BMW GS1200 bike adventure for childrens charity
Wissam Al Jayyoussi to ride across some of the toughest and dangerous terrain in the world
By Patrick Littlejohn
How to channel your adrenaline and adventurist spirit; go to the gym; buy a fast car; visit the poles or even climb a mountain, enough for most people but not for one 37-year old Palestinian business man. How about an adrenaline fueled 60,000km journey on a motorcycle, with no backup and on your own through some of the most dangerous and remote countries in the world? No support and only faith in yourself, your bike and the people you will meet on the road, this isn’t the ‘Long way round’ or even the ‘long way down’ this is a long long way on your own.
All the company Wissam Al Jayyoussi will have on this trip will be his BMW GS1200 motorcycle, himself, his kit and a teddy bear called ‘Beit Jala’ who will be his wife, partner and buddy to talk, argue and abuse for some of those thousands of kilometers.
There is a purpose behind his trip beyond his sense of adventure. What really ties it together, and makes the journey worthwhile is his need to help a cause in a different way and this is the Palestine Children Relief Fund’s project to build the Beit Jala Pediatric Oncology Department to help children with Cancer.
The journey will help carry this message and the bike will help to bring the social element, as most bikers will know the bike is often the starting point of a conversation and Wissam hopes to carry this message all the way across Asia.
As a biker Wissam also owns a classic Ducati 900 Supersports which he keeps in his living room , races a Ducati 1198SP and undertook a previous jaunt on a Harley, he’s been riding for 14 years but for this trip he’s taken several advanced riding courses and has been riding the BMW for a year through every off-road route in the UAE in preparation for his trip.
Starting in Dubai towards the end of April, Wissam will travel in a criss-cross pattern through Asia towards his end goal in Singapore 132 day’s later. His criteria of traveling through some of the major population centre’s and Asian destinations such as Pakistan, India, China and Russia combined with the problems of borders, political unrest and natures barriers such as the Himalayas results in Wissam’s biggest undertaking and most dangerous one to date along with a route which on a map looks like a child’s drawing.
Previously Wissam undertook a journey from Dubai to London on a Harley Electra Glide racking up some 40,000kms so he’s no stranger to long motorcycle journey’s however this one takes him through some of the most dangerous countries both politically and geographically in the world so it won’t just be a numb behind to worry about.
He’ll be crossing through to name a few Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia republics like Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan up to Moscow and all the way across into Mongolia down through China, Laos and Cambodia. Along the way he’ll have to deal with warzones, roads in terrible condition or no roads at all, deserts, borders and dodgy border guards, jungles and miles and miles between fuel stops.
He has a set route and set borders to pass through, though in some areas very little idea of the condition of roads he will face. In Mongolia where there are so few roads he’s expecting to undertake significant amounts of time off road through grasslands and desert.
Mechanically Wissam confesses to be good and he’d have to be as with no support he has to carry all his spares with him along with tent, cooking, clothes, power and communication and be prepared to fix anything along the way. Though he’s prepared with a list of garages on route he’s confident that he can fix anything on the bike himself wherever he is except the clutch.
The bike itself is the GS1200, a workhorse for this kind of trip, with few fancy electronics to go wrong it’s all mechanics. While this may sound within the realms of a reasonable undertaking for the mechanically able this shouldn’t be belittled as only a badly placed pothole in the middle of nowhere resulting in a bent wheel rim is enough to do serious damage to the bike, rider and trip. Bar a few modifications for comfort, suspension and luggage it remains fairly standard, while very capable it’s a heavy bike however so crossing soft sand will be difficult.
Wissam is currently planning to leave Dubai around the 25th April and will be keeping us updated along the way via his blog, for more information on the route, bike, trip and to lend him your support see http://goodwilljourney.org/