Who’s Sjaak?

  Name:   Sjaak Lucassen
  Date of birth:   2 October 1961 in Maashees, The Netherlands
  City:   Maashees
  Marital status:   In love
  Height:   1.90m
  Weight:   85kg
  Education:   L.T.S.- engineering
..Secondary Horticultural School (vegetables and flowers)
..Shopkeeper’s diploma
  Profession:   Worldtraveller
  Driver’s license:   A, B, E
  Motorcycles:
  Top speed:   ? ? ? At 300km/hr you don’t have time to watch the needle…
  Weakness for:   Beer !
  Favorite snack:   “Frikadel speciaal”, a particular Dutch snack, chocolate and liquorice
  Favorite music:   Rock music. Red Hot Chili Peppers
  Favorite female singers:   Sinead O’Conner, Melissa Etheridge, Kate Bush, Janis Joplin
  Favorite country:   Russia
  Favorite continent:   South-America

First Vehicles

At toddlers age it was already obvious that Sjaak was different from other children. Why exactly, that’s something mum and dad didn’t know.
Around his 11th birthday he earned his first real money. He used it to buy a 125cc Vespa scooter.
A kart and a car to race about later, there stood a Yamaha moped on the doorstep at the age of 16.

Yamaha 50cc

Yamaha 50cc

In no time this Yamaha was illegally tuned up and as the holy terror of all school going cyclists he stayed on that thing till he was 21, because he disliked cars.

Meanwhile he got himself a 250cc Yamaha cross motor, on which he got rid of his school frustrations.
After finishing school he started a market garden on his father’s fields. For that he purchased a Bedford van.

At that time he was also working at potato trader Bongers in Maashees as jack of all trades.
Later on cars came one after the other. Like a 134 cubic inch/2 litre Alfa and a VW Golf GTI. At the same time Daf cars were standing all around the farm, for reverse driving races on circuits.

“Riding a bike will be my death sentence”, he knew for sure, therefore he waited till he calmed down a bit. Anyhow that’s what he thought. The adrenaline kick took over and taking curves far over the limit was the result.


Bitten

Because he always thought bike vacations were too short, he took half a year off and shipped his bike, a Honda CBR 900 RR Fireblade, to Australia.

Australië, Ayers Rock

Australia, Ayers Rock

23,600mi/38.000km later he sent his bike the same way back and went for 6 weeks backpacking through Indonesia. That country he loved, but backpacking he hated. He missed his wheels. In the mean time he got bitten by the travel bug. Therefore he planned an once in a live time journey around the world. After 2 years of making money he leased out his land and resigned from his job. Without the help of any sponsors he went on the road in May 1995 in order to make his dream come true. In the following 3 years and 1 week he covered over 100,000mi/160.000km in 40 countries.

During this trip he was regularly interviewed for radio or TV and he was seen in magazines and newspapers.
This way he became widely known as ‘Fireblade Sjaak’.


Five years and five months

After his world trip he didn’t want to revert in the every day routine. Therefore he did over a hundred presentations in the Netherlands and abroad, attended exhibitions/fairs and wrote his travel report in 11 issues of Motoren & Toerisme. He also started writing a book. Meanwhile new plans were made. Sponsors were searched and fortunately found, so he could depart well equipped. The brand new YZF R1, sponsored by Yamaha, was even before the first 60mi/100km were covered, assaulted with an angle grinder and welding machine.

Yamaha YZF R1+ slijptol

Yamaha YZF R1

Aluminium panniers were made and every small cavity was used for storage.After a lot of blood, sweat and tears he left from the motor fair in Utrecht on 4 March 2001. This time he remained 5 years and 5 months discovering the world, covering 155,000mi/250.000km in 77 countries.

During this adventure Sjaak wrote for MOTOR Magazine and for MotoPort Magazine.
He became widely known as ‘R1-Sjaak’.

At home he started to edit all his experiences into the book “Life on 2 Wheels”, a documentary DVD was made and he still gives presentations.
Out of all his pictures, he wants to put a ‘best off’ selection on DVD.