Russia is the largest country in terms of total area. It extends over 9 time zones. Everyone knows that Russia is the country of classical dance but it can also be said it is the country of all-terrain vehicles. There is inevitably a great diversity of landscapes but also of the grounds on which must move the vehicles. Many models of all-terrain vehicles are series made in Russia, but many Russians make their own (wheeled or tracked), cheaper, simply to move them. Roads are often impassable in spring and autumn due to mud (rapoutitsa), snow, ice, sand, numerous lakes, streams and swamps over very large areas but also mountains, forests, the permafrost of which vast areas of forest turn into a waterlogged area in the summer. In the northern regions with sparse and isolated populations, numerous expeditions are organized with the help of sponsors and the government for the purposes of exploring, meeting, searching for roads but also testing for vehicles. The local press is widely echoing it.
Alexei Garagashian (A. G.), a sportsman and mechanic in St Petersburg, invented a vehicle, the 'Sherp', well adapted to the terrain encountered in the North. Aware amateur of treks and raids, A. Garagashyan began quite young to modify his bike in the middle of the Seventies, then motorcycles of which he modified some (he owned 20 motorcycles) to fit a transmission of his invention to the front wheel for using in his treks. In parallel, he built many off-road vehicles with innovative and very concrete ideas (see photos) as 4x4s with huge tires : the 'Cheburators' of the 2000s. At the same time, he built a 4x4 with unusual longitudinal arms suspensions for raids such as Ladoga Lake Trophy, which this model won three times in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Finally, change of technique, he comes to skid steering 4x4 with big tires in 2012. There were no tracked vehicles built unlike many other home-made vehicles.

1 - The Sherp prototype, last 4x4 of Alexei Garagashian, was tried in 2012 : the Sherp, was a revelation on the Internet in Western countries. The BBC TV channel and its TopGear show with the Sherp video was seen more than two million times on Facebook in one day. This is a truly all-terrain vehicle.

Since 2015, after 3 years of development, the Sherp is series produced in St Petersburg.
The main characteristics of this very compact, all-terrain vehicle are : low-pressure tires 1.60 m  diameter, aluminum body, empty weight 1300 kg, payload 1000 kg, Kubota diesel engine 44.3 HP, gearbox with 5 speeds and transmission by chain, ground clearance 60 cm, speed 45 km / h, 6 km / h on water, maximum slope 35 °, amphibious and very stable. It interests, by its large all-terrain capacity, geologists, oilmen, fishermen, hunters, explorers and sportsmen of extreme, health services, emergency, power lines employees and individuals. It should not be forgotten that the North, like other regions of Russia, is sparsely populated and some villages and towns are not easily connected to the main land and very isolated. All-terrain vehicles are therefore essential.
Alexei Garagashyan says: "While the engine is started, we can either pump the wheels or deflate them. The wheels are filled with exhaust gases, so the process is rapid. The ATV is conducted with two levers, left and right. It is intuitively clear, when the right clutch expands, it causes braking and the vehicle turns right. If you pull both levers, the ATV slows down. "

2 - Why such an infatuation on the Internet for this 4x4 ?

An impressive allure with its 4 wheels 1.6 m in diameter that really passes everywhere. No suspension, steering by braking like tanks, cabin can serve as a house for two people or 4 without the equipment. A simple concept, guaranteeing, in principle, better reliability : the braking of the wheels for the steering is performed by mechanical brakes, there is no hydraulics. But above all, the cabin is completely waterproof and with the tires, the buoyancy of the craft is excellent. It can ride on a frozen lake, break the ice, fall in the water, continues his road always propelled by its wheels, and go back up on the ice. That's where he got noticed. Another innovation highlighted : the tires of 800 l very low pressure are inflatable on demand while driving. In addition, a tire pneumatic interconnection system by tubes allows the tire to be deflated, which winds around a rock with its soft wheels and distributes the air to the other tires and returns automatically after an obstacle. This is another characteristic : this vehicle can ride on large, rocky areas (rocks up to 70 cm high).

3 - Expedition 'Novastok2017'

Some parts of the text in quotation marks are extracted from : : “To test the Sherp and enhance it, the expedition 'Navostok 2017' also named 'To the East 2017' with 5 Sherp, is underway since April 14, 2017 and will end in November of the same year, starting from Arkhangelsk until Peropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, that is to say 10.000 km, a little North of the Arctic Circle, in 6 to 8 months, which would make the longest on-land route behind the Arctic Circle, without using public roads. Arkhangelsk has been chosen as a starting point not only randomly : here the roads end, tundra begins and it stretches along the coast of the Arctic Ocean. The distance between petrol stations can reach up to a thousand kilometers. The mountain chains stand in the way. Some stretches of the road have never been passed by any kind of on-land vehicles. The distance of the Russian territories and the originality of the landscape have always called for specific transport solutions : the medical assistance, the search works, the firefighting, the geological and research activities, they all depend on the ability to move about all terrain. That is exactly the reason why we decided to go where no roads exist”.

4 – Crew 

This expedition includes 8 seasoned members for this kind of journey, scientists, photographers and journalists who love the North, who have extensive experience in challenging trips : on foot, by bike, skiing and mountain hiking, and cross-country adventures. Each and every one of them is an expert in his area. Preparation began in 2015. Five supply points of 5 tons were deposited along the route.The text in quotation marks is extracted from : :
"Alexey Garagashian, the main leader of the group, an active member of the Russian Geographical Society, champion of Russia in sport tourism, the holder of the Russian cup in trophy raids, chief designer of ATVs SHERP". It’s him, with Pavel Emelin, who chooses the route to follow each day thanks to maps with reliefs and obstacles from satellites, GPS, radio, and transmissions. The expedition owns a Quadcopter drone.
Alexey Garagashian spoke before leaving : "A long complicated track to the East of the country begins. Moving inside the Polar Circle traditionally takes place using the winter roads that allow passing only due to low temperatures. Summer connection in some parts of the country can only be done by helicopters, and therefore, the local communities are cut out from the main land. We set ourselves a goal to pass where no roads exist, creating the first all-season non-stop route in the Arctic zone".

 "Each member is not only able to drive the Sherp at two. The sunrise is at 6 o'clock, 1 hour of preparation (technical maintenance and fuels) and 11 h of road per day (about 50 km/day at 4-5 km / h), 1 hour for lunch. It is not a small walk, but also many other tasks must be solved, connected with navigation, photo and video shooting etc. Three more hours in the evening are for dinner, watching the pictures, reports and whether anyone is lucky, fishing or other entertainment. Not much free time ".
"The team is planning to be in contact with the crew a few times per week, thanks to the satellite connection that we have from Iridium. An articulated 10x10 Super Sherp is managed by A. Garagashyan, there is a mess room for food and rest (including shower room), which makes the traveling way more comfortable".
"Many people in towns and cities are interested in the details about Sherp. ATV theme is certainly fascinating for the Northern Citizens. People are eagerly talking about their own lives. There is nothing more precious than meetings like this one, because the trip only starts making sense when you get to talk to the ordinary people along the way. It is not a race against miles, but a journey that will stay in memories. When passing via villages, the team members meet up with people. They learn about the stories of the villages, their traditions and culture. They talk with the locals about life and technology, keeping great memories and excitement that they get along the way.”

5 - The road

While the expedition will be a challenging event for adventurers and vehicles, its main objective is to prove that ground transportation can provide emergency services, as well as deliver supplies and medicines to remote areas of the Arctic, whatever the meteorological conditions. For this, the route chosen for the expedition will be the winter roads, traced on snow and ice in a straight line, which are the most direct but which disappear at Spring. With the off-road Sherps, you can theoretically also sail in a straight line following this disappeared road, despite the obstacles. From : , Vladimir Shilnilov writes: "We followed the map and used spatial photographs, while choosing the optimal route. Often we went to the swamps, looking for narrow sides in the forests between them. Sometimes we used scattered forests, zigzagging among the trees. Obstacles have forced us to seek detours and more comfortable passages to cross the obstacles of the water. That's why the track seems really complicated, far from straight. Often, the road disappears in young plants and ends up on the shore of the lake and we do not find the sequel on the other side. "

This expedition will proved that a fairly straightforward land route can be practiced during the Summer with the Sherp and can help to open up very isolated populations.

The pictures below come from specialized sites :,,,, /UCfxtsylkEAi21lcuJXCo1IQ/videos,,,    

Alexei Garagashyan with a wheel

Alexei Garagashyan with a wheel of motorcycle, in the 80s. It is not a mono-wheel.

Motorcycle 2x2 'White' of A. Garagashyan

Motorcycle AWD 'White' of A. Garagashyan.,          

2x2 Motorcycle system of A. Garagashyan

2x2 Motorcycle system of A. Garagashyan.,,

2x2 of Alexei Garagashyan

2x2 of Alexei Garagashyan.,

A. Garagashyan trekking at Kola, 2000

A. Garagashyan trekking at Kola, about 2000. The road to the pass, this is the epopee of the march to Kola. The action takes place between Revda and the KSS base in the Khibiny.

2x2 of A. G.

2x2 modified by A. G.,

Bars 2 2x2 motorcycle

Bars-2 2x2 motorcycle, about mid-2000, with A. G. system. For 1 day trek.

Motorcycle 2x2 whith same system

Motorcycle 2x2 with same system, about 2009.,

Motorcycle 2x2 A. G. system base honda XR 250R baja, 2007

Motorcycle 2x2 A. G. systems, base, Honda XR 250R Baja, 2007 for trekking in the region of Arkhangelsk.,

Motorcycle 2x2 A. G. system

Motorcycle 2x2 same system, base, Honda XR 250R Baja, 2007,

First big pneumatic 4x4 T150 of a of A. G.

First big pneumatic 4x4 T150 of A. G, built around 2002 for moving in swamps. Tires are inner tubes and no suspension. It was built for off-road GP Russia 2007. 60 km/h on roads. 20 km/h off-road and 5 in water, 750 kg. At that time A. Garagashyan was named judge for the raid Abyss which took place not far from he lived. He knew the terrain very well.,,,

Cherubator I 4x4

Cherubator I 4x4 series, first half of 2000s. A. Garagashyan created the 4x4 Cheburator 1, followed by many others similar, with a welded tube frame that exceeded 30 km / h and which led to the Sherp. He already had the ability to drive on ice, break it and jump into the water and out of the water continuing on his way. It cost 20 000 $ at that time.,

Cheburator 4x4 1

Cheburator 4x4, of mid-2000, from A. G. who inspired many other home-made vehicles of that style. Suspension by springs, hydrostatic steering, Kubota diesel engine, 8 speed gear-box,

Cheburator II 4x4

Cheburator II 4x4, about 2005.

Cherubator III 4x4

Cherubator III 4x4, built with the help of A G. This off-road vehicle is built according to the scheme of the bridge Cheburator. Year of construction 2011.It is located in St. Petersburg.

Cherubator IV, 2006

Cherubator IV, 2006,

Cheburator V 4x4

Cheburator V 4x4, about 2007.

Cheburator VI

Cheburator VI, 2nd half of the 2000s.,,,

Proto 4x4 Savenko

Proto 4x4 Savenko built by Al. Garagashyan, first half of the 2000s.  First prototype for Serguei Savenko. Original hoist is from the same A G. S. Savenko won Russian Cup with this model. Probably 2 proto built.,1/foto/1-fotogalereya/

Green Frog 1

The Green Frog, built around 2005, won the Ladoga Trophy three times in succession from 2005. Particularly suitable for marshy terrain thanks to its flat bottom, made possible by the four suspensions with pulled arm containing a chain of transmission. The concept is new and avoids pushing the mud in front of rigid motor axles. The suspensions are pneumatic and the steering, hydrostatic, is home made. A. Garagashyan says : « I came to the conclusion that the best thing is this design with chain drives. Such a scheme was not known, but I calculated the gear ratios and loads in the transmission, function of the experience of the Savenko car construction "». Engine Lesus SC300 220 hp, Owner Youri Suev (St Petersburg). Winch of A. G. is unreleased and very functional. He says also : «The mechanical winch installed on the machine is a design of the third generation. It allows you to work in concert with the wheels, as both the winch and the wheels are controlled by each of its grip, that is, it is possible to adjust the speed of their work. The design is obvious and understandable, lends itself to an easy calculation, and the open gear train, as shown by my many years of practice, is completely reliable, but much easier to close. » There were some hydraulic problems and the realization of the proto lasted more than an year.,,,

Green Frog 2

Green Frog 4x4. The upper right picture shows a Green Frog with helical springs and dampers instead (or in addition) of pneumatic suspensions.,,

Suspension of the Green Frog

Suspension of the Green Frog.

Skid Steering Vehicle of A. G., 2009

First skid-Steering vehicle of A G, 2009. The skid steering vehicle was roomier for trips, more handy, compact and simple to build.,,

Prototype, hand made by A. G., 2012

Prototype hand made by  A. G, 2012, which is his first skid-steering vehicle. Total mass 1460 kg, 44 hp diesel engine, consumption 2 l/hour.



Sherp on roc

Sherp on rock,,,

Sherp 2012 on rocks

Sherp 2012 on rocks. As written above, Sherp is equipped with inter-connection between tires. With the inflation system, the wheel on the rock can be deflated while inflating other tires. Rocks 70 cm high can be crossed.,,,,,

Chassis and engine of the Sherp

Chassis and engine (Kubota) of the Sherp 2012. There is no hydraulics ; brakes on each side of the vehicle are mechanical. Chain drive.

The famous Sherp 4x4

The famous Sherp 4x4, series manufactured from 2015.,,,,

Sherp during Navostok2017

Sherp during Navostok 2017 in September 2017.,,

Sherp 2015 to present

Sherp, from 2015, is the last version of all prototypes. It is series produced at St Petersburg in 2 versions of 50 000 $ (soft roof, no wiper, no heating) to 70 000 $ (version ‘Kung’, closed cab). As said above, it is completely amphibious and can run on rocks, thanks to an inter-connection between tires. Inside, well decorated, is roomy for 2 persons sleeping and luggage or 4 persons. Length 3400, width 2520, Empty mass 1300 kg, payload 1000 kg, 44 hp Kubota diesel engine, independent mechanical brakes on each wheels, 45 km/h, 6 km/h on water. Fuel tanks of 58 l each can be added in the center of wheels and a transport trailer exists. Reduced length may be a disadvantage in steep slope. An articulated 10x10 version has been built for the expedition.,,

Sherp 10x10

Sherp 10x10.,

Sherp 10x10 articulated

Sherp 10x10, articulated prototype built for Navostock Expedition. This large vehicle allows the team to eat together or meet them. A shower is also planned inside. This vehicle is articulated with positive pitch, roll and yaw control by several actuators. All terrains capabilities raised, particularly length which allows steeper slopes.,,

Sherp 10x10 articulated

Sherp 10x10, articulated.,,,,,

Sherp 10x10

Sherp 10x10.,