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-   -   TransSiberian Highway? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/northern-asia/transsiberian-highway-20863)

liketoride2 7 May 2004 12:51

TransSiberian Highway?
I recently read that Russian President Putin has dedicated the TransSiberian Highway, now an all-weather road entirely across Siberia to Vladivostok. Does anyone know of sources for more infomation on this route, such as support services availability, road surface, etc.?



legall 13 May 2004 04:38

Don't know about the new highway M. Putine talked about.
But here is an interesting web site about the project to build a bridge over the Bering Strait:

liketoride2 13 May 2004 08:48

Thanks for your reply; that is certainly an intersting read!

Despite several google and other searches, I remain frustrated in my attempts to find specific information on this route. One source mentions two websites which are so detailed they describe "every pothole" in the road. But, so far I can't find these sites.

It would seem this route could significantly simplify a RTW ride, which I am considering for next year. Again, any information will be greatly appreciated.


Grant Johnson 13 May 2004 12:15

Search the site for Russia, Vladivostok, Siberia etc.

A number of travellers have ridden that route. Do NOT expect details. http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif

Suffice it to say it's certainly rideable. It is / has been in the process of upgrading / finishing for several years. And like the Alaska Highway, will always be under repair, and for part of the route, the same reason - some of it is built on permafrost.

As for support services - err, no. none. Other than the local population who are generally reported to be very helpful and friendly, so no worries. There is sufficient fuel, although there are remote areas where you need to pay attention and not just assume there will be gas at the next town.

Go for it, and have a great trip!

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


One world, Two wheels.

Shustrik 13 May 2004 19:37

Between Khabarovsk and Chita you can have problems with petrol (especially with "high octane"). But if you have additional fuel tank - no problem.
Many sites of this route is under construction, and you can frequently meet detours around of builded bridges.
And if you have lost a way - ask a road the several "native-men". http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif
forget about asphalt http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif))))

liketoride2 21 May 2004 08:58

Thanks to both of you for your replies and information. Grant, I have run searches such as you suggest, but have been unable to turn up anything on HU specifically on the section of road President Putin dedicated and officially opened. I believe this is the section that Shustrik refers to, from Khabarovsk to Chita. From various sources I have learned that this section has been at least in part open and used for about a year by the local folks (apparently Putin didn't know that prior to arriving in the area for the dedication, and after traveling across several time zones to get there he was very irritated that he was "opening" a road which had been in use for almost a year).

What I have been able to learn about the construction of this particular section has come from non-motorcycle and non-adventure touring sources, such as articles in the Moscow Times, etc. One of the best sources was in Harper's Magazine, of all places, and was by a journalist who actually traveled to the area and described the massive construction project in detail.

From these sources I surmise the following, some of which may be incorrect (someone please correct me where I'm wrong).

1. Completion of this section will allow year round travel completely across Siberia, formerly possible only in winter when the swamps, lakes, and rivers were frozen. The new road replaces a loosely connected series of logging roads which were usually impassible at some point(s) because of mud, high rivers, etc.
2. The new road is currently gravel, as Shustrik says, with completion of paving being scheduled in 2008.
3. Very large pads for construction of support services have been built at intervals along the road. However, I have been unable to find out anything whatsoever if any such services have yet been built, so the availability of gas, lodging, and food is uncertain.
4. Specific information is so vague that even the distances given for the length of this road are contraditory in different sources - I've read anywhere from 350 miles to 1100 miles.
5. What does seem certain is that this was a construction project of massive scale, costing many billions of dollars, and will open parts of Siberia to travel and trucking which haven't been readily accessible before.

I hope to have much more info on this route before I begin my RTW in 2005. I'm thinking of my ride as "Round the World on a motorcyce made as simple as possible," and it does seem this route has the potential to greatly simplify a RTW ride.

Thanks again.


Shustrik 21 May 2004 09:32


Originally posted by liketoride2:
I hope to have much more info on this route before I begin my RTW in 2005. I'm thinking of my ride as "Round the World on a motorcyce made as simple as possible," and it does seem this route has the potential to greatly simplify a RTW ride.

Don't worry, as far as I know, in 2005 situation will be better.
On last datas, already majority of bridges is complited, though asphalt still is not present on many sites.
Welcome and we'll be wait you in 2005.
See ya on the Road...

JoeDakar 16 Jun 2004 19:38

Don't worry, the road is still in construction - fuel is no problem at all. The road condition change from beautifull gravel motorway down to bad mud, you will find breathtaking rivercrossing and some more adventures.

Asphalt - will never happen on that road - it will stay with gravel!

It took as 8 days from Chita to Khabarovsk. No problems!

Have fun over there...


liketoride2 16 Jun 2004 23:01

Joe, thanks very much for the info. That's good to hear regarding availability of fuel. How was the availability of lodging and food?

Thanks again.


JoeDakar 22 Jun 2004 05:37

Hi Mike,

food, as every where in Russia, no problem. Lodging - if the weather is not too bad you will find a place for your tent... at Magocha we stayed at the trainworkers place, at Skovorodino at the train station, on the way, we were allowed to set up our tents in a roadworkers camp (very good food and banja there ;-)... just be creative and don't believe the first "Njet" :-))) Good luck!


petefromberkeley 16 Jul 2004 17:01


I just completed riding the trans siberian "hiway" a couple of days ago. As was mentioned, you get everything. Perfect hard packed dirt to detours that look like MX tracks. There are tons of two wheel drive cars doing it if that helps. There are no longer any river crossings.

Your experience will vary largely by how much rain you get. When it's raining it's slow work indeed. It was for me on my heavy GS and worn tires. I was with a guy on a Suzuki 200 Djebel who was fine. There is an Australian couple about to do it two-up on a GXSR 400. They won't have fun, but any bike could do it.

It is 2,200 kms from Khaberosk to Chita. 1,900 is not paved. It's 800 kms from Vlad to Khaberosk- paved. It is very well signposted and I never really needed my map or GPS. From Chita to Moscow, as far as I know, it is paved.

Putin promised to pave the whole road by 2008 and nobody anywhere seems to believe him. You ask someone if they think the road willbe paved on time and they burst out laughing.

In Mongolia now and there are only two paved sections of road in the whole country, but the tracks are good. You can also travel by compass, but it would not be wise alone.

Hope this helps.


liketoride2 20 Jul 2004 07:37

Pete, that information is extremely helpful, thanks very much for posting it. It's especially useful in making the decision as to what bike to use for the trip. Advice such as "...it would not be wise alone" (referring to Mongolia) is also very helpful since , unless I can find someone to go with me, that's exactly what I will be doing next year.

Thanks again.


CountPacMan 20 Jul 2004 08:13

I just completed the road from Khabarovsk to Chita (in Chita at the moment). The road is mostly gravel and hard pack dirt, but the dirt can change into mud when it rains like it did for me. A couple of sandy sections (they layed sand instead of gravel for some sections), and like Pete said, some of the detours are sort of like motocross tracks. I even got some air on some of the bridge jumps. Fun stuff.

Petrol is no problem but I did have to use 80 octane once as 2 gas stations in a row were out of 92 (which is the norm here).

Time requirements will vary on your mode of transport. It is 2000 km between Khabarovsk and Chita and it took me 4.5 days on my KTM 640 Adventure. If I would have taken less breaks, rests, and had less conversations with people, I imagine it can be done in less, but why?

Plenty of roadsite eateries, and camping is no problem. I camped on 3 of the nights.


Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius - William Blake

Shustrik 20 Jul 2004 09:12

to CountPacMan.
Daniel, I glad, that everythings fine with you and your KTM http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif
By the way, in sunday, when I (with my friends) rided back from Khabarovsk to Vladivostok, we met japanese traveller. His name "Tooru", and he riding by KTM also. http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif))))
His route: Khabarovsk, Ulan-Ude, Mongolia, Kazachstan, Uzbeckistan, etc...

liketoride2 11 Aug 2004 01:28

Thanks for that information, CountPacMan; again, very useful stuff. Sorry for the delay in responding.

I'm happy to hear that food is so readily available. How available are hotels, or is camping the only option most nights?

Thanks again.


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