behind this undertaking …

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THE PACKING LIST

When I started my first adventure trip to the north cape back ago in the year 2012 my former bike was looking like a low loader.

It was packed to the top like a fully equipped, so called nowadays “Adventure-Bike”, right out of a Bavarian advertising catalogue, with loads of stuff, which hasn’t been used once during three weeks of travelling. After a second-long distance trip (with even larger alloy side boxes) I was fed up with heaving around such a mass of weight through the mountains of Greece, Montenegro and Albania

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THE LATE SPRING RIDE 2018-Day 04

“BACK”

Plans are always good, but most of the time they didn’t work. This ride showed me that fact well. First the accident of my riding and support buddy, second: due to the heavy winter remaining and route blocking snow in Friuli’s heights and here on the last day of the ride: the real bad weather. But hey! No reason for wailing around –> When things go wrong the adventure starts and each step out of the comfort zone is gaining the riders abilities.

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THE LATE SPRING RIDE 2018-Day 02/1

“THE INCIDENT”
Part 1

The plan was to ride with a buddy some Slovenian Gravel, the Mangart Pass Road, two Italian high alpine connection trails and parts of the Slovenian Trans Euro Trail aka TET. The thing with plans is that sometimes they aren’t working as estimated.
The Late Spring Ride 2018 showed me well that sometimes a whole plan can go awry … .

Continue reading THE LATE SPRING RIDE 2018-Day 02/1

THE LATE SPRING RIDE 2018-Day 00

“THE IDEA”

This is the ride report of another short adventure, which a good friend of mine and I undertook in the late spring of the year 2018 with our 690tys.
With the beginning of 2018 I started to plan a new short adventure with its focus within the alpine areas around north-eastern Italy and western Slovenia. Especially the part in Slovenia was interesting due to some parts of the Trans European Trail have been included in this plan. Here’s a short overview of the planned route

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2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 04

“HOMEWARDS”

Each trip finally find its end. And so did the “Long Weekend Trip in the Alps” on the riding day number four.
Staying the last night in my homeland was nice. It started with the first views of the familiar surrounding, then the parental home, the good food and last but not least the most important point: The great sleep. I don’t know why but nearly nowhere else I sleep that well. Strange. So the last day of this ride began quite well rested …

Continue reading 2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 04

2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 03

“TIROL”

During my rides I often try to implement something special. On day number three of “The Long Weekend Ride in the Alps” my black beauty and I aimed for the highest point of this trip – another cable car peak station in Tirol, which is known from one of the latest James Bond movies. Besides an old construction track there is no official road leading up to this station, but that shouldn’t be a problem with a proper dual-sport-adventure-motorcycle. Here’s the story about the whole day and climbing with a motorcycle to one of the highest vehicle-reachable points in the Austrian Alps.

Continue reading 2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 03

2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 02/1

“UPWARDS”
Part 1

“Overwhelming!”

There is not much more to say about this idea.
The second day of the “The Long Weekend Ride in the Alps” was a real eye opener. It showed pretty well what is possible in over regulated Austria apart from well known tourism sights and often dense crowded tourism areas.

Have a look …

Continue reading 2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 02/1

2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 01

“START”

For a little breakout of the everyday life I like it to go for a ride. Sometimes smaller ones – mostly for a whole day – but sometimes also for bigger ones – like this ride here.
The most important thing for me about such rides is to leave behind the usual annoying stuff and do something exiting, challenging and uncertain. In my opinion that is what makes life worth living. This ride is such a little escape from my daily routine …

Continue reading 2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 01

2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 00

THE PLAN

In May/June 2017 I’ve done a big dual-adventure-ride along the Carpathian and Balkan Region for ten days and nearly 5000km or 3100mi. Only two months later the desire for another little adventure was again itching.
It wasn’t long before the next ride was planned. On a long weekend at the end of August 2017 I took the opportunity and went with my trusty black beauty Чернотa right into the Austrian- and a short piece of the Northern Italian-Alps.

Continue reading 2017-THE LONG WEEKEND RIDE IN THE ALPS-DAY 00

DAY RIDE 2018_06

“THE ZILLERTALER SCENIC ROAD”

September 2018: I was a few days for Holiday in Austria’s most beautiful state Salzburg. There are many opinions about that but for me surely Salzburg is the prettiest one out of nine states in total.
Being in the most western county of Salzburg called “Pinzgau” I had time for a short ride.
So I made a decision and I went off with my black beauty to visit the Zillertaler-Scenic-Road in the neighbor state Tirol. This is a panorama track leading around the top of a mountain near the village “Zell am Ziller” and it provides a few nice views to the northern Alps …

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 10

“HOME”

The last day of the Project Carpathian Balkan was a short one. To my hometown Vienna only a few km have been left over.
On one hand side I was happy that the trip found on this day its end. I was pushing hard each day of this tour to make some mileage and was a bit exhausted because of that; on the other hand I was looking forward to coming back to my beloved ones. As often in life there are two sides on the same coin. If I hadn’t pushed so hard the last days, I won’t be now so close at home … . Interesting thoughts! But hey, I’m not the homesick guy! Believe me! ^_^

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DAY RIDE 2018_05

“THE AFTERNOON GRAVEL RIDE”

In August 2018 I tried a new track in my closer surrounding. The track itself was planned via open source material available online. As always I have to say that the online map material is in the meanwhile grown to a really mighty routing tool set.
With it it’s a pleasure to plan such tracks which is finally also working in the field. You will see it in the great impressions below which I’d taken on this afternoon ride …

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 09

“NORTHWARDS”

Only two riding days are left until this trip – “The Project Carpathian Balkan” – is over. Two days earlier than planned. Memo to me: Next time ride and hurry less! But I know myself and I don’t think that I will take a slower pace in the future. That’s not related to my being, which wants to use the given time properly.
So my exhausting riding style, with a high amount of mileage each day will likely stay with me. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. Overall I really like to see the landscape passing by, sitting on the back of my trusty black beauty. The time is flying away …

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DAY RIDE 2018_04

“THE APRIL RIDE”

April 2018:
In Austria we have a saying which means in English something like: “The month April is doing what he will!” That saying is based on the weather in this time of the year. Most of the time it is changing very often in short time. From Sun, rain and snow everything can happen within a few KM of riding. This ride out is a good example for showing how alternating the weather in the month April in Austria could be. So if you plan a trip to Austria, be aware of rude weather conditions until begin/middle of may!
Now, here’s the day ride report:

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 08

“THE ADRIATIC COAST”

Spending a few days out only equipped with a tent and the stuff which is stow-able on a dual sport motorcycle always make me wondering about how less gear is needed for a trip like this. We are living in a world of things. In this world we are often defining our self through these things, which seems somehow stupid. Isn’t it? Whatever: After a long ride on the day before through the enduro paradise Albania, this day was a relaxing ride along nice coastal scenery.

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DAY RIDE 2018_03

“FIRST SIGNS OF SPRING”

A Sunday in April 2018 – The days are longer now and spring is quickly incoming. The fields slowly turned into a fresh looking green and in the mountains was still a good amount of snow left over.
This day ride was a nice spring / winter mix along one of my favorite tarmac house routes. Please feel free to have a look at the attached pictures down below …

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 07

“ALBANIA”

​Albania is a great country. Especially for little adventure riders like me, which were trying to find the small adventure with their motorcycle out there. But no planned remote trips at this journey for me and Чернотa.

Because I’ve already done parts of Macedonia and Albania a few years before, I used both countries on this trip just for transit. Few people would now think that’s sad, but I don’t think that it is. Due to the usage of mostly back country roads also a transit ride through Albania has its highlights. Trust me, you will find them further down below … ^_^

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DAY RIDE 2018_02

“THE SNOW RIDE”

As mentioned in my last day ride report, despite the calm temperatures the winter wasn’t over in eastern Austria. At the beginning of February 2018 the cold came back and left a bit of snow behind.
Despite that there was a big desire to take my black beauty Чернотa out for a ride. “Let´s give it a try!”, was my thought, and so we did.
Retrospectively it was really exhausting to ride the 690ty with 50/50 tires under these conditions. But overall it also was a great fun and it sharpened the reflexes of the rider. Here are a few impressions which have been taken before the numb fingers refused taking any photos more. ^^

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 06

“BULGARIA”

Memo to me: Don’t use a Swiss knife with a foldable blade (and no mechanical catch) for drilling holes into the sturdy fabric of a soft luggage bag. While doing this the day before to repair the bag, I put too much pressure on the knife to get a hole in it. Due to a bad move while drilling, the knife collapsed while my hand was tightly closed around it’s handle. So my right index finger got cut between the collapsing blade and the handle. Instantly I’ve stretched quick the instantly heavily bleeding finger above my head. In this position I ran to the motorcycle for the first aid kit. With it, some additional plasters from the luggage and some electrical tape I made a working pressure bandage for the incoming night …

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DAY RIDE 2018_01

“JUST RIDING AROUND”

The cold is not over now. Winter will surely take another four or six weeks until it’s finally gone here in eastern Austria.
But as you know that’s no reason for staying at home where the fight against the winter depressions is still ongoing. Not for me!
For this day ride I had no special plan. I just put some warm clothes on, a bottle of water was stowed into the tank bag and I took the camera with me for making some nice photos on the way.
The route itself was a mix up from well known gravel tracks and a few new shortcuts which I’ve chosen randomly along the way.

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 05

STRATEGICA

​While planning the Project-Carpathian-Balkan-Tour I wasn’t sure how much gravel tracks I should do per day. So I set the focus on some for me important points along the planned route and tried to make a well-balanced mix of on- and off-road riding per day.
This day my personal highlight was surely the “Strategica”. When I first read about it on the internet, this about 50km or 30mi long hilly off road track amazed me. So it was instantly added to my plan for the PCB-route.
Finally, on this riding day I put the so called “Strategica” to the test …

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DAY RIDE 2017_04

“THE COLD IRON CURTAIN RIDE”

Most of the people don’t ride in the winter. They are afraid of the cold, the salt, the snow, etcetera. I try to ignore this dislikes.​
Surely, when the whole countryside is covered under much snow I also stay at home. But once the temperatures are reaching 5°C I take the chance and fight against the winter blues … . This day ride report is one of these “Winter rides”. And no: I don’t ride with heat grips or a heated jacket. Good clothing gear does this job well enough.

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 04

“ROMANIA”

Due to the little odyssey the day before (closed border, big detour, corrupt police) I was a bit behind my schedule. But day four has been an easy on, less gravel, surprisingly good asphalt and many good views were offered.
The last time before this trip I was in the year 2013 in Romania. Now, 4 years later I have to say the streets overall got better. It also looked for me like the people have more money. Not comparable with the wealthy west but the progress was clearly noticeable. Keep it up!
Now, enough of this blabla! Let’s start into this beauty of a riding day:

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DAY RIDE 2017_03

“THE NORTH-EAST RIDE”

Finding good day rides near Vienna isn’t easy, when you want to ride way off the paved roads.
At the end of November 2017 I did a extensive planning via satellite footage along the Austria’s eastern border, trying to find some seldom used tracks.
Finally, I had success and this little day ride showed me, that there are loads of gravel tracks out there in Austria´s eastern no man’s land , which are waiting to get ridden.
The following ride report will give you an idea about what I mean
.

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 03

“UKRAINE”

Memo to me and all the other wild campers out there: When crawling plastered into the tent, don´t forget to snap off grass stems which could get in contact with the tent. Because of that I was held awake surely for about 30 minutes.
The wind was gently pushing grass stems to the outer hull of the tent. The noise in the tent sounded like a animal which was rummaging around in the close surrounding. It took some time until I was able to find out that the grass stems are the source of the noise. Besides that, I slept well, which was necessary: The incoming day in the Ukraine was a lot more exciting than expected …

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 02

EASTWARDS

​Somewhere in Slovakia – it´s short before midnight:
I am wrapped in my sleeping bag and was awoken by the sound of a distant engine noise. It seemed to get louder. Suddenly I see light beams touching the tent!!! o_O
At latest now I am alerted. The engine noise is coming closer. The light beam is now permanently pointing at the tent. The noise is now so close to the tent that the vibrations of the big diesel engine where clearly noticeable. Probably a big off road vehicle, I am not sure. I thinking to myself: “WTF is happening now here in the middle of Slovakia’s nowhere?” I slowly open the zip of the tent door and look directly into the bright light of a flash light …

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DAY RIDE 2017_02

“1st WINTER RIDE 2017”

You have some spare time? Why don’t you go for a ride and explore your surrounding?
That is my motto. Austria is offering so many interesting places for riding a motorcycle adventurous. When being out with Чернотa, I try to find new, for me unknown tracks and places. Closely around Austria’s capitol Vienna it’s hard to find such small adventures, but with a whole day of time, I am able to ride far enough to find easily more tracks and gravel as I can ride within a day. This day ride report is a good example, what is possible with just a day of riding time … .

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NAVIGATION SETUP

In the real cold winter time 2017/18 I was bored and thought about my current way of navigation DURING my RIDES. For about 2 years (+30000km or 18600mi) I was using a Garmin Montana 650T rugged outdoor navigation device for doing my off road adventures. It worked ok – NOT more or less. Its old hardware, THE sometimes buggy software, the bad display, processing time, etc. made the decision easy for me to get rid of it. In my opinion this device is antiquated compared to the features a smartphone offers. A look to other current / actual new motorcycle navigation systems showed the same. They are far behind in many properties a smartphone offers for off road navigation.

So the decision was made: In future I will use a Android smartphone for navigation!

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2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 01

“LET’S START!”

As always before such a trip, I was a bit nervous the night before. I was thinking about answers to questions, which i can´t know before i finished the planned trip. Will everything go well? Where would I stay over the night? Is the planned route doable alone? Do you have packed all the things which are necessary? So why I think about it again and again and destroy therefore the refreshing night rest before the incoming adventure? I don´t know … .
The only thing I know is that there will be some nights during the trip, where I surely will sleep like a stone, due to the exciting incoming adventures out there. So let´s start!

Continue reading 2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 01

2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 00

“THE IDEA”

In the winter time from 2016 to 17 I was thinking about a longer journey with Чернотa. In the summer 2016 I already did a nice trip to the 5 highest legal ridable points of the Alps (Col de Sommeiler, Col de la Bonette, Col de Ilseran, Stelvio and Col de Agnel). That trip was about 3500km / 2200mi long mostly on well built streets. Loads of curves, nice wild camping, but a less amount of gravel is a short summary of this trip. In 2017 I intended to do some more challenging. After a few glances at the terrain maps the next adventure quickly was found. Start and ending in Austria with a few assorted off road passages:

Continue reading 2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN-Day 00

DAY RIDE 2017_01

THE AUTUMN RIDE

That’s my first documented day ride here on dualadventure.com. The ride was taken in the year 2017. Its start was located in Vienna and it followed some well known biker streets in Lower Austria and Styria. Via the rural roads Чернотa (my black beauty) and I passed Haselrast, Kalte Kuchl, Mariazell and Wildalpen til we reached the famous Iron Mountain where we finally turned back.
We also did a few side trips which offered some interesting and astounding places like a abandoned building or a real beauty of a mountain lake. Enjoy …

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