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Guzzi Overland Trip Overview

Spada Guzzi Overland

Onboard the Spada Guzzi

We are Kev and Karen and our plan is to ride around the world in 2010/11 on our modified Moto Guzzi Spada. We have been saving up for 10 years to realise this dream and rebuilding and modifying the bike for 5 years, there is a lot more info on the bike modifications and preparation in the bike section.  We both realise this is an ambitious journey plan particularly as our bike of choice is 30 years old and is a big heavy beast but we have tried to plan for most eventualities. There will undoubtedly be times when we struggle and times when I curse its weight and bulk, but on the flip side there will be times when we are glad of its weather protection and extra features. We got the bike on the road in June this year and took it to the Moto Guzzi International Rally in the South of France. We quickly learned that it causes quite a stir wherever it goes because it looks so different, it was at this rally that we were approached by the then editor of Gambalunga (the Moto Guzzi Owners Club magazine) who asked us if we could write an article. This eventually turned in to a three-part feature and is reproduced on our press section by kind permission of Moto Guzzi Club GB.

We have covered 8000 miles this summer testing the bike and modifications which seem to work well and the bike has introduced us to so many nice people on our travels that we realised the trip would not be the same without it. That said there are no guarantees with a trip of this magnitude, things will undoubtedly go wrong with the bike and us and a major part of our challenge will be to keep body and bike together.

Moto Guzzi and Tipi

Kev and Karen will be sleeping in a Tipi

Some days when I am feeling invincible, laughing in the face of danger and tweaking the nipples of terror this seems like the best idea in the world – What an adventure !

Some nights at three in the morning when I can’t sleep and my knees ache, I lie there thinking who do you think you are you bloody idiot, how is that ever going to work. You will be mugged, robbed, killed, drowned, ripped off, kidnapped (delete as appropriate) not to mention all the “what if’s” for the bike: what if it breaks down requiring some vital part in the middle of nowhere, what if we can’t keep it going all that way, how will we pick it up when it falls off the edge of the road down a bank, will we be able to get parts when needed, will we come back from somewhere to find a little spot of oil on the ground and no bike. What if we run out of beer – no some things are just truly unthinkable.

Since getting the bike on the road things have snowballed from a publicity point of view. We didn’t really intend to make a song and dance of it before we left knowing in the back of my mind that we could fail in our stated objective for any

Custom Guzzi for Guzzi Overland

On the move

number of reasons but we have come to terms with the fact that now its out there in the big wide world people will naturally want to know about it and what it’s for so why not share the dream with people who would love to be doing the same thing but for whatever reason cannot.  The articles in Gambalunga have elicited some helpful responses and support and at the time of writing Sam Manicom has written an article for Motorcycle Sport and Leisure about the bike and our plans to be published in January I believe. We will obviously be writing updates on the road and we will initially post them on the blog section of our website but our clever web master has arranged things so that they will be simultaneously be shared on Horizons Unlimited Travel Blogs (The motorcycle travel website), Guzzioverland on Twitter and Facebook so if that’s your cup if Earl Gray you can follow our crazy exploits on your mobile. Once we are on the road we will start posting with possibly some tests beforehand see the: Contact Us page.


I have always been very self-reliant (possibly to do with losing my Father as a teenager) and I have done as much of the work as I possibly could myself but since getting the bike on the road I am starting to appreciate that we are going to be very reliant on others, other cultures speaking other languages with part of our destiny in their hands.


  1. #1 by Ross Cook on July 23, 2011 - 11:28 am

    Saw your story in the local paper in Yeppoon this morning and your trip reminded me of a similar journey that I did with and English friend back in 1978, London to Rockhampton on a 850 T3 Guzzi. Our trip included France, Corsica, Italy Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afganistan, Pakistan, India, by boat across to Malaysia, down to Singapore and by sheep transport boat to Fremantle, then across Australia to Rockhampton Qld. Such adventure, sights, excitement, what a way to go, never forget, and I’m sure that you are having a ball. Isn’t it interesting when people are interested in you and want to know what you have been doing and what’s next for your adventure. I wish you well and enjoy. Stay upright,

  2. #2 by Dale MacKenzie on May 23, 2011 - 6:37 am

    Hey Guy’s I was just on the phone to Graeme, who you’re staying with at the moment in Sydney and he pointed me at your website, which I’ll check after work.

    So I’m in Townsville about 400km south of Cairns, If you’re up this way I’ve got a spare room and a secure garage, any friend of Graeme’s a friend of mine.

    He’ll give you my number and email.

    Good luck


  3. #3 by Kev & Karen on May 21, 2011 - 2:24 pm

    Thanks Dave !
    I am correcting this now, whoops !

  4. #4 by Dave Gibb on May 21, 2011 - 11:16 am

    Small Correction to your West Coast blog… The mirror lake is Lake Matheson not Murchison. Just in case someone else comes looking for it..

  5. #5 by Kev & Karen on May 19, 2011 - 11:33 pm

    Hi Graeme
    Thanks for the invite, that’s kind of you !
    We will keep your email and give you a heads up when we are closer.
    Cheers Kev and Karen

  6. #6 by Kev & Karen on May 19, 2011 - 11:29 pm

    Hi Dave
    Thanks for the invite good on yer.
    Will keep your email address and drop you a line when we are closer
    Cheers Kev

  7. #7 by jim on May 17, 2011 - 2:36 pm

    Fantastic to see you still doing it, what year!

    good luck!


  8. #8 by Graeme Wilson on May 12, 2011 - 1:11 pm

    I ride a Bellagio and would like to offer you both a bed and a garage for your steed here in Delburn should you need it.

    Delburn is rural countryside at its best and is 20 Km from Morwell on the Leongatha Rd not far from Mirboo North (Strzelecki Hwy) and about 2 hours ride from Melbourne. If you are riding round Aus. anticloclockwise it may be some time before you pass our way but feel free to contact us if and when the need is there.

    Best of British luck to you both
    Bellagios are Best.

  9. #9 by dave ell on May 12, 2011 - 12:45 pm

    hi guys if you need a stopover south of perth rockingham i have spare bed or lge c/van out front you can use close to beach too

  10. #10 by John Park on April 15, 2011 - 9:01 am

    Hello you two. I am the guy who came accros you at the Franz Joseph glacier township in NZ. We talked about the guy in Sydney who has the bike shop, cum cafe, cum merchandise emporium, where we saw Charlie Boreman.
    If you are in Sydney and would like to have a look in, here are the details:
    98-104 Paramata Road
    Sydney , NSW 2050
    e mail. info@deus.com.au
    Not sure of the owners name, but he spends more time in Bali than Sydney. I’m sure that they would be over the moon if you called in.
    Hope the trip is going well, that you achieve what you set out to do, and above all, stay best of friends.
    All the very best

  11. #11 by magali on April 13, 2011 - 2:44 am

    Hi there!
    How are u guys? where are you now?
    We meet in NZ, 3 or 4 times, keept bumping intro each other, we had a yellow van!
    hope travel is good, for us a little bit in stand by in a little town in Oz…
    Enjoy and take care!

  12. #12 by Cate Davis on April 5, 2011 - 6:39 am

    Hi Karen and Kev, What a surprise I got when I saw you in the Wanaka New World. Great trip you are doing. If people in Horsham are reading this, Hi to you all. Fingers crossed hope to see you both in Wanaka again in about a week’s time.

    See you soon.


  13. #13 by Ben on April 3, 2011 - 10:04 pm

    Hi Guys – we met briefly at puzzle-land in Wanaka! Good luck with your trip! We just toured the Fiordland. We found the highlight was the Redcliff Cafe Restaurant in Te Anau (they use all local produce – venison literally off the mountain!!) and the G.Y.C in Glenorchy for breakfast. Best food in NZ so far, but especially the Redcliff.

  14. #14 by Grant on March 20, 2011 - 11:34 pm

    Hi guys. I ran into you at a small picnic area around Lyell in the South Island (lots of sandflies!). You were on your way to Karamea. I was on my Buell Ulysses. Just wanted to say how happy you both looked and how envious I was. Good on you both. All the best, Grant.

  15. #15 by Al on March 16, 2011 - 8:13 am

    good to see there is still some normal people left in this world…

  16. #16 by Gary Tsai on February 19, 2011 - 6:07 am

    HI Kev and Karen
    i stoped u at Kaikoura seal lookout,
    u look fantastic,

    good luck and godspeed.

  17. #17 by andy & sonja on February 15, 2011 - 7:13 pm

    Hi Folks I stopped you in Napier NZ “the welsh man” Hope the south island treats you good 7 the weather holds for you. Hope we cross paths again some where like South America. as we hope to be that way in a few months time after you have been around Australia. Take care & keep having fun
    Andy & Sonja

  18. #18 by Doug & Leone on February 10, 2011 - 10:21 pm

    Lovely meeting you at Hahei Holiday Park and we wish you all the best for the rest of your trip! Hope to see you in Tauranga. Most of all, have fun – what a wonderful opportunity to see so much of the world!!
    Kindest regards
    Doug & Leone

  19. #19 by Gin on January 14, 2011 - 12:40 am

    Hi Karen and Kev. Really good to meet you last night at Craters of the Moon, Taupo. I wish you well in your travels and I will look forward to following your progress. All the best. Gin

  20. #20 by Grasimire Byala Bulgaria on December 29, 2010 - 12:45 am

    Hi Kev & Karen
    Was tremendous to meet you both in Byala Bulgaria this year … heres wishing you every success and hope to see you again some day soon… wishing you Merry Christmas and happy new year all the very best for 2011 …. awsome journey!!!! take good care from the big guy Grasimire and family in Byala Bulgaria

  21. #21 by radan2 on December 24, 2010 - 8:39 am

    Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!

    I would bow, but I don’t want to mingle bowing and wowing, for fear I will be considered canine.

    Great journal! Let us know what is going on.

  22. #22 by Enrico on December 15, 2010 - 11:36 am

    hi guys, how are you? did you like japan? i liked it very much.
    now i’m in guilin, south of China. everyting is fine. i hope to see you somewherere in this beautiful world
    ciao enrico

  23. #23 by Natsuko & Makoto on November 27, 2010 - 7:26 am

    Hi, Kevin and Karen,

    I’m writing on behalf of two Japanese folks you met at Mount Daisen in Western Japan on Nov. 6th. They really enjoyed meeting you and with wish you a safe journey on you trip around the world. Since they ride as well, they also wanted to express their admiration for the modification your made to your bike. Good luck to you both!


  24. #24 by Magnus on October 6, 2010 - 1:17 pm

    Enjoying keeping up with your adventure, we met breifly at the guzzi club rally in Wales last year. I marvelled at the work of engineering art that is your bike. Good luck with the rest of the trip!!

    Magnus, West Yorks UK

  25. #25 by Yuri on September 15, 2010 - 12:25 pm

    Hello. I am from Russia. At the moment I’m talking to this wonderful couple. They’re the best. They broke the stereotype of the British. Manager Hostel, Vladivostok. Yuri.

  26. #26 by Ksenia on August 31, 2010 - 12:53 pm

    Bakyt :Hi Kev,My name is Bakyt. If you remember we met each other in Kazakhstan, between Almaty and Taldykorgan (rest point before pathway). I hope You and Karen are OK and your travel is going on. Good luck, take care.Regards, Bakyt

    Expensive Kev and Karen , I am very glad that we have met you. Writes you пра young men from the city of Chita which have presented to you брилок for memory. At you very interesting photos. I very much respect you for such travel. Good fellows simply. I very much like to travel. Too as well as you упровляю bike HONDA CB400оэтому to me it is twice more interesting.

  27. #27 by Bakyt on July 17, 2010 - 4:46 pm

    Hi Kev,
    My name is Bakyt. If you remember we met each other in Kazakhstan, between Almaty and Taldykorgan (rest point before pathway). I hope You and Karen are OK and your travel is going on. Good luck, take care.
    Regards, Bakyt

  28. #28 by Howard on June 12, 2010 - 5:22 am

    Wow, you guys are so cool. We met you in Baku and I was so impressed with your fortitude and attitude. Good luck, seems to be a trip of a lifetime.

  29. #29 by Lee Bruns on June 7, 2010 - 1:59 am

    Tormud sent me the link to your site. Good on you! If you are in need of any thing, lodging, a garage, parts ANYTHING, while in the area of Eastern South Dakota in the USA be sure to drop me a note. I’ll be glad to help, or can arrange for another of our club memebers to help.

  30. #30 by Serena on May 28, 2010 - 9:10 am

    Hello you two, I am really chuffed that you are finally on the road. Use the Guzzi network and if I can do anything to help – you know where to find me. Will let the Moleys know your link details and we will follow your every move!
    The 3,000 members of the Moto Guzzi Club GB know that if anyone ca – you two can.
    Hey Lighthouse – whats wrong with the lights?

  31. #31 by RichRoth on May 21, 2010 - 12:20 am

    Hi, met you both on the ferry from dover, wishing you the very best with your adventure on a unique and thoroughly individual machine. Hope you make it to Turkey well in time for the visas and having got some deserved rest along the way,
    take care both
    Richard (Hard luggaged Fireblade)

  32. #32 by marco on May 16, 2010 - 2:08 pm

    FANTASTICI… detto da un “illuso guzzista”.. che prima o poi lo diventerà…!

  33. #33 by Madlee on May 14, 2010 - 10:08 pm

    hope you pair have a great adventure! confidence dispels fear, like your work on the bike to

  34. #34 by Valdanito on May 14, 2010 - 8:22 am

    Hi Kev and Karen!
    Enjoy your trip!
    Why dont you visit Mandello del Lario and Guzzi’s Factory?

    Take care

  35. #35 by mototguzzimomma on May 7, 2010 - 7:04 am

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. Wishing you the happiest of times on the ride.
    We have a Moto Guzzi Breva 750. We shipped it from the UK to Canada in 2007 and store it over there. In the 3 years we have traveled just under 30,000 miles and traveled from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast. Love that bike.
    In 3 weeks, we fly to Toronto to begin the next adventure – north to south.
    If you have time/inclination, you can check out last year´s trip on the website above :)

  36. #36 by grisobcn on April 30, 2010 - 8:21 pm

    i see that there is no plans to visit us on Spain… OHHHHHHHHHHH! Anyway… Enjoy for us all those places that we won’t visit never… (or not!!)

  37. #37 by Vivienne on April 27, 2010 - 1:56 pm

    Wishing you both a splendid trip and hoping that fabulous bike performs well in all conditions you encounter. Take care

  38. #38 by Hall + Sra.Hall on April 24, 2010 - 6:41 pm

    Animo, y si pasais por España (Spain) contactar con el http://www.foromotoguzzi.es y todos los foreros os recibiremos como os mereceis.

  39. #39 by pedroguzzi on April 23, 2010 - 1:13 pm

    Good luck dear friends, we are very happy to know your travel around the world in your Moto Guzzi. If you visit Spain email me please

  40. #40 by JD on April 5, 2010 - 5:25 pm

    Wishing you best of luck on your adventure!

  41. #41 by Pete & Kaye on April 5, 2010 - 1:16 am

    Hi Karen & Kev,
    It’s so good that you are living the dream at last, we wish you both love & luck on your journey,& don’t forget:- never bite an aerosol!!!
    Stay safe and have fun, see you on the flip side.
    Love and Blessings from the two biker Druids,
    Kaye and Pete.

  42. #42 by Sven on February 27, 2010 - 11:10 am

    With respect (and lots of jealousy over the epic trip) the bike is the most hideous thing I’ve ever seen!

    But a bike is a bike I guess.

    Good luck!

  43. #43 by Andy Hawkins on February 26, 2010 - 12:58 pm

    Wishing Kev and Karen the very best on their fantastic adventure. I am soooooo green with envy.

    Take care and ride safe.


  44. #44 by Waz on February 22, 2010 - 8:51 am

    Well it’s certainly one way to give your bike that brushed aluminium look. Good luck guys and all the very best for your travels. My only suggestion would be you might want a stiffer spring and a shock revalve in the back end. Looks to be sagging just a tad.

  45. #45 by Peanuts on February 22, 2010 - 12:25 am

    Everyone may think you’re mad, but I suspect
    you’ll have a lot more fun then your averidge Jo.
    ps. any room in your pannier for a little one?
    Will follow your progress on the Hubb.
    Enjoy an be LUCKY.

  46. #46 by Lighthouse on January 30, 2010 - 1:30 pm

    I am still not happy with your headlight setup :)

  47. #47 by Mandy & Ian Kavanagh on January 24, 2010 - 1:29 pm

    Hi guys, good to hear from you and great to see you are starting to live your dream. Have fun and make many happy/funny memories.
    Congratulations on the wedding by the way !

  48. #48 by Mike on January 20, 2010 - 7:23 pm

    Hey guys,
    That just sounds too exciting. I fully expect a postcard! A tipi?? Well your daft, but brilliant.

  49. #49 by Andy on January 18, 2010 - 8:46 pm

    You crazy bastards !

    Can you get me some Rizlas while you’re out ? Ta.

  50. #50 by Dave on January 17, 2010 - 11:27 pm

    Hi Kev and Karen,
    Wow, what a plan! Sounds like you’re going to have a real blast, if you pass through Perth on your travels be sure to drop in for a cold one or a cuppa, and we could chuck a shrimp or 2 on the bbq!
    Good luck, and take care,
    Dave, Claire and family

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