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Old 11 Apr 2007
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Road to Magadan - need real info

Hi :-)

What would be the current situation on the road from Never to Yakutsk,
and on to Magadan on the Road of Bones ?

I would like to cycle on that road.

I would appreciate any real info,from people who actually did it,or links to web sites with some good info.
Google didn't help much,except a few "buy my book and read all about it" ..


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Old 11 Apr 2007
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road of bones

Watch 'Long Way Round', it'll give you an idea of the terrain and various other aspects of the road.
It won't however give you any idea of how to travel.

I don't know about you, but a £15k bike, support 4X4's and sattelite phones are slightly above my budget

the dvd's a cheap way to see what it'll actually look like.

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Old 11 Apr 2007
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Remember, even with the "no expense spared" budget, the DVD was filmed to show how 'difficult' it was for the heroic stars. Not that it was easy for them.

Also, that was nearly 3 years ago and there has been further weather, time and traffic deterioration.

I am not aware of any renewal or renovation of the road, although I understand the more southern road towards Vlad is being upgraded in parts to near motorway standard - relatively speaking that is !

Another consideration is that Magadan is not now such a popular destination for bikes as there is no direct air freight service to the american mainland.
You can only realistically go further east by sea freight, but that means waiting for the appropriate boat going that way to carry your vehicle. Then will they carry you too?
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Old 13 Apr 2007
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Real info


I do not consider "the long way round" real info.
Try: www.millennium-ride.com
or: International Motorcycle Adventurers
or: Mika's Motorrad Weltreise - Oktober 2004, Nairobi / Kenia

Those are sites of people who actually DID IT.
When you have been there, please let me know how it was.

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Old 14 Apr 2007
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Magadan to Yakutsk and Beyond...

I travelled from Magadan to Yakutsk in 2005 (on a KLR650):

Magadan to Istanbul

be prepared for bogs, swamps, icy rivers (no bridges), mosquitoes on steroids, horrible endless mud and some of the most wonderful and hospitable people on earth.

Also check out motodreamers who travelled about two weeks before I did.


and some crazy americans who did it a few years earlier

The Wunderlust Logs

There were two groups in 2006 but I don't have thier links (an American who went solo and a guy from Britain who travelled with a companion) - they may be lurking and could contribute.
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Old 12 Jun 2007
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I did the road of bones in 2006.

The roads from Ulan Ude went from 60mph to 5mph. The road from jakutsk to magadan was just like in the Long Way Round. However, a new road is being built further north of the 'road of bones' but it is not finished yet.

For me, the Long Way Round was exactly what i encounted - the falls, the people, the hospitality, the drama, the highs, the lows and the mosquitos!!

This bit of russia was the highlight of my trip - Round The World 2006

Try this for starters.... Round The World 2006

Everyday life
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Old 15 Jun 2007
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In Yakutsk

We are in Yakutsk now. Road from Never to Yakutsk is just fine, ranging from fast gravel to corrugated gravel to small bogholes.

We are hearing around for the situation on the road to Magadan, although it is not sure we will go there as we would have to backtrack anyway. We'll post some more info in a few days.
2006-2007-2008 : Brussels - Cape town - Tokio - Lubumbashi - Brussels

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Old 19 Jul 2007
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Real information

Took a while until I found a decent Internet cafe, anyway:

Road situation in the Zilov Gap, the road to Yakutsk (and the road of bones)

All of this was accurate in June 2007. Waypoints noted with (*) are (very) close but not spot-on, either because we took it whilst driving, or only thought about creating a waypoint 200m away 

Zilov Gap:

From Vlad all the way to Birobidzan is a good to excellent tar road. As of Birobidzan until 350kilometers east of Chita the road is still mainly under construction. Around the bigger cities you might find up to 100kms of asphalt, but all the rest is gravel road. East of Never most of the road is pretty good albeit very dusty when dry. It can get a bit slippery when it rains. The longest patch of uninterupted gravel is from Never towards the east until here: N 52° 51,230 E 117° 16,883. That part (about 500km) contanis the worst road surfaces and petrol stations and restaurants are far in between.

Fuel is available at regular intervals. Petrol prices go up slightly west of Khabarovsk. You’ll see plenty of brand new petrol stations and there are restaurants (with good and cheap food) popping up everywhere. A lot of the restaurants also have accommodation, but we did not try any. Lots of spots to pitch a tent.

Road to Yakutsk:

The junction is a bit North of Never at (*): N 54° 01,313 E 124° 11,493 . There is an alternative backroad a few kilometers east of there.

Most of the roadsurface to Yakutsk is similar to the Zilov-gap-road. Some very fast gravel, some rocky corrugations and some excellent asphalt. Worst part is presumably north of Uruu where the road literally floats on permafrost Taiga. We passed trough there twice in about two weeks time and had no problems. A guy in Yakutsk however showed us some pictures of the road just a week before and it was a bit messy (bogholes with trucks stuck in it). There are quite a lot of graders on this road fixing things up.

Petrol and food is no problem (150km max). Trickiest stretch is north of Tommot (petrol station: N 58° 58,278 E 126° 14,331), there is only one dodgy petrol station in between Tommot and Yakutsk in Uruu (Petrol station: 60° 19,048 E 127° 25,717 ; picture here).

There is no bridge over the Lena to Yakutsk. You will see an arrow indicating Yakutsk 12km here: N 61° 57,9689 E 129° 54,1088 but that leads to the winter crossing and is of no use unless you have an amphibious vehicle. Turn left just after that sign (at the police checkpoint) to get to the ferry (350-something roebel, has a timed schedule, takes about one hour). Ferryport at the other side: N 62° 6,4770 E 129° 48,5474 . Go South from there to get into town.

A better alternative might be to take a ferry about 100km earlier as the Yakutsk side of the Lena has a perfect tar road whilst the other side is just a corrugated roadbed. Scenery is wonderful at both sides. For this take a road to the left just after the police checkpoint at (*) N 61° 17,8357 E 128° 57,3698 which goes to the boarding spot in the middle of some fields at N 61° 19,3205 E 128° 55,8249 . There are plenty of ferries waiting there, they leave when full. 400 Roebles for a 4x4, 300 for a regular car. Ferryport at the other side: N 61° 22,9667 E 128° 54,8557 (turnoff at the road at: N 61° 24,3974 E 128° 54,6422).

Ferry in Russian is “Perom”

Watch out, there are signs for a Perom on the Yakutsk side at N 61° 30,1259 E 129° 8,9887, but this one seemed to be no longer in service.

We camped for almost two weeks in a nice area just north of town (where the Ysyakh festival is being held) here: N 62° 10,9010 E 129° 47,3811. Plenty of secluded spots, the festival is 500metres to the north.

Road of Bones

We did not even plan to go to Yakutsk at first, let alone to Magadan. We inquired about the road but eventually did not go, so this is all hear-say. All the people we talked to in Yakutsk (and in Russia in general) said it is an absolute no-go with a car. A bike might be ok, with some difficulties. Apparantly the only traffic is by huge 6x6 Ural trucks. When we asked a fairly reliable source if we would be able to make it with our Landcruiser, he said: “Maybe... but only if you lift the car, have diff-locks and a winch. Oh, and you need some better mud tyres!” (We are running BFG Mud’s). That pretty much sums it up.

If you are into some adventure I am sure it is possible. Only showstopper might be high waterlevels.

We met 2 couples of adventurous Aussies in stock 4x4’s who were attempting to go to Magadan. Hopefully they are on the hubb...

Alternative roads out there...

There is a road going from Yakutsk all the way to Lensk. Although it is reportedly in similar condition as the road to Magadan. But you would have to take a boat from there to Ust-Kut. There are Hydrofoils going regularly but they do not take cars (maybe bikes?). We did see some big barges on the Lena where you might be able to squeeze on a car.
Do not mistake this road with the one following the track of the Lena river, this is winter only! You would have to go via Asyma, Vilyuysk, Nyurba, Suntar, Khordogoy, Almaznyy to Lensk.

We also looked into taking “a” road from Tynda to the North of Lake Baikal following the BAM. There is supposed to be something of a road (altough locals would deny it existance) all the way to Severomuysk. The BAM dissapears into a 16km tunnel there and I am unsure what happens to whatever exists of a track.

We would have loved to try out some of these routes, but that would be an expedition on its own. Maybe next trip... ;-)
2006-2007-2008 : Brussels - Cape town - Tokio - Lubumbashi - Brussels

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Old 20 Sep 2007
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Talking road to Magadan

Hello guys,

Me and my 2 friends did the Road of Bones few weeks ago (end of august 2007).
If anybody is thinking about doing this don't think anymore. Do it!

The road in pics from:

Ulan Ude -> Irkutsk -> Uland Ude -> Yakutsk:
flash: MotoSyberia2007
html: MotoSyberia2007

Yakutsk -> Magadan (through Tontor)
Part I (Yakutsk-Tontor)
flash: MotoSyberia2007
html: MotoSyberia2007

Part II (Tontor-Magadan)
flash: MotoSyberia2007
html: MotoSyberia2007

Part Ib (Yakutsk-big broken bridge)
flash: MotoSyberia2007
html: MotoSyberia2007

More pics here from our trip:

Here you can find pics with some text ine english from the Road Of Bones:

3 x KTM GO EAST - Page 22 - ADVrider
KTM 640 Adventure 2007

Last edited by lordmaciek2; 20 Sep 2007 at 18:58.
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