Long Way Home 1

Bike Preparation - Mick

Part 4

Wilbers suspension is now fitted to both ‘bikes, also the Continental ‘Escape’ tyres, chains and sprockets etc. and a full and total service completed. The suspension is superb… irons out the bumps, the ‘bike just gliding along without a care as to what the road is doing below it. Certainly faster on the back roads than the 1150 Adventure with Öhlins fitted. I understand the Wilbers heritage stems from the suspension guru’s at WP. First impressions of the Continental tyres are also most favourable. I’ve always rated the Metzeler Tourance tyres, having had a mistrust of Continental tyres dating back to the 80’s when riding the police BMW 600’s fitted with them. But then that’s over twenty years since, and the Escape’s seem great. Good feed back… and I like the look of them!

We’ll report back on the tyres and suspension during the trip…

... "The Wilbers suspension were reurned to Germany for close examination etc. and to see how they have faired over this trip.  The good news is that they were put on the test rig and performed as if new. They were then stripped, with the seals being replaced as a matter of course (though there was absolutely nothing wrong with them as both units were as new) and then rebuilt. The better news is that they're on their way back to us".


Never leave home without it. Sue has the Garmin 3+ and I have the BMW Motorrad 1. People will tell you that for the money you can buy a lot of maps…. well maybe you can, but they’re missing the point, and probably have never tried the GPS! Find hard to find addresses, discover superb motorcycling roads. Running out of petrol on the motorway, stay on or come off? Looking for a hotel? (My mate was! ‘Phoned up a hotel shown on the GPS, yes, the numbers in there, they gave him a price... “No thanks, I’ve another five to ‘phone up yet!” They immediately halved the price!)

I could go on, but please trust me…. It will be money well spent!

We’ll be working with the Garmin World Map once out of Europe. All the major roads are shown, but not always up to date. However, we’ve found in the past that the actual towns are accurately plotted, so that while we won’t be able to use auto routing we can use the GPS compass and world map to find our way about.

Spare parts

Working on ‘Sod’s Law’ which basically says that the one part that you require will be the one part that you don’t have, and the old Confucius saying… “All things can be sorted!” (I don’t know that he actually said it, but it sounds good and relates to my sentiment on the matter, so I’m happy to believe that he could have said it!)

The only parts we’ll be taking are spare handlebar levers, a throttle cable, two oil filters, and a set of rear brake pads. I envisage servicing the ‘bikes in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, and then again in Turkey, where we have contacts.

Apart from the usual tools I’ll be taking a pen sized gas soldering iron, circuit tester, and bits of wire, spare nuts and bolts etc. For full list of items taken please see separate page.


I’ll be taking my Canon G3 and Ixus 400. Both are 4 mega pixel digital cameras using the Compact Flash memory cards. Sue will take her Kodak digital which uses the SD card. I’ll be taking an Apacer CD writer so that I can write the photographs on the SD and CF cards direct to a CD. I’ll do three copies, one for Sue to carry, one for me, and will post the third copy CD’s to my brother David on Fairisle, who will be updating the website as and when he receives e-mails and pictures from us, and then forwarding relevant pictures to Wunderlich.

I’d thought about an ‘on board camera’ several years ago for my advanced motorcycle training courses, but like a lot of ideas, it went onto the backburner, and was never realized. It was mentioned for this trip, and I thought it would be a good idea, especially having seen ‘The Long Way Round’ by Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor.

The seeds were sown! More so after eldest son Peter taped his camcorder on to the beak of his brother Martyn’s 1100GS (woolly hat and plastic tape!) and made a video us all going round der Nürburgring! So when I got news that my 1150 Adventure had been sold, well, the writing was on the wall. I bought a Sony DCRHC40E camcorder, bullet cam, LANC switch etc. and I was hooked!