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!
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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.'
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Ride TalesAn easy way to post your ride reports, whether it's a weekend ride or around the world.
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The following morning we set off south again from Ensenada, it was even colder and was hovering around 8 - 10 degrees C most of the day, I was not feeling any better, but we poked in 360 km before calling it quits at Cata Vina just on 4.00pm, the temperature had dropped to about 5 - 6 degrees and coupled with the windchill would have set it below zero.
This was some scenery from along the way, nice day other than frezzing.
The hotel was $91 US or $1100 Pesos so REALLY expensive but the next accommodation is two hours away so we just took it, thankfully the water was HOT and we could get to bed early to help shake this flu (after writing this report).
No pics, couldn't afford to take photos and stay there :rofl ... except this one, another SE... these things are like blowflies in Ozzie
We did another milage test with Maya so the stopping, starting, overtaking, dodging Toppes cruising, and one or two crack it open to past maneuvers (without exceeding the speedo limit of course) etc and Maya used to 5.9 L / 100km or for you imperialists 39 mpg so pretty happy with that.
Coupla Gins, some food, heat pump set to 30 degrees we finally set down for bed at 7.58pm ... way past my bed time...gonna kick this bloody flu to bring a grin back cos we can’t carry enough cheese for this whine.
Leaving the spendie hotel it was 4 degrees C, got my heated gloves on and all, still feeling full of the flu so woulda been happy by a fire with some orange juice.
We only had 266 km to do so not a biggy, my heated gloves failed probably one hour into the ride which is a bumma as I have only used them probably 4 times total.
The scenery along the way great typical rock and cactus garden all the way, the temperature dropped even more as we picked up elevation to 1900 metres then mum nature chimed in with a few spots, we were so lucky as we rode through the middle between very dark spots so we only caught a few drops.
Around lunchtimeish Maya was thirsty and we were hungry so a stop was had, Maya got her favourite, 87 in a pipe and we had a coupla tacos.
Again a quick milage check we did 426 km and used 23 L so 5.40 L / 100 km or 43.8 mpg.
Being that would equate to an average Mexico style of day we will get around 550 km or for you imperialists 344 miles / tank plus the 10 L reserve CJ tank as well.
The rest of the ride was uneventful, just cold, tonight we are staying at Guerrero Negro so we can do the whale watch tomorrow.
We were getting organised and we noticed Maya looking at herself in the mirror ..... the cheek of her!!:rofl
What a day, being close to the timeline somehow we got mixed up and we set or alarm for 7.00 am for the 8.00 am start of the tour.
Somehow we managed to stuff things up and set our alarm right but did not check the time on the phone thus we got up at 8 for our 8 O’clock tour.... FAIL!!
Anyway, the hotel we were staying at also ran the tour and they too were slightly late so we gobbed some breaky down and took off.
Mum nature delivered us a perfect day (other than bloody cold) for whale watching, on arriving at the lagoon a quick recovery of the delivery ute was in order as this was used to ferry people out to the boat and back.
That done we set off out to watch these beauties gracefully glide through the water with the occasional playful tail splash and heads bobbing out of the water.
We spent a total of about 3 hours out on the water which was so cool.
You would think it was cold or something
Part way back is the slat mine, an added bonus with some kickarse big machinery
This truck carries 360 T of salt in one load, I tried looking it up in the KTM accessories catalogue but couldn't find it.
Dumping a load of salt :eek1 120T in 5 seconds!!!
D9R ..... I want one :rofl
The Salt heap
Spot the D9R bully on the top
On returning back to Guerrero Negro we were running late, I was still feeling like crap so we decided to stay another night here and set off in the morning instead.
This also gave us the chance to write up today then we are all but square, Wifi will get harder south so we have to make the most of it when we have it.
Not an early start as we only had 266 km to cover, well we needed the time as it turned out.
We left Guerrero Negro in stunning weather other than bloody cold again but we rugged up and enjoyed it.
Not even 50 km down the road mum nature got angry with wind and wind gusts that saw us drop to 30 - 40 km/hr at stages and riding far enough over I thought we were gonna get a knee down.
We rode through sandstorm after sandstorm with the road coming alive with swirling sand in an instant then being blown off just as quick, pics never do it justice..
Every truck that came past was new mission in learning to stay upright ... kinda fun for a while however with me still sporting my bad flu this soon wore off to a chore.
It really took it out of me reverse counter steering for upwards of 200km and little reprieve, as luck would have it I was thinking I need a break and we came upon a Military checkpoint, still blowing and cold we got off the bike very carefully as I could see Maya going to ground.
After the cars and truck had cleared it was our turn to explain WTF we were doing out in this weather .... but they just waved us on with the gun and big smile so we carried on with a big smile.
The rest of the trip was uneventful other than big winds, on arrival we looked for a Hotel, couldn’t find one at a reasonable price so we got some lunch instead to get a level head and I was stuffed and needed some hot input for energy.
After that we found a half reasonable place out of the town centre with off street parking as a lady said don’t leave you bike in town!!
A walk back into the town to buy supplies and take a look at the church that was designed by the dude who designed the Eiffel Tower.
Not a hugely impressive lace but kinda cool with its historical background.
On the way back from town we spotted this..
This was the view across the sea of cortez from where we stayed
This was someone moving house Mexican style.
Again, Tacos for Tea, Gin for desserts and early to bed after typing this up, 8.17pm ... I am knackered ..... anyone wonna swap a hangover for the flu???
Pack up Maya, first trick was to get her back to the top.
Our plan was to get to Ciudad Constitucion and we made it there in good time by 2.00pm, we decided to carry on to the next town to find there was no accommodation and the wind was fair howling through.
Another 134 km would see us in La Paz so we made a break for it, the wind was an absolute torment making it yet another hard ride and great practice for Patagonia.
We passed some beautiful Cacti gardens of epic proportions
Beautiful bays full of holiday makers
A few washouts to content with but all pretty minor
Cool as twisty roads
With La Paz in our sights we made it prior dark and found a Hotel, it was a very busy place indeed.
The day we accidentally did,
Turns out the El Norte winds is what we had encountered over the last few days that had battered us and froze us, I hadn’t worn my puffy jacket since Alaska and certainly didn’t think I would wear it for three consecutive days in Baja!! :rofl
Leaving La Paz we headed south to La Ventana to stay with some friends of friends, we were welcomed in which was very nice and nice to have a break while getting better, for the first time in a week we could say it was warm.
Our first day was to relax, go for a walk on the beach, we also took a local ride to Bahia de Los Muetros and out to the lighthouse at Punta Arena.
Us in front of a plant :rofl
A trip out to some hot springs
Turning Maya in a sandpit :eek1
Time to get out of the sand .... gotta love hp!.... just shift that sand behind me...... :evil
Down to the beach to watch kite boarding, some talented people riding them
Photo op .... does my bum make that boat look small?
Getting around here in the sand has its moments and once or twice I left a couple of small swerves and trenches
On the way to the lighthouse
Some ruins ..... and a knackered concrete structure :evil
I originally put my helmet and glove there out of the wind ... then I liked the picture :clap
The old structure and old lighthouse base
Next on the plan was to do a ring circuit of the bottom of Baja for as look, total 390 km day return taking in all the sights and places, an uneventful trip was had along with a beautiful lunch from stall beside an industrial area.
No pics of this day tho .. bit slack really but nothing r e a l l y caught my eye.
Saturday night we went to an event called Burning Bush which was the 10th annual event, a small brother event to Burning Man in the Arizona Desert.
This was absolutely fantastic, never seen anything like it, what an effort these guys went too, fire displays lit up the sky with assistance from petrol, diesel and LPG ..... totally cool pyrotechnics with good music and atmosphere.
As it was a rising from the ashes theme the Phoenix was the feature of the night with huge wooden birds with wings able to be flapped with human power.
Here is a multitude of pics, got SO many but you get the story anyway.
Structures awaiting their fate
Our crew from left to right, Jill, John, Brenda, Ellen and I
The burning sphere ..... my fave, this was totally cosmic lying on the sand looking up underneath it, best had with a dooby or whiskey to enhance its effects :evil
Now shot darkening the structure ... check it out!!
The bubble man
Some burning plants
A close up looking into the burning plant
Some Phoenix birds that the wings operated and were fire breathing
The big Phoenix on the beach
The volcano erupts
Finally the hill that goes boom :rofl .... this was REALLY cool and let off quite the boom with a totally cool mushroom to go.
Leaving La Ventana on Baja we headed up to La Paz to the boat, arriving is La Paz we did a drive by look around on the way out to the Ferry terminal.
Arriving at the terminal we paid for our tickets, all went well until we left the ticket office, then they wanted $300 Pesos to park the bike ... port fees..WTF? we just paid our tickets!!!!
So some arguing and phone calls then f i n a l l y an English speaking lady said there is a port fee and it was $70.00 Pesos.
Back over to the $300.00 Peso people and yes that right it is $70 Pesos for motos ... here we go again.
$70.00 Pesos paid and we were good to go again but waiting for someone else to jump out with their hand out.
Getting onto the boat with time up our sleeve I went to tie Maya down, the shipping crew asked me where are my tie downs .... WTF this is your ship which I just paid to use?, so the guys comes up with a rope about 40 mm round..... nup that won’t work, then they bought truck size snig chains and I said very very polity like ****!!.
So they found some rope and started to tie Maya down sensibly, they acted like they had never seen a bike before????
I had to do this all by myself including locking and tying as passengers are not allowed so they go on a separate bus.
After tying and securing Maya I went upstairs, by this time I was dripping wet and hot as, I found our seats and as luck would have my was and auto recliner or in English terms it was fncked.
Anyway leaving the gear there on our seats I went outside, set the socks out in the sun to dry etc ... nice.
Ellen soon appeared and we were reunited so I guess I will have to take her.
Soon as the boat set sail we commandeered some cool window seats that didn’t auto recline, we missed out on a cabin so we saved $500.00 Pesos ... always a bonus.
The sailing was smooth, not much sleep for me tho, maybe an hour over 48 hours so I was a bit dozy ... no one noticed any difference anyway. :huh
Disembarking at 11.30 am we had to the aim of getting back to Lo De Marcos to see our Canadian family of friends, it was 12.40 pm when we exited Mazatlan with a 400 km ride ahead of us.
The traffic was thick with trucks and overloaded utes which slowed us down, luckily with the power of Maya this helped to get ahead.
Arriving at Lo De Marcos just on dusk we were greeted like family which was really really nice, riding through the entry gate I felt I was home again.
Hugs, kisses and smiles from George, Carol, Alexandro and Mabel were had so everything that makes a trip worthwhile, again the next morning catching up with Isy and Rod who were there to help when Ellen was struggling with her feet.
With an invitation to tea we had a quick shower, warmed up and turned into humans and were fed and watered like Kings and Queens.
Next day was a relaxer and reenergizer which was well overdue and needed, a walk along the beach and a bottle Red that night all was good.
Saying goodbye to Lo De Marcos and our Canadian family we set of to La Manzanilla.
With 294 km to do it was an easy day, weather ok temperature for riding in and fine, the trip was uneventful so quite a bonus.
Arriving later than we anticipated after getting caught up in thick traffic we went down to Jolandas Restaurant and the staff told us where to find Jolanda and Leons where Ken and Carol Duval were staying, we had some goodies for Ken so we were playing delivery boys as well.
We headed back into town to check out the sunset.
Jolanda and Leons is a great hideaway with great security, a cool as Rotweiller (once you have been introduced), swimming pool and three Cabanas set 2 km off the main road, we really enjoyed our stay for three nights relaxing and getting more health back day by day.
Ken and I chewing the fat
During our stay we all piled into and onto the ute and went into town for a rock concert night at Jolandas, danced and drunk Pina Coladas ... what a treat!
Silly face contest
Leon makes bread as part of their Restaurant and Accommodation set up, we bought some to try and it was second to none, freshly baked you just about have to reserve your loaf as they go quickly.
With beautiful sunsets and birds La Manzanilla is a really neat place, the other wildlife we caught up with was a very spooky fish head on the beach ... dunno what breed it was but I think it came from Mars.
Jolandas accommodation is found at N19 17.939 W104 46.176, you turn off opposite the turn off to La Manzanilla township, first house on the left after going through the trees, through a dip in the road then along a straight, spot the white house with the black double gates, highly recommended with neat cabanas.
The restaurant is downtown and RIGHT on the beach, easily found at N19 17.001 W 104 47.305 down the main drag, last turn right before the beach and 300 metres along on the right hand side.
Me sittin on the beach in the sun
The lineup, Len, Me, Ellen, Jolanda, Ken and Carol
These guys are both RTW motorcycle travelers too so plenty of good yarns over Red wine. Ellen is also offered a job as a Sushi cook at Jolanda's but she decide to travel around the world before settles down :wink:
Leaving Jolanda and Leons on Saturday we made tracks for Manzanillo to finally meet Spencer and Mary, at only 1 hour down the road it was an easy day, we set off with Ken and Carol Duval in a private BMW v KTM Dakar race ... we recklessly reached speeds of up to 85 km/hr :rofl
Again an uneventful trip ... I am getting used to these !!! we arrived at Spencers and Marys to to warm welcomes.
The boys had planned a local ride without luggage for the Sunday, in the morning Spencer and I set off for a ride which turned in to 200 km jaunt with probably 100 plus km of this offroad through small Mexican villages and some really strange looks, I am guessing to say it would have been the first ever 950 SE through there.
Really enjoyable ride taking in scenery and dust, we found our way out despite local advice of just turn around and go down that track!!!!!
Again we returned a little later than planned due to navigational discussions but Mrs.Garmin actually got us back to the tarmac.
Sunday night was one of Sushi galore a n d Kens 60th birthday so wines, Sushi and good times were had followed by a night of Dakar on the TV.
Monday Spencer had to go to work, we had some jobs planned for Maya, windscreen brackets and pannier braces as well as a home made bike cover, for the reference 4 metres of fabric does not go around a 950 SE so Tuesday we have to go back and grab some more.
We did go into town and go to the vege market .... felt like a total gringo ..... ouwh Ellen just said we are
Few pics from in town, not in any order,
Big arse bottle
The latest WW 2 frigates in the harbour
The large entrance mural for atmosphere
Very nice beaches
Large iguana on Spencers back fence .... Mr.Boots the dog eyeing it up licking his lips :eek1
Unfortunately there was a lack of intricate engineering shops so my brackets etc went to the back burner, will try again in Mex City.
We did however make a new bike cover, this did get finished despite Ellen buying the wrong coloured material after she short ordered it ... at least we know which way is front now.
To conclude this is our we were here photo with the mob
Spencer said to make mention that RTW travellers are welcome with plenty of tent space in his yard, his only request is and a ride to go and play :clap
Said goodbye to Spencer Mary Ken and Carol and headed for the hills.
Our route took us along the coastline then inland to Colima up to Tepalcatepec and down to Apatzingan .... apparently a very dangerous road we found out afterwards but everyone we saw waived.
Some dangerous locals on a truck
It was a reasonably long day (for us anyway), we got up to 2300 metres and it was actually quite cool again.
Apart from a quick chain adjustment and a coupla photo stops it was 20 degrees still and sunny ... but no lattes!!
We did however watch a hill steam away with a small eruption which was a treat.
Arriving at Apatzingan it was BLOODY hot, 40 degrees and we managed to time it perfectly for rush hour and were stuck in traffic ..did I mention it was hot.
Poor Maya worked up a bit of a sweat reaching 6 bars out of 7 on the temperature gauge, she had a piddle of petrol too, sounds like an O ring maybe on its way out.
We found a Hotel, parking way off the street and quiet (well... for Mexico), we turned on the ceiling fan and nearly had to nail everything down with stuff being blow everywhere. ... it worked well!!
Dude who worked there was really keen to learn of our trip, nice guy too.
Tea time was on so wondering off into the town centre we found a Chinese Restaurant, we said (we Ellen did) gidday and Ellen started talking in Chinese to Chun Sheng the fello at the counter who turned out to be the owner.
After about 10 minutes of chatting we decided to stop there and have Chinese for a change from Tacos etc.
We placed our order, Chun Sheng gave a us a BIG serving and then said gratis!!! .... he was so happy to talk with Ellen in Chinese so it was a treat for him and we certainly appreciated the food which was second to none, a very nice surprise indeed.
If you find your self in Apatzingan and wanting Chinese he is located about 4 blocks south of the city square on Constitucion, the food is excellent.
A treat was in order while in town so we got icecreams, it was very nice to sit in the town square and watch the world go by.
Couple of pics of town centre
The church by night
On the way back we found these, we have no idea what they are but the colours were outstanding.
As defined by Murphy “a shortcut is the longest distance between two points” :eek1
Bastid was right but we had fun so that is all that matters, leaving Apatzingan we exited up and up a zig zag steadily climbing to a small village, main street was one lane but the Mexicans managed to crowd three across.
Our turn off towards Nuevo San Juan was not posted and Mrs.Garmin was having a siesta it would seem so we shot past and carried on along the main street....which turned into rougher cobbles...turned into dirt .... this aint right.:huh
Doing a U turn on a road not a lot wider than the length of Maya we headed back and stopped asking directions ... there was pointing up a funny skinny little road which was obviously the turn off ... :rofl
Gracias for the directions and we were off again, a beautiful narrow winding road through the village up and out then shingle, freshly dumped shingle, gravel, stones etc for rebuilding the road.
This made for interesting wrestling .. I mean riding as it was soft as well and boney, I used this as a good training, relaxed and let the long wheelbase of Maya look after us which she did.
The semi gnarly bit of the road was only 6km long before we hit beautiful tarmac again winding up through the trees and nice riding temperatures to.
Nuevo San Juan appeared which was our turn right down into Uruapan which was our destination, inspired by Gene and Nedas Volcano report we wanted to get to the church hidden amongst the lava.
We had arranged a couchsurf at Uruapan at a fellos place call Jorga, arriving at his work we waited for his return then he took us out to the section.
Also while waiting on the street a hot young lusty was really interested in the bike and us and even bought her boyfriend back for a look and chat, we were invited to a motocross event but it on after we were leaving.
While waiting there a fello on a 100GS races past and returns a minute later, quick chat and a few giggles and he races off again.
Jorga has two large dobermans, the boy was called Son and the girl was called Bitch.
Unloading the bike and getting organised we used our newly made bike cover for Maya to hide under, unfortunately Son took a liking to the cover and tore a big hole in it .... I didn’t see the funny side of that given it was the first time we used it....never mind, Ellen and a needle and thread fixed it, now there is no dispute as to which is the front.
The place was really neat
Extreme security :evil
The dogs also barked all night at anything and everything, growling and telling them off made no difference, being really tired we really wanted a sleep and after the dogs shredded things we got a hotel just up from Jorga’s work and stayed a further two nights, turns out the owner of the hotel was the dude on the 100GS.
The not so new bike cover
Visiting the National Park which was just up from where we were staying was cool, nice plantings, beautiful creek and a river source that was very clear and cold.
The rest of the day was filled out with cruising in town and getting some tucker.
Angahuan and Paricutin was the plan to go to the Lava flow and see the church, we were served up a beautiful day so we made the most of it.
We didn’t get up to the top of the Volcano having walked into the church, this part of the history is amazing with the lava flow spreading for miles, see Gene and Nedas thread looking down from the top.
Church and volcano in the back ground
The place has an incredible stark beauty in the middle of the sea of lava, this bought back fantastic memories of our 2010 Iceland trip.
Lunch spot at Cafe del Lava
Huge expanse of lava flow with the volcano in the back ground
That evening we set out for tea and found a small place with pork and chicken soup, Ellen got the chicken and I got the pork not realising that mine was hot as .... all good ..red faced and sweating I enjoyed it.
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