Nick Sanders was by no means the first person to ride around the world on a motorcycle, but he was probably the first person to do it fast.
Recently the world record holder and all-round travel nut has been giving some of his secrets, that allowed him to go the long way-round, quickly!
- Tip #1 – Cycle Leggings
Don’t waste your time packing too many or too few pairs of undies. Save space and reduce laundry by wearing cycle leggings which give extra padding and soak up sweat too. They keep the heat in at night as well.
- Tip #2 – Power Naps
Nick takes a 15-minute power nap every four hours. Sidestand down, helmet still on, without getting off the bike. During his 19 day ride around the globe, Nick survived on power naps – only having two or three very short hotel stays in total.
- Tip #3 – Monitor Your Speed
Going too quickly will bring on fatigue much quicker. If you’re looking at a long day in the saddle, pace yourself. You’ll put more miles under your belt maintaining a quick speed, rather than a very fast speed.
- Tip #4 – Blend In
A gleaming bike packed with all the latest equipment attracts attention, and although nice to meet the locals, it really eats into precious riding time. Nick went around the world with limited gear on a dirty R1, and the locals didn’t bat an eyelid.
- Tip #5 – Fear Of The Dark
To cover some serious distance you need to become acclimatised to riding at night, and make sure your bike makes you as comfortable as possible when doing so. If you’re going to ride in the dark for three hours at a slow pace, it’s probably better to get your head down and go at a normal pace the following morning.
- Tip #6 – Smaller Is Better
Some adventure bikes can be too large and heavy, depending on the terrain. If you can’t pick it back up again, or keep it under control at low speed, it’s not the right bike for the job. Nick has also used a Yamaha XT660, but prefers his ’05 R1 – although this might not suit everyone!
- Tip #7 – Be Prepared
You don’t want to go around the world, and not achieve the things you set out to do. The wrong kit, or bad scheduling, are two things which can ruin any long distance ride – as Nick has found out to his cost in the past.
- Tip #8 – Find Your Zone
When riding for a long period, your aim is to expend the last amount of energy possible. Work to find the perfect riding position and kit layout, so that you feel like you could keep going well into the night.
- Tip #9 – Danger Danger
Pick your route wisely to avoid danger hotspots. You can’t plan for every situation, but you can try to reduce the chances of something happening. One of Nick’s support drivers was once kidnapped by a local cartel in Mexico, in a case of being in the wrong place and the wrong time. Make sure you do your research in advance.
As a long time partner of Continental, Nick has used our complete adventure tyre range in a wide range of terrains – although we don’t recommend copying his use of sport touring tyres to cross the desert!
You can view our complete range of adventure tyres here.