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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 3 May 2010
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Thumbs up India to Norway

We are a group of four travelers who are planning on riding from India to Norway via the following route:
India, Nepal, China, Kazakhstan, (ferry to) Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece and then as we please through the EU countries...

We are planning to buy the Enfield in India, ride it through the Nepalese border and try to sell/trade it before crossing the Chinese border.. Then buy another cheap bike in China and ride it until we get to Kazakhstan..
Once in Kazakhstan we hope to buy our final bike that will take us for the rest of trip..

Is this a horrible idea? Anything I should be aware of in terms of paperwork or problems in general?
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Old 3 May 2010
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Yep, there´d probably be a horrible amount of paperwork involved. In countries, where you may not speak the local languages, or know your ways around.

You will need a bike with a carnet to enter Pakistan (if you dont have it, your bike will be moved around in a train or a truck - not my idea of a holiday!)

Never owned a bike in India, but I remember reading something about the hardships of getting a carnet for those bikes. Plus I wouldn´t overland on an Enfield, unless I had a reasonable level of mechanical skill to keep it running.

edit. sorry I misread your post, you weren´t going to Pakistan. Fortunately there are people who know about biking in China in this forum, so hopefully they´ll be able to give you some advice (its not going to be a walk in the park I think!)
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Old 4 May 2010
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But can't I just buy an Enfield off another foreigner illegally without the carnet and then cross the Nepalese border by way of bribe or sheer luck? I've heard of a certain number of people doing this..
Once we had crossed the majority of Nepal we would want to sell or trade our Enfields before crossing into China... then once in China we would purchase new bikes illegally and drive them all the way to the Kazakhstan border.. then same pattern, sell/trade them before crossing the border and finally buy motorcycles in Almaty to last us the rest of the journey...
So I guess my next question is:
Does one need a carnet to cross Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia or Turkey?
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Old 4 May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallaceelf View Post
But can't I just buy an Enfield off another foreigner illegally without the carnet and then cross the Nepalese border by way of bribe or sheer luck? I've heard of a certain number of people doing this..
Once we had crossed the majority of Nepal we would want to sell or trade our Enfields before crossing into China... then once in China we would purchase new bikes illegally and drive them all the way to the Kazakhstan border.. then same pattern, sell/trade them before crossing the border and finally buy motorcycles in Almaty to last us the rest of the journey...
You said you´re a group of 4. Do you plan to buy & sell motorcycles for 4 people, and do the same over and over again three times on this trip?

Sure that might be *possible*, but first of all you should have lots and lots of time (and patience!) to arrange it all, and I suspect there´s also a high chance of being ripped off each time you buy/sell.

Just an example:
check out gt rider dot com forums, there´s a brilliant ride report by a guy, who bought a Chinese-plated small bike from Thailand a couple years back, and did manage to sneak into China with it. In fact he finally made it into Tibet, too. But this ride was all but uncomplicated. And when he had technical problems with the bike high up ion Tibet, the workshop guy offered to buy the "non-functioning" bike from him for next to nothing..... and a few hours after the deal was done, he saw the same guy happily riding away with the bike!

I´d also advice against doing things that you know fully well are illegal. There are laws in those countries, too, you know, and those who offend, may find themselves in deep trouble regardless of nationality. Riding in China without a valid licence is just one of the things to consider, and from this forum you can find plenty of info and discussion on that subject, too.
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Old 10 May 2010
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Thanks for the info/suggestions pecha72,

I think that we are planning on basically being ready to give the bikes away if need be.. that will be included in our budget. So if you see some particularly happy Nepalese man riding a motorcycle then you can assume he got it from us dirt cheap ha ha!!

Also, regarding China, I've heard that it is quite easy to get away with driving there illegally but that leaving or entering the country with a vehicle is next to impossible on your own.. Any idea of what the penalty might be for driving illegally in China though?
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Old 11 May 2010
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Sorry, I´ve ridden in many parts of Asia, but never in China, so cannot comment on what the punishments would be.

In fact I wouldn´t be so worried about the police stopping you on the road (but that´ll naturally be a possibility, too)....

what I would be worried about is: what if I crash with a local, and there are severe injuries or worse, and substantial damage to property? That´s when you could really find yourself neck deep in trouble.
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Old 18 May 2010
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Hey that's a good point Pecha72.. I guess we have some more thinking to do... Although I don't think we'll be going through any metropolis' so I'm not too worried about hitting other drivers.. but you're right, you never know..
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Old 18 May 2010
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You´ll probably need to avoid the big cities anyway, cos that´s where they´re most likely to check you.

But it is the most populous country on Earth, so there´s probably lots and lots and lots of traffic almost everywhere. And if it´s anywhere near Indian traffic (it may well be!) then it is really, really bad, a whole new level of reckless driving, and if you´re not 100% accustomed to the way they ride/drive in Asia, this is not the place to learn. Remember also the simple rule: if anything happens, even if it´s not your fault -> "you falang, you pay!"

But I dont mean to put you off on your trip, these are just worst case scenarios, and worth considering before you go.
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Old 25 May 2010
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Yes indeed Pecha, tis true..
Considering the worst case scenario is not usually in my nature but is probably a good idea..

I'm touching up on my motorbike riding here in Korea at the moment but I think that it holds nothing up to the driving that I expect in China..
I'm just hoping that the majority of traffic is on the eastern side of China and not the western

We shall see.. I think I am willing to take the risk because I'm a cautious driver and we will be a fairly visible group of 4 of us.. Anyways without a little danger we couldn't call it an adventure could we??

If you see on the news that a young fella was imprisoned in China then I give you full permission to say "Told ya so" :P ha ha
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