The Various preparations

The motorbike

The trip was done with my KTM 990 Adventure 2012, a motorcycle that had already experienced some eventful times with me…

The bike had been equipped with:
  • High intensity bulbs
  • Off-road engine guard with toolbox
  • Radiator protection
  • 2 big Led like lights
  • Scottoiler chain oiler system with high capacity reservoir
  • Rottweiler Performance air box with foam air filter and foam sock
  • One large luggage rack
  • Garmin GPS+Garmin Montana GPS bracket
  • 3 additional Kolpin fuel tank. 1 of 15L on the luggage rack and the other 2 on the crash bars. I will leave them empty as long as I don’t need them.
  • Homemade suitcases (see below fabrication and concept)
  • Barkbuster handguard (from my BMW)
  • TT folding rear view mirror (from my BMW)
  • Extension for license plate holder (from my BMW)
  • Exhaust Wings
  • Light protection
  •  Heidenau K 60 + 1 spare at the back
  • 1 pair of reinforced inner tubes in my tires, 1 reinforced spare in my rear tire and 1 regular pair under my seat
  • 1 under seat storage box
  • 1 storage box in front of the foam filter that is smaller than the original filter
  • Glove box cubby fast installation system
  • Ratchet straps to accommodate various loads
Kolpins , fuel tanker:

One of my main concern was the fuel consumption of my KTM and my available fuel supplies. As a result, I decided to equip the 990 with extra Kolpin fuel tanks. 2 x 5,5L at the front and one of 15L at the back. They are made of strong high density polythene. I will get protections made as the plastic has been scratched by a fall during a trial. I preferred to attach them to the bottom at the same level as the crash bars to keep a low center of gravity.


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Chain oiler system :

In addition, I installed a Scottoiler, which is a chain oiler system. It is all explained on this website, worth a look 😉 A great adventure in 990 Adv . This system avoids the transportation of lubricant spray– a chain needs to be lubricated every 500 km.

Extra space :

Installation of an under seat storage box at the back.



Rottweiler Intake System – Adventure 990

web site :  Rottweiler Performance

Replacement of the original air filter with a foam air filter and a new air box. This system being smaller, the manufacturer sells a storage box with it where I put 2 extra inner tubes. To assemble them, the injection bar needs to be taken apart. I took the opportunity to take out the SAS system (Secondary Air System), the two butterflies and get a new mapping available on the seller site.

This is the very system that started a revolution. The Rottweiler Intake system has lit the KTM community on fire with grade AA results accross board and continues to deliver. To start, you can expect from 8 to 12 horspower gains, but it doesn’t end there. With the addition of a ‘Snap Out’ bracket on Adventure models, swapping pre-filters becomes a 45 second affair with one screwdriver. Once the intake is installed and the extra room is now available, Adventure owners can also benifit from 128 extra cubic inches of storage space with the ‘Dog House’ storage box. On all models, you can also expect a 6 lb (3.6 kg) weight savings with the removal of the SAS and Evap canisters systems using our SAS Stage 1-3 systems. That’s almost another horsepower in weight savings alone.

These do not come pre oiled for shipping purposes. We recommend No Toil Oiling kits for both our intake filters and pre filters.



The side bags :

I also decided to make my own side bags. The choice on the market is:

– KTM side bags (Gobi) double-wall plastic construction throughout, with robust metal locks on the tops and sides and a special reinforcement on the hinges. Limited capacity of 35l with 2 integrated 3-liter water containers that gets the bike larger once fitted. The fixing system also breaks in case of falls so you need to have a spare.

– 35 to 45l aluminium side bags that can be damaged during a fall. Not that I am thinking of falling too much but it could be annoying if you are not able to close them. Also gets the bike larger.

– Flexible side bag, waterproof or not. Limited capacity and rather expensive for the waterproof version.

I decided to design my own semi flexible, semi rigid side bags, waterproof with more capacity and no so large (rectangular shape) .

The fabrication
  • 2 checkered aluminum sheets folded into a L shape (50 euros)
  • 2 waterproof bags dimension H 50 , L 50  ,l 27 (212 Euros)
  • Recuperation of closing clips (0 euros)
  • Some rivets (a few euros) The bags and the L sheets were riveted then siliconized
  • Self-piercing screws to replace the original ones too short
  • Touratech luggage carrier (46 euros)
  • Velcro (recup)
  • 2 thin metal sheets to put inside de bags (a few euros). I riveted them from the inside.
  • Scrap of rubber sheet (20 euros) to protect the outer waterproof bags

Test with the 15l kolpin and the Safepack protection . Real-life experience of a few hundreds kilometres. It seems to work. The gravity center is rather low. Then trial with all the equipment.

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Putting the bike in the box

In the Bricomarche commercial area with ALL the equipment inside. As I do not wish to lose equipment during my trip I will only take the bare minimum with me.

Below is the crating for shipping. She was on board in the truck 2 days later.

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General preparation and presentation of specific equipment

The vaccines:Updating of expired vaccines and of necessary missing ones .Anti-rabies in 3 injections… One is done…. I will do the second one myself .. The third one in Kaz if lucky .30th of June… Second injection at home… It helps to have been a nurse in the army…

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Money :

I have got Euros, Litas and Tenge from my last trips. I will exchange money on my way (CDG, LT and Russia)

Equipment :

At the end of this page, you can find the complete list of equipment.

The choice of my equipment takes into account the following criteria: hot temperatures, cold in the mountain, riding on my own, plan of visiting of isolated spots. Some equipment may surprise you…

My 2 main concerns are fuel supplies and communication in case of problem… something to think about when you ride solo.

Advice on the Council of Diplomacy website   :

It is not easy to travel alone in this country if you don’t have a spirit of adventure….^_^

Driver’s preparation :

No need of special preparation for the driver, this is not a rally. Just regular exercise to keep a good physical fitness.

The area where I have the most gaps is the mechanics. Except for regular maintenance (oil change, air filter, brake pads, minor repairs etc.) the rest is rather a mystery for me, which is not enough for this kind of trip. I started to search for more information and found a motorcycle garage that rented workshops with tools, which enabled me to basically disassemble the KTM, install the scoit and leds, along with making tire changes with the tire lever (quite sportive).

Given my inability to take apart the KTM, I returned to train with an available Honda Hornet engine instead ^_^ It taught me a few tricks that I hope will serve me one day or another.

Another mechanics course with a pro in Lyon (removal and re-installation of a V engine) in December 2013 (

On an English website, purchase of several paper maps to track the plots. 2 maps will go with me.

Montana GPS

With Open Street maps  :

The Garmin Montana closes the gap between the hand-held outdoor-systems and the motorbike navigation systems from Garmin. The system offers the ideal combination for a wide array of different applications. It can be used for both hiking and geocaching. Despite its size, it lies comfortably in the hand. With the motorbike mount with power supply available as an option, it can be securely mounted on the handlebar.

The Montana can be upgraded with the necessary Garmin maps, depending on the field of application, whether topo, marine or road maps

inReach satellite communicators

There are several types of communicators. The most popular are Spot (2 or 3) or Inreach. Traveling alone, I chose Inreach, which offers more possibilities in case of problems. I took a “Recreation Plan” that enables me to be followed on the Internet, send and receive text messages, trigger an SOS for help etc. It is all explained on their website.

A Thuraya satellite  phone

Never take an Iridium Satellite phone: It was my first purchase (second hand). Unfortunately, you are required to active your charge with the company selling it before leaving. Or to get them activated when you need them… which could be complicated when you are in the middle of nowhere in a difficult situation. No way of keeping and activating it when needed. A bit of a rip off.

So I got rid of it and took a Thuraya with prepaid cards to scratch off


A 3L Camelbak backpack + 1 an extra 1,5L pocket + 1 camping water storage 6L ==> Tap Sea to Summit Pack that I will fix on the rear seat. This system is very convenient, folds and stores in a bag … July and August are rather hot months…!/Entries/2011/10/6_Hydration__The_Pack_Tap_by_Sea_to_Summit_files/shapeimage_2.png


Tool tube

Body Armor Dainese Wave 3.

I preferred to avoid the motorcycle jackets because of the heat. I will put on a cross T-shirt on top of it.

Motocross offroad Sidi Crossfire boots :

Android LG 8′ tablet:

I want to use it to take notes and try to turn it into GPS. I found a waterproof case, a little too big and a suitable Ram Mount holder. At the beginning I had taken a Windows tablet to use Tune Ecu although a GPS chip was missing (KTM carto software) …So I added an external GPS sensor Bluetooth … it worked pretty well.

Then trying to open ECU Tune, surprise! The tablet didn’t have the right definition and the software didn’t open… As a result, I took an Android tablet with integrated GPS. Let’s see if it resists the experience.


Knife : Jungle king II

I have this knife from my time in the army .. bought it in 1987: Can scare people but it is a very useful knife  : Jungle King II knife includes a survival kit for emergencies but this is a really joke , only good for Rmabo movies lol

Length  20,5 cm , total 36 cm
Weight :  610g
Weight with case :  1000g

The Jungle King knife has a stainless steel blade, enriched with chrome, vanadium and molybdenum with a hardness of 56-57 HRc, with a mixed cutting edge, which displays a smooth part and a spine with a serrated saw which can come in extremely useful in specific situations. The handle of the Jungle King tactical knife made from stainless steel with nickel and chrome, peralumal or polyamide (depending on the version) was designed hollow so it could contain elements which could assist the carrier of the knife in situations of risk. More specifically, the survival kit of the Jungle King knife includes these elements stored in both the hilt and in the cover of the knife:

Summary of all equipment


  • Passport + visa (Russia double entry + Kaz multi entry, but length of stay 30 days max each)
  • French driving license
  • International driving license
  • Up-to-date international vaccination record book
  • 2 Kaz paper maps
  • 1 Russia paper map
  • Scan of documents that I will store on my email and server
  • Notepad and pen to take notes
  • Global medical evacuation & repatriation insurance
  • List of KTM dealers along the way..which is only one in Kaz but more in Russia
  • Panasonic FZ200 camera
  • 3 batteries + USB charger for the FZ 200
  • LG 8’’ tablet
  • SD card holder case
  • Several SD cards and mini SD
  • 1 inReach satellite communicators
  • 1 Thuraya + 1 extra battery + 2 units recharge cards
  • Montana GPS + 1 extra battery
  • 2 cloth pants
  • 5 trekking pair of glasses (Xsocks)
  • 5 Running boxer shorts (comfortable + quick dry)
  • 5 Running t-shirts (comfortable + quick dry)
  • 1 hooded sweatshirts
  • 1 windbreaker
  • 1 set of rain clothes
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 1 Bermuda short
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 1 pair of running shoes
  • 1 pair of thin motorcycle gloves
  • 1 waterproof backpack 35l
  • 1 KTM racing belt, full of pockets
  • 5 days of freeze-dried meals
  • Some waterproof cases (papers, money, passport, Thuraya… )
  • Kazakhstan tourist guide
  • 1 compass
  • 1 Leatherman
  • 10m nylon rope (suspension type)
  • Fishing supplies
  • 1 dynamo flashlight
  • 1 headlamp
  • 1 multi socket adapter + USB
  • 1 solar charger
  • 1 TunECU cable
  • 2 hazard lights
  • Carrying pouch $$
  • Pair of glasses solar security
  • Pair of glasses regular security
  • Foam neck brace
Pharmacy & Hygiene
  • Various sort of bandages
  • Compresses
  • Para strip
  • Ophthalmic serum
  • Suture kit (plier + thread)
  • Disposable scalpel
  • Disposable gloves
  • Biseptine
  • Betadine
  • Anti-diarrhea
  • Broad spectrum antibiotic
  • Aspirin + Ibuprofen
  • Sofra tulle
  • Compression bandage
  • Foot ointment
  • Water purification tablets
  • Toilet paper
  • Lint brush
  • Marseille soap
  • Small bottle of clothes soap
  • Small bottle of dishes soap
Bike (tools and Co). In the transport case under the seat, the engine protection and back tool box. The KTM parts are in the bags.
  • 1 plastic sheeting
  • 1 brake pedal
  • 1 speed selector
  • KTM toolkit
  • 1 spare starter
  • 1 fuel filter kit
  • 1 oil change kit
  • Grey tape
  • Front and back spare spokes
  • Mineral hydraulic fluid
  • 1 pair of brake pad
  • 1 cold metal welding
  • 1 hose bandage (fiberglass fabric coated with resin)
  • Cold welding paste
  • 1 small spray of white fat
  • 2 reinforced inner tubes
  • 2 regular inner tubes
  • 1 K60 rear tire
  • 1 big tire changer + 3 small with extension
  • Allen socket kit
  • Torx head kit (attaches to a socket)
  • Head screwdriver kit (attaches to a socket)
  • Ratchet Wrench + various extensions and adapters
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Flat pliers
  • Hammer
  • Rislans
  • Some bolts and nuts
  • Tool box tube fixed by screws at the bottom of the bike
Camping equipment
  • Quick Hiker Ultralight 2-person tent
  • Light 5° sleeping bag
  • Inflatable sleeping pad
  • Fuel wood stove + 3 packs of Esbit (solid alcohol), rather than gas, not always easy to find and that takes up more space. High and low cooking
  • Camel bag 3L + extra pocket of 1,5l
  • 1 camping water storage 6L
  • Jungle King II dagger… an old memory
  • Swiss Army knife

Everything fits in two bags KIPSTA 45 l, except sleeping bag, tent and inflatable mattress


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The trip. Here a rough plan


I would like to go to the north part of the country down to Charyn Canyon, Almaty, visit the national parks, the great lakes, the mountains of the Altai region, and go through KirghizstanThe neighbouring countries are not part of my plan…not enough time and I don’t have the required visas. Also I have travelled quite a bit in my life so I will focus on my main interest… Kazakhstan.


I have just got my visas. For Kazakhstan it is multi entry, 60 days maximum in the country but each stay must not exceed 30 days… which requires me to go to Kyrgyzstan after about 3 weeks.

My holidays are granted for 2014… July and August. The trip as a whole is expected to last 6-7 weeks solo.

Several possible options…
  • By road from France … Waste of time, unnecessary strain etc etc
  • Both bike and me on a plane to Kaz. It is rather expensive and no guarantee to exit customs
  • Bike by truck to Kiev and me by plane but the political situation in Ukraine made ​​me drop this solution
  • Bike by truck to Lithuania and me by plane.  In addition, I have some free miles so my plane ticket is free.
Why a solo trip?

Difficult to bring along another person (or more) if they do not share your idea of ​​travel… I haven’t booked any hotel. I don’t have any real contact there, I do not really have a set itinerary apart from a few things I would like to see… I don’t know in which order ^_^…. The few motorcycle group outings done in France didn’t encourage me to try and organise the trip with a group…

Why choosing crate shipment for the bike?

5000 km go and back , 8 days won… Saving time, saving mechanics, saving tiredness. Priceless (budget permitting)….Otherwise, cost of transport vs travel cost… 450 euros of fuel + tolls + 4/5 hotel nights + meals…



Thanks to those who helped me.


KTM Montpellier: For the loan the transport box that I modified into a closed box .

Thierry the boss : He left me his personal number in case of trouble.

Ludo his son : I wanted to leave him about 1000 euros cash ,  in case I need to order spare parts in emergency but he told that in case of troubles I could order anything, he will do the shipment ,  and he will invoice me once I’ll be back  .


SMOP friend form former GS group , currently a Ducati   : For the set-up of my synology and therefore of my blog… He has  also a blog ……

BricoMarché at Jacou village : They kept the bike for free and loaded it in the truck as the transporter needed a dock or a forklift .

Valérian..working with me : For the Open Street free GPS maps …^_^ and few other geek stuff

Thierry MACE from Transport MACE :

For his patience… I first contacted him 3 years ago when I had just started to think about the project.

Thank you to everyone who helped me closely or from afar like MEDIAPOST in Jacou ,  who also proposed to load and unload the bike … My work colleagues on the syno..anyone else .


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