"This 2+ week adventure was one of the best trips of my life, even apart form the surreal landscapes we rode through, there were so many opportunities to see cultures that have been long isolated from the rest of the world and even motorcycles. Seeing kids run out onto the road to see us pass and interacting with locals at the gas station really made it feel like we were explorers in a new land, exploring on 2 wheels on terrain most people have never heard of, much less attempted to drive on. Marat and his team did a great job in handling the logistics and translating (which was needed almost everywhere). It really felt like a trip with good friends and I would repeat any time."
Hope all is well with you, and let me know if you're ready to organize Afghanistan tour ;)
The highlight of the ride through parts of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan was the architectural masterpiece of Samarqand and the jaw dropping wild mountain scenery of Tajikistan. The opportunity to ride the Pamir Highway and other remote parts of Central Asia, beside the borders with Afghanistan and then China in sight of the Hindu Kush was amazing.
The people were welcoming and so friendly. Accommodation in homestay, Yurt, local hotels and wild camping gave great variety to the experience. We had a great group of riders and together with Marat's local knowledge and group teamwork we managed to negotiate high mountain passes, herds of animals and some tricky road conditions.
It was a great challenge but as they say, the more you put in the more you get out! This was a truly memorable ride following some of the ancient Silk Roads in some very remote parts of Central Asia.
Come before things change!;)
In mid 2012, over a few beers, I suggested to some mates that we should do a motorbike trip through Eastern Europe. I had recently traveled into Russia and Turkmenistan and thought a ride from Moscow to Ashgabat would be an awesome journey. However after doing some homework and meeting a bike tour group in Moscow it was decided that it was going to take a bit longer than we could manage at the time. I had a friend up in Almaty who suggested I look at Central Asia. Almaty is a very cool city and the country looked interesting from the air. So a quick "Google” quickly brought up Marat and his team at SilkOffRoad. A two-week, 5,000 k ride including 700k across the Pamirs, reportedly the most remote mountain range in the world, looked like us. So in August 2013 six Kiwi’s arrived in Almaty after a week exploring Singapore, Moscow and Istanbul. After some last minute hiccups with visas (we had our transit visas’s for Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan rejected at the last minute after all had been "approved”), we arrived in Almaty at 4.30am after a 3 hour flight from Istanbul with little to no sleep and were on the road with 2 other riders from USA and Sweden heading out of the city by 9am.
That was the start of what turned out to be a trip that had everything we expected plus more - from the exhilaration of riding into something new everyday to chilling over a few vodkas at our campsite or home-stay at the end of the day to experiencing the culture of the people we met. Marat proved to be an outstanding host….providing the freedom to ride in our own space but keeping us from going astray in some of the worlds most remote territory. So if you are looking for some real adventure, the thrill of a new challenge, to get out of your comfort zone and create some life-long memories, then send off that email to Marat today!
Brian Direen, Six Mad Kiwi’s, New Zealand. Brian@waikiwi.co.nz
I did a 2 day motorbike tour with Marat from Silk Off Road.
It surprised me how beautifull Kazachstan is and how landscapes can change 4 times in one day motorbiking, from city, steppes, mountains, Kolsai lakes to the beautifull canyons in Charyn Canyon.
-Kolsai lakes are really beautiful with the mountains and trees.
-Charyn Canyon was the big surprise of the day with a ride all the way down to the bottom over rocks and rough terrain when it was dark when we arrived at the Eco place.
Accomodation was excellent on the bottom of Charyn Canyon, next to the river in a yurt. Great Eco place and very nice hospitallity. Food was really good and the bar also!!!
Second day we drove to the top of Charyn, really amazing views from high rocky tops of the Canyon.
I would really recommend Silk Off Road for a motorcycle travel tour.
Wonderful ATV trip !
We look forward to join you for another longer trip.
Say hello to the dream team !
In the summer of 2013, I went in a group of Danish and Finnish motorcycle pioneers to do the Central Asian Ring adventure. The trip was nothing short of epic. More beautiful, adventurous, challenging and fun than I could have dared to hope for. Marat and his team invites you as a friend to go with them through a central asian world, which is largely unknown to most westerners. The scenery and the roads never seize to amaze. If you know how to ride a motorbike, and have the time and money, you should go and fill this blank spot on your map. Most overnight stays were homestays with real families. A very interesting experience to learn how people live in these parts. The bikes were in a very good condition and perfect for the more than challenging roads(or lack thereof). If we had any problems, the crew was most efficient and capable of sorting out everything and did a lot of work to satisfy everyone's needs. I cannot reccomend this enough, and i hope to come back for one of the other tours of the SILKOFFROAD team.
June 2013 Naturally coming from India, there was a sense of "how will the whole tour be?" Because we were the first Indians ever to do a tour in Central Asia with SilkOffRoad. And i have to say now, it was a decision well taken. My experience with SilkoffRoad has been a truly memorable one. Marat, was a perfect host. From receiving us at the airport, spending time with us in orienting us with the new culture and language and customs, right through the entire ride, till we finished the tour, Marat took care of us. Thanks to that, all our doubts of a new land was put to rest. The tour itself was professionally run. From the bikes, to the food, accommodation and the route was perfect. Our 14 day ride to the Pamirs is a bikers dream come true - for the landscape in Central Asia is nothing I have seen, and was spectacular. The roads are great and the parts where there are no roads is even better - because the riding experience is fantastic. So i would like to say a big THANK YOU to Marat & Antonio and Sergi for organizing and conducting such a well organised tour. Hope to ride with you all again. Wishing you good luck - Rekhmat!)
uly 2012- Have just completed our 2nd tour in 2 years with Marat and Silk off road...simply fantastic.Over 2 weeks of great riding and cultural experiences through Kaz,Uzbek,Tajik and Kryg.Marat and his team just make it easier ...through borders ,repairs ,parts and got us to places we probably would have missed. I will say that the riding is hard and on days long ...not really for beginners, but if you are heading to Central Asia your probably aware of that.We had the pleasure of 6 blokes (2 UK, 2 Austrian, 1 American and an Aussie)on the tour and its great meeting like minded motorcycle enthausists who have been to all ends of the globe. Marat keeps his bikes well maintained and his mechanic who came with us could turn water into wine he was that skilled.I highly recommend a Silk Road tour and like other guests love the Road along the Afghan border and the Pamir Highway. Thanks again Marat
We have been arranging motorcycle tours for friends and customers for 11 years now, and have for the last 10 years been many places in Europe. This year in May we participated in a 6 days customized Kazakhstan motorcycle adventure arranged by Marat and his crew. It was the greatest adventure ever, very good organized, extremely friendly crew, everything was taken care of, and we just so much enjoyed the nature, the off beaten tracks, the camping, the yourt, the route etc. We are all office people, + 40, with various experience with motorbikes, off road in particular and without even knowing it, you developed off road skills from level 1 - 5 in 5 days, going from gravel roads, stone roads, stone passes, rivers, steep downhill sections etc., etc. For the ones who are thinking: Oh, this is dangerous, Kasakhstan is far away etc., etc, I will say: Do it! You just don't find unspoiled nature like this anymore, no cars, no houses, almost no people, and you feel like participating in Tour de France when everybody is waving at you in the small villages you pass once in a while. Also: It might be that you find it rare to bring your own tent (you don't have to as they provide you with these if you don't have your own), a sleeping bag etc., but the feeling of camping in the middle of nowhere, looking at the stars at night, and relax your beaten body in the tent makes European camping looks like a joke. This is the real thing, and although primitive at times, just don't miss it!!! The memories from a trip like this will last forever!!!!
Just back from the 2012 Central Asia Ring tour with Marat and can't speak highly enough of the quality and challenge of the ride and how well it had been organised given the number of countries, stopovers, currencies and border crossings. Highlights were Almaty, Samarkand,the Fan Mountain crossing, the run through Tajikistan along the Afghan border, the Pamir highway and the culture and beautiful mountains and roads of Kyrgyzstan. The "downs" if I can call them that were the terrifying Anzob tunnel coming down from the Fan Mountains to Dushanbe; 5km long, unlit and unventilated, flooded and with the road substrate badly damaged and forgetting my jacket and getting very cold up in the mountains.
We unfortunately lost a Father and son from Austria due to the Father crashing and having to be flown out at Dushanbe with his son accompanying him. The rest of the group who finished Adam (UK/Oz/USA), Patrick (Oz) and Larry (USA were all good company. It's a challenging, hard ride with a lot of distance covered in a short period and I was happy to finish it with only my ego damaged it. I absolutely recommend the trip to anybody wanting a genuine adventure ride through some of the best wilderness in the world with a lot of the hassle taken care of by Marat and his crew - outstanding!
Man, this all sounds like a real adventure. I am really looking forward to the summer and riding and will be in touch to find out what you suggest! Thanks!!
Ben@ QNBIKES Motorcycle T Shirts
What a great trip I had earlier this year with Marat and colleagues, I rode the central Asia tour taking in four countries and travelling some 4000 plus km. It is impossible to get across the effect such a trip can have on you other than to say that some four months later it’s still strong in my mind, and no doubt will change my thinking on many issues for the rest of my life. Do not pick this trip if your thinking of a holiday in the traditional sense (relax and enjoy). Marat runs this trip as he quotes on his website, like he says you are one of his friends, this is not like a typical commercial run organisation. Is the journey run to perfection, well organised, and everything just perfect like you would expect from a traditional holiday tour company? NO but in many ways this is what makes the experience so special, you get the chance to truly taste raw, unspoiled, central Asia, with a person who treats you like an equal and like a friend, you do not feel like a tourist being herded along and only seeing and doing what tourists do in a clinical way. This trip is as close as you can get to doing it on your own whilst having the benefit of a local passionate person that wants to help you all the way. The scenery and people are fantastic. The experiences of seeing how people still live is amazing and getting the chance to be part of it is also hard but really special. Like many I worried about travelling along the Afghanistan boarder, but having now been it wouldn’t worry me to go again. The food and lack of choice can get tough, the riding is long and hard at times in the high temperatures, and the live stock on the roads are a force to be reckoned with, and as for dogs be well aware as I found out! Would I recommend this trip absolutely Yes, tough yes, but the guys I travelled with were fantastic, the experiences I endured will last with me (gladly) forever. Some holidays are expensive but some memories are priceless.
Rode the Central Asia - Pamir 2011 - last August'11 and What a ride it was! 4.400kms, in 14 days, 4 countries, 4 bikes & 4x4 What we all thought would be a holiday trip, turned out to be an endurance ride with a handful of friends. A great adventure with long days of riding, limited infrastructure, amazing sceneries and great companionship. Asphalt, gravel, sand, rocks, grass, river-crossing,dust, more dust, heat, rain, cold, alttitude ... Everything you want and expect for in this kind of adventure. I do recommend it, yes of course, if you have decent motorcycle experience, if you have done already some traveling and if you enjoy potatoes, soup, lamb, salad and bread. All that will make the experience even better. Marat, Maestro Antonio and Yuliya made it happen all together while we just had to focus in riding & eating & resting, ... Not much time for other things if you do the math... So thank you to them as well. In summery, a Great Trip!!!
We travelled with Marat through Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Krgystan. Two of us in a jeep and a few of us on bikes. It was tough and we covered some serious mileage,but worth all the effort without question. We saw so, so much in just a couple of weeks. The memories of all the people we met and the places we saw will last a lifetime. Marat is the perfect man for the job! His knowledge of the area and effortless charm with people got us through many a tight spot. Honest and generous i would recommend him to anyone looking for a real adventure in this part of the world! Marat...until the next time. All the very best, Frazer.
Recently returned from the August 2011 Central Asia tour and I had a super time. Travelled with great group of riders with thanks to Marat and Anton for leading and keeping us on the road. I think the trip is one of the best ways of experiencing the region in the 'raw', as well as meeting friendly and welcoming people (apart for the truck driver who tried to charge USD100 for a jump start). Highlights were too many to speak of all here, however camping under the stars in the Fan Mountains (where we met up with some of Marat's riding friends), the amazing scenery on the Pamir Highway and the view from 4,655m Akbaital pass are only a few.
Did the Pamir trip with my friends last August and it was an adventure that will stay with us forever. This is an adventure of a lifetime that few people get to experience and Marat and his team were great, very passionate about riding and full of local knowledge about this amazing part of the world. Really grateful for having met Marat and the guys from SilkOff Road and for having shared a great experience of friendship that will last through time. Truly an adventure of a lifetime that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone looking for an adrenaline rush!
What a great time..arrived in Almaty and with a mate found Marat who provided us with a fanatastic trip...good company and a degree of honesty and integrity that is found in Central Asia..we managed to see around the mountains Kazak/kryg border and just breath taking scenery and culture.I would recommend this unique experience to anyone who can ride a motorbike and has a thirst for adventure....till soon Patrick Lee - Williamstown Vic Australia
I have traveled with Silk Off-road team (Sergey, Marat and other) several times on the tour. They are very tough, reliable and kind. The most favorite section so far is Charyn Canyon and Segetyn pass (Wolf's Gates) on the route of Nomad tour. I'm looking forward to the next adventure in Central Asia.
My two friends and I rode 4200 km with Marat and Sergei through 4 of the "Stan" states. We traveled west from Almaty, Kazakhstan along the Silk Road to beautiful Samarkand, Uzbekistan where we turned back to the east. We rode the mountains and high valleys of Tajikistan including a 2 day stretch along the Afghan border. The mountains were stunning and the people were friendly. We then headed north out of Ghorub and into the deep Pamir mountains where we crossed over the second highest pass in the world at 15,000'+. The moountains are immense and the scenery is jaw-dropping. We rode in 12,000 valleys and were looking up at mountains that towered over us. We continued our ride into Kygryzstan, scooted quickly through Osh and Jalalabad (in the daytime) and made our way north to Biskek. From there we headed East back to Almaty.
Marat and Sergei were excellent guides. They kept us alive, out of trouble and their easy-going personalities made the trip enjoyable in every way.
For an unforgettable experience, Silk Off-Road is the ticket.
Me and a mate were on a motorcycle trip from Holland to Kazakhstan. When my bike broke down in Almaty, amazingly just 5 kilometres from our final destination, the airport. Marat arranged a transport to the Airport.
If you need anything motorcycle related in Kazakhstan, contact him. I’m sure he can help.
August 2010. We motorcycled about 1,500 km north, west and south of Almaty, Kazakhstan with Silk off Road Tours. There were two of us on motorcycles and Marat and friends in their 4WD. The trip far exceeded our expectations, largely due to the experience and good nature of Silk off Road Tours. We had a great riding experience, saw amazing scenery (especially riding through mountains along the Kazak-Kyrgi border), and had a marvelous time being immersed in Kazak hospitality. The whole trip was truly memorable and I am grateful to Marat for making it happen. We enjoyed it so much that we plan to return to Almaty for a second motorcycle trip with Silk off Road Tours through Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Highly recommended to all who like motorcycle adventures. Thanks again and until next time.
It is more then a year ago we met Marat in Almaty. We didn't ride with Silk Offroad. Instead Marat helped us with servicing our bikes in Almaty. We made a trip overland from the Netherlands to Alamty and back (see http://www.around2seas.nl). So we shipped our tires to Marat in Almaty (you can also perfectly have tires arranged locally by Marat) and he helped us getting them changed once we were there. He also helped us with changing the oil and all other stuff you need to do on your bike after about 10.000km of Central Asian roads.
If you are ever in Almaty please visit Marat at Silk Offroad. And if you need an excuse to go to Kazakhstan, Silk Offroad is a good one...
In 2009 we been to Almaty, going form Uzbekistan to China. From all my 40 days of trip, these 2 days visiting "Plato Assu" were the most incredible part. Have You ever seen beautiful pictures of wild horses,in expensive magazine? With is ideal color and unbelievable nature behind, green land and snowy mountains above - well, its real)))))
I visited Central Asia many times, so I was not suprised when I met Marat and his friends in Almaty. People are excellent in this part of the world. They still have what we have lost many years ago. You have to travel to this region to fully understand what I am trying to explain. Marat and Silkroad are people who can help in this journey...
May 2010. Silk-Off-Road-Team gave me the opportunity for a live-time experience. Not only in the reliability of a Motorcycletour organisation, but also, through hospitality, as friends. Special thanks to Marat and Sergey and their team. In my case, I joint Marat during a 14 days Try-out trip to the Pamir. 4000 Km from Almaty-Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgistan and than back to Almaty. Just the two of us. Marat as Tour-guide, motorcyclepartner and comrade. We did it together in good and bad roads! I wish me for the future to see Central Asia again, I wish me to go there on my own motorcycle overland, I wish me to see all these guys, I was introduced to, again.
A sincere goodbye.
p.s. For a small photoimpression of the trip: http://cid-62d9978eaf49058f.photos.live.com/browse.aspx/Pamir%20Roadtrip%5EJ%20Mei%202010
After moderation, we will post it