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Old 2 Mar 2004
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Posts: 50
Buying Bike in Russia?

I am planning my trip (from Magadan to Istanbul) and would prefer to buy my bike (a Ural) in Russia, rather than get a bike into Magadan from my home in Australia or from anywhere else for that matter.

Does anyone have any advice on whether this is feasible (i.e. for a foreigner to buy and register a Russian-made bike)?

I am assuming that I will also need to arrange a carnet from the appropriate Russian authority for travel into China and Iran? Any advice on the feasibility of this would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 2 Mar 2004
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Berlin
Posts: 58
Hi Adrian

go to the search function and look for
He seems to know a lot about russian paperwork.

A Ural? When I remember right, a new one would be some 1.800 U$.
The cheapest russian bikes are a Minsk or an "Ish"
800 U$ new, 250cc 1 cyl 2 stroke. Weight 120kg, 20hp.
But take along your own panniers and tankbag. Hardly any aftersale, unless you are in big towns (Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Moscow, St. Peterburg)

Forget about China. Huge bureaucratic hassle AND you gotta pay some 100U$ a day for your personal guide riding a 4WD in front of you.
No other way to cross China up to now. Sob.
If you wanna know the lot about China, search for butchman. He lives in Shanghai.

For the carnet stuff go to the trip paperwork section.

Crossing from east to west I also recommand the Altai region in Russia south of Barnaul.

But: just give the whole thing a try. And do it.


ïóòü = öåëü
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Old 3 Mar 2004
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Moscow Russia
Posts: 19
The Russian motorcycle, is engineering of the developed 50-70 years back. It(he) is good to reach in the nearest shop behind a bottle of vodka. It(he) precisely will not sustain such travel. My friend has passed from Moscow up to Vladivostok in the summer 2003 for 13 days on " Honda Africa tvin ". And on this very reliable motorcycle it was necessary to change all bearings and many spokes from for absence of roads between Chita and Birobidzhan.
Officially road have opened in February 2004, but really on it(her) it is possible to pass only on off-road motorcycle. In Russia I in the near future shall find out legal issues of purchase and registration of a motorcycle. The customs license in Russia to buy it is impossible: (
If there are still questions - ask.
Excuse, I use machine translation

_ ____________________ _
+ 7 910 456 40 20 Dmitry
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+ 7 910 456 40 20 Dmitry
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Old 6 Mar 2004
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Estonia
Posts: 772
If you're type of guy who doesn't like hands dirty with oil very often - then i strongly not recommend Ural motorcycle for high mileage riding!

Well, of course, if you're looking for a real adventure ride, i.e. few technical brakedowns in a single day in the middle of nowhere, then Ural is for you. They're technically at the same level as USAs Harley Davitsons, mostly even worse. (Both big and powerful countries, but still doesn't know how to build a reliable quality motorcycles...) And as known - Ural's boxer engine is almost 1:1 copyed from german BMW engine in the beginning of 2nd WorldWar, and they're still using it, just some minor modifications are done.

On the contrary to that - there is a lot of spare parts available for Ural in Russia almost everywhere, and i think you can find a proffessional Ural technicial in every town or village. Ural was very popular bike once in USSR and foreign bikes wasn't allowed in USSR, but Ural keeped break down often, so every user knowed it deep-down technically! And there are still a lot of men who ride with it - a real nostalgia...

But sure i think there're japanese and german bikes sold in Russia as well that are at least 5X more reliable. Just make sure you buy it officially and don't get unbelieveably cheap ones - quite a lot of stolen bikes from Russia's ritcher neighbour countries get imported there illegally and papers rewritten.

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Old 14 Jul 2004
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Seattle, WA - USA / Oltenita, ROMANIA
Posts: 99
The answer is "Don't do it".

I was in Vladivostok for 3 weeks because my KTM broke down and met with a couple of Australians who had been in Vladivostok for almost one month trying to buy a bike. Finding a bike was easy. The beauracracy is a NIGHTMARE. After most of the paperwork was proccessed, they were told that there were no more licence plates in Primoriya (far east Russia) and they had to wait the next shipment from Moscow. Once that had come in, the lines for getting a plate were incredible as all the locals who wanted to buy a car were waiting for their plates too.

To make a long story short, I feel sorry for them as they are still waiting for final paperwork to go through. Locals tell me that sometimes it can take 2 months. Another factor is that they don't acually get to OWN the bike, so they can't ride it out of the country. They only get power of attorney. To actually own it they would need to apply for residency and that can take a while and you need the right kind of visa, etc... Anyways, my recommendation is to buy a bike in Japan or Europe and then ride it in. I know that buying in Japan as a foreigner is no problem.

Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius - William Blake
Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius - William Blake
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