What is Adventure Motorcycling?
Interesting question.. I thought I could answer it pretty well... in fact I'm a bit of an armchair adventure motorcyclist - that'll change in September - but I've read every single book I can get my hand on and talked to so many people....
So it was interesting when I was reading Ted Simon's latest book - Dreaming of Jupiter - that I found myself thinking..
"He's not really being an adventure motorcyclist because he's staying in hotels"
How stupid is that? I just caught myself in time and called myself many silly names... but it got me to thinking... what is it that makes a biker and adventure motorcyclist? Where does the line start?
In September I'm off to Morocco - I'm going on a CBF600 and will stick to the main roads where I can. Morocco is a well trodden route and as I'm not going off road, and I'm not on a KTM or a GS. Does that mean I'm just on a biking holiday?
Then in July next year, same bike, but this time I'm going to Russia and back, is that adventure motorcycling or just a long road trip on the bike?
Is going RTW on a bike and staying in hotels adventure motorcycling? Or do you have to rough it at every opportunity and try to break records?
It's quite interesting when you think about it and I discovered that I was being really rather elitist with no good reason - I'm sometimes a prat.
What do you think? (not about the prat part)
An interesting question which doesn't have a 'right' answer. But I guess this thread may well 'separate the wheat from the chaff' so to speak for all the world to see.
The definition of adventure is: a risky undertaking, or a remarkable and exiting experience.
The elitists will tell us we must have travelled 'hardcore' to call ourselves adventurers, being unswervingly committed and dedicated to (off-road?) travelling. The rest of us don't care and just enjoy our daily/weekly rides out.
Adventure is a state of mind, not how many miles you ride, how many wheels you travel on or where you go.
Enjoy every minute of your trip to Morocco and if you're passing close to Malaga on your way, give us a shout.
I haven't been to Russia for more than 20 years - I guess it's changed a lot since then.
Btw, I wouldn't call myself an adventurer - I just like riding my bike!!!
Being an adventure motorcyclist is an all encompassing term, we all have our thresholds at which a trip becomes an adventure, for some a long road trip to a different continent, for some a sprint round the world, some go offroad.
if it is a challenge, it becomes adventurous.
I guess it's a personal thing.
Going to morocco on a cbf may not be adventurous to some, but a life changing epic adventure experience to others.
Enjoy the trips!
No you are doing it all wrong and you are probably not enjoying what you do.
Adventure riding is everything supplied and paid for by sponsors, bikes, riding equipment, tools etc. Overcoming difficulties like not being given the bike brand you want. Plus you need a camera man, 4 men in a Toyota 4x4 carrying more spares, tools and tyres. An office team to sort out your finances, visas, inoculations, bike shipping, talking to the media and promoting the trip. Then when you get back you need someone to write the book and publish it and then you’ll be busy with all the personal appearances to go and promote the book and film.
Or you can you can just pay adventure travel company to sort it all out, then you just turn up and ride where they tell you stop where they tell to. They supply the support van and driver and they get to make the book/film and TV program.
At least that’s how I’ve seen it done.
I think it's definitely a state of mind - it's an 'adventure' to me certainly...
My interpretation would be a trip into the unknown.
My first ever trip to the coast by motorbike many many years ago was a major adventure when a friend and I left at midnight (although I cannot remember why we did this) to travel from London to Weymouth but we'd never ever done anything like that before, so an adventure it was.
But once I'd done similar rides a few more times then it lost its adventure tag as it was a known entity.
"But once I'd done similar rides a few more times then it lost its adventure tag as it was a known entity."
I think adventure=serendipity. Instead of sticking with the itinery, when you see that fork in the road, you go to the left instead of right, just because it feels right. Instead of staying at x hotel which was listed in Lonely Planet, you ask for a room at another, because someone you met by chance yesterday said the hosts were interesting. The list goes on. But basically, it's veering away from the plan, which will also mean veering away from your comfort zone.
Matt - good question. It really falls into 2 parts
- what others perceive as Adventure, and
- what you perceive as Adventure.
I am just back from 10,000 miles across Russia - about 25% on bad and 10% on very bad or non roads. Others, who havn't done it, call it an adventure but I don't. It was in truth little more than a trip from London to Devon, across part of the moor, and back - 50 times!
Sponsorship? Why? It makes you behoven to others who will want some form of payback from you, sooner than you just following your own pleasure.
Ignoring food and drink etc that I would need at home anyway, and the bike itself and routine wear and service items, it cost me the grand sum of £758.08 (the .08 was a repair, 4 rubles replacing a pannier frame bolt that shook out on a 30 mile bone-shaker of a mountain pass!).
Why sell your soul for so little?
I had no support, travelled alone apart from traffic pals along the way, but did have the advantage of our flat in Moscow and friends providing accomodation in towns and villages along the way for 37 of the 51 nights - saving perhaps £700.
Still £1558 is cheap for a wonderful 8 weeks on the road (I use the word as a generality!). But not really an Adventure.
Steve - great post. but you forgot to mention the spare helmets., How would they have done it without those? Too much chasing fame and freebies I think.
If the prospect of riding your bike from London ALL the way up to John O'Groats and back is a bit scary for you and you feel will be a challenge but you build up the courage and go out and do it and come back with a big smile on your face...then you are an adventure rider.
Yes on that basis, going around the corner to the local corner shop could be classified as a adventure trip and to some it is.
There are those that say the eastern route down to Cape town is merely running on the beaten track and many will say it's not really an adventure route. Well is bloody well new and challenging and adventurous to those taking it the first time.
I thought I'd try and see if there was a dictionary or encyclopaedia definition for 'adventure motorcycling' or 'adventure motorcyclist' but there doesn't appear to be one... so that got me to thinking... perhaps we should write up a definition for wikipedia?
Like Dakota and Hustler said "Adventure is a risky trip that you make to the unknown" ...and any route which fits to this, is an adventure...
But actually, i think what is important is that you enjoy yourself, and dont think or care about how others classify it. What is important is, how you classify it.
This year i went up to Norway through Spain ... total of 24,000 km in 42 days. Spend total of 36€ on acc. Slept on beaches, deserted fishing villages, parks etc.
Everyone who heard of the trip said ...WOW! What an Adventure! ...
But i think it was a just a biking holiday.
On the other hand i hear many people brag about their trips for which i would even get dress...
What is an adventure and what is not is quite relative .... Enjoy your trips, have fun and dont think about where it fits.... :)
I am with Dakota/ Hustler/USL..
An adventure motorcycles it some one who takes his/her bike outside their personal comfort zone INTENTIONALLY and REPETITIVELY (or at lest would like to), A motorcycle adventure is the single trip. Where, why, how long, how far, kinda of roads, cost, blah.. are all irrelevant only that it is new to the person... (it does not even have to be fun or enjoyed.. some of my "biggest adventures" were nightmarish and I was glad to have gotten out alive" I dont want to ever do some of them again, I am glad i left my comfort zone and I will not stop ..)
I even have my epitaph already written.. and i think it answers this question...
"Weep not for the dead, but instead weep for those in fear of death do not live."
So I guess that means living is an adventure....
okay i am getting way to zen for my own liking.. off to drink a beer or two... :eek3: oh wait that is what got me in this mood in the first place...:innocent: :oops2::innocent:
Good question, well expressed.
You are just about there with the definition for W:- just put a link into W that goes to this thread!!
Cheers and good travels,
I tend to thing "adventure motorcycleing" is a marketing gimmick. <img>
--- " will also mean veering away from your comfort zone."---
I think Lorraine hit the bullseye : Adv Motorcycling takes you out of your hitherto cosy little bubble into faraway places off the tourist route ,where the itinery might be uncertain and the conditions unpredictable .
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