The history of motorcycling on the BAM road is a very short one. So far, as you will have seen from the posts, Vanino to Komsomolsk is pretty straight forward. In fact by making it to Komsomolsk that evening, we had done over 500 of the 4300km BAM in just one day. ... over 10% already done!
But this is deceiving. This region, the Dalny Vostok or "Far East", is well populated and included the likes of Komsomolsk, a city of over 250,000 people. Khabarovsk, 400km south has 800,000 people, so it not surprising that here in the Dalny Vostok the roads are pretty good, mostly asphalt, and all maintained. The "unknown" starts after Komsomolsk. From here, the next city is Bratsk, 3500 km (2200 miles) down the road. There are only 3 other towns of any substance in that distance, Tynda, Severobaikalsk and Ust Kut, all with 30-50,000 people. Most other settlements are railway villages with less than 1000 inhabitants. Once we left Komsomolsk, we would be in the boonies. Not just normal boonies, but Siberian boonies.
Apart from maps, the only other information I had came from the GPS notes of the only other people to head inland from Komsomolsk on motorcycles.
A pair of Poles on Africa Twins came to explore the BAM Road in 2008 from Vanino. Thanks to connections in the Polish motorcycling underworld, I had managed to get a copy of the Poles' GPS notes and waypoints, where they had marked things like water crossings etc, and I had uploaded them to my Garmin. Sadly I dont read Polish, but I got the jist of most of the notes - Polish is not that different from Russian (but with crazy spelling!!). The Poles had made it as far as Isa just before Fevralsk before turning back to the Trans-Siberian Highway. We were hoping to match that and then go further.
So who were these mad Poles?
Well one of them is Robert "Movistar" here in this thread.
And the other was Robert "Izi" (R.I.P. my friend)
And why the hell were they on 257 kg Africa Twins for a road like this???
Well i did say they were mad
Robert's post on here came too late for me. I was already in Uzbekistan when he posted up his trip, but the trip is here:
The BAM stuff is the 2nd half of the 2nd page.