I thought long and hard about what to do – take my own bike or go on one of Kudu’s (the expedition organisers)?
I would love to have taken my R1200GS, but it is a big heavy bike and it could well be a bit of a handful off-road for a lightweight like me (no sniggering at the back!) – and there will be a fair amount of off-road tracks through Kazakhstan and Mongolia. There is also the issue of getting it home at the end – shipping costs are around £800 -£900 and can take anything up to a month or more to get the bike back to UK (obviously if I had the time I would be riding back as well!). And then there is all the wear and tear and potential damage to the bike to take into consideration and the issue of carrying spares etc.
So, all things considered I have opted to go on a Kudu bike – a Yamaha Tenere XT660 – maybe not as comfortable for the road, but far better and lighter for off-road sections. Plus they will carry all common spares needed and have a mechanic who knows the bike and at the end of it all I just get to hand the keys back to Kudu and fly home.
If you opt to take one of our bikes you will be riding an expedition prepared XT660 Tenere. They have been selected for their reliability and strength, as well as their go-anywhere ability. They are well suited to the rigours of travel through Central Asia and they are also
comfortable and easy to ride. All of Kudu’s bikes are specially prepared by our own qualified mechanics, and they will have a number of modifications to increase their suitability for what will undoubtedly be a challenge for man and machine alike._
Kudu’s XT660 Tenere specifications:
o 659cc single cylinder 4 stroke
o Water cooled, chain drive, electronic fuel injection, electronic ignition
o 21” front rim, 17” rear rim
o Various additional fairing/bodywork modifications to increase robustness