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The Bikes

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
- Yogi Berra

Only after having signed our lives away with this piece of lunacy did we discover that of the more than 4,000 entrants since the inaugural Mongol Rally in 2004, no more than 28 have ever taken part on motorbikes.  Of these, only 25 have reached the finish line in Ulaan Baatar.

And none appear to have gone by the route we’re planning.

And so, my friends, with the last words of Captain Oates ringing in our ears, “We’re just going outside and we may be some time.”

Our chosen weapons of terror are two Yamaha XT125Rs, suitably modified for the task.  That just means some saddlebags.  Oh, and some musical airhorns (that play La Cucaracha, if you really want to know), as a man can’t have too many devices to scare off yak in our view.  We didn’t go for bikes with a higher comedy quotient because on balance (and considering our route), we really wanted to give ourselves a fighting chance of reaching our destination.  Alive.  And in one piece, thank you very much.  The air-cooled, caburettored XT125Rs give us that confidence in spades – see here.


These are our two bikes, as purchased, and before we’ve started kitting them out.







And this is a stock photo to show you exactly what the standard bike looks like.










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