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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.

Gulp

  1. #1 by Gowtham on March 21, 2014 - 12:10 am

    Wow! Just saw your video on youtube and got to know about you.

    Phenomenal stuff!! Hats off! What you guys are doing is a distant dream for me, some day I will do it! Hope I get a wife as interested in travelling as Karen. Good luck to you guys! Cheers and ride safe!

  2. #2 by Tulio Avelar on March 13, 2014 - 5:11 pm

    Hi, I’m a biker too and I wanna know when are you come here in Brazil? Have you already come here to biker’s meeting?

  3. #3 by Kev & Karen on March 11, 2014 - 5:19 pm

    Sadly we think we will be short of money by the time we reach south America and will have to ship home to earn some more but thankyou for the offer of help if we ever get your way.
    Karen and Kev

  4. #4 by Lino Carpino on March 11, 2014 - 9:57 am

    hello
    when do you come in sicily? I’ll be happy to round a little bit with you. XXXX

  5. #5 by Guizhen on March 8, 2014 - 4:57 am

    Hi,we met in red rock trail in Sedona.

  6. #6 by Kevin Thomas on March 8, 2014 - 12:31 am

    I hope you are continuing to enjoy your motorcycle trip in the southwestern USA. I spoke to you briefly at Canyonlands in Utah. I also had to hunker down in Sheridan, WY on my return trip to Montana to avoid the blizzard conditions on I90. Wishing you the best on your future journeys.

  7. #7 by Carlos on February 12, 2014 - 5:19 am

    Saw you folks and your bike in Zion National Park yesterday. Then noticed you were only a couple camp spots down from me! I recently started my Moto travels as well and am currently exploring the USA in between working Seasonal jobs. Wish i had a chance to talk to you guys, but needless to say you both are quite the inspiration! Keep on keeping on!

  8. #8 by nazareno on February 8, 2014 - 11:09 pm

    KEEP ON GOING! ;) GOOD LUCK!

  9. #9 by Mick Perry on January 28, 2014 - 9:23 pm

    Hi Kev,
    Just come across a Youtube video of you in the states…didnt realise you were on your travels!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wkSePMgR0k&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    I was trying to place where l first meet you,lm sure it was through the bike shop in Roffey,Horsham.
    Its been a long time anyway so good luck with the rest of your trip and maybe see you on your return. :-)

  10. #10 by Dean and JoJo dolphin on January 2, 2014 - 9:05 pm

    Wonderful to speak to you and see your passion being fulfilled over the global land distance. I’ve done this my whole life in the water with a wild dolphin friend, JoJo. I must say if JoJo were a motorcycle then id have traveled a terrestrial life and not an aquatic one. So cheers my friends.
    Dean and JoJo

  11. #11 by Indy on September 14, 2013 - 11:23 am

    Hello,,

    i got youre site from a frend of mine, he is from Perth australia.
    and he met you in Canada his name is Pete.

    i read youre story”s with a lot of joy, and the pictures are very inpressif.
    myself is did 4 trips in europe, 3 in the alpes and the last one in france. i travel alone just like pete its great to ride the bike in very different paleces.

    My bike is a Red Kawasaki Vn800 Drifter for pictures see my website.

    i hope you enjoyed it with Pete, i met him in Austria in the mountians, said to him if you are in the nabehood just come to me and we have some coffee, gues what he came to visite me in Holland.. increddeble.

    its a small world.

    cheers Indy

  12. #12 by mike edmonton superstore on September 7, 2013 - 1:47 am

    You are an inspiration. I love your adventure.

  13. #13 by Sonny on August 29, 2013 - 9:33 am

    Hi guys! Hope all is well! Keep me up dated I will be checking in! HA! On my way back to Texas and hope we cross trails again soon . BY AND ENJOY

  14. #14 by Kev & Karen on August 13, 2013 - 2:18 am

    Hi Sonny,
    Still in Alaska, just. We are in Tok planning to head to Haines.

  15. #15 by Sonny on August 9, 2013 - 6:16 am

    Great to hear from u, hope all is good! Well be checking on u guys and will hope to catch up again, enjoyed your company! To day is Thursday may go to fairBanks Friday ! Guess ur out of AK by now? Come to Texas and keep in touch take care

  16. #16 by Kev & Karen on August 9, 2013 - 2:45 am

    Looking forward to meeting you again in Texas. The boat ride in Whitter was well worth it.
    Cheers K & K

  17. #17 by Sonny on July 31, 2013 - 8:02 pm

    Kev and Karen, we loved your company the other night and hope to catch up again, hope we see you in Texas

  18. #18 by Sonny on July 31, 2013 - 7:59 pm

    Hi kev and Karan, we enjoyed your company 7/29/2013, should have stayed longer but to experience to dream is reality, good luck see ua in Texas

  19. #19 by Kev & Karen on May 5, 2013 - 4:23 am

    Tee Hee, very funny, tell loggy we miss him too especially on cold nights. It was Horsham we saw Jez in, silly boy why would we travel to Guilford. We don’t know about another calendar, we will have to see how time permits. Sorry we didn’t get to see you guys had to cram a lot in a few days. Take care Love K & K

  20. #20 by Julie on April 28, 2013 - 6:41 pm

    wotcha K&K Jez said he saw you in Guildford tother day & you were both well and Karen seemed pretty mobile,which is great news.Still got loggy safe in the barn,I talk to him ,give him updates & stuff ,,,,he misses you. Good luck with the next leg ,great blogs , photos etc are you doing another calender? love Sprout&Julie

  21. #21 by david on April 14, 2013 - 12:01 pm

    H Guys Mallacoota here, safe trailes , friends
    ,,you are doing what we all wish we could ,, stay Upright , except for sleep . happy trails,,hearts to you ……
    Ps the road to the beach is almost done now ,,, no rerverce gear needed lol

  22. #22 by Julie [aka Clarkie] on April 7, 2013 - 8:36 am

    Dear Karen and Kevin,

    Safe journey back to the good old UK – Jane had mentioned to me that you were in Kuala Lumpur. I am glad you are recovering so well.

    You are being a bit optimistic with your temperature prediction in the UK….it’s freezing here and has been snowing again only recently!!

    Enjoy catching up with your families,

    Julie x

  23. #23 by Kev & Karen on March 20, 2013 - 10:44 pm

    Hi Davo,

    We loved your bit of paradise it is a beautiful spot.
    Thanks for the well wishes.
    Kev and Karen

  24. #24 by david on March 18, 2013 - 5:01 am

    Hi guys , we meet at Quarry beach ,Mallacoota , just wanted to wish you well on the rest of your trip and hope you enjoyed our little bit of paradice. stay upright , all the best davo

  25. #25 by Kev & Karen on November 5, 2012 - 3:37 am

    Hi Antoinet and Ronnie,
    We must get in touch again as we are considering heading to to Canada first then traveling down through the Americas.
    K & K

  26. #26 by Antoinet & Ronnie on October 26, 2012 - 12:54 pm

    Hi Kev & Karen, met you on the run in Albany WA.
    We just came back from a 3 month motorcycle trip
    around Canada and America. Bought a 1977 BMW and rode 16.000 km, from Vancouver to Toronto down through America as far south as Arizona.
    Cheers, R & A

  27. #27 by Max Fielding on April 20, 2012 - 1:03 pm

    Hi Kev & Karen,
    I enjoyed our brief chat in Yass today and wish you well on your epic adventure. Don’t miss the 500 mile Blueridge Parkway and then Skyline Drive when you get to East Coast USA. Welcome to stay a while with me if you come back through Canberra.
    Cheers, Max
    20 April 2012

  28. #28 by Vanda on March 20, 2012 - 11:00 am

    Hi Kev and Karen,
    It was lovely to meet you both at Huon FM today when you came in to do the interview with Chris. I think what you are doing is fantastic and I wanted to wish you a safe journey. I’ll be following your blog now to see where you are.
    Vanda
    Huon FM Receptionist

  29. #29 by Kev & Karen on November 22, 2011 - 2:03 am

    Well how’s that for coincidences we are on a trip out to the Pinnacles now!

  30. #30 by Lewis and Derek on November 19, 2011 - 10:11 am

    hi kev and karen we met at the shops in Clarkson in perth australia i wish you all the best in your journey overland good luck and stay safe

    all the best

  31. #31 by John Wightman on November 18, 2011 - 5:54 am

    Hallo guys! You must not miss the Pinnacles on your way into Perth!

  32. #32 by Catriona on November 5, 2011 - 2:17 am

    Hi Kev and Karen,

    Sorry we missed you the other day when you called in. I was teaching and not sure where Mal was.
    Good luck with the next leg of your journey keep us posted on you travels. Great to meet you both.

    All the best and safe travels
    Pixie, Mal, Olivia and Ben

  33. #33 by dave & Sheree on October 30, 2011 - 9:56 am

    hi Kev & Karen, met at Ningaloo WA Exmouth, we come from Mudgee NSW, took some photo’s, had a chat just before you took off from Oyster Stacks?, may catch up again down Perth way.We are traveling in a Bedford Bus.

  34. #34 by Errol Goodenough on October 27, 2011 - 12:32 am

    Hullo folks. Good to see you are still at it. We met at the HU rally in Brisbane, and I’ve been meaning to write since then.
    I’m in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, so if you are swinging by this area later on, give me a yell.
    Cheers Errol

  35. #35 by Brett Smith on October 5, 2011 - 7:10 am

    Hi Kev and Karen,
    How ya going? Good I hope. Did you get your new tyre in Broome?
    I got home last night 4/10/11 the old honda side car (I met you at Mary’s Pool) sang like a bird all the way home. Mets some more magic people on bikes coming home. I came home on the inland road (thru Newman) there’s less head wind and more camping spots. The head winds from Roebuck to Port Hedland were bad, chopped all my tyres out. Like I said when you get down here if you need a warm shower and a bed call in and say hello and meet my family.
    Look after yourselves safe travelling and watch out for the knobs in the tin tops.
    Luv Brett, Vic and kids and the dog x

  36. #36 by loose bruce on October 5, 2011 - 12:10 am

    Hi Kev & Karen, I’m Nick McBride’s mate living down the bottom of Sth Australia, near Mt Gambier, happy to offer you both a place to stay once you get down here. Call me on 0401626105 once you hit Warrnambool or Portland in South western Victoria as I’m only 2 hours ride further west from there and meanwhile enjoy your ride – the Putty Road in NSW is recommended, The Bells LIne of Road too, and you’ll likely also enjoy the Great Ocean Road also so long as the school holidays are over by the time you ride it. Cheers, Bruce.

  37. #37 by Kev & Karen on October 2, 2011 - 12:30 pm

    Gosh Hannah you’ve stumped us there there’s just so many to choose from we are going to have to think about that one. As to bugs toooooo many the only ones we didn’t wish to kill were beautiful dragonflies, butterflies and bees. We are very glad of our big screen as our visors are fairly bug free.

  38. #38 by Hannah Seward on September 23, 2011 - 5:03 am

    Hi Kev and Karen. I met you outside the Deckchair Cinema in Darwin when you parked next to my car. I LOVE what you are doing. It’s very exciting and a complete inspiration. I’d like to know what’s been the best stand out moment of your trip so far? And how many bugs you have collected on the bike and your visors since you left?!

    Safe and happy biking,

    Hannah

  39. #39 by Kev & Karen on September 8, 2011 - 1:41 am

    Hi Grace,
    Thanks for the invite we are currently in Darwin and heading west so I’m guessing we won’t be there this time. We still intend to head to Canberra so maybe we can catch up then. K&K

  40. #40 by Grace Walker on September 5, 2011 - 5:30 am

    Hi guys,
    Dad (ross walker) met you guys when he was in QLD. I’m a paramedic and part of the “000 riders” (with police and firies). they do group rides and have one coming up in 17th Sept sydney to Canberra. Im not sure of your schedule but maybe you could check them out and join them. I’m sure they would love to hear your story.
    Grace

  41. #41 by Ross Walker on August 29, 2011 - 1:36 pm

    Hi Karen & Kev

    We met you at the Petrol station @ Ravenshoe Queensland. What an adventure. If you need an escort through Sydney or want to do some of the best rides around the region let me know. I work for a road service association (NRMA) which has its own bike club. We are all on different shifts but I am sure we could get a couple of guys to take you through this sometimes mad city. Just give me a couple of days notice.

  42. #42 by Kev & Karen on August 19, 2011 - 6:51 am

    Great to hear from you, We are both well and loving it for now. It’s going to get hotter from here on in as we head West so we will make the most of this nice heat. K & K

  43. #43 by Kev & Karen on August 19, 2011 - 6:47 am

    Hi Guys
    Thanks for the contact you should have got our email by now, hopefully we can meet up.
    Cheers
    Karen and Kev

  44. #44 by ANDY HEATH on August 16, 2011 - 11:03 am

    HI KEV AND KAREN HOPE YOU ARE BOTH WELL AND ENJOYING YOURSELVES ALL THE BEST
    ANDY

  45. #45 by Grant & Jules on August 16, 2011 - 8:11 am

    Hi Guys

    We just saw your article in the Cairns Post and thought if you needed a bed for a night or two drop us a line as we have a spare room. We know, from our travels, how good it is to get a wee bit of comfort some times.

    Would love to hear from you, you lucky devils.

    Cheers

  46. #46 by Phil Heritage on August 10, 2011 - 3:15 am

    Hi Guys, Nice to have had the chat in Innisfail earlier this morning… Good Luck on your journey, Take care & Have fun… Phil.

  47. #47 by yoshi on August 3, 2011 - 1:37 pm

    Hi!Kev & Karen

    I found your blogs by chance.
    I’m 71yrs Japanese and I went to USA in 1964 and entered an University and 1968 went to the aound the world by motorcycle from LA.
    Good luck and hope safe driving.

  48. #48 by Kev & Karen on August 2, 2011 - 9:17 am

    Great stuff Ross
    We have had a great trip and there is still lots more to come.
    Australia, South America, The USA and Canada.
    Good to hear someone else is as mad as us
    Cheers
    Kev and Karen
    Any chance of a scan of the article as we havent seen it?

  49. #49 by Kev & Karen on August 2, 2011 - 9:10 am

    Hi Guys
    We are really sorry, we didnt see the comment until the 2nd of august when we have moved on to Airlie beach.
    Thanks for the thought though.
    Cheers Kev and Karen

  50. #50 by John & Colleen on July 28, 2011 - 1:08 am

    Gday Kev & Karen,
    Which Caravan Park at Mackay?
    We’ll drop by…Cheers,JG

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