Australian Road Rider


The queue of trucks at the border between Russia and Kazakhstan is kilometres long, but they wave us through. We’re now travelling with French Canadian Damien Fauchet and his BMW R1200 GSA fitted with a Ural sidecar. He wanted company crossing the ’Stans. Leaving Western Russia is a simple enough process of passports, stamps and forms, a ride across no man’s land and we’re in Kazakhstan. Again, a simple border process and we’re on the road, well sort of road.

Since the old USSR dissolved in 1991 there’s been no maintenance to speak of. Potholes big enough to swallow Damien and his sidecar mean slow progress. While this is desert country, it does rain sometimes. A downpour brings another road hazard. There are no drains or run-off in the towns so paddling in axle-deep water is an interesting change from the dust and sand. I follow cars and trucks where I can, just in case there’s a hidden hole under water.

The desert landscape is broken up only by cemeteries manufactured out of mud and concrete, camels, goats and the occasional

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Australian Road Rider

Australian Road Rider3 min read
Hawkesbury Riding
Not far outside Sydney is one of Australia’s most popular motorcycle roads, the snaking piece of tarmac following the Hawkesbury River starting at Wisemans Ferry. The Wisemans Ferry Hotel is a popular joint for riders to enjoy a nice (if a little exp
Australian Road Rider6 min read
Cruise Missile
This is the latest iteration of the Suzuki M109R called the Black Edition, a name I checked twice given the amount of glaringly white pearlescent paint on our test bike (it makes a bit more sense with the more subdued Candy Red version). A combinatio
Australian Road Rider7 min read
Wolves, Mountains And Canyons
We head out of Dubrovnik and say goodbye for now to the awesome views from the clifftops of the Dalmatian Coast. We have three quick border crossings scheduled before lunchtime and we can’t afford too many delays, so we make up time with some spirite