From Russia With L….ove.....

 

 

Photo Courtesy as-seen-from-the-sidecar.....

 

If you have been following the As-Seen-From-The-Sidecar adventures over the past twelve months. On Facebook you will know what this story is about.

But there will be some of you who are new to the story, so here for you first is a bit of History of how the plot started and what the lads (now men) have been up to.

 

In about 2016 two lads from Banbury who had been at school together at Bloxham, had got jobs in a travel agent and flight organisation in London, but although they were organizing other peoples travel they were not doing much them selves…

Over a coffee one wet day they came up with a plan to try this adventure stuff for themselves.

So bought a couple of Yamaha 125’s stuck on the L plates and rode down to Lands End from London in a very damp and cold winters morning, and spent the next ten days doing the Lands-end to John O'Groats run.. In appalling weather. Even a trip to A and E was put in..

So fired up by this epic journey, they needed to fuel this adventure itch, so needed a excuse to do something that know one had done before, and over another coffee on another wet day in London looked at every stupid idea they could come up with, and the most stupid was to circumnavigate the World on a scooter, but better still one pulling a sidecar…….No…..

This is roughly were I came into the equation although I had known about the idea for some time after visiting my TSB branch and speaking with Reece’s step-mum, and Gareth the manager, and long story short, it was these first few conversations that got us the idea to do a charity run using a Chinese built bike and sidecar…

 

Ruthwell to Banbury Ride. from Anthony Prescott on Vimeo.

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So eventually I got to speak to the two lads Matt and Reece, and got involved with the plot, although I did say they were crazy even thinking about it, but there was no swaying them, that is what they intended to do, and for the cause to expose Modern Day Slavery, and to fit in a Guinness world record or two.

I could see that they were not going to change their minds, so thought I better try and get them the most sensible option of a chariot that would try to fit the crazy bill.

I spent weeks looking to find the most appropriate scooter to do the job, and a super scooter was not an option.

And we kept coming back to the only one that was near fitting the bill and that was the Honda SH300I.

The lads went to look at one and agreed that this looked right and had the biggest wheel option available.

All they now needed was to fund the purchase price of a new model and then a sidecar to fit the bill…

I put them onto the only sidecar builders I could find, most shook their head at the mention of what was intended   and not on a scooter how crazy is that…

I sent the lads to see two I had found quite local to us and one was leaving the country to live in the Alps, and the other in Gloustershire was not keen on the time deadline, and the price they had quoted put it out of range of the lads funding.

 

The wheels had been set in motion for a start on this ridicules trip from the Ace Café in October 2017, and it was now the end of July that year and not a glimmer of getting a sidecar built, another manufacturer had been looked at, but then cast aside on closer inspection.

The lads called into the yard on the last Saturday of the month in near desperation as they had managed to fund the scooter and it was now ordered for collection, so there was no turning back there had been too much spent and organised, to even think of knocking the idea on the head.

I said I would help all I could if they could somehow find someone to build the basic frame for a sidecar, as I did not think we had time, although we had built the ambulance sidecar in a week for the TSB conference deadline at the beginning of the year.

The lad’s heads hung low as they could see that it was now probably a big mistake to have set a start date, that looked out of the question now.

Into the yard pulled my brother on his return from London, I told him the plight of the lads has he met them?

“ Get the bloody scooter bought” he said and bring it over we will build a sidecar it can't be that difficult, Charlie will design one up for you”.

(We actually designed it on the hoof so to speak) and I had to rejig the sidecar swinging arm and wing more to my satisfaction later and this then had to be bolt on as welding on the bike we thought a No-No. at the time).

 

sidecar challenge FB1_Medium (1) from Malcolm on Vimeo.

 

Version two by Mal....

 

Round the world on a scooter and sidecar Part 1 from Malcolm Kew on Vimeo.

 

So in two weeks we had the scooter bolted to the sidecar we had put together using the front wheel from our Honda scooter to keep it in the same family. (The bike still sits in the corner with no front wheel, and the lads have now left that broken and bent in South America)...

 

 

 

 

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More photos of build later...and continuation of story.

I had suggested at the time that we should build in a security box somewhere on the sidecar for any valuables. and we decided on a location. The lads came and took a few photos of the sidecar build and then published the fact that they had a security box, and even showed the location on Facebook, I despaired, what had we got involved in.......

I also suggested that as this machine was a lot like a rally car, and needed that same sort of design, we should fit a rally type seat and harness to the sidecar,so we did, and I ordered an OMP seat from a company I had dealt with before, Ironically the seat and scooter were both designed and built in Italy, so this was a good connection I thought.

 as you can see from Mal's video we had all hands on deck to finish the sidecar as quickly as possible, as the lads wanted to ride off down to Cornwall on the plot for survival training, and then they would return the sidecar to be finished......

 My brother had decided that the plot needed stronger rear shocks fitting  to the scooter to aid better steering, and I had said from the outset, that the scooter needed fitting with leading link forks to aid better steering, but time ran out and the scooter only returned one dark evening ,at the yard to have the pair of Hagon shocks that they had generously donated to be fitted.

The sidecar shocks that were meant to be replaced, as they were the Chinese ones from, my Jialing trail bike that I had replaced with stronger ones for use with the TSB ambulance sidecar, never did get changed until they had done 20,000 miles of the trip and all of Africa.

 More tomorrow.......

Photos  from 16/11/2018..

 

All photos ASFTS Copyright©

 

 

 Hope you have new wheel bearings Lads....

 

 

Keep pumping the fuel and driving safely.......

 

17/11/2018.......

 

After an impromptu party last night, nursing what could have been a nasty hangover if not for the Russian drinking method Vodka, tomato juice, and then tea.

The chaps again made good progress heading towards Siberia.....

 

 

The guy even provided a steak supper free of charge as well....

 Russian Hospitality, Great stuff.......

 

 

It is still a long way to to come out of the cold...

 

19/11/2018.......

Another couple of days getting further away from the equator and in a direction you don't want to go at this time of year.

Determination is one thing these two chaps have in abundance, and although the cold is getting much worse at minus, and plunging temperatures  added to the wind chill factor, and we know what that is like from Siberia, it is bloody cold, and frost "bite" is now a worry.....

 But again with the hospitality of the Russian  people they have made good progress and only just short of their target for the day to get to Shimanovsk....

 Will the cold get to much for them to travel, that is the big question..

 

 

Not good travelling for any vehicle ......but a Scooter and sidecar.......?

 

 

Yes that is pretty,and also very cold......

 

21/11/2018.......

The temperature is plummeting for the guys the further north they get, and they have to keep heading in that direction for the next two weeks at least....

 they are near a frostbite situation all of the time now no matter what gear they have.......

I suggested yesterday that they try and fair the scooter and sidecar more to dissipate the bitter wind that they encounter driving the plot....

 so this morning they have come up with this,, it may well help if they cling-film it on....

 

 

UFO in Magdagachi..... Russia.........

 

27/11/2018..

Over the past few days the chaps have made real progress on their run in Russia . They have been sat on the top of China at minus 23 , but have now moved in a southerly direction for a while still at minus ten but they think they are in a heatwave..

 They yesterday passed through Chita and with good progress again today are midway to their next target city of Ulan Ude.

 They then have to decide which route to take, carry on in Russia, or head south again into Mongolia, where the roads are said not to be has good.

 And all this in temperatures that don't look like getting any warmer than minus ten and could get colder very quickly....

 

I will keep you informed.....

 

 

Photo Courtesy ASFTS©

What a superb shot, and you can feel the cold.......

 

.ASFTS photo©

What a journey......

05/12/2018.

The chaps are still pressing ahead across Siberia. the temperature has now reached an all time low for them at minus 34... an oil seal around the starter motor spilt and deposited all the oil out. no oil not good, but two  local garage owners, father and son, came to the rescue once again. And repaired the leak. for an early start today. 

More of the story later. but take a look at one of the inspirations for the trip....

 

 

Much more later..More photos so far and a update...

 

09/12/2018..

 

Another week battling with the cold and really slippery roads making  progress across the vast country that is Siberia. But the friendship and help the chaps have received from the Russian people has been astounding.......

An engine oil leak has been cured ,and snow chains manufactured and fitted by the same guy's, set the lads 60 k  up the road before the  chains finally snapped.

 

 But a good effort again from the two Russian mechanics.

 Further on and a tyre change later the lads were fed and watered and even enjoyed the hospitality of a Russian sauna ...

The challenge is now on to get back to Britain by January 19th 2019....

 

 

Photo ASFTS ©

-34 But what a shot... 

 

 

I feel a great respect to what these Chaps have achieved, and also opened my eyes to the fact that most people on this planet need the same respect....

 

More later.