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10 questions to The Iron Butt Rider

15 September 2022

1. Please tell us a little about yourselves!

My name is Kyr, I am 28 years old, and my dad Sergio is 51. We are from Portugal, which has been our home for the last 25 years, but originally I was born in Ukraine, Crimea and my dad in Russia, Chelyabinsk. 

I always had a big fascination for motorcycles from a young age. No matter what bike it was, it was always enough to make me happy to just stare to it. Most of the time, I was just dreaming by watching some magazines or gum stickers. I started riding at 14 years old: a 50cc farm scooter. Then at 19 years old, I bought my first bike without even having a driving license yet, it was a Yamaha Ténéré 660 (1996). One month later I did my first big trip to Morocco!

My dad is a totally opposite story, he never rode a bike before turning 50, and was even against bikes until then. I told him I was going to make a round-the-world trip and needed some help preparing the bike. My dad is a car mechanic and electrician. After one month of helping he just fell in love with motorcycles, got his license and joined the dream of riding around the world. Since then we have been together all the time, first with preparing the bikes in the garage and now riding together. A shared love for motorcycles really improved our relationship. 

2. In March 2022, you two set off to ride around the world for the next two years, covering 100.000 kilometers over 5 continents. How did you come up with this idea?

I always wanted to travel the world, experiencing different cultures and test myself into different situations. I dreamed about doing so on a bicycle when I was 17 years old, but then I realized that a motorcycle is a much better idea. We both like extreme conditions, such as never sleeping in hotels. Being in full autonomy for some days and depend only on ourselves in terms of mechanics and maintenance. So in some way we don't think it's a big adventure. It's just an exciting trip which could be even longer and more challenging. 

3. Why did you both pick the Yahama T7 as the motorcycle for this adventure? 

Originally, we planned to do our trip on 2 Honda Transalps, 600cc and 650cc. But one month before the trip was supposed to start, Covid ruined our plans. So we had almost 2 years to make plans, while waiting for the international border situation to get better. We decided to invest some time in our media and try to find sponsors. Nobody was interested in supporting a round the world trip on two old bikes, so we decided to upgrades the bikes to something that will be interesting not only for the followers but also for the motorcycle gear brands. 

Our criteria were simple: something reliable, with easy maintenance, comfortable speed around 120km/h, fuel consumption under 6L, engine between 600 to 800cc, off-road capable and priced under 10.000 €.  Because we are both 1.91 meters tall, the height and the weight of the bike is not a big problem for us. The Ténéré 700 was just the best option to fit these criteria and we liked the bike from the first test drive. Now after 30.000 kilometers, we can definitely say that we are totally happy with the decision we made. 

4. What did your preparation for this immense journey look like?

Our bike preparation took us around 1,5 years, mostly because we tried to get all the gear from sponsors.  That's not a simple process and takes a lot of effort and time. We did this preparation during the pandemic. 

For the trip itself, the map was done in one week. The focus of our trip is to visit the most beautiful natural attractions of our planet, and ride the most epic roads. Obviously, some things are changed during the trip. For example, we planned to ship the bikes from Vladivostok to Vancouver. However, because of the Russia situation, we are riding back to Portugal from Mongolia. That way, we save some budget, stay for the winter and then ride the next stage: the Americas. 

5. Have you done any specific upgrades or modifications to the motorcycles to prepare for a round-the-world trip?

We did two very important modifications. The first was the Camel ADV 5L extra fuel tank which improved our range from 320km to 450km. The second one was the suspension update, with the help of Yamaha we installed the Ohlins Suspension to our bikes, providing us more comfortable and joyful ride. 

6. What has been the biggest challenge so far of living on the road full-time?

One of the biggest challenges was the sleeping, as we don't spend the nights at the hotels. Sometimes it's not easy to find a place to sleep. Recently, we have been lazy in mounting the tent, so we are just asking people if we can sleep on the floor of their house. We also ask the police, fire stations and even strip clubs. It's actually working!

7. You speak Portuguese and English - how do you deal with language barriers in countries like Kazakhstan where only few people speak English?

We speak Portuguese, English and also Russian because we were born in Russia, so the language barriers were simplified for the first stage. 

8. What country or area in the world are you most looking forward to ride through?

Pamir (Tajikistan), Mongolia, Africa, South America. 

9. Which three essential items would you recommend bringing along on a round the world motorcycle journey?

Water, Gasoline, Vodka.

 

10. Where and how can people follow your journey? 

Our main focus is Instagram: @theironbuttrider with live updates about the trip.

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/theironbuttrider

YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/c/theironbuttrider 

Comments
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Noraly,
I love following your travels, seeing the scenery (yay drone glacier footage!) and all the bike stuff - wrenching, riding and crashing. You do a fabulous job of taking us along. But I especially want to applaud your amazing energy and your unflappable demeanor. Without them you wouldn't be so entertaining to us and such a good friend to the world. It's nice knowing you're out there. I live in Denver and especially enjoyed your ride from Woodland Park to Nederland and RMNP. Too bad about that big rock closing Trail Ridge Rd. Safe travels!

oldscratcher  | 

Hello Noraly, I am following your journey through the American continent from Buenos Aires to Canada. Seeing your experience in an American project, I would reduce my motorcycle trip to 4 countries: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Canada. Best wishes for the remainder of your journey to Alaska. José María

José María  | 

Hello Noraly, I am following your journey through the American continent from Buenos Aires to Canada. Seeing your experience in an American project, I would reduce my motorcycle trip to 4 countries: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Canada. Best wishes for the remainder of your journey to Alaska. José María

José María  | 

Hi Noraly,
I don't have a blog topic or comment but wanted to send out my love and support to you.
Season 6 has been amazing, and your videos are wonderful as always.
I'm still thinking about Baja but loving your ride through Canada.
I wish I lived in Alaska so I could offer you a celebration when you get there! :)
Veel liefde voor jou en Alasks voor alitijd,
Jeff
PS. I don't really speak Dutch, so I hope my translation came out OK. :)

Jeff Roberts  | 

Why not the choice of the Teneré world raid? It has standard 23 l tank and capable of 450 km on one tank. Even the suspension is better than the standard Teneré.

Jeroen  | 

Go guys! Looks like a fabulous trip (although ANY trip on a motorcycle is a great adventure!). Great choice of bikes too - for those not vertically challenged. Looks like a lot of thought has gone into the setting up of the bikes.The bigger tank is an essential (is that also additional fuel packs on the back of the panniers?).
Did an RTW myself several years ago on a Suzuki VStrom 650 (3.5 years/138000km) - best thing I ever did. I am totally envious. A father/son epic makes it all the more special.
Like Noraly, stay safe and keep inspiring!

DuD  | 

Always learn something new from each Itchy Boots blog. Today I learned that Vodka is an essential item! Cheers/ Saúde/ Proost, Kyr, Sergio, and Noraly! Ride free and stay safe out there!

DeeBee  | 

Thanks!

Noraly  | 

Noraly: What is your destination in Alaska? From looking at the shirt it looks like you are planning to go way North? It's probably pretty tricky with the weather up there this time of year?

Dennis P  | 

Born in Russia lived in Ukraine, do you feel an internal conflict about the War? Over the years before computers, I had pen pals in the Ukraine and in Russia and I liked them all and I feel sadness and guilt over the situation.

Dennis P  | 
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