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Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  • 2 Post By eurasiaoverland
  • 2 Post By PanEuropean
  • 2 Post By Tomkat
  • 2 Post By sushi2831

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  #1  
Old 25 Jul 2020
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Is it impossible to go to Naukan?

Hi Overlanders,
My name is Ryuhei from Japan.
I will go around-the-world journey by Motorcycle Tenere700 in 2022.
Now,I maiking a plan for my journey and I want to go easternmost point of Eurasia such as Naukan from Vladivostok if it's possible.
Has anybody had such kind of experience and drove most eastern route?
Or is there no way for us to ride vehicle?

Regards

Ryuhei Nukaga
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  #2  
Old 25 Jul 2020
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Hi and welcome to the HUBB Nukaga san.

I'm afraid I have to say that it is basically impossible.

The furthest east you can get by a normal road is Omsukchan. In winter, there are winter roads further east, they leave the Kolyma Highway somewhere near Ust-Nera, but to go up to Chersky and further east into Chukotka requires expedition-type specialised vehicles. These are not normal winter roads which are graded for standard 4x4s.

You could take a bike to Chukotka by air or boat in summer, but you can't get close to Naukan.

The problem is the terrain - much of it is swamp. In summer it is totally impassable, in winter it is forzen hard, but you can't get any normal vehicle across it. It's also a very tough area due to very heavy snowfall and unpredicatable weather.

Dimitri Kieffer walked across the area with a sled over two winters - have a look at this amazing YT video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4HQFIJcMDQ.

Please ask if you are interested in other ice roads in Russia - I have spent a lot of time researching them and driving on them.

Best wishes

EO
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  #3  
Old 26 Jul 2020
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Hello Ryuhei:

Before I retired, I used to fly Twin Otter aircraft from the factory in Canada to the south Pacific region via Chukota (near Nukaga), Magadan, Khabarovsk, and Vladivostok. These are slow-moving aircraft, I had lots and lots of time to look at the terrain below me as I made the trip.

Basically, there are no roads at all north of Magadan. The roads that do exist between Magadan and areas to the south are very primitive, because there is not a lot of human population there. The road network doesn't really begin until you get south of Magadan to Chumikan, which is at the western-most tip of the Sea of Okhotsk.

As for the Chukota area, way up north beside Alaska, "in theory" you could air-freight your motorcycle up to Anadyr (at a tremendous cost), but once you are there you would not be permitted to ride to Nukaga. The whole area around there is a very sensitive military area - you would not be allowed to go riding up there.

Basically - forget about it, it's not possible.

Having said that - there is nothing worth seeing up there. I've stayed over in Anadyr many times, other than a historic church, there's not much to the town. It's a dreary outpost. On the way south from Anadyr, you see tundra for about 1,000 km, then boreal forest for the next 2,000 km.

Michael
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  #4  
Old 26 Jul 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanEuropean View Post
Hello Ryuhei:

Basically, there are no roads at all north of Magadan. The roads that do exist between Magadan and areas to the south are very primitive, because there is not a lot of human population there. The road network doesn't really begin until you get south of Magadan to Chumikan, which is at the western-most tip of the Sea of Okhotsk.
I'm not sure where you're getting this information from...

The Kolyma Highway, which connects Magadan to the outside world, runs north out of the city for a couple of hundred kilometres, then heads east. Although it is not paved, it is an excellent graded road. The asphalt roadhead is Nizhny Bestyakh on the Lena river. There are winter roads heading north up the Kolyma river, but as you approach the Arctic they become pretty tough.

South of Magadan is sea, no roads.

There are roads along the coastline out of Magadan but they do not go very far. There is a winter road heading east to the border of Chukotka. There is nothing west along the coastline.

Chumikan is not connected to the Russian road network, certainly not by anything like a permanent road. I don't think there is even a winter road.

EO
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  #5  
Old 27 Jul 2020
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I understand that We cannot get to Naukan by moto.

Dear EurasiaOverland
Dear PanEuropean

I appreciate for your greatful advice.
Then I understand that it's absolutely impossible to get to Naukan or near there by motorcycle such as Tenere700.
But summarizing this conversation , I wonder that it's possible to go up near Kolyma river in winter although it's pretty tough.
From Magadan, I could go north up with Kolyma highway (called "Bone Road"), and at the point of somewhere near Ust-Nera, there is road which runs northern east and reaches to Kolyma river and further eastern area such as Chersky.
If I go northerneast up this winter road, it requires specialized tires for my motorcycle.
Although it's pretty pretty tough, not impossible?

Regards

Ryuhei Nukaga
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  #6  
Old 27 Jul 2020
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You are welcome, Ryuhei!

Firstly, on a motorbike I think this is not possible unless you have a support truck with you. The temperature regualrly gets down to -50ºC and even in March it will be easily -25ºC. Also, the fuel range of a bike will be nowhere near enough, it can be 1000 kilometres between fuel stops.

Even if you could manage this, the road is designed for large 6WD lorries with huge, wide tyres. It's not for normal road traffic. In the Kolyma region, there is relatively little snowfall so it's not too tough, but once you get close to the Arctic Ocean, the snowfall becomes much higher.

You can see the route of the winter road here: https://yandex.ru/maps/11443/sakha-(....886004&z=5.85

I would say that you just might make it to Srednekolymsk if the roads were cleared (what would you do if you have to stop for 3 days in -40ºC in the wilderness??), but after that it gets tough. There are Russian videos on YT showing the route... I would not take my winter-prepared 4x4 there, to try it on a bike would be very unwise. Plus, what are you hoping to see / achieve?

Sorry to say but it's just not going to happen on a bike.

You could try to do the Kolyma Highway in winter on a bike, but you would need some serious protection from the cold, and modifications to your bike, as well as tyres which can grip in soft, deep snow, hard packed snow and hard, smooth ice. There was a guy from one of the Baltic states who tried it, I'm not sure how far he got... To go from Yakutsk to Magadan unsupported in winter on a bike would be an achievement.

Have you ever experienced such temperatures or ridden a motorcycle on ice? Do you speak Russian?

I drove it in a Toyota Hilux Surf in February, with some modifications for the cold, and an extra heater inside - to do it in a car is quite possible. But on a bike... I think it would be extremely tough and need a lot of preparation and experience.

My trip report is here: https://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hu...n-kolyma-95144

I think you need to abandon the idea.

Best wishes,

EO
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  #7  
Old 29 Jul 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eurasiaoverland View Post
I'm not sure where you're getting this information from...
From looking out the window while flying the route Anadyr - Magadan - Khabarovsk - Vladivostok about a dozen times, and also from spending a month flying around Chukota training pilots. See the photos below.

In my response, I wrote "Basically, there are no roads north of Magadan". Sure, there are logging roads, and winter roads, and the odd short length of road (unconnected to much else) between one settlement and another, but for the purposes of answering Ryuhei's question, there are no roads suitable for his purpose north of Magadan.

EO, you yourself wrote "...on a motorbike I think this is not possible unless you have a support truck with you...", "...Sorry to say but it's just not going to happen on a bike..." and "I think you need to abandon the idea." That's pretty much what I was getting at, although I wasn't as verbose in my answer.

I think we both agree that it's not possible for Ryuhei to do what he wants to do, which is to travel up to Naukan, and it's not practical for him to attempt to travel any further north than the easternmost point of the Sea of Okhotsk.

The two photos below were taken by me almost directly overhead Naukan. No roads, no settlement, nothing.

Michael

Approximately Overhead Naukan (destination was Anadyr)


Map View at the time of the above photo

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  #8  
Old 21 Aug 2020
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Dear EurasiaOverland
Dear PanEuropean

I understand how severe the nature of eastern Russia is. And also I understand that it is completely impossible to reach to farther eastern are such as around Chukotka by normal motorcycle with no specialized,tremendous equipment.

Now I'd try to get to Kolyma highway from Magadan to Yakutsk.
I have never experienced such temperture and I don't speak Russian but I try to.
Which do you recommend to ride this area in summer or in winter?
・In summer, there is a lot of swanpy, dampy area so it's very very hard to proccess and there is no hope to reach northern from Kolyma way such as Sredonekolymsk but the tempereture is more comfortable to ride.

・In winter, it's relatively easy to ride because it's frozen and there is a little tiny hope to reach more northwestern but the temperture is much cold. So it requires me extra modification for bike and some serious protection from cold.

Is it right for what you mean ??

Ryuhei
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  #9  
Old 21 Aug 2020
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Anatoly Chernyavsky did an excellent book on his travels in northeastern Siberia and described how hard it was to travel some of the roads. But even he, an experienced, Russian speaking rider, travelling light, did not attempt to go far from the road. The terrain is all but impossible.

His book should still be available and I highly recommend it: https://www.bikeandphoto.ru/between2oceans
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  #10  
Old 23 Aug 2020
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Hello Ryuhei:

I think it might answer a lot of your questions - and certainly give you a better understanding of what is involved in long-distance travel in far Eastern Russia - if you were to plan a little trip next summer (summer 2021) between Vladivostok and Khabarovsk, with the possibility of continuing further beyond Khabarovsk in the direction of Yakutsk if things are going well for you when you reach Khabarovsk.

I've visited both Vladivostok and Khabarovsk many times, although I always traveled between those cities flying an aircraft, not riding a motorcycle. I can tell you that the area within about 100 km of each of those cities is quite thoroughly populated, and the big gap in the middle between the two cities is mostly unpopulated. So, by making that trip (Vlad to Khab), you would get a very good sense of what motorcycle travel in rural Russia is like. You would also gain a good understanding of what possible logistical problems you might run into (language, motorcycle servicing, permits, etc.).

Vladivostok is not a very attractive city, and in my personal opinion, it does not offer very much to see. Khabarovsk, on the other hand, is a very beautiful city with remarkable late 19th / early 20th century architecture.

There is a saying "Learn to walk before you try to run." In other words, before attempting to do a round-the-world trip that begins by taking you all across Russia, go spend a couple of weeks exploring there, and see what it is like.

Vladivostok is quite close to Japan, and because of your knowledge of Japan and your ability to speak Japanese, you should be able to figure out a way to get you and your motorcycle to and from Vladivostok without much trouble.

Michael

PS: Apropos of your idea of travelling to Yakutsk on a motorcycle in the winter - FORGET IT! Yakutsk is the second coldest city in the entire fuggin' world (see the second paragraph of the Wikipedia entry about Yakutsk). I overnighted in Yakutsk once in January, and had to spend 2 hours pre-heating the aircraft engines from the outside before I could even attempt to start the aircraft engines - the overnight temperature had dropped to below -40°C.
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  #11  
Old 23 Aug 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenerer View Post
In winter, it's relatively easy to ride because it's frozen and there is a little tiny hope to reach more northwestern but the temperture is much cold. So it requires me extra modification for bike and some serious protection from cold.
Hello

Winter is fun, but winter in that place of russia is only for experienced winter riders.
If you are interested in riding a bike in winter condition, you have a perfect training area on your doorstep, Hokkaido.





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  #12  
Old 23 Aug 2020
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Originally Posted by PanEuropean View Post
Yakutsk is the second coldest city in the entire fuggin' world.
It's a relatively short distance from Oymyakon which is the coldest inhabited place on earth, with record low temperatures below -70C. That's extra pair of socks weather.
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  #13  
Old 25 Nov 2020
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Sounds like a challenge... someone ought to try!

Could one hitch a ride for rider and bike on one of those 6WD lorries across the worst of it?
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Old 26 Nov 2020
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It's not a matter of "the worst of it" - there simply is no road infrastructure in that part of the world, so no 6x6 lorries either.

If it's important for you to step foot there yourself, well, sure - a bit of googling in Russian shows that you can take a flight from Anadyr to Lavrentiya with Chukotavia (no, the planes are not big enough to carry a bike) and then charter a boat for a two-hour each way trip out to Naukan and the nearby memorial to the first Western explorer who reached it in the 17th Century.
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  #15  
Old 29 Nov 2020
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Originally Posted by AnTyx View Post
...a bit of googling in Russian shows that you can take a flight from Anadyr...
Yeah, except that you have to get to Anadyr first. That won't be cheap or easy.

Then, you'll discover that Anadyr airport is on the opposite side of a large river from the Anadyr townsite, and you need to take either a helicopter (in winter) or a boat of questionable integrity (in summer) over to Anadyr townsite. Next you will discover that the only hotel in Anadyr costs around $200 a night - and for that, when you turn on the tap in the room, a brown liquid oozes out.

I've been to Anadyr many times, and overnighted there many times. It's not merely the asshole of the world, it is about 50 miles up it.

Michael
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