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Adventure is what you make it

Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.



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  #1  
Old 9 Jan 2016
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Student Summer Motorcycle Trip in Central Asia

Hi everybody,

What a great website! Really detailed and resourceful, I have to say, I was really relieved when I found it.

I'd like to preface this post with the general statement that some of you may not agree with my plans (be it due to my experience, low funds, age, or otherwise) and I appreciate the concern but I feel like it's something I need to do.

With that in mind, here's some info about me and the trip. I will graduate at the end of May and I'm hoping to do a tour of Central Asia and maybe Russia this summer before I head off to university. I'm 17 years old and hold both a German and Irish passport. I will only turn 18 on the 7/7/2016 (pretty much slap bang in the middle of my vacation). I am currently living in the US (Florida) and don't have a motorcycle license (although I will get one before I embark on this trip), the reason that I'm holding off on getting my license for now is that I don't really have the weekends to give up right now, but that should change towards the end of the year. My current "motorcycle" experience as of today is three weeks of driving a moped (please don't kill me) in Indonesia. I do, however, really enjoy mountain biking and go biking everyday. For a long time I've been really interested in adventure riding, especially through Central Asia. So I found it only natural to want to buy a motorcycle, which has been my one goal for the last 7 years probably (Mum is adamant that there's no way I'm getting one while I live in the house), and drive it round somewhere.

My plan was initially to fly to Moscow and stay with a friend for a while while I find a bike and then drive east, making a quick detour to Mongolia, and ending up in Vladivostok and somehow flying home from there. However, after speaking to my Russian friends and some of my teachers (one of which has lived in Mongolia) they all pretty much said I would die once I got to the middle of Russia or that I would face some pretty big challenges (bureaucratically speaking) that I don't have the money to sort out. The main reason for this assumption was the problem that I don't speak Russian, a skill they said was quintessential to traversing the area without a hassle. After looking into alternative routes and speaking to my friends and teachers, the idea of the Pamir highway came up. It looks absolutely beautiful. So my current thinking is to fly into Moscow, stay with my friend, and buy my bike (anyone think I'll have issues registering a bike under my name at the age of 17 on a business visa?). After that I can either head straight through Kazakhstan, down to Kyrgyzstan (an area I've spent a lot of time studying for school), then to Tajikistan, and finally in to Pakistan (the Kashmir area). My budget will be a very sad one, ~ $2000 (and that's before the purchase of the bike, if I even manage that). I plan to camp the majority of the way and basically live like a very poor man. In terms of gear, I have all the camping gear that is required (it's a hobby that my family and I enjoy), I have lots of tools (a result of owning a Land Rover), but I have next to no riding gear. In terms of the time I'll have, I estimate it to be about 12 weeks (which is nothing compared to some of you guys here, but enough to see a good portion of Central Asia, although it may be rather brief).

This is the very basic outline of my plan for the summer, I understand that it doesn't seem too viable given the situation of things right now, but I do believe that it's possible. Some key issues that pop up are not having a riding partner (a specification that my parents would like to see fulfilled), not having the money (something that I might be able to get around with some help from my parents), and my age. I've been looking into visa situations and they seem to be ok given my nationality. I've begun looking at sights that I may want to see, applying for an IDP, and applying for a carnet (this becomes very difficult as I'll have to do it where I buy the bike, I may skip Pakistan for both the complexity of the application for the carnet and the actual price).

Thus, this leads me to have a few questions. Does HU believe that this is possible? Do any of the members have any details and suggestions for a more concrete route (I'm not opposed to something completely different, but I'd like to stay in Central Asia as I've explored a lot of South East Asia already)? Does anyone know if I'll have an issue buying and registering a bike at 17, and if I will have an issue, how I might be able to bypass it (flying to another country, buying a certain bike, registering it in a different name)? Do you think this is possible on my sketchy budget? How hard do you think it will be to find another rider (I saw the riders looking for riders, I'll post there once I have a more concrete plan)?

If anyone could give me any suggestions, advice (life related or trip related), or just general feedback I would really appreciate it.

(I'm sorry for the wall of text but I'd like to be as thorough as possible)

Thank you in advance for any and all help.
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  #2  
Old 10 Jan 2016
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I think you should go- with a partner- but not on a motorcycle.

You could do it with your budget taking buses etc; with your lack of language skills; with your relative inexperience and have a fine time.

BUT.....your lack of experience on a motorcycle and your lack of experience just driving on public roads could easily get you killed.

I suggest that a trip like this would require thousands of miles of driving experience- knowing what to look for in traffic, understanding the 'logic' of roadways and rules is a skill that takes a while.

Familarity with motorcycle controls and what you can and cannot do with a bike, is the other piece to safe motorcycling in traffic. Your responses must be automatic, without thought. It takes a while to get there.

I wouldn't recommend learning to swim by jumping off a boat in the middle of the ocean, and I wouldn't recommend learning to ride a motorcycle on unfamiliar roads with unfamiliar traffic patterns and expectations.

I hope you learn how to do these things. Start locally, and then, spend a long and happy lifetime traveling on a bike.

Good luck!

............shu
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  #3  
Old 10 Jan 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shu... View Post
I think you should go- with a partner- but not on a motorcycle.

You could do it with your budget taking buses etc; with your lack of language skills; with your relative inexperience and have a fine time.

BUT.....your lack of experience on a motorcycle and your lack of experience just driving on public roads could easily get you killed.

I suggest that a trip like this would require thousands of miles of driving experience- knowing what to look for in traffic, understanding the 'logic' of roadways and rules is a skill that takes a while.

Familarity with motorcycle controls and what you can and cannot do with a bike, is the other piece to safe motorcycling in traffic. Your responses must be automatic, without thought. It takes a while to get there.

I wouldn't recommend learning to swim by jumping off a boat in the middle of the ocean, and I wouldn't recommend learning to ride a motorcycle on unfamiliar roads with unfamiliar traffic patterns and expectations.

I hope you learn how to do these things. Start locally, and then, spend a long and happy lifetime traveling on a bike.

Good luck!

............shu
Hey shu,

Firstly thanks for the advice. Every bit helps. In regards to the driving, as for understanding the roads and systems, I've been driving cars for 2.5 years, although that's been in a car and not on a bike. That being said I do have some general experience of looking for certain things in traffic (albeit not 100% motorcycle related). As for bike experience, I've been trying to get into a riding mentality as much as possible, thinking about what I'd do differently while I'm in the car and even trying to get into good riding habits while I'm on my bicycle. I think one of the reasons I like the idea of riding in less habited places (Mongolia, GBAO area of Tajikistan) is that there are fewer people on the roads giving me more time to learn. The actual controls of the bike are what I'm least concerned about, but like you said, it's developing the reflexes that come naturally while riding. Perhaps it's the ignorance of youth, or perhaps it's just my stubbornness, but even if I don't make it to these places my ultimate goal will be to get a bike.

Thanks again for the advice,

Jstrauch
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  #4  
Old 10 Jan 2016
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Generally I encourage people to be adventurous, but I have to agree with shu on this one...without moto skills, Russian skills, or enough life experience to be able to make good decisions in dicey situations, you could be in for a rough time.

A couple of other comments about your post:
Most Russians will tell you that you'll die immediately if you try to ride across Russia. This is nonsense... And while having Russian skills would certainly make things easier and more interesting (chatting with locals, etc). it is not essential, lots of people ride across Russia every year without speaking Russian. I'd be much more worried about your lack of motorcycle experience.

I think the Pamir will be worse, not better, than Russia. It is more remote, the terrain is more difficult, etc. Let's face it, in Russia you're riding along flat paved roads for thousands of kilometers--if not for the road conditions, you could almost do it in your sleep. I've never been on the Pamir highway, but it sounds more challenging.

I don't think you'll be able to buy a moto in your name on a business visa, although I could be mistaken--IIRC there is info on this in another thread on this forum, let me know if you can't find it and I will try to dig it up.

It's great that you're looking for some adventure, but I would turn it down a couple of notches. You can go to Mongolia or Laos (or dozens of other countries) and rent a small bike there for a few days for some pretty cool trips, but even then you need to be extremely careful and recognize that your lack of experience means you really need to think about what you are doing at all times.

As shu says, if you really want to get in to the moto adventure thing, you really need to get some kind of bike at home and just get more comfortable on motos in general, and with travelling on them.

Best of luck, and let us know if you have further questions!
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  #5  
Old 10 Jan 2016
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Posts: 25
Hi jstrauch,
first I want to apology for my English, but it's not my mother tongue.

I already did the trip you described. I start from Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Crossed the Caspian Sea by Ferry, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Latvia, Litva, Poland and back to Germany. I was with friend of mine. Two bikes - two rides. It toke us about 2 months and 17.000km.

The destination is great, the trip was just amazing, but I 100% agree with Shu. You need experience. I can give you few advises, of course if you want to lessen:

Trip like this you can do without any riding and language skills, but chances to stuck, crash, get lost, hurt yourself or even die will be more than 50%. The question will be " Is this going to happen?" The question will be - "When it will happen?"

Don't get me wrong. I am not trying to stop you or to scare are you! I just want to protect you and show you how to do it without such a big percent of the risk factor. If you think that I just talking - ok, but if you really want to do it, read the rest:

1. Take your driving license first.
2. Buy a cheap and light dirt bike. Buy fully arm gear (don't save money from it)
3. Spent next 3-6 months to learn how to ride on the dirt.
4. Buy better and bigger bike. Go on the street and practice. Once you learned to ride on the dirt, the street will be much easier. Of course over there you will need to create new habits (watch for traffic, check the mirrors, stopping fast and so on)
5. Make some small trips around your City(one or just few days)
6. Make one longer (one week) you don't need to go far away, just need to be on the bike all the time.

After you complete all of this, it will probably will take an year, you can go to Central Asia.

Some information about the trip.

Languages:
It will be almost impossible to find somebody to speak English or German.
Learn some Russian words or take a dictionary with you. I speak Russian and for me this part was not a problem.

Safety:
In common the people over there are very friendly, but you have to be able to communicate with them. Even if you have small technical problem or if you want to ask for directions, you have to do it on Russian.

Roads:
For your American understanding of roads, there is only one word - terrible.
In Kazakhstan (except Sharyn Canyon) they are very good. In Kyrgyzstan are also ok, but Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan..... very bad. In some places, like Pamir Highway they missing at all. You will need your dirt bike riding skills. The friend I was with, had more than 20 years of experience on street bike. In some places he has huge problems and even totally refuse to go on the bike, asking me to do it for him.

Bike:
You can't just go to Russia and buy a bike on your name - it's not possible.
You can ask your friends there to do it, but this is the first problem.
The second and the biggest problem is that the bike need to reliable. With this budget I don't know how it will work. As I said earlier you can try to do it with any bike, but if you brake down in the middle of Pamir Highway? There is only one road there and it is in terrible condition. The possible help (spare parts example) have to come from a long distance unless you have a rich father or friend who can fly with chopper and supply everything you need.

Mechanic skills:
The basic one is a must. To be able to fix your tyres or some small problems on the road.

Altitude:
In Tajikistan you will go to 4655m above the sea level. If you never been to such a altitude I will suggest to do it first. On that level you will loose almost 30% of your concentration because of the thin air. You will have almost all the time headache and maybe some other problems. That's why your riding skills need be well trained and fully automated to be able to riding without thinking.

And last. but not less important:
You have to spent every day between 6-14 hours on the seat during next two months. This is possible only for riders with more experience.

I hope this will clear the picture for you and will help you to take the right decision.
For more info you can watch my movie here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZ4luuOVvX4

Next month I will release for sale detailed ebook about the trip.
More about it here: Motorcycle Adventure Central Asia, best Book 2016

Good Luck!
Pavlin
__________________
Motorcycle Adventures around the world
http://rtw-adventures.com/
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  #6  
Old 10 Jan 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
Generally I encourage people to be adventurous, but I have to agree with shu on this one...without moto skills, Russian skills, or enough life experience to be able to make good decisions in dicey situations, you could be in for a rough time.

A couple of other comments about your post:
Most Russians will tell you that you'll die immediately if you try to ride across Russia. This is nonsense... And while having Russian skills would certainly make things easier and more interesting (chatting with locals, etc). it is not essential, lots of people ride across Russia every year without speaking Russian. I'd be much more worried about your lack of motorcycle experience.

I think the Pamir will be worse, not better, than Russia. It is more remote, the terrain is more difficult, etc. Let's face it, in Russia you're riding along flat paved roads for thousands of kilometers--if not for the road conditions, you could almost do it in your sleep. I've never been on the Pamir highway, but it sounds more challenging.

I don't think you'll be able to buy a moto in your name on a business visa, although I could be mistaken--IIRC there is info on this in another thread on this forum, let me know if you can't find it and I will try to dig it up.

It's great that you're looking for some adventure, but I would turn it down a couple of notches. You can go to Mongolia or Laos (or dozens of other countries) and rent a small bike there for a few days for some pretty cool trips, but even then you need to be extremely careful and recognize that your lack of experience means you really need to think about what you are doing at all times.

As shu says, if you really want to get in to the moto adventure thing, you really need to get some kind of bike at home and just get more comfortable on motos in general, and with travelling on them.

Best of luck, and let us know if you have further questions!
Hi Motoreiter,

Thanks for the reply! Before I posted this I had the feeling that there may be some concern about my experience, so I get where you're coming from. For the dying in Russia bit, I didn't really believe them, especially after watching Long Way Round, Races to Places - Lyndon Poskitt, Not Dead Yet - Oising Hughes, and reading lots of ride reports while trying to get some inspiration and insight!

I think the main reason I don't really doubt my ability is most likely ignorance. Like one of the guys from this forum wrote in his book "As you can imagine, there were some nasty accidents, but that's the cool confidence of youth I suppose." I don't know if it's that I'm indifferent about dying or just can't really comprehend it. Maybe its the fear and not knowing when and if I'll ever be in a position to take a trip like this any time soon, especially if I head to university in the US, I feel rather limited going to South America and Canada (two regions that don't interest me as much as Eurasia). That being said, I don't really want this trip to be easy, I do want it to be a challenge, and not being too familiar about bikes on roads, I think off-road is where I would thrive (as I drive my car off road as well as go mountain-biking as often as I can) just because I've learnt the mentality "as slow as possible as fast as necessary" and enjoy the more technical side of things.

Is there any reason you could recommend Mongolia? It seems as remote as Tajikistan, although slightly more developed. I'd like to stay away from SE Asia if possible as it's an area I've already explored but if you have any more suggestions of other trips I might be able to do I would really appreciate it. I think it's really important to start planning as early as possible in order to make the trip go smoothly which includes me getting as much bike experience beforehand as I can (even if it includes really pissing of my mother).

Thanks again for the reply!
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  #7  
Old 10 Jan 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramar View Post
Hi jstrauch,
first I want to apology for my English, but it's not my mother tongue.

I already did the trip you described. I start from Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Crossed the Caspian Sea by Ferry, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Latvia, Litva, Poland and back to Germany. I was with friend of mine. Two bikes - two rides. It toke us about 2 months and 17.000km.

The destination is great, the trip was just amazing, but I 100% agree with Shu. You need experience. I can give you few advises, of course if you want to lessen:

Trip like this you can do without any riding and language skills, but chances to stuck, crash, get lost, hurt yourself or even die will be more than 50%. The question will be " Is this going to happen?" The question will be - "When it will happen?"

Don't get me wrong. I am not trying to stop you or to scare are you! I just want to protect you and show you how to do it without such a big percent of the risk factor. If you think that I just talking - ok, but if you really want to do it, read the rest:

1. Take your driving license first.
2. Buy a cheap and light dirt bike. Buy fully arm gear (don't save money from it)
3. Spent next 3-6 months to learn how to ride on the dirt.
4. Buy better and bigger bike. Go on the street and practice. Once you learned to ride on the dirt, the street will be much easier. Of course over there you will need to create new habits (watch for traffic, check the mirrors, stopping fast and so on)
5. Make some small trips around your City(one or just few days)
6. Make one longer (one week) you don't need to go far away, just need to be on the bike all the time.

After you complete all of this, it will probably will take an year, you can go to Central Asia.

Some information about the trip.

Languages:
It will be almost impossible to find somebody to speak English or German.
Learn some Russian words or take a dictionary with you. I speak Russian and for me this part was not a problem.

Safety:
In common the people over there are very friendly, but you have to be able to communicate with them. Even if you have small technical problem or if you want to ask for directions, you have to do it on Russian.

Roads:
For your American understanding of roads, there is only one word - terrible.
In Kazakhstan (except Sharyn Canyon) they are very good. In Kyrgyzstan are also ok, but Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan..... very bad. In some places, like Pamir Highway they missing at all. You will need your dirt bike riding skills. The friend I was with, had more than 20 years of experience on street bike. In some places he has huge problems and even totally refuse to go on the bike, asking me to do it for him.

Bike:
You can't just go to Russia and buy a bike on your name - it's not possible.
You can ask your friends there to do it, but this is the first problem.
The second and the biggest problem is that the bike need to reliable. With this budget I don't know how it will work. As I said earlier you can try to do it with any bike, but if you brake down in the middle of Pamir Highway? There is only one road there and it is in terrible condition. The possible help (spare parts example) have to come from a long distance unless you have a rich father or friend who can fly with chopper and supply everything you need.

Mechanic skills:
The basic one is a must. To be able to fix your tyres or some small problems on the road.

Altitude:
In Tajikistan you will go to 4655m above the sea level. If you never been to such a altitude I will suggest to do it first. On that level you will loose almost 30% of your concentration because of the thin air. You will have almost all the time headache and maybe some other problems. That's why your riding skills need be well trained and fully automated to be able to riding without thinking.

And last. but not less important:
You have to spent every day between 6-14 hours on the seat during next two months. This is possible only for riders with more experience.

I hope this will clear the picture for you and will help you to take the right decision.
For more info you can watch my movie here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZ4luuOVvX4

Next month I will release for sale detailed ebook about the trip.
More about it here: Motorcycle Adventure Central Asia, best Book 2016

Good Luck!
Pavlin
Ramar, thank you very much for your reply! Your video has only made me want to do this trip more! Hopefully I get around to reading your book, I'm sure it will be quite an interesting story.

As for the actual trip, I've lived in China and been all over SE Asia, so I'm no stranger to terrible roads (I drove on some that were as bad as some of the ones in your video, while I was in Indonesia riding a moped).

As for the language, I am currently learning Russian on Duolingo and learning important phrases and pronunciation from my Russian friends at school, so hopefully I will have the basics down whenever I do this trip.

As for mechanical skill, I like to think I'm mechanically inclined, I did have a Land Rover that I always had to fix (whether the door broke, or the hood release broke, or the coolant hose broke) and I am planning on watching basic bike repair and maintenance videos before.

As for the altitude, the highest I've been is about 3000m and didn't have any problems, but it's different every time and also ~1500m higher.

As for the bike, it will be a bit of a mystery, but I usually seem to find a way out of these things. I also think (hope) that my budget will increase and that I can invest in a better bike. One time when I was driving my Land Rover in the Everglades with my father, our got stuck in the sand and began to misfire. We had no cellphone connection and we where in the middle of a 60,000 acre national park, but I still managed to fiddle with the car and drive us out.

Like you (and the others have said), it seems that experience is really one of the biggest things that is going to hold me back. The problem with your suggestion of starting slowly (which is what I would have loved to have done) is that my mother has made it very clear that I can have nothing to do with motorcycles while I live in her house, which makes starting slowly impossible for now. I think the reason I want to do this trip now is that I don't know when I'll have the opportunity to do it next. Especially if I go to university in the US (which is not a guarantee, as I might take advantage of my European status and go to school in the UK, Germany, or Holland, but is very likely). It looks like I will be very limited, starting next year, with both my funds and location (unfortunately).

With all that being said, I'll think a little more about the trip and how I might be able to get some more experience.

Thanks again for the reply, it's really helpful!
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  #8  
Old 10 Jan 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstrauch View Post
Hi Motoreiter,
Is there any reason you could recommend Mongolia? It seems as remote as Tajikistan, although slightly more developed.
I suggested Mongolia because it is an interesting place, about as wild as places get these days. Moreover, there is quite a bit of dirt riding there, and few cars. While you might get in an accident there, with fewer cars around, it is less likely to be serious.
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  #9  
Old 10 Jan 2016
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Posts: 25
Hi again,
the most important is - never give up from your idea. The time will come and it will be a reality.

Good luck!
__________________
Motorcycle Adventures around the world
http://rtw-adventures.com/
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  #10  
Old 10 Jan 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
I suggested Mongolia because it is an interesting place, about as wild as places get these days. Moreover, there is quite a bit of dirt riding there, and few cars. While you might get in an accident there, with fewer cars around, it is less likely to be serious.
It sounds pretty good, it's also the country that my teacher recommended. At this point I think it's easier to stick to one or two countries just because the registration of a bike and visa are both complicated and expensive. Although this may mean that my plans are over for now (who knows what I'll pick up this summer) I think it does represent the realities of a trip like this. It's just not a nice realisation.

Thanks for all the advice though, I'll start rethinking this trip.
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  #11  
Old 10 Jan 2016
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Originally Posted by Ramar View Post
Hi again,
the most important is - never give up from your idea. The time will come and it will be a reality.

Good luck!
Hi,

Thanks for all the info and everything, it's true, although this idea may not happen now, I hope it will happen later.

Thanks again.
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  #12  
Old 11 Jan 2016
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A few other reasons for Mongolia:
--I understand it is pretty easy to buy a cheap little Chinese bike that can ride all over and then just re-sell to someone when you leave;
--once you leave ulan baator you don't need to drive days and days to get somewhere wild, you're pretty much there...
--in addition to the lack of cars, mongolia is also generally safer because it is generally flat. i was in kirgyzstan this summer, and some of the mountain roads can be kinda scary, especially if you don't have any experience...
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  #13  
Old 12 Jan 2016
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Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
A few other reasons for Mongolia:
--I understand it is pretty easy to buy a cheap little Chinese bike that can ride all over and then just re-sell to someone when you leave;
--once you leave ulan baator you don't need to drive days and days to get somewhere wild, you're pretty much there...
--in addition to the lack of cars, mongolia is also generally safer because it is generally flat. i was in kirgyzstan this summer, and some of the mountain roads can be kinda scary, especially if you don't have any experience...
I have to say, it sounds like the most viable option at this point and also like a lot of fun. I'll get onto planning for it. Thanks for the tips!
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  #14  
Old 12 Jan 2016
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OK, good luck. There is quite a bit of info on the HUBB about Mongolia, including about how to buy or rent a bike, so be sure to look here for info as well.
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  #15  
Old 13 Jan 2016
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Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
OK, good luck. There is quite a bit of info on the HUBB about Mongolia, including about how to buy or rent a bike, so be sure to look here for info as well.
That's really the great thing about this site. I'll do a bit of digging and should have a pretty good idea of what I'll have to do. Thanks again.
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Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.

2024:

Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details

 
World's most listened to Adventure Motorbike Show!
Check the RAW segments; Grant, your HU host is on every month!
Episodes below to listen to while you, err, pretend to do something or other...

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

"Ultimate global guide for red-blooded bikers planning overseas exploration. Covers choice & preparation of best bike, shipping overseas, baggage design, riding techniques, travel health, visas, documentation, safety and useful addresses." Recommended. (Grant)



Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insuranceā„¢ combines into a single integrated program the best evacuation and rescue with the premier travel insurance coverages designed for adventurers.

Led by special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, paramedics and other travel experts, Ripcord is perfect for adventure seekers, climbers, skiers, sports enthusiasts, hunters, international travelers, humanitarian efforts, expeditions and more.

Ripcord travel protection is now available for ALL nationalities, and travel is covered on motorcycles of all sizes!


 

What others say about HU...

"This site is the BIBLE for international bike travelers." Greg, Australia

"Thank you! The web site, The travels, The insight, The inspiration, Everything, just thanks." Colin, UK

"My friend and I are planning a trip from Singapore to England... We found (the HU) site invaluable as an aid to planning and have based a lot of our purchases (bikes, riding gear, etc.) on what we have learned from this site." Phil, Australia

"I for one always had an adventurous spirit, but you and Susan lit the fire for my trip and I'll be forever grateful for what you two do to inspire others to just do it." Brent, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the (video) series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring!" Jennifer, Canada

"Your worldwide organisation and events are the Go To places to for all serious touring and aspiring touring bikers." Trevor, South Africa

"This is the answer to all my questions." Haydn, Australia

"Keep going the excellent work you are doing for Horizons Unlimited - I love it!" Thomas, Germany

Lots more comments here!



Five books by Graham Field!

Diaries of a compulsive traveller
by Graham Field
Book, eBook, Audiobook

"A compelling, honest, inspiring and entertaining writing style with a built-in feel-good factor" Get them NOW from the authors' website and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk.



Back Road Map Books and Backroad GPS Maps for all of Canada - a must have!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80G/S.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events all over the world with the help of volunteers; we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, or ask questions on the HUBB. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.




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