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Entry 54 // Rigmarole

Update by: Luke | May 2nd, 2011

Well it took us 3 days to get our bikes out of customs. The first day Happened to be Easter Sunday. We got to the airport and it was dead. Nobody was working in the cargo terminals.

The airport trip wasn't fruitless because we had a special visitor to pick up. Nick's dad Russ. You see just a few days ago, Nick got a suprise email from his dad telling him that he bought a ticket to Istanbul and was going to meet us for a few days. How random and cool is this? His dad was also bringing us gifts, or was he? When we meet him his luggage looked a little thin. They lost his bag. Russ, fills out the lost baggage forms and we head into town on the subway (because we don't have our bikes.) We grab a late dinner then retire for the evening. We need to be fresh for the long day ahead of us.Nick, Ben and I are at the airport by 9:00 A.M. Ben and I tackle the bikes project, while Nick tries to hunt down his dad's lost bag. I can not remember what all happens this day, and that is a good thing. I just remember going from office to office, and getting stamps and signatures, and more stamps. At one point we pay $100 USD for some thing and continue with the office hopping. Mean while, Nick got his dad's bag and has no idea where to find us. Eventually Ben and I grab a bite to eat for lunch that happens to have WiFi. I call nick via skype, who happens to be in another terminal on WiFi. Good timing too, because we are at a standstill until we get Nick's bikes title which Nick has on him. I think I will spare you the details that I can't remember of the rest of the day, but it ends like this.

It's late, everyone is leaving, we think we are going to pull it off, and then we find out we need Turkish Insurance. We must come back tomorrow with Turkish Insurance, no exceptions. Oh, and we had two taxi rides in there somehow, Oh and Russ showed up towards the end, hoping to get an evening ride back on the bikes, but instead we ended up with this.Back in town we grab a dinner. Russ tells us about his morning. He has already seen the Spice Market, The big Bazaar, the underwater sistern and problably more. He is missing the most important part though.. The turkish bath. We find a place to eat that has Iskender Kebap. My little sister claims it is the best meal she has ever had. Bold statement I know. My opinion is different. I must have had a bad batch.The next morning starts off a wee bit frustrating. Because this is Russ's last day and we really want to hang out with him, but we have these bikes that we have to take care of. The shiping company charges a heafty storage fee for everyday the bikes are in the warehouse. Russ gives us till 11:00 to get the bikes, otherwise, he's off to see the city. Ben, Nick and I head in the general direction of the airport looking for insurance places. It takes us about 2 hours to finally find a place, and then 1 hour to get the insurance. The girls didn't speak English and we didn't speak Turkish. After a lot of hand motions and google translater, we have insurance. Luckily it's cheap. Only $3 each for two month. Unluckily I always blink for photos, and the picture with the girls is no exception.By now it's noon, we are not going to make the 11:00 A.M. time goal, so Russ heads off to have fun by himself, while we get to go back to the airport to get our bikes, but first lunch is in order. And yes Emily, it is better than Iskender Kebap.We have the insurance, we show our papers, and now more waiting...and waiting...and waitingand waitingand we are given our bikes!!!!reassembly time.Nick's bike is done first, then Ben, and I am way behind. We were told that we are charged by weight and Volumn, so I made my bike as small as possible. This means I took my two front fuel tanks off, my windshield and my handlebars. Turns out I did all this for nothing as they shipping company only charged us by weight. Nick takes off as soon as his bike is ready so he can spend the remainer of the day with his dad. Ben is stuck with me while I get my bike put together, but that's only the first part. I still need to change out the throttle body. We drive our bikes to the nearest gas station with my bike sputtering the whole way. I do a field throttle body swap that takes about an hour. I hope this finally fixes my problem. John from Rally Raid was nice enough to ship me the throttle body off his spare rally bike. Thanks again John. I do the 15 minute reset idle and cross my fingers.I turn the bike on and with in 50 feet, the code is thrown again. Well, I guess I'll just have to limp the bike into town to the KTM dealer. What else can I do? Everytime I turn the engine on, the bike starts fine, but the code eventually comes back on. Well the 3rd time I did this, the code never came back on. I drove for 45 minutes back into town with the bike running great the whole time. Why is it running good now, but threw the code two times right after I swapped throttle bodys? Man, this bike is confussing.

I didn't know this at the time, but I wasn't the only one fixing my bike. Nick was at the KTM dealer installing a new front wheel and tires on his bike. That's what the special package was that Russ brought. Inside was Russ's complete front wheel from his own BMW 800, along with two new tires. Yes, you read that right, Nick and his dad have matching bikes. Turns out Nick and his dad also have the same kind of luck, as after they swapped parts, they got a flat tire on their maden voyage. Luckily they just added air at a fuel station and managed to creep back to the dealer.

Nick and his dad enjoy a nice last father son dinner while Ben and I go to a local joint to catch the Manchester football game. Russ's flight leaves earily in the morning, so Nick takes him to the airport late in the evening.

We got our bikes, We got to see Russ, and we got our package. Success, but it was a struggle the whole way.

FYI, this was the best part of what came in the package.




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