In April I start to planning my tour around European Russia and slice of Kazakhstan.
Thanks to Colebatch and Motobelka's posting here I got the real picture of Russia.
Riding alone in twenty days of June and looking for Russian soul I traveled trough: Odessa and Sevastopol (UKR) - passing to Russia on ferry (port Kavkaz near Kerch), trough: Krasnodar, Rostov On Don, Volgograd, Astrahan. Then enter a small part of Kazakhstan: Atyrau and Oral. Again Russia: Kazan, Nizhniy Novgorod, Moscow, St.Petersburg, and then Baltics and Poland.
Just roads and couple of hours in the center of those cities.
Enough to have a picture.
Enough to dream every night after return...
Everyone I met returned me a smile, and very often feed me and drink.
Thumbs up to me from the cars and buses in the towns..
Stopped by DPS only in first kilometers when entered Russia, just for driving license control.
Hotels in center of the cities are expensive (50EUR and more), but I have no time to search suburbia.
Only bad thing was that women didn't screamed when I pass through the street, but I have used to that....
When I parked machine on the Red Square, police screamed from the car through loudspeaker: "You can't parked here!!"
"But I need one photo..."
"O, that's OK...proceed"
Border control on Port Kavkaz are young and friendly professionals.
You just need visa and smile.
Other Russian border passing went quick and with greetings.
(Hej, biker, don't wait in the line for customs on the sun...come in the cold bus and sit here...)
Tarmac on these roads in Russia are 40% in good quality. Others needs drivers attention and adjusting speed because of deep lines on tarmac made by heavy trucks..
But my GS enjoyed every kilometer...
Only a few tens of kilometers are very bad with holes (I made over 7000 km in Russia) and these are in repairing progress...
Russian drivers are much better than eastern European.
I saw a very few maniacs. Everybody stopped on pedestrian crossing in the towns. Truck drivers turn their right tires off the road to let me trough.
Drivers light signals for police traps are obligation
At last before exit I made obvious mistake before DPS. Payed 1/3 of fee (20$). With smile on both side.
Maybe it just helps if you are grateful on sun and roads...and smile
Maybe not just when riding...