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Realistically, I don't give them a viable chance of breaking the existing record of 35 days. It consists of 3 guys, unknown to each other prior to this attempt.
The "main" organizer of this trip has NO experience whatsoever in dual sport travel, international travel, 1000 mile days on a motorcycle, border crossings, travel in rain/snow/100 degree temps, corrupt officials, etc.
His motorcycle experience consists of owning a 1976 Harley Davidson and an older 40's Harley Davidson knucklehead.
Unquestionably, the event organizer is VERY talented on ferreting out sponsorships/donations. Not sure what bikes the other guys are riding, but the main fellow will be on a BMW GS650 Dakar. Not his own bike, but one donated by BMW Atlanta.
Little info on the experience of the other riders is known. Lets hope they have at least some international riding experience.
They will need to bank a very high miles-per-day average before hitting Central America.
Let's see if they can do that.
Riding at night on poor roads is plainly dangerous. Eventually...something happens.
It's about 6500 miles from Deadhorse to Guatemala. This section has the best roads.
Then another 1400 or so to Panama City.
I would want to arrive PC within 12 days.
Fresh tires pre-arranged in San Antonio or Dallas and then again in PC.
I don't know from which city in South America they plan to start. Either Venezuela or Colombia would be the real top-to-bottom show. Ecuador would be a major fudge.
I thought Guiness had 'closed the book' on this record, it'll belong to the current holders irrespective of wether anyone beats it.
Should we tell'em before they leave? Or maybe pin a note on the sign in Ushuaia for them (evil grin).
They've closed most all records that involve speed over public roads. The rules have certain stipulations, but there's little real control. Potential litigation...a product of our times.
Quoting: "Broke the Guinness World Record" is still viable as a marketing tool. 20 years from now it may not be worth squat.
They closed their CT office years ago, with only the UK office now handling all inquires.
There may still be 100 miles left. When I was there two years ago they were paving it like crazy...
I also question the wisdom of arriving in Ushuaia early October...
But we will see.
The time frame could be AK dependent.
Personally, I'd take a big GS like my worn out 1150. It'll run (used to ) 100 all day and eat topes pretty well. Extra fuel, of course.
From what I can tell, they've chosen to run Hwy 15 and 200 down thru Mexico. The cuotas would be much better, entering at Laredo. The mileage would also be less. All excess topes produced in Mex were placed on Hwy 200.
I wouldn't want to be close behind them on the Central America crossings, as they might be shelling out big $ to expedite things.
Maybe somebody can pipe in regarding the SA section. I don't know it.
...arm chair quaterbacking is so easy.... I do appreciate the planning aspect.
I also think the R1100/1150/1200GS would be a bit better choice than a 650. But i think it's mainly the rider that decides the final goal. Most of people tend to think it's the bike that rides for them, but any bike can do it if there's a right rider on it. Just like a 250cc bikes have done serious iron butt achievements or a BMW HP2 win over 80kg less weighting single cylinders on very difficult European Cross country mud tracks, so it's like kind of 25% bike and 75% rider issue.
Racing proven dual-sport engines in the real conditions they're made for? The only ones i know are the BMW boxer (the Dakar overall podiums and multiple stage wins, multiple current european Cross-Country series offroad endurance podiums (2-nd ger overall last year!), Baja podium, Erzberg Rodeo winner and Pikes Peak Hillclimb in their class) and KTM 950/990 v-twin (Dakar, Erzberg). No other big trailie have comed close to those achievements in current modern date.
Those bikes are the BMW HP2 (RR on Dakars) and the KTM 950 SuperEnduro, but the same engines are used on the BMW GSes and KTM Adventure series with very little difference. It says alot about the bikes, so there's not much competition from other makes to these two brands if you really want to choose totally racing proven bike for such usage. It's the big trailies we're talking about.
Anyways, this is a dangerous game to beat those records - good luck and don't take too much risks! What else there is to say...
As we all know, bike choice is personal and a free bike is better than no bike. And so what if the Guinness book of records recognises something or not? If you do it in the fastest time you have er...well, done it in the fastest time.
Beyond that, as most of recognise, it isn't 'adventure' biking as we know it. Still, it's what they want to do so good luck to them, just cos it's not my thing doesn't mean I'm going to criticise them for it. With a world full of people who's greatest dream is to spend Sunday on the couch and watch, 'mind-numbing, spirit crushing game shows'; who's greatest desire is to conspicously consume to a greater level than their neighbours, one could argue these guys are perhaps closer to us than some would wish to belive.
*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
Rules for the 4 wheel (car/truck) read that time stops when the vehicle is delivered for shipment and restarted after it's received/cleared on the other continent.
To run it otherwise could allow dollars to decide a winner by arranging for expensive, private freight flight.
I got a quote for this very thing from FEDEX several years ago. Only $75,000.....but it was a full sized vehicle.
The Guinness Rules also had some stipulations regarding average speed over a distance....and speeding violations.
This Ride was posted over on ADVrider a couple weeks back.
I'm not sure I quite get the connection of a cross continent ride and the dedication to Pat Tillman. (NFL player who was fragged in Iraq by his own guys.... the Army kept this minor detail secret for a while)
Did Tillman always dream of riding from AK to Usuhaia? Did he even ride?
Don't think so....The explanation and justification offered by the organizer is intellectually weak, IMO.
I haven't read in detail what the guy's underlying motives might be. I hope its not some lame attempt to justify Bush's war, or to show Tillman somehow "didn't die in vain" (he did) or some other pro-war, pro-Bush war on terror political hogwash. This crap won't fly in most of Latin America. (maybe Panama?)
This will simply rub salt into the wounds of those who have suffered as a result of Bush's illegal misadventure and will continue to foment hatred towards American's world wide and spread it all the way to Argentina. Like we really need even more enemies ???
Flag waving patriots for "Victory in Iraq" we don't need at the moment, IMO and I can assure you, most of the folks south of the border have more pressing problems of their own to be concerned with 3 rich guys on a joy ride.
I'd say if things go well they'll make it to maybe Panama before time runs out. I've driven (van) from LA to Guatemala in 11 days so theoretically it could be done. What will slow them up will be the rainy season, border crossings and 700 mile days.
I'm not much of a fan of RTW record breakers. Whats the point? In this case an "outsider" (someone who doesn't ride and doesn't give a Rat's Ass about motorcycling and probably will never ride again after the event) steps in to exploit the perceived "Adventure" associated with riding a motorcycle across
two continents, exploiting this Hero mythology for personal gain (book, movie?) and leaving many negative unintended consequences in their wake for the rest of us to plow through in our travels which won't be over in thirty days but rather several years.
I would much rather support real riders doing something useful along the way to support local communities they pass through. Those who are willing to take time and energy to actually benefit people in real need. This region doesn't need record setting Heroes. It needs folks dedicated doing what needs to be done without preaching religion, politics or cultural superiority. Real riders don't need book deals, movies or thousands of dedicated "fans". They need no recognition at all.
I have misjudged you previously; I agree wholeheartedly with this excellent post of yours. Good stuff...
You will be pleased to know that before I can try to break the record on my Moto Guzzi, A gentleman who is very accomplished and well known in Ironbutt circles will be setting out on (what else?) a BMW 1200GS to break the record. I think he has the best chance of anyone out there. He leaves on September 18 and by my calculation should be meeting up with the 34for40 crowd in a plane to Colombia.
There is once again serious talk between Colombia and Panama about paving the Darien Gap, and when that happens any records set previously will be cut down by days.
Your Guzzi will break down. But farmers will find it, repair it and use it for a tractor so its not all bad!
"August 28, 2006
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
8:42 P.M. EST
Although our attempt at the record starts in four days, Team 34 for 40 will be heading for our respective departure airports in less than 48 hours. I guess that means it’s almost time to pack! Seriously, I still have stuff all over the living room. My wife may not be too excited about this trip but she will be happy to have the living room back together. "
I checked the site this morning and they are packing. Getting ready to leave in less than 48 hours.
My best guess is that they will fly out on Wednesday, arrive on Thursday, get a good nights sleep and get on the road first thing Friday.
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