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On the southern tip of Spain with Morocco in the background. From left to right, Gareth, Adam and James.

How a Motor Cycle Monthly reader’s trip to the local bike meet turned into an epic motorcycle touring adventure…

 

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I live just five minutes from the Ace Café in London, but it took 16,000 miles to get there in the summer of 2013.

I’m James Matthews, a mechanical engineer from New Zealand. I moved to the UK on a two-year working visa, with the plan of working in London, whilst seeing as much of Europe as I could.

One alcohol-fueled night I grabbed a marker pen and drew a line on my map from London to Dover, over to Calais, and onward through every country in mainland Europe. What better way to see it all than riding through on my Yamaha XVS650 Dragster? I sent an email to a few mates with a picture of the map I had just made, another picture of Wyatt and Billy from Easy Rider on their bikes, and a photo of a pitched tent, under the subject line “Who’s keen?” Two of them (Adam with a Honda Shadow 750 and Gareth with a Honda VFR800) said yes.

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