Putin,Kim Jong-un,& Genghis Khan Walk into a Biker Bar.. 1Day2Day European Marathon 2017 Run begins.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ExodusRider, Jun 24, 2017.

  1. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

    Joined:
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    Given all the crazy shit going on in the world, I thought I might ride through Russia to North Korea to meet up with Putin, Kim Jong-Un, and a Genghis Khan descendant to discuss what options we have for world domination. I'm bringing with me, Pinky and the Brain!
    VolkdaBike1.jpg
    First, I have to stock up on premium Volka to bribe the Russian and North Korean guards at the gate..
    VolkaBike2.jpg

    If you happen across an Asian Texas Cowboy riding his F800GSA steed (Amelia) through Europe, Russia, to North Korea, flag me down for a free beer / drink :p.
    VolkaBike3.jpg
    VolkaBike4.jpg

    If Puttie, Kimmie, or Genny (what their close friends call them) are unable to meet, I will settle for a hot Russian, Korean, and/or Mongolian gal to represent their interest :p.

    The adventure begins....
    #1
  2. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

    Joined:
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    Why is this called the 1Day2Day European Marathon?

    Well... I'm attempting to ride from London all the way to eastern Russia, where I will skinny dip (4K video to come :clap) into the river separating Russia, North Korea, and China. Then head back through Mongolia, Kazakhstan, hitting all Western Europe (EU/non-EU countries) on the way back; and if I'm lucky, even Morocco / Africa.. before heading back to the UK. Approximately, 40,000-50,000 miles in 3 months; hence the European Marathon portion of the title.

    The 1Day2Day is actually a tribute to my mother who passed away 2 months ago, as some of you may have already heard. She had gotten weak in the last 5 years w/ her liver gradually weakening / less effective in its function. "I told you to lay off the hard booze, mother!!"

    j/k momma..

    In the last two years of my travels, ironically I had gotten much closer to her. She would always worry as loving mothers do while I was off riding Lord knows where.. and wait til my return to hear stories of the adventures, what the countries were like, how different (or similar) people are, the food tasted like, etc. It became a mother/son ritual to sit over a nice lunch/dinner and talk about places she has never seen or heard of. Her response would be "growing up back in Vietnam, before the war, I never went more than 1 hour from our village.. my my, how the times have changed!"

    I've asked her on many occasions to take Dad and see Europe, Italy, Rome, Norway, etc. Her answer was always "One of these days, when I'm feeling better, we can go". Well Mom, "one of these days" never came for you :( , I'm truly sorry for that.

    So I'm making that One Day.. Today!!! (1Day2Day). I'm bringing your love, your spirit with me to these beautiful places to meet all these friendly / kind people, hopefully share wonderful meals and their culture with us. I miss you each and every day since you left us. I know you will watch over and enjoy this adventure ride / pilgrimage together w/me. Love you, Momma!

    MommaMe.png
    Apparently, got my great smile from mom :D.
    #2
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  3. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Trip Summary:

    I'm based here in Houston, Texas so this Friday, June 30th, I have to ride 1500 miles to Toronto, Canada where they will load up my 2015 BMW F800GS Adventure w/ gear onto a cargo plan. Amelia and I will fly to London on eve of my birthday (July 5th) and be there 7.5 hours later in London, UK July 6th morning. Hopefully, we'll be done through customs / logistics and be on the road to Scotland by mid-day. Once I get there in London, I'm told it takes about 5 hours or so before the bike is unloaded and cleared for customs to be picked up. No worries, gives me time to walk amongst the Londoners and practice my British accent.. "Cheerios matte, Top of the Morning to you.. ya hear????"

    Why Toronto you say? Flying out of Houston would be crazy expensive!!

    Case in point:
    1) Round trip from HOU-LONDON is $1700 currently, one-way $1000 w/ flight time between 10 hrs to 15 hrs, depending on stops (no stop prices is ridiculous)
    2) More importantly, bike will have to go on a boat which will take about 2-3 weeks @ approx $1500 one way; air cargo was too costly..

    From Toronto:
    1) Round trip from Toronto (YYZ) to London (LGW) was $750, one-way was $362 on Air Canada ( :) SOLD!!)
    2) Bike on cargo airplane by Air Canada - $800 plus $200 for inspection, customs, and airport loading dock fees at departure & arrival locations.. so abit over $1000 US dollars.
    Unfortunately, the cargo plan is leaving Toronto (YYZ) and landing in the bigger international airport ( LHR - Heathrow). But no worries, only 30 miles away so I can take the bus; was cheaper for me to fly to LGW and the bike to LHR. Ahhh, the joy of saving a buck :p.​

    Air Canada Cargo will ship your bike 1-way for about $1000 w/ fees from Canada to Europe between May 1 to September 30. Price varies based on ports, bike weights, etc. The return trip shouldn't be too drastically different.
    https://www.aircanada.com/cargo/shared/documents/ACC381_Procedure_QA_Moto_ENG_062015.pdf

    Because I am riding more than 2.5 weeks, I didn't think it was feasible to rent a bike or buy one there / resell when finished. In essence, my budget of $1500 getting me and my bike to Europe and 90 days insurance worked out pretty well I think. This is my first time shipping bike to Europe. There may be cheaper routes, there's definitely more expensive routes but I hope this helps someone else out in case they were wondering / planning on the same travel route.


    Below is a quick target route goal / rough timeline:
    Naturally, a trip like this has to be fluid and I hope to find tangent off-roads, side country and over-passes that will be more scenic than just plan flat highway / pavements.

    The plan is to spend the rest of July riding
    1) UK, Scotland, Ireland
    2) Belgium, Netherlands, up toward the Scandinavian Countries
    3) Norway (family there), Sweden, Finland

    August
    1) Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, etc.

    September
    1) Turkey, rest of Western Europe
    2) Spain, Portugal, Morocco, France
    3) Fly out of London or Germany

    I plan to camp out 70% of the time, hostel or couchsurf the rest. I would love to meet any fellow adventure riders, local bikers or hosts ( couch surfing hosts) along the way.

    So if my route and timeline looks to match anyone else's schedule, feel free to send me an IM. Let's share some drinks, a good dinner, and great stories / laughs. These kinds of solo trips can definitely be lonesome at times; always great to meet kind / friendly people.

    1Day2DayEurope2017Map.png
    #3
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  4. doglost1

    doglost1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oh boy! IN! (and bowing close to the ground) Sounds like a grand adventure E. R.! Damn!

    I definitely see where you got your radiant smile from. Beautiful!

    Man, have fun and safe riding!!

    Happy birthday (July)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #4
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  5. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road

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    Great start!
    #5
  6. Scubalong

    Scubalong Long timer

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    So Cal
    Moses
    Your mom is beautiful!
    Sorry for your lost. :(
    Safe travel and have a wonderful trip.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
    #6
  7. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Safe travels. Looking forward to following your trip! Take/post lots of photos, please, for those of us living out our adventures vicariously through you. :D

    .
    #7
  8. black 8

    black 8 Long timer

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    WOW! looks like it will be a great ride - rubber side down...
    #8
  9. BELSTAFF

    BELSTAFF ADV NOMAD

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Arizona--Semper Vestibulum
    First paragraph, post #2 "I am attempting ----"
    NO! Do Not Attempt JACK SHIT,-- DO IT-----
    You will have all of us for moral support,& you will have MOM along in spirit( you promised,you owe )
    I will gladly join in from afar. As with all epic journeys this will be exciting ----Hang on MOM, LET"S ROLL!!
    #9
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  10. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

    Joined:
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    Houston, Texas
    Thanks for the kind words Scuba, Mom was the greatest of the great. And thanks all for encouraging words guys, definitely psyched about this ride.

    Profound Clown Moment #1:
    I think all adventure riders at one point or another will come to the realization that there is a key flaw in this kind of riding; once you start riding to distance shores, everything / every place on your continent seems that much closer / dimmer... and now you have no choice but to ride further and further toward the edges of the world. And once you have reached the four corners, you'll have two choices, buy a small cottage by the sea, live out your remaining days fishing and die since you've seen it all.. OR... do what Forrest Gump did... just keep "RUNNING / RIDING" ??? uhh.... alright then....

    Gear Time:
    Of course with any lengthy ride, prep work is just as cool as the trip itself and one always pack light right ??? So what am I taking on this 90 day trip:
    Whatever I can fit into two hard case panniers, a low profile MoskoMoto 40L Duffel DryBag and a MoskoMoko Nomad Tank bag plus 3 x 1 gal Rotopax Fuel Tank / 1 x 1 gal Rotopax Water Tank. Nothing more. Unlike my girls, I don't like top heavy bikes..

    Camping gear:
    Camping1.jpg
    • Linyx two woman tent so my cot will fit :imaposer
    • 20 degree sleeping bag (goes in the duffel bag)
    • Thermarest Sleeping Pad, Cot, portable chair & a mini hammock
    • 50ft 9mm climbing rope, cordage, small axe, handsaw, Rambo knife.
    • Pot/pan, pocket rocket stove, utensil, firestarter /flint....propane fuel will need to be purchased locally
    Motorbike Tools:
    MotoTools1.jpg
    • Moskmoto Fatty Tool Roll w/ all tools needed to service BMW F800GSA
    • Cycle Pump and Air Donor Hose (set bead for bad/repaired tire using pressured air from good tire)
    • Tire beadbreaker /irons, tire repair kit (tubed front / tubeless rear)
    • Powerbrick to jumpstart bike and/or use to charge other devices 14,000 mAh
    Spare Parts for Bikes: Given the kind of mileages and remoteness of this ride, some spare parts is in order
    • Front 21" Tube
    • 15T front sprocket / 45T rear sprocket; Will be running 16/45 til I get North Korea; then switch to 15T/45T for better off road riding through Mongolia / Kazakh
    • spare fuel pump
    • 3 oil filters w/ crush washers
    • spare clutch foot level
    • set of front brakes (rear is new, current fronts are half through).
    • set of spark plugs; air filter can be cleaned out.
    • will buy oil and tires over there
    • Apparently the Mitas E-07s tires I am running are substantially cheaper in Europe since they are made over there? ($250 vs $150 a set?)
    Security and Filming Gear:
    Security1.jpg
    • Taser, Bear spray/mace , perimeter alarm trip wire for camping
    • 2 rabbit traps and 3 rabbit snares, sling shot for bird hunting
    • fishing hooks, sinks, floats, lines
    • Medkit (gauge, band-aids, alcohol, iodine, water purification pills, sports wrap)
    • GoPro batteries & Accessories, Tripods and other film/photo gear
    • LED flash/headlamps, pocket knife, power adapters
    Hmm, doesn't look much until it's all on the table. WHAT did I SAY about packing light!!
    Gear1.jpg
    #10
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  11. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

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    AMEN, BROTHER!!
    #11
  12. kumatae

    kumatae Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    493
    Location:
    Orange County
    Following from so cal! Enjoyed your trip through Asia. Be curious as to your thoughts on the obvious difference in the way you are treated in Europe as a solo Asian man traveling versus your previous trip.

    I also lost my mom few years back and regret not going on a trip like this. Trying to plan a trip to Alaska in few years...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #12
  13. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Gear Part 2:
    Normally, I would bring the Mosko Moto Backcountry 35L soft panniers but w/ this long haul and going through alot of different countries / areas, thought it would be easier to lock/secure gear with hard cases.
    I do plan on riding alot of off-roading / camping, but most likely won't be riding extremely challenging routes as I did through the Himalayas or Moab stuff, so they should hold up okay.

    I had also considered taking the 2014 R1200GSA (brought back to life after 24hour submerged in Alaskan/Yukon lake 2 years back) instead, as it's actually easier to pick up when dropped, has more power, and shaft driven so no chain maintenance to consider. But after some deep rooted back & forth, the F800 would generally be easier to maneuver/ manage, get better mileage in these remote lands. and NOT seem as obnoxious/intimidating coming down the road.

    Amelia and her older sister Alianna.
    R1200GSA.jpg


    Some gear worth mention:
    Mosko Moto Gear: https://moskomoto.com/
    These guys have some ultra durable well thought out motorgear / luggages you should check out: ; I'm using their Nomad Tank Bag, Fatty Tool Roll and Back Country 40L Duffel, they are bullet proof.
    Mosko ? This free plug worth anything ?? LOL... kidding, it's top notch stuff for sure..

    Fatty Tool: $70 ?
    Mosko Fatty Tool.jpg

    40L Backcountry WaterProof Duffel $225?
    Mosko 40L Duffel.jpg
    Notice also the Steel Core locking cable / strap; once closed, you can pull in to tighten but won't release unless unlocked. With it being a nylon strap, easier wear/tear on items it's securing. I'm sure it's not full proof but just another layer of deterrent. It's a reasonable solution for $27-$30.
    https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/b/1189/SteelCore

    Nomad Tank
    Mosk Nomad Tank.jpg
    #13
  14. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

    Joined:
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    Houston, Texas
    Loving the profile pic.. NocSueCow!!
    If it wasn't for that dam Kimmie Johnny Un fella, I could be flying under the radar since we Asians tend to keep a low profile until we are right up in your face like a ninja w/ bad English but true; that would be interesting to see how different I may be treated.. my Russian is flawless, and my Italian??? can you say Terror Mai Sue?? :rofl

    and yes, you owe it to Mom to take that Alaskan ride, she's riding a white polar bear waiting your arrival, mate.
    #14
    kumatae likes this.
  15. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    Gardnerville NV
    In :lurk:ricky
    #15
  16. migilito

    migilito Perpetual NooB

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    S-cal
    In!
    Btw, our Moms are always on our rides with us....
    #16
  17. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,473
    Location:
    vancouver bc
    looking forward to this one.
    your ride reports are most excellent.
    #17
  18. kitsapjoe

    kitsapjoe Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2017
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    14
    Location:
    Port Orchard WA
    IN:lurk Have a great ride
    #18
  19. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Welcome back all my good adventure friends, it really is so nice to get back on the horse.
    Speaking of which, a few modifications worth mentioning that should make my life easier during the trip if anyone is interested in that kind of stuff.

    1. Dashboard:
    I was able to retrofit a R1200GS Nav V & docking cradle onto the F800GS by just routing out the mount point in the back of cradle to support a larger diameter bar of the 800. Uses the existing GPS power connector, just won't get bike telemetry or the integrated roll controller. Be sure to set the GPS time out down to 2 minutes so it'll go into sleep mode quickly after ignition is turned off. Was also able to rekey it to match the F800 (deserved a pat on the back for that and thanks You Tube :p ).

    Using some RAM Mount attachments, I have a pivoting GoPro on the left to film forward, side ways, as well as filming backward/ myself. Should be able to get some neat footage / angles. The Iphone 7 Plus RAM Mount w/ super grip & rubber strap retainer is flexible for portrait/landscape viewing.

    Incidentally, I've download all maps of the world using MapsMe for offline turn/turn (28 gigs for the entire world.. Good Lord) as well as the Europe, Russia, and mid-Asia Garmin Maps on the Nav V. I am able to listen to music off the Nav V or Iphone via Sena10C bluetooth headset integrated into the Shark Explorer R Helmet.
    ModDashboard.jpg

    2. Bike Upgrades
    • Andreani Front Adjustable Forks
    • Scotts Stabilizer
    • PUIG adjustable windshield
    • HyperPro Rear lowered 35mm ( raised back up abit w/ 18" rear)
    Anyone that owns a BMW F800 knows the front forks are not adjustable and pretty stiff for off-roading. And because the gas tank is behind the seat, once you've topped off and all gear loaded, the front end becomes just that much more lighter and twitchy, so in comes the Scotts Stabilizer to save the day. Lastly the stock windshield blows ! :p.
    ModSuspension.jpg

    3. Woody / Excel Takasago Wheels
    Upgraded to the harder / more durable 21" Front / 18" Rear Excel Takasago / custom hubs. One less thing to worry about up front.
    Running Mitas E-07. Expecting close to 20K miles front / 10K miles rear @ 60-70 miles cruising speed.
    ModWheels.jpg

    ModWheel2.jpg


    4. General bike upgrades
    • Cyclopes LED high/low beam lights
    • BestRest Rear shock support block
    • Battery Tender connectors w/ Voltage meter to ensure I don't overload Alternator
    • Various Clamps / Mounts for GoPro Attachment
    • Blackdog Back Luggage Plate
    • Rotopax mount (1 gal fuel + 1 gal water on rear lugguage, 1 gal fuel on top of each pannier).
    • Decat-ed Exhaust Headers (in case needing to run leaded fuel in the wild)
    • Cheap Carbon Fiber Exhaust Sport Exhaust
    • Powercommander FC for richer mapping
    • LED Signal lights, Barkbuster handguards, Ram mounted Double Take flexible mirrors
    • Touratech crash bars, radiator guard, skid plate ( not long enough to cover the cat portion of exhaust .. :( ).
    Fuel Management Info:
    The Tank is almost 6 gallons (275 miles) plus the 3 x 1 gal Rotopax ( 130 miles) I'm taking with me, hoping to get about 400-450 miles til bone dry. I'll have to ship the gas tanks along w/ some camping gears, etc to Norway and pick it up in route. I'm told if the gas tanks are new, they may let it on the cargo plane, but if they smell of gas (even if empty), it might not be allowed on. So playing it safe and sending it along to destination right before Russia starts.

    I'm told gas quality toward east of Russian and lower countries (Mongolia, all the Stans) may be of low octane or even leaded so will have to be mindful, bring a filler neck filter and extra fuel pump just in case.
    Sorry for length discussion but I've had discussions / requests for some details of bike preparation. Hope it's useful to some folks, for others.. just pretend i'm talking about girl body parts!!
    #19
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  20. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Logistics and Legal Eagles:
    Some 1st hand experience of the logistics / legal eagles of the trip I've had to endure thus far.

    As I have mentioned before, the cost of shipping bike to UK was about $1000-1100 USD Dollars.

    Some other documents you'll need
    1) Proof of ownership / Title
    I am bringing my original as well as copies of my Title and Texas Registration. Years ago, folks were worried about bringing originals but nowadays, you can get a certified original title for $5 if you somehow lose it, so I'm not too worried about it. Will make color copies so they look real enough and submit those first if requested by legal officials, keeping originals safely on me unless needed. Make sure to keep the copies and originals in separate locations, for safety / backup.

    Same goes for passport, other documents / permits, spare keys, credit card, cash..ie. have a backup copy / location / in separate cache / storage than your working ones. Heck, keep a 2nd lightly /fake wallet as your working one and the main/real one strategically hidden. Like Forrest Gump's mom said "you never know what you gonna get!" and she didn't JUST mean the local brothel !! :jack

    2) Proof of Insurance.
    The EU and many non-EU countries such as Russia do support a International Motor Insurance Card System called the "Green Card System" that provides general liability insurance valid in all countries that are in the system.
    The cost varies from where /who you buy it from. I suspect if you buy them from countries that are more developed / commercialized such as UK, France, Germany.. that they would be more expensive than smaller, less developed countries such as Bulgaria, Belarus. Please don't take what I'm saying as law as I'm learning as I go w/ these internet searches. In any case, I was able to purchase my 90 day coverage for about $150 USD dollars; so anything over $200 might be high. I've heard there are cheaper places to purchase them as well, just don't know enough to find out where.

    Green Card System Member countries
    https://www.mib.org.uk/making-a-cla...gistered-vehicle/green-card-system-explained/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inter..._Card_System#Membership_and_geographic_limits

    3) Driver's License
    I'm told your US driver license should be fine for most EU Countries; if you want to be on the safe side, you can visit local AAA and pay $20 (bring 2 passport type photos) and they will issue you an International Driver's License booklet (which just has driver info translated in different languages). That should cover you for most all countries. China is the only one I can think of that they require you to take a test / pay a fee and get a Chinese Driver's License. I hear it's a lengthy process and too bad I don't speak / read Chinese because I would tell them to go to "HEO"!
    Fyi, HEO is the Vietnamese word for Pig/Pork, as in what the HEO is in my rice plate!!


    4) Passport and Visas
    You'll need to have your US Passport w/ at least 6 months before expiration for you to travel dependably in most countries. Last Friday, two weeks before I am support to leave for my trip, I go to the Chinese Consulate to get my Chinese Visa done... and wouldn't you know it, I drop my US Passport somewhere. Now some good looking Chinese guy out there is pretending to be a Vietnamese Asian Cowboy.. I doubt he has my twang. LOL. Anywho....$200 dollars later, picked up my new passport on Friday; unfortunately, I have lost all my killer stamps, like Nepa, Cambodia, Peru. Oh well, another reason to go back then??

    You'll definitely need a Russian Visa (the ride that I'm on takes me in/out of Russia several times, so needed a multiple-entry one). A 3-year multiple entry one for US citizens cost $300 ( you'll need a Russian Invite Letter from a travel /tourist company - $20-30 USD, along with visa app, photo, etc to apply). Takes about 2 weeks.

    I also got a 10-year Chinese Visa ( you'll need proof of travel, plane ticket and hotel confirmation) for $150 USD. When I get to North Korea, going to try and cross China to Mongolia instead of back tracking west through Russia then south to Mongolia. I don't have high hopes but who knows, Momma might give them Chinese guys a heads up to let me / bike through. If not, I may just leave the bike checked into a motel in Mongolia / Russia, catch a bus into China, rental/buy a 50cc moped and pull a ShangHai Noon for a few days. Apparently, you can ride a moped/bike up to 50cc w/ out a Chinese License. You know what they say, " When in Asian Rome!"

    3) Import Vehicle Permit.
    Once you bring the motorbike into the EU and are certified by one country, say UK (complete form C110), you SHOULD be fine for most EU and many of the Western non-EU countries such as Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan. Still researching the other countries I may pass through. It being my first time, there's going to be some wait/see when I get to the borders.
    https://www.gov.uk/importing-vehicles-into-the-uk/temporary-imports

    I think once you get into the likes of India and some of the southern African countries, you may need a Carnet de Passage. Think I should be okay for this trip.
    http://www.fia.com/international-cpd-network
    http://www.atacarnet.com/Carnet-de-Passages-en-Douanes-CPD-Issuing-in-US-and-Canada

    5) Travel Insurance / Medical Coverage / Medical Evacuation
    Almost forgot, you'll need this to get a Russian Visa.. proof of medical insurance coverage. There are plenty of insurance companies that will cover US folks traveling abroad. Mine cost $150 for 3/months including trip cost coverage... so plus/minus on the cost. Like my Momma said, "you gotta shop around!"
    https://www.allianztravelinsurance.com

    Summary,

    I'm sure there will be countries I pass through that may require buying local auto insurance and/or paying a import vehicle deposit (like Mexico), so I'll just need to be prepared for that.
    If anyone has any experience, please share with us, inquiring minds definitely want to know. :lol3

    Another lengthy discussion that needed to be out posted I reckon. Looking for any feedback, recommendations, gotchas, and pass experience knowledge from follow riders. Thanks
    #20
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