Frequently asked question is a pool of very usefull QA content we had been asked. We hope this gives you a faster answer than we are able at Mail. Experience tells, nowadays nowbody books a rental bike up front.
We hope this contributes to the riders comunity for Central Asia. Glad you have a dive in!
We trust this freely provided information will help develop the region and come back to us in one way or an other.
Motorbike Shipment Overseas
We do not offer any more shipments from Kyrgyzstan abroad. Thus because of the tremendous work load and hassle with customs, continuous changes of regulations and the diversity of law and regulation of delivery destinations.
Therefore we cannot 100% guarantee the procedure without problems and decided not to offer this particular service any more.
The solution we provide with our services is long term parking. You can continue your journey the year after in all your strength. Our Parking is monitored by CCTV.
If you still consider to ship your bike please have look here:
>or here the followup link at Horizon:
Please note, prices may change due to global craziness.
When you ride in this arid region, make sure you drink enough. We recommend a drinking camel bag in a small back pack. For example from Scott, or backpack.
Central Asian dirt produces a special dust, it contains quartz. Clean the air filters regularly, otherwise this stuff gets into the cylinder and can cause great damage.
Skills required: Out here in the desert, there is no motorbike shop. In some corners you may also be totally alone on the road. For our rental bikes Zorro Moto expects that you are able to change a tire and replace a tube on your own. We can provide phone assistance and have a pick-up wagon, but consider, there are many places without phone connection and pick-up access is only available inland. A local help with a porter is the most likely.
Kyrgyzstan is famous for its corruption. Police at the road tend to stop westerners. Officially, they are not allowed to collect your drivers license and play on you. Do not pay big penalties in USD! If the Police try to press you on money: most helpful is the game on time: you have endless time, you have only local currency, you do not understand local language, etc.
Here a blog advice on this topic > Horizon Unlimited
Helpful information about travel in Central Asia
There are two famous websites:
Horizon Unlimited, Central Asia section:
How can I make a tire/rental - reservation?
Write us an email with your tire specifications or your itinerary. We will answer you with a proforma invoice. A down payment for reservation is required via our site. After your down payment your invoice will be updated and tires put aside.
Is a tire reservation required?
A reservation for tires is not required. You can come to Osh and check the availability on the spot. he simple rule is, what we've published at our webpage is at stock.
All tires not on hold for reservations will be marketed. The availability is not guaranteed throughout the whole year, since we ship + import once per year.
Are there international flights directly to Osh?
=> There used to be a flight way via Moskow to Osh and Bishkek. Due to conflicts in Ukraine, flights from Europe directly to Moscow may not work.
Note: There is a new flight from Istanbul to Osh with Pegasus Airlines. Be aware for departure in Istanbul is at Sabia Göksen Airport and not the main hub. Recomended is all flights with Pegasus, for exampel Basel>Istanbul>Osh.
Further information: Airport Osh
Turkish Ailines provides regular flights between Istanbul and Bishkek.
When is the ideal time to ride in Kyrgyzstan?
Early season is end of April / beginning of May. Osh is at 1000 meter, the passes cross high altitudes and can be snowed in until end of June. Kazarman-Jalallabbad pass is usually pretty free beginning of June. May/June is good to ride at lower altitudes and not too hot yet.
The best time in my opinion is end of summer, end of August and September - it's not baking hot around Osh anymore, snow free in the mountains, very sunny with a almost 100% weather security, no land slides and comfortable temperature between 10°- 20° / night 0°-5°. The Yurt camps mostly close end of September latest.
Border Crossing & VISA
Warning: Border KG - TJ is currently closed. But Borders Uzbekistan - TJ are open, also for Westerners.
Kyrgyzstan: entry upon arrival 60 days
Tadjikstan: Most western passports can enter Visa free. The Pamir Highway needs a special permit called GBAO which is currently only in Dushanbe available. These content may be subject to change. Pamir Highway may be possible to enter only within TJ and you have to exit there as well!
> VISA for Tadjikstan: https://www.evisa.tj
> The visa should be $50 and a GBAO permit $20 (you can get it together with your e-visa).
> IMPORTANT: The VISA needs to be printed out, if possible in color, due to many checks.
Kazachstan: entry upon arrival 60 days.
Uzbekistan: entry upon arrival, usually a 30 days / one entry for the most common western countries. No Visa required for Schengen citizens.
Turkmenistan: you better don't ask. :-)
Tadjik Border Crossing (provided by Iron Horse Nomads)
Warning: Border KG - TJ is currently closed.
Currently we have experience with 4 border crossings on a regular basis.
Karamyk: A lot of people plan to use this. It is located west from Sary Tash, Kyrgyzstan and appears to take you to the Pamir Highway just outside of Dushanbe. Except, it’s closed to foreigners! Do not attempt to go through, you will be turned around. The crossing is only for Kyrgyz and Tajiks to use. https://goo.gl/maps/VVa4nV6sYxbk5nSM7.
Kyzyl Bel: This is the recommended crossing from Batken. Fairly straight forward. Expect some delays as the have frequent power outages and the guards on the Kyrgyz side tend to move very slowly. https://goo.gl/maps/1Su7vt4VFd3iUhZW9.
Panjakent – Samarkand: Reopened in 2018, this is a fairly efficient border crossing and makes getting to Samarkand from TJ quite easy. https://goo.gl/maps/6A7YpVJ2uPYJUjBd8.
Kyzyl Art / Bordobo: This crossing is quite possibly the most corrupt (on both sides). There is also almost no cell signal meaning they can mess with everyone and no one can call for help. It’s unavoidable for the most part. The Tajik side usually demands papers you couldn’t get. The Kyrgyz side may come up with anything and everything. Just go into with patience and politely stand your ground and everything should work out. If you have to pay a bribe it shouldn’t be more than $5-15. Also be aware that no man’s land is quite long (5-10 km). https://goo.gl/maps/1pi5UBFdAazVVfP28.
Pamir-Loop Lodging (provided by Iron Horse Nomads)
Warning: Warning: Border KG - TJ is currently closed.
Khujand: Bahoristan Resort http://www.bahoriston.com/
Dushanbe: Green Hostel https://www.greenhousedushanbe.com/
Kalaikhum: Darvoz Guesthouse https://goo.gl/maps/fAwRQyBN7qvbkt4g9
Khorog: Lal Hotel is a great mid-range place http://lalhotel.tj/ru/, there should be a range of guesthouses to choose from as well.
Wakhan valley: There are guesthouses in pretty much every major village. We don’t know a good way to book in advance yet. This includes Alichur where there are at least two or three guesthouses.
Khorog: The Pamir Hotel is nothing great, but it’s there with private rooms and more distance from staff then you get in a guesthouse. http://www.pamirhotel.com/index.php/en/. There are a lot of guesthouses, https://goo.gl/maps/Z6neVPYjxWZmW2n97 Pamir Eco House should be a decent choice.
Pamir-Loop Route consideration (provided by Iron Horse Nomads)
Warning: Warning: Border KG - TJ is currently closed.
Many people drive from Osh straight south to Murghab, we recommend going the other way. This is primarily for two reasons:
Elevation gain is more gradual reducing the chances of altitude sickness.
The sun is at your back most afternoons rather than in your eyes.
The only possible negative with this is that you are on the river side rather than the mountain side of the road through the Wakhan.
As much as possible, try to avoid buying fuel in the Pamirs. Fill completely in Khorog and try to wait until Sary Tash to fuel up again.
Some places to consider adding:
Bahoristan Resort: a “health resort” outside of Khujand. Very strong mix of Soviet and Tajik elements. Interesting place to see.
Yaghnob valley: a gorgeous valley with a unique people, the Yaghnobi. They are probably the last living direct descendants of the ancient Sogdians. They still essentially speak medieval Sogdian. Very hospitable and off the beaten path. They are 50km down a mountain road off the Khujand Dushanbe highway.
Panjakent: Worth a stop to see the ruins. Should be more to see around that valley, but we haven’t had a chance to explore it yet.
Coming from Dushanbe to Kalaikhum we recommend the northern road. However, it is not for the faint of heart as it is very high and narrow with no guardrails.
Wakhan: It’s worth the time to drive through. The Pamir people and culture is fascinating. Great old fortresses along the way as well. The hot springs outside of Langar are also worth a visit.
If you are very comfortable with 4x4 driving and are in a 4x4 with good clearance, the Bartang Valley is worth exploring. It’s very remote, so be sure you can handle self-recovery if something goes wrong.
More exploration needs to be done in the south west.
How safe is the Pamir Highway and Tadjikstan?
Our recomendation is to handle TJ as a medium risk country. It is ok for riders and ok for westerners to travel. Tajikistan tries its best to provide safety. Here a few things we recommend:
Listen to your intuition, if you feel not safe, don't stop or leave immediately
learn to monitor your environment notoriously
Talk with bikers along the road and in the guest houses.
If you stay over night in nature make sure you stay away from the road where nobody sees you (but leave no trash)
check safety guidelines government officials and your embassy provides
Do you have chains and sprokets?
Chains: We have endless chain 520 and 525. With the chain a lock is provided (options: bolt and spring)
Sprockets: there is no stock available. Ask us via contact form. We may be able to organize it domestically.
Do you have my specific Oil-/Air-Filter in stock?
Filter dimensions vary in every bike. The most common ones we have on stock. The specs on stock are published on our product site under consumables.
Important: We cannot order your specific filters across the globe.
If you want to find out your own specific filter specs for HiFlo brand, check in their catalogue.
Rental Bike Equipment: What does Zorro Moto provide?
Our bikes are equipped with all gears to keep you on the road. You will be able to fix a flat tire with provided tools, have front/rear spare tubes, and an electric pump. In addition we provide a tool roll containing levers and tools, cable straps, plastic gloves, tape, fuses.
What do I have to bring myself when I rent a motorcycle?
Helmet (allowed to carry in hand luggage)
(Important: The weather can be hot an demanding, you may likely overheat in leather cloth. Also spare gloves for high altitude sudden weather changes.)
We recommend in addition:
Drinking camel bag in a light back pack.
Important: The helmet should not be a front-open-helmet like a scooter helmet. It has to protect your chin.
Rental bike deposit payment
At pick-up date you have to provide a deposit in cash for the vehicle. For the XT and SWM it is 500$ or 500 Euros
Rental bike insurance
We offer optional a full comprehensive coverage for Motorbike rental. This would be 15$/1day. It is quite simple in its terms and conditions, if you take the full comprehensive, all damages on the bikes will be covered by Zorro Moto. Without insurance, you have to cover all the damages. Insurance excludes all transportation assistance, this will be evaluated according to whose fault it would be: provider or customer.
Rental bikes storage, luggage & panniers
All our bikes are equipped with panniers left & right.
Panniers & equipment is included in the rental price.
The volume is:
- Yamaha XT600E: Enduristan Monsun3 = 30L (each pannier)
- SWM Supderdual X: GIVI Canyon = 35L (each pannier)
- Our bikes have no tank bags.
- You can fly with your big suitcases, store your luggage at our shop, pack the bikes and ride.
Phone access in the Pamirs
In the Pamir Mountains there is no phone connection. In case of an accident, you have to organize yourself and you need to know what you are doing. We recommend to connect with the taxis or the Pamir guide network for help and assistance. You can load your bike to a porter and get yourself out of the hazardous zone.
Some travellers like to use a tracker (for example TrackMyTour) for their followers, thus working directly with GPS Satellites but data upload still needs connection. There are also a few emergency signal devices available or consider a satellite phone.
How can I pay?
For rental / tire - reservation we provide bank transaction information.
At our shop in Osh you are able to pay cash in Kyrgyz Som, USD, Euro or then by credit card VISA/Master. Credit card charge by law is also in local currency.
A word on commission and fees
Zorro Moto intentionally works to keep the fees as transparent and as low as possible. Therefore, we are working with Wise, a digital Bank with a global transaction service.
For your down payment, Euro payments to WISE has the lowest fees. For down payment we prefer direct wire from IBAN to IBAN.
However, some may be glad for the credit card down payment option and with this, we do not come around commissions. STRIPE is the provider for our online credit card payment and charges 2.9% + 30 cent.
In-shop credit card payment has to be charged in Kyrgyz Som due to Kyrgyz law. VISA is commission free, Master has an additional charge of +1%.
In what currency can I pay?
We provide credit card payment option online in Euro only and at our shop in Kyrgyz currency. For payment via transaction we accept the most common currencies by Wise (Euro, USD).
What are the currency exchange rates at Zorro Moto?
Our leading currency is US Dollars. Exchange rates are up-to-date with the invoice publishment date.
For travelers we recommend the handy App "XE Currency"
Recommendations on GPS navi-apps
Several apps we warmly recommend for your navigation.
Maps.me: download your regional map and navigate without data usage - most useful for overland travel
2GIS: most useful for cities, provides additional information for public services and shops
OsmAnd: offline travel, maps & navigation, imports tracks
iOverlander: provides local shops and information
ViewRanger: imports and navigates tracks
GPX Viewer: Tracks, tours & waypoints
Do you provide GPS tracks for riding rentals?
As a small company we do not have a management for the like. We currently do not publish or market GPS tracks. For rentals we'd love to consult as best as we can for your desired roads.
> see also bellow: GARMIN / Maps & Tracks below for more information
GARMIN / Maps & Tracks / Open-Source
Open Street map is the standard data source of most map devices like Garmin or Maps.me. It's open source and anybody can change and add. What you change there, the world will have on their device a few updates later. Many people use Garmin navigation devices and lots grumble, now if can help a little bit we hope to avoid some bluster.
You can use a Garmin Navi with open street maps. You can prepare your own maps in the exact size you need for your regions. > Klick to Garmin open street maps
A useful Garmin map for the Stans V4 light, it costs 39AUD, loads of information and more details than on the open map. > here
GARMIN maps for the ones with extra money :-) > here
GPS File depot: > custom maps open source
There's a collection of way points available for Central Asia. > Colebatch: Horizon Hub Blog
How to manage, plan and handle maps & tracks?
Are your rental bikes equipped with GPS?
The rental bikes from Zorro Moto provide a USB socket for power plug at the handle bar of every bike. In addition, you can rent a RAM mobile phone holder for 1$/day. We do not provide acctual GPS devices.
Does Zorro Moto run tours?
Zorro Moto currently runns no comercial tours. Although upon customers request we'd love to run and guide specific designed tours. We know the region since years and have a network of guides & drivers.
Have a look at >TOURS and contact us.
Cyclist: Do you have cardboard boxes for bicycle air shipping?
Randomly I'm getting asked by cyclists for cardboard boxes to ship their bikes. Our standard answer: "Sorry, we do not have such boxes. But go to a local supermarket, they may have big cardboard for air cargo. The super markets are
> FRUNZE Gypermarket (40.535869/72.808549)
> GLOBUS (40.532372/72.807619).