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Old 7 Jul 2010
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Need Help in Eastern Russia 07 July 2010

07 July 2010

I am new to the forum and need some help. I have a 2004 R1150GS Adventure that just lost the starter...about 2-3 days west of Vladivostok. For a number of reasons, I have been stranded for ten days. I have a couple of things I need help with currently.

1. I need to know if there is anyone in Russia with a starter for this bike or someone coming this way soon who could bring one? For a number of reasons, it will take 2-4 weeks to receive on in from DHL/UPS/FedEx. I am fine with a used one. Mine cannot be repaired...be down this road.
2. I will need to extend my visa...how do I do this without hitting the major cities? If I just show up to the border, with a written note somewhat official, how hard will it be at the border? Can money take care of this...any experience is helpful!

If this is the WRONG place to post this, please let me know. Kindly respond to my outside email address at chris@planetearthquest.com as I am limited on communication and this is best.

Thanks so much!

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Old 7 Jul 2010
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I would ask for help on the BMW forum here on HUBB and over on ADV rider forum. G-spot or regional forum perhaps?

I lost a starter on my old R100RS and managed to ride from Quebec to San Francisco with NO starter. Two weeks worth of bump starting. Park on hills!
Pray for warm weather! I got pretty good at bump starting this fully loaded beast. The big GS is actually easier due to up right riding position. Easier to run and jump on it.
But its heavy and stupid huge, so be careful if you've not done this before.

Is there something in the ABS, CAN bus or BMW system that disallows bump starting? Sounds like something the Germans might due to be spiteful.
I'm only 5'6" and I managed to bump start my RS but I grew up on dirt bikes so am good at bump starting.

In 2004 I was riding with a friend on his R1100GS in Mexico. His battery went dead. I bump started his bike for 3 days of riding until we found a battery in Ensenada, BC. He couldn't bump start it himself so I did it.
Really not hard. Its technique, not technical. Hills are your friend. Keep it running at Gas stations.

Good luck! Once you find a part somewhere, bump start that beast and ride to it. Could have some waiting around and hotel money?
Good luck, I'm sure the GS's Zealots here can find you a starter. Maybe something off a WW2 Ural? Or VW car? Prost!
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Old 7 Jul 2010
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Chris, this is Tom in Moscow. We've corrsponded on the starter, I'll see what I can do today.

On the visa--as far as I know you cannot extend it in Russia, so I think the question is what happens when you try to leave with an expired visa. Police that stop you might also give you a hard time (almost I think that most will not), but that shouldn't be a real problem in any case. Have asked around with some friends on this topic, will let you know if I hear anything useful.
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Old 7 Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by cfsandiego View Post
I will need to extend my visa...how do I do this without hitting the major cities? If I just show up to the border, with a written note somewhat official, how hard will it be at the border? Can money take care of this...any experience is helpful!
RUS visas cannot be extended.
New ones can only be applied for from outside RUS.

Exiting with an expired visa will almost certainty incur fines (or bribes) - after considerable delay. I know of one person who exited a few days over - he was held for about a day and relieved of a fair amount of money (I can't recall exactly but think it was several thousand roubles - I'll check and update this post).
The greater possible longer term consequence could be the refusal of future visa applications.
We are talking here about exceeding the actual visa validity period - not the 90/180 day condition on Multi entry ones, which has been of no consequence to myself or others I know.

The bike's Temporary Import Certificate can be easily be renewed at local Customs offices on production of paperwork only (not the bike).

I am not sure exactly where you are but there are strong motorcycling communities in Khabarovsk and Komsomolovsk as well as Vlad. They are all every helpful and extremely resourceful and helped us with repairs - even getting a replacement rear shock absorber mounting lug machined in a local aircraft factory using only the mashed up remains and photos in the manual for guidance!

Tom will do all he can from where he is (PM coming). Japan or Korea have BMW dealerships and are nearer to you, but customs delays probable. I know of someone going from Soeul to Vlad sometime next week -I will tell him of this thread.

Good luck.
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Old 7 Jul 2010
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I've just put a starter in the mail, so hopefully that is solved, although we won't know until he receives and installs it.

I forget how much time you have left on your visa, but days are very long in Russia this time of year, and most of the road is flat and boring--I don't think you'll want to dawdle. If you can ride for 12-15 hours a day you should be able to cover some serious mileage, and maybe make up your lost time. I would recommmend doing this so that you don't have a hard time coming back to Russia, which you'll enjoy much more with an operable bike and more time!

If you're not fussy there are generally quite a few truck stop type places to stay, and if you want somewhere nicer I think I have GPS coordinates for nice hotels for most cities along the road.
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Old 8 Jul 2010
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Way to go Tom!

My friend Dmitri is ridin down from Mockba for the HU meeting, you should come with him!


My Motorcycle Hotel/Cafe in Bulgaria
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Old 8 Jul 2010
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Doug, would love to come but don't think I can get off work...I know you've heard that before.
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