Thursday, August 01, 2013

First heavy crash of my hobby racing career

Learning it the hard way: After warm-up for race 2 of Triumph Street Triple Cup 2013 was already over, I crashed my bike in the triple left of the circuit at Oschersleben. My Streety looked like a scrap heap (pictures will follow).
Thanks to the help of the amazing T-Cup-Family I was yet able to start 2,5 hours later in race 2.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Streety's maiden trip

Sometimes it can be quite cold in Germany during winter (far below 0°C) and in the south, where I live, it's common to have snow (at least a few days). Therefore, lots of riders in Germany have so called season license plates from April to October for their motorcycles. My bike's got normal plates so that I can ride it throughout the year. Actually, during a mild winter there are many opportunities to have joyful days of riding. If there's no snow or black ice on the roads and if the temperature is above 0°C, I ride my motorcycle. So in general, I'm used to riding less during winter, but it's never been such a hard time before.
We have so much snow this winter. Since I've got my new motorcycle, there's only been one occasion for me riding it. I didn't want to go on a short maiden trip just around the city but on a longer one, which I believe is better for the engine of a brand new bike. So I waited and waited...till end of January. On January 31st, 2013, I started the engine of my Street Triple R for the very first time. I visited my buddy Alex, whose B-King (the naked bike with the Hayabusa engine) hibernates.

At the end of the day, I had clocked over 400 km and was utterly thrilled about the Streety. I can't wait for riding it again. If this weather lasts any longer, I'll go crazy. It's enough snow for this winter. Stop it! Please!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Next project ahead: Triumph Street Triple Cup

For quite a while I've been thinking about getting my first road bike and ride it on race tracks for improving my riding skills, fully experiencing acceleration, speed and handling without worrying about traffic, speed limits etc. and for pure fun, of course.
I had something in mind that’s "raceable", reliable and reasonable (in terms of price). I wasn’t very familiar with road bikes at that time so I started doing some online research.
After just a short period of time I completely lost focus: bikes like Aprilia RSV4, MV Agusta F3, Husqvarna Nuda 900 R, Honda CRF450 Rally, KTM 690 Duke were on my list. Reliable? Built for the race track? Affordable? Reading reviews and watching Youtube videos I couldn’t resist adding more and more bikes to the list, none of them really meeting my requirements but provoking "ridinglust". Eventually, I turned it into a bucket list: bikes I have to write at least once in my life.
Okay, I refocused and looked for amateur racing series. On I found an article about the Triumph Street Triple Cup. The author Clemens Gleich seemed to have had a lot of fun there as he raved about the event, the bike and the relaxed atmosphere. Then I remembered that my friend Thomas told me about the Street Triple just a few months ago when he considered buying his first motorcycle: a second-hand Aprilia Shiver. (Eventually, he bought the Shiver...another friend with a motorbike, YEAH!!!). So I had a closer look at the Street Triple. It turns out that the Street Triple R, the basis for this racing series, is a very good middle class naked bike and first of its class in most comparisons & reviews. It sounded interesting to me: below 200 kg, enough hp and torque. Therefore, I went for a test ride at the local Triumph dealer end of November.
At first, it felt weird sitting on the Streety. I'm not used to other bikes but enduros. In addition, I was wearing my motocross boots which made shifting gears a bit tricky. The engine (3 cylinders, 675 cc), however, blew me away right from the beginning as well as the brakes. Unfortunately, the test ride was limited to only 1 hour. Anyway, after this I decided to participate in the the 2013 edition of the T-Cup.
By now I've got my T-Cup bike as you can see on the pictures. The racing series will start in mid of May. There will be 6 weekends, i.e. 12 races, at different circuits in Germany, Netherlands and Czech Republic; not all dates have been confirmed yet. Due to bad weather conditions and daily life responsibilities I haven't had the chance to go for a ride with my new motorbike yet…argh!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The route I took from Kathmandu to Munich

OMG, first snow was falling in Munich yesterday. It kind of marks the end of this year's motorbike season. This makes me a bit said, of course.
I'll still ride my bike from time to time, but probably no more day trips to the Austrian Alps. I suppose many of the higher passes will be covered with snow and ice soon if it hasn't happened yet. Luckily, I had the chance to have a couple of nice trips with my buddy Alex - he rides a Suzuki B-King - there in late summer. Actually, whenever both of us were free, we went for a ride together. That's also one of the reasons why I haven't updated my blog yet, besides a four weeks training with the German Air Force and an exam marathon that basically lasted till this week. Well, that's how it goes if you spent most of the semester driving with a motorbike from Kathmandu to Munich. I don't regret it at all though!
To give you a better idea which route I took in the end, have a look at this picture:

The reason for the gaps is not a teleporting device, but a malfunctioning GPS system. My former Garmin zūmo 660 wasn't working properly quite often as you can see, which was really annoying. That was actually the only annoying thing on this trip. I mean, the punctures I had were bothersome, too, but I consider that as a part of the adventure. Thanks to the support of Touratech Süd and the goodwill of Garmin I could exchange it for a brand new one.
Feel free to download all recorded tracks. You can view them in a software like Garmin's BaseCamp or Google Earth.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The overdue update II

Here comes the sequel to my video from the previous post "The overdue update". Same style, different story.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The overdue update

This is just me summarizing my current trip for about 8 min. Nothing fancy, but at least an update...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Access denied/granted

As previously mentioned, I had some trouble getting the different visa. My short trips to Bangkok didn't make it easier as I always had to take my passport with me.
Nepal's never been an issue because I get it on arrival at the airport.
I was concerned about the Russian visa because they tightened the regulations for Germans recently. But with the support of my friend Sascha from Saint Petersburg I got a letter of invitation from a Russian travel agency with which it was straight forward.
The Chinese visa application center in Singapore insisted to get the original documents from the travel agency in China. FedEx needed 3 days longer than expected so there wasn't enough time left before I had to fly to Bangkok again (the second visit when I had to pick up the spare parts from the airport). To save valuable time I thought I can apply for it there. After 3 hours of queuing it turns out that the letter of invitation from China is only valid for an application in Singapore…once back there, I got it within one working day.
After the third visit to the High Commission of Pakistan in Singapore I eventually got the Pakistani visa. The whole process was really pain in the ass because they requested one more additional thing at every visit, e.g., when I brought the letter of invitation from a government registered Pakistani travel agency they asked for a copy of the passport of the owner of it to proof the genuineness of the document. How ridiculous is that? After some discussion I could convince them to check the registration number of the agency. Three days later I collected my Pakistani visa.
In the end, there wasn't enough time left to get the Indian (requires five working days, no urgent service) and Kazakh visa. So I'll have to apply for them on the way: the Indian one in Kathmandu and the Kazakh one in Urumqi.