The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Northern AsiaTopics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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While I haven't been to Sakhalin Island, I have travelled in other parts of Russia. Basically, don't leave your bike or gear unattended. Park in a guarded parking lot or hotel lobby. Cities are more dangerous than the countryside. Stay away from groups of young men sharing a bottle of vodka. You should be fairly safe, however there is no guarantee anyplace in the world. I have had a bike stolen here in Japan!
For agencies that will give a letter of introduction, search the HUBB. The topic has been covered before. http://www.waytorussia.net and http://www.visatorussia.com offer services for a price far less than the $1500 you have been quoted. (I am not endorsing them, just saying what I have seen).
If you know Japanese, search for Sakhalin Touring in Japanese and you will find many Japanese tour reports.
I know of some American guys who went on Goldwings last year. So anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
E-mail me and I can put you in contact with some who have actually been if you need more info.
as they say in Russa. I travelled Sakhalin by bike in 05/2003 and I took a cargo boat from Otaru. Wakkanai is easier with the ferry, but more expensive.
I had an international numberplate for my bike (which was registered in japan) but nobody ever looked at it in Korsakov. Japanese papers worked fine, but the customs are corrupt and wanted money - I did not pay anything playing the stupid tourist with a lot of stamps in the passport and a few old russian visas.
I dont think somebody will steal the bike, but as Chris said, you must lock it away at night in a paid parking lot (stoljanka). A car is more interesting for them.
Sakhalin is a very isolated place, also getting to mainland of Russia is difficult. Some police check points, but on a bike they suspect a Japanese traveller and after I told them in Russian that I am German, no more problems.
Go and Enjoy - dont pay 1500 usd for an invitation
Learn Russian and learn how to drink Vodka, but as Chris said, stay away from drunken people in the street.
In my experiences (two motorcycle trips in 2003 and 2004 and several public transportation or car trips), Russia is quite safe for traveling. Of course, you can get mugged, but you can get mugged anywhere.
Knowing some Russian definitely helps, and the Cyrillic alphabet is a must. Outside of the main cities like St. Petersburg and Moscow very few people speak any English. German works surprisinly well in occasions.
Roads wary from pretty good on the main highways to horrible in the countryside and smaller towns, but for an offroad bike that isn't usually an issue.
Getting spares for motorcycles can be difficult outside of the main cities, and even there the parts most likely have to be ordered. But if you're lucky enough to have an Ural or something similar, then there will be parts and people with repair experience in every village.
Keeping the bike at night in guarded parking places (stoyanka, pronounced "stajanka") is always a good idea. This way only thing ever stolen from me in the country has been some petrol overnight.
Gas stations can be found on main roads usually near cities. 92 grade fuel is available pretty much everywhere, and 95 (and even 98) is becoming quite widespread because of the big number of cars imported from central Europe.
Have fun! Russia is a very interesting country to visit.
Hi, for your invite try www.getrussian.com I got my invite from them and had no problems getting the visas or with entry/exit to Russia. The invites are very reasonable about £30.00 and are issued over the internet within a few minutes you then print off a hard copy of the invite from your computer and use this to apply for your visa. If the original is needed for some reason get russian will mail it to you or the embassy your applying through - very helpful and fast. I can recommended them 100%. remember to get your visa/invite verified within 3 days of entry to Russia or you could have problems.I was only in the western area of russia this trip but I have to say I travelled alone and found the russians to be friendly and helpful. security was a problem in places but generally secure parking can be found or in my case the bike was kept in the front hall/foyer of places I stayed this seemed to be the normal thing to do. Its a great country great people and just be sensible as always about your own security.
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