What is included with this book?
What exactly is adventure motorcycling? As far as this book is concerned it involves a challenging unsupported journey into the wilderness or a significantly strange country. For most of us living in cities in developed countries, a visit to a wilderness involves leaving the security of the paved highways of Europe, Australasia, southern Africa and North America, and heading onto the dirt, while an exotic destination adds all sorts of challenges that are patiently waiting for you out there in Central and South America, Africa or Asia.
Mainstream touring on or off the highway is a fun way of getting to nice places or enjoying the thrill of a sharp-handling bike. But the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook sees motorcycles not as toys, but tools with which to escape from the mundane and predictable, and to explore the wild or exotic regions of our planet.
Since the last edition of this book the popular appeal of taking on an adventurous motorcycle journey has grown significantly. Though challenges will always be there if you want them, it’s no longer seen as an eccentric pursuit for a few hardcore individuals. Equipment need no longer be custom made and it is now possible to rent motorcycles right across the globe, enabling you to explore a given area without having to quit the job and sell up.
In Latin America, Asia and Africa, or in mountains and deserts closer to home, reaching out into the back country requires planning and confidence in your abilities, be they riding half a ton of bike through mud, or dealing with a shipping agent in a foreign port. In some situations the unfamiliarity adds an edge to your travels that you won’t necessarily appreciate at the time. You’ll be pitted against your wits, stamina and resourcefulness, but part of the education of hard travel is that give yourself a chance and you’ll find you have greater reserves of these qualities than you ever expected.
Sure you’ll be glad to cruise restfully along the blacktop and stay in hotels once in a while. But ask any of the many contributors to this book and in most cases they’ll vividly recall the places where the riding was most demanding, where every day was hard-won and threw up an unexpected challenge, a breathtaking view or a memorable human encounter.
This book spells out the practicalities of paperwork, the cost of a Big Trip, as well as which machine is best and how to equip it. It’s followed by an outline of routes around the world and ends with a selection of two-wheeled adventures from all corners of the globe to give a taste of what to expect.
There’ll be times when you curse the very notion of ever leaving home. But make no mistake, it will be a lifetime’s achievement that will remain with you forever.