Monday, 13 June 2011

1st Stage Target

Big Thanks
I would like to thank every one who has donated to our fundraising for Muscular Dystrophy Campagain so far, and if you haven't then why not??

Yesterday evening thanks to a very generous off line donation from Liz's mum, Madeline Momtazi we reached and passed our Target of £1000. however no point resting on our laurels we want £2000, this will fund staff with specialist knowledge of muscle disease - including occupational therapy, support and expert medical advice at one of the Muscular Dsytrophy Campaigns specialist centre for on week or  66 hours of research into treatments for Muscle disease.

I guess now I will have to have that bright Orange Mo hawk that I promised I would if we reached target before we set off.

So donate now on my Just Giving Page

Even More Thanks
As friday's departure day draws near i would like to thank some of the many organisations and people who have helped me get this far and ready to go.

Kickstart were the training provider who got me originally through my bike license, I would recomend them to anyone wishing to take their motorcycle license.
Since passing my test I have now become friends with some of the instuctors and back in October 2009 it was with Kickstart and a "Club Run" that I went on my first organised Dirt bike ride.

KL Motorsport have been a great supplier of Parts for MT's over the 2 years i have owned my bike. Steve (the company director) is a top bloke and has always been helpful on the end of the phone.

KL motorsport is always my first choice for MT parts and they ar almost always delivered next day.

 Zen overland is run by a friend of mine who i met through Horizons unlimited (see below). Gabriel has been very useful in terms of emergency parts and extra kit for this trip. Suppliing much of my upgrades and additions. (I highly recomend the ridgid industries spotlights he sells). Helping me Pirate, and Paul in diffent ways to prep for this trip he has been indispensable as a font of knowledge.

The MT Riders Club is the essential members club for anyone with or thinking about geting an MT it is estential to be a member of this club. Me an Pirate met through this owners club.

Horizons unlimited is the number one information source for would be motorcycle travellers and and overland expeditions, it was through this forum I met Geoff and Paul.

So now back to the process of packing and preping for our adventure!!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

The Bikes

Well 2 weeks to depature now, It's getting close now so it's time to do some final fundraising and get packed and ready. I thought I'd write a little about the bikes that are coming on the trip.

My Harley Davidson MT 350e
The MT350e was a development of it's predecessor (the  Armstrong MT500). It was built in america by Harley Davidson unlike the predecessor which was built by CCM Armstrong.

It was never available to civilians to buy from new, however since 2000, they have been available for the public to aquire from milatry disposal agencies such as withams- sv.

My MT350e was aquired from ebay locally it had been bought from Withams by a local farmer to ride around the farm, but the height of the bike was prohibitive for him, so he sold it on. I had to road register it on purchase, as it hadn't been registered since leaving the milatry.

This MT350e is a great all terrain machine - it was built to be durable and withstand hostile enivorments. For an enduro machine it is very confortable on the road.

More information about the MT350e can be found here or at The MT Riders Club, Both pirate and I are members of this great owners club.

Pirate's MT500e
Pirate's Mt500e is a converted MT350e with a larger 500e engine. Pirate aquired it from a mutual friend of ours who had done the conversion before Pirate bought it.

The 500e engine gives that little bit extra power on the road when required, but is esentially the same bike that the British Milatry had in service between 1993 and 2007. The US milatry used a version of the MT500e in service.

The photo (right) was taken by Stuart Raynor on location in north wales.

Geoff's BMW R1200GS
The R1200GS adventure was made famous by Ewan Mcgregor and Charley Boorman on their tour of Africa in 2006 - Long Way Down. Previously they had done a trip accross Europe, Kazakstan, Mongolia, Siberia, and North America - Long Way Round where they used the R1150GS, the predcessor to Geoffs bike.

This will be the most comfortable bike for the long road leg accross Europe but once the tarmac runs out the weight of the R1200GS will count aganist him.

Geoff is a professional camera man and runs a his own company Moving Art. Geoffs bike is loaded with loads of cameras and will film some of our exploits on the road.

To find out more about the BMW R1200GS adventure go to BMW's website.

Paul's Honda XR650 Enduro
Paul was riding the BMW F650GS Dakar until he came for a ride with me and a mutual friend Gabriel Bolton. After riding Gabe's bike on the Fosse way he decided that for an adventure the XR650 was a much more all terrain machine.

Gabriel had been on a round the world trip with his bike and his partner was selling her bike, which Paul managed to buy. Soon after the purchase we went out for a ride in the Mendips in the video is on the right.

The XR650 is a lightweight enduro bike with Honda's 4 valve air cooled engine, more info on the bike can be seen here.

It's worth noting that Paul is a big wimp and is cutting out some of the hard riding accross Europe by taking the Plymouth - Santander Ferry.

Only 2 weeks to go now it's going to be the adventure of a lifetime.