SILK66 – Exploring expeditions:  Shanghai Old Town, Luoyang, Saint Petersburg, Xi’an, Volgograd (Stalingrad), Bishkek, Dunhuang, Berlin, The Shaolin Temple, The Great Wall of China, Zhangye, The Amdo-Tibetan Region, and many other great cities, sites, medieval towns and villages, on your route from Europe to Shanghai or Beijing.

China silk route map

Form your own ride team for 2020
Costs for this route are aprox £4500 per bike
Motoexplorer helps co-ordinate your expedition, inc paperwork, customs, Chinese licenses & overland travel permits.

silk road china

DATES: any time you like to explore, recommended between April-October

DURATION: 56-66 Days / 66 Hotel overnights. 

15,395 Kilometers / 9,566 Miles, plus your own exploring distances.

The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China.
COUNTRIES CENTRAL ROUTE SILK66: Germany, Austria, Czech, Slovakia, Ukraine – north Europe safe zone, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China.
COUNTRIES SOUTH SILK66: Austria, Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China.
or choose your own routes and detours

SELF GUIDE RIDERS all ride and GPX notes up to China Torugart Pass

HOTELS: average cost to complete a 30 day ride up to the China border is £900 / person (twin room share) or £1800 per single.  All hotel and lodging details are supplied with the ride notes.

CHINA ONWARDS: From the China Torugart Pass – you can choose to finish your ride in Kyrgyzstan, freight bikes onwards, perhaps continue solo riding across to Mongolia, or even Japan!

 contact MotoExplorers UK to discuss your ride plans

Situated at intervals along this route, you will encounter many levels and layers of modern and historic civilisations, remote deserts, timeless temples, magnificent cities, national parks, pagodas, infamous battle sites, Industrial Heritage sites, and much more…

UNESCO World Heritage Sites, giant buddhas, dragons, spirits, ancient cities, grottoes, castles, and other spectacular locations of historical and cultural significance, where history has been created, destroyed, torn apart, rebuilt, and places where the course of history and humanity has been adjusted, forever. Uncover the remnants of civilisations lost, and territories won, conquered or stolen. Battle sites from WWII, the paranoia of The Cold War, and the weight and consequences of The Iron Curtain.

Walk in the footsteps of the fierce and fearsome Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan. Traverse famous mountain ranges and discover remnants of lives from forgotten ages. This expedition is designed and paced to let you really get under the skin of the countries that we’re travelling through. You will get to relive, inhale, experience, learn and be inspired, as you slowly carve your way to Shanghai, meeting many interesting people and cultures along the way.

It’s one of the great last great frontier riding adventures remaining, one that hardly anyone will ever do, so how about you? Join us on a multi-stage expedition including Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and to the far side of China, experiencing a calmness and scale you just won’t find anywhere else.

“flexible ride plans and a structure that lets you relax into your journey.”

We make it possible for you to make the journey on your own motorcycle, to start out from anywhere in the World and ride from Amsterdam to Shanghai, in a relaxed travel style, including quality accommodation, bike freight, paperwork, overland travel permits and all the support you need to safely set out on the Silk Road, riding your own motorcycle to the East coast of China.

ROADS AND TERRAIN: Asphalt, concrete, country roads, back roads, bridges, passes.

NAVIGATION: GPS co-ordinates and waypoints, maps, compass, the locals, the stars, the sun.

SUPPORT: Expedition Support guide and fixer through China.

MAINTENANCE: Tyre changes if necessary, from China.

old russian lada car

Kazakhstan is a fabulous Country, and roughly the same size as Europe! Big Skies, open spaces, a great place to clear your mind. Everything’s bigger in Kazakhstan; it’s like you need to retrain your eyes, to be able to see even further!

You won’t meet many riders who have experienced such an interesting and challenging journey through ‘The Stans’ – vast, unspoiled, expansive lands with no fences, endless roads that give you the freedom to ride the way you want to ride.

We travel through the less risky countries, avoiding the ‘Afghans’, and opting instead for the North Silk Routes through Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Two contrasting countries, and both absolutely fantastic places to travel through by motorcycle, and magnificent in their own right. We will gather new impressions and new experiences in wild Kazakhstan, before crossing the border into beautiful Kyrgyzstan, where a new set of memorable experiences await you.

We’ve travelled through these countries many times before, and it’s not as hard as you might imagine – once you set off and leave the western world behind, relax and immerse yourself fully into this ride of discovery, you will soon find yourself at the border gates of China!

We have explored various options along the Silk Routes, riding to the Great wall of China, and its most-westerly point – The magnificent Fort at the Jiayuguan Pass. From there you’ll ride along the frontier of China’s history, as we start to enter the edges of the Amdo Tibetan region, with some fantastic riding through the mountains, visiting various Tibetan monasteries dotted along the Silk Road.

silk road trucks

After riding alongside The Great Wall turn south, winding through ever-changing scenery and cultures, as you intertwine between the old and new China. Visit the largest monastery in the traditional Tibetan region of Amdo. Established in 1709, Labrang is considered the heart of Amdo Tibetan culture, along with the nearby town of Rebkong. Your camera will just get heavier and heavier, as you fill card after card with spectacular photos, and when you get home again you’ll find it hard to believe that you were actually in these magnificent and significant places.

A balanced approach to travel is by far the most important ability for riding to China. The Trans-Asia ride is mainly road-based, with approximately 5-10% on rougher, unpaved roads, but usually quite firm ground. We’ve found some fabulous places for you to stay along the Silk Route, including some nice luxury touches, with spa/sauna/pools, and great food, to help you relax after a long and hard day’s ride.

With the high temperatures in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and China, we recommend that you wear cool and thin clothing, Merino wool shirts, with good ventilation in your riding jacket and other road clothing. Normal riding boots are optimal for this hot climate, and you will cook if you ride in leathers, so it’s much better to wear lighter, interchangeable layers that you can adjust in relation to riding conditions. Also, pack light. Don’t bring too much clothing or other equipment, you can get whatever you need, along the way.

Motoexplorers ride notes have also incorporated some rest days / sightseeing days at strategic intervals, so that you can explore the many interesting historic and cultural sites, ancient cities, pagodas, temples and local street life, at a more relaxed pace on foot, before hitting the road again refreshed and replenished, to find your next great experiences.

When you’re finally standing on the East coast of China, at the end of this expedition, you will have experienced many different peoples, cultures, and ways of life, from the ancient past, up through the ages to the modern day, and also a taste of how we could be living, in the future.


We’ve discovered some really great places to accommodate you along the SILK66. Travelling the modern-day Silk Road no longer requires that you have the rough-and-ready attitude of Marco Polo or Alexander The Great, with camels and caravanserai (although we will see plenty of camels and can visit caravanserai along the way). True to the Silk Road culture, we’ll also visit some roadside inns, where we modern caravaners (motorbikers) can rest and recover from the day’s journey.

Generally, we aim to stay in moderate to luxurious local accommodation, including some 4* hotels, family-run lodgings (always with bathrooms), plus a wide-ranging mix of excellent hotels and guest houses, chosen for their comfort, character, location, safety, and our convenience, to rest and refresh before our new adventures, the following day.

‘Caravanserais’ supported the flow of commerce, information and people across the network of trade routes, covering Asia, North Africa and Europe, especially along the Silk Road. SILK66 continues these fine traditions – by Motorcycle!


MOTORCYCLE SHIPPING: shipping your motorcycle to or from UK, Europe or Worldwide.


ONWARD FREIGHT: Global shipping can also be arranged, if necessary.


CONTAINER: Packing your motorcycle for shipping home.