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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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  #1  
Old 23 Jun 2013
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Getting offroad in Siberia

I just arrived in Vladivostock from South Korea, and am headed west (M60/58/55)- eventually into and through mongolia. I know of a bunch of people who are following the federal highways, but I wouldnt mind stepping it up a notch (1 notch only, not 11 like the Sibersky Extreme).

I'm on a Sertao BMW 650, with K60s, and have ridden about 50% of each of the TAT and the Continental Divide, so put me in the intermediate off road camp.

I thought i was well planned, but am woefully underprepared now im here on the ground!

Any interesting options that don't involve epic detours (magadan)? Maybe the Western BAM? How much harder is that?

Thanks
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Old 24 Jun 2013
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Originally Posted by NYLon2000 View Post
I just arrived in Vladivostock from South Korea, and am headed west (M60/58/55)- eventually into and through mongolia. I know of a bunch of people who are following the federal highways, but I wouldnt mind stepping it up a notch (1 notch only, not 11 like the Sibersky Extreme).

I'm on a Sertao BMW 650, with K60s, and have ridden about 50% of each of the TAT and the Continental Divide, so put me in the intermediate off road camp.

I thought i was well planned, but am woefully underprepared now im here on the ground!

Any interesting options that don't involve epic detours (magadan)? Maybe the Western BAM? How much harder is that?

Thanks
The BAM is much tougher than the Federal Road to Magadan and much longer than the Old Summer Road ... Its quite a challenge for a solo rider.

There will be lots of gravel back roads between Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Birobidzhan, and Blagoveshchensk, and I would use that time to explore back roads in the populated section of the Russian Far East. Between Shimanovsk and Chernyshevsk, the population thins out a lot and accordingly, there is not a lot in the way of dirt roads and tracks apart from the tougher ones. I recommend from Shimanovsk to Chernyshevsk you stick to the Federal Highway.

From Chernyshevsk to Chita, head south of the main highway and explore that area. From Chita to Ulan Ude you will again be able to choose 600 miles of back roads ... and I can recommend a route that heads north of Chita to Romanovka, then West to Ulan Ude ... that option is waypointed. From Ulan Ude an option will be to head to Babushkin on Lake Baikal and then take dirt tracks south over the mountains to Lake Gusinoye before heading to Mongolia.

That way you can take back roads and gravel roads for pretty much all of your journey to Mongolia, apart from Shimanovsk to Chernyshevsk.

I assume you are loaded up with the latest OSM maps? Try and buy a good road atlas "dorozhny atlas" for Russia while you are there, at a local bookstore in Vladivostok .
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Old 24 Jun 2013
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Walter - very helpful, thanks. I have your waypoint file, and OSM maps.

Just spoke to Misha at Iron Tiger, Vladivostok, and he said there is a motorcycle show/party this weekend in Blagoveshchensk, and because I've seen your trip reports, I'll aim to get there for that as well

I dont have my GPS unit on me right now, but i'm guessing i can follow the route from your directions below?

thanks
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Old 24 Jun 2013
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Originally Posted by NYLon2000 View Post
Walter - very helpful, thanks. I have your waypoint file, and OSM maps.

Just spoke to Misha at Iron Tiger, Vladivostok, and he said there is a motorcycle show/party this weekend in Blagoveshchensk, and because I've seen your trip reports, I'll aim to get there for that as well

I dont have my GPS unit on me right now, but i'm guessing i can follow the route from your directions below?

thanks
Dont forget to charge your battery for the biker party ... and DO share the report !

Yes there is plenty of info on the OSM maps .. just make sure your settings for OSM are on maximum detail. That section of the map certainly could be mapped better, so there will still be a lot more detail than exists on the OSM maps.

As for the section from Babushkin to Lake Gusinoye, I have a trail that is being ridden now ... I can pass it on to you in a week or so.
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Old 2 Jul 2013
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Thanks - will take the dirt roads from Baikal down south to the border tomorrow. Looking at the OSM maps, the route seems simple enough, but if you have something you can send me (you mentioned someone riding it recently), please let me know.

I also have some useful waypoints from the trip to send you, i'll PM you to get your email address.

thanks
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