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Old 05-30-2007, 06:07 PM   #1
nerudarider OP
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Location: Istanbul, Stockholm
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From Moscow with Love

I'd like to share a short report about a ride from Istanbul to Stockholm via Moscow.

I had just returned from a long trip from Istanbul to Tallinn and back with my '05 F650 GS DAKAR. I loved my bike but it was frustrating on straight roads.

The first thing I did was to get myself a new ride - a new 1200 GS.




What better opportunity then to try my new bike with a ride from Istanbul back to Stockholm taking a detour through Moscow to visit my brother?

It was September 2006, in order to finish the 'roadage' I did 1000 km back and forth to the Eagean coast in one day. Next day, I had my first service and I was ready to go!

The plan:



I started late around 11:00, as usual, the first morning. After having a proper lunch in Edirne I passed the Kapikule border crossing in to Bulgaria and rode straight through Kaptan Andrevo, Stara Zagora, Veliko Tarnovo and Ruse to Bucharest where I spent the night.

Some pictures from the road:





Next day I advanced in to territory I had never been before - North East Romania - and followed Buzau, Focsani, Barlad and Husi in to Moldovia and eventually reached Chisinau in daylight where I spent my second night.

In my past rides I had been robbed in Brno (CZ), assaulted in Constanza (RO) and sabotaged in Sumnu (BG), and even though I was lucky to pass Moldovia without any incidents, I still consider Moldovia to be the least rider safe place to be in Eastern Europe.

The reason is the sense of loose control that you get while you are there. I mean like getting pulled over by civil dressed (adidas trainers i.e.) men in police cars for example. You get the feeling there is no authority and if the police wants they'll just throw you in a cage and nobody will ever know about it. Or rob you. Or kill you. I'm most likely exaggerating, but I just don't like the feeling of negotiating the bribe with armed guys wearing Nike sweats in a police car.

Picture from Chisinau:



Next day I started out relatively early - 0930. The target of the day is to ride through Ukraine, pass the Russian border and reach Bryansk.

The roads are really empty in Moldovia - great to test my new bike :)



It took me 2,5 hours to pass the Moldovian border (read B-R-I-B-E) and only 15 minutes to pass the Ukrainian border. I love Ukraine!


MORE TO COME....
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Ida Mountain - Turkish west coast 2005
Moscow detour - Istanbul to Stockholm via Moscow 2006
Meteora Sunset - Istanbul to Larisa and back 2007
Historical Balkan - Istanbul to Stockholm via Belgrade, Budapest and Warsaw 2007
Tatar Rush from Trakai to Yalta to Istanbul 2007
Turkish Coastline - Riding in the Aegean and Mediterranean Coastline 2007
Heaven at the Gates of Hell - Chapadas in tropical Brazil 2008
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:16 PM   #2
xdbx
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holy shnikeys! Ewan and charlie watch out!
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:16 PM   #3
Groinular
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very cool! keep it coming and be safe
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:57 PM   #4
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What a ride!! more pics please!!

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Old 05-31-2007, 01:59 AM   #5
Falco
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Wow, this is quite a ride, dude! Keep it coming!
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Old 05-31-2007, 02:17 AM   #6
Dessert Storm
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Great ride and report. Love the 'just do it' attitude!
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Old 05-31-2007, 02:19 AM   #7
Damir
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Cool!

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Old 05-31-2007, 03:02 AM   #8
nerudarider OP
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continuation

Finally I was in Ukraine. The goal of reaching Bryansk was in risk because of the ..... Moldovian border control

But what else do than give it a try?

Central Ukraine is basically flat. Add to this that there is not much to see and you really appreciate that they've got a new motorway from Ananiv straight in to Kiev. On the road a broke personal fuel consumption record: 135 km on a full tank!

I love the colorful bus stops in Ukraine:





I had to stop frequently to clean my visor clear of all the bugs.



I didn't enter Kiev, had been there several times before. Thankfully you don't have to enter the city center but can continue straight using the motorway (unlike Bucharest and Warsaw i.e.)

Great now I could just pass the border and ride straight in to Bryansk. Of course it didn't work out the way I wanted to. The low milage on the 1200 GS was killing me (it still is by the way). You can't cover long distances fast with this bike because you have to stop for fuel all the time. Maybe I should opt for a GSA next time?

The roads north of Chernihiv in Ukraine are really scarcely populated. I was getting out of gas again but there should be no problem. After all it was the main road heading to Russia. I was wrong of courseThe panick was taking over my body... RANGE 40 KM, 30 KM, 25 KM... Ahh! Finally a gas station!

Which was closed...



I had to ride back the remaining 25 km to the gas station I didn't want to stop for earlier. It was going to get dark in 1-2 hours and if the Russian border control was similar to the Moldovian, I'd be entering the Russian country side with small roads in the dark. Thus, I decided to spend the night in Chernihiv and continue next day.

Next morning in Chernihiv. Not a lot of people around 10:00.



The Russian border control is notoriously bureaucratic, in style with the Turkish border control. Took me more than 1,5 hour to pass. The positive thing is that there is no bribes :)

I can say that during my entire stay of 5 days in Russia (including 3 days riding in Moscow city) I didn't pay 1 ruble in bribes! Wonderful! OK, sometimes I gave them the 'silent treatment' - meaning that you pull the clutch lever to cancel the sound of the engine so that you get close enough and when they finally see you and wave for you to stop it's too late and you ride by And yes, sometimes I decided to look away (literally look away) when they were wawing me to pull over. They don't follow you but you are nervous the next 50 km and wonder if they contact a police patrolling the road ahead.


Anyway, at around 2200 I entered Moscow that night.

TO BE CONTINUED...
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Ida Mountain - Turkish west coast 2005
Moscow detour - Istanbul to Stockholm via Moscow 2006
Meteora Sunset - Istanbul to Larisa and back 2007
Historical Balkan - Istanbul to Stockholm via Belgrade, Budapest and Warsaw 2007
Tatar Rush from Trakai to Yalta to Istanbul 2007
Turkish Coastline - Riding in the Aegean and Mediterranean Coastline 2007
Heaven at the Gates of Hell - Chapadas in tropical Brazil 2008
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Old 05-31-2007, 04:16 AM   #9
DarkRider
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Great report! Keep it coming

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Old 05-31-2007, 04:22 AM   #10
Kristen
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Wow, Dorothy, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore....
Awesome report!
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Old 05-31-2007, 05:08 AM   #11
GB
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Thanks for the update!

more butter
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:41 AM   #12
vstrom
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Laugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by nerudarider
Finally I was in Ukraine.
Great ride, I'll be in the same region in August this year. One question - did you need visa for entering Ukraine?

Quote:
The low milage on the 1200 GS was killing me (it still is by the way). You can't cover long distances fast with this bike because you have to stop for fuel all the time. Maybe I should opt for a GSA next time?
Strange, I thought GS have low consumption and simply can't believe you were able to use a full tank for only 135 km? Is your bike properly adjusted?
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:57 AM   #13
Burro X
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A fantastic ride and great info !
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Old 05-31-2007, 07:30 AM   #14
nerudarider OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vstrom
Great ride, I'll be in the same region in August this year. One question - did you need visa for entering Ukraine?

Strange, I thought GS have low consumption and simply can't believe you were able to use a full tank for only 135 km? Is your bike properly adjusted?
Hi VSTROM!

I'm a Swedish citizen and we don't need a visa for Ukraine.

Regarding the consumption - sorry you can't believe me.

I don't know if the bike is properly adjusted. I think it all depends on how you ride. I guess I wasn't so gentle with the throttle
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Ida Mountain - Turkish west coast 2005
Moscow detour - Istanbul to Stockholm via Moscow 2006
Meteora Sunset - Istanbul to Larisa and back 2007
Historical Balkan - Istanbul to Stockholm via Belgrade, Budapest and Warsaw 2007
Tatar Rush from Trakai to Yalta to Istanbul 2007
Turkish Coastline - Riding in the Aegean and Mediterranean Coastline 2007
Heaven at the Gates of Hell - Chapadas in tropical Brazil 2008
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Old 05-31-2007, 07:31 AM   #15
nerudarider OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkRider
Great report! Keep it coming

Thanks DarkRider! It is, hold on ;)
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Ida Mountain - Turkish west coast 2005
Moscow detour - Istanbul to Stockholm via Moscow 2006
Meteora Sunset - Istanbul to Larisa and back 2007
Historical Balkan - Istanbul to Stockholm via Belgrade, Budapest and Warsaw 2007
Tatar Rush from Trakai to Yalta to Istanbul 2007
Turkish Coastline - Riding in the Aegean and Mediterranean Coastline 2007
Heaven at the Gates of Hell - Chapadas in tropical Brazil 2008
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