Thoughts from the Road

Opinion columns, ponderings, musings and questions from motorcycle travellers around the world. Have a read and join the discussion.  

Motorcycle Travel Opinion Columns

Discussion and op-ed columns for motorcycle travellers. Have a read and share your thoughts in the comments.

"Travelling with your partner two-up on a motorcycle for extended periods is a completely different beast to travelling on two bikes or even in a car. We recently finished our second long trip two-up, and in that time were completely apart for maybe a total of 48 hours out of…"
“Over the past seven years, I've had the incredible opportunity to travel the world with nothing but my trusty backpack exploring South America, Asia, New Zealand and Australia. But it was only during my travels in Vietnam through 2016 that I stumbled upon a discovery that would alter the…”
“Home again – life after 70,000kms and 13 months on the road. We are home! You know you have been away too long when your two-year-old grandson refers to you as “that guy” and “uncle grandad.” One minute you’re searching for the cheapest (but secure) place to rest your head…”
“Travelling to a country where you don’t speak the language can be frustrating. Doubly so when you love to interact with the locals. But we have a secret weapon - our motorcycle. We do always try to at least learn the basics: hello, thank you and goodbye in each…”
“Ever wondered what it means to be a “real biker”? No? Me neither - until I had an interesting little encounter while riding in the Philippines back in January 2023. We had just shipped our Yamaha XT660R from Bali to Australia and flew to the Philippines while we waited…”
“Recently, my friends and I set ourselves the challenge of completing an endurance ride to support the Royal British Legion's 2023 Poppy Appeal. 1,000 miles in 24 hours. Embarking on the RBLR 1,000-mile in 24 hours charity ride, we set out on the challenging South anti-clockwise route from Squires…”
“As we complete the first part of our journey across Europe, we’ve begun reflecting on how this 15-month journey across 14 countries began. A few years ago, we spent an evening discussing our dreams for the future over a glass of wine and the topic of a motorcycle trip…”
“Our first big motorcycle trip was through North America for four months back in 2019. We carried a small first aid kit and Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) and didn’t think much about it. Once we got home, Graeme and I were listening to a podcast and first aid training…”
"The dream: sell everything and hit the open road to freedom. Nowhere to be, but all the roads to ride. This is a dream that many of us have, but not something many of us actually do. Now, this ain't no little decision to make - and we all have…"
“Coddiwomple - “To travel purposefully towards a vague destination.”But what if you have a destination, but the route to get there is a bit vague? Sounds simple, right? We are riding motorcycles from Los Angels to Panama, point the handlebars due south and go! But the reality is…”
“It drives me nuts to ride through an area and not feel like I have seen it – it’s one of the reasons I enjoy riding alone. But riding solo or with others always dictates how I ride. I have ridden with friends who are happy to follow along with…”
"Like in most travel stories you’ve read over the last few years, Covid has played a role. And mine isn’t any different. With Central Asia locked down a year ago, I decided to ship my bike to Cape Town. At that point, Ethiopia was closed and I knew I would…"
"We travelled the world on our Honda CRF250Ls for two years. We left Germany in 2020 and rode along the east coast of Africa to South Africa. From there we flew our bikes to Turkey where the journey east continued. Our route took us through Iran, Armenia, Georgia and back…"
“Hello! My name is Janell, and I am a full-time adventure rider on a 2006 F650GS along with my husband, Stu, on a 2012 G650GS. We've been riding around the world for the past 9 years with our rescue dogs, visiting 108 countries in the process. Our journey began in…”
"We are Harry and Hettie, and after two long years of saving, dreaming, and scheming, we are finally about to set off on an adventure of a lifetime… A motorcycle trip across The Americas: Alaska to Argentina. Why the Americas? Well, in a pre-Covid world, Harry was planning his next..."
“Last summer, on my 5,000-mile epic around Britain and Ireland, I saw in real time the culture shift between locations as to how bikers acknowledge each other. Nods in their various forms are the most common, but depending on location you’ll get differences in frequency and style, from waves to…”
"I’ve been lucky enough to ride my motorcycle around the world. It was an incredible and life-changing experience that allowed me to see some of the most beautiful places on Earth while also connecting with myself in ways that I never thought possible. One of the best aspects of motorcycle..."
“Riding gear, camping gear, spare parts, motorcycle-specific undergarments and a few practical clothes, documents, electronics, toiletries - check! I was ready for my year-long motorcycle trip from Europe to Southeast Asia. Or so I thought. Having never ridden outside Europe (or for more than…”
“Growing up you hear terrible things on the news about certain countries and somehow these mental warnings stick in the far recesses of your brain. So, when it occurred to us that to ride our motorcycles from one end of the Americas to the other…”
“What is the definition for long-term travel? For some, it’s a few months and for others it’s years. But, no matter the length, at some point in your journey you'll find a spot that will hold you like a spell. It could be a campground…”
“In 1996 my head blew apart after reading Jim Roger’s “Investment Biker”. I knew then that wild and far was how I wanted to ride as opposed to 300km down a pit straight (I did, however, become a MotoGP fan about 20 years later though)…”
“Like with most motorcycle travellers, I Googled the countries I wanted to visit before leaving on my round the world trip. And the internet is full of horror stories, so is the news and government announcements. Even once you close your laptop and get on..”
“Adventure boots are a substantial investment, so they have to a) do the right job (protection), and b) last as long as possible. One of the main differences between your long-distance adventure boots and other footwear is that you are going to be wearing…”
“Picture the scene. You’re riding along one of the most scenic, amazing roads you’ve ever been on. It’s sublime. You feel one with the world. Zen like. You know what would make it better? A phone call from some scammer inquiring about your computer security...”
"When they were first becoming a thing I couldn’t help calculating the number of fuel miles I could ride for the cost of a GPS. I struggled with that. I could probably have ridden the length of Africa and back up. And anyway, maps are fantastic! Add a compass and…”
“Whenever I meet interesting people on my travels, I like to sit down, make us a cup of coffee and get to know them. Just like having a motorcycle there when you meet fellow bikers, having coffee there is a great ice breaker, and it allows us to…”
“I’m in a very lucky position. I’ve managed to buy two brand new bikes in my lifetime and I currently have four bikes in my shed. Getting to ride many different bikes, old and new, has shown me a few things. Modern bikes are the safest bikes have ever been…”
"Small: of little importance/ a size that is less than normal. Society has bashed these words into us since childhood - that small is not worthy. Well, the world is changing and, with it, so are small bike adventures. Just look at the new bikes coming out. Big motorcycle…"
“If you don't go far enough, how would you find your limit? I’d like to find my limit.” ~ Hubert Kriegel. If you don’t know him, you should! Gifted were those few moments when I got to meet Hubert and we stayed in touch over emails and exchanged stories and…”
“Since the beginning, man has travelled in groups to survive and overcome obstacles and threats, but now most of us try to get out and go solo, why is that? Perhaps, it’s the strong DNA within us from ancient times when boys embarked on solo journeys...”
“The vast majority of the people who inhabit this world are kind. When one day you break down (and, trust me, you will) no matter where you are, someone will stop by and offer help. Sometimes it might take a while, but it will happen. And, in my experience…”
“There’s a stack of doom and gloom about the effects of Covid on the future of travel, but I’m very optimistic. As the Thais say, ‘Same-same, but different.’ This is the mind-set we need to have, not wallow negatively in a pit of things we can’t do, the same…”