Adventure Ordu is committed to highlighting the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Black Sea Region of Turkey. There are numerous places to explore and countless people to meet, and what better way to experience Ordu than by motorbike. Adventure Ordu is dedicated to sharing about many of touristic and not so touristic destinations to explore in Ordu. We hope that you will be motivated to come and have an adventures of your own.
About the Author:
My name is Justin Leonard. In 2007, my wife, 3 young children, and I sold everything we owned and movedhalfway around the world to start a new life and adventure in Turkey. When we moved to Turkey, I had no idea what to expect. In fact, I didn’t know the language, I didn’t have a home, and I had no guarantees that our huge gamble would not turn out to leave us broke and destitute. Thankfully in time though with the help of a couple friends and a warm and hospitable Turkish culture we were able to settle relatively quickly into our new host country and new way of life. We have numerous stories of how we were able to survive the first years in Turkey, but that’s a different story.
My educational and professional background is in civil engineering. Prior to moving to Turkey, I studied at both Asbury College and the University of Kentucky followed by nearly 8 years of working as an engineering consultant in Lexington, Kentucky. It is funny how life works sometimes. You spend a significant portion of your life studying and working to become something or somebody. Then circumstances change, and you end up doing something totally different as with the case of my life. Since moving to Turkey, I have worked as an exporter, as a sales manager, and as a business development manager for a cell phone game company. Now, I am a writer and developer of Adventure Ordu. I am extremely thankful for all of the experiences that I have had, but I have learned that it’s not our education or our career that truly defines us. It is our hearts. From our hearts come our passions, our desires, our ability to love those around us, and our ability to shape our own character.
It is my hope that Adventure Ordu will be a platform for me to share my heart with others.
About my Motorcycle:
“I can’t do this anymore…this is killing me,” I groaned to myself as I was smashed between the walls of the bus and the masses of grumpy sweaty people pressing in on me from every side. At least smashed against the window of bus I can inhale in a breath of fresh air from the cracked open window. Suddenly from behind me shouts a teyze, an older women, “camı kapat…hasta oluruz.” (shut the window…we’ll get sick). Well, the fresh air was nice while it lasted. Out of obligation I obey my elders request. This torturous routine repeated itself everyday one and a half hours to work, and one and a half hours home. I appreciated this “special” bonding time I spent with my Turkish neighbours, however there was only time before my fuse would burn out and I would do something I would regret. There had to be another way…but what? Then it came to me…the most insane yet brilliant solution. I got a motorcycle.
Up until this point in my life the idea of riding a motorcycle had never been appealing. There were too many excuses NOT to ride a motorcycle. Most of these excuses revolved around fear of getting hurt or worse getting killed. However, the reward finally outweighed the risk. I would rather risk getting killed then ride on the bus anymore, besides it was the bus that was really killing me. My wife even agreed to this insanity mainly because she too had experienced the joy of public transportation in Istanbul. The only thing holding me back was some training, a license, and choosing the bike.
In September 2011 at the age of 35 I purchased my first motorcycle, a Honda CBF 150. As an American this is NOT the typical choice. We dream of power and speed. Of course in America the price is never a cause for concern, because we’ll just buy it on credit. This bike represents the polar opposite of the American notion that “bigger is better”. My first bike was slow and had just enough power to reach the speed limit…in town that is. However, it only cost about $2,000 new, so it was the perfect bike for me. It was lightweight, nimble enough to weave in and out of traffic jams and best of all I got nearly 90 miles per gallon. I was not alone in my selection, it seems that every courier in Istanbul bought one too. However after moving to Ordu, I discovered my little bike was not designed for the country.
In January, 2015 I purchased a bigger motorcycle, a 2005 Honda NX4 Falcon. After struggling to explore on the back roads of Ordu and climb steep terrain, I deicide that it was time to upgrade. Besides if I am going to write about adventure motorcycling it only makes sense to own an adventure motorcycle. You can learn more about my motorcycle in my Motorcycling in Turkey section.
Here’s my list of motorcycles in my pursuit for the perfect touring machine:
2011 Honda CBF150 – (Sept 2011 – Jan 2015)
Pros: Fuel Range, Comfort, Reliability, City Commuter, Very low cost, very cheap.
Cons: Only 150 cc, slow. Not suitable for off-road.
(Reason for selling: upgraded engine for long distance. would have kept it if I had the money)
2005 Honda NX4 Falcon (Jan 2015 – Nov 2015)
Pros: Comfortable, cheap, adequate suspension.
Cons: Parts Unavailable, Breakdowns
(Reason for selling: I wanted more performance and reliability, too many problems)
Pros: Great engine, reliable, fun.
Cons: Suspension not suitable for village roads.
(Reasons for selling: I wanted to explore off-road. I wanted an off road bike.)
Pros: Light weight, low maintenance, cheap, Go anywhere setup
Cons: No power, poor highway comfort, small fuel tank.
(Reason for selling: More power, needed cash for motorcycle tour business)
2016 Ducati Scrambler Icon (Feb 2017 – Dec 2017)
Pros: awesome styling, great sound, great performance both acceleration and braking, fun, ok off-road.
Cons: uncomfortable seat, terrible on highway, on off throttle, no dealer support, expensive.
(Reason for selling: I needed a more suitable bike for business. Regretted)
Pros: Good touring comfort, Fuel economy, easy to ride, low maintenance, Honda reliability, storage tank.
Cons: no character boring and just very bland, heavy, smallish fuel tank.