Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

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-   -   Way from Barnaul to Ualaan Batar (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/route-planning/way-from-barnaul-ualaan-batar-59665)

AndiP 12 Oct 2011 12:27

Way from Barnaul to Ualaan Batar
we are three guys from Germany planning a motorcycle (BMW R11XX GS) trip from Germany to Novosibirsk (shipping company for bikes and plane for drivers) or on the transsiberian highway. Then through the Altai mountins to mongolia. Then from UB to the lake baikal and back from Irkutsk to Moscow by train.
Can anybody give us a route tip for heavy motorcycles from Barnaul to UB?
The north route (margenta) should have more river crossings and heavy sand. We would prefer an easier "road" constitution like gravel(south route in red). Which route has the more interresting sights to see?
We are planning this trip for Mai/June 2012 or 2013. Hope to get here some information.
Does anybody know a shipping company for the motorcycles from Germany to Novosibirsk?
Is it possible to travel in the same train together with the bikes on the transsib-railway?

Best reguards from Germany


stephen.stallebrass 12 Oct 2011 19:28


Planning on going to Mongolia myself next year... so it'll be interesting to see where this thread goes. Have you checked out what the weather will be like that time of year? It's a toss up between temperature and rain. July-August are the summer months so they're the warmest but they're also the wettest.

The travel season begins in mid-May, although early May can still see snow, especially in the north. July is the time to see the Naadam Festival but it's also peak tourist season, however, I think unless your in UB how many travellers can there be?

August can see lots of rain, which isn't great for the river crossings, mud tracks and mossies. On the other hand it'll be nice for the vast grass steppe... September is cooler and apparently brings greater colours in the northern forests but more importantly the flies and mosquitoes start to disappear.

The cold season is November to February and nomadic Mongolians allegedly consider March and April the worst months as they can bring financial and psychological hardship after the winter months.

I'm sure I'll be corrected if wrong, but I've heard that the northerly route is preferable to the south in terms of things to see: landscapes etc?

jpyrek 12 Oct 2011 20:47

Go South. YOu hit it on the head when you said easier river crossings. THere will still be some, but as you move further south in Mongolia, the rivers become more shallow and slower flowing. The scenery is AMAZING....I have never in my life breathed air so clean...seen sunlight without any air polution. It is incredible.

As far as sights go, Mongolia itself is the sight. There are a few "cities" along the way...Olgi, Khovd, Bayanhongor. They are good to grab some food and move on, but that's about it. There are gorgeous mountains near the Russian/Mongolian border and you'll hug the Gobi doing the southern route. You can try and hit up Kharkorum on your way to Ulaanbaatar....and you could check out the giant Chinngis Khan statue south of UB.

You'll have a fun trip and be amazed at what that incredible country offers you.

gypsyprincess 13 Oct 2011 09:26

Go North!
I would say the exact opposite and to go north!

We just did that route this summer, but we rode the bikes straight from Germany. The Altai region was my favorite place to ride in Russia, we also have the GPS point for a biker meeting point in Chemal if you want it just PM me for it. Konstantine is always open to new bikers. I wrote an article about it here if you want to know what you would be in for: (Naked With Strange Russian Men - Unleash Your Adventure)

The North is a more difficult route, but I think it is also the most interesting, I did it with my BMW F 650 with one minor crash (and that was due to stupidity). The other two (also a BMW F 650 and a Honda Africa Twin) had no such accidents. ;-) The big thing I think is time. If you want to be fast you may find yourself riding in mud and too fast in it. Go a little slower and really enjoy the scenery.

But like jpyrek says, no matter where you go the view is amazing. Mongolia itself is the sight to see. As far as motorcycling goes it was one of my fav places, Iceland beats it just a little bit. But do not expect much culinary delight before you hit Ulan Batar again.

As for shipping I am not sure, sorry! But I think you are going to have an awesome time on that route!


romafras 15 Oct 2011 08:01

Just came back from the trip to Mongolia with my bike. From Barnaul we went to Tashanta. I would keep south.
My trip in mongolia on From Italy Around the world on Motorcycles

Sjeng 15 Oct 2011 08:37


In 2007 I did the southern route, the Mongolian Altain is stunning. Mongolia is for shure the most exiting motorcycle country in the world. Every view is mindblowing (exept in the cities), the roads are a challenge, the people are hospitable. What else do you need ( eh food........challenging aswell).
Be shure to visit the Oasis guesthouse in UB ( Willkommen in der Mongolei) It's a haven for stranded motorcyclists. They can help you shipping your motorcycle back to Germany.
We shipped ours in a 20ft container filled it up with Mongolian gers which we sold in the Netherlands. This way we payed for the shipping costs.
Rene and Sybille can help you with the customs and paperwork.

Visit my blog, unfortunately it is in Dutch but the pictures will show enough.
Altai & Gobi 2007
This one is in English......
To Mongolia 2007 - ADVrider

Have Fun,

Chinggis 15 Oct 2011 09:17

from what I've seen of other reports I would say the northern route is more difficult but more scenic, but the southern route is faster but somewhat less interesting (a lot of desert apparently). Which is why when I go I plan to do both. :funmeteryes:

off topic, but what mapping software and maps are you using there?

estebangc 15 Oct 2011 22:56

I took the southern route 3 years ago (by car) and it was beautiful (in spite of the corrugations!). I have also heard that northern one is harder, but if it is even nicer, then it has to be really amazing.

In case it may help, a map from Barnaul to Tashanta, click on the link (I posted it in this thread about crossing Kazakhstan). And a map of Mongolia with the petrol stations (that not always work, though). I'm sure that Reise-Know-How map has to be great (and sturdy enough for Mongolia).

Have fun and enjoy the ride.


PS: Get ready for all four seasons in the very same day (sun, heat, rain, cold...).

colebatch 16 Oct 2011 13:39

i wouldnt say the northern route is harder. Its more difficult if you want to ride fast, because the rougher terrain and windier roads make mean many parts of the road will limit your speed to 70-80 km/h. On the southern route, the speed is whatever you want it to be. If you are riding a bigger bike and not riding quickly, then the northern route is not harder, just not as quick.

The northern route is less sandy.

The northern route is much more scenic.

stephen.stallebrass 16 Oct 2011 14:59


Originally Posted by colebatch (Post 352642)
The northern route is less sandy.

The northern route is much more scenic.

Two very good reasons why I'll be taking the Northern route in 2012. :thumbup1:

gypsyprincess 16 Oct 2011 16:19


We used the reise know how for Mongolia (in English and German and water/tear proof) with open street maps on Navdroid. We were really impressed with open street maps for Mongolia, we had no problems!

AndiP 17 Oct 2011 06:40

first of all thanks for the informations. At the moment I use this map for planning:
Free worldwide routable Garmin maps from OpenStreetMap
A good WP-list I got from here:
Mongolian GPS coordinates tracks points database
At the end of this month a want to talk to a german guy who travelled this year from spain to magadan through mongolia.
What about river crossings on the north route? On Island we had some rough crossings with appr. 70cm water deepth and a fast flow speed of the water.
The wideth of the river crossings was 30 - 50m. With how much river crossings must we plan on the north route? I would prefer it if we can carry the bikes to Novosibirsk. So we would have more time in mongolia.

colebatch 28 Oct 2011 15:46


Originally Posted by AndiP (Post 352723)
At the end of this month a want to talk to a german guy who travelled this year from spain to magadan through mongolia.

Andreas and Claudia?


Originally Posted by AndiP (Post 352723)
What about river crossings on the north route? On Island we had some rough crossings with appr. 70cm water deepth and a fast flow speed of the water.
The wideth of the river crossings was 30 - 50m. With how much river crossings must we plan on the north route?

It depends on the weather.

If it has been raining for 2 weeks when you get there, then you can have a lot of river crossings with fast flowing water. If it has been dry, you might only have one or two small ones.

If it has been raining and has now stopped, then wait a day or two and the water will mostly be gone.

As for maps, I also think OpenStreetMap maps and garmin receivers are the best way to go.

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