In Mongolia

1 Aug

Dear Aficionados of Carficionado

I forgot to mention that I was going to Mongolia. My bad. Now in terms of Carficionadoing, that’s much more interesting than going to Greece due to the number of Soviet cars and bikes kicking about the place. Without really having a camera to my name and with disposable cameras seeming to be non-existent in Ulaanbaatar, photographing the things might be tough but Carficionado will, as ever, try his hardest.

Speaking of Soviet motorbikes, I’ve been riding some. Last Saturday, Tony from Thirsty Horse Motorcycles here in Ulaanbaatar (let’s call it UB shall we?) invited us down to have a play on some of his old Ural bikes in the Mongolian wilderness. The scenery was truly epic and even though the bastard things were a mite unreliable, it was still an excellent trip. The difference between a Ural and my Bonneville is really the analogue quality of the Ural. A gear change is not a mere flick of the toe, but a hefty kick of the heel onto the heel-toe gear lever to pull it up into second. It all felt very manly as we stood around priming engines and kick starting the bikes (another thing my Triumph doesn’t have). And these bikes had sidecars too, and you don’t need to wear helmets, so it was very pleasant to be able to sit and talk to someone whilst having a good old hoon around. There’s talk of a 4 day motorcycle trek in a week or so, too. Watch this space….

Anyway, for the uninitiated (as I was), here is what a Ural looks like, I believe that the Soviets nicked the design from BMW probably in the 40s, as evidenced by the lateral mounted engine. Just a hunch though….(further research tells me that the Ural is based on the BMW R71)


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