Hello adventure riders, Update: I have reached my home town in Germany safe and sound in September 2015 after about 32,000 km on the road from Melbourne, Australia. The trip started in April 2015 and brought me and my trusty Aussie registered DR650 through South Korea, Japan, Russia (3 times), Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. And it all started like this... In case you care I would like to let you take part in my journey home wards. I started in the 2nd week of April 2015 and am currently sitting in Seoul, South Korea waiting for my bike to arrive in Busan. I hope I can find the time in the next weeks to write bit by bit about the Australian leg of the trip. Since I'm traveling solo and also working as freelancer it may be slow. But I hope that way I can get in touch with bikers along the way. After working in Australia the last 2.5 years I got tired of the nasty Melbourne weather and those skinny jeans wearing buggers who think they should brew beer from rhubarb and headed off from Melbourne towards my beautiful home of Bavaria where craft beer is outlawed since 1516. My first big bike trip took me around South East Asia, so that route was ruled out. But I worked out I can do it even without spending 1000s on a carnet via East Asia, Iran would be the only country to avoid. And I would only need to put it on a container ship once to get it off Australia. Korea, Japan and Russia are well connected via ferries. So far the theory. I contacted pretty much all companies somewhat in the cargo business to get quotes and did not end up with a whole lot at all. Just for the sake of saving someone a bit of time, I did not get a quote (or reply) from any of these: DHL freight, Virgin/Toll group, quantas freight, seaswift.com.au, hellmann.net, transways.com.au, cargomaster.com.au, aircargo.com.au, freightservices.com.au, freightstar.co.nz, pjscustoms.com.au (recommended by many others, but seems dead now), DarwinContainerServices.com.au, ctfreight.com, kline.com, interfracht.de, globallinkfreight.com, discountfreight.com.au, masfreight.com.au, fciaust.com.au, swireshipping.com, marianashipping.com.au I did get a quote from Ever Global International from Darwin to Japan but at about 2000 AUD quite pricey. So after many weeks of googling and writing endless emails I finally did come across "Bikes Abroad" and Ivan gave me a quote for 937 AUD (excluding port charges at arrival) from either Melbourne or Brisbane to either Korea or Japan. Sweet! Update: In Busan I had to cough up another 860.000 Won (1000 AUD) in fees, inclusive the 105k for 14 days insurance Weapon of choice is a 2003 DR650 (a bargain for 3200 AUD) with a Garmin 62s that doesn't necessarily keep me from getting lost, and brand new Heidenauer Scout on the rear. Lots of thought went into soft vs. hard panniers with the cheapest option - Australian made - being 895 AUD excluding shipping: http://www.barrettexhausts.com.au/panniers.html But then do I really want to spend about a 1000 dollar, a third of my bike's value on two metal boxes? That's multiple times what my gear is worth. Shall they steal my dirty underwear, I don't care. I went with two no name pannier bags and a large duffle bag from an ebay warehouse seller named tour-pak. They were on special and cost me in total about 150 AUD, all the straps on the bags were utterly useless to fix them in any way to the bike and in the meantime I have cut them off. They hold onto the bike with a velcro flap and come with a rain cover. I put some additional velcro around the end of my seat as well, so that I can put one on without the other one holding against it. A rubber strap each just in case and a cargo net over the duffle bag and I'm ready. It surprisingly holds well and is not the only ebay cheapo or 2nd hand item of gumtree on my bike. And who needs a tank bag for hundreds of dollars? Am I the only one who thinks that's insane money for a storage bag? Search for "bicycle bag" on ebay and you may be surprised what the friendly guy in Hongkong sends you with free postage starting from a few bucks. Ok, it does not come with a touratech logo hence you are somewhat invisible to most people at the Horizons Unlimited meeting but it holds a small map, mobile or camera and that paper you need to show to some official at the next boom gate just fine. :) The racks came from happy-trail.com in the US which including shipping still were far cheaper than anything in Australia (something is wrong down under, seriously). Instead of a center stand I got one of these Australian made portable prop stands in my tool bag: http://andersonstands.com/tour_prop_stand.htm That saves you at lot of dollars and kilos and you can use it to get either wheel into the air. So I set off on my trip and after 10 km a car driver gave me a wave and I thought, oh well, probably lost my cheapo paniers at the last pothole. But turns out it was a rear signal bulb. Must be a good sign. Adelaide Typical Aussie chicks, staggering home from the bar early in the morning.