April 27, 2003 GMT
The Countdown

My decision to venture forward with this experiment really started about a year ago. I was just one of those job-related things that happened which brought it all about. In retrospect, I should be very grateful for the circumstances which made me decide to go. Without them I would probably never have come to the point of actually cutting the ties.

As the year passed and the equipment started piling up in my apartment it began to dawn on me, that this adventure was actually beginning to happen. In order for it not to lose momentum, I began talking to friends and family about it. This turned out to be some experience: the vast majority of people to whom I mentioned my idea of taking an extended time-out going on a long motorcycle journey encouraged me, thought it was a great idea. And the few who were critical - well they, too, served a purpose; they made me think about the plan some more. But rather than causing doubt, they made me more and more convinced that is the right thing for me to do.

So, in February 2003, I resigned my job, which meant that come March, I was “free” to start my venture. Most of the time since was spent on making some adjustments to my domestic situation, to make sure that I would still continue to maintain my “bourgeois” existence while being gone for a couple of months. Admittedly , I was not overly eager to deal with the “admin” part.

The more fun part was making some adjustments to the motorcycle and testing them. I will therefore not write too much detail about the pro’s ad con’s of the perfect equipment to be taken on a longer trip (there’s tons of stuff available on the net).

During the past couple of years, I had found that the basic concept of the BMW R1150GS suited my overall needs - at least for one or two week trips. For the type of extended trip I had in mind, I made to following changes: added an extra 12V socket to the left side of the fairing. This is more conveniently place than the original socket: I will use a 12V charger (placed in the tank bag) for AA type batteries. These are the mainstay of my “electricity supply” while on the road. All of my gadgets (GPS, digital camera, flashlight, radio) use these.


Socket.jpg

Additional 12V socket for ease of use


Thus far I have used the BMW luggage system/bags. I was for some time considering getting alu-boxes but since I intend to stay mainly on paved roads and in inhabited regions, that ideas was done away with for the time being. Instead , a friend offered to use his Givi boxes which are slightly (about 1 ½ to 2 inches) wider but offer more storage volume. – This is the time to say a special “thank you” to Klaus Schrader of Zubehoer Shop Frankfurt , a friend and motorcycle mentor (who also has the skills and resources to make technical changes that require more than tightening or loosening screws (which about describes my technical skills).


Givi_boxes.jpg

Givi boxes instead of BMW system boxes


The boxes will be used to store my camping equipment (small tent, sleeping bag, cooker, air-mattress etc. ) and the PC, plus the various cable needed to connect some of the electronic equipment mentioned above. If placed together, the combined electronic stuff looks not dissimilar to a “special offer tray” at your local electronics shop. We’ll see how this will work out.

The next two weeks will be filled with some more test packing and final arrangements. The estimated departure date will be on or around May 10th. More to follow soon.

Posted by Heiko Neumann at 11:00 PM GMT
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!


HU DVD Autumn Special!

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).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

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

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

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!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

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.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
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 ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

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!