Contact me

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43 Comments on Contact me

  1. Ben Farrell // 08/03/2014 at 7:57 am // Reply

    Morning Pitch.. I keep seeing pictures of you in magazines so wanted to generally abuse you as a media tart..Stonyhurst mag and now Adventure bike rider! Love your adventure and frankly very jealous as I slog it out in the business world. I am a big Dakar fan – have a bike and a dream of a run out one day!

    Hope you are still really thriving and loving your new world.

    Be safe..

    Ben

    • Hey Ben, lovely to hear from you! I’ve been forced into self promotion in a vein attempt to earn bit of cash – I never quite got the pension you did!

      Dakar was a fantastic experience – I was just re-reading my blogs about it yesterday and remembering how much fun I had. Highly recommended – come over next year to follow it and then meet up with the family for a holiday, or perhaps the other way round so it fits with school holidays.

      Hope all’s well, buddy. One of these days I may find myself back in UK (might come home in May-June to by a new moto). If I do, I’ll be round your way looking for some John Lewis sponsorship for Dakar 2016!!

  2. Ben Farrell // 11/03/2014 at 4:49 pm // Reply

    Brilliant! Think I will start warming up Sarah for a Dakar holiday next year! Could be a tough sell!

    All well back here thanks, John Lewis is keeping me busy and proving to be interesting, children growing up and Freddie is off to St Johns Beaumont in Sept. It would be great to see you when you do make it back – really interested to hear about your superb adventure. Keep up the self promotion – there’s a book/film in there…I recently read a book written by Johnny Bealby about his moto trip to South Africa and back, around the African coast pretty much – inspiring stuff.

    Keep in touch.

  3. Love the movie Paul! Felt like I was riding with you and Pau… As Toby would say, así es mi Perú! Love and hugs to you both! Sara

  4. Well done mate, love it. When I retired from the army we did the same but in a Landrover at http://www.landroveradventure.co.uk changed our entire out look on life. Enjoy mate.

  5. Long Distance Media // 27/04/2014 at 3:11 pm // Reply

    Dhanyabad and you’re welcome. I reckon I’m about four years behind your life plan…. I’m writing about the same ideas as you at http://www.themotojourney.com. Ride safe! Harry

  6. Jim Csoppu // 22/05/2014 at 4:44 pm // Reply

    Great to see you living the dream, I left myself in 2012 after 27 years! First thing I did was 6500 miles on my GSA, should have kept going, was sorely tempted but maintenance to pay until next year, I may catch you up yet! Stay safe and enjoy.

  7. Paul enjoyed the movies and your blog. I’m in the planning stage of my trip from Connecticut to the Tierra del fuego. I’m presently doing short trips (less than 500 miles) and testing my gear. Your website has given me an abundance of information. Thanks and great job. Stay safe brother.

    • Thanks Jose. I’m going to do a few posts on route planning soon, so I can share some of the best roads and tracks I’ve encountered. My map will also give you an idea where I’ve been. Feel free to ask if you have any questions whilst your planning evolves – more than happy to help. P

  8. I encountered your post while looking at some places in Peru… then the bike thread, etc. Great job documenting your travels. Your travel partner seems like an amazing woman. I dont think there are many pictures where she is not smiling! Keep up the great trip.

    I am leaving North Carolina in August (shipping by bike to Colombia) and starting a southbound trip. It would be an honor to meet you all, but I know that you will have since passed Colombia. If you have any suggestions while there, please write them down. I will be checking and noting, as I have from your Peru notes.

    Best,
    Ivan

    • Hi Ivan. You’re not wrong about Pau – I’m constantly amazed at what she is prepared to ride, having only been a biker for 8 months now. Sadly, we are parting for a few months next week – we are both going home to see our respective families in Chile and UK, and then she needs to work for a few months to get some travel funds for whatever we do next.

      You may well see me – we are now back in Peru (never made it to Colombia) and I’ll be leaving my bike here until I return at the start of Sep. We have just ridden some incredible back roads through the mountains of N Peru. I’ll blog about it in the next couuple of days and also the next two videos will feature some of the riding, to whet your appetite!!! I’ll probably do a more detailed route description in due course and I’ll happily give you the lowdown when you need it.

      Stay in touch. An incredible continent awaits you!!

      P

  9. Hey Paul I just found your blog through Horizons Unlimited. Read your article about picking the perfect adventure bike and I was hooked. Great writing style and philosophy you have about adventure travel. I subscribed also gonna read your other article now. Have a safe ride!

    -Laszlo

    • Thanks Laszlo! I’ve been away in the mountains for the last couple of weeks and have a few more videos and posts due, now that I’m back in cyberworld. Just completed some of the best riding I’ve done here in S Am, so hopefully the next few entries will entertain!

      All the best, Paul

  10. Pitch,

    loveing you patter bluffing your case on tour! What a trip and well done fella witth blog and magazine work. Hope you are avoiding the footie chaos. Any future Mrs P’s being interviewed? Are you back for sandhurst 20 year gathering on 5 Ded? J howells organising. Let me know. Im hoping to make it.
    Thought you might be amsued by my london marathon experience – see web page

    stay strong

    Sid

  11. Hi Pitch,

    Great blog and videos!
    Thank you.

    How did the Yamaha 660 Z work as a touring bike ?

    Was the bike fine with a passenger and luggage ?

    Regards
    Marius

    • Hi Marius. I have been VERY happy with the Tenere. You’ll see from ‘The Bike’ section that I’ve upgraded mine a lot, but I’ve met others on stock Teneres who have also been very happy.

      Pau was on her own bike – I was riding alone. But I know of two couples who rode S America two-up with hard panniers on an XT660Z. They seemed to do fine. If I was riding two-up, and didn’t want to spend too much time on the dirt (I see you mention ‘touring’), I would probably opt for something with a little more power (espeically in S Am where you will spend a lot of time at high atltitude). My personal choice would be a KTM 990 or 950, as I love those bikes, but there are lots of other good ‘adventure’-style bikes out there, which are a little more road-orientated and more comfortable.

      But that said, if reliabilty is high on your list of factors, the Yamaha has been superb. Very comfortble on long rides too.

      Hope that helps. Happy to answer anything else.

      P

  12. Fun to have you visit again Paul – we’ll take good care of your bike!

  13. Lovely to see both of you too!

  14. Kirk Rush // 02/10/2014 at 1:07 pm // Reply

    Hi Paul,

    Met you at the ADVMoto rally this past weekend in VA and wanted to thank you for the inspiration and entertainment. We talked for a few moments after your presentation about doing the Trans America Trail next year and I wanted to keep you posted on any plans that start to come together on my end. I’m following your blog and we can, hopefully, stay in touch. Thanks again for a great visit and hope to see you again at some point.

    All the best,
    Kirk

    • Hi Kirk, great to reconnect – we missed each other on Sunday morning. I’m down at the Ocerland Expo now with Carl and the team. Yes, let’s stay in touch. Hope we an meet up again next year. All the best, P

  15. Hey Paul! This is Robert DiMaio. Dan just posted some of your videos on FB. They look and sound great. It was nice to have met you in Asheville, NC. Hope things are going well.

    • Hey Robert, nice to hear from you, man. Those videos keep on popping up here and there!! I need to get back on the road and make some more (especially having blown way too much money on new camera gear when I was in the States).

      Still haven’t been able to play your CD. Would you believe it, I’ve not found a CD player since returning to Peru (the curse of owning a new Macbook Pro).

  16. Hi Paul….hope all is well. I sent you an e-mail as my book on biking around, and the history of Strangford Lough (called “Valhalla and the Fjord”) has been published by Clachan Publishing.

    Was hoping to send you a copy (gratis!!)

    Peter

    • Hey Peter. Great to hear from you again and congrats on finishing the book! I’d love to get hold of a copy, though it may be a while before I get my hands on it as I’m not planning to be back in UK for a while. I’ll email an address over

  17. hi Paul,
    Was hoping to leave a comment about your latest upgrade to the Tenere and aspirations of going Rally Racing. But the “comment” link on your email notification is dead. “Error 404”.

    Anyway, just to say, great mods to the Ten ! but she’ll never be a race bike. Once you get into this you’ll
    see. But what a GREAT travel bike it will be. Going with a single disc saves a TON of weight! You will feel it.
    I have some thoughts about you coming to California for training/support and getting a “real” race bike when you are ready. (I would take a year to prep) Hope the reply function is restored on emails … and good luck
    with everything … Feliz Navidad!

    Patrick
    San Rafael, CA

    • Hi Patrick,

      I hit ‘publish’ on that post by accident!! I haven’t got any photos of the bike with the WPs on, so I wanted to wait and thus I withdrew the post. But It looks like I’ll be off to Chile soon and the front end of the Ten is now stripped down, so I’ll probably post without pictures.

      I have had an exciting development in the last 24 hours which offers the possibility of picking up a 2014 fully prepped 690 Enduro next year in the States. A perfect compromise for what I want to do – train in the dirt as well as travel.

      Would love to hear your thoughts – email me!! I still wonder whether doing a smash-and-grab on my savings and buying a 450 plus four wheels to move the bike around may be the answer. I might trash the bike, but I shouldn’t trash the pick-up, so I can reasonably assume I will be able to resell it at the end of the summer. So new / different ideas are very welcome.

      Happy Christmas to you too!

  18. I think you are on the right track in your thinking. As mentioned, you’ve certainly made your Ten the best it can be, but that lump of a motor is a heavy sucker compared to modern 450’s. Not sure about ALL rallies, but I believe the Dakar is limited to 450cc, no? So no 690 either … as a race bike. Some rallies may still offer a 650 class, dunno??

    I know 690’s have gotten better but IMHO, your Ten is the better travel bike. NO … not as capable off road, but with your mods not all that far off except in weight. 10 times more reliable and much easier to pack your stuff onto. But I’m sure you knew that?

    Riding a 450 will be a dream compared to either Ten or 690. The 690 is a porker compared to any good 450. Early 690’s had problems …all my friends had them, then sold them off … now have bought them again! They started with them in around ’07 or so.

    In California you could do a lot of things. Getting an affordable truck or van is a snap. But someone might lend you a truck. There are several good Moto builders is S. Cal who build Baja bikes. I know a few guys here in Nor Cal who might be able to help with connections.

    Scot Dunlavy is former Honda Baja Race team manager and owns a shop here locally. He knows everyone in the scene of fabrication and may even have tips on finding a good used race bike. Scott is also well known for this exploits in Baja movie Dust To Glory and in the Pike’s Peaks hill climb race scene.
    (which he competed in some years ago)

    http://www.berkeleyhondayamaha.com/miscpage_002.asp

    But So Cal is also loaded with shops that might help. But none of this is cheap. There are some former Dakar riders around the Bay Area too, like Charlie Rueseo, who is a wealth of knowledge. And don’t forget Jimmy Lewis (2nd place back in the “real” African Dakar days. Jimmy used to ride for BMW, trains riders for the Dakar! (In Nevada)

    Navigation is where first timers mess up. You can learn that here in the Mojave desert or Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Fun place to ride! It’s a year or two process …. running the Dakar costs about $50 usd or more. (minimum)

    You can also contact Ned Suesse, an American who rode Dakar, lives in Colorado and is a “hero” on ADV Rider, even though he came in like 50th place! Knows A LOT, buys and sells bikes like mad. He would have something I’m sure. (got money?)

    http://www.touratech-usa.com/Adventure/Blog/zjfNTY/ADV-Interview-Ned-Suesse-Tuareg-Rally

    Beyond all that, to start, I’d get a bike and start riding Desert events and the AMA Enduro series. Best training ever. Also, maybe do a Baja event or three? (there are are usually two or three events a year.
    (250, 500 and 1000) This is what I would do. Ride the races, have fun. YOU WILL get better. I rode AMA enduro series for 8 years. Killer fun.

    Lots more to fill in but that’s a start.

    Hope to see more updates as things progress. Cheers!

    Patrick

    • Some great info there, Patrick – thanks. The original plan had been to do the secondhand 450 + truck option, but the 690 option has its appeal as I can explore a bit of the back country out West on two wheels. Both have different appeal – I guess the key is to define exactly what I want to achieve.

      The idea that kick-started this phase of the ‘rally dream’ (I blame Dakar last year as its genesis) was to shoot for the Africa Eco Race in 12 months time, but I could adjust the schedule. There are much more affordable desert rallies in N Africa (such as Toureg and Libya Rallies) which happen in March and April – so 2016 could be the plan. And I like the idea of targeting the 4-day Baja Rally in Sept.

      Lots more to talk about – I feel a Skype call coming on!!!!

  19. David Morieson // 06/04/2015 at 7:43 pm // Reply

    Paul,
    Just wanted to say thanks from Em and I for the info you have provided, I’ve book marked all the links and info to my “bike” folder as we start our journey to SA in just over a year. In particular your route map was been a big help to us who dont really have much of an idea; it’s wonderful learning from other peoples experiences and you are a great teacher.

    David & Em

  20. Hello, Mr. P

    Just came across your blog from Jaume V, have been watching his Tenere develop into the incredible machine it is now.

    You are absolutely living the dream that I can’t wait to live myself.
    South America will be next year, I’ve just got back from 2 months solo around Europe on my Tenere.
    Now back to work, because dreams don’t pay for themselves!

    Hopefully, we’ll cross paths at some point!

    Kind Regards,
    Steve

    • Hi Steve, Jaume’s bike is indeed a beauty. He let me ride it home, but he was on mine wih Pau hostage on the back so I couldn’t do a runner with his machine!! The Tenere is a superb bike for a long trip, and S America a truly wonderful continent to ride. You’ll love it. Keep in touch if you need any info whilst your planning.

      All the best, Paul

  21. Hi, great article. I just got new xt660z tenere and I have noticed also problem with clutch cable free play when feathering clutch and getting hot, How did you extend clutch actuator lever?

    • It was a simple mod… We made a 4cm ‘arm’, drilled two holes in it which correspond to the holes in the current lever and then rivetted one to the other. That way I can remove the mod and easily return to OEM (which I have NOT done).

      I got the idea from xt660.com – HERE: http://www.xt660.com/showthread.php?t=8611&page=4

      In this instance, yer man made a new arm and welded it on.

      I have liked this mod a lot – really notice the difference. However, it’s worth noting that Jaume V tried it on his Ten and then removed it – when the clutch was getting hot whilst racing he was, on occasions, unable to engage the clutch. I also experienced this once in hot, slow traffic, but easily resolved with a turn of the knob to temporarily tighten the cable tension.

  22. Hi Paul
    Great blog…
    Nice ten…
    What do you have your rebound and dampening clickers set to on the ten with the WP forks??
    Just got mine and looking for a starting point..

    • Hi Graham,

      A suspension specialist in Lima set my forks up – 14 clicks on both compression and rebound. That is with 5W oil and a 95mm air chamber, as recommended by the guy I bought them from. They seemed pretty well balanced – notably, a big improvement on the stock forks with progressive springs in the corners. But they are a bit ‘sticky’, staying compressed after coming to a halt then extending when pulling away. I went to visit another suspension guy in UK when I took the bike back, and his diagnosis was the springs may be a bit too soft for the weight of the Tenere – they are the origninal springs which came of a KTM EXC. So the plan when I’m next back is to swap the spings for stiffer ones (can’t remember the spring rating). I’ll update the blog when it’s down with all the info.

      I’d be interested to here how you go with yours – oil weight etc. Is seems not too many people have put WPs on the Ten so getting info on the best set-up has proved difficult.

      Cheers!

  23. Paul
    Recommend the Leo Vince X-3 slip on muffler. No repacking required! I have one on my DR650 with the spark arrestor and maximum reducer installed. Great sound, much lighter than stock and not obnoxious(and of course, no repacking). https://procycle.us/bikepages/wr250rx.html#leovince-x3. I am not connected with ProCycle(other than being a satisfied customer…).

  24. James Clark // 27/05/2017 at 6:26 pm // Reply

    Pitch, it was great running across ya in Terlingua Texas. Keep in touch.

    • Likewise James. Really enjoyed meeting you and Dave. The people you meet on the road are a key part of what makes riding special.

      Sadly I’m now on the bus back to Houston!

      Stay in touch.

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