Andy Benfield had spent much of his life living and travelling in different parts of the world, before moving to India, and developing his love for motorcycling on Royal Enfields. Years later, in an attempt to impress his girlfriend, Andy decided to make the trip from India to Burma by motorcycle, with his girlfriend. From stories about yetis and head-hunters to armed men and border crossings, it’s an adventure that’s both funny and scary as they make their way to their destination.
Tiffany Coates has spent the last 20 years travelling to far off places around the world and most recently she went to Borneo, the third largest island in the world known for it’s wildlife, beaches and rainforest. In an unexpected twist, Tiffany left the motorcycle she was riding behind in Malaysia and ending up renting a scooter in Borneo, and for Tiffany, this was all part of the adventure.
If you spend much time riding unmaintained roads and trails in a forested area, then you are bound to find a tree laying across your track sometime. Riding a big adventure bike has some limitations for the average rider but by using a fairly simple method, you can ride over many of the trees you’ll encounter. On this episode of Adventure Rider Radio’s exclusive Rider Skills - Clinton Smout walks us through two methods, one for under six inch trees and one for over six inch trees, both fully doable with a little practice.
Adventure travel doesn’t mean having to go abroad or to another country when adventure can be found much closer to home. Choose a theme - like a gold rush trail, quirky cafes or rivers - ride for discovery, and just enjoy exploring by motorcycle at a leisurely pace. And there’s also some great advantages to keeping your motorcycle trip short, including cost, less gear to pack, less planning, less paperwork and more. And for those that just don’t have the time to go on that big Round the World trip, a few days to a couple of weeks just might be the answer.
In a follow up to last week’s episode, we discuss tire pressure monitoring systems and offer up a couple of easy options. Darryl VanNieuwenhuise tells the story behind Cyclops Adventures, as well as explains the Cyclops TPMS. And Chris Keeble rides a highly customized Indian motorcycle around Australia, turning each weekend in to a theme ride, looking for churches, graveyards, water or a particular color. At 60 years old, she’s a firm reminder that age is just a number as she plans her trip around the world.
What could possibly go wrong when flying your motorcycle in to Panama? Spencer James Conway and Cathy Nel picked up their bike, had their paperwork in order, and were on their way again when they ended up the targets of a criminal sting. After a harrowing experience, they barely got out of Panama. And we also talk about tires, not about the actual tires themselves, but tire facts. What causes tires to cup? How much pressure can you run? How do you tell how old your tire is? We talked to a tire expert and got all these these answers and more.
On some of our past Rider Skills episodes you’ve heard the voice of Coach Ramey Stroud, who headed up the Cascade Endurance Centre rider training complex on his ranch in Oregon. After a horrific racing accident when he was 56 years old, he was told that he would never walk again. But, years of determination and perseverance proved doctors wrong. He finished the race that had broken his back, rode around the world on his motorcycle with a sidecar, and started his training centre. Last week, Coach Ramey Stroud passed away, a tremendous loss to the riding community. But, his voice and teachings live on for many, including in the minds of those he has influenced through training, and for us and our listeners on Adventure Rider Radio.
Bill Cagnacci is an Australian motorcyclist who recently took a trip with RawHyde Adventures. There were 19 motorcycle riders plus a support crew headed to Mexico. But, because of a particularly nasty winter, they were blocked by snow and unable to continue on to their original destination. So, they made a small detour that should have been fairly easy to do, under normal circumstances. But as you can probably imagine, things didn’t quite work out that way.
Most rider courses will tell you that when you corner you scrub off all your speed before you enter the corner and then get off the brakes, because braking into the corner is something you don’t want to do. On this episode we talk to riding instructor, Clinton Smout about braking into the corner - trail braking - and we aren’t talking about going faster - we are talking about riding safer. And after that, if you ride anywhere that cell coverage is not reliable or maybe non-existent? - and who doesn’t, then you’ll be interested in this little device that allows you to send and receive messages, and even get rescued should the need arise.
After saving for almost three years, in 2010 Heidi and David Winters left on a fifteen month long motorcycle trip, visiting 37 countries. On their KTM 640 Adventure, they rode 2-up, camping and couch surfing along the way. While on the trip, David broke his wrist. And that was part of what inspired Heidi and David to design a product that changed their lives. They also share some tips on packing light and more.
Karolis Mieliauskas, an adventure motorcycle rider from Lithuania, covered a distance of 1000 km riding from Yakutsk to Oymyakon, which is considered the coldest inhabited place on earth. He completed the trip in just four days on his Yamaha XT660Z Tenere in a land where temperatures reach below -50C in winter. Riding on a section of the Road of Bones, a road through the Russian Far East that serves as a memorial to the people who built it, it was an epic adventure of the coldest kind.
Flying your bike is easier than you think. We talked to someone at Air Canada about how to fly your motorcycle. Find out how to book the flight, how to prepare your motorcycle and when you need to get your bike to the airport. Everything you need to know about shipping your bike by plane.
Sometimes even the best laid plans for adventure can change or fall apart, and while that might be a worrisome thought for some people, it can actually add to the adventure or change things in ways that might surprise you. In 2017, five friends riding five KTMs left for a five month trip with a plan to ride from London, England to Seoul, South Korea, but it wasn’t long before things were not going as planned. And even though the trip plans went awry, and they faced some unexpected events and challenges, Francis Walsh came away with the amazing attitude that adventure really starts when things fall apart.
Jeremy Kroeker has put together a sequel to his book, Motorcycle Messengers, featuring motorcycle travel stories by many authors who’s names you’ve already heard on ARR and some that may be new to you. A variety of short stories, hours of inspiring reads, sure to put the bug under your seat and get you moving to plan your next adventure. And on this ARR Rider Skills segment Clinton Smout, instructor at and owner of SMART Adventures, teaches us some basic repetitive skills that you can do to enhance your off-road riding experience.
Planning a motorcycle adventure trip takes a lot and can be exhausting. And sometimes it’s the simple things you don’t think about when planning, that can make all the difference in your trip. We went to some experts who’ve done a lot of travelling and asked them what tips they would give to someone planning a motorcycle trip, tips that you might not have thought of. We talked to Rene Cormier from Renedian Adventures, and to authors and travellers, Graham Field and Sam Manicom. And we’ve also discovered the best cold weather riding sock ever, and to tell you all about it we spoke with Duke Lambert from Pearly’s Possum Socks.
Auto Clutches, Africa Twin, Dual Clutch Transmissions and Slipper Clutches: Joe Boisvert from Rekluse, Warren Milner, Retired Honda R&D, and Karl Engellenner, motorcycle machinist and race bike builder, explain how these systems work, in easy to understand terms. Not for just the mechanically inclined, listen in and next time the clutch conversation comes up, you'll be in the know. You might even find yourself considering the benefits of an automatic clutch, maybe even a DCT.
Paul and Neake Hannaby left for a six month motorcycle adventure, with no concrete plan in mind other than exploring the East Coast of the United States and then seeing how they felt. But, there’s a danger to this kind of travel. They’ve now been on the road for going on three years, and at this point, they don’t have any plans to return home, they’re just going to keep on going. They might be, what you call, addicted to travel. Also in this episode, another couple of riders give some valuable moto travel trips learned from experience.
Jess and Greg Stone first met in South Sudan, East Africa in 2010 while on assignment with the American Refugee Committee. After a bit of a choppy start, Jess and Greg got together as a couple and when Greg said he was planning to go on a motorcycle trip, Jess offered to go with him. Greg said she could only if she learned to ride her own motorcycle. So, Jess learned how to ride, they travelled through South America and now are living and riding in Guatemala, with their dog, Moxie, on the back of Jess’ bike. In this episode, Jess and Greg talk about their adventures along the way, challenges faced and with their positive outlook on life, they have some great tips and views that might make your travel, and life, easier.
Clinton Smout, motorcycle instructor, has tips for turning adventure bikes around in soft or low traction environments, that can be used both off-road and on-road, and for any motorcycle. He also shares some stories when lessons that have gone wrong turn out to be… well, hilarious. And two seasoned riders, Lisa and Simon Thomas tell us what they carry in their panniers.
Sometimes a motorcycle trip can be more than just discovering new places and making connections. Liz Jansen is the author of three books, and her most recent, Crash Landing, is the story of her quest to answer some questions about herself and the choices she’s made, by visiting the places that her German Mennonite ancestors lived when they arrived from Russia a century ago. An enlightening journey of self discovery.