Motonomad II – Crossing the Gobi Desert

Motorcycle riding is dangerous, but for the last 600 kilometres, you could say our lives have depended on our KTM’s. No fuel stations, no water sources, no marked route, no support vehicle, and, no guarantee – we stepped further outside our comfort zone and rode into the magnificent nothingness of Mongolia’s great Gobi Desert! Having already traversed over 8000km of epic trails and overland sections between Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia – with nothing more than waypoints and road networks punched into my GPS – I was confident enough in our moto-nomadic skills to take on the challenge of riding through the Gobi.


An additional bladder of fuel per bike extends our 500 EXC’s fuel range to over 650km, given the bikes are averaging between 20-24km per litre in varying terrain. And just for the record, the 500’s didn’t even complain about the 80 octane benzine they were forced to burn across the Gobi.


Leaving established trails and accepting the risk of venturing into such inhospitable and remote terrain demands careful consideration and confidence in your equipment.

Completely removing yourself from used tracks and traversing unknown terrain is a genuine lesson in adventure, and one that demands your complete focus. The focus to stay on target to waypoints while navigating through or around the perils of unmapped landscape. At one point, we were burrowed into a 50km square patch of vegetation and could no longer see any reference points on the horizon. You can’t freak out – you simply don’t have the fuel range to back out and look for an easy way around … you have to push through and hold your line. I had just as much faith in my GPS as I did in M1 to make it to each waypoint … perhaps a gamble, but a very rewarding one.


Traversing the Gobi is a rare motorcycling experience and makes you feel like you’re truly riding across the planet. The ever-changing landscape tells a story of survival and co-habitiation between camels, vultures, lizards, foxes and other small birds and rodents. Seeing these animals makes you feel part of an amazing habitat, but as the animals become scarce, you know you are deep in the nothingness of the great Gobi.

From here on we’re continuing a loop via the mountains of Central Mongolia to return to Ulaanbaatar and prepare for the final leg of what has been an epic journey. Stay tuned, I’ll post another blog when I can …


3 replies
  1. Alan James
    Alan James says:

    Loving the updates Adam and co , keep the shiny side up and the smiles per mile happening , looking forward to the film of this epic ride , when it is finally released , .


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