The date was tentatively set for 2012, by which time sufficient leave would have been accumulated for the jaunt. Regrettably, however, the untimely death of Liz's Mum in 2011 in South Africa saw our plans deferred by a year.
When we finally started thinking of dates for 2013, the original thought of departing in May or June got stretched to late July; as this allowed Liz to accumulate a few extra days leave and, perhaps more importantly, had us leaving when the height of Summer was past.
Duncan spent a lot of time researching different options for the ride - renting versus buying and exporting, buying and reselling; and shipping his bike to the USA and back. Renting was quickly determined to be too expensive and Australian government laws killed the idea of buying and exporting home. Buying and reselling was looking like the best option when we heard of an Australian business that would ship to the USA and back for under A$3,000.00. As this was well within Duncan's notional tolerance for a loss on buying and reselling, together with the important advantage of taking over a bike properly set up and well known to us, this was quickly settled.
Duncan's attention now turned to serious scrutiny of his R1200RT. As one of the world's best purpose-designed high speed touring motorcycles, its touring ability was unquestioned, although gravel roads would be avoided in all but the most necessary circumstances. The real issue was with luggage. Two middle-aged adults could not reasonably carry all their requirements for four weeks on a bike like that; and it is not designed to allow easy supplementation of its carrying capacity. It soon became apparent to him that the RT would have to go. After a detailed review of the market, the decision for its replacement came down to either the BMW R1200 GS Adventure and the Moto Guzzi Stelvio. Feature for feature the BMW was superior and with a gulp and considerable regret, the RT was traded for the GSA. Apart from an ability to carry a mega load of luggage - with space for a hair dryer, too - the GSA also has a 33 litre fuel tank, longer travel suspension and, of course, serious off-road capability. If we are in the Badlands of South Dakota and want to see something that entails travel on a gravel road, we won't think twice about it.
So the bike was acquired in September 2012, allowing sufficient time to set it up for the journey. The additions are well documented by the photographs in the other section of this website. We have also had time to look at appropriate protective gear, lightweight clothing (merino wool) for riding and leisure, and plan itineraries.
As part of the research around acquiring a bike in the USA, it was determined that Portland Oregon would be the point of departure, as it is a low/no tax state. By happy coincidence, that is where the shipping company sends the bikes!
The bike gets loaded on the ship on 15 May and (DV) we leave in late July for the adventure of a lifetime.
We are now attending to administration - insurance, roadside assistance etc, planning sight seeing and arranging to visit family and friends. We hope you will join us for part or all of the ride!