Russia - Emergency Ohlins repair
Relying now purely on the GPS we made our way across Moscow back to BMW Autodom in order to say our final farewells and thank-you's to the people that had looked after us so well.
With the bikes loaded up we were ready to leave and make our way to St Petersburg – it was now around 12:00. Unfortunately the rear Ohlins shock on the 1100 had different plans for our day and had decided to drop the contents of the pre-load adjusting oil all over the floor!
Without being able to pre-load the Ohlins rear shock and with questionable road quality ahead of us we needed to try to sort this problem, whilst in Moscow and amongst friends, rather than risk trying to get to St Petersburg and make the problem worse.
Several hours and phone calls later and with the help of Autodom, Vladimir Tchaikovsky and some serious scrounging, it was resolved that the Ohlins could be repaired but this wasn’t going to be done until the following day. With the bags once again unloaded and the 1100 tucked up for the night in the workshop, we were now ready for another night in Moscow.
Denis, the service manager for Autodom, had kindly offered to be our host for the night, offering us both his house and a tour to what he described as ‘his Moscow’.
We followed Dennis back through Moscow traffic at speed and we arrived at his place in time for a quick wash and then off we went again, this time with Lisa as pillion on Denis’s bike.
Some 20 minutes later we arrived at a large junction of where two sets of dual carriage way meet right in front of Moscow’s main University. The area also provides a great view across Moscow where for the first time we could start to get an idea of the immensity of the city. The area is also the main meeting point for about 200 Russian motorcyclist and custom car fanatics who use the road to street race. It was Saturday evening and anybody who was anybody in Moscow was here to show off their purring two-wheeled steed.
We pulled up and parked and within minutes were deep in conversation with new friends talking about the trip. A barrage of excited questions followed. How far had we come? How had we managed it? Where were we going next? Both of us were hungry but we were enjoying ourselves to much to stop and eat.
The atmosphere was electric with several hundred bikes coming and going. Custom bikes roaring as there riders rev looking for attention. Scooters whizzed passed us, ridden by kids who looked no more than 12. Race ready R6 sports bikes screeched up and down the concourse at breakneck speed only to be pulled to a stop at the very last minute, purely for the thrill of it. We watched in amazement and horror all evening as bike after bike hurtled down this busy main road with front wheels reaching skyward as the battle for the highest longest and fastest wheelie commenced and then continued. We spent most of the evening expecting to hear the heavy grating of polished metal on concrete as someone lost it ‘big time’ and slid down the road. Luckily no one did.
Finally thirst and hunger had got the better of us and it was time to leave. A quick stop off for beer and food on the way back saw us arrive back at Denis’s about 10pm. Sleep finally halted conversation about 2am the following morning. Denis you’re a STAR!!!