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- The Marathon Harley “The motorcycle” – Brief portrait of Peter and Kay Forwood
- Short portrait – Peter and Kay Forwood
The Marathon Harley: &# 34; The Motorcycle&# 34; – Brief portrait of Peter and Kay Forwood
The Marathon Harley
“The motorcycle” – Brief portrait of Peter and Kay Forwood
Who would have thought: No BMW GS and no Toyota Landcruiser have traveled further than this 1993 Harley Electra Glide Classic. The American heavy metal carried its owners, an Australian couple, through all corners and hardships of the earth 610000 kilometers.
For ten years the Australians Peter and Kay Forwood spoke of “The motorcycle” when they meant their Harley Davidson Electra Glide Classic. Then the bike was officially christened with this name. In October 2006, “The Motorcycle” had driven through all 193 countries recognized by the United Nations at the time and more than 414 non-internationally recognized areas and has since been the most widely traveled vehicle in the world.
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In 2011 the engine was replaced. “We sent the old unit back home, where it should be restored so that The Motorcycle can still visit the countries in its original condition that were and will be marked on the map of the United Nations after 2006. For example, South Sudan, which we have planned for 2016, ”Peter recently explained.
Shortly after this statement, the Forwoods made a completely different decision: The Harley will first retire, back to Australia. “We are taking a break. Nobody knows what the future will bring, but at the moment we are finishing the journey of ‘The Motorcycle’ ”, says Peter, who has ridden the motorcycle around the world for 15 years, most of the time with his wife Kay.
The Electra Glide Classic was built in November 1993. Two months later, the Forwoods bought her in Australia. The motorcycle has now run a full 610,000 kilometers. Over 500,000 of them criss-crossed the globe on its 15-year journey. For this purpose, only the mirrors were placed a little outwards in advance, and the topcase was given a luggage rack to stow the kitchen on it. The journey started in 1996: from Darwin to Bali, through Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia to Thailand. Then on to Greece and through southern Europe to Morocco.
Frequent drivers: people and their motorcycles
Kardung La, India, 2007.
The rough slopes in India shook the suitcases so hard that the mounts kept tearing. A mechanic in Iran solved the problem by gluing small steel plates inside and outside the heavily stressed areas. In Greece there were stainless steel mufflers because the original parts were too rusty. And in Nepal the roads were so bad that the Harley got an engine guard. The solid part “made in Kathmandu” protects the oil pan from Milwaukee to this day.
On the way the idea arose to bring the motorcycle to the USA for the 100th anniversary of Harley Davidson and to visit as many countries as possible on the way there. In Malawi, the rear fender was reinforced with sheet metal from a discarded street sign. And in the Congo, the same tree stump that bent the crash bars in a collision was also used for repairs. Peter just hit it again with the other side.
North Cape, Norway, 1998.
After Asia, Europe, Africa and South America, the Electra Glide was part of the anniversary parade in Milwaukee in 2003 with her two passengers. American iron had now seen 143 countries. So what could be more obvious than visiting the remaining 50 countries? It took a full five years, however, because the Forwoods mostly had to head for small islands. The Harley was hired on so many ships that she had all the carburetors full to keep from getting seasick.
Of course, she was also transported a number of times in airplanes. And from Namibia to Cape Town, South Africa, “The Motorcycle” even had to travel 1000 kilometers on a truck because a camshaft bearing was defective. The camshaft often caused trouble, while the crankshaft held out all the time. Cylinders, pistons, valves and valve guides were overhauled or replaced after each 229,000 and 485,000 kilometers. There were new struts twice: after around 200,000 and 400,000 kilometers. And then again after 60,000 kilometers because the motorcycle was incorrectly lashed during transport.
Marathon men: extremely frequent drivers
The trip to the moon and back
The Belt Drive, however, required the most attention: More than ten of them broke on the way. It now only takes the Forwoods three to four hours to make a roadside change. But they only had eight punctures. Thanks to a repair kit for tubeless tires, they only had to actually get the tire off the rim once to repair it. “We only had the motorcycle towed three times in total,” says Peter. “We were able to fix all other breakdowns on the spot or at least drive them to the nearest workshop.” Peter is convinced of the Harley: “It is very stable and, with its low center of gravity, the ideal touring motorcycle.”
The Forwoods now have three grandchildren. The priorities of the two have shifted. “Maybe one of our children wants to continue The Motorcycle’s journey, maybe we’ll drive off again ourselves. The Harley will definitely still be fit after we’ve left this world long ago. “
Short portrait – Peter and Kay Forwood
Peter (59) and Kay (60) Forwood.
Peter Forwood (59) started his motorcycle career in 1971 with a 90 cubic trial Honda. Together with his current wife Kay (60) as a passenger, he then drove a 175cc Honda. The two say that in the early days of their relationship they solved a lot of problems on this little machine. Then they bought trial bikes: a 250 for Peter and a 175 for Kay. The Harley is the first street motorcycle they have ever ridden. Kay renewed her motorcycle license in 2005, which had expired. But when she travels, she lets Peter handle the handlebars. She says she feels safe as his passenger, the two of them can communicate more easily while driving, and it is much more economical to travel with just one motorcycle.
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