From Belfast to Australia: The Adventure of a Lifetime on Two Wheels

Posted On 17 Aug 2023
Comment: Off
This entry is part 36 of 44 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#1

In 1979, a young man with a passion for motorcycles left Belfast with a dream to ride his way to Australia. On his Motogutsi Le Mans, Chris embarked on what would be an unforgettable journey that would span decades.

Meet Chris: A Lifelong Biker “My name’s Chris, been riding for 47 years and my guzzy and I have a combined age of 109,” he fondly remarks. Chris’s love for bikes began at the tender age of 16 with a BSC Bantam he bought for about 20 craves. Over the years, his collection grew from a BSC Bantam to a BSA 250, a 650 BMW, and finally to his beloved Norton Commando.

His biking journey took an interesting turn when he spotted a Motogutsi being sold in a shop window. Despite being a student with limited funds, Chris knew he had to have it. “I thought it was the coolest bike in town,” he said.

The Dream to Ride to Australia Chris had always harbored the dream of riding to Australia, inspired by a girl he heard of who traveled around the world on a BSA Bantam. His plan was to ride through Europe, crossing countries like Greece, Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan before shipping his bike from India to Australia.

But fate had other plans. Just as he was about to set off, the Iranian Revolution broke out, effectively shutting down his eastward route. Undeterred, Chris, not wanting to backtrack, thought, “I’d go to South Africa.” Thus began his unintended adventure going the wrong way.

Detours, Delays, and New Discoveries From Egypt to South Africa, Chris faced numerous obstacles, from sinking cars in the desert to navigating apartheid. His journey took him across oceans, through the states living the American dream, up to Canada, and down into South America.

Despite numerous challenges, including his bike being almost wrecked, Chris’s indomitable spirit kept him going. He hitchhiked on a yacht, encountered armed men in Medellin, and rode across deserts.

A Journey Renewed Years later, after putting away his biking adventures, Chris decided to pen down his experiences. This rekindled his love for biking and an old mate made a suggestion: “Why not give it another go to Australia?” Chris was all in. He believed that age shouldn’t limit your adventures. As he puts it, “Just because you’re 64, you don’t have to settle.”

This time, he aimed to replicate his previous journey as closely as possible, choosing the same machine. His route took him from Athens to Dubai, then Lahore in Pakistan. He then made his way up to Nepal, flying his bike from there to Brisbane, Australia.

Australia: The Dream Realized For Chris, Australia had always been the pinnacle of his biking dreams. Now, with his friend Adrian by his side, he’s finally living that dream.

Australia represents more than just a destination for Chris. It is the culmination of a lifetime of dreams, challenges, detours, and adventures. Riding into the sunset on his beloved bike, Chris proves that it’s never too late to chase your dreams, no matter how winding the road might be.

Series Navigation<< The Appeal of Mid-Capacity Bikes: The Hunter Maverick MV500 ExperienceI’m a fan of riding older motorcycles >>
About the Author
Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
Page Scroller Supported By Bottom to Top