CW motorcycles have been dealing in BMWs since the late seventies. Their shop is in Dorchester, the county seat of Dorset, in the West country of England. Dave Wyndham and I have struck up a firm friendship which weathered many potential shipwrecks and survived the journey beautifully. I really appreciate his warmth, his sense of humour and his determination. He and his people have a lot of experience with the particular model I was riding, and put a huge amount of time and labour into setting it up for me. Visitwww.cwmotorcycles.co.uk
When Jupiter’s Travels was first translated into German, Reiner Nitschke who publishes the motorcycle travel magazine TourenFahrer was quick to recognise that it would be very interesting to his readers. He printed some extracts then, and helped to give the book some exposure. He became an enthusiastic supporter of my second journey, and published my articles in the magazine. He joined with Rowohlt to bring out a new German edition of Jupiter’s travels, and was very helpful in getting Dreaming of Jupiter into the German market. He is a true and valuable friend. www.tourenfahrer.de
In 1973 I took Avon SafetyMaster tyres with me on my old Triumph Tiger, so it seemed natural to go back to them this time. Tyres have changed out of all recognition in 27 years, but with Avon I had at least one link to the past. The Distanzia tyres they fitted were dual purpose and worked very well for me. They sent me new tyres at six drop off points around the world – namely, Nairobi, Cape Town, Santiago de Chile, Panama, Perth, and Bombay.www.avon-tyres.co.uk/motorcycle/
There is no World War II flying jacket to protect me this time – I lost it in Mexico 25 years ago. Instead, I have Aerostich clothing. Trading nostalgia for such brilliant apparel may not be my worst move. I wore it all the way round, so I know how good it is. Andy Goldfine, the presiding genius in Minnesota, may not be great on spelling (whatever happened to that missing T in Stitch?) but he’s awfully knowledgable, and he has let me ransack his catalogue for good things. In America most riders know how good his stuff is. Others should find out.www.aerostich.com
Jerome Eberharter, founder and CEO of the White Cloud Coffee company in Boise, Idaho also rides bikes. He read about my journey and wanted to help. What can a coffee company do to take part in a motorcycle journey around the world? Well, he sent thank-you presents of coffee to people who were kind to me along the way and, surprisingly, I think most of them actually got there. I have some of his coffee, and it is very tasty indeed. Ring (800) 627-0309 if you want some
Pelican Products are famous for making the best protective cases for delicate appliances like cameras and electronic devices. I was very glad to get their help. One of them carried my Mac Powerbook half way around the world. Go to www.pelican.com
Andy White had the idea of making straps that depended on the sticking power of velcro to do the job. Somewhat surprisingly, they work. Pulling along the length of the strap, it is virtually imposible to pull them apart. They are made from broad bands of a stiffly elasticated material. From the Straps, Andy has branched out into bags of various kinds. His panniers are unique. They have no zips or leaky seams, and the ones he made for me are in a waterproofed canvas material that is incredibly tough. Visit www.andystrapz.com for more info
When I had the opportunity to revise my luggage in Melbourne, I was examining with envy the tank bags being used by Australian motorcycling journalists. They were made by Hustler, they had considerably more room than mine, and their shape was more suitable to the Acerbis tank. The only problem? They relied on magnets to attach to the tank – and my tank is plastic. I was able to persuade Andy White to make me a one-off tank harness with iron sheets sewn in. And Andy persuaded Hustler to give me the bag. You can see how all the bags work here.
Mike Coan is very proud of his HeatTroller. What is it? It controls the amps that flow from the bike into my electrically heated clothing. He insisted that I use it. And I have to say that it does what it’s supposed to do, effectively, and without any problems, regardless of conditions. What more could you want?
Gerbing use the HeatTroller with their electrically heated clothing, and were kind enough to give me their jacket, pants and gloves to use. During the first weeks of the journey in a European winter, they were wonderful. The jacket puts out a lot of heat and is very comfortable. I like the way the different articles plug together, with a minimum of wiring and fuss.
Seal-a-Wheel is a mysterious goo that comes in a cheerful orange cannister. You pump it into your tubeless tyre through the valve casing, and it slops around inside. If you get a small puncture, it will seal it. So says Terry Hodges, who imports it into England, and has been kind enough to keep me supplied. I have been all around the world now, some 54,000 miles, without a single flat tyre, so I am sure now that it works, andI am very glad of the extra protection. Terry’s number in England is 01226 361103.