Fourteen bikes rolled into the Ace Café in Beijing on Saturday 13th July, having left the original Ace Café in London on 20th April 2019. This marked the completion of GlobeBusters’ largest ever overland expedition to China.
This extraordinary journey took 3 months to complete and covered around 13,000 miles, through 20 countries, following the ancient Silk Road from Europe to China.
Along the way the group reached Everest Base Camp, (at over 5200m high), rode along the Afghan border and camped out in the Karakum Desert. They also experienced the remote Pamir Highway and western provinces of Xinjiang and Tibet, where access is unpredictable due to political sensitivities. Many of the destinations have limited tourism, so there are no hotels and visitors have to stay with local families.
The route is a test of endurance for both riders and machines; adventure bikes are required due to the high mileage covered in Central Asia and Tibet on unpaved or rough roads. Fuel is frequently low grade and supplied direct from barrels or pumped by hand, because there is no electricity. The bikes ridden on this expedition included the Triumph Tiger 1200 and 800, BMW R 1200 GSA, 800 GSA and R 1250 GSA, Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro and a Honda CB500X Rally Raid.
Access to China with foreign vehicles is challenging, requiring paperwork for permission well in advance. On arrival the riders need a Chinese driving licence and Chinese temporary registrations for their vehicles, plus a Chinese guide to travel with them. Entry will be refused if you roll up at the border without everything organised in advance.
GlobeBusters is the only worldwide company to organise an overland ride from London to Beijing, via Tibet, with 11 years experience of motorcycle touring in China.
The expedition was led by GlobeBusters stalwart Dom Davis on a Tiger 1200 – his first time up front on the Silk road. Company founder Kevin Sanders, who has travelled across China nine times, provided back-up,
GlobeBusters Ace-to-Ace expedition will run again in 2021.