Diary & Travel Reports by Simon Milward
Millennium Motorcycle emerges as a Sponsor Monster
Everyone's waiting for news on the bike. It feels like utter madness, test-riding a one-off bike for two months then expecting it to go 18 months non-stop. But that is the reality of the situation so along with leaded or unleaded fuel I'll be filling the tank with generous amounts of faith too!
It's kind of a weird feeling, handing over responsibility that I've had for seven years in the European riders' movement. So a word of thanks to my FEMA colleagues: Bob, Christina and Eric. They are being really supportive by telling me to stop interfering and bugger off to get the Ride organised. With the help of my Mainz-based Emotional Support Team (yes really) I'm looking forward to the coming years with mounting excitement and just a touch of anxiety.
I'm off to the UK to drool over the new bike next week. Besides that, I'm going to help dismantle, paint, and re-assemble it, before riding it back to Belgium to use during the closing months of this year.
This sponsor monster has been built in Newton Abbot UK from 95% sponsored parts and components. There should be a picture on www.millennium-ride.com any day now.
We always had in mind robustness and ease of maintenance. The frame, tig-welded from cold drawn easy-to-repair seamless mild steel, is one of John's strongest and houses the oil too.
I quite like lowriders, but they're not suitable for the desert or jungle. So John made it into a real dual-purpose machine allowing it to be jacked up into trail position with an extra 4 inches of travel. Whacky eh? We'll see if it works soon too!
We're going to use the Rotax 604 engine in standard condition. Mick of Sportax was to 'detune' it, but the injury he sustained whilst drag racing has not mended so well. Oil for the engine is normal mineral-based 15W40 stuff. Does anyone work for an oil company?
Goodridge came through with an oil cooler (to be plumbed into the system when I come across deserts) and braided oil and brake lines. Honda Genuine Parts donated a Dominator front end since new UK rules came in about using second-hand parts on brand-new vehicles. Out went the old XL600 items. All the bike sponsors have been very helpful indeed.
Here are the bike specs:
Plus this one will blow your mind. You know, most people go off to travel the world to get away from it all. That was never really my intention. In fact I'm inviting big brother to come with me. I'm not really sure how it works yet but the European Commission's 'Tracker' system uses satellite technology to keep track of me, and my 'real time' position could be simultaneously posted on the 'net. Far out eh? More to come on that next time, but if it's a runner then when you see me at one point for a week or more you know that I'm either having a very good or a very bad time!
If you can get anyone else to join this wild escapade then send them to the web page or ask me for a sponsor form. In the meantime check out Around the World for PEACE (by motorcycle) at www.andesmoto-tours.com
Yours in biking!