(MODS: If this should go in the "General Advice" sticky thread, please feel free to move it... sorry for any inconvenience) Hey all, I have been touring around Japan for a few years now, but nothing very long. My longest trip was about 2,000km over 4 days, and all on asphalt. As a long-term goal, I'd like to do a much longer tour across several countries. I wouldn't be leaving any time soon; it's something I could work up to over time, plan for, and set off on maybe a year or so from now. I'm thinking about 25,000 kilometers, about 3 months, around Asian and eastern Europe. The goal at this point is to start in Tokyo, head west until I can cross the bridge over the Bosporous in Istanbul from west to east, and then east back to Tokyo. I call it "Wrong Way Round". Here is the general idea: The blue line represents the route with the fewest border crossings. The red lines show alterate routes that are either more direct, or include more countries that would be nice to see. Note that both routes avoid places where fighting is going on or may flare up again, including Georgia, the Kashmir region, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. I might also cross Myanmar and northern Thailand off the alternate route list, depending on the situation there. Finally, I am completely ignorant about whether there are any problems on the Turkish-Iranian border. If it isn't safe to go there, I will need to re-think that whole leg of the trip, since you pretty much have to go thorugh Iran if you're heading east from Turkey. I know there are a lot of things I would need, like: -- A dual-purpose bike (I only have a road bike now) -- Tools and spare parts -- Reasonable ability to repair the bike if stuff breaks -- The right gear (clothes, camp stuff, luggage, etc.) -- Visas and carnets -- A route that considers road conditions, gasoline, dangerous areas, etc. -- First aid equipment and training -- Guidebooks -- A Navi system loaded with the right maps -- Plans for how to get medical assistance if I get hurt or sick -- Money, or access to it -- Probably a riding partner, so one of us can get help if the other is messed up. -- A fucking clue ... and probably lots of other stuff. Any general planning advice for this kind of trip would be appreciated!