Here we go! Another argument that will no doubt divide the audience and create a bit of controversy within the community.
Everyone is of course entitled to his or her personal opinion. The general idea that “technically” it is better to know the machine that is transporting you across unknown territories, is certainly easy to understand. But I suspect that we can all agree that there is a fine line between the necessary and the desirable. It is perhaps not necessary to know how to disassemble your whole machine if all you want to do is be able to ride it.
I’ve been riding for 30 years and I’ve fiddled around the mechanics of my bike for quite some time now; I’m far from being an expert, but I know what to do if something goes wrong.
However, during my tour of the Americas, I met lots of people riding their motorcycle for the very first time, and that left me completely speechless! I had the confidence to take on a trip of certain proportions because I had been riding for a while. But these people were completely fearless (and clueless)!
Some of them were clearly not aware of the mechanics of their machine and therefore were completely unable to troubleshoot them. This didn’t stop them from taking on the adventure of a lifetime. Instead, I think, it made them completely unaware of the all possible failures that a motorcycle could have. Ignorance is bliss!
Now if you were actually a motorcycle mechanic yourself, you would probably be much more concerned that these people when taking on such a long trip with a machine that you knew could fail on you. You would be thinking about a million scenarios that could stop you from completing your ride.
What about if you were clueless about repairing your bike, and all of a sudden you broke down in the middle of nowhere? Well, unless you are going to ride in Antarctica, or just by yourself and off the beaten track, you would eventually meet somebody, and would quite likely be assisted by someone passing. I’ve met lots and lots of people who just got picked up from the road after mechanical breakdowns, and taken to the nearest town to find that there was always a mechanic able to patch the issue up.
And what if you were not carrying spare parts or tools? Main cities all over the world have spare parts available for most brands of motorcycles. If they don’t have it, you would probably be able to buy what you needed via the internet and have it shipped to you. Tools can be borrowed or the bike can be taken to a mechanic. I’ve even met people who preferred to fly out of the country back to their own (or fly to one where the part was available), and bring the required spares back to repair their bike themselves.
I mean, options are endless and limits are only in our minds, really!
The conclusion is that YOU DO NOT NEED to be an expert mechanic or a professional rider to take a motorcycle around the world. Neither do you need the perfect adventure bike. There will be more challenges, maybe, if you are not an expert or if you don’t have the proper vehicle… but that is why it’s called an adventure.
You’ll figure it out!