The Craziest Journeys Made on a Motorcycle
Around the World in 19 (And a Bit) Days!
Nick Sanders will be up there on anyone's list of top adventurers. He has ridden around the world seven times. As you can imagine, any circumnavigation of the globe is pretty nuts on a motorcycle but how about doing it in 19 days…. On a Yamaha R1. Yes, that's correct Nick travelled around the world on an R1.
Holding the Guinness world record for the fastest circumnavigation on a motorcycle, Sanders had to average, 1000 miles a day which would be hard enough on an adventure bike let alone a sports bike. To achieve the record he had to travel to antipodal points, which are points directly opposite one another if you were to go straight through the centre of the earth. Alongside this, you must cross the equator, visit a series of continents and travel a minimum of 18,000 miles in the same direction. Our very own head of product, Kane Avenallo, currently holds the record of the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe solo and unassisted, you can read his story in our New Rider Journal.
Amongst his circumnavigations on a motorcycle, in 1981 Sanders also set the original record for cycling around the world, riding 13,609 miles in 138 days.
There are no signs of him slowing down either as he currently rides an Indian FTR to Istanbul! Follow the journey here.
You can read more about these adventures from his books and if you want to join in your own adventure you can book into the Nick Sanders Expedition Centre in the heart of Wales.
The First British Woman to Motorcycle Around the World
Author of the Lone Rider, Elspeth Beard was the first British woman to circumnavigate the globe back in 1982 on her BMW R60/6. After saving up some money working in a bar, Elspeth shipped her bike over to New York and started her journey north toward Canada then back down to Mexico. Shipping her bike over to Sydney from LA, Beard rode across Australia, Singapore and Indonesia. From there, her travels took her through India, Pakistan, Turkey, Greece and across Europe.
Having survived a couple of crashes, a few hospital visits, having her valuables (including passport) stolen. Then being stuck in India as the Punjab region was sealed off to westerners at the time, Elspeth Beard showed she had the grit and determination to persevere through it all.
Over 30 years later she decided to track back through all her journals and tapes from her around the world trip and write the book telling her story, which you can find here.
Transforming a Car Into a Motorcycle to Escape the Desert
Back in 1993, a Frenchman by the name of Emile Leray was travelling through a desert in Morocco in his Citroen 2CV. Unfortunately, he was turned around at a military checkpoint due to conflict in the area. Rather than listen to the advice to go back, Leray decided to circle around the checkpoint and proceed with his journey, where he struck a huge rock that destroyed the front of his 2CV.
Stranded in the middle of the desert more than 20 miles from the nearest town, he decided to strip down the Citroen and salvage any useful parts to create his somewhat Frankenstein motorcycle. After 12 days in the desert, Emile arrived in Tan-Tan where he was met with a fine as his vehicle didn't quite meet the requirements of a Citroen 2CV.
Whilst it wasn't planned, you can’t deny that's one heck of an adventure.
Going Postal From Sydney to London on a Postie Bike
It was a mammoth journey made on an old Australian postal bike named Dorothy taking over 9 months and covering 23,000 miles. Motoring journalist Nathan Millward decided to take on this simply brilliant journey with a top speed of 40mph, he successfully made it through 18 countries and back to the UK.
With no prior planning or preparation and just $2k in his pocket and a couple of credit cards, Nathan set off on his trip back to England. By the time he reached India he was already running out of money, it was then he decided to send various letters to news outlets to see if they would consider running a short article on his journey in exchange for funds to support his trip. The Sydney Morning Herald Motorcycling section eventually got back to him asking to write 500 words for around $300 which he gladly accepted.
A little way down the line, Millward received an email from an editor asking if we would write a book about his travels. He jumped at the opportunity and used the advance the publishers paid to fund the rest of the trip.
If you want to read Nathan's Full Story then pick up a copy of his book; Going Postal: The Ups and Downs of Travelling the World on a Postie Bike.