Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Northern Asia

Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Refreshing, funny, informative, thought provoking, honest, inspirational, infectious, budget overlanding. A handbook, a guidebook but ultimately a genuine traveller’s tale

Like Tree1Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #16  
Old 4 Oct 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Bristol UK
Posts: 428
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post
Wow, "subscribers" to a thread that's not an Advrider-RideReport. Feel free to also share/contribute your knowledge/research.

Thanks
Chris
My research does not really extend much past reading about what Walter and Tony have been up to.

I think our plan is to head to Irkutsk then on to the Western BAM and north from Tynda to Yakutsk. From there we will go to Magadan hopefully via the summer road.

If it all plans out we should have all of August and September to explore the area (and chill out! hopefully not literally )

Our Land Rover may be a bit battered by then so we will see how that is.

Tony - Do you have anymore info on that gravel road from Irkutsk? I couldn't see it on OSM and couldn't trace it on GE. It would help cut off that corner to Bratsk unless you think it is worth the visit? even that section of the BAM?

Also, having ridden these roads what would be your views on taking a well equipped Land Rover across the BAM and ROB? I know some people from the UK were mean't to try it this year but got delayed, not sure where they are now, but its a bit late in the year for them to try anything now.

G
__________________
Land Rover D90
www.Siroccoverland.com | Follow us on Facebook
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 4 Oct 2011
chris's Avatar
Probably out riding
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: God's Own County
Posts: 2,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffdowg View Post
Tony - Do you have anymore info on that gravel road from Irkutsk? I couldn't see it on OSM and couldn't trace it on GE. It would help cut off that corner to Bratsk unless you think it is worth the visit? even that section of the BAM?

The Zhigalavo Road (also by that name on the map) is on OSM. Maybe you need to set it on the highest magnification in Mapsource and look at it at less than 500 meter zoom? I added it to the updated sketch in post number 8.

I'm also interested in your opinion of the surmountability of the "obstacles" (rivers/mudholes) on a lightweight dirtbike (160 kg incl fuel and luggage) rather than a fat Landy ) on the Old Summer Road to Magadan. Clearly on those sections I won't ride solo.

cheers
Chris
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 4 Oct 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Bristol UK
Posts: 428
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post
The Zhigalavo Road (also by that name on the map) is on OSM. Maybe you need to set it on the highest magnification in Mapsource and look at it at less than 500 meter zoom? I added it to the updated sketch in post number 8.

cheers
Chris
Got it, my apologies. I was scanning to close to Baikal. viewing online. Not downloaded it yet as I want to wait till nearer our departure so its more upto date. Road Looks like a winner

G
__________________
Land Rover D90
www.Siroccoverland.com | Follow us on Facebook
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 4 Oct 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Moscow, Russia
Posts: 1,003
Also subscribed, for the Mongolia stuff anyway.

I don't recall if Walter or Tony mentioned such a place, but we were on the RoB with a guy from Tynda, and he said that along the BAM west of Tynda there is a place with giant sand dunes--has anyone heard of this/been there?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 4 Oct 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moscow
Posts: 1,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
I don't recall if Walter or Tony mentioned such a place, but we were on the RoB with a guy from Tynda, and he said that along the BAM west of Tynda there is a place with giant sand dunes--has anyone heard of this/been there?
There were sand dunes and pine trees (not your normal Siberian ones but more like the darker Scots Pines) east of Taksimo. The 'road' was quite sandy for 100km or so but quite firm, no doubt because of recent heavy rain which got us looping round pools all the way.
Looking around the surrounding terrain I would describe it as more 'grown over sandy dunes' sooner than giant dunes, like on Walter's latest ride!

I recall sand pits/quarrys immediately east of town - where we fortunately met a most helpful lady who not only escorted us in finding somewhere to sleep but also collected us next day and ferried us about town to find repairers for bikes, boots and replacement batteries for my remote alarm immobiliser, and spare, that failed and left my bike immobilised that very morning!

EDIT - I have just recalled Michael Rej enjoying them on his 'BAM curtailed" SyberiaMongolia2009 expedition. The dunes on this long clip are near Chara, which we went through but did not see, there was even some tarmac around Chara!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM7rIRpv4uo

Last edited by Tony P; 4 Oct 2011 at 16:35. Reason: Remembered/Found video link
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 4 Oct 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Moscow, Russia
Posts: 1,003
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post
Hi there,

New Federal Road to Magadan
[FONT=Verdana]: Dusty, trucks go down there, you can do it on a Harley
hmmm, I think you're doing this stretch of road a disservice. Most of the road I though was quite nice, although not challenging. Very good gravel road, nice scenery, hardly any traffic. The only bad part was from about Susuman to Magadan, where the truck traffic really seemed to increase.

To avoid this stretch you can take the Tinkinsky Trakt (from Bolshevik to Palatka), but it was closed this year because a bridge was out. I would definitely take it if the road is open.

send me your e-mail address and I'll send you a road book I did with distances, where to find fuel, etc.

As far as I know, only one group of bikers (the crazy Russians) did the entire old summer road this year, I have not heard of anyone else doing it.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 4 Oct 2011
chris's Avatar
Probably out riding
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: God's Own County
Posts: 2,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
hmmm, I think you're doing this stretch of road a disservice. Most of the road I though was quite nice, although not challenging. Very good gravel road, nice scenery, hardly any traffic. The only bad part was from about Susuman to Magadan, where the truck traffic really seemed to increase.

To avoid this stretch you can take the Tinkinsky Trakt (from Bolshevik to Palatka), but it was closed this year because a bridge was out. I would definitely take it if the road is open.

send me your e-mail address and I'll send you a road book I did with distances, where to find fuel, etc.

As far as I know, only one group of bikers (the crazy Russians) did the entire old summer road this year, I have not heard of anyone else doing it.
Hi Tom
Sent you a PM with my email. Thanks for the roadbook. My wording does seem "disservice-ful". A much better description is at ADVrider - View Single Post - Siberian Extreme 2010 - Back for More You know it better than me as you've ridden it. I was trying to remember stuff through the fog of my fueled mind when we chatted in Moscow.

Apart from the Crazy Russians you mentioned, who else has recently (in the last 3 years?) ridden the Old Summer Road via Tomtor (Walter's section 7 in the above link)? I think Walter and Sherri-Jo did it? Which route did Dan and Ed take this year? Walter and Tony on their trip?

cheers
Chris
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 4 Oct 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Moscow, Russia
Posts: 1,003
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post

Apart from the Crazy Russians you mentioned, who else has recently (in the last 3 years?) ridden the Old Summer Road via Tomtor (Walter's section 7 in the above link)? I think Walter and Sherri-Jo did it? Which route did Dan and Ed take this year? Walter and Tony on their trip?
I think Walter rode it with Sherri Jo and Tony (the year before), but Tony or Walter would need to confirm. Not sure about Dan and Ed, although Walter did mention a couple of Brits that could not cross at Kyubeme, but that rode to Tomtor from the eastern end of the road, maybe it was them.

I think there were also some other groups/individuals that did it in 2010 and 2009, but Walter would be the best to ask.

In Yakustk I met an Aussie 4x4 couple that did the OSR in their truck, I am trying to find a link to their site, they showed some some pretty cool video showing road conditions.

I have not spoken with the Russians in detail, but apparently they only had problems with the water level at the beginning and the end (they hired a truck to get across at Kyubeme), but also that it should not be done alone, or maybe even in a pair (there were five of them), because of the sheer number of water crossings and bogs where you could get stuck. I should also mention that these guys are pretty hard core, and that it took them I think 4-5 days to do the OSR, including a maintainance day in Tomtor.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 4 Oct 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moscow
Posts: 1,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffdowg View Post
Tony - Do you have anymore info on that gravel road from Irkutsk? I couldn't see it on OSM and couldn't trace it on GE. It would help cut off that corner to Bratsk unless you think it is worth the visit? even that section of the BAM?

Also, having ridden these roads what would be your views on taking a well equipped Land Rover across the BAM and ROB? I know some people from the UK were mean't to try it this year but got delayed, not sure where they are now, but its a bit late in the year for them to try anything now.
The track north if Zhilagalovo is fine graded gravel. A very enjoyable road.

RoB.
Any car, 2 or 4WD should have little difficulty on the Federal Road parts of the RoB network of roads and tracks. A 4WD would be needed once you get off that and some sections would probably be impassable even to them.
Much depends on the weather and amount of water lying about, not just rain but the quantity of the past winter's snow. When it eventually melts the permafrost below the surface stops water absorbtion so it just sits there slowly evaporating. Hence the whole area and all of northern Siberia, being so wet and muddy in summer and smooth zimniks - frozen ice tracks only passable in winter.

BAM (Western)
Different proposition!
Consider this - about 100 or 200km west of Taksimo we met Michael Rej coming the other way. He is probably Poland's most experienced 4x4 expedition leader having been organising and leading them and instructing for more than 15 years. A typical 'hard core' Polish adventurer - and at the top of his trade.
This time he was leading SyberiaMongolia 2009 - Syberia-Mongolia 2009 a two vehicle (Discovery and a Toyota something) trip to Mongolia. They were very well sponsored by many Polish and World brands and a Polish TV - so money equipping themselves with the most practical equipment was presumably not a problem.
They chose to do the western BAM as a diversion to relieve the monotony of the Trans Siberian Highway to their intended Mongolia turn off.

They eventually got through to Tynda but by then the vehicles were in such a bad state that their Mongolia aspirations (and the purpose of the trip) were curtailed and they had to work very hard just to get their vehicles back to Poland, not on trailers.

There are many of their clips if you do a YouTube search syberiamongolia as well as through their own WebSite above.

There are very steep railway embankments you must climb (and descend) to get over some rivers on the railway bridges (active with freight trains) - you will have to drive along the actual rails at times - many 'road' bridges were not even safe for a our single track light bikes - others we had to rebuild with timber to make just a single track for the bikes - others were partially or completely absent, requiring some very bumpy river crossings, dry and wet. And so on. And it will all have deteriorated further by 3 more Siberian winters by next summer.

And then there is the VITIM BRIDGE - something I personally never ever, EVER want to see again in this life (I am still sometimes kept awake at night thinking about it). Without that bridge I would dearly love to revisit the entire BAM but with a lighter bike and less stuff.

BAM (eastern section)
4 wheels? Forget it is my opinion - although I admit to knowing nothing of the full capabilities of 4x4s.

I am not trying to paint a picture to glorify out own exploits but giving honest opinions. Look at Michael Rej's BAM drive - and be aware of the atrition to the vehicles that he suffered, such that they barely got them home.

Last edited by Tony P; 4 Oct 2011 at 17:25.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 4 Oct 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Moscow, Russia
Posts: 1,003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
Looking around the surrounding terrain I would describe it as more 'grown over sandy dunes' sooner than giant dunes, like on Walter's latest ride!
This Russian guy described the dunes as being pretty big and impressive, although I'm not sure if if they are quite like Merzouga...

Apparently these dunes are not right on the BAM, but to the north a bit, and IIRC, you could not actually ride to them (you have to walk to the dunes themselves), although you could ride close enough to see them, or maybe they are even visible from the BAM.

I would be interested to hear if Walter has heard of, or laid eyes on, these (mythical) dunes?
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 4 Oct 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moscow
Posts: 1,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
I would be interested to hear if Walter has heard of, or laid eyes on, these (mythical) dunes?
He knew of them and mentioned them at the time as being nearby when we refulled at Chara (just north of the BAM from Noviy Chara that has no fuel).

But we were all getting long behind our generous flexible schedules and left with the comment "for another time".
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 4 Oct 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Bristol UK
Posts: 428
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
The track north if Zhilagalovo is fine graded gravel. A very enjoyable road.

RoB.
Any car, 2 or 4WD should have little difficulty on the Federal Road parts of the RoB network of roads and tracks. A 4WD would be needed once you get off that and some sections would probably be impassable even to them.
Much depends on the weather and amount of water lying about, not just rain but the quantity of the past winter's snow. When it eventually melts the permafrost below the surface stops water absorbtion so it just sits there slowly evaporating. Hence the whole area and all of northern Siberia, being so wet and muddy in summer and smooth zimniks - frozen ice tracks only passable in winter.

BAM (Western)
Different proposition!
Consider this - about 100 or 200km west of Taksimo we met Michael Rej coming the other way. He is probably Poland's most experienced 4x4 expedition leader having been organising and leading them and instructing for more than 15 years. A typical 'hard core' Polish adventurer - and at the top of his trade.
This time he was leading SyberiaMongolia 2009 - Syberia-Mongolia 2009 a two vehicle (Discovery and a Toyota something) trip to Mongolia. They were very well sponsored by many Polish and World brands and a Polish TV - so money equipping themselves with the most practical equipment was presumably not a problem.
They chose to do the western BAM as a diversion to relieve the monotony of the Trans Siberian Highway to their intended Mongolia turn off.

They eventually got through to Tynda but by then the vehicles were in such a bad state that their Mongolia aspirations (and the purpose of the trip) were curtailed and they had to work very hard just to get their vehicles back to Poland, not on trailers.

There are many of their clips if you do a YouTube search syberiamongolia as well as through their own WebSite above.

There are very steep railway embankments you must climb (and descend) to get over some rivers on the railway bridges (active with freight trains) - you will have to drive along the actual rails at times - many 'road' bridges were not even safe for a our single track light bikes - others we had to rebuild with timber to make just a single track for the bikes - others were partially or completely absent, requiring some very bumpy river crossings, dry and wet. And so on. And it will all have deteriorated further by 3 more Siberian winters by next summer.

And then there is the VITIM BRIDGE - something I personally never ever, EVER want to see again in this life (I am still sometimes kept awake at night thinking about it). Without that bridge I would dearly love to revisit the entire BAM but with a lighter bike and less stuff.

BAM (eastern section)
4 wheels? Forget it is my opinion - although I admit to knowing nothing of the full capabilities of 4x4s.

I am not trying to paint a picture to glorify out own exploits but giving honest opinions. Look at Michael Rej's BAM drive - and be aware of the atrition to the vehicles that he suffered, such that they barely got them home.
Tony,

Really appreciate your comments. With regards to the east I wasn't planning on after reading the ride report some time ago.

That expedition is reasonably well equiped, we wont be going with anything less. I found the full length of their video here: campusadventureteam's Channel - YouTube

That Toyota thing is a 200 series Land Cruiser. Would be interested to hear what was wrong with them that they struggled to carry on. The Cruiser looks very low (stock) so I imagine the underside got a bit of a kicking.

For the 4 wheelers steep banks are not a huge problem, railway bridges shouldn't be much of a problem, we crossed one in Senegal: https://www.facebook.com/#!/video/vi...50178618323306

Im mostly concerned with the bridges but more so the flow of the rivers. Depth isn't usually the problem, rate of flow is! I dont have much experience of fast flowing rivers so that TBH is what scares me most.

Like you said, its all dependant on the season/rainfall/snow. Lets hope 2013 is a good year and we dont have to tackle it as a single vehicle

G
__________________
Land Rover D90
www.Siroccoverland.com | Follow us on Facebook
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 4 Oct 2011
colebatch's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London / Moscow
Posts: 1,735
CHara Sand Dunes

They are accessible from Stary CHara (Old Chara) ... where you have to go for fuel anyway.

I have even made it easy for you guys ... I have drawn in the access trails on OSM. Or ask any locals at Chara.

The dunes are a bit of a geological anomaly ... no-one knows how they got there. But they are there, only 6km I think it is from Chara. The dunes are the olive coloured blob on OSM next to Chara. There is a river crossing involved.
__________________
__________________________________________________ ________________
"Do NOT go wherever the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail"



Sibirsky Extreme - Adventure Motorcycling Guide to Siberia and Mongolia - on Facebook

Click here for Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 4 Oct 2011
chris's Avatar
Probably out riding
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: God's Own County
Posts: 2,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffdowg View Post

For the 4 wheelers steep banks are not a huge problem, railway bridges shouldn't be much of a problem, we crossed one in Senegal:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post

There are very steep railway embankments you must climb (and descend) to get over some rivers on the railway bridges (active with freight trains) -
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post

And then there is the VITIM BRIDGE -
Assuming you can get your car up and down the railway embankments, would you be allowed to cross the bridge in a slow car? A little bike can get across very quickly and if a "freight train a comin' " also get out of the way pdq.

Can a car fit across the Vitim Bridge?

Chris
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 4 Oct 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moscow
Posts: 1,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post
Assuming you can get your car up and down the railway embankments, would you be allowed to cross the bridge in a slow car? A little bike can get across very quickly and if a "freight train a comin' " also get out of the way pdq.
And I met one coming the other way. Fortunately I reached one of the 'refuge lay bys' with literally a second to spare!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post
Can a car fit across the Vitim Bridge?
Yes - look at the various videos on YouTube.

Here is the latest video - and fastest yet. All of about 40 minutes quicker than me. No one challenging my record?
Vitim River 2011 on Vimeo
1 minute 11 seconds.
Notice the clean central path on the timbers? Perhaps created by the apparent "hoardes" of motos attracted to this 'Everest' of bridges.

Sadly, it will be inevitable thatone day someone will go over the side. With the current and cold water the result is without doubt.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Asia Waypoints colebatch Northern Asia 141 29 Jun 2014 11:23
Forward planning... Shipping Dhaka / Asia to NZ March 2012 stumuxlow Trip Transport 0 13 Aug 2011 14:20
Mongolia via 'Stans 2012 dan66 Travellers Seeking Travellers 15 27 Jun 2011 20:00
Central Asia/Mongolia/Siberia Timeline Griffdowg Northern Asia 5 25 Dec 2010 21:49
good welder in Russian far east / siberia / mongolia robbie.gray Northern Asia 10 9 Apr 2010 11:16

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 16:25.