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Old 23 Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
The taking the Licence away gesture is indicating the Proper Legal Way of doing it. .

Yes, I was aware of the confiscation of licence procedure, and that they were trying to get me to pay 500 roubles to bypass this.

Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
I was caught breaking the law in Russia and Kaz 6 times (speeding or overtaking)

Then you have no cause to complain or wrongly besmirch Russia and 'warn' others of persistant Police corruption.
Tony - from the discussions you and I have had previously both in person and online about MOTs / SORN for vehicles outside the UK etc etc, I have gained an impression of someone who doesn't have much time for bureaucratic regulations, or for the heavy-handed enforcement of them.

My perception of much of the traffic enforcement in Russia was that it was more about catching people out for the smallest thing and using it as an excuse to extract money, as opposed to genuine concern for road safety. Rather like speed cameras in the UK, which I dare say you have a negative view of as well (just like me!) Ditto for the scene I witnessed near Red Square, albeit one that would not happen today given the change in rules.

I believe I made myself clear in my first entry on this thread that you don't have to worry if you obey the rules. Just that you need to obey them to the letter.

Last edited by ilesmark; 23 Jun 2011 at 17:20.
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Old 23 Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by ilesmark View Post
Yes, I was aware of the confiscation of licence procedure, and that they were trying to get me to pay 500 roubles to bypass this.
Pretty good offer. You were lucky it was only 500 initially. By far your cheapest option, having self-admittedly broken the rules. A no-brainer!

Originally Posted by ilesmark View Post
I have gained an impression of someone who doesn't have much time for bureaucratic regulations, or for the heavy-handed enforcement of them.
Yes. I do resent being controlled unreasonably and try to explore as far as possible the rules, their boundries and enforcement. Having made myself as aware of them as possible it is purely my personal choice if I decide to then step outside them. If I do and it backfires on me I would not 'blanket criticise' the Country or even its enforcers, no matter how dubious their motives may appear.
I test inconsistancies and anomolies but the ultimate right of enforcement its theirs and I chose to be in their Country.
I find Russia is far less controlled and monitored than UK. I enjoy the far greater freedom here. You are responsible for yourself.

Originally Posted by ilesmark View Post
My perception of much of the traffic enforcement in Russia was that it was more about catching people out for the smallest thing and using it as an excuse to extract money, as opposed to genuine concern for road safety.
AGREED. But that's the way it is.
Right now the ДПС are outside our flat, sitting in their car, smoking and chating on phones and totally ignoring cars and motos roaring past, in the darkness of a Moscow summer night, at up to 100mph, overtaking, undertaking and weaving across all 4 lanes in their direction (being on pavements is not unknown at times). But if a wheel goes over the central solid white line, or a prohibited turn is made, the valiant ДПС courageously spring into action.
But that is the system I chose to live under. Part of the package.

In RUS, these guys are not corrupt liars. Unlike many instances of law enforcement elsewhere (sadly including the UK at times), they don't fabricate stories to 'get you' - but maybe they intentionally patrol and exploit contentious, ambiguous situations. But they are following their instructions and the rules. They only try it on with people who have already broken the rules by their own actions or documentation.

Don't break the rules and there will be absolutely no problem. It is such a pity that the people get the wrong impression based on heresay of wrong understanding.

And don't think I am having a pop at you Mark - I am not.
I'll be back in August so we can continue the converstaion over a pint or two, without boring everyone here!
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Old 24 Jun 2011
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You're on! PM me when you're back.

But - just for the record -
Originally Posted by ilesmark View Post
I second all the comments re Russia not being dangerous. The biggest hazard you're likely to encounter is predatory police, traffic and other! Make sure your paperwork is in order and don't break the speed limit.

Also true in my experience about people being a little nicer in the east

- I never blanket criticised the whole country.
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Old 24 Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by ilesmark View Post
I never blanket criticised the whole country
No one suggested you did.

But someone did - to the Original Poster who started this thread.
My posts are with that in mind.
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Old 8 Jul 2011
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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...

Last edited by rain_dog; 12 Jul 2011 at 16:06.
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Old 9 Jul 2011
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Yes, Russia is dangerous. The main fear is that you will be fed too much excellent food and get fat, then there's the possibility that someone will take you home and get you drunk. Also you may be crushed in a bear hug by yet another friendly Russian.
Traffic cops are twats though.
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Old 6 Aug 2011
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Got pulled in Germany a while back, had my 'new keepers supplement as my V5 wasn't back from DVLA. apparently not valid in germany. police cut off my number plates and wouldn't allow the vehicle out of the service station they had pulled me into. Spent the night in the vehicle before walking 18km to the nearest town to register the vehicle on german plates and obtain temporary german registration and insurance.

wish they had taken a bribe!!!!!
1990 Landcruiser H60. Full rebuild completed 2014
2012 Hilux, mountain top and bedrug with GG AT2s
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Old 19 Aug 2011
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I have been touring southern Russia end of June on the road to Central Asia and also when going back to Italy, so twice in less than one month: Ukrainian border to Elista to Astrakhan, then Astrakhan to Volgograd to Ukrainian border.
I've found nobody but good people that have always been wanting to help me as much as they could in any situation I found myself.
For example, I got lost in three different cities (I had no GPS and there was lack of road signs) and in all these moments I found somebody that offered me to drive me out of town putting me in the right direction.

If it comes to DPS, I was pulled over just outside Elista by the traffic police only to talk a bit and have a pic together, and many other policemen showed appreciation to my motorcycle when passing in front of them (many of them, especially in the Volgograd region, thumbed up at my bike with big smiles as I rode in front of them).
I was fined on the road between Volgograd and the Ukrainian border by DPS because I was riding at 111 km/h with limit of 60: I could not claim, they were right, so I paid the 2000 rubles fine without discussing because the "correct" amount (I think you understand what I mean...) would have been muuuuuuuch more and I was wrong. I was back on the road in less than 10 minutes.

So, at the end, I must confirm the idea that I had during my first very small Russian trip of 2009 (Estonia to St. Petersburg then to Finland): Russians are great people, and their Police is anything but predatory.
I look forward to enter again that fantastic Country.
Nick and his 2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré
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