Vienna to Magadan - BAM Road and Road of Bones

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Xdream, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. Dylan57

    Dylan57 n00b

    Sep 17, 2007
    Deep admiration to everybody who rode BAM and RoB and that f****** bridge, and to do it alone is something more spectacular!
    And when Hans is describing it, it seems like peace of cake... and we all know it is not a peace of cake!

    One of my favorites! Thanks, Hans!
  2. Motor 1

    Motor 1 Been here awhile

    Nov 29, 2005
    9 miles from the start of the Gap
    Thanks for sharing ur adventure. :clap:clap Truly a 'Gem' of a report to read. Very inspirational......, so much so...., I think I'll pack my bags and give it a try myself this May :deal :lol3
  3. Big Daddy D

    Big Daddy D Been here awhile

    Nov 18, 2011
    under the sea
    Hans Jörg, vielen Dank für das teilen deiner Erfahrungen! Enjoyed the way ofstorytelling very much!

    Verstuurd van mijn GT-P7510 met Tapatalk
  4. Twinmike

    Twinmike Grandpa

    Nov 7, 2010
  5. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    May 1, 2006
    Phoenix, Arizona

    Thanks for taking us along on your wonderful experience. I loved the story and how you told it. I can't wait until your next...

    Five Stars!
  6. Durden

    Durden Freak!

    Aug 12, 2005
    Calgary, Alberta
    Very inspiring thanks again for taking the time to post this RR - This ride is definitely on my bucket list - I just hope its stays the raw adventure it is today.

    In Western Canada, oil and gas exploration has connected many of the remote back country areas by smooth asphalt highways - the world is running out of true adventures so its inspiring to see this part of the world remains authentic.

    Looking forward to reading about 'Big Yellow's' return trip to Vienna.
  7. RPN

    RPN Been here awhile

    Dec 6, 2005
    Yarra Valley Australia
    Thoroughly enjoyable ride report. Love your attitude and style of writing, very entertaining - thanks :thumb
  8. macarron

    macarron Adventurer

    Mar 14, 2009
    Great adventure! My favourite anecdote is that when you broke the chain in the river crossing and a bear showed up. Wow!
  9. white_bear

    white_bear Adventurer

    May 4, 2010
    Idahoinski Oblast, Khartooshka Ul.
    Great report and Inspirations! I dream to do something similar, probably not alone though. I wanrt to try for 2013 if anyone is interested...


    What about setting it up so a bike stays in Russia? Travel from Moscow or thereabouts to Valdivostok or Magadan and never leave Russia. Wouldn't that get rid of the Carnet deal, leave registration alone, sort of "rent-it-out"? You would need a "rest point" at both ends, and agreeable folks to stay with, or "store-with".

    Dunno, just throwing this out. I'd do something in Vlad for someone....
  10. Xdream

    Xdream Been here awhile

    Mar 7, 2011
    Just figured out that Luis is on a Bike trip right now :D So there wont be much reporting from him on his trip from Magadan.

    To talk a bit more about the possibility to ride anothers bike through russia, here is some inside knowledge.

    First of all - it was a risk for Luis if it works or not. He did not really know if I will make it to Magadan and I could not promise that the bike will be in a condition that he can ride it back. Thats of course a bit of a risk. He might have ended up flying to Magadan and have a Ride with a Scania Truck home :lol3. Could be worse - could be a Kamaz Truck.

    The second unknown was of course the whole paperwork. I spent hours and hours of research to find everything out.

    Officially it is as following:
    In Russia you don´t need a Carnet de Passage.
    The easiest way to get the bike into the country is just to ride in. Shipping it takes sometimes weeks to get the bike through customs.

    If you take the bike into Russia you need a "temporary import". You do this directly at the boarder. The import papers are on the bike and on the person. Only the person that importet the bike is allowed to ride the bike in russia.

    That means, in general NO other person is allowed to ride the bike, even if you have a power of attorney. A power of attorney would work if you ride a bike with a russian licence. But a bike with a foreign licence can only be driven by the person who importet the bike. But it does not matter if the bike is yours. So you can import the bike of a friend, but then you need of course the power of attorney, approved from a notary and of course as much stamps as you can get. :D

    The length of the temporary import of the bike depends on the boardercrossing you enter russia and on your Visa. Normally you can register your bike for the same time as your Visa is Valid. Thats normally 1 Month. You can extend that duration if you go to customs in Moscow, but NOT at the boarder directly.

    I have applied for a 3 month visa and was lucky that the customs at the boarder also gave me a temporary import for 3 month. So at least the bike would be in Russia officially as long as Luis will need to get out of the country.

    I asked at the boarder again if a second person could ride the bike. The answer was NO.
    I asked also if another person can take the bike out of the country. The answer was NO.
    But (important) it´s no problem to leave the country without the bike as long as you come back and take it out at another time. If you don´t get the bike out of the country, you will have to pay import fees. (which would have been 8.000 Euro or so for the BMW). The fee was unreal. (I just wondered if I would never come back to russia, how will they charge me that 8.000 Euro? Send me a letter with a bank account? hahah)

    Those informations so far are from the customs, from the consular and the embassy.

    Luis was super relaxed with things and said - he tries. I did not care if they take the bike away and he did not care if he has to take the train home if they take the bike. And we thought you always can find some solution in Russia. I mean, you ask 5 different persons in the customs and you get 5 different answers. So how should a policeman in Sibiria know if it is ok or not? Have a fancy stamp on a nice paper and all will be OK :freaky

    I gave to Luis:
    - my temporary import papers of the bike
    - a power of attorney (but not approved by a notary. I thought the russians wont know my austrian notary anyway,
    - a signed copy of my passport
    - of course all papers from the bike

    the truth is, nobody really cared. I had 3 police checks on my way to magadan, nobody asked for papers. Luis had 4 or 5 police checks. Also nobody cared about papers.

    At the boarder there were some discussion about the import papers, but when he showed the copy of my passport, everything was OK. (short version of a funny story)

    So there was NO PROBLEM at all with riding my bike back.

    The swedes I met on my ride did the same. One of them was riding anothers bike back. He did not have any power of attorney or other papers. He told me afterwords that nobody asked for papers and they did not have any problem on the boarder too.

    I think problems will arise if there is an accident or other happenings.

    Overall it is prooved that it is possible, BUT I have to say, that it is not legal and if you are unlucky and get to the wrong person in customs of police, you can get into troubles.

    The other thing is, that you have to go through russia into Europe. Things will get much much more complicated if you go to Mongolia or the Stans with a bike that is not yours. I think this in not possible at all.

    This knowledge is all dated from August / September 2011. Might of course change.

    I hope this information was useful to you if you think of doeing something similar.
  11. blkhrt81

    blkhrt81 Been here awhile

    Aug 28, 2007
    Bowden Alberta, Buguruslan Russia
    This would work if a Russian citizen bought the bike in the first place. A foreigner can get permission to use a Russian registered vehicle and it's not a big deal. It is a bureaucratic nightmare for an expat to buy a vehicle in Russia though. I've heard it has been done but it's very time consuming.
  12. motoreiter

    motoreiter Long timer

    Oct 15, 2007
    Washington, DC
    I've bought a bike here, and it was somewhere between a pain in the ass and a nightmare. But I have a long-term work visa, and I don't think it would even be possible for someone on a standard tourist visa. If you wanted to "buy" a bike as a tourist, I think you would have to buy it from the seller but keep it registered in the seller's name and ride it on the basis of a power of attorney. This would certainly be OK within Russia and is fairly common, but not sure about crossing borders (probably OK).

    Interesting to hear about the peculiarities of riding a temp-imported bike in Russia. You should not have any problems in Russia (as Xdream points out, the average cop does not know or care about the import rules), but it sounds like you could have a problem at the border. Luis and the Swede did not, but you never know...

    The problem with keeping foreign bikes in Russia is that you either have to pay massive import duties, as Xdream learned, or constantly renew the temporary import by leaving the country, which would be a huge pain from Magadan.
  13. kyotoviking

    kyotoviking Adventurer

    Nov 28, 2010
    Kobe, Japan.
    Thank you for an inspiring and humorous Ride Report. I have been told that driving through Russia will take many months, and is far to dangerous. After meeting up with other adventure riders, and reading these reports, I started dreaming about going "the long way home", but leaving out the most adventurous parts.
    I was born in Norway, but now I live in Japan, so this trip would make sense, somehow. But it's a problem: what to do with the bike in Norway? Drive it back again? Cheers. Skål. Prost. Kanpai.
  14. asilindean

    asilindean Adrian

    Jul 15, 2009
    Timisoara, Romania
    EPIC! :clap:clap:clap

    Thanks for taking us along. Great story and photos!

  15. Xdream

    Xdream Been here awhile

    Mar 7, 2011
    btw. Motoreiter, Thanks also for your input regarding this manner before we started the trip. Your opinion was very appreciated.

    And I will be in Moscow for a Stopover on my way to Kamchatka on April 13. I arrive at the Airport Sheremetjevo at 05:50 hrs and have to leave at 16:40 hrs.

    Maybe some of you got time to have lunch together.
  16. MazinguerZ

    MazinguerZ n00b

    Jul 9, 2011
    Thank you for this RR, inspires me...

    Always beginner
    on a GS 1200 adv.
  17. Scalex

    Scalex Adventurer

    Dec 10, 2010
    Kyotoviking.. I don't think it would be too much of a deal finding somebody willing to drive it back for you...

    .. so to say... I don't know.. me, for an instance... XDDD
  18. asphaltmueller

    asphaltmueller nomad acc. § 2(3)AVV

    Dec 30, 2008
    an Austrian in New Delhi
    Wonderfull report, xdream

    just to chime in, riding an other persons bike, including acros borders, with a power of attorney is without problem in most countries, in Europe definitely.
    A notary stamp is usually a good thing, but in some countries the Automobil Clubs or the local courts will do it for a much lesser fee.

    If your in the capital, your embassy can also legalize your signature; sometimes Honorary Consulates may do it
  19. Azmo

    Azmo beginner

    Jan 9, 2012
    Overcrowded Moscow
    Do you have to be sober to leave? :evil :1drink I am pretty sure my lady and me will be able to give you a ride from airport and give you a tour across the city if you are into that. I am not 100% positive on that, too much time until April 13, it's hard to make so long forecasts but i think that's highly possible. Ping me in the beginning of April :freaky
  20. David Lee

    David Lee Adventurer

    Oct 25, 2009
    Fleet, Hants. UK
    Many thanks for taking the time and effort to make your report,