What type of bike do I need?
We recommend that you use a medium to large capacity dual purpose / adventure style bike. We support any make and model. Our Support Crew ride the Triumph Tiger 800XCA or Tiger 1200XCA. We also have lots of experience with the BMW GS range. What is important is that you have a reliable and robust bike that you are comfortable riding and has been fully serviced prior to the start and has new tyres.
What riding experience do I need?
This trip is not suitable for novice riders. It is our toughest expedition and is only suitable for those with advanced road riding skills, experienced in riding up to 400 road miles in one day and be confident at tackling up to 250 miles on challenging, unpaved roads. Three weeks of riding is at high altitudes over 4,000 metres, where it is often cold. Ideally you should also have other travel experience in developing countries, either on or off the bike.
How does motorcycle freight work?
We start the expedition from the Ace Café, London. If you are a non-UK resident, we can facilitate the freight of your motorcycle to the UK from your own country. We Customs clear your motorcycle and you simply need to collect it from our freight agent’s depot and ride to London. This is an additional cost to you. At the end of the trip, all bikes are sea freighted back to the UK from Tianjin. From the UK, your motorcycle can then be freighted back to your own country – again at your own cost. If we get at least 3 riders from another country, we can do a separate sea freight arrangement direct to that country.
What about servicing & tyres?
There are no authorised motorcycle dealers for Triumph, BMW, KTM once we leave Istanbul and before China. All motorcycles must arrive at the start fully serviced and with new tyres. A minor service is then done around 6000 miles into the trip (Samarkand / Dushanbe). We also carry in our support vehicle a change of tyres – knobbly tyres (Conti TKC 80) for the dirt roads ahead – for riders for the half way point (tyres at your cost)
Is it difficult to get fuel?
We have never had any issue with finding fuel. In certain regions, once en route, we will warn you in advance of any possible fuel shortages or if there is a route with a key fuel stop, where everyone must fill up with fuel to get to the next destination. It is not necessary to fit any after-market large fuel tank or carry fuel bottles, although some riders chose to do so. Our support vehicle also carries spare fuel for emergencies.
What is the average group size?
Our groups are normally between 10 – 15 riders (some have passengers). Our groups are often very international and whilst the majority of riders come from the UK, we also get riders from USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and so on. Groups are predominantly solo male riders.
Is this ride suitable for a passenger?
We have had other riders successfully complete this ride with a pillion passenger. Your passenger needs to also be an experienced tourer. It is a tough ride and there are places where as a couple you will not get privacy and bathroom facilities can be off putting for women.
Is there a support vehicle?
All our expeditions have a dedicated GlobeBusters Support Vehicle, driven by a GlobeBusters Support Driver. It is capable of carrying two motorcycle and two passengers. Our support vehicles carry a satellite phone, mobile phone, medical bag and spinal board, spare fuel, water, tools, some spare parts, some spare tyres. Our support vehicle provides temporary assistance to you if you have a mechanical problem or an accident and are injured. On this ride, we may have a second local support vehicle, depending on numbers. These are not luggage vehicles – you must carry your own luggage on your motorcycle. For more information, please see our Support Vehicle section.
Do I have to ride in a group?
No! We do not make you ride in convoy. We offer you the freedom to decide how you would like to ride. We give you a road book, GPS co-ordinates and hotel information. You can use this to self-navigate. If you prefer to ride with our Expedition Leader, then you can do this. However, there are some politically sensitive places where we must ride together. In China, Turkmenistan, whilst we don’t have to ride in convoy, we need to make sure that we are travelling closely together. We will also ask you to ride in a group when we are crossing a border or if there is a security issue.
What documents do I need?
You will need your original documents as follows: Passport, Motorcycle Registration Document or Title, Driving Licence, International Driving Permit. Scan copies of your documents must be supplied to us no later than 31 January 2021. This personal data has to be submitted to the Chinese Authorities and once logged cannot be changed. In addition you must have travel/medical insurance and 3rd party motorcycle insurance (where available).
Do I need visas for travel?
As visa requirements are dependent on your nationality and a complex with constantly changing requirements, we appoint a visa agency to assist with the process www.thevisamachine.com They will have a dedicated GlobeBusters Portal on their website for you to order your visas, which they can get for all nationalities via the Embassies in London. The only exception to this is the Chinese visa, which MUST be obtained in your own country of residence. We will supply Letters of Invitation and hotel confirmations to you. At our pre-departure meeting, we cover this in detail to ensure you have all the right documents and visas in place.
Special note about logistics for entry and exit of China
Your price includes entry and exit of China, as part of the group arrangement. Our entry point is the Torugart Pass. Our exit point is Beijing / Tianjin. This is agreed as part of the permissions given for our group to ride overland across China, and is done well in advance of travel. You are not able to change your exit point after 31 January 2021. Should you wish to have a different exit point to the main group, you must inform us on booking and additional charges will apply, depending on the exit arrangement that you want.
What about my health when I am abroad?
Before you travel, we strongly recommend that you visit your GP or a specialised travel clinic to get advice on the recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures needed for the countries on this trip. As background, the websites listed below may prove useful.
It is a condition of your travel with us that you have in place travel / medical insurance to cover you for medical treatment and repatriation if you suffer any illness or injury when on the expedition, including any injury sustained from riding or being a passenger on a motorcycle.
Please note that many countries on this route do not have the same level of medical infrastructure nor consistent medical standards that you may be used to. In particular, emergency services often may be a long distance away, with no co-ordinated response, or sometimes no medical response available within reasonable times.