How to start planning for my first real adventure?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by SteadyStare, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. SteadyStare

    SteadyStare Adventurer wannabe

    Mar 26, 2015
    New Mexico
    I’m looking to start planning for my first international ride. But where do I begin? I’m thinking I am about 12-18 months from actually starting my trip, but honestly I am just taking the first steps to convert a wild idea in my head to something real.

    What I think I know:
    1. I think I want to go to Mongolia or eastern Russia. The remote and extreme landscapes along with the tribal peoples really intrigues me. This interest is mainly because I have watched a lot of travel documentaries and it looks cool, I can’t say I’ve really researched too much of it yet, so truthfully, the destination is still flexible

    2. I think I want to fly and rent a bike locally. I would love to take my KTM 1190R with me, but shipping costs seem prohibitive, and I don’t want to be searching for expensive parts in a third world country if something breaks. I am also trying to convince a couple friends to come with so I need to look for ways to make it affordable to them as well.

    3. I would like the trip to be 2–3 weeks max. My work schedule probably won’t allow any more time than that away. Also, cost is a factor again

    Things I have no idea about:

    1. How do you go about organizing travel? Renting bikes where? Do all shops have a website or do I just show up to a town and say I want a bike? What kind obviously depends on where I am. Should I bring tools? Would you recommend bringing tents and camping, or just getting hotels?

    2. Visas and Carne’s (spelling) what’s that process like? Cost? Timeline?

    3. Cost. Any ballpark ideas on how much a trip like this would cost?

    These are the big questions I have, and hundreds more that I am sure I will ask later. I’m an experienced rider, and I’ve ridden all over North America. I have travelled to a few other western/English speaking countries but never something like this and never on a bike. So where does a first time trip planner start? If there is some magical one stop shop thread I missed, feel free to link it. Thanks for your help!
  2. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Apr 5, 2011
    Western Sierras
    I haven't been to those countries, but might be able to point you in the direction of the right answer.

    Russia is notorious for being difficult with visas. I have heard you have to apply just before the trip, and hope for the best. Might want to have a backup plan if they deny. With multiple people, it makes success less likely.

    Russia probably doesn't have a lot of choices for bike rentals, but may have them in large cities. You'll probably get a Ural.

    Some countries are not big on intrrnet use. I went to Italy a few months back. I was all hung up on reserving transportation online. I finally got a scooter reserved. When I got there, scooter an BMW rentals were everwhere.

    However you secure transportation, I would advise you not to get hung up too much on a specific bike. I wanted a Ducati, and ended up with a wobbly Malaguti 250 scooter. It was still awesome. KLR650, Ural, some crappy scooter...get whatever's cheap and common.

    2-3 weeks seems short for such exotic destinations. Normally people take 2 months or mpre due to the unpredictable nature of their roads. If that's what you have, so be it. Best to plan a loop on well maintained roads to keep things simple. You can still see those rarely seen places, just avoid those roads where multi day delays are common.
  3. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

    Apr 3, 2010
    Southwest England
    Quite adventurous for a first trip but perfectly feasable, I would suggest just Mongolia or one of the other Central Asian countries anyone of which will have more than enough adventure for the time you have. A good resource here Take time to read other people's ride reports and look at questions already asked and you will get a picture of the best places to rent, routes and time of the year to be there.
    You should be able to rent locally although the condition of rental bikes can vary, no carnet needed in that part of the world especially not if a local bike anyway. When you have decided where you want to go look into visas and flights, one or two Central Asian countries allow visa free travel and some such as Turkmenistan are a total pain and best avoided on such a short trip.
    You will get by with English when dealing with anyone in the tourist industry and a phrase book or app will do for other basic conversations.