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  #1  
Old 4 Jul 2010
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Kazakhstan Road Conditions

I just crossed Kazakhstan west to east, was surprised by how good the roads are compared to 2007.

Entered at Taskala, due east from Saratov.

*Road to Oral is good.
*Oral to Aktobe is mostly excellent, maybe 100km is good or OK.
*Aktobe to Kostanay is mostly perfect, maybe 100km of good road and 50km OK.
*Kostanay to Astana (via Esil and Atbasar) is mostly perfect, but 50 to 80km just before Astana are really bad at present.
*Astana to Karaghanda is excellent.
*Karaghanda to Bayanaul is OK
*Bayanaul to Ekibastuz is half OK, half bad.
*Ekibastuz to Pavlodar is good.
*Pavlodar to the border at Sharbakty (near Kulunda in Altaiskiy Kray) is very good.

I would desribe 'good' as a road which can be driven on at normal speed, but with bumps. 'OK' as a road which will slow you down slightly and require some swerving round potholes. 'Bad' as a road which will have you constantly swerving, swearing and shifting gears, and 'really bad' as the type of road that makes you want to go home.

Daniel
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Old 4 Jul 2010
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Further South the road from Shimkent to Almaty is good as in a 'oh-my-god I've seen bowling lanes rougher than this good'. Compared to other parts of central Asia I found KZ to have ace roads, low objective dangers and thought EM and CB made a big song and dance about nothing. Really good petrol as well compared to the Uzbek 76 Octane Yaks piss, which admittedly the bike ran fine on (I should have re-jetted in the UK!)
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Old 4 Jul 2010
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Is Aktyubinsk (Aktobe) to Kustanai now asphalt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsprague View Post
I just crossed Kazakhstan west to east, was surprised by how good the roads are compared to 2007.

Entered at Taskala, due east from Saratov.

*Road to Oral is good.
*Oral to Aktobe is mostly excellent, maybe 100km is good or OK.
*Aktobe to Kostanay is mostly perfect, maybe 100km of good road and 50km OK.
*Kostanay to Astana (via Esil and Atbasar) is mostly perfect, but 50 to 80km just before Astana are really bad at present.
*Astana to Karaghanda is excellent.
*Karaghanda to Bayanaul is OK
*Bayanaul to Ekibastuz is half OK, half bad.
*Ekibastuz to Pavlodar is good.
*Pavlodar to the border at Sharbakty (near Kulunda in Altaiskiy Kray) is very good.

I would desribe 'good' as a road which can be driven on at normal speed, but with bumps. 'OK' as a road which will slow you down slightly and require some swerving round potholes. 'Bad' as a road which will have you constantly swerving, swearing and shifting gears, and 'really bad' as the type of road that makes you want to go home.

Daniel
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Old 4 Jul 2010
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Yes, Aktobe to Kostanai is perfect for the first 400km or so, then deteriorates, but it's never very bad.

On this three year trip, I remember the worst roads being in Kazakhstan, in the east of the country. Also, the roads around the Caspian region are meant to be bad. They're not much worse than those elsewhere in Central Asia, but they're much longer!

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Old 8 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsprague View Post
On this three year trip, I remember the worst roads being in Kazakhstan, in the east of the country. Also, the roads around the Caspian region are meant to be bad. They're not much worse than those elsewhere in Central Asia, but they're much longer! Daniel
Pretty true! I found they were long, very very very long too...
Beware of the road going from Turkmenbashi (Turkmenistan) to Aktau though, for those who plan to go to strange places. 150 uneasy km.
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Old 10 Jul 2010
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Many thanks to Daniel and other contributors!
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  #7  
Old 11 Jul 2010
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the road passing through Igriz is terrible, 150km is actually off road, my Cg barely handled it
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  #8  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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Hello there,

Reporting from Almaty. I've done Kaz north to south: I've entered the country in the Troitsk border, and went all the way down through the M36 to Almaty. I have to say the tarmac is fantastic most of the time, you'll even find a pretty impressive 3 lane highway near Astana, and only around 70km or so of bad-bumpy roads, but accesible for most bikes and cars. Things do get complicated if you exit the main road, though.
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Old 3 Aug 2010
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Hi, first time post so if in wrong area please be patient!

Planning trip 2011 to Oz including Vladivostok via Mongolia. Entering Russia from Latvia and wonder why do so many seem to go through Kaz rather than straight across Russia? (Have spent long time on HU website!) Is this an issue with driving in Russia - road conditions / police / other ? Visa agency said they very strongly advise against traveling alone with own vehicle in Russia.
Is alone through Mongolia foolhardy?
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Old 12 Aug 2010
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Hi CeeGH
What time of year do you plan to travel? I plan to be riding through Russia and Mongolia mid-June to July. If the timing works, maybe we could link up.
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Old 12 Aug 2010
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2011

Hi Paul,

Plan to start June 11th and travel 3 months targeting Oz. Hope we can meet up. Will forward further details to your mail.

Chris
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  #12  
Old 15 Aug 2010
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We just came from Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia.

Astkrakhan-Aturay-Maqat-Baughanin - Shubarduqudug-Quandyaghash

Eastern part was very bad condion asphalt. In some parts it was more just a track of holes and some asphalt between holes. This road part also destroyed suspension in one of the bikes as part holding suspension in dogbone broke.

Quandyaghash-Embi-Shalqar was if i remember correctly quite good gravel-asphalt road. There is road from Aqtobe to Aral but some locals said there is part of it missing so we chose this Quandyaghash-Embi-Shalqar part as we were driving to Aral.

In Shalqar we were told road going to Aral from there through Köktumaktu and Shilikti unaccessable now because there are floods and you cant drive on the road. So we head to "main road" near Yrghuz.

Between Yrghuz-Aral there were during july 2010 big road building projects going on. Road was going mainly side of the road being constructed and was everything between stonehard asphalt to very loose sand. It was in some part very hard to drive mainly due extreme heat (well over 40C).

From Aral to Baikonur road was also under constuction and some was asphalt with holes but slighly better than roads in Caspian sea regions. Rest of the Kazakhstan roads toward Shymkent, Almaty and from Almaty to Semey were i would say reasonably good condition and quite easy to ride with motorcycle.
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Old 17 Aug 2010
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Hi there,

Thanks a lot for your up-to-date info!
i'm now in Irkoetsk, baikal lake, and plan to go to kazachstan.
Have to take the semey border, and still in doubt to take the troisk/chelsabyinsk oblast border, or the samara border (the one you took? east from saratov?).

Depends on visa conditions which I have to extend in astana, but furthermore: I understand the entry road to semey is bad, but the rest is quite good? You tell me the road from astana to the samara border is also +/- ok?

I'm however not riding a motorcycle, but a jeep. Uses diesel. Seen that on your trip or could that be a problem?

Many thanks in advance!
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Old 20 Aug 2010
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Cheap accomodation Almaty

Hi there,

It's not really about a question about bikes, but i like to know or someone knows cheap accomodation in Almaty? As i hear from different people that it's an expensive city to stay. And i need to stay there to organize some visa.
Thank you guys!

Bossit. :-)
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  #15  
Old 22 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nashville View Post
Hi there,
I understand the entry road to semey is bad, but the rest is quite good? You tell me the road from astana to the samara border is also +/- ok?
Ok, arrived in astana right now. I'll answer my own question:
- road from barnaul (Russia) to semey is Mint: very, very good. some potholes in the 2 "cities" you cross in russia, furthermore, no problems.
> obvious country crossing could be quite crowded. Consider taking the next one (50 km east). However: easy crossing. They'll take the same customs document as the russian one you got last entry into russia, so should be quite smooth once you get in.

- Road from semey to pavlodar is good, however, crossing trucks in rain or night is trickey. Corresponds to your definition of 'good'.

- road from pavlodar to astana is partly good, partly perfect. Not a lot of potholes, it is bumpy sometimes, though. Just did it in some stormy weather, and crossing trucks is quite tricky, but in fact, road is fine.

My standards are however affected due to mongolian roads, which aren't roads, in fact.

I will continue to the samara border now. I'm looking forward to it!

Take care,
Lennert.
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