Sunday, January 29, 2006

Our long way around

My friend Rick, Jay and Rick’s wife Diane, and I had a couple of get togethers lately discussing the possibility of a world tour on motorcycles. Of course this wouldn’t happen for another few years, but if it is to happen, a trip like this has to be planned way in advanced.

Last weekend we spend a few hours looking over Striking Viking’s trip pictures and reading parts of his ride report on Making mental notes of what is really needed for a world tour. This weekend we watched the Long Way Around DVD, we’re definitely not riding though Mongolia.

A trip of these proportions just boggles my mind. I can’t even fathom how long the planning process will be. I’m such a perfectionist. Every year I do a long trip, long meaning about 7-9 days. To research roads and designations and map out everything takes me about 2 months. This world tour we want to take will probably last a year. A year on the road? There is no way we can map out 365 individual days of riding. So basically, I think we have to pick some destinations, some roads and then just wing it.

I envision this trip very much like the trips I do in the US, good twisty roads, interesting places to see and out of this world breathtaking scenery, just all on other continents. We’re not planning to ride though the Congo on some primitive roads. I’m sure there will be some dirt roads on our route but the the plan is to seek out paved roads. I want to sport-tour the word not adventure tour.

So far this is what we have decided. All 4 riders should ride the same bike so that we can carry minimal spare parts and anyone can use them for their bikes. Since 3 out of 4 people are on the shorter side, that doesn’t really give us too many options for bikes.

Since three of us ride Ducatis, the crazy woman in me things that a Ducati Multistada 620 would be a way cool bike to take around the world, it even does all right on dirt roads. And it sure would be different. Yea, but that can happen only if someone else is paying for the bike and maintenance. Unfortunately, just because it’s a dual-sport, that doesn’t make it a great choice for a trip of this proportion. Riding around the world on Ducati does have a nice ring to it though. The logical choice is a BMW F650GS. It’s light enough, low enough, it can even be lowered some more. It can go dirt if needed. It’s a BMW ‘nuff said.

Now we just have to figure out where to start this trip. I think it would be most economical to fly to Europe, buy some bikes there and start the trip from there. I bought a nice world atlas, so I can thinking of the places we might want to go. The great thing about this group, is that between the four of us, we have a lot of languages covered: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Italian, French, some German, two south Indian languages: Tamil and Telegu and soon Jay is going to learn Chinese for work.

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The planning has begun

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Jay’s rough route of 60,021 miles around the world


Rick said...

I still think Ducati is the way to go, we have a better chance at sponsorship with Ducati. Everyone and his little bother haved used Beamers to do adventure tours. Yes I know about BMW quality, but we want sponsorship and if we approach Ducati in the right way, we can get the bikes and support for them, this is where Diane's special talents come into play, she excels at getting companies to support various activities. Personally I think Ducati will jump all over the chance to take some market share away from BMW in adventure touring, by backing two women and two men riding the world.

I don't think we need to plan each day of riding, but rather have a general route, places we want to document and go.


VIVID1 said...

I hope so Rick, I’d love to do it on a Mulistarda. I think it would be great for Ducati too, like you said, Ducs are NOT really known for reliability, high-mileage or the kind of a bike that you want to beat on. I’d love to show everyone that it can be done.

On the other hand I’ve always liked the F650GS, so either way it’s all good.

Jammin said...

You know what would be awesome if we got Ducati sponsorship.... do a bit of the tour on a 749 or a 999... hahaha. You old foggies might not be up for it, but if we're doing twisties and sweepers say in Europe, that wouldn't be bad for a few days, then we could jump back on ST4's... Just image the horror on people's faces.

Jammin said...

Anna, I like the idea of saying that we're going to be "sport-touring" around the world, not adventure touring. I know there's enough paved roads around the world, but probably not well maintained in some parts.

I think if we do this, we should try for the 6 continents. And like we said on StrikingViking's trip, flying the first part of the trip loses a little bit of the feeling of start the trip. So, I say Chicago, down through South America. Then to balance out riding in developed and underdeveloped countries, ship to Europe, ride down to South Africa, ship to India/Pakistan, ride through Singapore, ship to Australia and NZ, then fly to Alaska, or back to Asia and try China into Russia (Magadan) and then fly to Alaska and ride back home.

Jammin said...

Here, put in this URL and it should pop up a map of the rough route that I just described (Note: this is a mapping service between airports of the world):

Rick said...

I think the myth of the Ducati always breaking down, needs to be proved as such, just a myth! Crap if Harley Davidson can change public opinion, why can't Ducati. If we approach Ducati with a solid plan, they will provide all kind of support. We have to approach this like a business venture, we almost have to have a business plan. If they can translate their support of our trip to market share and income, the investemnt on their part might be well worth it. We have to start gettting contacts in the industry.

Jammin said...

I'm starting to like the Multistrada. I say we go for a test ride when it's possible. If you shorties want the 620, can I get the 1000s?

Also, the high mount exhaust might be a good idea so that we dont damage it when the bike get's dropped. It will get dropped.

And we'd have to make sure that we can fit big side panniers with the exhaust.

I'm really digging the single side swingarm. Let's do this.

Dartfrog said...

Ducati had designed a "crash-bar" set up for the MTS1000 I had it on order for 6 months and it never showed so I cancelled it. Hopefully they have this kit available for the baby strada. After watching "Long Way Around" and seeing how much the dropped those heavy beasts it would sill be nice I believe to have your trip.
Also Vivid, sign up on
This is a world wide forum and you will have all the support you need.
Ride safe,