Motorcycle Travellers' News Report - Nov 2015, 103rd Edition

Are you a TRAVELLER? Are you interested in lawless Russians, Tajikistan etiquette, the Iron Angels of Mogocha, Honda C90 before and after Congo, suicide genes in Peru, building your own river crossing in Argentina... and much more? Then you're reading the right newsletter!

Introduction to this issue.

Welcome to the 103rd Edition of the overland travellers' e-zine! The year has flown by, and our good intentions of cutting back on travel didn't seem to materialise - quelle surprise! We counted that we've done 32 flights this year, most long-haul, to India, Africa (twice), and Australia, plus short jaunts across North America!

We've just recently returned from South Africa, where we actually managed to get some riding in after the HU South Africa meeting! Thanks to our gracious host Kobus Fourie, we borrowed a new 1200 GSA from Daly Motorrad and rode some wonderful roads with new and old friends Gail Baillargeon, Gareth (Pan without a Plan) Jones and Maria Alford, Jan and Paul Dwyer and Kevin Davis.

We even managed a game drive into Kruger National Park - saw elephants, lions, a leopard, a rhino and buffalo - what they call 'The Big 5' in South Africa. The ride in South Africa was the first time in over 5 years that we've actually ridden a bike for pure pleasure, without having an event to go to. What a fantastic country, wish we could have stayed longer - next year we will!

Lone Creek Falls, South Africa.

Lone Creek Falls, South Africa - Jan Dwyer, Susan Johnson, Kobus Fourie, Maria Alford, Grant Johnson, Kevin Davis, Gail Baillargeon, Gareth Jones - thanks to Paul Dwyer for this pic!

What's New for 2016?

Horizons Unlimited Mountain Madness goes global! The HUMM is a unique three-day, off-road motorcycle orienteering/geo-caching event. Previously in the Spanish Pyrenees and Morocco, in 2016 we're planning three (3) events - in the Canadian Rockies of BC, the Sierras de Aragón in Spain and the Western Ghats in India. The first of these, HUMM Canadian Rockies, is open for registration now! Test your map reading and navigation skills, find hidden secrets and enjoy the fabulous riding.

HUBB UK is back! More news as we have it! We're assembling the team for 2016 and venue selection will be finalised before the end of December, so watch this space...

Many more events - see list below. Some events are open for registration already, and early bird rates apply until Dec 31. We'll get to as many as we can, and we hope to see you at one of the events, but whether we're there or not, our local organisers are all fantastic folks and they welcome all travellers, so do come along and meet your tribe!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.What else is coming up? The HU Photo Contest is closing at the end of Jan, so get your entries in soon - details below!

The 2016 HU Calendar is selling like hotcakes! Last year we sold out so if you haven't yet got yours, head on over to the HU Store and pick one up before they're all gone!

Where are our intrepid travellers this month?

We've got great stories from Tajikistan, Spain, Scandinavia, Russia, Central Asia, Mexico, India, Portugal, Bolivia, South Africa, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and USA!

...And those are just the ones we tracked down! What about you? Get out there on the road and make your own adventure, and don't forget to write! Seriously, there are so many travellers out there now that it's hard for me to keep up with them all. If you send me a couple of paragraphs and pics every month you'll have a much better chance of making it into the e-zine! We try to link to your blog/website if you have one. If you don't have a blog, we can help!

This newsletter is provided as a complimentary service for travellers everywhere, both on the road and (temporarily ;-) off. Your support is greatly appreciated.

your editors, Grant and Susan Johnson, (about us, contact us)

Travellers on the Road

Gene and Neda 'Lightcycle', Canada, RTW, in Russia, R1200 GS and F800GS

"As we get closer to St Petersburg, the second-most populated city in Russia, the traffic starts to get more dense. As the cars and trucks continue to clog the roadways, the drivers become much more reckless. Impatient drivers from oncoming traffic pull out into our lane, only to pass one or two cars at a time. They wait until the very last millisecond to duck back into their lane. There is a lot of swearing going on in our helmets as a couple of drivers don't even bother to tuck back into their own lane, forcing us onto the shoulder! WTF!

Neda in St. Petersburg, Russia.

These are the crazy Russian drivers we had heard about. It was terrible. Last year, there were over 220,000 traffic accidents in the country, contributing to 28,000 deaths. A large part of the problem is poor traffic enforcement. Lawlessness on the road is rampant when you know nobody is going to stop you from doing idiotic things. But also vodka.

Street scene in Petrozavodsk, Russia.

We're still riding without insurance, so this worries me quite a lot.

To make matters worse, an hour outside of the city, I noticed that my engine is losing power at high revs. Everything under 4,000 rpms is fine, but the minute I rev the engine above that, it loses power. ARGH!!! This is very concerning, it's the first serious issue I've had with the engine. What makes matters worse is that we're on a tight timeline through Russia. We can't afford to hunker down in a city and try to get it fixed here because of the looming expiration date on our visas.

This is stressing me out a bit and just hammers home the point that we are not psychologically prepared to continue overland across Central Asia with all of its strict entry and exit dates.

As long as I keep the revs down on the engine, everything seems fine. We limp my bike through the gauntlet of crazy Russian drivers without insurance into the heart of Saint Petersburg and try to find our hotel."

Cheer up, Gene!

more »

Ed. See Gene and Neda's posts and great pics on the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

Juvena Huang (Wandering Wasp), Singapore, Round the World, in India, Vespa,

"When I mentioned that I am going to ride my Vespa scooter on the Manali-Leh Highway, I have mixed response. Some said it is possible, some said my scooter is not going to survive. My approach is to understand from both views and at least attempt within my limits. Never try, never know. I am glad my scooter and I made it through stream crossings, crawled through second highest pass in the world at 5328m. Had I let fear rule me, I would not have fulfilled my dream of riding this road.

Manali-Leh Highway did not get my scooter stranded but a longkang (drain in Malay) in Leh got me stuck. Asked help from the locals and had to deflate the tyres first.

The problem with small tires, a hole in the road in Leh.

The problem with small tyres!

Rock Garden of Chandigarh is a one of the most impressive art works I have seen. A 12 acre sculpture garden made from recycled materials! Creator Nek Chand collected materials from demolition when Chandigarh was being built in 1950s. With his imagination and creativity, he recycled the material to secretly build a kingdom of Sukrani. However, this fantasy land was illegal. It was hidden for 18 years before being discovered by authorities. It survived the threat of being demolished and is now a public park.

Rock garden of Chandigarh.

From far, the walls look like a typical mosaic or rock. Upon closer inspection, you notice that they are actually broken ceramic crockery or electrical fittings."

more »

Ed. Well done, Juvena! Keep travelling and keep posting! Great stories and pics on her blog.

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Please be sure to tell them how you heard about Beaux Adventures. Thanks!

Whether you are a youngster about to enter the rat race, a seasoned soul stuck in the rigmaroles of life, or a young at heart ready to embrace new experiences, we have an adventure for you. Ride dual sport motorcycles (BMW GS OR Triumph Tiger) through some of the toughest but breathtaking terrains in India and other parts of the world.

Beaux Adventures is a premium US based motorcycle tour and rental company focused on India & SE Asia routes exclusively on Triumph Tiger motorcycles.

Our premium adventure tour packages are curated for only those selected few wanderlust bodies that want more from adventurous vacations than just ticking off sections from a tour guidebook.

Laura Pattara, Australia, in Tajikistan,

"...There have been times when I've forgotten to take my shoes off when entering a home in a country which demands it, finished everything served on my plate, reached out to shake hands with a local man when it was deemed highly inappropriate and even that one time in Tajikistan, when I mistook someone's family gathering for a restaurant and sat down and ordered coffee and kebabs. True story.

Laura Pattara etiquette blunders in Tajikistan.

Luckily for me, my immense mortification at the realization of my stuff-up was enough to appease my gracious hosts; the latter even insisting we stay and share in the family celebrations. That was a particularly delicious mistake, on my part."

more »

Ed. For more travel etiquette tips, check out Laura's blog post.

Brian Rix and Shirley Hardy-Rix, Aussies Overland, 2-up across Europe, Scandinavia, Russia and Central Asia, BMW 1200 GSA,

"The ride takes us through forests of birch trees that are starting to turn into fabulous shades of yellow and ochre. There's not a lot of hotels out here so our first day on the road was 600 kms and the subsequent days didn't get any shorter.

Next day we had planned to stay in a small town but decided to press on to the next major centre, Mogocha. When we arrived in town it was cold and wet. We needed fuel and a bed when we were rescued by angels – the Iron Angels.

Brian Rix, Alex and Sasha at the Iron Angels Clubhouse, Vladivostok, Russia.

Their vice president, Alex, drove alongside of us in his little car and told us to follow him – we ended up at the Mogocha Iron Angels club house. It's rustic in the extreme with no running water and no toilet but it was warm and dry. They offered us dinner and a bed and some good conversation with Sasha from Vladivostok and Francisco from Chile.

We're in striking distance of Vladivostok now and a ferry to South Korea so another two long days and we're there. But there's time for a photo op at the iconic Moscow / Vladivostok sign on the highway."

Brian and Shirley at the Moscow to Vladivostok sign, Russia.

more »

Ed. Brian and Shirley arrived back in Australia just in time to tell their stories at the HU Victoria travellers meeting! Rumor has it they're staying home for awhile and will be helping to organise the 2016 meeting...

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Ride in Tours is a motorcycle tours and rental company in France, we offer Guided or self-guided tours as well as rental and sell and buyback.

Ride in Tours is a motorcycle tours and rental company in France, we offer Guided or self-guided tours as well as rental and sell and buyback.

Sara and Dan Pedersen, Canada, RTW, in Spain, BMW F650GS,

"The Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sacrada Familia is a UNESCO site still under construction. The building began in 1882 and Gaudi took over in 1883 and transformed it to his vision. It was only one-quarter complete when he died in 1926. It has progressed slowly since it is funded by private donation and building was halted for the Spanish civil war from 1936-39. It was half done in 2010 and should be completed in 2026, 100 years after Gaudi's death."

Sagrada Familia Basilica, Barcelona.

more »

Ed. See more great stories and fantastic pics from Sara and Dan in their post on the HUBB Ride Tales Forum!

Steve and Janette Douglas, UK, RTW, still in Mexico, Triumph Tiger 800,

"We left San Cristobal de Las Casas on the 12th September. Originally we'd planned to stay at a coffee plantation in the hills as it was soon to be our 20th wedding anniversary. However, whilst in San Cris we discovered that Mexican independence would be celebrated on the same day as our anniversary, the 16th September. Now having spent quite a while in Mexico we're more than aware how Mexicans love a celebration and we decided this one was not to be missed. Why spend a few days at a tranquil coffee plantation when one of the biggest celebrations of the year takes place elsewhere? That's it, we're off to Oaxaca.

The ride would take us south-west to the Pacific coast and then see us head north-west-ish to the city of Oaxaca in the state of the same name. I was a little apprehensive about one part of our route, the area around La Ventosa. La Ventosa is famous for its strong winds, in fact there are literally thousands of wind turbines in the area, and we'd heard from Mike and Karen of their traumatic ride when they passed this way. They had tales of trucks being blown over, needing a police escort and finding the whole experience one they would not want to repeat. Well, for us, there was virtually no wind and most of the wind turbines were motionless. I was almost disappointed. Almost.

Tigger was very happy with his accommodation in Oaxaca.

Tigger was very happy with his accommodation in Oaxaca

Arriving on the Sunday our strategy was quite simple. Find a reasonably priced hotel for a couple of days giving us time to find something that was befitting of our upcoming milestone. We finally settled on a hotel located right on the main plaza where most of the independence celebrations were to take place."

Janette and Steve Douglas in Mexico.

more »

Ed. Wow, a couple that travels even more slowly than us! What a great place to spend a year, though!

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James Cargo - Motorcycle Shipping Experts!

James Cargo is an international freight shipper specialising in International Bike / Motorcycle Shipping and more. All countries, sea or air, multi-bike shipments, containers to USA from the UK and back for events like Sturgis and more.
Be sure to mention Horizons Unlimited for the best service!

Liam Parkin, The Routes of Earth, England, in Africa, Honda C90,

"Before and After. Riding a Honda C90 into the heart of Africa. Day one - leaving my home in England; fresh faced, naive, frightened, eager. About a year later - somewhere in the Congo! Ragged."

Liam Parkin, Before and After riding his Honda C90 into the heart of Africa.

more »

Ed. Liam certainly looks more like a traveller in the After pic!

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. Thanks!

Ferris Wheels Motorcycle Safaris.

Ferris Wheels Motorcycle Safaris are one of the pioneers of the motorcycle tour industry. We have been taking clients professionally to the highest road in the world several times a year since 1994; over 50 times now! Other exotic destinations include Morocco, Turkey, Bhutan, South America, and the Dalmatian Coastline.

All fully-detailed itineraries can be found at where you may also find countless client accolades and many press articles endorsing our tours over the past 15 years or so, and request our free DVD!

Lisa Morris and Jason Spafford, UK, Argentina to Alaska, in USA, BMW F650GS and F800GS,

"Indian petroglyphs, natural stone arches and spectacular vistas of Canyonlands opened up at virtually every corner, especially when we found ourselves teetering on the edge of a cliff at 2,000 feet.

Canyonlands, Utah.

Better known as the Shafer Trail, we took in some of the 18 miles of dangerous dirt–on a par with Bolivia's Road of Death–it's one of those roads that will humble the biggest of egos."

Shafer Trail, Utah.

more »

Ed. Jason won top prize in the photo contest and is the cover pic in the Horizons Unlimited 2016 Calendar!

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Classic Bike India - Guided Motorcycle Adventure Tours To Ladakh - Sri Lanka - Bhutan - Rajasthan - Nepal - Thailand - Tibet - Goa & South India.

Guided Motorcycle Adventure Tours To
Ladakh - Sri Lanka - Bhutan - Rajasthan - Nepal - Thailand - Tibet - Goa & South India

Photo Contest

Photo contest closing soon!

The Photo Contest for the 2017 Calendar is closing end of January! The Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Adventure Travel photo contest is an annual event for travellers to showcase their best photographs from their travels around the world. Enter to win!

Horizons Unlimited 2016 Calendar cover and Grand Prize Winner Jason Spafford.

Grand Prize 2015 Winner (and Cover) - by Jason Spafford. Sleeping under the stars in Punamarca, Argentina. Jason wins the Touratech Companero Worldwide riding suit!

Contest Prizes are...

The Grand Prize for this contest is a Touratech Companero Worldwide riding suit, in mens or womens, in a wide range of sizes and fits, shipped anywhere in the world!

Companero Worldwide riding suit, modeled by Herbert.Companero worldwide ladies riding suit, modeled by Ramona.

Second Prize - Touratech Suspension - WIN the best suspension possible for your bike! A NEW Touratech Rear shock is the awesome second prize.

Touratech Suspension.

NOTE: Prizes must be accepted as awarded. NO substitutions.

ALSO: The best 13 photos will be used in the Horizons Unlimited calendar, and we will share the profits with the photographers. All Winners will also get a free calendar, and 1 year Gold Member status on the HUBB! Your photos could also be in an HU DVD or on the website! Time to get famous!

2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014's Photo Contests were very popular, with hundreds of entries. The winning photos go into the HU Calendar, and the calendars have proved to be very popular too! Photos from previous years will continue to be available in CafePress calendars in case you really like the photos from a particular year.

Issa Breibish and Nita, Canada, RTW, temporarily in Canada, BMW F650GS,

"Well, we may be jumping the gun a little bit on this with regards to telling the story of all the places we've managed to travel through so far, but we felt it's timely considering all that's going on in the world. We put together a 9 minute slideshow for the 9 Minute Moto Film Festival back in May and thought it's about time we shared it. 

900 Days in 9 Minutes, by Issa and Nita Breibish.

It's 900 Days in 9 Minutes – so we had to skip Asia but we'll get to that next time! Hope you enjoy it... and feel free to share it with your friends!"

more »

Ed. See Issa and Nita's blog of their two and a half years on the road for great pics and stories.

Greg and Melanie Turp, 2Wandrrs, in USA and Portugal,


"We arrive to HU and find our campsite for the next four nights and dig in for a few days of meeting people, enjoying and learning during the presentations, and hearing of people quitting jobs to begin their own RTW adventures. This is a great group of people and I can't name everybody that makes up this 'family' of travelers. Some we see year to year, some are off on their own long adventures, and some we may never see again as they are traveling through and will be on to other countries. We have a great time with music, craic and grog seeming to take up the evening hours and into the night. Much too quickly the fun times come to an end and we all scatter in many different directions, like the wind..."

Fellow travellers at HU California 2015 in Mariposa.

Fellow travellers at HU California 2015 - Nevil Stow and Greg Turp


"...we cross the bridge into Pinhao, riding slowly down the main street enjoying the village ambiance. We rode north out of town headed to the Spain border and jumped on the A-52, like an interstate highway, to make up some time. It was a beautiful ride twisting at fast speeds in and out of curves with not much traffic and we stayed on these roads for about 200 Kms. We finally got to slow back down and get on small two-lane road as we headed up toward a1400 meters pass.

Greg and Melanie Turp in Portugal.

Almost to the top we crossed an arm of an alpine lake/ski resort and another unexpected pass following the Rio Vejo as it fought its way down through yet another canyon. The road weaved back and forth, gaining elevation with rock walls jutting out forming one side of the road, while on the other side a small river wove its way among pocket of grassy areas and old homesteads. As we came to the top of the pass we met several bikers on holiday from the Netherlands. We exchanged routes as we were both headed in different directions of things that shouldn't be missed ahead."

Greg and Melanie Turp at the top of a pass in Portugal.

more »

Ed. You guys do get around - HU California to Portugal!

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Please be sure to tell them how you heard about Extreme Bike Tours. Thanks!

Extreme Bike Tours India, Raasthan, Bhutan

Extreme Bike Tours - India, Rajasthan, Bhutan

Shannon and Mike Mills, USA, Round the World, in Bolivia,

"In the way back and beyond somewhere between Cochabamba and Sucre the dirt road we were on suddenly turned to cobble-stone, for a staggering 41 miles! The rocks for the construction came from the river valley far below. We wonder how long it took to build this handmade masterpiece?

Cobblestoned road in Bolivia.

The first sign we were no longer in Peru were the drivers. Bolivian drivers lack the suicide gene common in Peru and we were able to ride without the 'death race 2000' mentality we had grown accustomed to in Peru. We left Lake Titicaca behind for La Paz, Cochabamba, and Sucre as we made our way to the Salar de Uyuni in southern Bolivia. After three nights in Sucre we loaded the bikes for an early start, paid our hotel bill, and hopped onto our bikes. Shannon's bike refused to start. It refused to even stutter or backfire so we moved back into the room we had vacated a half hour earlier and our residence status in Sucre began.

Fuel/air, spark, and compression; the holy trinity of internal combustion engines and all were suspect at this point. The tools came out and Shannon's bike Zippy was disassembled piece by piece. Mike's bike, the Black Donkey, became the test platform as components like the carburetor, CDI, ignition coils, switches, and relays were moved over and tested. If the Donkey ran with a Zippy part that part was deemed 'not the problem'. On the third day of trouble shooting a smoking gun was found. A small electrical device called a pulse coil, a component of the stator assembly, which lives in a sea of motor oil in permanent darkness inside the engine, tested bad with the OHM meter. The pulse coil's sole job is to tell the bike's computer when to spark; without a working pulse coil Zippy would never run again.

Suzuki Bolivia in La Paz could get an entire stator assembly (which includes the itty-bitty pulse coil) in as little as 60-days and for a mere US$650. The pulse coil alone is not available from Suzuki. Not good. Another couple of days scouring the internet and asking contacts on social media we had our answer, a Suzuki DR650 pulse coil was made of unobtainium in Bolivia and could not be had for any price. The pulse coil via DHL from the US took two weeks, favors from many friends, some helpful strangers along the way, and an overnight bus ride for us to finally receive our new part in Sucre, Bolivia.

Party time in Sucre, Bolivia.

Little did we know the weekend we arrived in Sucre was the biggest party of the year. The parades and marching bands started in the morning and went until 5am.

While we waited for our parts to arrive both bikes got new chains and sprockets and the Black Donkey got some new tires as well. We made friends in Sucre and were invited to the home of a Bolivian motorcycle mechanic I had befriended in my mission to get Zippy running. We slept late, ate good, and read a lot of books. We became the resident expats of the hotel and were the unofficial greeters to the guests that arrived each day. Shannon went native and shopped in the market like all the other Bolivian women and soon found a favorite baker, produce seller, butcher, and egg wholesaler.

Finally one bright Spring morning our DHL package arrived. After the high fives and happy dances I opened up the left side of the engine, cut out the bad pulse coil, and soldered in the new part, green wire to green wire and blue wire to blue wire just like the dealer in the US insisted the part be installed.

Mike and Zippy, Bolivia.

I am still smiling because the repair is still in its first few days. Nearly a month would go by before that bike was fixed and the frustration grew by the day.

Giddy with anticipation we all gathered around Zippy to see her roar to life. Nothing, no change, no start, same shit as before. My confidence as a mechanic was shaken. Had I not diagnosed the problem correctly and because of my mistake waited two weeks for a part that didn't fix the problem? Ouch."

more »

Ed. See the rest of the story at Mike and Shannon's blog.

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Please be sure to tell Laurent Bendel how you heard about his L'Aventure A Moto book. Thanks!

One of many great pics from Laurent Bendel's L'Aventure A Moto book.

One of many great pics from Laurent Bendel's L'Aventure A Moto book! Book available in French only.

Gail Baillargeon, USA, to wherever, in South Africa, BMW R1200GSA,

"Decided to hang out in South Africa for a bit longer to attend the Horizons Unlimited travel meeting being held at the Elgro River Lodge near Potchefstroom. The event went from the 12th to the 15th of November and then a group of us rode to Hazyview, near Kruger NP, and spent a few days doing day rides in the area.

Bourke's Luck Potholes, South Africa.

Bourke's Luck Potholes

The HU event and ride was a fantastic time, it was non stop fun and laughter from the start to the last.

Grant and Susan Johnson at 3 Rondavels, South Africa.

Grant and Susan were along for the ride.

To everyone I met at the HU meeting and those along on the ride after, thank you for such a great time. Kobus, I'll be back, thank you."

more »

Ed. It was great to finally meet Gail, who has a wicked sense of humor, but not as wicked as Kobus! See more great pics on Gail's blog here on Horizons Unlimited!
HU Events

Why Come to a Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers Meeting?

You can meet people who don't think you're crazy for wanting to ride your bike to South America or Africa or across Asia! People who will encourage you, share their experiences and advice on how to do it!

Also, the meetings help to make HU more than just a website - a community of motorcycle travellers - real people, not just e-mail addresses ;-) And last but not least, they make a significant contribution to HU revenue, thus helping us to keep the HUBB and website going and a roof over our heads! So thanks to everyone who comes!

Meetings and Events, 2016. Mark your calendars and sign up now!

Thailand Mini-Meeting - Jan 8-9. Chiang Mai. The 10th Annual HU Thailand Mini-Meeting will be at Rider's Corner in Chiang Mai.

Virginia - April 28-May 1. Steve Anderson hosts the 2nd Travellers Meeting in Virginia, at a great venue near Appomattox! Online registration is open now!

Germany Summer Meeting - May 5-8. Jens Ruprecht hosts this event at Campingplatz Pfrimmtal. Mark your calendars now - Online registration opens soon!

New! HUMM Canadian Rockies - Jul 22-24. Trent Schumann and Daan Stehouwer of Wanduro are our Event Partners for this event - they rode the trails to find the best spots. All the details and registration here - early bird rates until Dec 31, 2015!

If a picture is worth 1000 words, how much is a video worth?! Check out the HUMM event trailer!

HUMM Trailer 2016.

Thanks to Trent Schumann, Daan Stehouwer, Patrick Trahan, David Hodgson, & Ashley Moule for video clips!

Canada Ontario - June 9-12 - TBC. Greg Powell hosts this event at a new venue. We're in final stages of venue selection and hope to confirm dates and location very soon.

Canada West - August 25-28. Nakusp, BC. Kevan and Karen Ibbotson, Mark and Leslie Kuzminski and Onno Kok are organizing this event, as Ekke and Audrey will be off on their newest adventure in July. Online registration is open now, early bird rates until Dec 31!

California, Sep 22-25. Great location - Yosemite! Flip Morton and Nicole Espinosa are the local hosts for this event. Online registration for early birds is open now, with early bird rates until Dec 31!

USA - North Carolina - Oct 6-9. Ironhorse Motorcycle Lodge, Stecoah, NC. Southern hospitality provided by Mike Kilpatrick, assisted by Steve Anderson. Mark your calendars now, online registration opens soon!

New! HUMM Sierras Aragon, Spain - Oct 17-20. Simon Rice has been hard at work laying the ground for this event! Mark your calendars now, more details to come as we have them!

New! Australia Snowy Mountains (NSW/VIC) - Nov 18-20. Mark your calendars now, more details to come as we have them!

South Africa, Date TBC. Near Potchefstroom. Kobus Fourie is again hosting this event at his fabulous Elgro River game lodge and conference centre. We'll be there! Mark your calendars now, online registration opens soon!

Elgro River Lodge, Potchefstroom, South Africa.


How about you? We're all here to learn, and there's LOTS to learn! We want to do more presentations and seminars - but we need volunteers to give them! Any topic you can contribute having to do with motorcycle travel, maintenance, planning, first aid, etc, lasting 20 minutes or more, would be great. Please contact us here to volunteer.

Had a great trip? Got good stories and pics of it? Never presented before? Tips for putting on a successful Travel Slide Show!

Volunteers and Hosts

Volunteers for all meetings are needed, just a couple of hours of your time makes it all a lot easier - and fun - for all. You can volunteer a few hours of your time for any meeting here. And volunteering is always a great way to meet a lot of people!

If you'd like to host an HU Meeting in your area, please see the How To Host a Meeting page for details.

Exhibitors sign up here to join us at a Meeting.

See the Events page for more details on all events.

Hope to see you there! Grin!

Grant and Susan

Surfy, Germany, Panamericana, in Argentina, Toyota Land Cruiser,

"To drive the officially closed road 40 from Payogasta to San Antonio, was not one of my best ideas.

To prepare the vanished roads at above 4000m height, to put big rocks in the rivers to build a passage you can cross... That was way too much for my condition at that height... Stupid to stay in waist-deep in icy water that tries to wash you away. But it brings me further...

A road too far, officially closed for a reason!

A road too far, officially closed for a reason!

Anyway. Very important is to wear the right shoes for that conditions.

The right footwear for the conditions.

At the end I meet a passage which I was not able to cross, and had to return. Back to that roadblock from the morning.. Grrrrrrr...

But I made it on a less adventurous road to the Jungle and to the City Salta. Met too some animals which I didn't want to meet often."

Tarantula, met by Surfy on the road.

Friendly critter?

more »

Ed. You can see more pics and stories in the HUBB 4 Wheels Travel Reports Forum.

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Motocare Motorcycle Rental.  Motorcycle Rental, hiring Honda's Transalp for touring Argentina and Chile.

Motocare Motorcycle Rental, hiring Honda's Transalp for touring Argentina and Chile. Ride across the Andes, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, lakes, deserts, salt pans, waterfalls, beaches, rain forests, glaciers. Motocare Argentina

HU Presents...

Achievable Dream and Road Heroes DVDs!

Winter Special! Buy the Achievable Dream Collectors Set at $99 and we'll include Road Heroes Part 1! Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout. Valid until Jan 31/16.

If you've been inspired by the stories you've read in this e-zine and are keen to get on the road yourself, the Achievable Dream is the definitive 'How To' series on long-distance motorcycle travel.

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.

The Achievable Dream Series - the Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide!

The series features interviews with veteran travellers, such as Ted Simon, Austin Vince, Greg Frazier, Lois book., Chris and Erin Ratay, Peter and Kay Forwood, Tiffany Coates, Sam Manicom, and many others. Over 150 contributors from all over the world tell their fantastic and entertaining stories, sharing their hard-earned knowledge from amazing motorcycle trips to every country on earth. Includes thousands of great photos, video clips, presentations and demos by experts.

Achievable Dream Collectors Box Set - 5 Motorcycle Adventure Travel DVDs!The series was filmed in broadcast quality wide screen, with multiple cameras and custom written music. Filming took place at Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers meetings and on location in the USA, Canada, UK, Switzerland, Spain, Germany and the South Pacific.

The 'Collectors Box Set' is also available - all 5 DVDs (18 hours of informative and entertaining content!) in a custom box for only $99). "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."

Road Heroes - Motorcycle Adventure Travel Tales - Part 1.Road Heroes - Motorcycle Adventure Travel Tales, features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (Challenges of travelling to 193 countries 2-up on a Harley Electra-Glide), Dr. Gregory Frazier (5 times RTW on a variety of bikes), Tiffany Coates (RTW traveller recounts her Mongolia Mayhem) and Rene Cormier (5 years in the University of Gravel Roads). Not to be missed!

We've sold thousands of these DVDs, so we're pretty confident you'll like them. If you're not completely happy with them, just let us know within 30 days of purchase for a full refund or exchange. And you don't even have to send them back!

If by some chance you've never heard of the Achievable Dream and Road Heroes DVDs, you can see the trailers and read the comments for all the DVDs here.

Matthew (Poodle) and Megan Snyman, Great American Trek, Peru,

" of the best rides of the whole journey was next, Paracas Peninsula, a welcome and unexpected surprise. The peninsula is a desert, and a national park and reserve. We went in through the 'back' past tiny shacks and ruins in the sand. After riding for about an hour or so, the tar disappeared, turning to hard dirt with patches of soft sand covering our path in wind spots. The road became increasingly less defined and lonelier, and just when the road had ended, disappearing completely into the earth, the sea rose to meet us in a dramatic coastline. With open air, yellow sand cliffs and deep blue water we found ourselves completely alone, and without any semblance of road to follow. We nearly wet ourselves with excitement.

Paracas Peninsula, Peru.

Arrival at the other end of the park, where the roads reappeared and we met the sea

(In Lima) Megan and I got new suspension at Touratech Peru, serviced the bikes, wrote blogs and made videos to our hearts content. Megan also received her brand-spanking new Klim Motorcycle suit, which is cool beyond description, and an essential piece of kit for the rainy season which lay ahead of us.

Most importantly though, the three weeks spent waiting for Megan's suit gave us the opportunity to meet a host of awesome people, who have become very close friends of ours, as well as relax with current mates like Ed Gill from my last post. Christiaan is travelling around the world in a Land-Rover, a chef who makes a habit of visiting fancy schmancy restaurants the world over, and Erdem and Sarah with their little dog, Tara, traveling as Nonurbia. Erdem previously travelled from Turkey to Mongolia solo on his motorcycle, after which he met Sarah in the USA, they are now travelling together in a 4×4 around the world."

Meg and Matthew Snyman with Erdem, Sarah and Martin.

more »

Ed. Erdem Yucel is the official HU Graphics Wizard, even while he's travelling around the world again!

Help support the Horizons Unlimited E-zine - visit our sponsors!
Please be sure to tell them how you heard about Buenos Aires Caracas Moto Tours. Thanks!

Discover Argentina as only a local guide can show you. Since 2004 offering tours, rentals and customizable tours for groups.

"Come discover Argentina and South America with me. A pioneer in moto tourism in Argentina since 2004, I organize and guide my tours to show you the wonderful places of our region. You will get to know the history, gastronomy and culture of Argentina as only a local guide can show it to you. Always the same standards of quality as the big motorcycle tour companies of the world, but with personalized attention in order to make your trip an experience of a life time. I also offer the most reliable bikes for rental so you can do your own tour. BMW's provided by the BMW Motorrad Official partner for Argentina."

Become an HU Member

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To help with the cost of creating and distributing the newsletter and running and maintaining a huge website and forum, which has been a full time job for Grant for over ten years, Susan for over 5 years, plus occasional part time assistants, we gratefully accept contributions via PayPal, credit card, and cheque.

Finances have been especially tight this year, so we are grateful to all our generous supporters for helping us to keep going. For those who haven't yet contributed, or haven't recently contributed, here's how you can help, and the benefits to you of becoming a Horizons Unlimited Contributing Member or Gold Member!

Become an HU Contributing Member!

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If you know anyone who should be advertising with us (anyone who sells motorcycles or motorcycle accessories, riding gear, camping equipment and clothing, transports motorcycles, organizes motorcycle tours, or has motorcycles to rent should be advertising), please let us know or even better send them to our Advertisers page with your recommendation.

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Muchas Gracias! Grant and Susan

John Twilley (Zedsdead on HUBB), in Bolivia and Chile,

"From Santiago I went up the coast to San Pedro De Atacama. It was great to see the ocean again, I miss it when inland. The Trans American Highway is good road, amazing scenery along the coast. Then back into desert, my kind of country.

Alpacas on the beach, Bolivia.

San Pedro was in an amazing place. However the town itself is plastic backpacker territory! Maybe I am getting old? Maybe I just don't mix well with others. Maybe I am just getting grumpy, but two days was all I could take. I worked out a course through the back road to the border. A few things to look at on the way, salt flats, alpacas, desert, volcanos. You know the usual stuff."

more »

Help support the Horizons Unlimited E-zine - visit our sponsors!
Please be sure to tell them how you heard about Touratech. Thanks!

Touratech - Touring Rallye Racing Equipment.


Looking for a travel book for someone special?

Here's a few of our favorite picks! Check out our Books pages, where we have listed hundreds of the best motorcycle travel books, as well as overland travel stories, BMW books and travel guides.

There's links to Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Deutschland, so no matter where you are - you can order books at great prices, and we'll make a dollar or a pound or a Euro, which goes a very little way to supporting HU.

There's also links to search Amazon sites for all their products, books, CDs etc., and yes, we get a tiny piece of that too. We really appreciate it when you start your book search from our website. Thanks for the support!

buy from Amazon USA buy from Amazon UK buy from Amazon Deutschland Shop at Amazon Canada

Down and Out in Patagonia, Kamchatka and Timbuktu.

Down and Out in Patagonia, Kamchatka, and Timbuktu
by Greg Frazier

A little over 40 years ago, a man named Gregory W. Frazier got on his motorcycle, went for a ride, and never returned. He's still out there, circumnavigating the globe: exploring the jungles of Asia in the winter, trout fishing in Alaska in the summer, and covering all points in between during the rest of the year. He's been shot at by rebels, jailed by unfriendly authorities, bitten by snakes, run over by Pamplona bulls, and smitten by a product of Adam's rib. He's circled the globe five times and has covered well over one million miles (and counting).

Circle to Circle, by Shirley Hardy-Rix and Brian Rix.

Circle to Circle - a journey through the Americas and beyond
by Shirley Hardy-Rix

Brian and Shirley rode from the Antarctic Circle to the Arctic Circle, over 5,000 metre mountain ranges, through snow and ice, through deserts and tropics, enduring altitude sickness and a near catastrophic breakdown in the heart of bear country.

Circle to Circle is an inspiring and engaging account of the travels of an adventurous couple. It will entertain you in your armchair, or it may even inspire you to get up and go.

The Road Gets Better From Here.

The Road Gets Better from Here, by Adrian Scott

With virtually no experience and absolutely no support, Adrian rides a basic stock motorbike 20,000kms across nine countries in three months to fulfill a lifelong dream.

Adrian is adopted by a vast array of characters, each with stories to tell, each insisting that he join them in their homes to share their lives and most of their provisions. It is these encounters which provide such a rich and compelling subtext to his extraordinary journey.

Red Tape and White Knuckles: One Woman's Motorcycle Adventure Through Africa

Red Tape and White Knuckles:
One Woman's Motorcycle Adventure Through Africa

Lois' adventures in Africa! 'Alone. No support vehicles, no fancy GPS and no satellite phone. Leaving from London, finishing in Cape Town - and the small matter of tackling the Sahara, war-torn Angola and the Congo Basin along the way - this feisty independent woman's grand trek through the Dark Continent of Africa is the definitive motorcycling adventure.'

American Borders - A Motorcycle Misadventures Journey

American Borders
A comedy of breakdowns...

by Carla King

Excellent! Well-written - Carla's easy and engaging style sucks you in to the adventure and keeps you going right to the end. Highly Recommended - Grant

Obsessions Die Hard

Obsessions Die Hard:
Motorcycling the Pan American Highway's Jungle Gap...

by Ed Culberson

"For the die-hard motorcycling adventurer... both a riveting adventure story and a practical guide to this exotic and dangerous sport." 

Into Africa

Into Africa:
Channel Islands to Cape Town by Motorcycle

by Sam Manicom

"Whether he's thrust into a brutal jail cell in Tanzania, being shot at, or knocked unconscious in the Namibian desert, this eye-opening tale catapults you into Africa. He lives in a remote village, escapes a bush fire and climbs a mountain. This is a captivating book."

Old Man on a Bike

Old Man on a Bike: A Septuagenarian Odyssey
by Simon Gandolfi

"Outrageously irresponsible and undeniably liberating, Gandolfi's travels will fire the imaginations of every traveller, young or old."

Tea with Bin Ladens Brother, by Simon Roberts.

Tea with Bin Laden's Brother
by Simon Roberts

"Evocative, honest and inspiring, it's all brightened up by a great design and amusing comic book graphics which all help set Simon's book above the average motorcycling travelogue". Chris Scott

Mi Moto Fidel

Mi Moto Fidel:
Motorcycling Through Castro's Cuba

by Chris Baker

"A unique, exhilarating solo adventure into Cuba astride a cherry-red, 1000cc BMW Paris-Dakar motorcycle."

Motorcycle Adventurer

Motorcycle Adventurer - Carl Stearns Clancy
by Greg Frazier

"The longest, most difficult, and most perilous motorcycle journey ever attempted." In 1912, there were no GPSs, ATMs, Internet, and often no gas, roads or motorcycle repair shops...

One Man Caravan

One Man Caravan
by Robert Fulton Jr.

RTW in 1932! Grant: "A terrific book, right at the top of the list. Recommended."

Motorcycle Therapy, by Jeremy Kroeker.

Motorcycle Therapy,
by Jeremy Kroeker

From the Canadian Rockies to the Panamanian Jungle, Motorcycle Therapy rumbles with comic adventure as two men, fleeing failed relationships, test the limits of their motorcycles and their friendship.

Rolling through the Isles, by Ted Simon.

Rolling through the Isles
by Ted Simon

From the bestselling author of Jupiter's Travels and Dreaming of Jupiter comes an entertaining and inspiring new journey round Britain. Having crisscrossed the globe twice, Ted returns to the British Isles to rediscover the country of his youth. The result is a revealing portrait of modern Britain. It is also a witty and affectionate journey back to the past.

The University of Gravel Roads

The University of Gravel Roads
by Rene Cormier

Rene runs out of money half way through the tour and ultimately takes five years to cover his 41-country, 154,000-kilometre route. The ride of a lifetime, the old-fashioned way; no sponsors, no support vehicles, and no idea about what he is going to learn along the way.

Book suggestions please!

If you have a book or want a book that you think other travellers would be interested in please let me know and we'll put it on the site.

Traveller's Community News

We've now reached an amazing 780 Communities in 114 Countries as of Nov 11, 2015! A big thanks to all those who took the first step and established the Community in their area.

If you are on the road, do check out the Communities - don't feel like you're imposing on people! They signed up for a Community because they want to meet travellers - that's you! You'll have a great time, so go to the Communities page and let them know you're coming. Please remember that they are volunteers and offering to help because they're great people - common courtesy helps! When you write, tell them who you are, that you're passing through, and would like to meet them. Let them know if you need anything, and I'm sure they'll help as best they can.

Remember that although some HU communities are very small, many others are large and could be more active in getting together for rides (even just to the pub!) or other activities. It's a great way to meet other travellers in your area - who knows, you could meet your next travel partner! All you need is for someone to suggest a place and time, kick it around a bit and make it happen. If there aren't any HU Travellers Meetings in your area, perhaps it's time there was one? A Community could do a Mini-Meeting, (just a get-together in someone's backyard or at a restaurant), or a full meeting! Let us know about it and we'll help promote it :)

For details on how you can join a Community in your area, or use the Communities to get information and help, or just meet people on the road or at home, go to the Community page. Send me some photos - with captions please - and a little text and you can have a web page about your Community! A few links to web pages about your area would be useful too.

Just a reminder to all, when you Join a Community in your area, send a note to the Community introducing yourself and suggesting a meeting, or go for a ride or something. It's a good way of meeting like-minded individuals in your own town.

Final Thoughts.

We hope you've enjoyed this issue, and do please let us know your thoughts. It's your newsletter, so tell us what you want to know about!

It is not the unknown, but the fear of it, that prevents us from doing what we want.

We'd like to think that Horizons Unlimited; the website, the HUBB, the Communities and this newsletter help to push back the fear through knowledge and connecting with others, and teach all of us about the world and its wonderful people.

See you on the road!

Grant and Susan Johnson
Inspiring, informing and connecting travellers since 1997

Horizons Unlimited - Inspring, Informing and Connecting Travellers since 1997.

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All comments and suggestions are carefully read, and where possible will be acted on. Your help will make this a useful service for all travellers.

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ISSN 1703-1397 Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers' E-zine - All text and photographs are copyright Grant and Susan Johnson, 1987-2015, or their respective authors. All Rights Reserved.

Redistribution - sending it on to friends is allowed, indeed encouraged, but other than the following requirements, only with permission. You may forward copies of the Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers' e-zine by forwarding it yourself by hand. You must forward the issue in its entirety, no fee may be involved. Please suggest they Subscribe!

Every newsletter is permanently archived online. Back issues here.

Legal gibberish: (particularly for those in countries that have more lawyers in one town, just for instance, New York, not to name any names, than some whole countries, as another example, Japan. Again, not naming anybody specifically you understand).

Recommendations are based on positive or negative experiences of somebody, somewhere. Your mileage (kilometrage if you insist) may vary. We are not responsible in any way for any product or service mentioned, and do not warrant any such mentioned product or service, and are not responsible for any bad things that may befall you. You are responsible for yourself! Act accordingly. We check all links and information given as close as possible to publication, and all info is correct as best we can determine at that time.


Great reading, I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it!


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Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
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, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Are you an Overland Adventure Traveller?

Does the smell of spices wafting through the air make you think of Zanzibar, a cacophony of honking horns is Cairo, or a swirl of brilliantly patterned clothing Guatemala? Then this is the site for you!
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