Thursday, 31 July 2014

Day 29 Sunday July 27th Harboom Northern Mongolua

Very early in the day Dave started to get even more trouble with his bike. The performance was poor, and it was starting to cut out at times. Geoff's bike was also starting to run worse, and although most people were looking for an electrical fault Geoff stuck out with his opinion that the problem was fuel and mixture related. Well over the next hour we changed coil, plug, and ignition control circuit all with no effect. We then tried old petrol from the Gerry cans to see if the last batch of petrol was poor. None of these had the desired effect. We then looked at the air filter to discover it looked pretty dirty. Swapped it for a new filter and bingo the bike was performing perfectly again. So Geoff felt vindicated in his early diagnosis that it was a fuel mixture problem, much to the annoyance of the other three!!

Within half a mile Geoff's bike was exhibiting almost identical problems, so Paul ( who had brought a spare air filter) kindly gave Geoff his air filter and away we were going again.

Later in the day Paul's bike started to loose performance but he had to just put up with this because he had run out of spare air filters!!

That night at camp we had a big debate about how to try and recover the performance of the soiled air filters. In the end even though they were paper filters we washed them in soapy water and hung them out to dry on the line. This seems to have worked for the time being as when you hold the clean filters up to the sun you can see it through the paper. The soiled filter was absolutely opaque!

We had a discussion about whether to rig a pre-filter across the air inlet pipe, and decided to use a pair of Geoff's micro-fibre underpants. These were cut into four pieces and both double and single thickness put across the air inlet as an experiment.

Geoff's bike would not run with either the single or double thickness it just produced loads of black smoke indicating a very rich mixture. Paul's bike seemed ok so he left single layer of underwear across his intake.

During the day Geoff had two major wobbles where he left the track and bounced across country for a while until he regained control.

We hit patches of deep sand that is extremely difficult to traverse and keep the bikes upright.

Just as we were approaching our campsite for the evening there were two beautiful crane type birds next to the track.

YouTube Video

We are gradually leaving behind the hot plains and moving towards mountain tracks, much better riding.

Franks foot still sore, but improving as is Geoff's back.

Only Paul and Dave have maps for Mongolia on their sat-navs and they are doing all of the navigating by reading our coordinates off the sat-nav then plotting our position on a paper map, then using a compass determining which track and direction to choose. They are doing an excellent job. When Geoff or Frank are leading they just stop whenever there are multiple tracks and wait for the navigators to arrive and say which track to choose. The hardest navigation is getting out of the villages. There are literally twenty tracks leaving the village going in all the pions of the compass. There is a lot of trial and error involved in leaving villages.

Late in the evening we had a call from three young men on horses. They were very inquisitive about our bikes and equipment. Geoff showed them pictures of back home on the iPad and they sat down and thumbed there way through the complete photo album. They offered us the chance to ride their horses but nobody took them up!!

More later

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