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ADV RidesRiding SeasonAutumn/Fall RideHere is What it’s Like Riding Adventure Bikes in North Korea

Here is What it’s Like Riding Adventure Bikes in North Korea

A ride across the DMZ provides a solemn view of isolated North Korea.

Published on 11.03.2015

Cocooned from the outside world, North Korea is as far from an adventure riding destination as you can go. But the mystery behind the sealed borders of this secretive nation was reason enough for five intrepid New Zealanders to load their bikes and head off on an eye-opening adventure.

The journey had to be pre-planned months ahead and the route authorized by the North Korean authorities was set in stone, complete with police escort, 24/7.
Its bleak totalitarianism notwithstanding, North Korea is a fascinating destination, and more on an adventure bike, as the riveting video attests.

Riding motorcycles in North Korea.
The foreign riders were escorted by North Korean police throughout their journey.


The superbly crafted production treats the sadness of a people trapped in a parallel universe with dignity and understanding. It also depicts the Kiwi riders’ gradual understanding of the North Korean culture and the Korean people as a whole.

The route, for example, tracks the culturally-significant Baekdudaegan mountain range that runs through both North and South Korea. Essentially traversing the geological spine of the Korean peninsula, the journey soon evolves into an unapologetic demand for a united Korea.

Riding North Korea
The New Zealand riders traveled from the North Korea-Russia border in the north, across the DMZ in the south, to Seoul, South Korea.

And yet, the stark reality is, these riders may be the first to traverse the whole of North Korea, from border-to-border, since the partitioning of the peninsula, a right that has been denied to 75 million Koreans.

Judging from heavily censored footage, the mountainous scenery is spectacular and the terrain offers a bit of everything. Failing infrastructure calls for improvisation, and clearly, North Koreans are good at making a plan as some of the remote crossings suggest.

Put differently, North Korea is adventure riding country and the Kiwi quintet deserves a salute for cracking open the edifice, and providing a tantalizing glimpse of what’s waiting to be discovered.

Author: Derek Alberts

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7 thoughts on “Here is What it’s Like Riding Adventure Bikes in North Korea

  1. It’s looks like The New Zealand riders traveled from the north to Seoul, crossed north korean-chineese border rather than north korean-russian border.

  2. That was an astonishing and beautiful video. Thank you so much for your efforts and for sharing with us.

    It’s up to us as bikers to bring the world together when so many other forces are trying to lever them apart.


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