My touring advice: Yamaha XT125X

Nathan Millward
By Nathan Millward
NateThePostman Round the world adventurer Nathan Millward rode home to the East Midlands from Australia on a 105cc Australian postal bike (he didn’t like flying). He’s since ridden across America to Alaska, writing two brilliant books about the experience. www.nathanmillward.com
My touring advice: Yamaha XT125X

 

Touring on two wheels is one of life’s greatest freedoms; you take your bike, load it with some gear and head off into the distance. But some people overthink things, and end up going nowhere.

When you strip it all back, it becomes a question of a few simple factors such as bike choice and what to pack. Nathan Millward has done it all, from travelling the world on a 105cc Honda to exploring Iceland on a BMW R1200GS; he knows how to get the most of his trips, and is currently running his Garbage Runs, where he takes groups of riders – on any bike – to explore the UK. Meet one of the riders who’s done the ride from Land’s End to John o’Groats with him…

 

Rider: Becky Matthews Bike: Yamaha XT125X

 

Why that bike?

It was in the shed, I’d never ridden it, it was too tall for me and it wasn’t running. It seemed ideal!

 

How was that bike suitable/unsuitable for the trip?

Apart from a faulty rear tyre, which we sorted along the way, it was awesome. It would sit at 55mph, which was ideal for the majority of the roads, and it was so light you could throw it around the twisties. I covered 1708 miles in ten days without getting tired or any aches and pains. The only time I wished I had a bigger bike was on some of the long stretches of the North Coast 500.

 

What luggage solution did you use?

I used second hand Oxford 48 panniers and a £10 QBag, which I strapped on the seat.

 

How did you arrive at that set up?

The bike’s not built to carry luggage and I didn’t want to spend much money. The QBag was great – it rained constantly but everything stayed dry (until I burned a hole in it on someone else's exhaust… don't ask!).

 

What did you take that you needed and couldn't have managed without?

Spare clutch lever (I have form), otherwise it would have been game over on the penultimate day. That and waterproofs!

 

What did you take that you didn't need and could have managed without?

Cutlery, but nothing to cook on. I don’t know what I was thinking.

 

What would you do differently next time?

Take better boots (mine leaked) and I should probably wash more often.

 

To read BikeSocial’s advice on how to tour on any bike, click here

 

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