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The ferry/customs police at the Kerch, delayed us trying to extract money,
Lots of people seem to have problems at this border post (like the OP).
Originally Posted by markharf
I was stopped only once--in the Ukraine, and I was definitely speeding and they definitely caught me on radar. In that case, they let me go after an hour or so, and wouldn't even accept a bribe--not the money I hinted at, not even a chocolate bar. So I'm left wondering....what am I doing differently from other posters?
I bet the main thing is that you are careful about not speeding or overaking in no-passing zones--if you follow these rules scrupulously, your chances of getting pulled over drop precipitously, unless the cops just want to check out in bike, in which case you don't have to worry about a bribe. I think that many people don't appreciate that usually when they get pulled over and asked for a bribe, it is because they were breaking traffic laws, not just because the cops wanted a bribe.
,I just got back from a trip from Moscow to Latvia and back and the only time I was pulled over was when I passed a tractor on a two-mile long straight-away with a solid white line. Of course the cops were waiting at the end of the straight-away. I actually suspect that they pay the tractor driver to drive back and forth along with stretch of road to maximize their income.
Also, last time I was in Ukraine I was pulled over by local cops who eagerly accepted a bribe, but they said that the federal cops (with fancier cars, kit, and uniforms) won't accept bribes, so maybe you encountered some of them?
A final word of advice; at least in many US states, you can get a duplicate dirvers license. Get one or two of these, and if the cops keep one and demand a bribe to get it back, tell them to keep it and get back on the bike. You can also get multiple copies of an AAA international drivers license, with the same effect.
Hi, guys. I have crossed recently Ukrain, Russia, Kazkhstan and Uzbekistan (still in Aktau waiting the fxxx ferry), and what I can say is all of them are stinky bastards. Is not only the money they want to get, is the time they steal from you. Every one of these sons of a bitch has the power to stop you just because they feel like to do so. Kaz and Uzbek policemen are less propense to bribe but when they see one of our motorcycles they want to see it closely and ask the price, the brand, the model... 10 to 15 minutes wasted just because one stupid redneck wearing uniform wants to satisfy his curiosity. From Tashkent to Samarkand, barely 350 km, they stopped me five times. At last, you want to send them to hell, but you have to be friendly and say again and again where are you from. Fortunately, Spain is well known worldwide because Real Madrid and Barcelona. I hate football but sometimes it helps.
But when they trie to bribe menacing with "protocol" even taking my drivers licence, specially ukraine and russian ones (they can not do that but maybe they do not even know) that is my usual way: I Say "niet" and "embassy". If you have more time to loose than them, it works, but if you are in a hurry, better negociate. No general rules, sorry, every policeman and every time are different and need differents attitudes.
Every one of these sons of a bitch has the power to stop you just because they feel like to do so. Kaz and Uzbek policemen are less propense to bribe but when they see one of our motorcycles they want to see it closely and ask the price, the brand, the model... 10 to 15 minutes wasted just because one stupid redneck wearing uniform wants to satisfy his curiosity. From Tashkent to Samarkand, barely 350 km, they stopped me five times.
I understand your frustration getting stopped so often, but really is it that big of a deal? You and other bikers are probably the only foreigners some of these guys will ever meet, wouldn't you be curious too? Its just some bored guys in uniform on a lonely stretch of road, cut them some slack. I generally enjoy speaking with these guys (although getting stopped five times would get a little tiresome).
Do you also hate dealing with all those people who waste your time asking questions at gas stations, and the ones who want to take pictures of your bike? You mention something about an embassy, are you a diplomat by any chance?
Hi, Motoreiter. I know what you mean and it is funny sometimes to spend couple minutes being asked about the trip and the bike. Do not miss understanding me. I am having a lot of fun riding the Stans. I like riding here because people are much more open and friendly than in Western World. Is great when you get that kind of warm welcome they reserve for guests. Being guest here is something incredible and nice. Especially in the worst parts of these countries, people are so fantastic and is a real pleasure to be hosted by them and talk about how is each other´s life. The terribly dirty and the lack of comfort can be forgotten because the magic of their generosity.
But burocracy and corruption are a real shit in the former Soviet Union and a lot of people here in Central Asia do not feel any kind of respect for you and your motorcycle. Stopping at gas stations or camping near towns is being disturbed you want or not to have the same chat you had 30 km before and 30 km before. They always want to ride your bike, to sit on it, to try the helmet (fortunately, their heads use to be too big) and, of course, they want you to give them as a present what you have.
It is funny sometimes but not at all when you are just awake in a tent camp, have mechanical problems, trying to phone home, or about running out of petrol. They do not feel they could disturb, they think you are a toy to give them joy. So it is better to the whole reality of the Stans for the others bikers can be thinking about coming, otherwise they could find it pretty annoying.
And about “embassy”, I am not diplomat (if that, my English should be much better), but when they try to bribe without any offence, I said I have no money, I chose right protocol, I write down their numbers and plaque car and I put together my wrists as they were in handcuffs and said “embassy”. More or less, I try to say to them: I have no intention of paying bribe and If you want, you can take me to jail, but then my embassy has to know. It works If they have nothing. But if they are right and I committed any offence, I prefer to deal and pay the bribe.
Repeated questions, the same ones every 30 min, can get really tedious.
As they don't have the answers see if the can catch the wrong answers
Eg : In India you will always be asked about mileage. After getting fed up, I tell them that it is 30kpl at 100kph, and 100 kpl at 40 kph. HP? Similar, it's fun to keep adding two every time you are asked until you have reached 3x yr actual HP, then subtract 2 till you reach 1/3rd the actual.
Anyone travelling east from Chita towards Vlad watch out for the blokes flagging you down to take all your gear. We had it twice in 2 days. One, the blike sitting apparantly unconcious with a hat and sunspecs on. Mate on mobile flagging you down for help. The rest are in the woods. An older repectable looking flagging us down whilst on mobile for some help. Other cars aroound stopped and occupied, very remote. Wave to them that you are pulling in and drive on! take care..no cops in this area.
No unfortunatly but they move around anyway. One was at a rail crossing and another at a blind bend where you slow down. It will be well away from any town and there is a lead car which pulls in in front to try to lead you in. They do not follow you so just indicate that you are stopping and the go for it. I spoke to the cops about 200km later when i first saw them and they laughed saying 'Ah...mafia'???? Bottom line do not stop for anyone.
You are certainly right to recommend caution, but I don't agree that you shouldn't ever stop for anyone--it is a remote area and if someone really needs help, you might be their only chance. How would you like it if you broke down out there and no one stopped to help the scary biker?
Just use common sense and if something doesn't seem right, keep on going...
Two hours later and I'm entering a town, police pulled me over and showed me the radar - 75km in city limits. They asked for money, I explained I couldn't speak Russian (it was my 3rd day in Russia) and they let me go.
Reminds of a story my Russian relatives tell, Any Prisioner (you name them in your own country!!) was sentenced to life with hard labour which was pushing a round rock up a hill, He protested and said it was the worst punishement ever and said what could be worse? The judge said you can choose to do this or fight russian coruption, he choose the rock, much easier!!
Few years back I heard the president of the Ukraine was threatening to disband the traffic police as they were so corrupt and even he said the country would be better without them
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