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.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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I'm new to all these RTW travelling on a motorbike stuff. Let me give an introduction of myself. I'm from Singapore, a small island with a land area of 680 sq km. yeah, it's real small. Population 4 million. It's hard finding someone willing to travel on a bike, much less a 200cc vepsa. I'm not an exceptional being, I'm much like the typical Singaporean. I'm trying to find the courage to do this alone if I have to. I have set a deadline for my trip, 2008.
Plan is to travel overland Singapore to thailand, if possible, hop on a ferry to madras and all the way to europe, on my trusty o' vespa. It sounds insane, I'm trying very hard to convince myself to do it on a underpowered, 10" wheelbase, 16hp, 1980s machine. Still, the only reason I can find is that, I can't think of any other bike I'd rather do the trip on. It's hard, even convincing myself. Imagine how it sounds like to my fellow Singaporeans/friends.
I've not travelled extensively, only been to 5 countries. It's quite a big step for me if I stick to it. Right now, I'm just planning and saving up for it, before I take a half year break to embark on my journey. Why? Some of my friends ask me. Isn't it dangerous? There are bandits, unfriendly natives, racism abroad, peeps who willingly stick a knife through you for the few dollars you have on your body. Alone? you're outta your f*cking mind?!! It's a jungle out there!! Living in a sheltered country, with a government that map out your life for you since you were borned, does a little damage to your imagination and adventurous spirit. The endless chase for monies, big apartment, big cars, platinum credit cards, jetting around in first class... urbanised, I love the security of Singapore, yet, I am finding myself yearning for the road.
My most expensive and priced possesion? my 1983 US$700 PX200 vespa. I don't own a car(too expensive), an apartment(too expensive) or have multiple credit cards. I don't really fit right in with my fellow mates. I feel more lonely when I'm at home in Singapore than when I am travelling.
Right now, I'm thinking of travelling to thailand this year end on my ride, for a taste of long distance travelling. It's a little prep work to prepare myself for the big one. My problem is that I'm still apprehensive, afriad of the unknown(my upbringing). I wanna take the first step, and i believe most of the people in the world are friendly and nice. Yet, I'm afriad.
How do you guys find the courage? Am I too timid for this kinda thing?
Giorgio Bettinelli, an Italian fellow did an RTW on a PX200E and is now spending four years doing ALL countries in the world. The PX200E has competed in the Dakar rally atleast three times that I know of, and actually managed to place atleast one of those times (1980). Two germans rode in 2003 two Vespas from Hamburg, Germany to Cape Town, South Africa. This summer three people will be doing Paris to Ouagadougo. Two brothers will be doing a trip around entire Australia, including Tazmania. My wife and I will be riding cape to cape, bit by bit, with the first leg this summer (Cape Town to Nairobi). All of these trips were/will be carried out on Vespa PX. In the last issue of scoot magazine, there was an article obout a trip from Singapore to London on Lambrettas (eyons ago). So in short, you are not crazy for doing this on a Vespa. You should however consider bringing LOTS of spares and tools on your trip, in adition to spending lots of time getting to know your scooter from the inside out. Do a complete overhaul of your engine, change your oil seals and bearings. If you do this yourself, then you should be pretty prepared to tackle most technical difficulties you will experience on the road. After my trip, I will set up a walk through website for Vespa overlanding, with lots of practical info. Keep me posted about your plans, and I'll help you out with whatever I can. Cost wise though, with all the spares you ought to bring, you may want to consider bringing a different kind of bike.
Second comment, danger:
What is dangerous? It helps to look at the big picture of what might kill you and what won't. Relax pal, you are going to die, some day, so enjoy whatever life you've got left. The most likely thing to kill you is time. Humans are designed to live to about 40, any older than that and you are on overtime, and there are still societies in this world that think 50 is oooold. In reality only 1 in 15 of us will die of an accident, and if you lived to be 80, then you managed to survive 12 million people whoe were not that lucky. You want to live long, be a rich asian girl, want to die young, be a poor black indigenous man and grow up in central Africa. In terms of danger though, more people will be scraped off highways than be killed in war zones, there is a one in three chance that you will die in bed, (of whatever), there is a greater chance that you will die from an household appliance than in a plane crash. Actually, only 5-15% of us will die in an accidien't (depending on where you live, what you do and how long you escape disease). If you really want to live dangerously, stay at home. Every year, cheap toys, shag-carpeted stairs, and slippery bath tubs do more harm than all the terrorists in the world combined.
37.8% of us will die of heart disease
19.3% of cancer
10.3% of stroke
3.0% of non auto related accidents
2.9% of influenza
2.4% of motor vehicle accidents
1.9% of diabetes
1.7% of liver disease
1.5% of Arteriosclerosis
1.4% of sucide
Now that you are worried about sitting at home, so how about adventure travel? The chance of having a real adventure on an adventure trip is pretty remote. Only 5 percent of travellers have a mishap on vacation. Your greatest risk is getting the Hersey Squirties, the runs, the Montesumas Revenge, or in plain english, diarreha (60% chance in India, 53% chance in Egypt, and Mexico 40%). Malaria for instance only affects .0000345% of the 30 million US residents who travel abroad each year, and only 3% of those incidents were fatal. Out of the 600 million who travel each year, only 8 percent however actually seek pre trip health advice. With Canadians, those at greatest risk of dying, are male (71.2%), about 43 years old. About 62% of these die of heart attack, about a quarter of the deaths are from accidents, 7.8% from murder, and 5.2 from suicide. Want to improve the odds? Go on vacation! the info above is cited from "The world's most dangerous places" by Robert Young Pelton. I can highly reccomend this book to any one allready doin some serious travelling or to those planning to. It is probably one of the best travel books I have ever read. Next to Scott's motorcycle handbook, this should be a must read for any motorcycle adventure travellers.
Seriously though, if you go prepared, the chances of anything really really bad happening to you is pretty remote, even in the third world... even in many war sones. Know the places you are going to, the dangers involved, the steps to take to reduce the risk of bad things happening in the first place, and the knowledge to deal with the incidents if they do occur (to the extent possible). There is much literature out there that can help you get prepared, including the books above (great ones). Travel guides to the countries you plan to visit is also a great idea. And, updated news sources are paramount. In adition there is the internet, including this site. Your best bet though is experience and common sence. The first you gain by hitting the road, the second... if you don't have it, then you are out of luck.
After doing all this reading, talking to people, etc., and if you are still worried (there may for instance be conscerns of burning bridges, other commitments, or of tearing up your roots entirely), divide your ultimate RTW goal into several shorter trips and keep an open mind as of when you will do each leg. You may end up just doing that one leg, you may up doing all legs with a couple of years inbetween (to nurture things at home and to save up money), or you may end up going all the way round in one go. In the mean time, between now and 2008, I reccomend you try to squueze in some local scooter trips, do some reading, prepare and test your gear, do some wrenching, save some money, etc. When 2008 comes along and you've got the money, you've prepared the scoot and your knowledge about it, and your itinerary is all planned, and your theoretical knowledge is on par with the best, then you will have difficulties deciding not to go.
hi all. feel the same, got the moter[jeep cherokee ongoing upgrades wonder if me and car are up to it. me wrong side of 50 car 96 jeep4ltr. iwant to do it burrrrt. anyway its from london to joburg convince me or not
I'm yet to travel the route, but have done a great deal of research on the matter.
The easiest route being the eastern route: London......, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa. The things making it easy is not only road conditions, but also safety, fuel availabilty, degree of general development, red tape, etc. This will also take you through some of the most beutiful parts of Africa. I will be doing this route on a classic Vespa scooter.
From cape town to a little North of Nairobi, it is paved all the way, except for a few tiny bits. From there on, all the way to Egypt, roads get much worse, gravel roads. In Ethiopia your main concern would be mud in the rainy season, otherwise no problem the entire route (much of the mud problem will include trucks etc getting stuck and blocking the road). In some bits between Cape Town and Nairobi, pot holes slow you down to 30 kmh. The greatest issue is mostly ground clearance, which would be no problem with a Jeep. As for reliability, I have no idea how the Jeep scores. The general reccomendation however seems to be to use "tried and tested" rather than new and grand. For instance, in Africa they don't swap parts but rather repair what is broken, this because parts are not readily available. If your car has lots of advanced electronics and such, fixing it may be difficult as neither parts or knowledge will be readily available.
There is without a doubt better options out there. It seems as though the Toyota land cruisers are a favourite among Africans, for instance the 1980's 60-series (i.e. the HJ61).
I can highly reccomend Chris Scott's "Sahara Overland" A route and planning guide. Another highly reccomended book specific for the eastern route is the Getaway Guide Cape to Cairo, overland (or something like that). It is available at the UK amazon, not the American version. I also think that everyone should read Pelton's "The worlds most Dangerous Places", and/or "Come back Alive". It is anything but what you would expect from the title...
Thanks for the encouragement guys, appreciate it. Even though I've got a group of guys at home telling me I'm crazy, for wanting to cross borders overland on a 23 year old scooter, I know I'm not the only crazy one.
Fear sometimes is not rational, your imagination takes you further away from the truth about countries outside your comfort zone. I'm just a new guy, trying to come to terms with it. In a way, I guess I'm confronting my fears with this journey. All my life, I've been retreating from confrontations. This time round, I hope to confront it heads on.
Sure, travelling is fun, I can kill two birds with one stone. YEAH!!
Ha. I guess the actual reason I post this thread was cause I get no support from fellas back home. It's great to talk to peeps like you guys.
Bernard, you're probably right, choosing not to go, will somehow I think, a slow and painful decision.
And Wheelie, thanks for the offer, one of these days, I'm gonna take it, so beware!
Now, I just gotta keep my mind to it, no matter what people say for the next two years. Hopefully, I'll get to meet some of you guys in Europe, middle east, or SE asia.
Easiest for me is to make going back sort of impossible. Like jumping in a cold lake. Jumping is not difficult at all, and once your in mid air, there's no way back, and it from that point, it will be verry easy to enter the cold water (and you'll feel clean and refreshed after the swim).
I started with telling my friends and parent, then I set a date and told my boss, en and then once you're on the road, you've done the most difficult part.
You'd probably like a statistic I saw on a program about sharks on TV the other day: 'More people are killed each year by falling coconuts than in shark attacks...'
It's all about percieved danger, eh?
*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!
You mentioned that you don't have much in the way of possessions or credit cards. I would suggest that you think about alternatives if something major goes wrong. A member of HU was traveling from Canada to Baja, Mexico. As he was coming near where I live (Southern Arizona) I told him to look me up. About 1 and a half hours from me, he had a major breakdown on the road. He did not have a lot of cash, and I was not able to immediately go out and help him. He was able to get a ride in a pickup to a dealer, which found a stator that needed replacing. He had been conserving his cash, and was using his credit card, and he found a $700+ charge added to his trip. Keep this in mind, especially on a 23 year old bike. (His bike is late 90's). Not to discourage you, but think about catastrophic failure, and what you have to do if it happens!
Remember that a lot of poeple will put your project down because of jalousy. They don't have the guts for doing this kind of travelling and it's a way for them to not feel lower in self-esteem. Don't listen to them.
Also don't put too much pressure on yourself. If for what ever reason once you are on the road you don't like it, don't feel confortable or afraid: Just go back home At least you tried it! But I know that once you are on the road, you will not come back!!! You'll tell yourself why you did not jump on the road earlier.
First comment, your scooter: Second comment, danger:
etc etc etc ....
37.8% of us will die of heart disease 19.3% of cancer 10.3% of stroke 3.0% of non auto related accidents..... s Revenge, or in plain english, diarreha (60% chance in India, 53% chance in Egypt, and Mexico 40%). Malaria for instance only affects .0000345% of the 30 million US residents who travel abroad each year, and only 3% of those incidents were fatal. Out of the 600 million who travel each year, only 8 percent however actually seek pre trip health advice. With Canadians, those at greatest risk of dying, are male (71.2%), about 43 years old. About 62% of these die of heart attack, about a quarter of the deaths are from accidents, 7.8% from murder, and 5.2 from suicide. Want to improve the odds? Go on vacation! the info above is cited from "The world's most dangerous places" by Robert Young Pelton. I can highly reccomend this book to any one allready doin some serious travelling or to those planning to. It is probably one of the best travel books I have ever read. Next to Scott's motorcycle handbook, this should be a must read for any motorcycle adventure travellers.
OH I am Flabbergasted,, where do you find all these statistics wheelie??
Thanks for the advice Simon, a burnt stator... it sounds like a worst case scenario, but you're right, expect the unexpected. Right now, I just switched a "new" used engine into my vespa, with new piston and piston ring set. getting acquianted with the new engine. Making a list of the most breakable stuff when travelling long distance.
As for credit cards, I do own a debit card. Guess it wouldn't be a problem if I get a credit card or two for emergency purposes.
And Pat, I guess I'll just keep mum about the trip, plan for it, go ahead when the time comes and leave the naysayers behind. It's easier this way, I don't have to put up with any discouragement. It's gonna be a one person journey anyway. And yeah, I'm just gonna do it, whether I turn back half way out or not.
I'm in the process of planning for a short 3000km trip from Singapore to thailand and back, probably end of this year. getting my scooter to be reliable is the top priority, and aux tank. Hope I'll get to meet some of you guys someday.
It sounds like you have the time, so take it while you still can. There will always be nay sayers, those that live in the comfort of not taking risks. The regret of not doing it will haunt you for the rest of your life.
As for the Vespa, it's up to you. I don't know much about Vespas, but I would prefer something a bit bigger to carry stuff. And bigger wheels for some of the rougher roads.
Relative to the intitial cost of the Vespa, getting it ready is going to cost you, lots! It is a highy unreliable vehicle with short service intervals, especially when used under tough conditions. If you are concerned about costs and reliability, then consider trading it in for a 350 yamaha XT or honda XL in good condition.
Some of the things you should concider if going for the Vespa (I presume a PX200):
New oils seals and bearings (depending on their condition)
Shock upgrade (but stear clear of the bitubo, although excellent performance, they've ot poor reliability).
Rear shock mount upgrade
Halogen head light
Cosa clutch (if your PX scooter is produced prior to 1995)
All new cables, brake pads, sparks, etc.
Wide mounted mirrors (if youve got the original narrow sqaure ones which only are useful for looking at your shoulders)
Single saddle type seat (better shock absorbtion and allows for better placement of luggage)
Custom made front and rear rack for better weight distribution
Aluminum top case on the rear rack
Light protectors (grilles)
Brand new allround tyres and tubes, pluss atleast one spare, preferably two on separate split rims.
T5 stator plate upgrade (not necessary, but allows you to use more juice, for instance a 55w halogen bulb, a sigarette lighter, etc)
Inline fuel filter
10L metal Jerry can on the foot board, pluss mounts. Depending on fuel availability, you may consider bringing two. Although your adventure scooter may use 2-3 liter per 100km cruising arround town, carrying all that extra load (parts, tools, spare fuel, water, clothes, etc), on poor roads, changes your range significantly. figure 5 liters on good roads and as much as 8.5 liters on the worst roads (mud, sand, etc).
Cigarette lighter adapter (keep in mind, your original stator can't handle much, so keep to one gadget at a time, and preferably charge your gadgets in your hotel.
Reverse any tuning of the carburettor or cylinder back to original (due to reliability issues with many tuning jobs, and because of fuel consumption issues)
I'm riding mine through Africa, which also involves carrying a significant ammount of spare parts plus a comprehensive tool kit.
With the current scooter prices in Europe for instance, there is nothing to be gained in terms of savings or reliability by choosing a scooter, nothing! Choosing a scooter should be about something else.
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