The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
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So I've started looking around for my next expedition vehicle. While I'm keeping both the Camel 110 and the NAS D90 (just got back from the dunes in the Altar desert - V8 good, milage bad...), I'm looking at having a vehicle based in the US. After looking at vehicles like the Ford F series pickups (nice big diesel engines, bad approch/departure angles without a propreitary jacked-up suspension system), I thought I'd take a look at the H1.
And I was quite impressed. The only cons to it as far as I can see are:
It's almost a foot wider than my 110. Fits in a container with 4 inches to spare.
It's expensive (though 3 year old models are selling for 50-60k USD, half the new retail price). Expensive CDP too.
If it breaks, it's hard to get parts.
It looks expensive/military and may attract the wrong sort of attention at borders and in towns. In fact, in Mexico they wouldn't let them in a few years ago as they'd classed them as military (so the rumour goes anyway).
And that's about it. The engine is a 6.5l V8 diesel 190+hp with 430 ft lbs, there's a load of space for stuff, it's low and stable and basically has lots of things going for it. Even has a Central Tyre Inflation System (which I've heard bad things about!).
However, there's little information out there about expedition use. The closest I could find was a Baja racing team, but that ain't the same thing. I'm wondering if you guys have ever seen one out there (I haven't) and what you think of the idea.
I also looked at the H2, which won't work well as an expedition vehicle. The finish isn't great, the door handles would last a week, it's a great big petrol engine and the chassis is a GMC pickup chassis drilled out and lacks torsional rigidity. Nice for picking the kids up though...
Anyway, something to think about.
96 BMW F650
96 Defender 90 300TDi
97 NAS D90
98 Camel Trophy 110
I hate to say it but everyone I've met who has driven Hummers, said they were dogs to drive in the desert (UAE) - basically massively overweight and their overall size makes them ungainly in a lot of circumstances especially in dunes.
Re using them in South America I would have thought it a bit "in your face," to be driving around in a Hummer. You would be telegraphing to everyone that you are an Amercican with the positive and negative consequences that entails.
Hi, if you're in that sort of price range, why not get a MB Unimog? Much more capable in carrying capacity, about the same fuel consumption, bettter off road.
Only downside, they're high and on the freeway thay're slow and the noise invades a bit.
There are tons of sites about Mogs and equipping them for overlanding, their presence is almost completely global, so spares are less trouble than a H1, for which you're obliged to follow the US army.
Re vehicle choice, a good calculation to make (courtesy of Tom Sheppard) is Brake Horse Power (BHP) per tonne of Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) - N.B. measure weight in kilos.
This will tell you not only how powerful the vehicle is but also how well it pulls when fully loaded.
Mercedes Unimog U1550L: BHP per tonne of GVW = 20.67
Landrover Defender 110 Tdi = 36.39
Toyota Land Cruiser VX = 56.75
Range Rover 4.6L = 70.49
Basically the higher the number the more grunt the vehilce has when fully loaded. But you need to bear in mind payload as well for expedition purposes. A Unimog for instance is able to produce that figure whilst carrying 2940kgs! A Defender whilst carrying 1139kgs and a Landcruiser 565kgs and a Range Rover 560kgs.
So how much kit, fuel and water are you planning on carrying then you can best choose the right vehicle. As you can see the Defender is the most versatile in this bunch having both payload capacity and reasonable power.
Hehe, it would have been pretentious to have said great minds think alike.
The power to weight issue would have us all in VW Touaregs or equivalent. Another consideration is traction; all that power is useless if it only digs you in deeper. The advantages of an underladen truck on 20 inch wheels over a fully laden 4x4 on even the fattest swamper 16.5 inchers is the flotation factor.
I personnally think that the mog is not a very efficient use of the volume it occupies; portal axles are not absolutely essential, they require the chassis to be very high. For those who want to live inside a box on the back that means even more height, coupled with the space wasted by a bonnet you don't get much living space for the vehicle size. Kit out the back like you would a 110 and it's unstoppable, if a little thirsty.
Crating: once you go to a goods vehicle with a separate cab, it's easier and cheaper to RoRo, just take out the radio first.
The H1, the MB G-wagon, if we're going to look at vehicles with poor spare parts availability why not get a Vodnik 39371... I want one, no more ferry problems! (www.vodnik.com and http://www.rusarm.ru/video/gaz3937.wmv)
Michael, your solution is very elegant, a word of warning about those axle twisters though; watch carefully the gap between the top front corner of the cab door (above window) and the frame. Ive got cracks appearing there because the camper body is firmly bolted to the cab, any chassis twist is transmitted to the cab.
When you going? We're off in Oct.
Happy trails to all
We leave next week, probably Sat 12th! Very excited now, as the time draws so close.
Your point about chassis twist worried me too during the design phase, but I had the construction work done by Foley Specialist Vehicles in Essex, and they have done many similar vehicles. They assure me that the way they have done it isn't a problem... So, holding thumbs!
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Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
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