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.

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