We started our first scouting ride to China in 2009, west to East, freighting bikes back from Beijing, (the 1st scout ride was a big adventure, it’s a long story!) Since that trip, we have supported many riders to travel to China and experience riding through China on their own motorcycles. Prior to 2009, I specialised in Eastern Europe motorcycle touring routes, the Balkans, Romania, Slovakia – all regions I know well & include routes on some of the longer expeditions.
Run by Steve Hotson who has spent the last 10 years exploring the Silk Road to China, now helps fellow overlanders & motorcycle travellers explore the Silk Road travelling through the Stans and China.
Haven’t been riding motorcycles all my life, just yet!
Age: only 51 (Just’
Anglo-European (Budapest 2nd city)
Easy going, likes Exploring, open minded, generally think anything’s possible & ‘where there’s a riding will there’s a way’.
After riding to China a few times since 2009, This site is now a portal to help share information and assist other explorers, specialising in organising all moto routes riding to / from and through China + Asia.
We have official government licensed partners in China, who work exclusively with Motoexplorer UK.
I’ve discovered that ‘not everyone wants to ride all the way through China’! but maybe you might like the achievement and adventure of riding ‘up to China’ on your own bike! My Motorcycle support services can cater for exploring China in many directions;
1. Ride up to China, (and back to Europe, or freight to/from Bishkek) doing a single stage at a time.
The Silk Overland Rally – is an ideal format to enjoy the Silk Road travelling up to the China border and back to Europe.
2. A complete Expedition, from London to Bangkok, via China (with flexible options to join from Europe) We can also organise other rides / routes through China, using your own motorcycles, 4×4, camper etc. Combining with other travellers, significantly reduces the costs to obtain the necessary travel permits, licenses, guides and support to travel through China using your own motorbike or vehicle.
3. Fly – Ride, using local motorcycles in China, for motorbike tours of China, 3 – 4 weeks,
(you can fly into China and join any of our ride stages, using a local Chinese based motorcycle)
My travel style aims to accommodate a flexible ride, with the variety of doing long distance expeditions to explore many of these mysterious places, at an affordable price & reasonable pace, which most experienced riders can achieve.
The goal on the Explorer rides is to incorporate; distance riding, adventure, variety of riding into the un-known, a challenge to reach the China border, see, hear & taste different cultures, whilst following an organised but flexible structure to make the expedition achievable for average experienced tour riders.
We provide routing, ride plans, accommodation organising, ride briefings, support vehicle with tools, tyres etc
plus co-ordinating the ride group and paperwork to get you to Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Asia.
I started riding back in the days before metal luggage, mobile phones, or the internet. Looking at the map, The Pyramids & Egypt just seemed like a good exploring ride, not too far away & in 1989 not too many folk were going that way for their summer ride outs. I bought a 600 Tenere, cheap tent and plotted a rough route – no real plans, other than to keep heading towards Egypt until we got there, (2 up). The ride was good, down to Luxur, Aswan & back. No spares, no back up plan, no visa, no preparing – I’ve done a few rides like that and it does show that less can be more. Just gather the basics and so long as you’re comfortable with your bike & love the riding, you’ll have a great adventure.
Things don’t always go just how we like it, That’s the way it is – if you’re happy with yourself, everyone else will be happy to see you. This quite ‘informal’ approach to World travel on 2 wheels seems to have set the foundation for MotoExplorers and my 1st scouting ride to China, set in a similar vain to the Egypt ride. China was there, not many people seemed to be travelling to China overland from Britain, it’s always looked just a short hop across to Russia & then if you can keep plodding on through Kazakhstan you’re on the Chinese border, how hard can it be to just keep riding east for 30 days!?
A few distractions of life & work, plus a 10 year stint as a budding photography – fasts forward to; 2006> & the start of phase two; exploring motorbike journeys riding east Europe.
2009> Scouted first routes overland China riding the BMW GS800 motorcycle
The first China expedition actually started out as a plan to motorcycle to the Chinese Olympic games in Beijing, riding west to East finishing on the China east coast. Arrived just a year late for the Olympics, but at least entry into the stadium was half price.
China’s an amazingly diverse, exciting country & makes for a really great challenge to get yourself, bike and life together and go see just how people live on the other side of our planet. Very few western motorcyclists will ever make that great journey, it’s quite an exclusive club! If you’d like to have a go at joining, then start by freeing up about 3 months out of your life & find a bike you really really enjoy riding, A few basic travel items – all in tiny quantities. Everything you’d use in the West is available in the east, except motorcycle tyres for some reason! Don’t worry about the small details and paperwork, I will guide you through the process and help you prepare yourself and the bike, until you’re ready to set of riding east, China awaits. (or as far as you desire)
Current Mission> To support independent travellers journey to and through China, cost effectively in a natural flexible travel style.
MotoExplorer China assist: Overland travel within China is complex, requiring overland permits, regulated approved guide & fixer, army & police clearance for each Province, customs fees & vehicle/bike bonds (in place of Carnet) transport department bike check (like a mini-mot) Chinese drivers license, scheduled route plan & hotel bookings through your China route.
MotoExplorer approved guide partners based in Beijing & Western China, enabling a direct link to the 2 key regions for organising documentation and travel papers for overland travel through China with foreign registered vehicles, trucks and motorcycles.
Torugart Pass, enter from Kyrgyzstan – travel north via the Great Wall of China.
Or south east through the edges of Tibet, (subject to access / conditions)
Kashgar – turning south to the Tibet Highway & Yunnan
Silk Road – trans China to Laos Mohan border
Motorcycle a lap of Kazakhstan to China border & back > or just keep riding east!
I’ve done it before, it’s not as hard as your mind might imagine – once you set of!
A complete lap of Kazakhstan – how many riders will you meet who’ve achieved that?
It’s one of the last frontier riding adventures remaining that hardy anyone will ever do, how about you? a complete tour of Kazakhstan, experiencing a calmness and scale you just won’t find anywhere else.
See: Silk Overland Rally – riding motorcycles to China and routes back to Europe
It’s still a long way from Europe though & you’ll need to be adaptable, open minded, tolerant of other cultures & above all, willing to take the rough with the smooth. At times we might need to make wild camp, which is easy enough & quite the norm in Kazakhstan. If we do camp on just an odd day or 2, rest assured we won’t be too far away from civilisation and always aim to stay in comfortable lodgings. Reasonably characterful hotels & motels are quite plentiful in the towns and cities & some of the larger cities often have good western standards.
Kazakhstan – a Country the size of Europe wild – open nomadic lifestyle, vast dry grasslands interspaced by modern cities with all facilities.
There’s no need to find yourself stranded in the middle of Kazakhstan!
I provide a moto support truck for free spirited Adventurers riding to the Chinese border and back,
Tyres, moto spares, service items, tubes & puncture repair, tools, spare fuel, fluids, emergency bike assistance and recovery.
Supported Motorcycle tour services from UK/Europe, through Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Laos to Thailand.
If you’re searching for your own adventure in Kazakhstan – have a look at our Silk Overland Rally rides for independent explorers, from £625
Riding to Kazakhstan and China; It goes without saying is a long endurance type tour & riders must be experienced at riding 300 miles upwards / day, comfortable to high temperatures & accepting to take responsibility for themselves in some remote regions. If you are prepared and accepting of different cultures & environments, you will find these journeys enjoyable, extremely rewarding and well within the capabilities of normal well prepared adventure motorcyclist.
Much of this ride is on normal asphalt surfaces, with occasional rougher loose surfaced roads, or dry grassland fields to the side of the roads.
Ride History – MotoExplorer supported Rides
East Europe / Balkans
RTW / Alaska – Canada – Yukon
China – Laos – Thailand
USA routes scouted, west-East coasts
Alaska & Canada
Romania – Slovakia – Croatia – Hungary
Turkey, Greece, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia
Routing info, advice – available for independent travellers.
Alaska is also a perfect start to your Trans-Americas adventures!
email for more details
tel: Steve Hotson 07788-101144
Based: Lincoln, UK, LN1
Site owner: S Hotson / MotoExplorers