The Dumb Way Round

Nimbus motorcycle touring
Norwegians have always had the travel bug. After all, they discovered Iceland in the 9th century and, as Vikings, spent a good amount of time raiding the British Isles. Upholding this fine tradition over a thousand years later are Tormod Amlien and Klaus Ulvestad: as we speak, they’re circumnavigating the globe on two ancient Danish Nimbus motorcycles. The bikes are rough-and-ready, well-used motorcycles—they’re ostensibly late 1930s models, but in reality, both are a motley assortment of parts from multiple sources, including the military and police. They’ve been fitted with sidecars and extensively overhauled, because Tormod and Klaus don’t have a support crew to help with motorcycle parts when the bikes invariably break down. (They left New York in the freezing cold a week ago, so hopefully they’re still in one piece.) The engines are 750 cc OHC straight fours, with exposed valves and rocker arms, and shaft drive. And although these bikes are hardtails—ouch—they’re also the world’s earliest production bikes with telescopic front ends, beating BMW by a year. The ‘King Croesus Contempt for Death Trip 2009’ is chronicled on a website and blog, complete with video diary, and the Minneapolis episode (27) is especially worth watching—with an interview and a segment that includes Erik Buell. Suddenly, my life seems much less interesting. [With thanks to Søren Grønbech, who looks after the project website, and whose own stunning Nimbus we’ll be featuring in the near future.]

  • http://cohobot.blogspot.com/ coho

    I’ve been following their blog since just before they got to Kazakhstan and these guys are big fun. If I hadn’t been at work when they went through Washington I’d have ridden out to meet them.

  • Turgut

    I like this, and I respect!

    To me, this equals the efforts of the guy who traveled around the world with his honda cub90 pizza delivery bike. It may as well be a 50cc, can’t remember now.

    These guys really make me realize I could jump on my Vespa and go to wherever I want.

    Now all I need is plenty of time and a lot of money :)

    Three cheers to Tormod and Klaus!

  • philip

    These guys have the biggest cohones on the planet. I can only envy this adventure. If you like this trip, check out “Lois on the Loose”, another big bike trip by a single Brit girl.

  • http://www.theheatinside.com Drew Walston

    Keep it up guys and hang tough until your new exo² The Heat Inside heated gear arrives. We look forward to seeing you in our StormRider Bodywarmer and StormShield Heated Gloves but more importantly, we want to see continue your inspiring journey safe and well.

    Best Regards,

    Team exo²

  • powermatic

    Wow. And I thought my trip to Deadhorse, AK was an adventure. Good job guys, and Bike EXIF, thanks for the link.

  • Superfreak

    Kudos!, wish I could do this, will keep a shady spot and a cold corona for when you come by.
    those bikes!, make me think, “if shrek had a bike, this would be it”… lolol!

  • heavy-duty

    The Road Less Traveled. Damn! Talk about extreme motorcycling. These men have really big olives to pull this off. What an incredible journey.and lifetime adventure. I had no problem making a donation on paypal to help them with their quest. Cool story.

  • kim scholer

    As for The Norwegian Travel Bug, Vikings not only raided Britain with depressing regularity and went on to settle Iceland, but made it further west too: First to Greenland (which at the time had a much milder climate) and beat Christopher Columbus by about 500 years by sailing on to North America. And they didn’t stubbornly insist they had found their way to India, like you-know-who did.

  • http://classicpartsltd.com Halcyon

    Very impressed guys! True modern day Vikings!