The Prep

The Prep

Here you will find pictures and other things concerning the bike, the equipment and all other things related to the preparation. Scroll down to read and see more.





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GPS logger


I bought this little thing so that I can show you guys where I am and what route brought me there

The end result will be something like this:

Cool isn’t it?



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Power to the Gismo’s

As I have a TOMTOM a custom build MP3 player and the laptop that all need power to charge or function me and my good friend Jisse installed some extra power outlets.

Oh and I took the cathelist converter out, saves you about 8 kg’s






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Hamburg and back

Last weekend me and the bike (the rest of the family followed me later by car) made a little test run to hamburg.

We went to check up on an old family friend that moved from Greece to Germany.

I had not seen him for about 15 years. It was great meeting up again and meeting his children. The weather on Thursday and Sunday was not great but Friday and Saturday where fine.

The bike run fine and it was a real pleasure all together.

A special thanks to Panos and family.


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Springs, phones, maps and newsletters

I have been busy with a couple of things.

I ordered new springs for the front and rear shock-absorber. We got the front one installed but the original rear spring was giving us a hard time and we reinstalled the shock. Next try will be coming Friday so I will keep you posted on that.












While we unmounted the rear wheel I found out that the rear brake-pads need to be changed and are worn uneven so we also need to take a closer look at that. New pads are on order.

As for the website I am trying to get a newsletter going. If you would subscribe as soon as I post something new on the site you will receive an E-mail telling you so and keep you up to date on my struggles, adventures and/or stupidities.

The route.

The border-crossing from Russia to Georgia is looking up so step by step I am going forward on my Russian visa application and I am trying to learn some Russian. I also put up this huge map of Europe on a wall:

I am setting out the route on it and am able to get a global idea of all the places I will pass.

For the trip I decided not to take a fancy, flashing, full touch ultra hyper smart phone. It will fall, get wet or disappear so I bought this robust little samsung B2100. Already it is lasting for about 8 days now?!?! Compared to my HTC desire which lasts just about 24 hours I think that is a big pro trip-wise. On the other hand I need to get used to the a,b and c being under the same button again.

Keep you posted




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spring wrestling

Well it took us a good part of the day but my dad and I got the new rear spring fitted.

Some would call it dutch “cheap-ass”ness but I like to do it myself and when I do succeed it gives a great sense of accomplishment. Anyway we had a good laugh doing this. The whole thing was wrapped in wood and metal.  See for yourself.




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Stickers, Patches and Documents

Finally got some sort of logo done and ordered some stickers and patches.

The results are in:


The patches are made by: and they did a great job.

Sowed one of the small once on to the jacket:


Also received my Russian letter of invitation:


Only thing left to do is to sign it, add a passport photo, sent it in and wait.

A very nice, clean and good job done by:


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The bugs are out……….. and Sarah is in.

It looks like I got rid off the last little bugs on the website. The newsletter is working, all posts are displayed as they should and the menu’s are working properly.

I guess I am ready now? oh wait…………….. there is still a ton of other stuff to fix and sort out.

Something that I can tick off the checklist:

A plane ticket for Sarah (my girlfriend) to come and join me for 2 weeks in Georgia and Armenia.

She will be flying into Tbilisi in october. I can hardly wait to meet up there and then.





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Belgium beware…… here we come/came/went

Because we will be spending 2 weeks together in Georgia and Armenia in October I thought it would be a good idea to go for a test run to the Ardennen. So with everything packed on to the bike we set off on Thursday:

We followed the highway up to Weert and then with the guidance of TomTom we followed the small zigzag roads to Stavelot:

By pure coincidence, as I am not a sports fanatic, it is next to the Belgian F1 racetrack of Spa-Francochamps. And guess what?? It was classic sportsbike weekend. So there were a lot of other bikers on the camping. Friday night ended up sharing stories and getting pretty drunk.

We did not go to see the races but we did visit the tracks museum. Some of the bikes they had on display would be right into RtwDoug’s alley (if you do not know him please look him up on the interweb):

Some army bikes:

A small 50cc racer:

As Saturday was rainy and clouded we just walked around enjoying the surroundings, it gets hilly up there and Holland is pretty flat as you might know:

We planned on staying until today (Sunday, 01 Jul 2012) but the “Tour de France” starts today in Luik/Liege, Belgium of all places, again not a big sports fan here!

Some of the roads would be blocked so we decided to head back on Saturday. And just as well because the weather was fine and we got back home dry. Today might have been different as we totally forgot our waterproofs……

We again enjoyed some lovely small zigzag roads back up to Maastricht and since we are not yet part of the “Iron-butt” club we then took the highway back to Amsterdam.

After all it was a good weekend testing the tent, sleeping materials, cooking stuff and best of all the awkward moments such as: Why did I forget my waterproofs?, how do I get the stove running without a lighter? or how do I get my pans/plates/cups clean without a sponge/brush or dish-soap?

Some shots of us on the camping:


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some more classic culture stuff






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Heavy weight bike lifter needed….

With all that weight on the bike I found it hard to get her up-right. I therefor lowered the seat so that I could put my whole foot down.

This made it easier but now I had my knees up my neck so to speak. When I bought the bike she was fitted with thingy’s to lower the footrests. I removed them because I did not need them then. Happily for me I kept them and reinstalled them.

Removing the footrests:

Installing the loweringkit:

Also I get a lot of questions about all the stuff going on on the handlebars and the rest of the cockpit:

The WolsPod is a MP3 player that I dismantled added some glove/waterproof buttons to and hooked up to the battery.

This way I do not need to stop, take the gloves off, open the jacket and re-dress every time an album ends.

All the other stuff I thing speaks for itself.

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Russia is letting me in..!?!?!?!?

Received something in the mail yesterday…..tada:

Got my pasport back from the visa agency.

Russia beware…hahaha


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Hammer time…….

Time for some maintenance on the bike.

Valve clearance had to be checked:

It all looked a bit messy and out of tolerance, so I sorted that out:

And remember if it is not working your hammer just ain’t big enough!!!

New Oil for the gearbox and final drive:


Also I installed some new brake pads on the front:



And I had a look at the throttle bodies:

The valves did not need any adjustments but the throttle bodies did.

First I screwed it up, of course. The bike started to run pretty ugly and it sounded like she was ready to die in a noisy death with an explosion to top things off.

But I got it sorted and she is running like a well oiled…………… well uuuuhh……  BMW GS  (It is still a boxer engine after all)

Yesterday I took a pic of all the stuff that I need/hope/want to take:


This should be about all of it, except for the clothes. It sure makes for a big pile of stuff.



P.S. Thanks for all the comments everybody. Even though I don not understand most of it. I did not know that some of my colleagues speak Russian. Special thanks goes out to Google for helping me with the translations.



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back to school it is then……….

My Russian self studies did not really work out well.

Thankfully I found  Kristina who is willing to help me out with some lessons and giving me a crash course. Tomorrow is lesson number 2. Better not to disappoint her so I guess I better get some more homework done. I found a online Russian rock station so up with the volume and start learning you lazy piece of ………

Wolsly….. or better yet in Russian:


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1 month to go

Well, there are 15 days left and then starts my 16 week leave. I will have 1 ½ week to prepare, pack and most probably to panic. Then we are off to France.

Sarah’s parents are having a party as they are married for 50 years by then. And once my hangover is withdrawn to a suitable driving-level I will be on my way.

Meaning that the 2nd or 3th of September I will be heading through Belgium.


Things left to do on the bike:

1)      Fit new tires

2)      Change clutch fluid

3)      Change rear break disk

4)      Sync the throttle-bodies.

5)      Change Engine oil and oil filter.

6)      Reinforce the pannier frame

Most of that will be done on Friday the 24th of August with my father.


My Russian lessons are going in Vostok-rocket  tempo and, well….,  I learned more Russian in the last 10 days then I did in the rest of my 33 years.

But so far the lessons are great fun. My pronunciation is still way off so I hope I will not hurt to many ears.


More and more people are subscribing to the newsletter and I am getting my first international visitors on the website. Which is cool.

More to come………soon


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And no they are not for more speed or extra down-force…..

Although the standard hand-guards on the R1150GS are OK for protection from underneath or head-on against water, little stones or whatever. In my opinion they are a little to low for wind protection.

So lets get the hammer out once more and bash something together OK:


Some PVC that can be shaped when heated:


The handguards:


Some heatgun, holes, nuts and bolts:

Cut into shape:

The other side:


Unbolted and ready for some paint:

Not my finest paint job but it will have to do:

Dry enough to fit:

Front view:

Until the next time







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that is that

Well that is it, my last shift just ended.

That means no more work for me for 16 weeks…..uhm well not at my job that is.

A couple of prep days and then I will be on my way.

It feels unreal and I am both anxious and nervous.

Nothing to be scared off yet, but I keep the anxiety-O-meter close by.

Some more bike-prep-stuff photo’s coming soon as there are still some things to sort out on the bike.

Oh and I am getting some great help and invitations from the Horizons Unlimited communities in the Ukraine and Russia. For more info about that see the link on the home page.

Keep you posted….


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last this and thats for the bike

The other day when we changed the rear brakepads we noticed that rear brakedisk was near to it’s end. So in with the new…

here is a pic of the old disk

As my dad is getting a bit older bolting on the new disk had him down for a little nap

During his nap he somehow managed to drain the engineoil

We installed a new filter and filled her up with new fresh oil and while the that was settling down we had a little lunch

After Lunch we fiddled around with the pannier mounting system and adjusted the throttle bodies once more. This time also at 3000 rpm which got the exhaustpipes turning red. This would have been a nice pic but we needed to work fast so that the engine would not overheat. There was no time to take pictures. And for the pannier mountings well that is not that interesting.

So the bike is done and now I have to get ready for my last lesson in Russian.




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a little to much

Last saturday I had a “will see you again in four months” party.






We all ended up pretty drunk and I only have vague memories from the last 2 hours or so. I must have felt bad and went to bed but some of my friends were not having that:



I seem to be happy at least…….

Thanks to everyone who was there, we had a blast (well…. as far as I van remember)


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Wolsly has left the building!!!!


That’s it in a few hours I will be on my way. First off to celebrate the 50 year marriage of Sarah’s parents in France.

And then on into the rest of Europe……….

As Internet connections may be limited I don’t know when my next update will be, but the post will then be in the “The Trip” section.

All the best and see you soon



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