Inspiration: Big Trip

Triumphs tame Typhoon Noru

London to Japan trek completed

The first ever organised motorcycle expedition to Japan has completed its 25,000 odyssey in Tokyo after braving 40 degree heat and a tropical cyclone.

Led by a streak of Triumph Tigers, the Globebusters party rolled up to the capital Tokyo’s Ace Cafe four months after leaving its London namesake.

The Tiger XCAs led the way along the Silk Road to China via Tibet and across the Yellow Sea before becoming the first foreign bikers to use the new vehicle service at the port of Weihai to Incheon in South Korea.

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Almost there: Kevin leads the way

It wasn’t all plain sailing for record-breaking expedition organiser Kevin Sanders and the dozen explorers once they’d crossed South Korea from west to east and then sailed across the Sea of Japan to Sakaiminato. As they headed for their final destination they caught the tail end of Typhoon Noru, the most intense tropical cyclone experienced this year.

“Japan was a fitting end to the trip, with awesome views of Mount Fuji on our final day’s ride towards Tokyo” says Kevin: “But it wasn’t easy, with 40°C heat followed by torrential rainfall.


The group was met by President of Triumph Japan Kazuo Noda and Satoshi Muroi, Director of Marketing at Triumph’s new flagship dealership in Tokyo. The staff threw an impressive welcome party with Japanese food and drink as the riders had a well-deserved rest.

Kevin rode a standard Triumph Explorer XCA fitted with Continental TKC 80 tyres, for the whole route, travelling through 21 countries in 16 weeks alongside riders on a Tiger Explorer XCS and Tiger 800 XCX.

South Korean switchbacks

But the trek wasn’t enough for three of the riders who have flown on to the USA where they plan to continue independently on a round-the-world journey, culminating in a visit to the recently opened Ace Café Orlando to complete the ultimate Ace-to-Ace ride.

The London-Tokyo expedition was organised and led by GlobeBusters, overland motorcycle travel experts since 2004. Find out more at

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Sayonara street