XRW 964M is probably the most famous Triumph motorcycle in the world of overland travel. It’s the 500cc twin that Ted Simon rode around the world over a four-year period in the 1970s, ultimately spawning his remarkable book, Jupiter’s Travels. That book in turn was the catalyst for thousands of others to load their panniers and set off to explore what was over the horizon, or to dream of doing it. It is only thanks to our partnership with Coventry Transport Museum and their incredible generosity, that we are able to have this bike on show, reunited with Ted Simon and placed among friends at the heart of the overland bike show.
Sam Manicom’s BMW R80GS
Libby (short for Liberty) is Sam’s globetrotting bike and friend. Purchased for a ride down to the southern tip of Africa, Libby ended-up taking Sam on an 8-year, 200,000 mile odyssey. She now has 300,000 miles on her. Her gear box was rebuilt for the first time at 250,000 miles. She's on her 5th shaft drive, which is only one more than the number of books her exploits have spawned. Apart from the impressive Acerbis 43 litre fuel tank, mods include a WP Shock and WP progressive fork springs and panniers made for Sam by an 80 year-old Australian millionaire in his garden shed.
Stanley Glanfield’s Rudge Sidecar
Over eight-months from July 1927, Stanley Glanfield rode this Coventry-built 500cc/3½ H.P. singe-cylinder Rudge-Whitworth motorcycle around the world from London, across 16 countries in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. The lightweight sidecar was built and fitted in Vienna after the bikes frame had broken from the stresses it endured along the way and a small vice was carried on the back of his bike to assist in making roadside repairs. During the trip he was variously turned back by guards, forced to ride in darkness, risked kidnap, murder and malaria, thrown into goal, crossed deserts, bogs and rivers, improvised bridges from railway sleepers and rode 200 excruciatingly painful miles after hitting a pot-hole and running over his own foot. With thanks to Coventry Transport Museum for loaning this historic overland vehicle.
Chris Donaldson's Moto Guzzi Le Mans
The most unlikely of overland machines, this Italian stallion just happened to be the bike Chris owned in 1979 when he decided to get out of Belfast and ride to Australia
Elspeth Beard’s BMW R60/6
In 1982, twenty-three year-old architecture student Elspeth Beard left her family and friends in London and set off on a solo adventure around the world with only limited savings from her pub job, a tent, a few clothes and some tools all packed on the back of her bike. Over the following two and a half years she rode 35,000 miles through unforgiving landscapes and war-ravaged countries, witnessed civil uprisings that forced her to fake documents, fended off sexual attacks, biker gangs and corrupt police convinced she was trafficking drugs. Meet Elspeth in the Moto Freight Authors’ Tent and get a signed copy of her book: ‘Lone Rider: The First British Woman to Motorcycle Around the World’
Tommy the Triumph outfit
Husband and wife team Richard & Mopsa English rode around the world on “Tommy” the sidecar outfit in the early 1980s, when the world didn’t seem quite as dangerous and when a British passport was a jolly good thing to carry in your waxed cotton jacket. Taking four and a half years to cover 90,000 miles across North and South America, Africa, Asia, the middle East, Australia and the Pacific rim, theirs was anything but a direct route. Modifications include Stadium windscreen, Squire sidecar, Hedingham leading-link front forks. Their story is told in their brilliant book ‘Full Circle’, which is sadly no longer in print but they are here to tell their tale.
The MZ Crew
Yes indeed, any bike can go overland! These three 250 MZs will be reunited at The Event having ridden from Japan a few years ago. Mick, Dave and Dick will be on hand to answer questions and talk about what, if anything failed. Can you guess which one now works hard as a long-distance trials machine?
Ian Coates’ Africa Twin
Perhaps the world's most famous Honda Africa Twin 750. This is the bike that Ian Coates set off on from Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire. He just went for 'a bit of a ride' and was still at it 14 years later. One of the most bestickered bikes you’ll ever see, the mileage on it is phenomenal while the many practical yet simple modifications Ian has made are simply answers to problems encountered along the way. One of the most entertaining, genuine, down-to-earth, tellers of tales about travel and life you could ever hope to meet Ian will be easy to find over the weekend – just look for a gaggle of spell-bound giggling Event-goers near the bar.
Paddy Tyson’s Aprilia Pegaso
‘Peggy’ is the cantankerous Italian mare that carried Overland Magazine’s editor, Paddy Tyson, through the Americas on the journey immortalized in his book, ‘The Hunt for Puerto del Faglioli’. Mileage is unknown as the speedo broke somewhere in Mexico. Following the issues experienced on that and other trips, it now boasts a bespoke wiring loom by TWS Vehicle Wiring Services with isolated lighting circuits and no common earths; two reg/recs mounted in airflow (one as spare); 3x auxiliary power take offs; safety horn; crashbars with integral fuel (5l) and water (5l) holders, bash plate and centre-stand deflector fabricated by TWS. Rear Wilbers shock. Front Hagon springs.
Glynn Roberts’ R80GS
Registered in 1983, one of only 5 sprayed in red and sold with all the extras available at the time, this is a 1981 build with the later petrol tank. Glynn bought it in 1986 for £1,750 including the panniers and optional(!) side stand. The bike is in pretty much original condition even if all the parts aren't original. This bike has done 2 big trips, accounting for 103,000 miles of its 183,000 total mileage.
Nich Brown’s Enfield Bullet
Enfields are remarkably rugged, equally at home in India, Nepal and Tibet as they are on England’s gentle country lanes. Perfectly suited to a slow, relaxed riding that lets you appreciate your surroundings, Overland's sub-editor and co-founder chose this 500 single named 'Joy' for a recent two year trip. Joy’s first 35,000 miles have taken in Western Europe, Scandinavia, New Zealand and Australia – not just on tarmac but corrugated roads, dirt, rocks, dust and sand. Engine bars with extra strengthening have proven to be very effective while bags mounted to their insides bring the weight of an extensive tool roll well forward and keep useful things like waterproofs and a folding chair handy. Other mods include a freer flowing exhaust system that won’t frighten the wildlife, extended mirror arms with anti-vibration mounts, 12 volt power outlet, a height-adjustable side-stand to cope with taller off-road tyres and Rotopax containers for extra fuel and water.
Paul and Holly's Sinnis Terrains
These incredible little 125s have clocked up nearly 20,000 miles in the toughest conditions, making their way from London to Mongolia and Russia without breakdown (but with plenty of incident!).
Gordon May's 1953 Royal Enfield
Gordon May is a huge fan of straightforward engineering, so it's perhaps no surprise that the bike he chose to ride to India, was an original Royal Enfield. This machine is the star of his aptly-named book 'Overland to India'
Will Brix’s 660 Tenere 'Glory'
This bike has been to 40 countries (and counting) across Europe, Africa and Asia. It competed in the 2019 Gibraltar Race without issue, despite being thrown down the track several times daily. Will says it’s very tall, but great for the ruts of Africa and deeper tracks. It has huge torque in 1st and 2nd gear. You can throw it down a cliff and it will start again first time and it has never failed to start once, or ever broken down. The list of modifications wouldn’t fit here, but among the more interesting mods are a remote operated Kill Switch (200m range), a ‘go dark’ switch for full lights out running, the large stopwatch on the dash for time trials, homemade Radiator protection and over 100 litres of lockable storage space.
Mark Holmes' Rocket 3
The world's largest production bike was ridden once around the world in 2017 - 2018 by Mark Holmes. 5 continents, 36 countries, 39,000 miles, and yet most of the damage was sustained in the Pyrenees... It's a machine that garners looks wherever it goes, but also spawned the terrific book 'Rebirth'.
Gareth Jones' '51 Harley
First bought in 1998, Gareth Jones spent 18 months re-building and modifying this 1951 Harley Panhead. Since then he has used it to tour Europe and North Africa, as well as a 20,000km, 10-country ride around southern Africa. No rear suspension, no electric start, no backup and no plan, proving you can ride anywhere with a little faith...
Mary Sievier's Bantam
From 1967 to 1976 Mary rode this 175cc BSA Bantam D7 round the world, stopping off to work as and when, for example: 6 months in Istanbul, 2 years in Kabul as a secretary, also East Africa, Darwin and Hong Kong. A convoluted but incredible route. Mary rode on Dunlop tyres and praises their longevity. Sadly enforced storage on return led to deterioration but recently the Bantam has made its way to the workshops of TravelDri Plus where it's been lovely restored ahead of its first public appearance since returning.