- 2023; as the Russian occupation and attacks on Ukraine are ongoing, much of Motoexplorers current time and resources are now aiming to help people there, directly. Drive for Ukraine – is my aim to assist with direclty driving, aid, awareness and anything we can do to help with transport for aid and people. As I also look to complete the PressGo book, you will see it has a direct connection to my own family and how my own travels started, as well as the past 15 years of travelling to and through Ukraine.
- Fast courier format to Ukraine (it’s like how I started in the old days, motorbike couriering)
I’ll do a fast drive out to Ukraine in; mid Nov 2023, taking lighter, more urgent items, hopefully some packages from Ukrainians here in UK – I can help deliver fast to Ukraine, for their guys there.
As well as mainly warm clothing, hats, gloves, warm socks, waterproofs as well as any light more specialised items (tbc) space permitting.
- Help available for some loacl transport, from either LVIV, or Poland/Slovakia border regions; I can help with some direct car transport, (tbc once in country) back to EU, local regions, or up to Germany / Netherlands. (UK if the travel is permitted – which it should be, especially if there’s already a fa,ily member here)
- I will update these things, to a dedicated page, as preps get closer.
- Motorbike aid ride, May-June 2024 – if anyone is interested, get in touch. They’ll be a basic route and hotel organisied as we get in region. Other than that, it’s a solo/free-style ride (or join up with 1 or 2 others) low cost, keep it fast and simple. Ride for a good cause, rather than just take a motorbike holiday tour next year, take a bike load of essential gear, drop it off, ride back lighter.
Steve Hotson: Overland Motoexplorer, since 1989
even earlier: by classic car & on foot!
Motor exploring overland miles covered in vehicles: 1,000,000 + still adding.
Started exploring: officially by moto age 17 learned driving in my £300 MK1 ford escort, yep those were the motoring days.
Short version, about;
I’ve travelled a bit, drive and rode hundreds of different vehicles, worked in travel, transport, couriering, motor-trade, photography + ran a few overland expedtions to China…. and back, thankfully.
I’m grateful and humbled by the human spirit, kinship on the open roads, wherever we travel – we’re all the same, just people trying to keep our lives and wheels rolling onwards.
> PressGo > Venturers book – due in the west around 2024
from a million overland miles – It’s not what you think >
The distance or formats of how I travelled isn’t really so relevant.I’m not an Adventurer, just someone who kept exploring some new things and places, often, by various motos
There’s lots of crazyness from a million miles to share.Whatever happens, wherever it leads – it’s an adventure
meanwhile a few things I’ve been up to a long the way;
I started riding back in the days before metal luggage, mobile phones, or the internet. Looking at the map, The Pyramids & Egypt seemed like a good exploring adventure, not too far away & in 1989 not too many folk were going that way for their summer ride outs. I bought a 600 single cylinder 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 big preparation – 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 a 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!?
2007 eastern Europe adventures to Budapest.
2008 starting working towards making a Silk Road expedtion traveling UK to Beijing, China
Scouting trip to China in 2009, traveling west to East, freighting bikes back from Beijing, was a big adventure, it’s a long story! Since that trip, I have helped many riders explore the silk roads east.
Prior to 09, I’ve explored the Balkans, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia – all regions I know well & still explore. In a past life I’d trained and worked as a professional photographer and prior to that a few motor related jobs, as us guys from the 60’s often did! including mechanicing, couriering, transport, lots of self taught spanner work on various vehicles with exploding engines, plus numerous motoring distractions along the way!
I’ll do a proper count one day, but back of envelope stats I know it’s at least along the tracks of;
Vehicles owned; 100+ (cars/bikes/vans)
Electric vehicles; 1 (made in China & imported back through 10 Countries)
Miles covered in vehicles; 1,000,000+ (still growing)
Age started driving; 17
Riding motorcycles has been a stop start affair for me, as is often the case – various ‘life events’ take us in numerous directions. Motoexplorer was actually founded as a result of suffering quite a serious back injury, which I knew would result in surgery and a good time away from travel – so prior to the surgery I decided to buy an old in-appropriate K100 BMW motorcycle, pause my photography business and take a leap into the un-known, let’s see if it’s possible to ride overland to the Chinese olympics.
I am available to assist / ride / support – overland travel groups and expeditions
If anyone wishes to organise their own moto tour group – I can help with everything you need to go moto-exploring eastern Europe, as far east as you like, even right up to and through Kazakhstan and China if you like to venture onto the Silk Roads.
Meawhile, after spending the past 12 years organising overland UK to China motorbike expedtions, I am now also re-focusing on some writing ‘explorer time’ as I compile the PressGo book.
Scouted first routes overland China riding a BMW GS800
The first China expedition actually started out as a plan to motorcycle to the Chinese Olympic games in Beijing, 2008. Riding west to East finishing on the China east coast. We arrived just a year late for the Olympics, but at least entry into the stadium was half price!
Bikes include; Africa Twin 750, great bike, (if only Honda had fitted a top gear!) | lots of Yamaha Tenere’s, I like them alot, especially that glorious original 600single. Various BMW GS’s inc 800, 1200’s – do the job, usually! (+ a few Kawasaki’s mainly from the couriering days, I got through 3 engines in a GPZ550, couriering through all weathers)
Motoexplorer Ride History
RTW / Alaska – Canada – Yukon
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan – about 10 laps, BMW GS800 (+ driving various vehicles, Toyota Hilux, VW transporter, Mercedes Sprinter)
UK to China (a few times + back) last 2 laps there+ back, Sprinter
UK to Laos & Thailand – finishing and freighting out from Bangkok
USA – North to South & west to East coasts – Yamaha XT660 Tenere
Russia, Ukraine – about 10 laps (I would return to Ukraine tomorrow, if anyone likes to go, I’ll help, maybe transport, aid etc if we can help, lets help.
East Europe / Balkans – Bosnia – Kosovo
Romania – Slovakia – Croatia – Hungary – about 20 laps (various inc original Africa Twin + several 1200 GS’s)
Turkey, Greece – Yamaha 600 Tenere
Crete & Rhodes (distracted by German nurses on-route Egypt, typical nurses hey!)
Europe – most of – 1st drive to Paris age 17, (MK2 Ford escort) +Denmark & Sweden
England, Scotland, Wales – about 100 laps + Ireland a bit + still a bit more I hope with luck
Albania – maybe! oh & Mongolia would be a great challenge, since I have an unused visa.
Some background about the Motoexplorer expeditions;
Haven’t been riding motorcycles all my life, yet!
Age: ‘still counting’!
Anglo-European (Budapest 2nd city)
Open minded, AntiFragile thinking, generally think anything’s possible & ‘where there’s a riding will there’s a way’.
Never trained or quite qualified – just press go and have a go. Have done a few things for which qualifications do not logically fit. I think it’s known as; experience. (although was once a professional photographer, which is the only thing I actually studied and got any kind of college qualification for)
Recently; had a go at doing the HGV course, why not! that’s not going quite so well as 2 wheels, the thing where you press the gas pedal and wait 3 seconds for it to move doesn’t help! Goes up hills in 8th gear as well! at least I passed the going backwards bit (not sure that’s as helpful for us explorers!)
Free-spirited Explorers way
Scouted first routes overland China riding a GS800 to the Great Wall
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!
Based: UK + Budapest + sometimes off-grid