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!
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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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I wondered if there is anyone who can tell me something about how useful a UAZ 3962 4x4 minibus (used to be numbered: UAZ 452A) is for overland travel.
They seem to be the vehicle of choice in Mongolia and (eastern-)Russia. (along with the jeep-like model build on the same wheelbase) and I was quite impressed with there off-road capabilities in mud, water and on lose rock. Also: they seem to be very self-serviceable.
However I don't know how reliable they are, how they compare to other vehicles (defender, landcruiser etc.) and whether it is possible at all to register one in (main-land) Europe.
My questions are:
Is there anyone out there who has experience in diving these minibuses?
How reliable are they?
How do they compare to other 4-wheel drives?
Is it a realistic option for an overland trip (to Mongolia and back or from mongolia to europe)
[This message has been edited by jacco (edited 09 March 2006).]
Jacco: The UAZ minibus and jeep are very common in the Mongolian countryside. When they are running, they are very capable 4wd vehicles in sand, mud and water crossings. Good ground clearance. And they have a crank, so you can start them when (not if) the starter stops working. They are cheap to buy and to fix.
The drawback is that they are not reliable. They break down frequently, especially the engine. Mongolians who drive the UAZ vehicles are generally great mechanics and can fix them quickly. I've traveled many thousands of kilometers in Mongolia in UAZ jeeps, but always with an experienced driver/mechanic.
So, the short answer: don't use one unless you have a good mechanic who knows the UAZ well. If you don't have the mechanic you are much better off using a Japanese 4wd. Toyotas (Land Cruiser/Prado/Hilux, etc.)have the best reputation in Mongolia, but the Mitsubishi Pajero and Nissan Patrol are good also.
At the weekend I went to collect a big pile of school supplies for my forthcoming trip to the Gambia. The guy I got them off is from an outfit called simply clive racing (they have a website). They are running a trip to vladivostok in July (him in an old london taxi), in the manner of the plymouth-dakar. I was suprised to see he has a couple of these UAZ things in his yard, one a runner, one for spares he found sitting in a field near 'nam, cheltenam that is! he confirmed that they can be a bit tempremental but score on being very basic to fix. I suppose one option would be to run it around the uk for a bit first to iron out any teething troubles and get to know the vehicle. Most failures on vehicles this basic are relatively straightforward, usually ignition or carburation issues.
you could always get the british equivalent of course, a land rover 101. fit it with LPG and it will be very cheap to drive right across europe and into russia, where gas is still cheaper than petrol, which in itself is very cheap.
I'm not in the phase of setting a departure date yet. (I'll have to work for at least one year)
I started looking into options for my next trip in an attempt to keep myself sane after returning from a year of travel.
But I'm not even sure yet where to go yet.
1. from Europe to Mongolia (and on to Kamchatka?)
2. a trip through North and/or South America.
the UAZ van is only an option for the first trip because of spare parts and stuff. Also I'm still not sure about how there mechanical simplicity compensates for there reliability. But there price is OK (less than 7000 euros new, it seems, if you would buy one in Russia) and there are plenty second hand vans available.
we have also a van and I have to say that this car is the coice to go to the countryside in Mongolia. When you buy it take a Mongolian driver with you and afterwards learn some mechanic from him and you'll be fine. The car costs at the moment 12.000.000 Turgrug at the market. But i9n summer the prices are going up. 1 Dollar is 1180 Turgrug
Do you know if you would be allowed to enter any country (outside europe) with a UAZ minibus or 469b?
Jacco, where would you buy yours?
(I plan to buy one in Armenia but I will probably have no other choice than to sell it before I leave)
some italian and northern-europe travellers use their 452 with great satisfaction since 70'. 452 were prepared for Iceland and Sahara experiences, with few works (and the correct maintenance that nobody in East countries do..) the russian "breadloafs", as are called in Russia, became a reliable little van. try uaz web club sites and forums in east europe (uazbuka.ru) or in italy (uazitalia.net) where were built different customization (try "cirami" on google), they are very useful and interesting: with manuals, tips, FAQ and improvements guides.. and someone talks english too
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