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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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Old 30 Aug 2006
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The Stan`s

Dear All

Has anyone takena trip through the Stans recently . I`m considering doing the trip from Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and hopefull a ferry across the Caspian Sea to Kazakstan.

Am I mad to consider this route two up on a GS1150. Any advise or info?

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Old 31 Aug 2006
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Location: Genova, Italy - Kabul, Afghanistan
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You can do it. Check my report:

many other motorbiking travellers did it. On this web site you can find tons of info about that area
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Old 31 Aug 2006
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Hi, I went through all apart from Afganistan at the end of last summer. Roads in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were OK but check the fuel situation in Uzbekistan. There wasn't any when I was there! Roads in Tajikistan are almost all rough and in Kyrgystan and Kazakstan it depends where you are. No reason why you shouldn't do it on the 1150 if you get your tires sorted. Didn't see much for bikes that wasn't for a Ural! My favorite where Kyrgystan and Tajikistan for the scenery easily.

Cheers Fish.
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Old 9 Sep 2006
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Hi there,

I 'did' the 'stans on my 1150 in May/June/July, albeit 1 up. Wonderful area to travel although road conditions can get tough as mentioned above. Having said that I got through everything with no major problems and only dumped the bike a couple of times! Tajikistan and parts of kazakhstan/Kyrgystan were the worst.

Do you still have the catalytic converter fitted to your bike? If so, get rid of it - you'll find the bike handles the (sometimes dreaful) fuel quality with no problems.

Go for it!
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Old 9 Sep 2006
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The ferry from Baku to Kazahkstan may be a problem as the schedule is erratic and it may only leave every week or two. You will not find out a departure date until you arrive in Baku and visit the ferry terminal. The ferry from Baku to Turkmenbashi runs several times a day and aside from the difficulty in getting a ticket, it was an enjoyable journey.

Also, Azerbaijan may only give you a 3 day transit time for your bike, you can either quickly transit though the country and leave within 3 days or overstay this period like we did (by a week) and receive a lot of grief but a very small fine. Make sure you have these issues squared away before you board the ferry or you may miss it.

You can't go from Armenia to Azerbaijan either. These countries are still technically at war and the borders are closed between them. No border crossings between Turkey and Armenia as well. The only way to get into Armenia is via Georgia or maybe Iran. You will have to do Turkey-Georgia-Armenia-Georgia-Azerbaijan. Be prepared for some grief when the Azeri border officials find out you have visited Armenia.

I did the Caucasus and the 'Stans last summer, its an amazingly memorable place to visit and I can recommend it. The GS should be fine, although in Kazahkstan it could be a big problem from Aktau (where the ferry drops you) as I have heard this track is a nightmare.
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