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Northern AsiaTopics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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It's a bit tough to go further east from Magadan as there are indeed no roads as that entire area is an incredibly vast expanse of rugged wilderness. (There are roads on the Kamchatka but you have to fly into the penninsula to access them.)
You have to try to fly out or catch a boat out of Magadan, all time consuming, expensive and hard to accomplish. As there is little predictable or low cost transportation from Magadan, the vast majority of bikers in these last few years ride to Vladivostok along Trans Siberian and then from there usually hop a ferry to Korea, etc.
If you are going to do it in winter I would suggest late March, not this time of year. It was -97 F. (-72 C.) somewhere in Siberia (Kajlastuj) yesterday. No matter what vehicle you are in, those kind of temperatures will lead quickly to the demise of the vehicle and then your demise. In late March you might get -40 but probably not colder. Even that is very cold, too cold to start a "cold-soaked" vehicle, perhaps even with a Webasto pre-heater.
Two Australian vehicles (Isuzu and Mits.) with campers did it about 2 summers ago. There were some water crossings, a bit of winching, sketchy wooden bridges and tire problems for the guy that was unlucky enough to use 18" Mickey Thompsons, none for the vehicle with 255/100R16 Michelins.
It would probably be more prudent to have at least one accompanying vehicle.
Mmh, late winter instead of early winter.... may solve my issue of starting off in the Monsoon in Vietnam then... good thinking.
I repeat, you just cannot imagine the number of things that will go wrong with a vehicle in extreme cold. Just this AM, starting a cold-soaked BMW at -28 C. (nothing compared to Siberian conditions), the lights were blinking on and off because the relays were malfunctioning, until the engine compartment warmed up a bit. If something can break, it will break in extreme cold.
Last night it was -80 F. (-62 C.) in a place in Alaska, Tetlin Wildlife Refuge, near Northway, Tetlin and Tok (close to the Yukon border). People report that petrol powered vehicles stop running due to petrol (in addition to diesel!) gelling. One man has a battery, engine block, oil pan and transmission heater to be able to run his ute. Tires reach their "glass point" at temps well above this point and crack when they should flex.
There's no practical way to preheat U-joints and diffs except for storage in a heated building.
The "pour point" of Mobil synthetic Delvac Arctic transmission lube is -51 C., and synthetic 75W-90 gear oil only -48 C.
I'm really sorry to be a nag but you can't find these polar conditions anywhere in Australia and it's like being on a different planet.
Well thanks Charlie I'm not Australian and I know what to expect.
Though from Belgium, I've already experienced -25 and driving on snow/ice, and +50 on sand/mud. I know Russia goes far below -25 but I'm not a fool either, I won't wear just flipflops and a tshirt and expect a walk in the park
No offense taken though, I'm easy And besides, this is still early stage of planning, yay !
I'm still determined to reach Uelen somehow but I may have to find alternative ways. I'm corresponding with a guy in Vladivostok at the moment who's getting me interesting information, I'll relay what's worth here FYI.
Well, good news for those heading that way, well sort off.
There is indeed no road further that Magadan, but that will change. The Chukotsk region has been granted funds that will allow roadwork for the four seasons (right now only winter roads exists, which are basically the frozen rivers you drive).
As far as getting back is concerned, there is a road from Cherskiy to Yakutsk, another one from Bilibino to Cherskiy and a third from Bilibino-Pevek-Komsomolsky-Egvekinot. The rest is being built at the moment or just finished and very soon it will be possible to to Yakust-Cherskiy-Egvekinot then Uelen.
As for Yakust-Moscow that's easy
I'll keep you posted, the info is from a guy in Vladivostok who's got access apparently to the city council plans and so on so he knows about roads and things.
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