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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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Old 18 Apr 2008
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All recent info on Europe-Stans

Hi guys,
I know a lot of you are planning your trip for this summer so let me give you some info on the latest development as I there right now. Check-out my blog (which I check more regularly and ask questions in the comments) at:

Border crossings:
for all EU countries make sure you have a valid insurance greencard with you, if not they will make you pay for third party insurance in Serbia and Turkey.

Azerbaijan only gave us a 3 day transit visa for the bikes while we had 1 month tourist visas.

Turkmenistan: it took us 5 bloody hours at the entry and 2hrs at the exit. A lot of paperwork and you go from one desk to the next one. 5hrs later and usd125 less at the entry, you are free to go (we had 5 day transit visas).

Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan: a walk in the park with only 20-30mins at the border. They ask you fill a custom form at the exit...weird.

Ferry crossing: the guy has a monopoly and tried to negotiate for 3hrs before we bent over and paid: usd50 per m per bike (a bike c.2m, so usd100) + usd75 per person for 1 cabin. We negotiated the cabin down to usd61.

Police checkpoints:
Azerbaijan, they try to get you sometimes for speeding which is wrong, they just want some money. Don't speak English and Russian, pretend German or French and after a while they let you go

Turkmenistan: approx. every 50-100km and they just look at the passport, the Turkmen transport docs, fill-in a notebook and let you go. Easy but often

Uzbekistan: they stop you all the time to have a chat with you and ask the same dumm questions, where are you from (Ascuda), where you are heading (cuda), how much the bike is worth, how many liters in the tank. We couldn't bare this anymore and just didn't stop anymore even when they were making big signs...they can't (don't have cars) and don't follow you.

Kyrgyzstan: no police checkpoints.

Road tolls: Most bridges, tunnels etc have road tolls but not for bikes so they usually let you through without hassle.

Petrol: Damm cheap in Turkmenistan usd0.15/L and good quality 91 and 95 oktan. When you arrive in Turkmenbashi, please fill-up as the next petrol station is only in a few hundred kms.

Uzbekistan: mostly 80 Oktan but also 91-92-93 oktan in bigger cities (when they have some). In Tashkent they even have 95 and 98. Cost approx. usd0.7/L

Kyrgyzstan: mostly 80 in remote areas. 93 on major roads and towns. 96 available in bigger cities.

We never had any issues with finding petrol apart when crossing the desert in Turkmenistan and unless you drive a GS Adventure like me, take a 10L Jerrycan.

Roads are good everywhere apart on the northern road in the desert in Turkmenistan (coming from Darvaza) and smaller roads in Kyrgyzstan and Georgia where they are tracks.

Tyres: Our favourite subject
I had a set of Michelin Anakee on my GSA and they lasted for 12,500km with 8,500km fully loaded. I now drive on TKC80 but will change to the Michelin for another 1000km until I arrive in Mongolia.
You can get tyres in Almaty from Leonid from Mytownmoto. I've got his nbr somewhere so if needed, let me know and I will post. He speaks only Russian though so get a friend to speak to him. He has the tyres for a Honda Transalp in stock but for my bmer, he would have ordered them (whatever brand and size you want). He needs a usd200 deposit if he orders (Western Union). This is the better option than carrying them along with you.

Bear in mind that the Stans have had the harshest winter in the last 50 years and it is now still only 0 degrees celcius on the shore of Issyk Kul, so a lot of passes are still snowed in (we had to abandon the pamir because of snow conditions).

Good luck guys and let me know what else I can help you with on the ground.

Oh I forgot, FAST internet is a scarce resource, so I can't guarantee a speedy answer.
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Old 18 Apr 2008
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Paide, Estonia
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So you had all visas pre-arraged, so you could just quickly pass through?

P.S. There is a typo in your blog link, it should be

On the path of Genghis Khan

Last edited by Rebaseonu; 18 Apr 2008 at 16:12.
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