The idea of loading up your bike, throwing on your gear and heading out into the great unknown may sound romantic, but according to our friends Kevin and Julia Sanders of GlobeBusters Motorcycle Expeditions, it’s less than ideal when you’re planning a big overland adventure.
From knowledge of visa requirements and scarcity of fuel to your own personal safety, there is a lot to think about, and to plan for ahead of any big ride!
In the August issue of RiDE Magazine, the world record breaking duo shared some top tips with readers to help their next trip go a little more smoothly.
You can’t beat using a proper, printed map when you want to get a sense of scale. Unless you need to cover a lot of miles in a short amount of time, motorways are best avoided. Instead, look for lines on the map which traverse closely packed contours, and you’re almost guaranteed to find an epic road or two!
It doesn’t matter where you decide to go, someone will almost certainly have been there before you, documenting all their experiences on the way. Check out the Horizons Unlimited website and the UNESCO World Heritage website for great local advice and information so you don’t miss a thing!
- Foreign Office
The FCO can advise you on visa requirements and potential hot-spots for trouble. Remember that anywhere with an ‘against essential travel’ warning are usually not covered by travel insurance.
Dense, urban areas are usually more expensive and less safe. The chaotic, heavy traffic can also make riding a chore, so unless you need a bike service or essential parts they are generally best avoided!
Some land borders can take many hours to cross, especially in Africa, Asia and South America. You’ll need to factor this in if you have a strict schedule you’re trying to keep to.
No matter how much work you put in prior to setting off, one single event can completely disrupt your plans when on the road. Also don’t forget to be realistic about the kind of distances you can expect to cover in different parts of the world in a day. Locals can be a valuable source of information, whether you want to know about road closures, recent trouble spots or simply where to find fuel nearby. Again, carrying a map is a big bonus here as you can show it to locals even when you don’t share a common language. A map never needs re-charging and it doesn’t break when you drop the bike…
With so many different tyre options on the market, you’ll want to know that you have selected the right option for your journey. Our current adventure range, all tried and tested by GlobeBusters and their support riders, includes options for various kinds of terrain. For predominantly road use, you’d really want to consider the new ContiTrailAttack 3. For a mixture of on and off-road riding, the TKC 70 has become the tyre of choice for many. Kevin used the tyre for the first section of this year’s London to Beijing expedition, and they took him along a large section of the Silk Road route. Once the terrain deteriorated, Kevin and his fellow support riders then switched to the more aggressive TKC 80 Twinduro.
You can find out more about our current adventure tyre range here.