The Trip

In June 2011 Rupert and Fanny set off on KTM 990 Adventure motorcycles from Rupert’s home in Arniston on the southern tip of Africa to Fanny’s home in Shanghai on the eastern coast of China, a journey of 53,800 kilometers that took them through the bush, deserts, savannah, and jungles of Africa to Alexandria in the north of Egypt. They crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Turkey and rode through Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, back through France and across the Channel to England and Wales. They then rode over 12,000 kilometers on CF Moto TR 650 motorcycles across China, including Tibet where they rode through the Himalayas and across the Tibet/Qinghai Plateau at altitudes of over 5000 meters.
Please follow their adventures and also help support their efforts to raise funds for their two charities:

Looking good.


In Egypt, Fanny is a popular name ...




IMG_2062Fanny and Rupert with Winfried in Bavaria
8-20-2007 (1358)8-20-2007 (1257)
Some video of big bike trip at:

18 thoughts on “The Trip

  1. Dear Rupert & Fanny
    We are enjoying your journey very much.!!
    Ni Hao My name is Michael and my wife is Gao Jing we also share your passion for Adventure riding and have done a family trip with our son on three motorcycles from Canada all the way to Ushuala Ragentina in 2010 and there is another Chinese women Married to a Kiwi who have just rode from Alaska and are on there way to Ushuala.
    Here are our blogs:( Michael Jing and Sean from Canada and China)

    Andi & Ellen from( NewZealand and China) :

    Would be great to meet you on your North America part of your trip.

    Safe Riding
    Freedom Rider and Family

    • Mike, Jing and Sean, thanks for the message. Our next leg is China, the most exciting bit of RWT to me. Have been working hard on sorting out administration as you know how China is. In 2 weeks time, we will enjoy the fruit of all that work.

      Have really enjoyed the ride, places and people we visit in the past 400 days, and proud of being a Chinese female to do so on a challenging bike, where I believe Jing and Ellen may share the same feeling, regardless the hassle of applying visa to every single country on this planet.

      Ellen and me are connected now on Chinese version of twitter called Weibo. Do hope to meet you guys in Canda or China or any anywhere possible.



      • Heya Mike and Jing, Rupert and Fanny,

        I think we need to orgainze a gathering of China nutty Women as we all seemed to have found one, we are currently in Kalispell, Montana waiting for our massive engine failures to be fixed … a little grumpy about it too I might add, Cheers and luv, Andi & Ellen twonuttykiwis 8-)

  2. Andi & Ellen
    Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble with your bikes something must be up because our experience was almost trouble free.
    It would be great to get all the woman together I’m sure they would talk all night.
    Well I would push Suzuki alittle harder they need to step up to the plate and solve the problems your having and you have not even been to the most difficult parts of your trip yet.!!!

    Talk to you later
    Freedom Rider and Family
    Michael & Jing

  3. Thanks Michael and Jing,

    Yes, we are not happy but on the bright side, better to sort out these troubles now then down the road.
    Any way, hope tomorrow we will pick up our bikes from Kalispell and carry on our trip. We are in Nakusp, and yesterday meet a couple from Australia using the same setting same bikes as we do, white 2011 and grey 2012, can’t believe it. Hope they have a better run then us.

    Ellen and Andi

    • A good question…. I have British passport and generally applied as I went along… only Ethiopia, and Sudan presented a few issues. Read Chapter Kenya. As for Fanny, she has a Chinese passport and needs a visa for almost everywhere…. mainly I think because the Chinese impose restrictions on not only foreigners in China, but also their own people through the Hui Kou system. Therefore at present it is the most difficult nationality for travel and she had to apply in advance for most countries which created logistical problems of having to know where one will be and when and juggling issue and expiry dates–very tricky for a long RTW Expedition. The bikes needed a carne de passage for most of north Africa. We met many long distant RTW travelers on bicycles, cars and hiking and they used innovative and not always strictly legal methods to keep going. If you have an EU passport should be easier. There are often unexpected costs at borders… e.g. see Zambia and Ethiopia Chapters of blog. Roll on the Federation of Planet Earth.

  4. Hey,im in the market for a 990 for exatly the same type of trip you guys made.Can you tell me much about maintenance on the bike,any big issues come up with them,any major parts failures?thx

    • If I were you I would get a new or nearly new KTM 1190 Adventure R version. Although the 990 A is going to be iconic, the new bike ticks all the boxes, has better range, and you can change traction, and suspension settings at the press of of button which is important. If you really want a 990 then read our “Bikes and Equipment” page on this blog, and also preparations post earlier on in trip where we describe how we got bikes set up. My bike was a new one and needed running in and Fanny’s was a much cheaper 2008 model that actually had no real problems at all because we did a good service and setup was performed before we set out (clutch parts, chain sprocket). Maintenance of bike along the way and fuel going in tank is very important. We met guys along our travels who bought cheap bikes (old BMW 650s for instance), but in the end they spent lots of cash and got seriously delayed in the places you least want to get delayed (which can really mess up carne and visa issues). Good luck and send us your posts and pics…. Oh, and if you haven’t done already .. learn how to ride a big bike on mud and sand…

  5. Looks like my first post didn’t make it. Anyway, hope you got your electrical issues sorted out ok and that you enjoyed your brief stay with us. All the best from the Grapevine Brighton Hostel Team – Kenny

  6. Looks like my first post didn’t make it. Anyways, hope you enjoyed your brief stay with us and that you got your electrical issues sorted. All the best from the Grapevine Hostel Brighton Team – Kenny

  7. Hi guys.

    I am an Aussie and I am planning a round the world starting in February next year in South Africa. I was planning on purchasing my motorcyle in South Africa.

    I would welcome some tips on getting the bike across borders. Who did you use for the carne de passage. How was getting across borders for the rest of the trip outside of Africa.

    Thanks heaps

    • more than happy to help. check out for second hand bikes you like (my KTM 990 Adv ‘R) in there for instance and the motorbike shops. Interetingly the Rand is weak against othet currencies because Zuma like other African leaders are not up to much.

      carnes and equipment and route planning and visas and all that are in the bikes and equipment chapter of this blog.

      Good luck.

  8. A fantastic and very brave thing to do. Going round the world never knowing what you are going to face. Have fun

  9. Great meeting another ktm enthusiast like yourself on the flight from KL to Singapore yesterday. Inspiring adventures indeed! Buddy of mine in Borneo has a cf moto too.. great bike has lots of components that is shared with lots of branded bikes as well.

We are looking forward to hearing from you

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