“Overlanding” usually conjures up visions of oversized 4x4s driven by some rough guy or $250,000 diesel sprinter laden with a bunch of hip young glampers, both following a GPS track to a secret location through a sea of dunes. or some other wasteland with no road they read on a website while killing time at work.
But we all know the truth: before we get really away from anyone and everyone in a military-spec terrain crusher or a super-heavy, ultra-heavy super-pickup truck that cost more than many family homes, intrepid bikers explored the far reaches of the planet Land on a shoestring budget and get to places no roaring four-wheel-drive diesel could ever hope to discover. Ewan and Charlie may be the last ADV heroes, but decades before they circumnavigated the globe, fearless pilots like Ted Simon and Elspeth’s Beard inspired thousands of motorcyclists to redesign their bikes, pack their bags and embark on minimalist adventures for months or even years. Oh, your Sprinter has Stellar Link but it’s not fast enough to stream Netflix? Wow, now that’s hard.
High mechanical horsepower aside, landing or exploring the world with any all-terrain capable vehicle is always great fun, regardless of the number of wheels involved, and every year the Terrestrial exposure posts in several states to spread the joy around. This year there are four stops and an even bigger focus on adventure motorcycles and ADV riding. And beyond the usual spread of new bikes and the latest kit, the Overland Expo is more focused than ever on advanced rider training, educating new riders, and skills such as roadside repair, packing strategy, bike control and some good clean rally games (maybe). have fun with slow races, riding limbo contest and riding skills competitions.
Want more? There’s plenty more, including the Motorcycle Expedition Skills Area (MESA), with instructions from Bill Dragoo of Dragoo Adventure Rider Training (DART). Topics will include recovering your severely overloaded ADV bike after a sidehill rollover, repairing tires in the field, tools to pack, and how to lighten your load with some minimalist packing tips. Beyond that, there are stories to tell of couples on long-distance ADV adventures, a challenging technical course to test your skills, and a fundraiser for GoRUFFLY and Girl Upa worthy cause supported by an inspiring, unusual and continuous ADV journey.
Of course, we all love to check out the latest gear and bikes, and there will be no shortage at OX this year. Honda, Triumph, BMW, Specialized Bikes, Mosko Moto, Green Chile and newcomers like UBCO, Volcon and Kraken Adventure Bikes will be displaying their latest two-wheelers and gear. And just like last year, there will be a new and very trick Ultimate Land Bike Buildwhich included a Honda Africa Twin Last year. It finally sold for $20,000 on Bat-a bargain and all those nickels went to a good cause. This year? It has yet to be announced, but ADVrider.com recently got some inside information on not only the bike being built, but we will also be riding it in the Rockies in August for a full ride report. Trust us, it’s gonna be epic fun.
Bring the kids too, as First Steps to Two Wheel Adventure will help little fry practice the basics of riding on their own bikes/electric bikes or small motorcycles. You are not yet a pilot but you want to become one? The Motorcycle Industry Council will be hosting the Ride With Us Moto Intro course for the curious ADV. And it all adds up to the massive four-wheeled (and beyond) part of the show, because who doesn’t sometimes dream of camping in blissful comfort in front of that epic view in a winnebago party? Admit it already.
the Overland Expo starts very quickly on May 20 in Flagstaff, Arizona. Motorcycle camping at the event starts at $165 for the weekend, with VIP and “Experience” options above. Day passes (no camping) are $20, children 14 and under are free. After Flagstaff, the show rolls through the Bend/Redmond desert area of Oregon July 8-10, then moves to Loveland, Colorado August 26-28, and concludes in Arrington, Virginia October 7-9.