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Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
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Sorry for new post, but I couldn't reply to the earlier "Getting a bike in Kyrgyzstan" post.
I was in Bishkek for a few days and checked out the "Azamat/Azeorynok" car (and I was told bike) market about 10km to the west of town. There were 100's, possibly 1000's of cars in a huge lot but only 2, YES TWO, motorcycles! (a big scooter and a big-ish street bike). The guys hanging around told me (in hand gestures and Russian) that Sunday is the big day, but for anyone placing any hope in picking up a bike here, I'd say forget it.
Having said that, maybe Sunday is a big day?? (Any feedback here?).
I didn't check out the 'classifieds', nor did I enquire about other markets, but was told by several locals that this was the place to go.
Now across in Almaty (Kaz) for a week, so will add to this post if I turn up any leads beyond the tips supplied so far like stantours, vis-a-vis purchasing a touring/adventure/enduro style bike in this part of the world.
The Bishkek-Almaty journey is cheap and easy. Minivans departing when full, 250 Som (~$6.50). The actual crossing (passport control, checks etc ) was one of the easiest I've ever encountered. Of course you need a visa in advance.
On the topic of borders, if anyone knows about the border just south of Kegan/Karkara please let me know. I'm planning to head back that way via the eastern end of Lake Issyk-Kul and wonder if I can get a stamp there? I think the (back door) border(s) on the minor roads north of the lake have no passport control.
As for bikes, I've found a couple of dealers and have a date with a guy on Monday who's supposedly 'the man in the know' for bike repair/second hand bikes. I'll post details of this + addresses for the dealers in a few days.
There are certainly options here but unsurprisingly they're not cheap. I'll willingly pay a couple of grand on top of the norm (eg. Australian market), but not double. I looked at a '07 KLR650 3,500km with an asking price of US$12,000! They sell for AUD8,000 (US$6,500) NEW at home. More realistic was a '06 DR650 for US$8,500 but unfortunately it was sold.
I checked it out last Wednesday and Friday as well. No luck on motos there. Saw that same paltry scooter and naked street bike...
My guess is Almaty is the right place to try...post your results up here when you get them...
Best of luck out there...
Regarding the border crossing north of Issyk Kul, I did it a couple of years ago and it was fine. I was comming IN to Kyrgyz. and they did not have a stamp for my passport, but nobody cared when I exited to UZ. They took my picture which was odd. I think the Kaz. guys did have a stamp.
By the way. Tashkent does have a decent used motorcycle market. Lots of used parts and several Urals etc. for sale. They were something like $300.00 with a sidecar.
Ok, here's some info about motos in Almaty. My focus was on Jap/Euro enduros. There are a few options for new/near new, but I think not so much for secondhand. As with Bishkek I did not check out the classifieds. There are lots of motorcross/small enduros, jet skis (!), quads, etc - yes, Kaz is getting rich and people can afford toys now...
1. StoppyStars, Office 5, 143 Kurmangazy St, far western end near Mukanov. "STOPPY STARS" - Èãðóøêè äëÿ áîëüøèõ ìàëü÷èêîâ +7(3272)638324
General dealer, Honda (little MXs + a couple CRFs); Kawasaki (KLR650 I mentioned earlier); Suzuki (DRZ400, DR650 - sold, mentioned earlier); handfull of street/sport bikes which I didn't pay attention to so can't specify models sorry; + good range protective equip, lubs etc. All bikes new or near new. These guys showed me an BMW 650 Dakar 750km, owner wants to buy street bike from StoppyStars, very tempting at US$11,500, I had a nice blast down some of Almaty's streets accompanied by a big dude (no helmet) on an even bigger BMW (it had speakers on the back seat!) nice background music for my test ride but I wasn't impressed with the performance and big questions about rego transfer (more on this later/post in trip paperwork).
2. Eurasia Motors (KTM) 54 Satpaev St, btwn Gagarina (sp?) and Jarokova (sp?), off the page to the west if you're looking at a lonelyplanet (something I wouldn't recommend in this part of the world). ::: EURASIAMOTORS ::: +7(3272)748584
Once again, nice toys for water etc, but only one bike, the 990 Dakar monster, asking price around US$20,000. They said there were a couple of 640s (Adv model) coming in 1-2 weeks, US$13,800.
3. Yamaha, 273 Rozybakiyev St, the western extension of Tole Bi, near Sayran Bus Station. +7(3272)783713 Ð¢ÐžÐž Â«ÐÐ»ÐµÐ¼ ÐœÐ¾Ñ‚Ð¾ ÐšÐ°Ð·Ð°Ñ…ÑÑ‚Ð°Ð½Â» - Ð¾Ñ„Ð¸Ñ†Ð¸Ð°Ð»ÑŒÐ½Ñ‹Ð¹ Ð´Ð¸ÑÑ‚Ñ€Ð¸Ð±ÑŒÑŽÑ‚Ð¾Ñ€ YAMAHA MOTOR Co. / ÐÐ»ÐµÐ¼ ÐœÐ¾Ñ‚Ð¾ ÐšÐ°Ð·Ð°Ñ…ÑÑ‚Ð°Ð½
Good range of Yams from the Peewee 50 up, lots of small MX, small enduro, street, sport, jet ski, quad, big gleaming showroom, new toys for the new rich and their brats. Of interest to me was an XT660R (also had the X (road) model). Asking US$12,700 and will sell US$11,500 which by my estimation is about US$2000 over the Australian price so it's not too bad. I had a small ride in a dirt/paved industrial area and was quite impressed with it's pull. Have to put down some $$ before a road ride and a feel of balance/cornering etc. This bike hasn't received much positive feedback on HU. Any comments/thoughts on riding it thru Kyrgyz, Uzbek, etc, Turkey...to Germany?
4. Astana Motors, Autocenter Bavaria (BMW) 115 Raymbek Av, near Furmanov. +7(237)2500022
Big, sparkling, gleaming, cafe etc, Western style showroom with latest cars but no bikes at moment. They are awaiting shipment of unspecified numbers/models. The Dakar I mentioned above originates from here and I saw quite a few of the couches on wheels with rear stereos getting around town. You would have to get in touch to find out more: Olzhas_Akmuldin@bavaria.kz (Sales Manager)
There is also a bike club (of Kazakhstan), the President of which (Dimitry +7 701 711 0680) is a big jovial cracker who's been on several RTW trips on his couch on wheels with stereo. It's worth a visit to his office in the Central Sports Stadium (also office/shop near cnr Abay and Baytursynov) to check out his photo albumn and have a chat (he doesn't speak English - must have been interesting for him on road - but some of his staff speak a little). This is where I was supposed to meet 'the man in the know' for used bikes and repair in Almaty, but he could not be reached, or there was some problem, I couldn't follow the mostly RUssian and Kazakh exchanges.
So there are bikes here. The problem (for me) however, is registration. Apparently I can't register a bike here on my tourist visa. So not quite sure how to get a bike out/through borders - I'll post more on this in 'trip paperwork'.
Can anyone offer any suggestions?
BTW, I don't know what's happened to the links, but they seem to work.
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