74K miles, 54 Countries in 442 days. Solo on a Sportsbike
From 1st October 2012 to 14th June 2014, Bruce Smart rode a Suzuki GSX-R1000 74,000 miles around the world, solo and unsupported, through 54 countries to keep a promise he made his mum before she lost her battle with cancer.
Why a GSX-R 1000? Because that was his bike and because “At that time, every man and his dog was disappearing on a BMW to conquer the world”. His inspiration came from Sjaak Lucassens and Nick Sanders – both traveling the world on Yamaha R1.
Bruce’s story is impressive and there was a moment when he abandoned the whole trip. But he was strong enough to get back and to follow his dream.
He had some bad times in Mauritania, riding through a minefield and meeting not the nicest people – “I don't know if it was something to do with a bike covered in logos, or my obviously contrasting level of wealth, but they seemed to resent me. They threw shoes at me; they spat at me. They even refused to sell me anything, not even bread or water. As a consequence, I'd head off into the desert with no food or water in a leather suit and winging it.”
The he was imprisoned and robed. “When I rode into Rosso, the gang was ready for me. They forced me into the town and held me in a concrete box while they took as much money out of me as they could get their hands on. Eventually I convinced them that they had all my worldly wealth, and they finally put me on a barge and sent me across to Senegal.”
It was the final straw. He left home, but it was a three-week matter of time until he hit the road again. You can read his full story on motorcycle-diares.com