I bought a 30 year old motorcycle in Mongolia and rode it to Switzerland. AMA about paperwork and Russian mechanics
A few years ago I travelled from Australia to Switzerland without flying, which involved buying a shitty old Honda in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, and riding it across the country and into Siberia, where I got a lift to Moscow and then rode the bike on through Europe. I spent a lot of time filling out paperwork and waiting around in Russian workshops.
I bought the bike on an impulse because I wanted to see Mongolia properly, which wasn't possible if I took the Trans-Siberian. I'd ridden before, but never off-road. It was a steep learning curve and also expensive. The bike fell over and snapped the clutch handle on the very first evening, so I lay in my tent and stared at the fabric all sad and depressed while some wolves howled and sniffed around my tent.
Although fun, the trip was also challenging. The bike broke down just about every day while I was trying to navigate (basically following power lines) and learn to ride off-road. At one point the bike fell on me and I was trapped for a while in the middle of nowhere until I could get my leg free. Then the bike didn't turn back on. There was also problems with getting enough fuel - I had to carry spare in a jerry can and an empty Sprite bottle.
Overall though it was a great way to see the country. I met some very cool people, had some great experiences and even watched Justin Bieber on tv in someone's teepee.
Other than buying and riding the shit old bike, I was also held up at gunpoint, confronted a thief, stayed with nomadic reindeer herders and Russian scientists, met more wolves, paid bribes, and more. All in all it was very interesting.
Some more details are in the original post over in r/motorcycles.
Proof: Here's an album of photos of the ride from Mongolia to Switzerland - https://imgur.com/a/Gkbe91a
And here is a short memoir I just published in digital ($1) and paperback - https://books2read.com/overland