We returned from a RTW three years ago having travelled to South East Asia, New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands, USA & Canada. Extended travel was always something Julie, my wife, and I had wanted to do. We'd always done the foreign holiday thing, but somehow two weeks in Corfu it was never enough. In 1998 we sold the house, both took career breaks, bought two RTW air tickets and flew off into the sunset. We had a great year. On our return we set about buying another house and resuming our careers. Rather than satisfying our lust for travel however, it soon became apparent that the urge had intensified rather than diminished.
For a while we tried to lose ourselves in our careers, the new house and our other passion, motorcycles. Various new bikes followed in quick succession. I told myself I was in search of the perfect bike. I now realise that I was bored, bored with the reality of life and the weather in the UK and each new bike was merely a distraction. We both longed to be Somewhere else.
Luckily, for us at least, property prices in the UK were spiralling last year when we decided to sell up and hit the road again. As much as we had enjoyed our first RTW we realised that this time we wanted something more adventurous. Travelling by motorcycle seemed the obvious way to go. Flying is great if you just want to get to your destination, but you miss out all the places in between and any sense of distance is completely lost. I'd guess that your already aware of this or you wouldn't be on this site.
Having decided we were going the next step was to decide on which bike would be best for us. We've ended up with a BMW R100GS. As soon as I saw the bike I knew it was the one for us. It was a '94' model with just over 7000 miles on the clock and had unmarked 'Marakesh Red' paintwork. Jules loves the seat and says it's the most comfortable bike I've had. The bike has been heavily modified to cope with the trip. Ernie at 'Overland Solutions' is a genius and has done most of the work (and sorted out out quite a bit I mucked up !) ..thanks again Ernie
The route has changed countless times but at the moment goes something like this: France, Spain, Portugal (for the HU meet in July) across to Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, then back up to Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Turkey then hopefully, Iran, Pakistan, India, ship to KL or Singapore, Malasia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, back to KL or Singapore then ship to Perth, around OZ in no particular direction then who knows what! We haven't set anything in stone and as we don't have any time restrictions we can stay longer if we like somewhere or move on if we don't.
We leave on the 20th of May and will post post reports here every month or so.
This is the day I picked up the bike from 'Overland Solutions' Ernie has worked his magic on strengthening the rear subframe and new pannier frames for the 'ZEGA' panniers. On the panniers themselves he replaced the standard catches with heavy duty ones and annodised them to stop the'Blackening' which marked everything that came into direct contact with the alli'. He also fitted a sidestand with large foot, wrap round crash bars which protect the rocker covers, headlamp protector and a custom made instrument console to replace the original I removed in order to fit the 43ltr HPN tank. He also fitted accessory sockets for the GPS and anything else that needs power. All the work he's done is fantastic. I feel confident that the bike is ready for the big trip. Looks great too, just like the owner!
"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."
"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"
Next HU Events
- Canada West: Aug 21-24
- USA North Carolina: Sept. 4-7
- France Mini: Sep 5-7
- Canada Ontario: Sept. 11-14
- NEW! UK - Haggs Bank: Sept. 19-21
- USA California: Sept. 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
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
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
New to Horizons Unlimited?
Membership - help keep us going!
Books & DVDs
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!
Story and photos copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Contact the author:
Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.
Hosted by: Horizons
Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!