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!
We're not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown a hobby into a full time job and a labour of love.
When you decide to become a Member, it helps directly support the site. You get additional privileges on the HUBB, access to the Members Private Store, and more to come as we roll out new systems. Of course, you get our sincere thanks, good karma and knowing you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. :-)
Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
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.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
Advertisers- Horizons Unlimited is well-established as the first source of reliable, unbiased information on all aspects of motorcycle travel.
We reach a dedicated, worldwide group of real travellers, and are the only website focusing exclusively on long distance motorcycle travellers.
If you sell motorcycles or motorcycle accessories, riding gear, camping equipment and clothing, transport motorcycles, organize motorcycle tours, or have motorcycles to rent, you should be advertising with us!
Practically all main roads were sealed, the exceptions were usually only some roadwork areas. But the condition of the tarmac might vary (a lot!!) and sometimes you go through every imaginable road condition in 5 minutes....
And especially Iran, Pakistan, India, Indonesia have some very big speed bumps, that you cannot detect sometimes, and what´s even more dangerous, though it´s more rare, even the sewer hole lids might´ve gone missing (I dropped my front wheel into one of those in Pakistan, but luckily I was going very slow at the time – one of the good reasons not to ride in the dark!!)... so no matter which bike you choose, get some proper shelter underneath the engine. This is of course easier to find ready-made for dualsport-machines.
Indonesia probably had some of the most challenging roads, when ´main´ roads are concerned. There were some very steep hills, where the surface had practically come off with the rains (and they used Caterpillars to pull some heavier vehicles up!) Luckily those places weren´t too many. But still it was some 2500 kms across the islans, and the route we chose went in the mountains a lot (a good way to escape the intolerable heat BTW!) and it was mostly very twisty and slow... you could not go very fast, because drivers coming across might "borrow" you side of the road on the bends, traffic in general was almost as wild as in India, and often the braking zones just before the curves were, for some reason, extremely bumpy, and sometimes this was hard to see, because of trees casting shadows, etc. Just 300-400kms could feel like a VERY long day, I think you can do triple amount in Europe or in Oz, and not feel as tired in the evening!
But if you plan to go off the main roads, then you can find basically anything, and maybe a more off-road capable machine would have an advantage. But how much time have you got available – it´s a long route, and you WILL need lots of time to be able to do that a lot!?
If you´ll mostly stick to the main roads, then comfort on the highway is far more important in my opinion. But even the paved roads will often be bumpy, so the bike should be able to handle that. Also wheels that are made of cheese, might have a hard time, when you hit the bumps at full speed with a lot of load on board (and I can almost guarantee that it´ll just happen sometimes, even though you try to avoid that!)
To sum it up:
I think this particular route (and especially if your going to India via Turkey & Iran, and not around the north side of Afghanistan) generally had surprisingly good roads. India was the only place, where I expected them to be better (but every main road is paved there!) Also don´t forget your mileage, that you will do in Europe, and in Oz. I would not have a problem to do this route even on a streetbike. The big trailies are an excellent choice, because they handle the potholed roads much better, and still aren´t totally in the wrong place, even if you want to do the backroads a bit. The bike´s "real" off-road abilities will only be important, if you really are looking to go off the beaten track a lot.
(But this is only my 0.02, and you might hear very different opinions on the subject. I was riding 2-up on a DL650, and as you can imagine, this ain´t the perfect setup for very bad roads!)
If you want to go the most direct route then you won't have much problem.
But from my research (not exprience) if you want to get off the beaten track into national park etc then a dirt minded approch might be better.
In my opinion you are better off taking a dirt bike and suffering a bit on the roads (If you are taking your time and travelling slow then you won't suffer that much) than taking a heavy road bike and getting stuck up a thick mud track.
in the process of doing the trip, roads can change so fast it unreal, Indias roads are terrible in places but for different reasons, the national highways are great but often traffic is exceptionally dangerous and some of the back roads through the parks are sandy and have river crossings but are beautiful and easy to ride on from the point of view of im going to fall off in to relatively soft sand not under a 10 ton lorry.
I would look at something that can do both, or at least get out there and practise on your bike to ensure you can manage both, you could avoid dirt altogther if needed, but i think you would regret it if you did, im 2 up on a ktm 990 and it has taken a battering in india on some of the roads and has a few dents in the wheels etc but we have had a great time and on both tarmac and gravel she is excellent.
Make sure you get something that you can get spares for easy, i could not get a spare tyre in india and had to cut out alot of my plan due to it, also finding the right size innertubes was also impossible.
The important thing to remeber is there is no right or wrong bike, do it on a bike you want to do it on, could a a vespa, harley, R1 or trike it doesn't matter its your trip and despite what most people will tell it will make very little difference esp if you love the bike.
Some people are idiots, i got an email from a guy once who i had never met or heard of before saying "hi i came across your website good luck on your trip it takes big guts to do what your doing but i thought i would message you and let you know your doing it on the wrong bike" I mean what kind of D**k messages a total stranger who is commited to a trip like this with that kind of crap, some people watch to much TV me thinks!!
cant make up my mind ... guess the decision will be forced upon me
Thanks Guys for all the help. Much appreciated. I've been reading many of your blog sites so you're not complete strangers to me
I was thinking the best bike for this trip would be a XT660 or similar in Asia but any bike willdo up to that point.
I've already sorted out a Triumph Tiger in UK ( I live in Australia) with most of the bits I reckon it needs. Im about 95% there and only need a few small parts fitted now. I've spent a fair bit of money and I'm reluctant to change at this late stage hence the indecision.(I had originally planned a different route via china but that fell through)
I have another Tiger here, exact same model and year so I know the machine well and love the bike, comfort and handling. Never taken it off road though so maybe that's the next move I think.
I test drove an XT660 Tenere yesterday and realised it would be perfect for the off road sections, not bad for the tarmac either but that would mean sorting out another bike, either buying one here and shipping to UK or flying to UK, buying one there, kitting it out and flying back & so on. That leaves me with two bikes in UK and I live on opposite end of the planet. Buying is way cheaper in UK than Australia by the way, we seem to be ripped off here, with the costs for a bike can be as much as 50% more so Im more attracted to buying in UK.
I've been to India and drove in the North, some great roads although a bit mental at times, especially coming around a corner to find the road full of traffic coming other way! I've also been driving in Pakistan mostly 4WD which is pretty similar to India really. Europe & Australia is my home ground so no issues there.
I was listening to Austin Vince on a video thingy and his comment "you will never wish you had a heavier bike" sticks in my mind. Then again, I if I was taking a pillion, I'd plump for the GS or larger KTM's which are able to take the load ...
I'm starting to think that no matter what I do there will be times I wish I had the larger/smaller bike so maybe its not such a big issue either way.
Better go and make a coffee, its 7:30 am on Christmas day and I have my head in travels rather than with the kids ... how bad is that.
Thanks for all the help guys! Really appreciate it .. oh and hope you have a wonderful Christmas, wherever you are!
The tiger will be fine, just make sure you got the important spares and know the weaknesses (i sure you have already covered this) I have a fantastic Mechanic that will have a look at it for you if its in the uk, hes a good mate of mine and is Desmo qualified so hes very good if you need anyone, he sortd the ktm before we left and so far no mechanical issues!!!
A friend of mine just rode the tiget from england to Uzbekistan no problem its a good bike!!
If you want some idea of what long distance travel on a Tiger is like, read this blog. .
It's an interesting story in its own right regardless of the Tiger content. And both the guys were on the same bike so you'll get the benefit of two views.
Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!
Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).
"Inspiring and hilarious!"
"I loved watching this DVD!"
"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."
Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
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.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or
to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and
knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.