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Vladivostok - Europe... on a Ural?


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#1 mathiasv

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 01:46 AM

Hey, I am planning a trip from Vladivostok to Europe, 10.000 + km on macadam this August. Still waiting for my visa and dont know how to do the legal stuff when buying a bike in Russia, but expecting it to be ok.

The coolest and most Russian experience would be to do the trip on a Ural, if they have any in good condition for sale in Vladivostok. But will a Ural bring me home, or will I spend my time on emergency repairs next to the road? I can repair everything on my 1977 Kawasaki, but then I have a garage, tools and spare parts. But is attempting the trip on a Ural just a bad idea?

I read this post: http://www.russianir...p;mode=threaded
Was hoping stuff like this would be enough: wire, tape, glue, standard tools, spark plugs, engine and final drive oil, tire foam. After all it is a highway and if something big brakes, I need to find a workshop/blacksmith etc. somehow.

Opinions on the choice of bike, what to check when buying and what to bring would be much appreciated, thanks.
Mathias

#2 Alecu

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:04 AM

the kind of Urals one may find in Vladivotok might be quite different from the new Ural in the link: http://www.russianir...p;mode=threaded

You might just find a great used 650, 3 wheel Ural, or then again you might get a time bomb. It might be hard to judge a Ural if you don't have any previous experience with them.
You will definately need some Ural parts as spares in the trunk 'cause a tape and some wrenches just won't be enough.
I'm sure Ural know-how will be available down the road, it would be better if you had a bit yourself.
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#3 Warthog

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 07:36 AM

Hello.  I am plannning something similar but from the Baltics, heading east.  This is one major reason why I bought my Ural as it will be at least me, my girlfriend and the dog.

There are some reliability concerns, but I stretched as much as possible and bought a 2007 model which is said to have had a number of upgrades to address known weaknesses.

I can manage the basics, but I am not a strip-the-engine-and-blue-print-it-before-supper kind of guy.  Major stuff I can find quite daunting, but I am still going to do it.  Pick the right one and I think you'll be fine.  To do that read as much on here as you can about tell tale signs of trouble: leaks to look for, sounds to listen for, smells and symptoms to search for that will help you gauge the condition of the bike you buy.

In any case, one thing I have learnt on my trips so far.,  long or short, is that its the interruptions, the obstacles and the problems that seems such a catastrophe on the road that end up being the moments you treasure and remember with a wry smile!  

Go on, embrace the unknown: you know you want to....
Boldly going where common sense fears to tread..... and then limping back again.

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#4 Peter Williams

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 08:30 AM

View PostWarthog, on Jul 6 2008, 08:36 AM, said:

Hello.  I am plannning something similar but from the Baltics, heading east.  This is one major reason why I bought my Ural as it will be at least me, my girlfriend and the dog.

There are some reliability concerns, but I stretched as much as possible and bought a 2007 model which is said to have had a number of upgrades to address known weaknesses.

I can manage the basics, but I am not a strip-the-engine-and-blue-print-it-before-supper kind of guy.  Major stuff I can find quite daunting, but I am still going to do it.  Pick the right one and I think you'll be fine.  To do that read as much on here as you can about tell tale signs of trouble: leaks to look for, sounds to listen for, smells and symptoms to search for that will help you gauge the condition of the bike you buy.

In any case, one thing I have learnt on my trips so far.,  long or short, is that its the interruptions, the obstacles and the problems that seems such a catastrophe on the road that end up being the moments you treasure and remember with a wry smile!  

Go on, embrace the unknown: you know you want to....

Where in Russia are you going to get parts for a 2007 Ural which is only sold in Europe and the U.S. ? Engine and gearbox parts would be a nightmare. I think an earlier 650 bike would be a better option.

#5 Peter Williams

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 08:34 AM

View Postmathiasv, on Jul 6 2008, 02:46 AM, said:

Hey, I am planning a trip from Vladivostok to Europe, 10.000 + km on macadam this August. Still waiting for my visa and dont know how to do the legal stuff when buying a bike in Russia, but expecting it to be ok.

The coolest and most Russian experience would be to do the trip on a Ural, if they have any in good condition for sale in Vladivostok. But will a Ural bring me home, or will I spend my time on emergency repairs next to the road? I can repair everything on my 1977 Kawasaki, but then I have a garage, tools and spare parts. But is attempting the trip on a Ural just a bad idea?

I read this post: http://www.russianir...p;mode=threaded
Was hoping stuff like this would be enough: wire, tape, glue, standard tools, spark plugs, engine and final drive oil, tire foam. After all it is a highway and if something big brakes, I need to find a workshop/blacksmith etc. somehow.

Opinions on the choice of bike, what to check when buying and what to bring would be much appreciated, thanks.
Mathias

From talking to some Australians that have done the trip, forget about 10,000 km of macadam - its mud, gravel, slime, ice or sheer hell, but rarely macadam. The road was only completed two years ago, and by road I mean the line on the map.

#6 Warthog

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:49 PM

View PostPeter Williams, on Jul 6 2008, 04:30 PM, said:

Where in Russia are you going to get parts for a 2007 Ural which is only sold in Europe and the U.S. ? Engine and gearbox parts would be a nightmare. I think an earlier 650 bike would be a better option.


Well, that is just it.  I don't plan on having to get a new engine or gearbox as the 2007 should be a lot more reliable in that respect.  I expect to have a hiccup here or there, but I don't want to spend all my time fixing the bike: I want to be seeing stuff, whilst riding it.

Having said that, if it all goes wrong I'm sure the Irbit Motorcycle works would be a good place to start and by the time we do go (2009 earliest) I think these newer models will have become more distributed.
Boldly going where common sense fears to tread..... and then limping back again.

Sportman 2007: "The Improbability Magnet"

#7 Alecu

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 02:21 PM

If you've seen Long Way Round, then you know what to expect in terms of road.
Getting spare parts for a 650 Ural or a 350 Izh Planeta 5 will not be an issue in the small towns.
1963  IMZ M61 rig
1992  KMZ Dnepr MT16
1992  KMZ Dnepr Md 157 Solo
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1941 BMW R12
R1100RS

#8 mathiasv

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 08:18 AM

Thanks for the advice.
One good thing about the Ural (will go for a local 650) is that there should be spare parts and expertise on the way home. I know the high way is very new, despite being declared open 2 (?) years ago. But even if it is not paved all the way, it should be a "big lively highway". Will see how it goes, but dont plan to go too far away from the main road.
If I find a descent bike in Vladivostok, I will look for oil leaks from standing and after riding. Sounds are a bit hard to know from the web. Agree, would be better if I knew the design beforehand. But no time for that. If anyone remembers some specific things to look for and avoid when buying, please let me know. Wish me luck!

#9 propwash

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:41 AM

How much time are you allotting for ride?
In a perfect situation, you would want a good bike waiting for you in Vladivostok.  Maybe contact local motoclub or if you know someone there, have them help.  If you wait until you get there, you will likely lose valuable time looking, purchasing, transferring, preparing and licensing bike.  
Have your drivers license and other travel documents translated into Russian (and certified) before you get there.  This can be very helpful along the way.  Learn Russian, a bit or at least simple numbers and alphabet.
Russia is outstanding for moto-adventure.  Remember... everything in Russia takes time.  The seemingly simplest task or location of a bike part can take a day.
Time, $$, determination; in that order.  Possibly the first two can be swapped.

#10 harleych

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 12:55 PM

last year i seen french couple who ran to Baikal by dnepr with R75 engine
http://tometchris.bl...1807-52659.html

People told behind Ural mountain they saw only Izh and very seldom Urals 650 .

very famous russian traveller "Sinus" from vladivostok
ask him about possibility to buy ural   or any help.
this part of russia running by japan bikes only...
http://sinus.vl.ru/

#11 PrahaBen

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 02:56 PM

Mathias,

Check out this site:

http://www.projectvostok.org/

This is a guy who did a trip like this but on a much smaller scale. He is from the Kansas City area with Russian Family. He post on this board from time to time.

#12 mathiasv

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 05:53 AM

Thanks for the help. I dont have a deadline, but dont want to get stuck in the Russian winter.
It would be nice to see and try the bike before deciding. But I will try to ask Sinus. I could use some help with the paperwork. Even you guys in the Ural forum sound are warning me about attempting the trip on a Russian bike. Hmm... Will see.




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