The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
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So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
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Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
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.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Northern AsiaTopics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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The rear shock on my KLR650 A blew out. Oil leaked and now there is no more damping. I made it to a town on the route south of Yakutsk called Aldan. The closest DHL office to send stuff is far away in Irkutsk from what my wife found out. It's getting late in the season and after weeks of delays finally getting to Magadan. The train station will only take the bike if it's in a container which takes over a month. The next would be to hitch a ride in a truck. Or leave the bike here, go to a place to get a part and then return. A friend is helping me out, he think I will be able to arrange a truck to Neryungri as it's a big town, perhaps a custom shock could be made there. Alternatively, I could ride it, but with no damping left what so ever the going would be rediculously slow and then I suspect it would eventually fall apart after wearing the bare metal to metal with no oil in it. Any suggestions?]
The train station will only take the bike if it's in a container which takes over a month.
There must be a way to get your bike on the train unofficially. You need someone who speaks fluent Russian, preferably an older person, who can explore the possibilities with the railway staff - not the ticket office (!). You'll have to pay cash, but I'm sure it CAN be done if the right contacts are made.
Thanks for the replies. I've decided to have a shock sent to Vladivostok via DHL from the US. I will take a train to Vlad (3.5 days one way) where I have a good friend there to stay a day or two, get the shock and return to Aldan where the bike will be in a garage. Replace the shock and be on my way maybe within 10 days. I decided on this because I want to ride as much as possible for the Around-The-World tour and to ride the road from Tynda to Chita. I'm already 5 weeks behind schedual, in a few weeks it will begin to snow here I'm told. If I can make it to Ulan Ude before Sept., I should be able to avoid snow so I was told. A short ride into Mongolia, for a few days, and then back into Russia, a day in Irkutsk and then onto Moscow and hopefully out of Russia by Oct. Is this feasable?
Hello, I`m actually with my wife in Nizhny Novgorod, we ride from France to Mongolia, we plan to enter in Mongolia from the russian Altai, ride to Ulaanbatar, and return to Russia, in Irkutsk we hope to can take the train to Moscow, then ride to France in october.
So MarkCh, we have almost the same planning, maybe we can meet us on the road.
Sorry for my english
Have a good time Alberto.
I have never experienced DHL in Russia but I have heard stories that the DHL delivery happens on time but then goods are held up for days in customs.
If this was me I would try to find a solution in Irkutsk and then continue. The Russians are great at fixing things sometime you need to be a little creative to find a fix.
What about leaving the shock and fitting / piggyback a damper from a car, or take the shock off and try and replace the seal, someone will be able to take the spring off for you. There is a solution in Irkutsk you just have to find it. Start going around the repair shops at least you will meet some people and have some stories to tell.
Thanks for the replies. I'm a long ways from Irkutsk, and the only way to Irkutsk now with the bike is by truck to Neryungri (250km south of Aldan), get it on the train if allowed (if not, then truck it to Tynda), then put it on the train there and go to Irkutsk. It would save me time, but I'd miss the riding. Here, there is no shop that can make a shock. I thought about a piggy back shock, but really the best way is a replacement. My bike has the progressive shock with raising links, they interfere whith each other. The bike is heavily loaded and so I needed the extra stiff spring of the Progressive shock combined with the raising links, the spring tension is just right with the spring preloaded to it the max position. The problem is that there is some contact with the shock and linkage joint/knuckle when going fast over rough roads when the suspension is at full extention. That and the spring has hit the swing arm, though I filled down the edge so it wouldn't hit. It had put pressuer on the shock and then the shock damping rod has score marks, so even if I put on a new seal, it would likely not last (especially the road from Tynda to Chita which is under construction I understand).
Also, my time is running low as it will start to snow in a few weeks here, I need to get to Ulan Uda by Sept to avoid the cold, and then a short visit to Mongolia and then back into Russia, head for Moscow and hope to leave Russia but Oct 1. I saw where on motodreamers.com where they had a shop make a shock for their KLR650 from a Nissan Terrano and lots of custom frabication. It would be ok to get a custom shock, but again, I have some rough terrain ahead and would prefere one that was made for the bike to ensure it would last and be safe.
This may not be particularly helpful, but I thought I would share my experience of DHL. We had a drive shaft airfreighted by DHL from London to Volgograd in June. They told us it would take 4 days. It did take about 4 days to arrrive to Moscow, but was then held up by Moscow customs for 3 more working days and then further delays to get to Volgograd and about 4 hours to complete all the documentation and customs (and tax!!! of US$150). In total, we waited for 10 days to receive the part and it took 1 hour to replace it.
Good luck, with your travels and I hope your plan works out well.
My advice would be to get to Neryungri (with your bike), either on the train or via truck. Truck probably easier. The rail head starts north of Aldan but its freight only to Nerynugri.
Neryungri is a big "modern" town (70,000+) and is located next to one of the biggest (perhaps the biggest) open cut coal mine in the world. There are more big trucks and machines (and therefore mechanics) than you can throw a stick at. I would be amazed if they could not fix your bike. I stayed a few days there last year and found the locals very helpful (although I did not have to do this type of repair).
I met "Mikhail" the owner of the big avtostoyanka on Ave. Mir on Neryungri (there's only two and this one is just down the road from the Lada shop). He was extremely helpful and could be a possible contact for you. Say hi from Me if you do go there...
Re: spare parts shipping. I burnt my clutch plates on the road to Yakutsk and used FedEx to ship a new set from Australia. Took 8 days in total and very reliable. I would try repair first before going to the trouble of this (I had no option in the end as replacement clutch plates were impossible to find).
I made it to Vladivostok via the train and visitied the Vladivostok DHL office in the Hyundia hotel, the shock should be here within a couple of days.
I thought about going to Neryungri, but the bike would have to be trucked (or me and the shock via train while the bike stays at eth guesthouse garage). The shock shaft has damage, scratches, so even if a new seal was found, and I could get nitrogen gas and the right shock oil, it likely would not last. Having a custom shock made from a car/truck shock may work, but the best logical choice was to get a new shock from the US. I met some interesting people and had some unique experiences riding the train, and then reuniting with a good friend here in Vladivotok.
Shock ordered on the 17 shipped out on 19th (friday) from the west coast USA arrived a week later in Vladivostok Customs airport, available for pickup on the following Monday the 29th (two weekends). $285 for delivery...FYI make sure the value of things ordered is not more than 5,000 Rubles. Tax may be small for $10 over the limit, but fees etc will add another $100. Took the Tuesday train and arrived in Aldan on Friday afternoon Sept 1. There is now snow on the ground near Neryundri, will have pics later.
As far as I know passenger service now ends Aldan, construction on the railway to Yakutsk is slow but getting there. In Neryungri there is MTS RUS phone service (mobil), but not yet in Aldan.
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