Partners

We are beyond fortunate to be partnering with a host of superb companies, all of whom share our passion for two wheeled travel and outdoor exploration.  We’re currently utilizing an astonishing array of products for our: motorcycles, riding ensemble, luggage needs and the ability to communicate while astride the bikes. That, along with our sleeping arrangements, travel wardrobe, footwear, camping gear and R&R needs–hammocks are a godsend after a long day’s ride!

Incredibly, we sometimes receive a number of donations from folks who’ve gone beyond the extra mile towards keeping us in our happy place: on the road producing hard earned content. Alongside ensuring the website stays updated in a meaningful and the most mindful way as possible. We wouldn’t be able to continue the trip without such backing, a heartfelt thank you to everyone on board.

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seatosummit

“In 1984 a small group of climbers from the world’s flattest continent pulled off an audacious ascent of Mount Everest – they put a new route up the north face in lightweight style with no oxygen or sherpa support. Six years later, one of the summiteers, Tim Macartney-Snape decided to return to Everest after he realized neither he nor any other person who had climbed the mountain had truly climbed the entire 8,848 meters, as that would have meant starting from sea level. That is, no one had yet climbed it from “sea to summit”. In the spring of 1990 Tim had a swim in the tepid waters of India’s Bay of Bengal then set off on foot across the Gangetic plain toward the distant Himalayan foothills.Four months later, after climbing alone from Base Camp and without the assistance of oxygen, he set foot once again on the highest point on earth. Tim’s solo ascent of Mt. Everest was named the “Sea to Summit” expedition. Back in Australia, Tim joined forces with climbing friend, sewing enthusiast and design guru Roland Tyson to build a business that could make use of their knowledge of the outdoors to create truly ingenious, well-made but affordable outdoor equipment. They named their company Sea to Summit after Tim’s expedition and the business prospered. Today the Sea to Summit brand continues to provide innovative gear and serves a growing band of outdoor enthusiasts all over the world.”

Sea to Summit is a company of wilderness-seekers that strives to supply the very best solutions for those of us that live, as much as love, to be outside: seeking durable, lightweight and compact gear.  Having hauled far too much weight in our ensemble for three years on road, it’s high time we smartened up our act. Namely relieve the tension from the heaving motorcycles, making a U-turn from the stresses and strains of being over-laden. Gloriously, Sea to Summit has stepped in and enabled just that; electing us Brand Ambassadors, they’ve enabled us to shed a shocking number of pounds, organised a lighter load into an accessible, efficient and convenient one, and foremost eradicated the frustration of digging deep to find that “needle in the haystack” item lurking somewhere at the bottom of the pannier. Life has been made infinitely simpler in and out of the saddle, harmonious even. Setting up and packing away on a day-to-day is no longer an event, it’s just business as usual. As nomadic travellers, we’ll be forever indebted to Sea to Summit for facilitating a happy equilibrium. Thank you!

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as“Based in West Yorkshire, England and founded by two dedicated and passionate adventure motorcyclists who personally use and endorse all of the products they sell, Adventure-Spec supplies the very best in adventure motorcycling parts, accessories and clothing.”

A compelling company, Adventure-Spec is a one-stop shop for everything you’ll actually need, as opposed to what you think you’ll need, for a two wheel trip.  Be that for just a few hours in the saddle to embarking upon a round-the-world wander–Adventure-Spec takes pride in championing its offering with conviction.  The company has gone to extraordinary lengths to design, product test and capture the essence of why it’s such a thrill to be part of the motorcycling scene.  If these guys can’t inspire you to get out there, then really, no one will.

Having the honour to be partnered up with Adventure-Spec, their ethos is built on the personal passions of the co-founders and a talented team in tow.  Every product is considered and continually tested to hone a blend of build quality, functionality and performance without compromising style.  For Adventure-Spec, the product must speak for itself and with shameless promotion, we are Adventure-Spec converts through and through.

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Unknown“Overland Journal is a perfect-bound magazine printed on high-quality stock, published five times per year. From a premier-issue length of 96 pages, we have increased to the current 136 pages. Our 30% advertising content cap is well below the national average and ensures ample editorial space for in-depth coverage of equipment and vehicles, as well as full-length feature trip stories that span the globe. Our strict standards for writing and photography, in addition to our striking layout, means that our subscribers receive an expedition and adventure travel magazine that is at once inspiring, informative, and attractive. Our extremely high readership satisfaction level allows us to offer an unconditional guarantee.”

“Great writing, by the way! I’m always very entertained by your prose…It’s a perfect blend of descriptive prose with ample wit to keep it light and fun. You both are a great team…It [X piece] is beautiful and as I would have expected, superbly written…To be honest, all of your pieces are fantastic.” Senior Editor, Overland International.

Overland Journal is a prestigious publication that flies off the shelves internationally like hot cakes. It’s not far fetched to say it’s the Nat Geo equivalent for overlanding. The 2016 fall issue showcases Jason’s stellar artwork in its Latitude section, and I’ve got to say, what a fabulous team of well informed, extensively travelled and talented people that beaver away behind the glossy cover. They are professionalism personified. We’re honoured to have the support of such a fine publication as much as being given the opportunity to contribute.

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Oboz“Our technology is inspired by common sense, experience, and a healthy aversion to cutesy gimmicks. These features work hard — period. In 2007, we escaped our big-brand-footwear jobs to found a shoe company built on one principle: True to the Trail. That phrase keeps headquarters in trail-crazy Bozeman, Montana; makes planting a tree for every pair sold a no-brainer; and guides both our business ethics and our shoe design process. (It also sounds cool when emotionally belted as a 80s power ballad chorus. Not that we do that all the time.)”

Hurling every kind of abuse imaginable at footwear is Jason’s speciality–rarely can a pair of unassuming trekking shoes keep up with this sure- but heavy-footed fellow. Thanks to Oboz, his feet have finally found their happy place. As have mine. May we keep singing to the tune “these boots were made for walking!” And what a thrill to be part of the official Oboz Footwear Trail Tales ambassador team for 2017, showcasing our adventures through visual storytelling.

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web-146-1108-01-headeraerostich-riderwearlogo“Aero Design & Mfg. Co. Inc. was formed in 1983 to develop a completely new type of textile-based gear for motorcyclists. We wanted to invent a lightweight armored garment offering convenience, comfort, and high levels of protection in bad weather and crashes – all combined in a coverall-type suit made for everyday motorcycle use. That garment is still named the Roadcrafter suit. In 1995 we began adding a few related resale items to Aerostich’s mail order catalog. Today the catalog offers several thousand specialized products that help make riding better, safer, more comfortable and easier. Many of the ‘Aerostich Riderwearhouse’ catalog items are unique, or hard to find elsewhere. Every Aerostich manufactured product is subject to a process of continuous incremental refinement. Each is intended to make motorcycling easier, more convenient, more comfortable, safer or better. Selling Aerostich gear factory-direct allows us to provide the best service and prices. Each customer receives expert answers to questions about a product’s fit, function, care and use.”

Predominantly through swopping my beloved Pearl (BMW F650GS), albeit hefty old motorcycle, for a much lighter and nimble set of wheels, Mr Jangles (Suzuki DR650), a very real need arose to fully embrace the concept “less is more”. Having been known to carry excess luggage—struggling off road as a direct consequence—then yes, it’s time to realise size does matter, particularly as I wish to undertake more technical riding through rocky terrain, loose gravel and lashings of sand. Cue the impeccable timing of Aerostich offering up a solution to accommodate: a yearning desire to prove I can travel light, reap the soul-singing joy of actually travelling light and as well, to facilitate keeping me on my toes. Wonders will never cease. I’m excited as much as privileged to be in partnership with this fine set of people.

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unknown“Lowepro begins, as do all authentic brands, with a story. It begins with Greg Lowe, in his small garage, in a Colorado town near the Rockies [1967]. This breakthrough design innovation helped packs fit close to the back and minimize load shifting – so gear-wearing adventurers can climb, bike, ski and scramble with more ease. Mountaineer, photographer, filmmaker and incessant product innovator, Greg developed the internal-frame backpack and the first lightweight and foam-padded nylon cases to protect camera and cinematography equipment from the hazards of climbing. These ideas and solutions came out of a need to carry valuable gear to new places. Other solutions followed. And today, creating inventive solutions is the hallmark of this brand. We are proud of the Lowepro heritage and we are committed to maintaining our tradition of providing innovative functionality and remarkable protection.”

Privileged as much as honoured to be in partnership with Lowepro, we wish to convey much excitement, particularly Jason, in receiving the perfect solution for his tech ensemble. Seldom products designed to specifically house and quickly access expensive equipment, are 100 per cent weather sealed; protected from uneven road surface impact; built to last; or enjoy zero built-in obsolescence to boot. Lowepro has given us ultimate peace of mind. Thank you, you’ve no idea how easy you’ve just made the on-the-fly life of a passionate motorcycling photographer.

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logo“Founded in 1946, the company started with the production of molded rubber products. Heidenau GmbH & Co. KG was founded [in 1993] with a focus on the production of two-wheeler, kart and special-purpose tires which has continued through today. Our success is based in the continuous improvement of our prodiction process and products. With our customer’s satisfaction as an primery concern, we keep an eye on the last motorbike developments for new applications, while keeping in mind the needs of our vintage motorbike enthusiasts. Starting in 1993 with 35 tire sizes, we are now offer a range of 550 tire designs for most applications. Our flexible production processes allows us to meet very specific needs, work out individual solutions, and manufacture even small lots needed.”

If there’s one thing that you can’t avoid wearing out, no matter how much you strive to carefully use, look after and elongate, it’s tyres. It’s what separates a great ride from just a good ride. As people that err significantly more towards the dirt than the highways, it’s with complete gratitude that we are collaborating with Heidenau Germany. Humbled as much as honoured, thank you for keeping our trip rolling, the wheels round and capable of going for it on all terrains known to Mother Nature and man. As far as longevity, steering, stability, grip and tread are concerned, on and off road, there’s no brand in our experience that comes close to Heidenau. In fact, their dual sport offering may just be the best mileage tyre ever. My first tyre on the trip, a front K60 Scout lasted me 31,000 miles, and I’d argue there was at least another grand to be wrung out of it. Yep: we’ll be Heidenau converts forever more.

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logo“Driven by the continual feedback and input from dedicated test pilots and passionate customers, KLIM strives to do one thing above all—improve your riding experience without compromise. We invite you to experience the difference riding in truly technical riding gear from KLIM can make. KLIM technical riding gear is the global leader in designing, developing and manufacturing the most advanced motor sports apparel for the snowmobile and motorcycle rider. Utilizing the world’s highest technologies in waterproof, breathable, durable and comfortable materials, KLIM builds gear for the most demanding riders.”

In my response to my thoughts on 5-10 items that I would say SHOULD be the requirements of field testing motorcycle garments: “Thank you! This is a fantastic list. I appreciate the feedback.” Technical Designer, Motorcycle Category KLIM Technical Riding Gear.

Working closely with the Technical Design team at KLIM, we’re privileged to be part of a progressive project where mindful attention to detail is about to set a new precedent: getting KLIM gear from great to the calibre of flagship. Particularly for the “badass” woman rider!

Road testing specific pieces day in and day out in myriad conditions and environments, facilitates throwing every kind of abuse imaginable at them. Representing a cross section of both women and male riders, we’re excited to be part of evolving a set of products where technical brilliance meets visual pleasure: the point in the universe at which performance, function and beauty intercept (a concept derived from Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance).

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schuberth-new-logo“We have been producing top-of-the-range helmets for more than 70 years. Our most important goal is to provide our customers with the best possible helmet: For the next big ride. The next job. The next mission. We want you to be able to concentrate fully on what you are doing. And keep a clear head for what lies ahead of you. We concentrate on this, because this is the only way we can specialize in so many applications – and remain so in the future. With the appropriate accessories and equipment, it goes without saying. Designers are constantly working to make our helmets safer, more comfortable and functional – with new materials, functions and production processes. The necessary testing accuracy is assured by our Development department with climate test rig, wind tunnel, acoustic laboratory and shock absorption test center. Every detail has got to be right before a helmet can become a SCHUBERTH helmet. Today, a team of more than 400 employees in Magdeburg develops and produces helmets for 55 countries.”

It’s not a myth that having more of your face on show to others, particularly from other countries, different cultures and backgrounds is boundlessly better and more sociable than riding into a remote village and greeting folks in a full-face, blackened visor or heavy duty goggles for example.  It doesn’t take more than a lick of sense to appreciate that it’s personable when there’s a smiling face in front of a stranger–offering up infinitely more openness.  Opting for Schuberth flip-up helmets don’t just facilitate greater friendliness, they also lend themselves extremely well towards those grab-your-camera-now and shoot NOW moments, easy roadside snacking and the convenience of quick face-to-face conversations to name a few. Rider safety isn’t compromised either so for us, they’re a genuine ‘Must have’ component of our riding ensemble.  Moreover, the C3 Pro Women is not only one of the quietest helmets on the market, it’s optimized for the smaller head too, which factors in the different dimensions of the female face. A special cushioning in the area of the cheeks offers a higher wear comfort for women and therefore becomes a safety feature to boot.

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hh“The story of Helly Hansen started in 1877. After many years at sea, norwegian captain Helly Juell Hansen and his wife Maren Margarethe began producing oilskin jackets, trousers, sou’westers and tarpaulins, made from coarse linen soaked in linseed oil. In the 20th century, Helly Hansen made several breakthroughs in product development to complete the layering principle today known as the 3-Layer System™. The layering story was completed in the 1970s, with the development of LIFA. This wonder-fiber…kept the skin dry and warm by pushing moisture away from the body, making it the ideal baselayer fabric for outdoor and workwear use. In 1980, the Helly Tech technology was launched, using both hydrophilic and microporous technology, which meant the apparel was both waterproof and breathable. This meant that anyone who participated in high-activity outdoor sports could expect their clothing to work with them, not against them. The heritage from Helly Juell Hansen is still our cornerstone. Today our gear is used by world-class sailors, skiers and adventurers who spend their time between human will and nature’s forces, and demand full protection and performance when the conditions are at their worst.”

Well if the fabric quality of Helly Hansen is good enough for world-class sailors, it’s good enough for us regular folks riding motorcycles! Thank you for replenishing our travel wardrobe with some versatile and bespoke garments for the upper and lower portions of our bodies. It will be a joy to finally wear some great travel clothing designed for the long haul.

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Sena“We are enthusiasts at Sena! We make products that satisfy the most skeptical riders – ourselves! We ride motorcycles and enjoy doing things in the outdoors, cycling, hiking and more. We develop our products with the understanding of what consumers want and need in a Bluetooth device. This innovation is driven by Sena’s desire to deliver a product the consumer can count on. Innovation means Jog Dial, the most intuitive wheel-like user interface for device control, a glove-friendly user interface with one-face one-button design philosophy, the most reliable and easy-to-use intercom system for seamless communication, and ongoing firmware upgrade system that ensures your device is always up to date.”

We are stoked to be collaborating with Sena USA as two of their adventure seekers. Functionality, adaptability and the most cutting edge of innovative communication technologies comprise the essence behind Sena’s driving force, which they have beautifully combined in the donation of various intercom systems from the 10C to the 10U, a Prism camera and a GoPro Audio Pack to us. You’ve left us speechless, and no, the irony isn’t lost on us..!  Having the technology in which to communicate easily and lucidly with one another via weather-proof devices on our helmets, on two motorcycles, on all terrains, in all traffic conditions and in any weather is priceless.  Heck, the 10Us even read out our text messages and enquire whether we wish to respond while riding. Talk about staying connected doesn’t really cover it. Thank you from two of the happiest riders out there.

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Woodys wheels“As much as a love for wrenching, we are driven by a philosophy that the wheel is nothing less than the most important invention of all time whose utility is seen in all things, big and small. Since the evidence of the first wheel in ancient Mesopotamia it has worked its way into the soul of humanity. With soulcraft we preserve the harmony between man-and-machine, and this awareness inspires the quality and performance that has made Woody’s Wheel Works legendary since 1973.” TG “Woody” Witte – Master Wheelsmith.

Quite simply, the craftsmen at Woody’s Wheel Works understand what makes wheels work on a profoundly flawless level.  I can vouch having been treated to a factory-tour that each wheel–whether undergoing restoration or being custom built from scratch–is given astounding attention to detail. Herculean strength and longevity in each wheel come as standard, and because absolute trueness is achieved on top, precise handling and minimal wear follow suit. There’s zero tolerance of “hop” and “wobble” in the rim where the wheel jumps up and down, or left and right respectively. Having been blessed with a set of super-laced wheels, Woody has left us well and truly on the straight and narrow. Technical brilliance meets aesthetic pleasure: the point at which optimal performance and beauty intercept. I’d even go as far as saying the finished article is made complete by a je ne sais quoi, something from the soul. Something you can’t quite name but you know is sacred.

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blackDog-logo“Black Dog Cycle Works focuses on ONLY the toughest and most rugged hard parts, accessories and armor, specializing in BMW and KTM adventure bikes, but other bikes as well. We design and manufacture our own parts—but also offer other hand-picked gear we’ve rigorously tested for their worthiness. The emphasis is on protecting your motorcycles for the adventures ahead…With over 15 years of adventure riding and constant product development, Kurt and Martha have learned what works best, what will last, what will protect your bike—and most importantly, what will help get you home. They tirelessly punish their own machines—having broken, bent or destroyed more than their share of parts in their ongoing quest for perfection.”

Fiendishly footsore and unhappy our feet are no more.  BDCW has set us on the straight and narrow, or rather, luxuriously enlarged.  A myth if you believe size doesn’t matter. Our bike’s OEM equivalents have been discarded and superseded by two very sturdy pairs of pegs doubtless defying all others out there. Incredibly, such a simple product will elongate our day-long comfort when riding off road, and when you can’t find your bottle opener at the end of the day, it’s the footpegs to the rescue, which will perform even that task for your beer without any fuss.  A nice touch, thank you!

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BA_logo“Fifteen years ago we shipped our first sleeping bags and pads to outdoor stores. In many ways it seems like yesterday, while in others it’s been a long and wild ride…Since we’re gear pro­viders and understand some things are out of your control, our advice is that life is too short to use bad camping gear. Whether you travel light and fast and bivy next to the trail or you pull into a campground with your fully loaded [vehicle], comfort is king. So gear up for it, and eliminate any suffering. Camping gear quality has improved so much that there really is no excuse for sliding off your pad, freezing your butt off or waking up to puddles in your tent. We’ve traveled the globe and searched nearly every conti­nent for fabrics and materials in an effort to make the gear that we think you’ll want to use because it’s what we use and what we’ve put through real life, backcountry testing…Our urge to sleep under the stars and breathe fresh moun­tain air is what continually drives us and keeps us motivated. In the end, the bluebird summits and nights spent listening to raging creeks or even highway noise have made the journey awesome and, truth be told, we wouldn’t want it any other way.”

logo-helinox-landingImpeccably timed, as we venture into the wildernesses offered up by the northern States, Canada and Alaska, it’s high time we got geared up with the right insulated clothing. Cue cutting edge water repellent down and its wealth of warmth awaiting the user. “Nesh” (susceptible to the cold) on a mild day, I’m excited to wear a Big Agnes jacket and revel in Big Agnes coziness. What’s more, camp in one of their ultra lightweight 2 man tents and relax in a Helinox chair–all of which couldn’t be more “motorcycle pannier friendly” where space and weight is always a premium.

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sprayway“Founded in 1974 by two outdoor enthusiasts in Manchester, England the brand quickly became one of Britain’s leading outdoor clothing companies. Sprayway has been keeping the British public warm, dry and comfortable in all conditions ever since…Now in its 40th year, the SPRAYWAY® brand continues to use innovative fabrics across a wide range of products and continues to produce garments which utilise cutting edge technology whilst remaining true to our Mancunian roots.”

I am an unashamed loyalist to the Sprayway brand. Having worn my first Sprayway fleece at ten years old–the same garment is still going strong a quarter of a century on–one of my prized pieces for the outdoors. Simply, it’s a company that leads the way in terms of cutting edge design and manufacture of clothing and equipment for the backcountry enthusiast, which performs in a way that it’s supposed to–keeps you warm and dry or cool and ventilated. Superb.

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Hydro-Flask-logo“Hydro Flask was founded in 2009, when we launched the first all-insulated bottle line-up into the market. From modest beginnings, we exploded with hydration-loving fans everywhere to hit 1 million in sales by 2011. We then turned our attention to the beer market and launched the first-ever insulated growler. And we haven’t stopped since. We continually strive to bring new, innovative solutions to our customers. From insulated caps, to the lightest weight bottles in the insulated category, our dedication to our products and culture remains our number one focus. Six short years later, we now offer over 100 products in four different categories:  hydration, coffee, beer and food…Through it all, however, one thing remains clear: we are committed to bringing you unexpected refreshment, wherever your adventures take you. Join us on our mission to save the world from lukewarm.”

Purchasing plastic bottle after plastic bottle is not exactly kind on the environment and will only get you so far when they eventually perish and leak all your spare water, cooking oil and milk. As a typical Brit, if I don’t get my cup of tea after a hard day’s ride, I reach a state of spitting feathers! (To be very thirsty, usually for a nice cuppa, a metaphor for the mouth being so dry it feels like it’s full of feathers or to be very angry – foaming at the mouth.) Thank you Hydro Flask for preventing such a raw emotional state from arising again. And for giving us the keys on Instagram to spearhead a giveaway extravaganza: here, here, here, herehere, here and here!

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starbrite_logo“Peter Dornau co-founded the Company in 1973 around a single product, Star brite® Auto Polish. This polish revolutionized the industry through its advertising programs such as the now famous Star brite® commercials which included the “Junkyard Test” where an automobile selected from a junk yard was transformed into a vehicle of beauty in minutes utilizing Star brite® Polish. Over time a greatly expanded line of products were developed around the polish to maintain the appearance of vehicles. Despite its early success, in the mid-80’s the Company began shifting its product line focus into the wide open boat care and appearance market. Now, nearly twenty years later, the Star brite® brand is the nationally known standard for boat appearance and care. The Company has also established solid niches in the recreational vehicle, aircraft, home care, aviation, outdoor power equipment powersports and motorcycle markets.”
Star-Tron-LogoAfter 2.5 years, 21 countries over almost 45,000 miles on the road, it takes just a lick of sense to stay selective about what we carry. And often times, it has to be double-duty: less is more and size does matter. Namely space and weight will always be at a premium when living out of two panniers and a roll bag. Thanks to Star Brite making us field pro-staff (a wee article here), we are testing and bettering our gear with nifty products such as the Enzyme Fuel Treatment and Screen Cleaner & Protectant spray with PTEF. Nifty, you say? The spray alone leaves the visor sparkling (inside and out); disintegrates the carnage of bugs left splattered on the helmet and moto (without affecting the paintwork); effortlessly cleans the glass on the laptops, iPad and iPhone to a high shine; eliminates the smudges and smears on our sunglasses and removes the dust and dirt (including to Dawson and back!) from the windshield, headlights and mirrors. What’s more, it acts as a leak finder in the pinhole tyre punctures, doubles up as a lubricant when changing / mounting a new tyre and in the words of Stephen Fry: “Suck my pants and call me Noreen”–smells just like Pina Colada! (Confirmed by all.) Did I say double-duty? I meant myriad multi-purpose, these products are the Leatherman of motorcycle maintenance liquids.

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jwwlogoheader“No premiere tour company in the sublime business of whale watching springs from just one individual. It takes an entire team united behind something big. Together, at Juneau Whale Watch, we work hard, we laugh a lot, we brainstorm nonstop, and we give the best high-fives in town. All of which, we feel is testament to why we have the highest quality personnel in our employ, enjoy the number ONE ranking on Trip Advisor and must-see whale watching tours in our offering.”

Thrilled to be collaborating with such a fantastic family-run enterprise (comprising Juneau Whale Watch and Juneau Tours), we feel the universe aligned upon meeting these fine entrepreneurs, who from ground zero, have organically grown their offering to become the best in town. You know that “right time, right place” magical thing…that happened! Not only when the humpback whales engaged in the unique phenomenon called “bubble-net feeding,” but that extends to forging fast friends and a solid partnership with this people-impassioned company. Certainly, one that’s in the inspirationeering business of cruise ship passengers, fly-in vacationers on their Alaskan trip of a lifetime, walk-ins looking to be wowed, and well, motorcycle travellers to boot.

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Hilleberg-logo_4643“In 1971, Bo Hilleberg, a professional forester, founded his own company, Hilleberg AB. That same year, while on a ski vacation in the Austrian Tyrol, Bo met Renate Neuner…An avid, lifelong outdoorsman, Bo was terminally frustrated with tents that required pitching the inner tent first and then covering it with a loose rain fly that usually displayed the same properties as a kite in the wind. He envisioned a tent that had an outer and inner tent that pitched together, simultaneously – but he didn’t have the necessary sewing skills. With Bo and Renate’s marriage, conjugal and commercial became one: Renate took charge of the sewing while Bo handled design and sales, and with their combined efforts, the company flourished. Today, family and business are still inextricably linked. Bo is Chairman, and is still in charge of design and development; daughter Petra handles all company business outside of Europe; and Bo, Renate, Petra and her brother Rolf make up the governing board of directors – clearly, family synergy continues to beget success.”

The more we travel, the more we find ourselves out in the wilderness and increasingly on terrain that doesn’t always lend itself to staking pegs in the ground. Namely snow, super soft sand or solid rock. Cue the Staika, which Hilleberg have taken the time to design a durable, uber simple and foremost, free standing dome tent that is well, perfectly suited for our adventure. Dome Sweet Dome! Thank you Hilleberg.

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Weego_Logo_RBGEstablished in July 2014, Weego is a brand of Paris Corporation that’s penetrating the “portable power industry with unique products that offer something for everyone. Weego is a personification of who we are as a company. Our aims and values center on providing high-quality and affordable power to your entire family. From moms to mechanics, from ATVs to boats, from cell phones to tablets – we have a charge for everyone and everything. Weego where you go, when you need us, wherever you need us. Our lab-tested products are built with quality at the forefront – Weego to great lengths to create a trustworthy brand on which you and your family can rely. We’re constantly working to make sure you have the power you need, all the time – here, there, everywhere.”

After being caught a handful of times with either a low-voltage battery and, or faulty stator – once halting a serious five-day expedition deep in Death Valley, we are thrilled to be partnering with Weego. We are reviewing and testing their Heavy Duty Jump Starter Battery+, 12V DC Adapter and their Powersports Tether that permanently connects to the bike’s battery terminals to allow simple jump starting or trickle charging. Not to mention the ability to charge up the old digital camera batteries, head torch batteries, Sena 10C intercoms, iPad and iPhone to name a few.  Practically every electronic device we have.  If that doesn’t keep us rolling, nothing will!

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logo“We are the largest aftermarket motorcycle parts, clothing, and accessories store in Alaska (since 1979)! We manufacture the world famous “Sheepskin Buttpad” right here in Alaska, and ship them to every corner of the planet. We carry men’s and women’s casual leather jackets, leather hats, gloves, wallets and belts. Our shop also specializes in leather repairs and cleaning, and we mount and balance motorcycle tires! Alaska Leather is the home of the $399 motorcycle gear package deal, which includes a helmet, jacket, chaps, boots and gloves. Everything we carry is not on the website because we’re just not that organized yet. Please stop by and see us, we are open 7 days a week!”

Having had the stellar good fortune of sampling a butt pad from my great friend Kristina Goodwin in Alaska, I very quickly experienced the moment of no going back–the tipping point for my gluteus maximus.  Thanks to Barbara Smart, owner of Alaska Leather, it’s ‘Heiny heaven’ from here on out–beyond comforting when you’re munching miles over 12-hour days in the saddle upon the approach to the top of the planet.  No more ‘Sponge Bob Square Pants’ for my backside, it’s bumtastic all the way.  Thank you Barbara Smart.

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kriega“Designed in England by a dedicated team of motorcycle obsessed engineers, Kriega motorcycle backpacks, motorcycle bags and motorcycle accessories offer innovation, along with the highest standards of functionality and craftsmanship. Kriega kit is built to perform, with an exceptional 10-year guarantee on all packs…Kriega utilizes only the best materials and manufacturing processes to deliver the best luggage solutions and equipment made solely for motorcyclists. Each Kriega motorcycle backpack, tail pack, tank bag, Enduro hydration kit and accessory is developed to withstand extreme on or off-road use and with the rider’s very particular requirements in mind.”

There’s something idyllically convenient about not having to stop mid-flow while munching the miles on the bike, pull up and route around to grab your bottle of water.  It doesn’t always but can interrupt the harmony of a serpentine ride through sweeping bends or simply, having no safe place in which to pull over isn’t always conducive to maintaining one’s comfort level. Kriega has kindly added the Hydro-3 Enduro backback to our riding ensemble, giving us instant access to hydration, where ever and whenever our thirst requires quenching.

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SW Motech

SW-MOTECH is already known for producing well thought out products that fit even better than many OEM parts, but that is not enough. The recent addition of 3D scanning technology is one example of how our company is continually seeking new ways we can improve. As a result we can develop parts with a higher level of precision and efficiency, allowing us to design bike-specific products that are perfectly integrated into the geometry of each individual motorcycle.”

SW Motech’s response to our contributions: “I really love what you are doing. Everytime I see some of your photos I would love to pack my stuff and leave… :o) And another very positive point: You are so active and it is very nice that you keep me up to date.” Marketing.

We’d agree.  Lighter and smaller has increasingly become our preferred way to travel and being on the receiving end of the highest end soft luggage manufacturers is well, superb!  We needed something bombproof and we don’t doubt for a second whether the inner dry and outer roll bags from SW-MOTECH Germany are up to the job, particularly in all weathers and terrains.  Good work guys and danke schoen!

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Gyde Supply“A motorcyclist rides to work at an aeronautical machine shop. It’s frigid, wet and blustery. The faster he goes, the colder he feels. Machine shop owner and engineer is inspired; Gerbing Thermovelocity Protection™ is born. For over 40 years we have been industry leaders in developing heating technology to overcome cold weather conditions. Whether you’re jumping out of an airplane at 30,000 feet, ripping a first descent at sixty miles-per-hour, running wide open on your bike in the dead of winter, or just spending an extended amount of time in the elements, Gyde delivers the highest performance and most distinctive designs in the outerwear market. We are born from aeronautics. Fueled by a passion for the outdoors. And engineered to withstand the fridged conditions.”

Personally, being cold in the saddle is distracting as it is disagreeable, sometimes agonising on the extremities. Gone are the old school days of having no option but to suffer and suck it up…thank Gyde!  Having ridden in -10 degrees Celsius, we’re very aware as to how cold and miserable life can get in the saddle without heated clothing. Plugging the gear straight into the bike, snug warmth and permanent comfort is ours whenever the wind chill picks up or temperatures plummet. For me, heated clothing has revolutionised cold weather riding; the only way to enable permanent pleasure whatever the wicked weather. Thank you Gyde Supply, our every fibre, finger and limb cherishes your superb support.

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Thermarest“In 1971, a fortuitous mix of unemployed engineers, a leaky foam gardening pad, and the dream of a better way to sleep under the stars came together to change how we experience the outdoors forever. Today, Therm-a-Rest has become a legendary provider of all things comfortable for your outdoor adventures. The goal is to provide you with the finest solutions to outdoor comfort, so you can stay fresh and make the most of every moment outdoors.”

No matter how strenuous, challenging or rotten your day has been whether in or out of the saddle, what’s the one thing everybody needs to keep going? A fantastic night’s kip! Get your eight hours and you’re fresh, ready and raring to go again–batteries recharged and better able to face the day ahead. Thank you Therm-a-Rest for facilitating that invaluable process with the restorative Pro Lite Plus and the insulating Womens Pro Lite Plus sleeping mats. We’re beyond thrilled but the fact that you’ve thrown in two hammocks for some daily R&R to boot is truly spectacular!

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tom tom logo

“In 1991 TomTom was founded and began a journey that would change the way people drive forever.  From the start, TomTom focused on making technology accessible for everyone, beginning with software development for business-to-business mobile applications and personal digital assistants for consumers. In just two years TomTom became the market leader in PDA software with navigation applications such as RoutePlanner and Citymaps…The launch of the first TomTom GO in March 2004 revolutionised the way millions of drivers got from point A to point B. The first ever PND was affordable and accessible to everyone and became the fastest selling consumer technology device ever, reaching one million sales faster than the introduction of the mobile phone. Demand grew rapidly across Europe and North America, since then, over 75 million devices have been sold in 35 countries, guiding drivers over 280 billion kilometers. In the years to follow, TomTom continued to innovate and create new products.”

The icing on the cake has to be when you no longer have to follow your partner blindly like a sheep.  Until now, namely, for the last 33,000 miles through 17 countries over 21 months, I’ve not had my own satellite navigation device.  Thanks to incredible support with the TomTom Rider 400, the pair of us have been generously given a couple of TomTom RIDER devices.  And changed the dynamic of our daily riding experience into the bargain; what a treat it will be to lead Jason from A to B, through the crazy traffic of big cities or better still, wending our way through the wilderness–off the roads less ridden–and ultimately take the onus off Jason in undertaking all the leading for a change.  “Come along Jase, follow me–it’s this way!”  Thank you very much, TomTom!

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Hex“We are HEX Code, the creators and developers of the GS-911 Diagnostic tool for BMW motorcycles! Above all, we are passionate about BMW motorcycles. The first GS-911 was shipped in 2007 and we have not looked back since. Functionality is continuously being added and the best aftermarket diagnostic tool for BMW motorcycles is continuously improving.” 

ddIt’s all well and good hoping for a quick fix when your BMW motorcycle takes a turn for the worse and breaks down. Certainly with joyous amounts of riding on all terrains in all conditions; trust us, it’s not a case of if but when. And as much as we don’t mind such interruptions, we’d much rather spend minimal time to get back on the road and rolling forward! Thank you HEX Code South Africa for rescuing us in our hour of need with a GS-911 WiFi Enthusiast. You have awarded us the gift of time by being able to instantly determine the problem with such a priceless diagnostic tool. Dankie!

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TEVA_LOGO“Teva was born in the Grand Canyon back in 1984, when a river guide rigged two Velcro watchbands to an old pair of flip flops and created a shoe that wouldn’t float away. Three decades later, we’ve grown up into an icon of comfort and utilitarian style. How you choose to live is the ultimate form of personal expression, and around here, we want to seize every second—to live light and loud. If you’re up for anything and love the thrill of spontaneity, then we are your people. This adventurous spirit—the one that pioneered the very first pair of Teva sandals—takes form in everything we create.”

Comfort, style and performance all in one pair of footwear. Perfick for slipping into after a long day in clunky motorcycle boots, munching all those miles on the road. Superb and thank you so much, Teva!

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Butler“Butler Maps Inc was created by motorcyclists who run the gamut of enthusiasm.  From young to old, road racer to casual cruiser, our unique team has the pleasure of combining our varied backgrounds to create a map suitable for any type of rider…Our passion for motorcycles is the common thread that fuels our campfire fodder and inspires our dream to share the best motorcycling roads we can find. Our dream is big, but the concept is simple; research, ride and share the best riding experiences so we all can spend time doing what we love to do – twisting the throttle!…Simply put: We make maps. Real good ones. For people who ride motorcycles.”

Guys, we are all over your mission. Simply put: we love it! And Butler motorcycle maps to boot are brilliant. For us, maps remain king. Thank you so much.

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msr_logo

“I encourage you to remember the restorative powers of the outdoors, to seek them as often as possible and to spread the word.” John Burroughs, company co-founder and chief product tester.” 

Short, simple and effortlessly spot on! Couldn’t agree with you more Mr Burroughs, thank you for your support of a free-standing tent and a mind-blowing bundle of camping equipment including a stove to name just a few. MSR’s timing was impeccable; after 20 months and 30,000 miles of riding, camping and living out of two panniers and a rollbag through the Americas, on all kinds of terrains and in every season, we are truly grateful to have our camping gear refreshed and replenished.

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rab_logo-e1415119945442“Rab Carrington built his company on two things: A deep understanding of what climbers and mountaineers need, and a commitment to practical gear that works. It’s this down to earth, honest approach that still informs the design and testing process linking us firmly to that modest beginning in 1980’s Sheffield. Those same qualities of innovation, integrity and function have endured, remaining at the heart of the Rab® brand today…Whilst the brand continues to grow, we are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to design hard-wearing gear for the mountains. We have built up a community consisting of some of the best climbers, mountaineers and explorers in the world, regularly supporting groundbreaking expeditions and climbs across the globe.”

Holy smokes! As the first non-climbers to be in collaboration with Rab USA, we are enraptured to be on board as non-climbing ambassadors. As one of the USA’s strongest and pre-eminent market leaders in technical, high end apparel, it will be our pleasure to utilize Rab’s adventure-proof gear from head to toe daily and champion the brand. Thank you.

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cot“We share your passion for the outdoors. From climbing the Old Man of Hoy to cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats, our staff are brought together by a love for anything and everything outdoors. In our spare time, we are walkers, climbers, cyclists, trail runners, skiers, hikers, swimmers, kayakers – you name it, we do it…”

After 16 months and 23,000 miles of living on the road, your somewhat limited travel wardrobe all but disintegrates! Cotswold Outdoor UK came to our rescue with a fantastic range of adventure-proof apparel, carefully selected to meet all of our needs both beneath the motorcycle suits and on foot.  Professional brands such as Arc’teryx and Mountain Equipment will be sure to see us through our journey, and beyond! Thank you to the moon and back.

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Millets-Instagram

Millets can trace its history right back to 1893, when JM Millet opened a drapers and outfitters business in Southampton and Bristol. In 1923 JB Spielman (grandson of the founder), took over the Victoria Street business in Bristol and from this the present business grew.” Their mission statement: Great value outdoor clothing and equipment when it comes to tents, camping equipment, clothing, footwear and accessories.

Millets UK have generously given us their buy-in with some customised adventure-proof clothing, going beyond the extra mile to keep us on the road, for that much longer. Thoroughly grateful for such a tailored ensemble that has exceeded both our needs and hopeful wants. And what a pleasure to be appearing as guest bloggers (check out our posts here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here) on the Millets website..!

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Ultimate Outdoors

“Ultimate Outdoors is the number one destination for everything outdoors. Whether you are experienced in the mountains, or a family heading out on your first camping trip you will find the right gear for you at the best price. The range we stock is second-to-none featuring the biggest names in the outdoors. We have been providing quality outdoor gear for over ten years.”

What’s the one thing all happy travellers on the road need at the end of the day to keep having a ball well into the evening? A pair of head torches of course..! Thank you Ultimate Outdoors UK for being a beacon of light in our darkest hours.

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blacks

“Blacks – the outdoor experts since 1863. We offer a huge range of premium outdoor gear, from clothing and footwear to camping and hiking equipment. We only work with the most trusted outdoor brands known for their outstanding technical performance.” Their mission is quite simply: Equipping you for life outdoors.

Akin to us,Blacks is all about life outdoors. To be supported by Blacks UK with a bespoke bundle of brilliant traveller-friendly gear is beyond great. Thanks so much, here’s to testing the clothing to the max.

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images

“In 1950, Roger Störling founded the family busines initially specialising in jogging wear. The earliest products were made in the kitchen of an old farmhouse in Kokkola on the west coast of Finland. The company acquired its first welding machines in 1953 and broadened its product range into the area of waterproof rainwear. The flags in the modern-day Rukka logo stand for the letters R,U,K,K,A in the international flag signal alphabet – a homage to the sport of sailing which once constituted the core of Rukka’s business. From the planning stage to the final product, Rukka spares no expense to obtain the best possible results. Every single kind of material is tested several times by both the supplier and Rukka before it is used in the production. The findings from countless testing sessions in cold and hot weather, rain and snow are also taken into account before the product is approved for large scale production.”

One of our first supporters to come on board, Rukka is undoubtedly a high-end brand.  Their magnanimous offering of two all singing, three season, Cordura and weatherproof Gore-Tex suits has well, gone beyond our wildest dreams. Breathable and permanently waterproof; windproof when you want it to be, ventilated when you don’t; both the Flexius and Flexina are bombproof with a tailored cut, fit and finish. I’m not sure what more you could ask for from a motorcycle jacket and trousers. Rukka completed the ensemble with motorcycle gloves and microbial (won’t offend after days upon days of constant wear!) undergarments on top. Simply stunning build quality, thank you!

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sealNecessity – the mother of invention. Sealskinz is a creation of necessity, it’s about the need to be first out and last in, the need to defy the outdoors, the need to defy the cold and the wet, the need to perform, the need to protect. If you think about it, in the outdoors the “Achilles heel” is in fact an Achilles; foot, head, ear, finger, or toe and this is where we are vulnerable, this is where we need protection. This necessity created Sealskinz, the first laminated sock, keeping wet out and warmth in, Sealskinz three-layer patented sock broke the mould, hats and gloves followed using the same technology…to enable you to defy the great outdoors.”

Defy the great outdoors we will try! It was Billy Connolly that said something along the lines of ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing’ – exactly where we think SealSkinz are coming from and wanted to express our sincere thanks for making this possible with a fine selection of hats, gloves and socks. Toasty and watertight!

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endur

“Yes we ride! Enduristan is not just our company, it’s a passion for us. Enduristan can’t be found on any map, but when the daily grind is left behind, and the adventure begins, that’s when you realise that you are there.”

What’s the one thing that proves beyond useful when riding in all weathers?  One of them is undeniably a FULLY waterproof tank bag. Enduristan Switzerland have supported us with two heavily discounted Sandstorm tank bags, which we’re thrilled about because neither require tank bag rain covers.  Superb!

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altberg“Mike Sheehan is the owner of Alt-Berg, and he has been making boots for over 40 years. He was taught by the Shepherd family of Rochdale – and carries forward the heritage that started over 80 years ago, in a small co-operative in Rochdale. Today Alt-Berg make some of the best boots in Europe. Their boots are a testament to skills and knowledge built up over many years.”

In the early days of Alt-Berg, things were very bleak, and we had some days when we had no money, no orders, and the machines kept breaking down… I didn’t know if we could last another week… But I was taught – by a good man, who had survived the dark days of the 30’s depression – and he would say… ‘when times are bad, just concentrate on making good boots… there’ll always be someone who wants a pair of good boots…’ and that’s what we did, and that’s what we still do…” Mike Sheehan, Alt-Berg Senior Bootmaker

Having worn out our boots from almost two years of everyday usage, the time came to refresh our footwear. Jason opted for the Hogg All Weather dual use motorcycle boots and I went for the Tethera boots, both capable of going the extra mile and keeping us on the road a lot longer. Thank you to the wonderful Alt-Berg team in Yorkshire, that provided us with happy feet for a long time to come.

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DYW_1inch_Square“Travel; being outdoors; exploring new cultures; discovering epic places–that’s what makes us tick. Travelling gives us a buzz that nothing else can equal…Every clever idea we’ve ever come up with is down to our experiences. Sometimes it’s the experiences we imagine ourselves having–those escapist thoughts that lead us to consider the clothing we’d wear if we were trekking through the rainforest, sailing rugged coastlines or summiting volcanoes. On the other it’s about the experiences we’ve already had. Those moments where we’ve thought, ‘This is it; this is where I want to be.'” 

Craghoppers UK have just about summed up our driving force behind why we ride motorcycles; being connected to the outdoors and engaged in nature’s finest offerings.  Supplying us with an impressively tailored ensemble from both the Craghoppers and Bear Grylls brands, which are foremost Jason-proof will keep us going for quite some time.  We’re so grateful to these guys and gals in Manchester!

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Columbia

“Being an industry leader in outdoor apparel and products takes passion, and an understanding of people who love the outdoors as much as we do…We enjoy the outdoors as much as you do, which means we know what you need. We know that being cold and wet is no fun. Blue eyes may be sexy, but blue lips aren’t. And, while a sunny day is excellent, sunburn sucks. That’s why we make high-quality performance products that keep you comfortable and protected, no matter where your excursions take you. The outdoors isn’t all about remote expeditions or climbing the world’s highest mountains. Anyone can enjoy the outdoors. It’s easy. Just open the door and go outside. From the mountain peak to the neighbourhood park, from the glacier to the garden, and from the Tour de France to training wheels, Columbia helps you enjoy your outdoor adventure anywhere you like to play.”

Couldn’t agree more with the fine folks at Columbia Sportswear, who have kindly assisted us with a bespoke bundle of outdoor clothing and some fantastic footwear. We’re grateful for your support to Guatemala and back and can’t tell you how impeccable your timing is on top. Thank you very much.

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hitec“I know that the consumer of [today] is extremely knowledgeable and knows exactly what he or she need and expects from our products. What consumers tell me will be incorporated in our future offering – I guarantee you this. I want us to create a product with actual and relevant added value. Thank you for making it all possible. I LOVE MY JOB!” Frank van Wezel (CEO)

With Jason being particularly heavy-footed, he can wear out a pair of boots like nobody’s business. Thanks Hi-Tec for supplying some sturdy boots for us both, keeping us in the comfort of the dry  with footwear that’ll also keep us going for quite some time to come!

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oempire“Overland Empire isn’t just a camping brand. It’s not all solo hikes and pretty scenery. Overland Empire is an adventure brand. It’s a movement. It’s about style, getting dirty, building off road trucks and motorcycles, cooking great food over a fire, being outside, having fun and feeling the dirt under your feet and the sky over your head. We’re adventurers, bottom line. The difference is that we approach each adventure with a style that’s our own.”

Cotton soft with a peach finish really does give Overland Empire’s apparel that gorgeous feel against the skin. It’s beyond wonderful to replenish our expired clothing with a fresh new bundle, and we’d absolutely agree that the cut and finish focus on style.

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Tech_Trial_logo“Tech Trial UK Ltd has been devised by tech enthusiasts, for tech enthusiasts. Our aim is to make what we believe to be the most exciting new tech on the market accessible to everyone. Tech Trial offers a unique and unparalleled customer experience of trying before you buy!…If, after trying out a new gadget, you decide it isn’t for you, then simply return it at any point during the trial period. If, however, you decide you can’t possibly live without it, then we’ll happily refund the trial cost against the purchase of a new one!”

Sounds like a no brainer to us. Remarkably, the guys at Tech Trial UK in England took a punt, who before our moto-travels had even begun, played their wildcard and donated a GoPro Hero 3+ to us. We sincerely hope they like the aerial and eyeline footage we’ve captured to date using their product…more coming soon! Thank you very much.

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motohaus“Welcome to Motohaus Powersports voted “Wholesaler of the Year” by Motorcycle News, the UK’s leading consumer motorcycle publication. Partners with outstanding manufacturers around the world we develop and support some of the industry’s top brands for the benefit of you, the enthusiast.”

Having bumped into the MD at Motohaus Powersports at Motorcycle Live 2015 in Birmingham, we soon got chatting and to our surprise, we were offered some support.  Days later, a comprehensive puncture repair kit arrived just in time for the second leg of our journey, from Los Angeles up to Alaska.  Thank you very much, it’s nice to know we’ve got it covered the next time one of our tyres come a cropper!

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BLOC“BLOC Systems Ltd…fuelled a revolution in sports and fashion eyewear across the world and over the proceeding years, we blew apart the notion that perfection can only be achieved with excessive price. Our ability to both forecast and react quickly to changes in sport and street fashion alike play a crucial part in our growth and development as a company. Our desire for perfection is limitless, as we continue to explore the boundaries of new production materials and eye protection. In an increasingly competitive world, the dream of offering the very best is now a reality.”

BLOC Performance Optics UK generously recognised that folks such as us riding almost permanently in direct sunlight will reap benefit from the highest eye protection. They’ve aptly combined style, comfort and performance to our faces and delighted us with two pairs of BLOC polarised sunglasses. Fantastic, thank you!

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Exofficio

“ExOfficio believes that the magic of travel, whether you seek different cultures, epic scenery, or the thrill of the unknown, is a chance to create perspective and vitality by opening your mind to the wonders of the world. Since 1987, we have celebrated the traveler by crafting garments that allow you to experience the world unhindered.”

It gives our derrieres such pleasure to receive two pairs of ExOfficio’s Give-N-Go® underwear that are made from lightweight, wrinkle-free fabric with bug, sun and water protection.  The ultimate we’d say in intelligently designed products promoting both comfort and performance; leaving two resultant appreciative backsides, in and out of the saddle!

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Roadrunners-Despatch-Ltd-778739-0“Established for over 30 years, RoadRunners Despatch Ltd is an independent same-day courier company based in the East-Midlands. With couriers in Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, & Loughborough, we have the availability to offer unparalleled levels of service for all our clients throughout the East-Midlands…We offer a round the clock service, 24hrs a day, 363 days a year. Using a computerised routing system, we can provide immediate and accurate quotations to/from any postcode in the UK.”

Absolutely indebted to the director of RoadRunners Despatch for safely storing the limited possessions we have kept to our names–namely the non-pannier friendly items unable to come with us on the bikes. Much obliged to you, Clive!

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