Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Northern Asia

Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Refreshing, funny, informative, thought provoking, honest, inspirational, infectious, budget overlanding. A handbook, a guidebook but ultimately a genuine traveller’s tale

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 17 Mar 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 53
Unleaded fuel in Central Asia in 2011

Hi all,

we're in the final stage of our Central Asia trip planning. We'll start out from Belgium on an f800gs and f650gs(twin) and hope to depart in the next two weeks. Although this is my first post, the HUBB has been an *incredible* source of information during our research, so thanks for that!

Okay, I thought we had most things sorted out, but now I'm getting a bit nervous about the fuel we might be forced to tank in some places in the stans. We'll cross Kazachstan, Takjikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and possibly Turkmenistan.

Both our bikes have catalytic converters and getting it out seems to involve either cutting and welding the stock pipes (sounds scary to me!), or installing an aftermarket Remus header which is incompatible with our crashbars and bash plate (quite costly). Also, I do care about the environment so I prefer to keep the cat in!

  • does anyone have up-to-date information on unleaded fuel availability in the stans? Is it only available in cities/big villages and would that be enough if we carry a jerrycan in places like the Pamirs? According to some sources (eg. Countries where Leaded Petrol is Possibly Still Sold for Road Use, As at 22nd June 2009 and http://www.un.org/esa/gite/cleanfuel...aloverview.pdf) these countries have or are currently banning leaded fuel.
  • if we do need to fill up on leaded fuel, will the cat die immediately? According to my BMW dealer it will and the bikes will be immobilised. However, reports on the HUBB suggest that the bikes will be fine although the cat will stop cleaning emissions after prolonged use of leaded fuel (how long?). Did anyone try with these particular bikes?

Thanks for any info!

Last edited by wanderer78; 17 Mar 2011 at 18:49. Reason: Some minor corrections..
Reply With Quote
Old 17 Mar 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 53
Here's a 2010 overview by UNEP of countries banning leaded fuel, in Eastern Europe and Central Asia:


Curious how this relates to reality.

Reply With Quote
Old 18 Mar 2011
colebatch's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London / Moscow
Posts: 1,726
i think you will be fine.
__________________________________________________ ________________
"Do NOT go wherever the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail"

Sibirsky Extreme - Adventure Motorcycling Guide to Siberia and Mongolia - on Facebook

Click here for Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer
Reply With Quote
Old 18 Mar 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Between London & Singapore
Posts: 156
I agree with Colebatch.

You 'should' be fine, your only problem might be Uzbekistan. We were there in August/september 2010 and there wasn't a whole lot of fuel anywhere.

It became a case of use whatever you could find (rumours were of vegetable oil and coca-cola being used to dilute but didn't seem to affect out fuel economy!!....)

Maybe things have changed, maybe not. Either way stock up before you cross the border (preferably in Turkmenistan - it super cheap there!)
Reply With Quote
Old 22 Mar 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: england
Posts: 80
You should be fine, All the Stans have decent fuel. In Russia I found the 92 octane gave more miles per tank than 95 octane, and left more rubbles in my pocket. Same in Kazakhstan
Reply With Quote
Old 22 Mar 2011
farqhuar's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Oztralia
Posts: 566
Originally Posted by dmitrij View Post
You should be fine, All the Stans have decent fuel. In Russia I found the 92 octane gave more miles per tank than 95 octane, and left more rubbles in my pocket. Same in Kazakhstan

.... and on my Suzuki I found the 76 octane even better again than the 92 octane.
Garry from Oz - powered by Burgman
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mongolia & Central Asia, 2011 Wildman Northern Asia 6 5 Jun 2010 12:09
unleaded fuel hook BMW Tech 7 6 Jun 2006 19:21
Unleaded Fuel nikb South America 6 30 Aug 2005 14:57
unleaded in Central South America? john caraway Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 3 16 Jun 2003 06:12
Fuel Containers/Unleaded Fuel lcyukon Sahara Travel Forum 1 4 Dec 2002 11:38


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:37.