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Trip Overview

One huge adventure guaranteed to see you arrive in Madagan tired but smiling, and undoubtedly with memories that will stay with you for a lifetime after traversing the two “Hardest Roads on Earth”.
Arriving in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar for the start of this epic adventure we prepare for the month ahead. Our route takes us north to the Russian border to Ulan Ude and Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in the World, taking the eastern route around the lake north, across unmapped taiga, to the start of the BAM road, which is reputed to be one of the most challenging roads in the World, this 1350km of unmaintained road was constructed to build the BAM railway, there are many broken bridges, river crossings and obstacles to tackle before reaching Tynda from where we head north to Yakutsk before the start of the Old Road of Bones, also known as the Kolyma Highway, which is undoubtedly the most coveted ride in the world of adventure motorcycling. Construction of the “Hardest Roads on Earth” began back in the 1930s under Stalin's brutal regime by the forgotten inhabitants of Siberian labour camps and Gulags. It is said that the bones of the countless thousands who perished in the construction form part of the road surface itself - hence it's more often used name of "The Road of Bones". This expedition will be an amazing, challenging and unforgettable journey, which very few riders in the world will ever achieve. Crossing the “Hardest Roads on Earth” will be a genuine challenge and will take you through the best, most remote places in the World, through some of the most stunning regions to be found anywhere on this planet. Remember, Kudu Expeditions are the only motorcycle expedition company to use this route and should not be compared with others that operate tarmac tours. Join us in 2014 for the ultimate adventure ride.

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Mongolia

Key Facts  
Dates 10th July to w/e 10th August 2014
Countries Mongolia & Russia
Off-tar distance Approx 8,000 Km of rough or maintained gravel roads
  Approx 2,000 Km of very rough or challenging trails
Wild camping Typically 20 nights
Route map Click here for a Google map of your typical route
Information pack Download the full Road of Bones Information Pack
Dates & Prices Click here for 2014 expedition information
Gabe's RoB blog

Trip Highlights

  • Meeting up in Ulan Bator for your training day - meet the Kudu team and get to grips with the kit and equipment you will be using throughout.
  • Heading north to Russia - your first wild camp. Get used to life on the road and the routine of camping in the wild as we cross over into Russia on good tar roads.
  • Ulan Ude - cosmopolitan city at the start of the Trans-Siberian Highway.
  • Head west around Lake Baikal, the largest fresh water lake in the world and visiting Olhkon Island.
  • The next stage takes us off the map north onto endless miles of Siberian forests and mountains on rough gravel roads where you will soon become accustomed to live under canvas.
  • Arriving at Ulkan for the start of the BAM Road section 1400Km of unmaintained tracks broken bridges river crossings and live railway sections, crossing the famous Vitim Bridge and finally Tynda as we head north on the notorious M56.
  • Yakutsk - have a hot shower and a well-earned rest in this fascinating city deep in the Siberian wilderness. You and the Kudu team will take time to prepare for the next “Hardest Road on Earth” to tackle the “The Original Old Road of Bones”.
  • Crossing the mighty Lena River and feeling you are really embarking upon a mighty adventure. 2500Km of wild Siberia stands between you and your ultimate destination - Magadan.
  • Detour off the main route for 200Km to Topoleneye to witness abandoned Gulags from Stalin’s brutal regime of the 1930’s.
  • Tackling the Road of Bones - you will undoubtedly find it tough going and always expect the unexpected. Broken bridges, mud, badly deteriorated tracks and roads mean you will need to remain flexible, work as a team and show real determination to make progress.
  • Rest at Susaman before the final tough push on the Tenkinskaya Highway west again across more challenging terrain and back to the new M56 with a tarmac ride to Magadan and a photo shoot high on the hill at the Mask of Sorrow overlooking the town and your first glimpse of the Okhotsk Sea. Entering the town will mark the successful conclusion to a long-held dream for many riders. You have now joined a select few who have ridden the two “Hardest Roads on Earth” - time to celebrate!

XT660Z

Kudu's Bikes

You can ride a Kudu bike or your own on this expedition and prices vary. Kudu will be using out tried and tested Yamaha Teneres which are great all-round bikes capable of covering huge distances on tar and trail in comfort. They have a comfortable saddle, good wind protection and a punchy, 660cc single cylinder engine. They performed excellently on our Round the World 2009 Expeditions and really come into their own when riding on the more challenging tracks and trails. They are especially easy and forgiving bikes to handle if you are an off-road beginner and they will make the long sections through Siberia and on the Road of Bones a real joy to ride.

Bringing your own bike

Many other dual purpose bikes are suitable for this trip but we do not recommend bringing a big touring bike such as a 1200 or 1150 GS which will be extremely difficult to handle during the most difficult sections. Please be aware that the bigger the bike, the tougher the rough road sections are going to be and this is most relevant to off-road novice riders. In addition you will have to consider how your bike is going to make it to the start line in Ulaanbaatar. If you have any queries at all about the suitability of your bike then please contact us and we will be happy to advise you.


Kudu Staff5

Pre-Expedition Training and Orientation

We at Kudu take great pride in running thoroughly professional adventures which are open to anyone with a desire to challenge themselves and what they are capable of.  You do not need to be a highly experienced motorcyclist, off-road expert or have a huge amount of adventurous travel experience.  Our training and orientation days are designed to be informal, enjoyable affairs where you can meet your fellow adventurers and the Kudu team in a relaxed environment.

TRAINING (1 DAY) :

  • Meet the Kudu team and each other
  • Equipment and route familiarisation
  • GPS training
  • Ride out and navigation practical
  • Motorcycle maintenance and repair

With Kudu's unique pre-expedition and en-route training, all included in the price, you can begin the toughest challenge of your life well prepared for what lies ahead. At present the trainind day is earmarked to be held on day one of the expedition (on arrival in Ulaanbaatar).


Kudu Staff

Your Kudu Support Crew

As usual you will be supported throughout by members of the Kudu Expeditions team including an expedition leader and guide, mechanic and medic. Our support vehicles are packed with tools and spare parts to keep vehicles and riders moving and they also carry communal equipment, such as tents, chairs and cooking kit. Our expeditions are run in a unique and highly successful way designed to give you the right professional support as back-up, whilst still enabling you to experience real adventures on a truly challenging trip.


Rider8

Is this trip for me?

The Road of Bones Expedition will be a tough adventure at times covering vast distances and some very challenging terrain. Please remember however that all routes are achievable for any determined off-road beginner and it is normal for us to have several off-road novices on our tours - you wont be alone! In addition we take a very pro-active approach to training throughout the tour and staff will be there to instruct and help you along, whether it be with your off-road riding skills or GPS navigation. There are many nights camping out in the wilderness too where we will be completely self-sufficient, and for most this is a real highlight of their adventure. If you have any concerns or questions about how suitable you think this expedition may be for you then please don't hesitate to get in contact with us - we are here to help! Much more information is available in the Road of Bones Info Pack.