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Old 09-18-2012, 01:31 AM   #16
nicola_a
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Originally Posted by jetjackson View Post
8000 GBP, that is about $13,000 USD. Yeah, that is to go anywhere in China with a foreign bike because you re not allowed in the country with a foreign bike, without a guide, period. In China it is extremely expensive to own a bike that is greater than 250cc's, you rarely see them.
Jackson's suggestion of buying a bike in China exclusively for China is probably your best bet.
You can reduce the cost a little bit by getting a group together (see this thread on HUBB doing something similar - sorry, don't know any ADV threads off the top of my head)... but whichever way you look at it, China on a foreign bike is expensive. Most people choose the detour option, but obviously this may interfere with your Everest plans.
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:44 AM   #17
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Read again, 8000 GBP, that is about $13,000 USD. Yeah, that is to go anywhere in China with a foreign bike because you re not allowed in the country with a foreign bike, without a guide, period.
I have not crossed into China on my bike, but it is my understanding, that you have to hire a tour company in China to handle all the paperwork for you. And they will arrange you the guide to come and meet you up at the border. You pay for the tour company´s services (probably pretty much a fixed amount per head, even if you stayed only 1 day in China) and the guide´s costs you will pay by day, so those depend on how long you will travel there. If you have a group, you may be able to share those guide costs. The guide will not travel as a pillion on a motorcycle, but may travel as a passenger in a car, so if you only have bike(s), then the guide will need a car, the rental of which you also have to pay.

From Kyrgyzstan via China to Pakistan on the Karakoram Highway seems to be a relatively used route, because it only requires a short stay in China, so guide costs may be smaller.

Also how many provinces you will be visiting inside China, will affect the costs, because it involves more paperwork (.....BUT do note, that just lately several travellers have reported, that inter-provincial travel in China is currently forbidden, so that could have a big impact on anyone´s plans to cross from Nepal to Laos, for example!)

But do note this: riding from Europe to South India, for example, should be totally possible (*) without having to use any guides, or paying ridiculous amounts of money (that kind of money does go a LOOOOOONG way in a cheap country like India, BTW!!)... and then you can ship the bike across the Bay of Bengal to Bangkok, for example (and there are no ferries, so don´t dream about that option!) In fact I did exactly that 4,5 years ago, sent my DL650 on an open crate from Chennai by air to BKK via Kuala Lumpur, and that cost me roughly 600 euros total (plus my own flight ticket Chennai-BKK was about 200 euros). Sending from India is a bit of a bureaucratic nightmare, but still 100% do-able, and I guess you should just take it as an experience in itself........ just like Indian traffic LOL!!

(*) Iran & Pakistan visas could be tough for certain passport holders, though.

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Old 09-21-2012, 08:05 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jetjackson View Post
Read again, 8000 GBP, that is about $13,000 USD. Yeah, that is to go anywhere in China with a foreign bike because you re not allowed in the country with a foreign bike, without a guide, period. In China it is extremely expensive to own a bike that is greater than 250cc's, you rarely see them. Owning a bike over 250cc's is the equivalent of owning a Porsche in the states.

The only way to ride cheap in China is to go there, buy a bike under 250cc and only travel around China, you wont be able to take the bike out of the country.... actually that would be a hell of a lot easier. But I am sure you will still get some issues from the police.
I can't remember where on here I read it, but someone said don't go where they don't want you. With those kinds of prices China doesn't seem to want normal foreigners traveling in their country. From the research done I think I'll be skipping China. The Nepal side of the Himalayas will be awesome.

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PNG is rough, especially in the highlands... I wouldn't go there on a bike. Think tribes throwing logs across the road to trap cars. Expats up there that work for mining companies live in compounds and drive around with security. Too much risk of someone high on beetlenut slashing you with a machete eh.
That's exactly what I read. Easier just to skip it.


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Originally Posted by nicola_a View Post
Jackson's suggestion of buying a bike in China exclusively for China is probably your best bet.
You can reduce the cost a little bit by getting a group together (see this thread on HUBB doing something similar - sorry, don't know any ADV threads off the top of my head)... but whichever way you look at it, China on a foreign bike is expensive. Most people choose the detour option, but obviously this may interfere with your Everest plans.
Thank you for the HUBB thread. I read it all and it seems to confirm I'll be skipping over China. Real shame.


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But do note this: riding from Europe to South India, for example, should be totally possible (*) without having to use any guides, or paying ridiculous amounts of money (that kind of money does go a LOOOOOONG way in a cheap country like India, BTW!!)... and then you can ship the bike across the Bay of Bengal to Bangkok, for example (and there are no ferries, so don´t dream about that option!) In fact I did exactly that 4,5 years ago, sent my DL650 on an open crate from Chennai by air to BKK via Kuala Lumpur, and that cost me roughly 600 euros total (plus my own flight ticket Chennai-BKK was about 200 euros). Sending from India is a bit of a bureaucratic nightmare, but still 100% do-able, and I guess you should just take it as an experience in itself........ just like Indian traffic LOL!!

(*) Iran & Pakistan visas could be tough for certain passport holders, though.
Great info! I've been quite interested in India (and many other places obviously) for some time. It reallyhelps that it is cheap. After some adjustments (with more to come I'm sure), I planning on skipping a few places and jumping around by air but still seeing a ton of cool things! The below path is still rough:



Does anyone have any recommendations on how to adjust the route to see more cool stuff?
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:12 AM   #19
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Yeah, once you get to the bottom of Italy, catch a ferry over to Croatia and spend some time exploring the Balkans, Bosnia/Montenegro/Croatia etc. - you wont regret it.

Then on your way up to Scandanavia, check out Switzerland/ and or Austria on the way through.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:29 AM   #20
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Ethiopia to Morocco most definitely WILL NOT happen.. Google "sahara" to get you started on that one! And unless you like the idea of getting kidnapped by armed groups linked to Al-Qaida, familiarize yourself with the whole situation before you go. The threat is real.

Otherwise that new plan looks more realistic, though there are still some other smaller problems with it. Like only 1 possible border crossing for foreigners vehicles between Pakistan&India (east from Lahore).. and I can almost guarantee, that you will not get your foreign vehicle into Vietnam, unless you pay very big money to arrange it with a tour company (bit like China). Freighting across the Bay of Bengal usually happens from Kathmandu or Chennai, could be done from Delhi as well. Seems that Nepal is easier to send from, than India. Haven't heard of anyone doing it from eastern states of India. Bangladesh might be a possibility, too, but could be laborous to arrange I think.

Even though you might not be able to do everything you'd like to, that would still be one hell of a trip.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:38 AM   #21
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there are two should I say "main" overland routes from Europe to India. Most common is Turkey-Iran-Pakistan-India. There may be the problem with Iranian visa. The other is Kyrgyzstan-China-Pakistan-India. So for both you need the Pakistani visa. For that latter one, you also need to arrange entry to China, but it's a relatively short way inside China, so costs may be more tolerable. The Karakoram Highway is on that route, it is a famous destination in itself. And you naturally will need to cross some very high mountain roads on that route, so weather, especially winter, needs to be thought of. Eastern Turkey also gets too cold for bikes mid-winter, but otherwise that route is pretty much year-round. Summertime heat, as well as the monsoon season has to be taken into account further south.

Edit. Turkey-Georgia-Russia is another bit, that'll demand some more research... I think it should be do-able these days, though, but you should be aware of where&how. You also have the option to go by ferry across the Caspian Sea.

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Old 09-22-2012, 03:12 AM   #22
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Vietnam is nowhere as expensive as China to get a bike into.

I know of five different people who have taken bikes from 200cc to 650cc there in the past year and they all paid about $600.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:07 AM   #23
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Ok I admit my info on Vietnam could be outdated. Once went with friends to try it on 115cc scooters (Thai plates) from Cambo & Laos, and failed to get in. We weren't prepared to pay a lot of 'baksheesh' for entry, though. At that time (2006) there was a persistent rumour, that under 175cc is okay, that's why we went with those scooters. I thought language barrier at their borders was substantial..

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Old 09-22-2012, 04:48 AM   #24
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Legally, under 175cc IS o.k- but in practice they haven't let cambo bikes under 175cc in for years unless you pay the fee to a tour guide.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:10 AM   #25
nicola_a
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Ethiopia to Morocco most definitely WILL NOT happen.. Google "sahara" to get you started on that one! And unless you like the idea of getting kidnapped by armed groups linked to Al-Qaida, familiarize yourself with the whole situation before you go. The threat is real.
Simply out of interest, is this only not possible solo on a bike? I haven't read many Africa Ride Reports, but I assume it can be done with a guide of some sort?

Indeed, a helluva trip, I.W.R.O.M :)
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:39 AM   #26
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Simply out of interest, is this only not possible solo on a bike?
Sure, anything is possible. You'll just need to be a millionaire to arrange a convoy with serious desert-prepped vehicles carrying your water, food and fuel... as well as army-level protection for certain areas! That still leaves the problem of not seriously pissing off the relevant governments with such entourage, getting permits & crossing certain borders (repeat:Alg-Morocco is closed)... but yeah, one cannot say, that it is impossible in itself

edit. But crossing east to west somewhere south side of the Sahara, where there are actually some roads, might already change the game a bit.

But I'm just talking outta my #ss on this subject really. Better to check out this link (...and it's fair to say he actually knows what he's talking about):
http://www.sahara-overland.com/routes/routesmap.htm

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Old 09-26-2012, 09:12 PM   #27
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Yeah, once you get to the bottom of Italy, catch a ferry over to Croatia and spend some time exploring the Balkans, Bosnia/Montenegro/Croatia etc. - you wont regret it.

Then on your way up to Scandanavia, check out Switzerland/ and or Austria on the way through.
My knowledge of those countries and their attractions is nil. What do you recommend?


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Originally Posted by Pecha72 View Post
Ethiopia to Morocco most definitely WILL NOT happen.. Google "sahara" to get you started on that one! And unless you like the idea of getting kidnapped by armed groups linked to Al-Qaida, familiarize yourself with the whole situation before you go. The threat is real.
Yep. You're correct. I had done basically no research on the area.


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Otherwise that new plan looks more realistic, though there are still some other smaller problems with it. Like only 1 possible border crossing for foreigners vehicles between Pakistan&India (east from Lahore).. and I can almost guarantee, that you will not get your foreign vehicle into Vietnam, unless you pay very big money to arrange it with a tour company (bit like China). Freighting across the Bay of Bengal usually happens from Kathmandu or Chennai, could be done from Delhi as well. Seems that Nepal is easier to send from, than India. Haven't heard of anyone doing it from eastern states of India. Bangladesh might be a possibility, too, but could be laborous to arrange I think.
Vietnam... maybe I'll skip it, but still haven't done significant research on the country. Jaci-Kampuchea's response is good to hear, but $600 to get into 'Nam seems high. Still just trying to get a decent potential route then working out large issues (China) down to smaller ones. Everything is flexible.


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...And you naturally will need to cross some very high mountain roads on that route, so weather, especially winter, needs to be thought of. Eastern Turkey also gets too cold for bikes mid-winter, but otherwise that route is pretty much year-round. Summertime heat, as well as the monsoon season has to be taken into account further south.
The seasons... I'm thinking a February or Mach departure from Melbourne. Assuming 6-9 months for the trip, I should be riding into generally nonextreme weather in that time frame.


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Edit. Turkey-Georgia-Russia is another bit, that'll demand some more research... I think it should be do-able these days, though, but you should be aware of where&how. You also have the option to go by ferry across the Caspian Sea.
Another good option. Cheers!


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edit. But crossing east to west somewhere south side of the Sahara, where there are actually some roads, might already change the game a bit.

But I'm just talking outta my #ss on this subject really. Better to check out this link (...and it's fair to say he actually knows what he's talking about):
http://www.sahara-overland.com/routes/routesmap.htm
That guys site is pretty durn good. His routes are and details are the kind of things I really dig. Thanks!

I've updated the potential route for Africa. I am open to entering the continent at a different place, but must go to Johannesburg, South Africa and Kampala, Uganda. Maybe it's better to cross at Cameroon to Uganda, then down to South Africa. Thoughts?

Edit: This potential Africa route is about 21,000 km.



And yes. This would be one HELLUVA trip indeed.

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Old 09-26-2012, 11:18 PM   #28
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I've updated the potential route for Africa. I am open to entering the continent at a different place, but must go to Johannesburg, South Africa and Kampala, Uganda. Maybe it's better to cross at Cameroon to Uganda, then down to South Africa. Thoughts?
Keep in mind, that I´m not an expert on this (in fact I´ve only travelled some southern parts of Africa, and that was over a decade ago, a lot has changed since)... But it is my understanding, that for most people – think 99% of the people! – it is either ´western´ or ´eastern´ route, though both have some variations.

What is definitely NOT common these days, is to combine those routes in the middle (to go from Cameroun to CAR or northern DRC, and then to Uganda, for example. I think there may be good reasons, why most people don´t do it. Like VERY poor roads (especially during the rainy season), terrible paperwork & corrupt officials. And generally those areas are not known for their stability or well-being, in fact often quite the contrary, so even your safety might be at risk. That is probably the biggest reason, why that route is generally not considered feasible.

And basically the same goes for countries located between Senegal and Ghana, so over there the most common route goes inland, via Bamako.

Personally I think I would just simply stay out (not from whole of Africa, but those areas mentioned above). If it´s your first trip to Africa, cutting west to east in the middle would really be jumping in the deep end. So if you´re still gonna do it, then I´d advice to do your homework really well!

I think that ´western´ route thru Africa (around the equatorial region) is about as tough as it gets already, even if you weren´t planning any major deviations from it!
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:50 AM   #29
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6-9 months is very quick.

Keep in mind daily averages. Personally I don't go above 150km per day average. That for me allows time to see the sights along the way and get to know people. If I had time I would go even slower. At 150k's per day average you can afford to get sick and then make up the time later on. You don't have to make huge sacrifices about seeing things, and you can afford to take the occasional detour to see things.

Keep in mind that even in most parts of Eastern Europe it can take 4 hours to ride 250km because there are no decent highways. I think that will only be worse in Asia/Africa.

You are going to start to get fatigued after 1-3 months. Most people I have met on extended trips said they went too fast at the start and then they just hit a wall. After that they had to slow down. Riding for that long a period of time is a lifestyle, not holiday. That is really important to remember. Healthy food is hard to find on the road, and with the lack of routine with riding across continents it can be very hard to find time to exercise. Over 6 months or so this starts to take its toll.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:32 AM   #30
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The seasons... I'm thinking a February or Mach departure from Melbourne. Assuming 6-9 months for the trip, I should be riding into generally nonextreme weather in that time frame.
Here´s a tip: get Chris Scott´s “Adventure Motorcycling Handbook”. The same guy, who has that Sahara-website, so as you´d already seen, he knows his stuff. There you´ll have some general descriptions of the routes you´re thinking, and also info about the best & worst seasons for different areas (among many other things related to this type of travel!) I think there should be a new, revised edition of that book out just about now, or this year anyway.
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