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  #1  
Old 2 Feb 2014
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Seoul to Vladivostok to St Petersburg on TransSiberian Highway

Arriving July 2014 in Seoul, ferry to Vladivostok, then Trans-Siberian highway to Moscow and St Petersburg. Understand it is "all paved" but not sure what that means. Currently planning on taking my Goldwing 1800 (that's my bike and I would like to stick with it), my brother on a 800GS. Agree completely with argument for smaller bikes in general and dual sports in particular, on rough roads, but seems that if the TSH is their main road, connecting large cities, and I assume regular cars handle it, the touring bike will do ok.

Has anyone taken the route in the last couple years (Vladivostok, Zavitinsk, Ulan-Ude, Kranoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Kurgan, Ufa, Moscow). Especially interested in the portion to Ulan-Ude.

And of course, any other thoughts.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 2 Feb 2014
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I took the road from Ulan Ude to Moscow and further to Lativa in 2013

Mostly paved, with some parts unpaved and construction.
this parts can have 30km or more.

In August, I got 2 long parts back home which were hard to drive, it was raining before and it was all mud.
2 times about 30km

Without my Mitas 09 tires It would have been a struggle.
But I could see Russian bikers with choppers doing that.

On the Road between Ulan Ude and Vladivostock I can see a lot of pictures and stories , that it is mostly gravel roads.
But maybe I am wrong.

A lot of drivers have done this street, they may help you better than I do.
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  #3  
Old 2 Feb 2014
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I haven't been further east than Never, but from I understand that the whole road is paved other than the odd construction zones. The road between Chita and Irkutsk is rather good.

You shouldn't have any problem on a Goldwing except perhaps in construction, but that should be manageable.

The road is long and very boring. Unless your budget demands it, I suggest that you don't compound the problem by camping or staying in crappy truck stops. Many of the cities along the way, including Ulan-Ude, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk, and Ufa are a day's ride apart and are rather nice, so you might as well take advantage of it. I also suggest you divert south and ride up along the Volga a bit, a surprising beachy atmosphere on the shores of the Volga during summer.

I guess less of an "adventure" but probably much more pleasant.

Last edited by motoreiter; 3 Feb 2014 at 22:09.
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  #4  
Old 2 Feb 2014
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I am doing the same route with some friends, but we will be about two weeks behind you. Everything I have heard is consistent with what you have been told. It's paved but for the occasional construction zone. We are all on BMW GS. Dave
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  #5  
Old 3 Feb 2014
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Seoul to Europe

Did it 2012 July, on my Harley Davidson Road King,, Seoul to Milano,, You will not have any problems on your great machine.
Just be careful of new asphalt that melts in the hot July sun, It becomes a sea of oil. Many bikers went on a long skids.
Frequent road constructions ,, and deep gully of dried mud tracks to watch for, Since we both have heavy bikes... hard to get it up again with out the help from passers by. I had only one down but almost impossible alone,, had to stop a truck. Go read my travels here on the HUBB,, will get you a sense of how it was.
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...-speak-56119-2
I had a great time ,, meeting wonderful people and bikers,, hope you will too.
Give me a holler, when you arrive in Korea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garywegener View Post
Arriving July 2014 in Seoul, ferry to Vladivostok, then Trans-Siberian highway to Moscow and St Petersburg. Understand it is "all paved" but not sure what that means. Currently planning on taking my Goldwing 1800 (that's my bike and I would like to stick with it), my brother on a 800GS. Agree completely with argument for smaller bikes in general and dual sports in particular, on rough roads, but seems that if the TSH is their main road, connecting large cities, and I assume regular cars handle it, the touring bike will do ok.

Has anyone taken the route in the last couple years (Vladivostok, Zavitinsk, Ulan-Ude, Kranoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Kurgan, Ufa, Moscow). Especially interested in the portion to Ulan-Ude.

And of course, any other thoughts.

Thanks.

Last edited by seouljoe; 3 Feb 2014 at 22:54.
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  #6  
Old 3 Feb 2014
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agree with everyone else. You will be fine.

Plenty of goldwings do the Trans Siberian every year, since it opened in 2004 even
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Last edited by colebatch; 4 Feb 2014 at 11:43.
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  #7  
Old 3 Feb 2014
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Thanks for the responses.

Sounds like we are in good hands with Yuri in Vladivostok, and maybe the toughest part will be from Vladivostok to Ulan Ude. My experience is that so much is luck of the draw on the weather; understand we should expect hights in 60s/lows in 40s (15/5 Celsius) and some light rain maybe half the days. Does that sound right?

Any comments on camping in eastern Russia? (Seouljoe, I will be contacting you directly on camping in Korea-you paint a good picture of it) On the Goldwing, wouldn't be able to stray too far from the road. Presume there aren't established camp grounds.
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  #8  
Old 3 Feb 2014
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Motorcycle size limits for insurance

Read somewhere about m/c insurance that there might be a limit on size of the bike-1500cc was what I saw. Any thoughts on that? How do we get insurance in Korea, and then in Vladivostok? Presume it is only liability?

I see some 2009 entries on the HUBB about Green Card insurance being extended to Russia, but skepticism about whether it would actually be accepted 'on the ground' ie at a border crossing.
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  #9  
Old 3 Feb 2014
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The road from Never to Ulan Ude is brand new, and as of 2011, was essentially perfect. The only problem is that the stretch of road from Never to Chita in particular and less so from Chita to Ulan Ude, is pretty sparsely populated and in a few areas fuel can be sparse. I've not been east of Never so can't speak to the road out there. Be sure to get Colebatch's waypoints for fuel, hotels, etc.

Siberia can get warmish, certainly warmer than the 60s, but you never know, so you should be ready for almost anything (although in July you can probably rule out snow).

Be careful with camping out there, stay away from villages and try to stay out of sight of the road. Not to put you off, but two motorcyclists have been murdered between Chita and Never over the last few years while camping. Just sayin', you gotta camp smart. Note my point above about staying in cities instead of camping...

There is a good (OK, decent) hotel along the main highway about two kilometers east of the intersection with the Lena Highway (the road to Yakutsk). From there is is a long days' ride (on a good road) to Chita, then an easy ride to Ulan Ude, etc.

Green card insurance should be accepted as long as it lists Russia on the card; I understand that some Green Cards include Russia, and some don't, so you need to get a green card that does. That might have changed in the last couple of years, not sure.
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  #10  
Old 3 Feb 2014
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Insurance and others

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garywegener View Post
Sounds like we are in good hands with Yuri in Vladivostok, and maybe the toughest part will be from Vladivostok to Ulan Ude. My experience is that so much is luck of the draw on the weather; understand we should expect hights in 60s/lows in 40s (15/5 Celsius) and some light rain maybe half the days. Does that sound right?

Any comments on camping in eastern Russia? (Seouljoe, I will be contacting you directly on camping in Korea-you paint a good picture of it) On the Goldwing, wouldn't be able to stray too far from the road. Presume there aren't established camp grounds.
1) Insurance in Korea,, as soon as you claim the bike, from the carrier ,, a temporary ,, 10 days,, 20 days 30 days etc. Expect to pay USD 30 - 50 - 100 etc.
2) Camping Korea ,, whole country is a camping ground,, you can camp almost any where ,, and tons of official camp grounds as well.
3) Russia insurance,, you start asking for it as soon as you land in Zarubino. It costs about USD 110 for 30 days. European green card WILL NOT cover Russia, Albania, Turkey etc (Non EEC) ,,You must hit each insurance kiosk , when entering non union countries, or cops will ask for bribes, when caught, without one. Also BRING some sort of SAFETY certificate, for your bike. Translate it into Russian,, some cases they will not issue an insurance. (New Law)
For European green card write to
rental@mototouring.com
Mototouring s.r.l. – tour operator & motorcycle rental
Via del Ricordo 31 - 20128 - Milano - Italy
Tel. +39.0227201556 - Fax +39.0293660584
P.I./C.F. 11303890153
Mototouring - motorcycle / bike rental, motorcycle tours and riding tours throughout the world
Only company, that will sell you via credit card. Others you have to show up.
Make sure to stipulate and figure out your start and end date. For Scandinavian countries, always make sure to carry the original Green Card,, cops will not recognise copies, unless they are both sides in colour and hard to tell. Otherwise,,, they will make you buy a new one at the border. Several hours hold up and extra cost.

"Hello,
thanks for the message.

Here you have all details regarding Green Card Insurance for a Motorcycle:

15 days: 90,00 Euro
30 days: 113,00 Euro
45 days: 143,00 Euro
90 days: 218,00 Euro
180 days: 360,00 Euro

In order to issue the policy, we need a copy of the document of registration (title, ecc..) of the vehicle via fax or via email, the request form you find in attached and 3/4 working days.

As soon as the policy will be ready, we will send you a copy via email end the original to the address indicated.

The policy is renewable as many times as you need.
Please note, between one period and the next there must be at least one day without coverage.

If you need more information do not hesitate to contact us.

Best regards

Mariaelena
Skype: mototouring2"

4) Camping in Russia ,,
Not worth it ,, full of mosquito, bees and flies , size of my thumb. Garbage every where, under each entrance to the village. 90% of the off road to the village is dirt and gravel. Middle of the highway, perhaps by the gas stations or Kafes,, but then you are exposed to drunks and glue sniffers.

5) NEVER go to Dong Hae - Vladivostok,, you will be stuck for three days minimum for clearing the bike, at the Vladvostok,, and you have to hire Yuri. (Sheer cargo traffic)
Take the :::::StenaDaeaLine::::: Sok Cho to Zarubino.. you clear you bike in three hours ,, no broker needed and be in Vladivostok in less than 4 hours.

Lastly ,, brand new road ,, Mogocha - Chita - Ulan Ude,,,still lips of 2 cm to 5 cm in places (Winter-Summer contraction at the joints),, that will make your bike fly off. Go slow ,, I never did over 80KM,, 60KM most of the way. Seen a skeleton of a biker off the bank ,, that was discovered in two years. Also Ruskie drivers ,, will pass in your lane ,, and pass you 2 meters front of your popping eye balls ,, From Vladivostok to Poland,, it's a national sport to see how close you can pass, to oncoming cars. Always be ready. I've seen bastards come 30 cms to my bike rear before passig me.
Coming off Baikal ,, you will see scams,, cars with hood up ,, asking for help. You just pass,, you will see several.
Good luck.
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  #11  
Old 6 Feb 2014
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got $577 flight from Vancouver to Seoul

Guess I switch from "we're planning on going', to 'we're going.' Good feeling.


Now, I am looking at the $2800 estimate for air freighting a HEAVY Goldwing. Actually, the issue is "a BIG" bike, as the chargable KG is 750 vs an actual weight of 408 kg (probably 500kg with the crate. How much do I like this bike...?

Also, I am laughing about the 'trans-siberian highway' btwn Tygda and Nerchinsk (~1000 km-M58). It shows as a rail road line/no road on the ITMB Russia map, and Google Earth only shows a route line, but no decent satellite imagery in the area. Stuff I read on the web is sketchy about the roads in that stretch. BUT the Google Earth imbedded pictures show a modern 'interstate highway' with two lanes in each direction and you can almost smell the fresh laid asphalt in the pictures. Checked with ITMB and they said they can't confirm a road over that stretch. Maybe if we can confirm it for them, they will name it after us. Ah, the mysteries of travel.
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  #12  
Old 7 Feb 2014
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Was wondering where and how you are freighting your bikes from to Korea?
I am also looking at this route in July.

Kevin
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  #13  
Old 8 Feb 2014
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Estimate was $2800 to air freight from Vancouver to Seoul, for 900 lb gold wing.
Freight Forwarding firm in Vancouver is:
Marshalla Hung
Locher Evers Int'l
109D - 4871 Miller Road
Richmond, BC
Ph: 604-270-4631
Direct Line: 604-515-5298

Rusty, Pacific Motorsports (BMW They do crating for overseas shipments-recommended by LEI)
1000 21000 Westminster Hwy.
Richmond, BC V6V 2S9, Canada
604-276-2552

2. Carter Honda Motorsports & Power Equipment (Honda- could crate Gold Wing for me).
1502 West 3rd Ave
Vancouver, BC V6J 1J7
Canada
Phone number(604) 736-4547

Wendy Choi is the contact in Seoul.
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  #14  
Old 17 Feb 2014
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Rode Zarubino to Ulan Ude last June before going into Mongolia. Everyone is telling you the same correct information. The roughest I rode was coming out of Zarubino. I think I was on the wrong rode for a while. Most of the roads were reasonable-other than some pothole areas. And there are stretches of construction with dirt and gravel. Most are decent. Even in the rain.

I don't think you will find Siberia cold. I was hot from Svobony through Ulan Ude. As SeoulJoe says, drivers in Russia are another breed. I believe a lot of scary moments are because over half the cars and trucks are right hand drives from Japan and Australia.To pass a car or truck,the driver must get all the way in the wrong lane to see if anyone is coming.

Once I had a close call when a car passed a truck coming at me,and cut it real close. After just missing him,there was another idiot car behind him. He stayed towards my shoulder, and at least gave me a narrow path between the semi and his right bumper. Adventure riding.

I took camping gear. A waste of weight and space. I camped 3 times in Mongolia, once in Croatia, Germany, and England. I didn't need to camp. Sometimes I ride later than hotels like to wait up. So I need to.

You can find plenty of free bedding if you contact some motorcycle clubs. These clubs aren't like western M/C clubs. They are fun,friendly,want to help you people. In Vladivostok I stayed with the Iron Angels. Pictures on my blog if you want to see it. The next night I stayed at the house of a family that was on the ferry from Sokcho. I was riding with a couple I met through ADVrider for the first week in Russia. Then we stayed at some riders apartment in Khaborsk. Then we stayed with a family in Svobody. The wife of a biker forced us to cut our riding short that day,so we could stay with them and have a grill out with there biker group.

I had a mechanical problem in Ulan Ude that took 4 weeks for parts to get through customs. I stayed 1 night with the Opposite (refers to cylinders) M/C club. Then 4 weeks with their mechanics family. They would absolutely take no money. They fed me,did my laundry,gave me a decent room and bed,and took me sight seeing. I did leave a decent amount of money under a pillow.

I'd heard how good the Russian people were.But they are just better than you could imagine.
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  #15  
Old 17 Feb 2014
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I used LEI in Richmond,BC also. $1700 for my KLR and $350 for crating at Pacific Motorsport. Marshalla Hung in an office that wasn't that obvious to find.

My Korean insurance cost me $150 because I got it while I was at customs.The agent came to me. He also took me about 5-6 miles to the cargo storage area where my bike was being held. I think you will do a lot better if you buy it before you get there.

You will also need to get some paper work from the DMV in Incheon before you can ride in Korea. Some people use an agent (maybe Wendy Choi). I took the hour bus ride to the DMV and did it myself. Wish I could have spent more time in Korea.
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