Quick access to a motorcycle or E-bike often equals peace of mind for the Overland or Expedition Truck crew. The extra mobility motivates many to go to great lengths to get that rear bike platform or garage sorted. This article is about the motorcycle rider covering a few insights that may save your journey or even your life.
The Basecamp biker
The ideal spot to park your Overland or Expedition Truck for a few days is often quite a distance from where one can get supplies, parts, or support. The motorcycle is an excellent asset for driving into a nearby town or exploring the region from your base camp truck. The bike can also open up routes that may need a bit of surveillance on the road ahead. This is to see if the truck fits or if going down that road is worthwhile.
The premise is based on an often-underestimated reality that poses a significant risk to the crew, the journey, and yourself as a basecamp biker.
Adventure vs. Basecamp Biker
Despite the many plus sides of owning a motorcycle or E-bike, riding an (E-)bike statistically remains a high-risk activity. Ask any surgeon, and you’ll get a taste of this reality with the long-term consequences for those who survived a crash. The crash statistics in the western world on (relatively) smooth asphalt roads are (already) considerable.
Taking your bike to Asia / Africa / South / Central America is a whole different level of risk. Ask any biker on a word journey. Their adventures often go together with many close calls.
Most important, the full-time adventure biker has accumulated riding skills that are on another level compared to those who ride their bike only a few hours per month. This is without most of the gear, in good weather, and on good and (often) familiar roads.
In comparison, the basecamp biker who hits the road after 1000’s trucking KMs in an adventurous setting in Africa, Asia, faces a steep challenge. The fall-out of a crash is unlike that of the Adventure bike with “just” a bike and gear. The crashed basecamp biker leaves a large truck and a crew with a whole household.
In other words: Stuff better go right! But the reality is that Murphy always rides with you on the backseat.
Nonetheless, there is quite a lot the basecamp biker and crew can do to lower the risks significantly. It’s an investment that has a high ROI and can at least reduce the fall-out when stuff goes wrong after all.
Regardless of the type of motorcycle or E-bike, you plan to take with you on your (world) journey, working on your riding skills can significantly improve the safety of the crew and yourself. Additionally, the consequences of a bike crash can be substantially mitigated with the right gear.
The top 4 things you can do to lower the risk;
- By far, the most significant leap in riding skills you can gain comes from an offroad / trail riding course with an Enduro or Dirt bike. The course is all about handling your bike on uneven & slippery tracks in a low-speed setting. It’s the closest to riding on African and Asian roads, on or off the asphalt.
- Get the right gear – for tropical and winter weather (Boots, Gloves, Jacket, Trousers)
- Emergency biker pack with tools & emergency gear.
- Invest in a Satellite GPS tracker for the Basecamp biker and the basecamp Truck crew. Well-known (SPOT) trackers have a dead man’s button that transmits the last know GPS location once the button is not pressed within a predefined time after the previous button press.
The offroad / trail riding course teaches you the basic skills to handle your bike in the sand, mud and crossing objects like tree branches or stones. The experience significantly increases your on-road driving skills and confidence.
The gear in 2) is the precondition for the training course in 1)
The emergency pack in 3) may get you going again after a minor crash.
The GPS tracker in 4) enables the crew to find you or for you to find the crew once stuff has gone wrong. Soley relying on a cell phone can be dangerous. The base camp crew is plunged into a nightmare when you crash your phone, are outer cell tower reach, or cannot operate your phone due to a crash.
Basecamp emergency plan
In the worst-case scenario, when a bike crash has happened, the next best thing to have in place for the base camp crew is the emergency plan.
We can go into the depths of an emergency plan while on the road with an Expedition or Overland Truck through our Crew Orientation Service.
Your crew can benefit significantly from our hands-on experience, especially without prior overlanding experience with a heavy truck.
Offroad / Trail riding courses
You may want to consider these courses offered by;
Examples of Enduro-style motorcycles around 200 Kg are
- BMW F650 GS
- KTM 690 Enduro
- Suzuki V-Strom 650
- Kawasaki Versys 650
the picture below shows a smaller motorcycle with limited weight - the HONDA GROM 125 cc also capable for use in terrain.