We did St Pete to Vlad July/ August last year, also went down into Kaz/ Uzebk/ Tajik and back. Two Triumph Tigers, 00 and 01's.
We ran out of time on the Visa's so did the Chita/ Vlad leg via the train. Did meet a couple of riders who in Vlad who completed the last leg. They said the road was OK, mostly gravel but only averaged 250/ 300 km per day.
One fellow has placed a post today on the Asia section having just finished it. (20 July) Best riding in Russia is around Lake Baikal and through to Chita (that we found away)
A few different ways across but we followed the M7 for the most part. The road conditions was on the whole OK (well from an Australian point of view), few sections in Eastern Siberia that was under construction.
Camped nearly the whole way after leaving St Pete. Lake Baikal is a must stop. Some great camping sites right on the road.
You can find good Road Atlas of all Russia and Central Asia (our copy was printed 2002) in a number of book stores in Helisnki. Also saw them for sale in St Pete and Vlad at around the same price. For the most part was reasonably up to date and OK to navigate with (we did not have GPS)
We averaged around 500 km per day, but as I said we spent too long in Central Asia and had to pull our fingers out for the last leg.
Feel free to e-mail if want any more details, but cant help with accommodation at all, few others on the site have used hotels and maybe able to give you information on bike friendly places.