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aRctic1

I am going to ride towards the North Pole and need your help!
This incredible crazy once-in-a-lifetime challenge started to take shape in my mind during years of traveling all corners of the world.
Now that dream is becoming reality. The first phase, the build of the bike, has started. For that, getting help and financial recourses, are crucial.

How can you help?!

Become a Supporter and symbolically travel with me!
Become a Sponsoring company or organisation.
Participate as a Fan, contributing knowledge or help, in big or small.
Purchase my book or DVD.
Book a Presentation.


aRctic1
Dear reader,

Towards the North Pole …
When exactly I start the attempt to reach the northernmost point of our globe with a motorcycle via the polar ice cap I don’t know, but it IS going to happen, that’s absolutely clear to me!

The trial period

Since many years I daydream of following in the steps of famous polar travellers. Not by foot, but by motorcycle.
Winter rides to the North Cape and to the north of Alaska gave me a first impression from what to expect. They not only brought me lots of information, but also the confidence that it is possible to ride in the extreme cold.

Those challenges took place on solid ground and maintained roads! On the polar ice the conditions will be much more difficult, were my thoughts. For sure, weather wise and the surface that I have to ride on. To experience that I rode from Barrow, Alaska, over the frozen Beaufort Sea and on to Key West in Florida in 2013. That is from the northernmost point from the USA to the southernmost.

For me the most important part of that challenge was riding the polar ice. I hoped it would be a final test before a ride to the north pole that I had scheduled in my head for the next year. I expected that with some minor changes here and there I would be ready for my big challenge. It turned out to be different. A lot different!

What has to be done different?

During the 2013 Polar Ice Ride it proved that a part of my preparations worked fine, but not all was feasible, or at least not in the intended way. Among the bottlenecks were
• Grip and carrying ability of the tyres
• Engine cooling
• Falling over and putting the bike upright
• Sledge carrying fuel
• Filming and taking pictures
• Sight and keeping balance

Partly through experience gained on the polar ice, I think to have found the solution about some of those bottlenecks, but nowhere near for all the issues. There still needs to be done a lot of thinking, reasoning out, ruling out and creative inventing. After that there will be the build and testing, because for a ride to the north pole there is no suitable motorcycle. Although I found out that sand and snow have lots in common, over there it’s absolutely no Dakar terrain for which bike models are built or adjusted over the years. Besides that, it’s totally impossible for a motorcycle to pull a sledge which carries sufficient fuel for a ride to the north pole. That, I found out in the winter of 2013. Even with the specially adapted Polar Ice Ride R1, there would be no way to succeed in that goal. So I sadly had to give up on that idea. After all those struggles I got successfully off the polar ice, but my euphoria got immediately depressed by the fact that a solo tour towards the north pole would not be possible in that way. That gnawing knowledge kept popping up in my head and was the reason that I could not enjoy the rest of the ride to Key West in the way I had imagined it and wished for.

So what is the way to do it?

Because a motorcycle can’t pull a sledge that carries all which is needed for a solo expedition, it will only be possible to reach the north pole if one or more support vehicles will transport this.
That prospect was a downer. Because of this I did not have the feeling that it would still be a challenge, worthy to the original plan. After all, I wanted to cover the whole distance by using only the bikes power and my own strength. So without any physical help from others. This way it would become too easy, were my thoughts. Luckily the solution grew in my head during daydreaming until a point where I could live with it. In the new plan I would still pull a sledge, but a lightweight. How exactly it would be going to look and what I would load on it I hadn’t worked out, but I was going to take care of the shelter and the food myself. In short, it would mean that I would be totally on my own, just as I had it planned in my mind for all those years. Only the fuel transport and filming & photography I would leave up to others. I was happy with that solution, but was still struggling with the next item.
To ride over recent windblown snow dunes or frozen ice-floe with in between soft snow pockets, I will need to mount colossal tyres.
The R1 has an important place in my heart. On an adapted version, but without the use of a third wheel, caterpillar track or skis, I wanted to go to the north pole. The idea to build a totally different bike didn’t please me at all. And can we still call such a two wheeler a real bike?
Strange enough the answer came from a critical person who had the same question, but then regarding my 2013 Polar Ice Ride R1. That bike supposed to be no real R1 anymore because of all the changes that I had done to it. I told that person that during a day’s work it transforms into an original R1 again and that if I had chosen an off road for that challenge, I would still have to make those same alterations to it. What is the difference than? Is an off road allowed to have bigger wheels than original, but an R1 not? Where lies that line? What is wrong with the fact that I build a bike suitable for the terrain? Others that build an extreme chopper, or participate in any motorsports branch, don’t they do the same, too? From that moment on my sceptic thoughts disappeared and the restart of the North Pole Challenge was a fact!

Definition of a Motorcycle

What the exact definition of a motorcycle is, I don’t know, but I suppose, vehicle on two wheels driven by an engine, will come close.
Except having two wheels and a power source, most of the factory models have little in common. There a bikes such as the tiny 50 cc’s, off and all roads, choppers, touring bikes and crotch rockets. These are just some of the various models that are available on the market.
There are also the self-built motorcycles like, the longest, smallest, tallest, and heaviest, which also belong to the category because they met the requirements of Guinness World Records by having successfully ridden the stretch of 100 metres.

I like to place my still to build North Pole motorcycle in a more functional category. One with bikes that are specially adapted to the terrain, like a Dakar bike with special suspension, a Hill Climber with a paddle tyre, or a Drag Racer with a huge rear tyre to create traction. Like an Ice Speedway bike, … but then different-;-)

Choice of motorcycle

After the 2013 winter ride on the polar ice I was not completely back to square one. It was only a setback. But so big that to successfully ride to the north pole will require that I carry out a lot and huge changes to the bike. Because I want to keep the Polar Ice Ride R1, sponsored by MotorCorner, like it came out of that adventure, I am going to build another bike. Not an improved version of the 2013 Polar Ice Ride R1, but a completely new one from the start. However, it will be on the base of a Yamaha YZF-R1. I use a 2001 model R1 as a donor bike and use the bare frame and engine as a starting point. Bike parts will be mounted on there, when necessary modified or specially designed for the challenge. For the finishing touch I will use as much parts of the donor R1 as possible.
The reason that I (again) go for the 2000/2001 model engine is that I know out of experience that it is highly reliable and very hard to wreck. Besides that I know it’s few minor points and I know how it’s assembled which is a big bonus if the bike drops dead at forty degrees below zero!
One thing is also for sure. Even though it will become a bike for rough and extreme labour, it’s going to look awesome. A beauty, because we won’t put up with less. So again, R1 worthy!!!

Departure date

In which winter the adventure will start is still a big question mark at this moment and it depends on many circumstances. First there has to be
• build and tested a bike.
• searched for a suitable support vehicle with chauffeur. Maybe there are even more than one necessary.
• found a sledge and equipment geared to each other.
• searched for a TV channel which makes a nice documentary about the adventure.
• applied for a Guinness World Record attempt.
• someone found who is willing to monitor the weather on the route and the satellite data about spots with open water in the polar cap.
• arranged a stand-by helicopter or plane to bring supplies and to evacuate in case of an emergency.
• far most important thing; money.

Participate

Become a supporter and symbolically travel with me during this extreme challenge!
Would you like to sponsor as a company or do you want to participate as a fan? Finances, material, contributing knowledge or help, in big or small, anyone who wants to help is welcome!


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aRctic1