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  #1  
Old 12 Jun 2006
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Latvia-Russia border 'Zilope' M9 Rizhevskoye shosse

I am considering uising this border crossing.
1 Information on waiting times, opening times, ability to buy insurance would be great.
2 Quality of the M9 to moscow? any major road works to slow things down? DPS hassles
3 Security considerations driving in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia - specifically is it dangerous? What kind of dangerous?
All help gratefully received.

Rgds

Les
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  #2  
Old 12 Jun 2006
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Re Safety in Poland: worse roads, more aggressive drivers, possible break-in if you display to much stuff on the back seat of your car but all the above not too serious. Just drive conciously and you will be ok. I saw many car crashes in Poland but never had a single incident either in a car or on a motorcycle.

Just two days ago I met in southern Poland an Australian couple going from London to Vladivostok, they were very relaxed and enjoyed the visit.

Have a nice trip,
Kris
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  #3  
Old 12 Jun 2006
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I exited Russia this way last year and was straight through with only a few lorries in the queue, -just go straight to the front its not a problem. I even filled in the forms at customs wrong and they were fine stopped me just before I exited and made me re fil in the form but the custom guy was really quite pleasant. I found the border guards once i left russia much more menacing to be honest and they were awkward and unhelpful - so maybe entering this route may have the same problem. As for danger the roads only get really bad in North east Poland were the drivers are dangerous, overtaking is reckless and the road surfaces are terrible (more so in wet weather) Also try not to drive at night as there appears to be a lot of drunk drivers and it really is a problem. I vowed to avoid going through this area of Poland again it was far worse than any of the other baltic countries or Russia itself. In Latvia and lithuania Police corruption as in many places seems bad and Huge fines were put to two lads I met on the road 300 euro for a 20kmph overspeed exiting a town reduced to 200 euro for no paperwork - dont think I would have paid anywhere near that much but was never stopped. I also had no problems at all with Police or Army whilst In Russia even though I went through a lot of Traffic police checkpoints and Army road stop areas. Have a great Trip. (Oh bye the way try to make you bike look a bit Used and scruffy it just does not attract so much attention that way beware of petty theft also but thats about it really)
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  #4  
Old 12 Jun 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventure950
(Oh bye the way try to make you bike look a bit Used and scruffy it just does not attract so much attention that way beware of petty theft also but thats about it really)
Only by cutting my 4wheels in half could I even attempt to make it look like a bike ;-)
But I prefer my mercedes with all 4 wheels attached to it. I think after 14 hours through Poland it will look scruffy enough.
Thanks for your information.
Les
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  #5  
Old 13 Jun 2006
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My girlfriends Polish and i am English and we live in London, I am also a london black cab driver. I have ridden in Poland and i think they ride/drive better than we do here in the UK. But they drive more aggresive than they do in the Baltic states. With regards to security, take the same precautions as you would do if you were gonna leave your vehicle in a council estate in Peckham, Hackney,Harlesden, Willesden, you get the picture? . And try to get secure parking overnight if possible. There old roads are bad but not the worse i have ridden on, there new roads being built with EEC money are way better than ours.



I have ridden nonstop through Poland to London 960miles in 24 hours, i left Poland (katowice) at 21.30 and rode through the night. And i have left the Latvian border at 18.00hrs to ride to katowice which is a fair distance. I arrived after midnight with no probs. The only accident i saw is a deer that got hit by a van, not a pretty sight?.

Maverick Bubble
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  #6  
Old 13 Jun 2006
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Dear Maverick Bubble
Thanks for the information on driving times and general advice.
I had intended to stay at the Warsaw Hilton! but its not opening till November. So I plan on getting through Poland in one very long day - assuming no horrendous delays due to crashes.
Rgds
Les
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  #7  
Old 13 Jun 2006
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Its a shame your gonna blat your way through it, its a great country, with lots to see. When i said about parking like you would do in a London council estate, i did not mean to imply that the whole of poland is like that, its not. Like the UK it has its rough parts.

Enjoy your trip

Maverick Bubble
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  #8  
Old 13 Jun 2006
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Four Wheels, Silly me thinking your four wheels Merc was a bike !, I think maverick Bubble is right Poland has some wonderful places and its such a pity to just use it as a transit route - If you get the chance stop off along the way and see some of the country it really is worth it. As for Maveric Bubble saying its no worse than here well he is probably right but i wouldnt know not having been down to London for 20 years where i would expect it to be hell - but up here in Northumberland life on the roads is a bit more sedate and pleasant than that down in the the big city - so in comparison to here Poland roads and driving was terrible and compared to most places I have been it was probably some of the worst and inconsiderate dangerous driving I have come across in the European part of the world - on a par with a bad day in Italy ! - loads of Nutters screaming about in motors with no time for anyone and a belief that they will never Die no matter how they drive. Mind you the Polish Lorry drivers were excellent and very considerate to a foreign bike - Good on you !!
Have a great trip
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  #9  
Old 14 Jun 2006
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Jake if you ever make it down to the big smoke, i will personally give you a free ride in my cab. Friday evening rush hour is good, from Marble arch to Piccadilly circus via Hyde park corner LOL

I had Stirling Moss in the back of my cab about ten years ago. I drove him from Knightsbridge to Mayfair during the rush hour. (where he lived at the time) during the course of the journey i casually glanced at my rear view mirror at him, I must say he did look slightly nervous and unimpressed at my driving technique LOL.

I know what your saying about Italy, esp Naples, but it hink Russia beats it into a cocked hat

Maverick Bubble
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  #10  
Old 14 Jun 2006
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Thanks

Thanks to Maverick Bubble and Adventure950 again.
Yes, I too would like to see more of Poland - not this time though!
But it's getting time off work which is the problem and balancing my travelling wishes with my wife's desire to visit her parents in Russia every year.
The wife is also 110% useless at reading maps and small writing so I have to "learn" everything before I go!
Don't worry about mistaking me for a bike person - I feel a bit an imposter anyway, posting on this site!
If either of you have any questions about Russia, then I'd be glad to help in the future.
Rgds
Les
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  #11  
Old 15 Jun 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4wheels
The wife is also 110% useless at reading maps and small writing so I have to "learn" everything before I go!
Les
Short answer, get rid of wife, buy GPS, select female voice on GPS, and go off into the sunset. Cheaper in the long run, esp if theres a divorce case (Which i don't wish on you, god forbid!)

Good luck on yor trip

Maverick Bubble
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  #12  
Old 15 Jun 2006
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recently....

I went through that border a few days ago leaving Russia - no problems at all.

There is normally a massive queue of lorries, but don't worry - overtaking these in a 4 x 4 is totally standard practice - just need a bit of blind faith as stuff does normally come the other way. They will only send you to the back of the lorry queue is they think you are freight.
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  #13  
Old 15 Jun 2006
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Dear henryuk

Am I right to assume you travelled on the M9 all the way from Moscow? Even if you did only part of the M9, it would be useful to know the condition of the road - actual driving speeds achievable without being noticed by the cops. Sometimes Russian roads can be the equal of UK motorways (from a speed point of view) - at others they are good for 60km/hr only rutted with tramlines from lorries and horrendously pitted surfaces. Is this road a proper dual carriageway or a 3 laner with a middle suicide lane? The quality of the tarmac is important. My technique is to latch onto a Russian car belting along and to let him get stopped by the cops as I sail merrily by! I can happily zip along at 120 - 140 km/hr and provided I am careful of drivers 'flashing me' and taking care in villages / towns / dips /corners where the cops lurk then I should be okay. I have to estimate total driving time Russian Border to Moscow MKAD (their M25)
So I know what time I have to get up in Vilnius and leave the hotel!

Cheers

Les
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  #14  
Old 16 Jun 2006
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Road conditions

I did indeed take that road all the way from moscow. The tarmac is good, traffic varies, generally ok. Well signposted where necessary - no need for maps (I didn't even take one for Russia, had no problems). Petrol is readily available and of high Octane - Whatever you do - fill up in Lithuania, not Latvia, and try and make it to Russia on one tank, petrol in Latvia is 2.50 sterling a litre - ouch.

Part of my thinking the roads were dead good might have something to do with the fact I was heading west, so had been on some real shockers. I did get stopped by the police on this road however and stung for 300 roubles, and got propositioned by a hooker while I was buying petrol (welcome to Russia!). Russia is fantastic - Moscow is depraved and expensive, but great fun, St. Petersburg is well worth visiting though, probably better than the capital. Moscow is also very, very large.

ps If your going to Lumb Far look out for someone trying to start a knackered Cagiva Elefant - would be happy to give you any info I can remember
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  #15  
Old 16 Jun 2006
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Thanks henryuk
I should plan on 100km/hr x 900km or about 9hr + fuel + stops 10hr.
If I can do 9hr from the border that's good enough for me.
I note the cost of fuel!
Les
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