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Middle East Topics specific to the Middle East countries, from Syria south to Yemen
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  #1  
Old 3 Sep 2006
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Thumbs up Oman

I am currently getting ready to relocate to Oman for work. What are the chances of 1) Taking my own bike over R1200GS or R100GS PD. 2) Would it be easier to purchase a bike there eg: KTM etc 3) Anyone know of any bike shops or websites that have bikes there and 4) Is riding gear expensive there?

Any help would be apreciated.

Cheers
Ivan
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  #2  
Old 4 Sep 2006
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I would think that your employer could provide you with contacts for that type of information to help with your move. Consulates, etc.
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  #3  
Old 4 Sep 2006
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Post Oman

Sorry Lone rider, my company isn't in to bike I just thought that some one here may know? Or have been through there and have some forst hand information. I really can't see a consulate telling me or even knowing anything for that matter about bikes, have you had other experiences?

Cheers
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  #4  
Old 4 Sep 2006
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Hi I lived in Oman from 1996 to 2000, working as a Navigator on the Sultans yacht. Happy days. I imported my own XTZ750 Super Tenere which had already been top to bottom of Africa - I hate hassle and paperwork but I don't remember it as causing any great aggro - definately slower to sort than in Europe/Oz but maybe half a day hanging round the port then half a day in various registration offices getting insurance etc etc. The Sultan has the country well sorted - there is no corruption and the police/customs etc are organised along British lines and well paid and motivated.
Oman is one of the undiscovered jewels of the world and perfect for off road motorcycling. The Omani Arabs are sensationally friendly and helpful - I crashed my bike big time in the middle of nowhere - local passing Arab in Landcruiser deposited his large family elsewhere, returned with rear seats removed and drove me and the bike 200kms to hospital, refusing any payment and stopping at his cousins for a huge lunch where I bled profusely all over the Friday feast.
Oman is very quiet compared to Dubai - you can buy anything you want in Dubai KTM/XR/RG etc etc less so in Muscat. Tourism is starting to expand but the country is far from spoilt yet.
The distances to the Wahiaba sands from Muscat is about 300kms I think and I was quite glad to have a bike compable of blasting home on the (very good) road after a weekend falling off in the dunes. Also a bit of road bias in the bike is good because a lot of the interesting places are at the end of gravel graded tracks which an RG12S would lap up. A KTM would be perfect just in the Wahiba Sands but there is a lot more to Oman than that - if you like occasionally hussling a big bike through sand a la Stephane Peterhansel as I do then a big BMW would be ace for exploring Oman. There is a BMW dealership in Muscat but if you already know and love your own BMW which is sorted then I'd import that, especially if your company give you a shipping allowance as mine did.
There is an off road bike club in Oman for expats which organises a lot and is easy to join but because of the unpredictability of my work (and I knew if ever I ended up in the guano a local would gladly help me out) I always travelled the whole country on my own.
I could write essays for hours on Oman - if you have any specific questions let me know

Last edited by Dick; 4 Sep 2006 at 13:41.
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  #5  
Old 4 Sep 2006
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I too lived in Oman, from 1979-1987. We absolutely loved it and I believe it has only improved in that getting in and out is easier. Why not buy a bike in Dubai and drive it down? The camping was wonderful and there are always 4WD's around. I had a Honda 750 4 and loved riding. However the summer is incredibly hot and riding a bike is not viable - you fry. The winter is just perfect.The only thing I regret was leaving. One word of advice, when you get there make enquiries about hashing. No it's nothing to do with drugs, it's a running club that has a drinking problem, or perhaps that should be a drinking club with a running problem. You'll understand when you see it, hashing is worldwide but a bit "underground". Great fun and a good way to get to know everyone.
I envy you going.
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  #6  
Old 5 Sep 2006
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All of the above…

Most of the bikes around these parts are 600 sports bikes and Harleys, so if you can bring parts with you do so. I imported my own tyres (the dramas associated with trying to order them through a Dubai bike shop had me contemplating arson), chain and sprockets, and air and oil filters. You will go mad trying to find the right sized internal circlip or a good fuel filter or whatever...if it's lying around and can go in the shipment bring it. Riding gear is very expensive – bring your own. Bags, panniers, mounts for GPS or any accessory you think you might need - bring it with you.

It will be useful if you can do some simple service jobs yourself as the BMW dealers in Oman and the UAE are expensive and crap (tyres on backwards, forgetting the oil filter cover gasket, over-tightening sparkplugs…you get the idea). The Harley shops tend to be run by bike nuts and you are likely to get better service there. I would definitely not get serious work done on my bike at a Gulf BMW workshop. The BMW shops are more keen to sell you a pair of $300 boots or service a 7-Series. Anything you can stick in your shipment you should try to do. If they’ll let you bring oil do so.

I would agree the big dual-sport is the way to go. Long hot distances need to be covered in Oman to get to the good places. The roads are excellent and the off-road stretches are fine for your GS (as long as you stay out of the sand).

I also agree it is better to bring your bike with you. The selection here is very thin. You could easily buy a new BMW (or a KTM in Dubai), but if you want any other make or if you want used there is almost no choice.

If you want to go for a ride in January, the sand hill climb is on in Liwa in the UAE – hell fun.

Cheers
Brett
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  #7  
Old 5 Sep 2006
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Dick, you didn't live down the end of Runib Towers at the bottom of the hill then did you? (Sorry, still not got enough posts to PM)
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  #8  
Old 5 Sep 2006
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Hope to meet some of you chaps out there (Dubai based) once I get my job secured and negotiated...

I'm planning on taking my Husky TE610E and my GS1200, which will be enough for all my needs...just need to get a decent 4x4 and a trailer for the bikes when I get there...
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  #9  
Old 6 Sep 2006
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Hi Chris of Motocross Africa

Yep I did live there - White Land Rover 110 parked outside the house and a white XTZ750 Super Ten parked next to it. We kept a boat at SAF beach and used to drink a ton of Boddingtons there, so we might have met there - life seemed to be either work, SAF beach or looning round on my Super Ten
Cheers
Dick
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  #10  
Old 6 Sep 2006
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Smile Oman

Hey Guys,

Thank you all heaps for the info, it is well noted and I think I will get a gr8 deal of use from it. I don't have long to go should be there for the beginning of November I hope. Tim, I see that you are in Perth, I will be over that way to do a job from the 25th of Sept it would be great to catch up for a of several?? Yes Hash House Harriers, I worked in Indonesia for some years so I know about this, a gr8 way to turn into a drunken idiot and still gain respect........haha.

Dick ,I have several bikes all BM's and was debating whether to take the 1200 or a R100 GS PD that I have. Was thinking that this may be better as it is cheaper to run and much much easier to fix should there be a problem. I know that it will even run on Kero if need be......lol. It sounds as thought a smaller bike may be better though? Will have to see which is a better option?

After reading all your replies I can't wait to get over there now, and to the heat as well! We will be in Sohar so if any of you are around that area please drop in.

Cheers
Ivan
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  #11  
Old 6 Sep 2006
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Dingo,
I'm no BMW expert but if one bike is a lot easier to maintain and fix than the other and you can do it yourself, then I'd plump for that one.
Another boring story for you - my bike just stopped dead in middle of a remote village - an Indian expat car engineer used to keeping kanckered 20 year old Toyotas running, stripped my bike down, sorted a whole of ordinary electrical gubbins out that I didn't understand, lots of sleeping, breaks for prayers and put it all back together after a few hours and said (without starting it) it will work now. And it did.
I crashed 4 or 5 times in the 5 years that I was there on loose gravelly roads and about a million times in the sand so if you can get good fitting protective (and especially cool) gear with loads of vents to take with you then that seems a good idea.
Also I suspect that the Indian engineers who are experts at keeping old machinery going will find it easier to fabricate bearing and cogs and tubes and pipes and heaven knows what for the R100GS. My simple old V8 Land Rover engine was stripped to its component parts in the sand covered floor of a leantoo garage in Ruwi (near Muscat), lovingly reassembled by Indian mechanics over a couple of weeks and it ran flawlessly for the 20,000km trip home my old man and I did through the Middle East back to England.
Have fun
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  #12  
Old 6 Sep 2006
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Welcome to the UAE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxertwinuk
Hope to meet some of you chaps out there (Dubai based) once I get my job secured and negotiated...

I'm planning on taking my Husky TE610E and my GS1200, which will be enough for all my needs...just need to get a decent 4x4 and a trailer for the bikes when I get there...
Always happy to meet anyone moving over or passing through.
Stephan
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  #13  
Old 7 Sep 2006
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Dick,

Small world (or Internet), used to live on Runib Towers from 1992 until about 2002 when we moved onto PDO, we were last house on the right as you were heading down the street before you went onto the down-hill of the yacht houses. My parents were friends with geordie family on the right a few houses down, can't remember their names, with red SWB pajero.
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  #14  
Old 7 Sep 2006
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hi Chris,
Sorry everybody else for whom this is really boring, but the Geordie was a lovely bloke called John Raffell and he had a cruiser, maybe a Suzuki VX1400 or something hideous like that. Nice bloke though.
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  #15  
Old 8 Sep 2006
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Dick,

Yup John and Hazel - they were still there when we left a few years ago. You must have driven past my house then, would have had a sand coloured LWB Pajero and a small white Colt.

We were PDO so never went to the SAF club, it did get knocked down quite a while ago to make room for a hotel, which then never got built.
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