GL002: Before We Left

June 6th, 2016

Before I tell you how our first days in the saddle were, let me show you the preparations that we did. Below are mostly pictures of bike preparations because they are so much more interesting to photograph than our vaccination booklets or how we managed to cram our stuff into our bags and cases.

If you have any questions about our preparations (bikes or otherwise) please let me know. I might summarize the questions in a Frequently Asked Questions section later.

A short summary of the bikes (I’m planning to do a more detailed post of the modifications in the future):

Petra’s BMW G650 XCountry:

  • Year of manufacure: 2009
  • Engine: 650ccm single cylinder
  • Max. horsepower: 53
  • Weight: approx. 170kg (370lbs) with luggage rack and second tank
  • Fuel capacity: 18.5 liters (4.9 US gal)
  • Mileage: 3.7L/100km (64mpg)
  • Range on full tanks: approx. 500km (310mi)
  • Nickname: Stiff Spring
  • In a nutshell: a nice and light bike for her with plenty of power to outrun the Yamaha.

Mark’s Yamaha XT660Z Ténéré:

  • Year of manufacture: probably 2008
  • Engine: 660ccm single cylinder
  • Max. horsepower: 48
  • Weight: approx. 210kg (460lbs) with luggage rack, carbon exhaust and a full tank
  • Fuel capacity: 23 liters (6 US gal)
  • Mileage: 4.3L/100km (55mpg)
  • Range on a full tank: approx. 530km (330mi)
  • Nickname: The Black Camel
  • In a nutshell: A reliable and simple bike that is not too heavy and will survive a knock or two.

Below you’ll find some photos of the bike preparations that we did, including some more-than-basic maintenance because I need to be able to keep the bikes going when the density of Yamaha and BMW dealers drops or if we simply get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. Many thanks to Philipp R for his support!

One thought on “GL002: Before We Left”

  1. Hello Petra, hello Mark,

    Your planned route via Tibet is as far as scenery is concerned probably much more attractive than de one via northern India. But there is one drawback: a large part is above 4000 meters and the highest elevation will be at the saddle between Mount Kailash and the main crest of the Himalayas. That saddle is near the border trangle Tibet/India/Nepal at an altitude of about 4700 meters, which according to my knowledge means that your engines will have only about 55 % from their power at sea level. Did you take that into account ?

    Regards from Munich and lots of good luck on your trip ! That stretch via Tibet makes me jealous. I always wanted to see the Kailash (the “holy mountain” of four major religions), but even as an organized trip via a travel agency it is still a complicated affair.

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