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2wheeled_Asta last won the day on January 21 2018

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  1. I'm currently in Uganda and it's the 28th country on our adventure ride. Last year we have been riding in Western part of US too and what I have noticed is that so many Americans love riding their bikes and traveling in general (in their giant RVs mostly), but they are afraid to leave their own country because of so many fears they have. The media in US pictures all the world as a terribly dangerous place (except US and maybe Canada, right?). The truth is, there are wonderful people living in every corner of the world. And MOST of the people around the world are friendly and have no wish to harm anyone. Surely there are places which don't get much tourism and don't have the comfortable infrastructure for travelers or sadly there are countries where people die every day because of wars and conflicts going on (almost never without at least a little help from US too... ), but I can assure you, world is much more safe, friendly and interesting place than you think it is The Americans are so curious, well educated and lovely people, I wish more of you guys would actually travel further and see the real world. It's not expensive (if you try a little), it's not as dangerous as you think it is and it's life-changing when you do it
  2. In case you are someone who was always dreaming to experience the vastness of far east Russia on your motorcycle, or you are in process of circumnavigating the world and need to get from North America to Asia, here is some info about the process of shipping our two BMW 800cc motorcycles from Vancouver to Vladivostok in August 2017. Hope you'll find it helpful Step by step motorcycle shipment from Canada to Russia After finishing our ride through South and North Americas we were planning to continue in Southeast Asia - ship the bikes to Singapore or Malaysia and head towards India from there. However as more and more talks about Thailand becoming quite difficult to enter were happening, and while Mianmar and Vietnam aren't any easier so we went for a quick change of plans and opted for Russian part of Asia instead. The most convenient place to ship from North America for us was Vancouver in Canada. After shopping around online, we discovered two local companies which were willing to work for us. This is what they quoted for getting the bikes directly from Canada to Russia: By air: about 9000 CAD per bike By sea: about 4000 CAD for a container with two bikes in it (about a month in transit) None of these options would suit our situation. Flying them was ridiculously expensive while shipping them by sea would have taken too long since this was happening in the beginning of August and the warm weathers in Russia were coming to the end this year... This is when we understood why some of the riders we knew made such an odd transfer through South Korea: currently the most economic and fastest method of transporting motorcycles to and from eastern port city of Russia - Vladivostok involves ferry crossing between Russia and Korea and then a reasonably expensive flight between Korea and Canada (or for example Australia as Kinga described in her page:)). So these were our steps through the process of transporting two motorcycles from Canada to Russia: FIRST (finding the right logistics company in Canada): We got the quotes for flying the motorcycles to Seoul (Incheon Airport) in Korea. "All Cargo Express" quoted 4100 CAD and didn't provide any calculation details. Moreover they insisted that we hire them to build crates for our motorcycles for additional 450 CAD per bike as according to them the BMW crates are unstable, wobbly and airlines do not accept them. "Astra International" gave us this formula to calculate the price according to volumetric weight of our crated motorcycles: CA$3.10/kg + $100.00/bike for Dangerous goods surcharge. So, for both bikes together, we should look at about CA$3108 + $200.00 + $325.00 for pick up and deliver to airport + our export documentation of CA$185.00 = CA$3818 for both bikes + freight insurance @ 0.855% of declared value. We decided to go with Astra. And Gabryelle proved it to be the right choice - everything went smooth and easy. SECOND (getting the bikes crated): Gabryelle from Astra International gave us the contacts of Harley Davidson dealership in Vancouver for the crates. She says they could get your bike crated for 275 CAD. We spoke to BMW dealership in Vancouver about the motorcycle crates. They get new bikes from the factory in standard BMW wooden crates and are happy to provide the service of washing and crating the bikes for 250 CAD each. But if you are willing to do the work yourself, they will gladly give the crates to you for free. Their crates are IKEA style they can be assembled again with almost no tools except for a hammer and a few nails. However, if BMW crated the bikes at their facility, we would have not only paid them for their service, but also to the transport company with a flatbed truck to collect the crates and deliver them to a warehouse for shipping. The price we got for such service was 190 CAD. Instead we got a cargo van to pickup the crating materials and deliver them to the warehouse of Astra International for 70 CAD. It took us about 5 hours to fit the motorcycles and all our stuff into the crates. The most difficult part was to fit the panniers around the motorcycle and make sure than nothing gets loose when the structure moves. A few additional heat treated wood planks and bubble wrap plastic that we found next to a trash can in Astra's warehouse worked perfect. On bigger BMW F800GSA we had to remove windscreen and handlebar to lower the bike enough to fit into the crate, while for a lower F650GS it was enough to only remove windscreen and loosen the ends on handlebars to turn the mirrors down. Other than that motorcycles sat perfectly inside these crates, being held to the base by four ratchet straps (which we got from BMW together with the crates). As always with airfreighting motorcycles, there is a requirement to have the gas tanks with as little fuel as possible and the batteries disconnected, so this is what we did. THIRD (making the transfer in South Korea): Gabryelle from Astra International made sure that all the papers and the bikes would be shipped to South Korea in three days from the moment we closed the crates. In South Korea everyone uses services of a lady called Wendy Choi to retrieve the shipment from customs and all the other related stuff. We initialy wanted to ride our motorcycles in South Korea, but unfortunately Lithuania and Korea doesn't have some specific agreement and therefore vehicles with Lithuanian registration are not allowed in traffic in Korea. So Wendy arranged our bikes to be transported in a customs-bonded truck from Incheon airport to Donghae sea port (about 300 km distance) and then loaded onto a ferry which goes from Donghae to Vladivostok once a week. Wendy's email address: [email protected] or [email protected] Ferry company's website: http://www.dbsferry.com/eng The costs were following: ferry "ticket" for a motorcycle 560 USD, Wendy's services (including transportation from airport to sea port) - 700 USD for two bikes. Total for two motorcycles 1822 USD. We found that the cheapest way to get from Vancouver to Vladivostok is to fly to Seoul in Korea and take the same ferry as our motorcycles. So we asked Wendy to get the tickets for us as well. The price she got for two beds in second class was 280 USD. We met Wendy for a short moment after arriving to Seoul before we got on a bus to Donghae. FOURTH (retrieving the motorcycles from the port in Russia): After about 24 hours on the ferry we reached Vladivostok. Since we were already in contact with local broker Yuri, he picked us up from the port and drove us to the place where we were staying for the night. Even though the ferry is considered to be Ro-Ro (roll on - roll off), but the motorcycles and all other vehicles were only unloaded the next day. So that next day we spent a few hours with Yuri in the customs office and then at the port to free our bikes from their custody. Yuri charged us 280 USD for everything, including the customs fees, port charges and his services. In the afternoon we were allowed to uncrate the bikes in secured port teritorry (to make sure that our scattered around stuff would be safe from strangers while we repack and prepare the bikes for riding). So all in all it wasn't a cheap operation, To sum up, here's what we paid: In Canada: 3210 USD In Korea: 1822 USD (excluding our ferry tickets) In Russia: 280 USD TOTAL: 5312 USD for transportation of two crated motorcycles from Canada to Russia. The price could have been lower if Korea would have allowed us to ride our bikes there, but the difference wouldn't be significant. This was above our budgeted cost for such transportation as when planning, we didn't expect that we will be in a hurry to get to Russia before warm weather ends there, but as we have saved quite a lot on our Darien Gap crossing (see our blog post about Shipping Motorcycles from Colombia to Panama on a shoestring) we could afford this operation without exceeding our long-term budget. DOCUMENTS NEEDED: In Canada: our passport copies, motorcycle registration copies, customs paper from the border about motorcycles imported to Canada (we didn't have that, but Gabryelle took care of it) In Korea: our passport copies, motorcycle registration copies, airway bill (and all other documents that were provided to Wendy directly by Astra International ) In Russia: our passport copies, motorcycle registration copies, pictures of VIN numbers and overall look of motorcycles, copies of our Russian visas, motorcycle insurance for Russia. So here it is - a detailed overview of a complex motorcycle shipment process. We hope it helps those who are searching for information about such operations. If you need any more specific details about it, please email us to [email protected] and we'll try to answer your questions. **** Original text with pictures is available on our blog here: http://www.2wheeledadventures.com/single-post/2017/09/09/Step-by-step-motorcycle-shipment-from-Canada-to-Russia
  3. 2wheeled_Asta

    Long-distance motorcycle travel expenses

    ...one has to make sure that there will still be enough funds to come home... Since we are homeless and jobless on this trip and have no income apart from small occasional donations made by some lovely people, we have to keep track of money very carefully. In US the lodging prices are crazy and eating in a restaurant is veeeery expensive. No wonder most of local riders we met in US were very surprised to hear that someone from Lithuania (like, where the f**k is that?!) can afford to travel the world on motorcycles
  4. 2wheeled_Asta

    Laia Sanz, one of the best riders in the world

    And this year (just a few hours ago) she finished in 12th position! What an achievement!
  5. Just to add some info to this topic: CDP is NOT required in South or North America, Europe and most of Asia and Africa. Countries that require it are Libya, Egypt, Iran, Oman, Nepal, India, Indonesia and some other Southeast Asian countries. More and more countries can be entered without it. Check before you go.
  6. Hey, I thought I'll add my recent blog post from www.2wheeledAdventures.com here since there is no topic about the travel costs yet. Maybe we could all share something from our side and help those who are planning a trip sort out the expense part easier How much does a year-long motorcycle travel cost? Come join us for some calculations. We got curious about how much money we spent in 2017 while living "on the road". We figured it could also be interesting for you. Maybe because of the plans you are making for your upcoming trip, maybe because you, just like we all, like to take a peak into somebody else’s budget, or perhaps you are traveling too and want to compare your costs with ours. In any case – here are the numbers: FUEL: We burned 4505.71 liters of fuel, while traveling 59 000 kilometers. The BMW F650GS (Asta) used 2071.77 liters, or 3.51 ltr / 100 km. BMW F800GSA (Linas) - 2433.93 liters, or 4.13 ltr / 100 km. Total fuel cost was: € 3426.58 (average € 0.76 per liter) In South and Central America, an average liter of 95 octane gasoline would cost us € 0.97. On average, in the US and Canada we paid € 0.78 per liter. In Russia and Central Asia, a liter of something as close to 95 octane gasoline as we could find would cost us € 0.50 per liter. ACCOMODATION: We spent 81 night in our tent. 187 nights we spent for free. These times we were invited by someone, visited relatives and friends or wild-camped in the nature for free. Meanwhile 178 nights we had to pay for accommodation. During that time we spent a total of € 2781.03 or an average of € 15.62 per night. The cheapest accommodation for one night was € 2.5 (Kyrgyzstan), and the most expensive - € 48 (USA). FOOD: In total, we spent € 4579.05 per year for food. We cooked a lot of ourselves, ate in cheap roadside cafes or sometimes were invited by locals for a meal. In South and Central America, on average, food for two people cost us € 14.91 per day. In the US and Canada, we were mostly cooking our own meals or were invited by locals and therefore we did not feel the higher food prices there compared to the countries we visited before and all in all our daily meals averaged at € 14.00 per day. In Asia, the average price for food for two of us was € 8.73. In Africa, for three first weeks here, before the end of the year we both ate for € 9.34 a day. TRAVEL EXPENSES: In this category we have included all the expenses related to travel, but not related to motorcycle transportation: visas, taxi, buses, ferries or plane tickets. Russia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Iran were the only countries we needed to make visas (and obviously pay for them) in advance. In Central American countries, we had to pay for visas at the border. We paid for the Kenyan visa on arrival as well. All these visas in total have cost us € 848.92. In cases where it was necessary for us to travel somewhere by land, air or sea, we spent € 3003.28 - this amount does not include motorcycle transportation. OTHER EXPENSES: All the costs that do not fit into any of categories above (other than those related to the maintenance or motorcycle transportation) are included here. It can be anything from a local mobile SIM card, a ticket to a museum or a national park, to some clothes, souvenirs, tooth-paste or laundry service. The total cost of this stuff was € 3083.64. MOTORCYCLE SERVICE AND TRANSPORTATION: On service and spare parts for both motorcycles we have spent a total of € 3253.40. The BMW F800GSA is still covered by a manufacturer's warranty, so we trust it for the official BMW representatives every 10,000 kilometers to do the regular service, and the older F650GS is most often cared for by ourselves - it's taken to BMW dealership only when more serious inspections are required, such as valve adjustments. The most costly and least joyous activity is transporting our motorcycles between continents. We have spent a total of € 7546 for three transfers we have made this year. Between Colombia and Panama (or from South to North America), the cost of transporting two motorcycles in container ship has cost us € 743. This amount also includes € 180 which we spent in vain, for loading the motorcycles into a yacht in Cartagena which never sailed out and then unloading them in the same place two days later… So the actual cost of transportation was € 563. From Canada to South Korea by plane and from South Korea to Russia by ferry (from North America to Asia), we ended up paying as much as € 4725 for both motorcycles. The price was raised by the fact that Lithuanian registered vehicles cannot participate in South Korean traffic, due to certain unsigned international agreements, so we had to hire a truck that transported them from Seoul airport directly to the seaport in Donghae, on the East coast of South Korea. The total cost of shipping both bikes in a container ship from Iran to Kenya (from Asia to Africa) was € 2078. Another € 446.3 we spent on short ferry rides with motorcycles and motorcycle insurance in different countries. TOTALS: During the months when we did not need to transport and/or service our motorcycles, on average we spent € 1477 (that’s for fuel, food, accommodation, tickets, and more). On those months, when the time for the regular 10 000 kilometers motorcycle service would come, or we would get on with the mission of transporting our motorcycles to another continent, our costs would seriously jump up. All in all, we have spent € 28968.90 during the year 2017, visited 23 countries in 3 different continents, rode 59 000 kilometers and made many new friends and had unforgettable time! Here are some of our thoughts after reviewing these numbers: - Nowhere in the world is fuel more expensive than it is in Europe - We noticed that, while driving at a lower speeds, we save a significant amount of fuel, and, at the same time, money. For comparison, if we ride a 100 kilometers at speeds below 100 km/h versus speeds over 110 km/h, each motorcycle consumes half a liter less. In 2017 we traveled 59 000 kilometers and thus, saving up to 1 liter of fuel for each 100 km per both bikes creates a significant amount of money saved for us (especially in countries where fuel costs more). And while driving slower, we have more time to enjoy the views - We were preparing most of the food ourselves or chose non-touristy places where the locals eat. This way, we saved a lot on food costs. - We were very lucky to meet a lot of great people who not only took us in overnight, but also showed us beautiful places around their homes and eventually became our friends. - We have used all discounts and discount coupons offered by Airbnb, Booking.com and Uber platforms - this way we saved a few hundred euros for accommodation and taxi rides. - Thanks to friends, some wonderful people or our partners, we have sent some stuff home or received something from home several times without spending extra money, we also got a lot of spare parts for motorcycles and even a few sets of tires - thus we saved few thousand euros. - When it comes to taking care of our motorcycles, we do it responsibly and not always in the cheapest possible way, but in exchange for that, our bikes have never let us down with any kind of serious malfunction. - Motorcycle transportation accounted for a quarter of our total expenses. Here, if we had planned to travel through Russia, rather than the countries of Southeast Asia, much earlier and there would be no need to rush in order to outrun the early winter that was chasing us in Russia, we could have saved another thousand euros if we have not flown the bikes from Vancouver, but would have shipped them by sea instead (which would take more time, but much less money…).
  7. Merry Christmas XL riders! ...I mean XL ADVbike riders Since we are stuck here in Kenya for a while, we have used the free time we have to put up a short review of our Scala Rider PACKTALKs after more than half a year of using it nearly every day. Thought you might be interested to read it if you are considering a new intercom for next year http://www.2wheeledadventures.com/single-post/2017/12/26/Cardo-Scala-Rider-PACKTALK-review If you have limited time, here's the very short version of it: DMC mode works great between two riders Battery life is about 10 hours with conversation via DMC and music playing via Bluetooth Sound quality is good. Even better after firmware upgrade to version 3.2 Devices are comfortable to use, well built and easy to clip on and off the helmet SmartSet app makes it easy to set up and use PACKTALK Working distance is smaller than advertised, but still long enough for comfortable use All the best! Asta & Linas
  8. 2wheeled_Asta

    She Can Do Anything He Can Do… Right?

    Oh my god, Marie, this part of your comment is hilarious! ? That's an amazing way to use your wrench! Stay safe! Azure, I admire your enthusiasm and skills when it comes to motorcycle mechanics. I wish I could say I could disassemble my bike and properly assemble it back and throw in a few tips and tricks, but I must admit I'm no good when it comes to actually working on my bike. And to be honest, I don't even want to start when I think about all the bolts and screws I'll have to take out just to get to that one part! Even if it's just an air filter change (blush). I'm blessed with amazingly handy partner-in crime who likes working on our bikes, therefore he's officially The Technical Department of our team Although I do understand the importance of knowing the basics of motorcycle maintenance and can do some most simple stuff like chain adjustment, that same air filter change, lightbulb replacement etc. and could probably do most of regular stuff with some online help, but as long as I can continue staying in charge of other Departments in our team, I'll leave the Technical stuff to him and continue happily assisting him if needed. Nevertheless, I'll keep an eye on this thread in case other girls and boys will share some useful advices If you guys want a funny hack for riding in general - here's mine: in case you plan on riding in the rain and really want to have your phone in the ram mount on your bike rather than in your waterproof pocket (say if you desperately need your google maps or you have no waterproof pockets), you can use a condom to make your phone waterproof and still be able to use the touchscreen. Yes, just put it over your phone and tie the end into the knot
  9. 2wheeled_Asta

    Where have you been on your bike?

    Hey, I'm following you on Instagram and I was just wondering - what's your plan? Are you riding to North America eventually? To continue your thread of where we have been on our bikes, I'll add mine: since I have my blue bike, I rode it around Europe a bit, touched a tiny piece of Africa by making a loop in Morocco and then a tiny bit of Asia by getting to Baku in Azerbaijan. Now we're on a quick RTW tour together with my beloved partner-in-crime Linas The map and blog is here: www.2wheeledAdventures.com