Motorcycle to Antarctica??

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by HondaVsTheWorld, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. HondaVsTheWorld

    HondaVsTheWorld Adventurer

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    HI All,

    Ive been on the road forn 40,000km now from the arctic circle in Alaska and I hope to try an make a symbolic landing of the bike in Antartica.

    The bike in quetion is the iconic Honda C90.. i am currenlty in Chile, and heading for Tierra del Fuego. Recently I headed off up the side of a volcano in Chile to set a record for the Highest ever Honda Cub. YOu can see some pics below.. we made it to 5706m through deep snow, pulling, pushing and riding the bike when ever possbile. Thats 141 m above the highest road in the world and had there not been snow Im sure we could have challenged the world record!

    Anyway, I really want to try get me and the bike Antarctica so if anyone knows someone who actually has done this please drop me a line!

    thanks
    Sean

    www.hondavstheworld.com

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    #1
  2. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    How much money do you have:lol3



    Would be better if this where posted in "trip planning" section.
    #2
  3. FlyingPenguin

    FlyingPenguin Been here awhile

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    Getting pretty late in the season for a trip to The Ice. Your best bet is check out http://www.lonelyplanet.com/antarctica/transport/getting-there-away and se if you can score a ride to Patriot Hills. Perhaps you could ride out the back of the plane make a quick circle of the "tarmac" and ride back on. Riding a Honda 90 may be just quirky enough to cut a deal..

    Any flights south right now will probably be empty, though the return may not be.
    #3
  4. FlyingPenguin

    FlyingPenguin Been here awhile

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    Here is a pic of a 350 Velocette at Mawson Station in 1961 or 62.

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  5. Contevita

    Contevita Cigar Adventurer

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  6. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    Since there are no roads, where you could actually ride somewhere, I kind of fail to see the point of taking the bike to Antarctica. It would be unnecessary transporting of the vehicle, waste of money and effort.

    Transporting yourself there, sure why not.
    #6
  7. MitchG

    MitchG Iron Collector

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    Offroad maybe..........:evil
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  8. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

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    After this post - I know I worry too much about tires
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  9. Two Wheeled 'Tard

    Two Wheeled 'Tard Banned

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    I'm currently at Palmer Station, an American research station about 700 miles south of TDF. You're going to need about $10,000-$15,000 dollars, barring some absurdly lucky personal connection or something. You'll either have to bribe the Argentine or Chilean military to get you tag along on one of the resupply flights to King George Island, or buy a berth on a small private ship that visits the peninsula. Either way will cost you at least that much.
    #9
  10. HondaVsTheWorld

    HondaVsTheWorld Adventurer

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    Cheers for the replies guys... a few leads there to chase up.. unfortunately all of the landings are little old, and i know they have tightened up the regs down there since then, so its looking unlikely.. however they may have some contacts..

    "I fail to see the point of bringing a bike to Antarctica"...

    On that grounds I also fail to see the point of bringing a motorcycle up a side of a mountain where there are no roads, it's a pointless exercise. Yet that is what drives a lot of people- beautifully pointless deeds that really serve no purpose at all except to do something unusual and extraordinary..

    Its just a symbolic gesture really..I very much doubt I can but I'm going to give it a go.. I have one lead I'm working on at the moment , its still a long shot though..

    cheers all
    Sean
    #10
  11. HondaVsTheWorld

    HondaVsTheWorld Adventurer

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    Hey man... surely you have a contact there who might know someone in charge of logistics that I can send a proposal too? they might just go for it, seen as its pretty unusual?
    thanks!
    #11
  12. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Far as I understand it ... Palmer station no longer allow ANY unofficial visitors and no tourists. In my two tours there, Tourists over ran the place, taking valuable time away from Science and disrupting study areas.

    You should do what Benka Pulko did back in '99. "Pay" (and apparently she paid in her own unique way) a cruise ship to take you over. Many cruises are run out of Usuhaia and Punta Arenas. They'll do almost anything for money ... but nothing for free. You're request is not unusual at all ... and I'm sure they get lots of similar schemes presented to them.

    I'm sure the Argentines or Chileans will welcome you (just buy a T-Shirt and a Mug) at their "Science" stations.

    One last thing: Read the Antarctic Treaty: See if you can grasp what it's all about. :evil
    #12
  13. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    Riding up a side of a mountain, even without any roads (if you can, and you´re not trespassing, or breaking the local laws), that can be cool. And difference to Antarctica is naturally the fact, that you´re actually riding the bike somewhere. Taking the bike on the back of a truck up a side of a mountain, and then back, would be comparable.

    The symbolic thing I sort of understand, though it does not necessarily mean I´d want to pay big money to get my bike there for that purpose. I would rather store the bike somewhere, go myself, and possibly spend the money I saved on some other travel. But that´s just me, and if you feel like taking the bike along is the way you want to do it, sure go ahead, it´s a free world.
    #13
  14. furiousfart

    furiousfart Been here awhile

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    Also at Palmer, Tard's connections won't get you anywhere. We still get tourist but it is very limited, at least with cruise ships. I think your best bet to get here would be through one of the stations at King George Island. There is an airport there and I think you can get a flight there from Punta Arenas as a tourist.
    #14
  15. Two Wheeled 'Tard

    Two Wheeled 'Tard Banned

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    No. It's not going to happen through the USAP, I can promise you that. I know because my friend and I have spend the past year and a half trying to get OUR bikes down here. We can't even get out bikes down to Punta Aranes through the USAP's cargo system, let alone to the ice.

    You could try applying for an Artists and Writer's grant, but you have to already be very established in your field to have a chance of that. You also need to show very clearly how your work will promote Antarctica and show the USAP in a positive light. These grants usually have to be applied for at least a couple years in advance, as well.

    The ONLY way that you MIGHT get something like this done through the USAP (United States Antarctic Program) is to get a job on either the R/V Lawrence M. Gould or the R/V Nathanial B. Palmer, the USAP's two icebreakers that sail out of PA and service Antarctica. Work on them for at least a couple of seasons, bust your ass and work harder than you've ever worked in your life, work your way up to be a Senior Marine Tech or something like that. Then, MAYBE, if you're friends with all the right people and everyone looks the other way and you can take the bike apart in such a way that you can fit all the bits into some really huge duffel bags, you MIGHT be able to sneak it on board as part of your "personal cargo". Make sure it's on one of the cruises that's doing a field camp put-in where they're going to spend a day shuttling Zodiac boats full of cargo back and forth from ship to shore, see if you can somehow sneak your bike parts ashore. In the few hours you might have when they're doing landing operations, see if you can hurriedly get the thing put together without anyone noticing, ride it around for a few minutes and take pictures, and then try and get it disassembled and back into the innocent-looking duffel bags to get it back on the ship.

    Of course, if you magically were able to pull all that off, you'd be fired the instant anyone found out, and then hit with some gigantic fines for violating some part of the ACA (Antarctic Conservation Act).

    Far and away your best plan will be to try going through the Argentinian or Chilean Navy, or flying into the air stations on King George island. There are companies that will fly tourists there, and you'll probably just have to pay double fare for you and the bike.
    #15
  16. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    I just returned from Antartica and ships leave Ushuaia Argentina and there are ships leaving there almost daily but not sure you can bring a bike onto Antartica. Might be able to have someone with a zodiac bring it. Highly unlikely though due to strict laws about conservation issues.
    #16
  17. Stkmkt1

    Stkmkt1 Been here awhile

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    I've looked into doing just such a thing and may be able to do so in a couple of years if I can find the time. The really big battle is the Treaty of 1959. Seems everyone is afraid of letting your actually "ride" a motorbike there anymore. Pretty much every bike that has been there in recent years, whatever that is , have been without fuel, oil or even a battery. The girl mentioned above, covered her bike with oil and it sat on the deck of a cruise ship. Then it was hoisted down and taken to land where she posed with it on the rocks. No gas, oil, or battery. At least that is what I was told.

    I was told that pee in the snow is treated as hazardous waste down there, so any chances of a motorcycle being ridden are few and far between.

    That being said, I have been told that once I'm ready, I should be able to make the trip and "ride" the bike. My plans are to ride the bike on the airstrip where I land. As others have said. There really are no roads to speak of. You also need to go during summer months. That is December thru early March.

    Now when the time comes, will I truly get to ride? Only time will tell. And if I do, it will be a spur of the moment thing with no "official" knowledge that I plan to ride. I been sworn to secrecy on the issue as far as who is willing to take me, how I'm taken there, and even where I will land. So we will see.

    Good luck to you in you endeavors to do the same. As you have or will soon see, most people do not want anyone to take a motorcycle to Antarctica. And I fully appreciate their concern. In fact, many will tell you it is actually illegal to do so. And with all the tourist trips now bringing people to Antarctica there is plenty of reason for concern.
    #17
  18. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    :deal

    Japanese adventurer Shinji Kazama was there in Antarctica 1991/92, over 7 years before Pulko. And unlike Pulko who unloaded her greased up, cling wrapped bike on the shore for a photo, Kazama actually took a film crew and a snowmobile towing all his fuel and rode his TW200 several thousand kilometres across the ice to the south pole. He reached the pole in January 1992. Thats the real deal :deal

    For information, see the following links:
    http://www.southpolestation.com/trivia/90s/kazama.html
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinji_Kazama
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=478769
    http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a16514/courageous-crazy-shinji-kazama/

    Those who watched Michael Palin’s documentary series Pole to Pole will recall Palin getting on the same adventure network flight from Chile to Antarctica in late 1991 as Kazama and his team. http://palinstravels.co.uk/book-1257

    That chrome ball atop a barbershop pole is the ceremonial South Pole marker, just outside Amundsen-Scott base.
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    #18
  19. Smallwires

    Smallwires Been here awhile

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    As mentioned earlier there are strict regulations in regards to importation of, well anything, onto the ice. Most of which has been outlined and international agreed upon in the 1959 Antarctic Treaty and again in 1999 Antartic Protection Treaty. Of course yeah, yeah, I get it, people bend/ break the rules, especially when it involves money. During the cold war everybody was watching everybody and everybody wanted to maintain a presence down there without any thought of conservation.
    Recently it has been the tourist hordes that bring unnecessary impact and risk of catastrophe because of the pervasive and myopic greed of tour operators and officials.
    So, sure if you really have "connections" like Prince William does or whatever or just an ungodly amount of money to burn I'm sure you could get your bike to the ice, maybe smuggled in tiny little boxes and then reassembled on the spot undercover in the dark of an austral winter.

    But I have a better idea, how about you/ we/ everyone makes a "symbolic gesture" of NOT engaging in tourist or other frivolous activity and not supporting fishing or other industries in and around Antarctica.

    Sure the aforementioned folks Kazama, Pulko, et al. did it, but how about we, knowing the damage we cause, even inadvertently, set a better example by not going there.

    Some places need to be left untouched, not every square inch of the planet is mean for motos, wheeled vehicles, stock or even human footprints. Let's leave this one alone...

    ~Ride on
    #19
  20. Steve in OC

    Steve in OC Been here awhile

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    I'm all in favor of not disturbing Antarctica with quick pointless photo-op visits. The OP's tag-the-continent trip idea sounds like a parody of adventure riding, not like a real ADV ride. No plan to explore, no plan to get to know the place. It's like the current selfie craze, taken to its most ridiculous extreme.

    But I also think a lot of ADV riding I've seen on this forum is brushing up against this very same ridiculous extreme. Guys who go blasting all around the world, riding through remote areas and taking photos, but not staying long enough to get even a clue as to what a place is really like, what the people there have to teach us, etc. Let's be honest; a lot of the ride reports on this forum are really similar to the OP's idea, just longer, and involving a long string of remote places instead of just one iconic frozen continent.

    Some ADV rides I've seen on this forum cover so much ground so quickly, they are really the motorcycle equivalent of an evening of watching TV. Constant distraction, constantly moving, never really letting anything soak in. Just an extension of our distracted, self-absorbed culture, and not an exploration or adventure.

    After you're done with that philosophical question, here's another one: The previous poster ^^^ said maybe some areas should be left untouched. I totally sympathize with his point, but I wonder: where to draw the line? Is Antarctica really the only place ADV riders shouldn't go? If so, why? Is it more important to preserve Antarctica's purity than that of the Gobi desert, the High Sierra, the Arctic?
    #20