So, my trip through Russia is over and I am back in reality. I hope these notes is of some use for somebody.
# Buying, riding and selling a Russian motorcycle
In the process of finding and buying the motorcycle, local bikers in Vladivostok helped me a lot. I got in contact by posting on this forum and on this:
Áàéêåðñêèé ôîðóì "Áåñïå÷íûé åçäîê"
The local bikers in Vladivostok also equipped me with a contact list for bikers all over Russia, and put me in touch with people in Khabarovsk and Saint Petersburg. I had dinner with the family, borrowed helmet and jacket, slept in the guest room, they drove me around for shopping and sightseeing. Very helpful people! Thanks!
As a foreigner and not speaking Russian, buying and doing the paperwork alone would be difficult, i.e. time and money consuming. I bought a second hand motorcycle imported from Japan, payed cash and received from the dealer:
* Vehicle passport with blank lines for the owner, checked by police.
* Letter of attorney, allowing me to ride the motorcycle, checked by police.
* A contract for selling the bike, signed by the original owner and with empty spaces for the man I sold it to, needed only when reselling.
And I also had the mandatory insurance. This way of doing it, is strictly speaking not legal, but these papers were checked by police at two places on the trip and caused no problems. I bought the bike for 92.000 rubles, and when I sold it to a shop in Saint Petersburg the value had somehow dropped to 2100 US$. As a tourist, who wants to go home and need to pay hotel for every extra night of waiting for a buyer, I guess a drop in price was to expected.
Mostly, it is just following the road straight ahead. I did not check the "map" (amur-east.jpg, amur-west.jpg) at all. Petrol was not a problem, but I refuelled at almost all gas stations. Think max. distance between refuelling at Amur was 200 km. Passed around a handfull of roadside cafes and tyre repair shops a day. But at the macadam road near Chita, the petrol stations were closed in the evening. On my Suzuki Djebel 250 I rode around 60 km/h on the gravel most of the time, and this bike was very well suited for the gravel road with holes (e.g. amur-gravel.jpg). The dirt road (e.g. amur-dirt.jpg) was only short stretches. amur-table*.jpg list distances between cafeterias and gas stations. I dont know how up to date they are.
East of Omsk there was little police and they were friendly. The last half of the trip there was a ridicoulous number of mobile (speed and papers) and permanent (papers only) police check points. I paid a tourist price of 1000 rubles for an illegal overtaking, but now I think bargaining is accepted.
Vladivostok to Birobizhan the road was good with short strectches of gravel from road works. Amur Highway was a strange combination of new and old macadam, road construction, all kinds of gravel and dirt detours. Most of the traffic on the road is normal road cars, some trucks, and I saw road motorcycles as well. From Chita the road was paved with little traffic, but after Tulun there were lots of traffic and stretches of gravel and dirt. From Krasnoyarsk the road was, apart from very short stretches, paved. But this last half the trip, the roads were a bad combination of two lane roads with lots of traffic, old overloaded trucks, lots of police, which is an annoyance if you want to take full advantage of the motorcycle flexibility and overtake the crawling line of cars at the inside. At night there is still traffic, but it is not jammed as during the day.
Three times a truck coming against me pulled out into my lane, flashed head lights, and forced me to the edge of the road to make an overtaking.
More attachments coming...