Trip: Yerevan – Tsakhkadzor – Bjni

Yerevan - Tsakhkadzor - Bjni

Last Friday we took the road to Tsakhkadzor. The weather was good all along, and there were certain things to discuss, so we thought – why the hell not do this in a changed environment and some fresh air?

The planned trip was overall a little longer than 150km, thus also being a nice starting ride to see how my bike feels ‘out in the close wild’. I was eager to take a ride to Geghard first, however Tsakhkadzor seemed to make more sense on that particular day.

We took the standard ‘Sevan highway’ to Hrazdan upon departing Yerevan and since the official run-in period was passed, I have done some minor ‘performance tests’. The results were encouraging — about 160km/h stable with revs and space still  left for some extra speed. But speed was not really what I was interested in.

In Tsakhkadzor we visited Kecharis and went to eat some Ishkhan (the trout did not have that magical melting taste my mom objectively delivers). The weather was fantastic; while there were some ‘I’ll rain if I want to’ clouds up above it was actually pretty warm and no rain ever came down.

Most of the fun came on the way back, as Anna suggested we take an alternate route through Bjni. This was a worse road with gravel, dirt and mud instead of tarmac and huge potholes on certain sections. Hett is always happy to drive his Pajero through this kind of terrain and I was more than excited to try my bike out, especially since I’ve heard a lot of criticism lately about the ‘offroad capabilities’ of my new motorcycle. And guess what!

  • I have not once had a problem with the bike’s ground clearance. Not once.
  • It was agile enough at slow speeds to handle through every single stone.
  • I did not ever lack rapid acceleration to maintain speed through the gravel or dirt.

And everyone who doubts my bike’s suitability for the wonderful Armenian terrain conditions can, well, suck it.

After this we arrived to Abovyan where I saw an absolutely genius invention of the local municipality — ‘laying policemen’ (speed bumps) in front of every single pedestrian crossing in the town. Cars never yield to the pedestrians in Armenia, so this was a bullet-proof way to make them do that, unless they wanted to damage the cars. The pedestrians in Abovyan were crossing the street like in Europe, and I thought it was absolutely necessary to build the same speed bumps in Yerevan as well.

Then there was Yerevan as it always is at the end of the trips and I was very happy to have the motorcycle that I had.

The pictures are available here.

First Wash, First Rain

Took the bike to a wash this morning, as the day was bright and the bike was dirty. The guy did a professional job and asked for 1000 drams. I paid double. He promised to do a spectacular job next time.

Made a new purchase:

Powerpuff Girls Helmet

Just as I was sitting at the office and crawling about credit card processing problems, the rain rushed in — I do believe there’s an Armenian Murphy’s law about a relation between washing vehicles and precipitation! On the positive side, enjoyed some nice rain ride and figured that I miss tripping in the wild.

On Saturday I’m planning to hit Geghard as the first trip on this bike.

Trip: Yerevan - Garni - Goght

Let’s see how that goes.

And yeah, guess I’ll need to wash the bike again.

First Experiences

The bike has been an amazing experience all the way.

Now I have ridden a bike and two, but nothing compares to riding a brand new, fresh motorcycle.

So the first thing one should know about riding zero mileage brand new motorbikes is that they behave rather strangely at times!

My own personal experience was — the engine sounded and responded harsh at the beginning, the clutch and gear shifting would sometimes fail. But this disappeared gradually, and after the 200th kilometer I come across these issues only very rarely (running-in period for CBF500 according to my manual is 500km).

Other than that, the bike has been an absolute joy to ride. I don’t push the revs further 5000 till I hit the 500km mark on my odometer, and even so it’s very quick to accelerate and feels confident at the 6th gear. There was a problem with steering or shifting gears on turns at the beginning, but now the thing feels more agile than most of the things I’ve ridden.

I’m currently planning my first trip outside Yerevan on the absolutely wonderful Google Mapmaker. Will probably be on the upcoming weekend, and hopefully the weather will be fair. From there we’ll have the first live trip post with the first pictures on this blog.