What's the toughest terrain this 2001 R1 has conquered?
This single bike has brought me through some of the most extreme environments on Earth. You cannot imagine what it did and how it just kept on running. I rode through the Sahara, along the Road of Bones in Russia, across Saudi Arabia, through China... But crossing the Congo must be the most difficult thing I've ever done. When I was in the Congo, the last people to cross it were four years in front of me and had taken four trucks with them. It was hard going, 300km taking about a week to get through. It's tough when you're only managing 40km in a whole day. But overall I actually completed the trip two months earlier than the four trucks! That same 300km stretch took a 4x4 truck with a team of 40 people more than a month to complete.
Calling the R1 reliable is an understatement. It's now done over 319,000 miles and still has the original gearbox, valves, fork pistons and rings.