140,000 Kilometers Round The World On A KTM 500 EXC

Angelena Iglesia

World traveler Aaron Steinmann, higher recognized to his followers because the Braaping Kiwi, has just lately completed a visit of a lifetime. Since 2016, Aaron has ridden over 140,000 kilometers world wide masking 6 continents and 51 nations on ‘Tess’, his 2015 KTM 500 EXC-F. An uncommon bike for a round-the-world journey, Tess has held up magnificently and, in response to Aaron, it’s a sturdy, dependable bike for touring.

Nevertheless, taking the KTM 500 world wide wasn’t the unique plan: at first, Aaron solely deliberate to experience from New Zealand to Portland, Oregon. “My preliminary journey thought was to experience some 20,000-30,000 kilometers from New Zealand to Oregon, so an enormous distance simply wasn’t on my thoughts. That’s why I picked the KTM 500: it’s a light-weight, stable filth bike, and since I needed to go mild and experience numerous off-road, it made sense on the time,” Aaron shares.

Around The World On A KTM 500 EXC

Having shipped the bike from New Zealand to Chile, Aaron rode the KTM 500 to Portland the place the journey was supposed to finish – besides by that point, the adventurer realized he wasn’t fairly achieved with touring but.

After taking a while in Oregon and rebuilding the highest finish of the engine to arrange the bike for one more leg of the journey, Aaron rode the bike to Alaska and determined he’d journey again to New Zealand on Tess…through Europe and Russia. “The journey type of grew on me, as did the bike, and I made the choice to maintain going,” Aaron says.

Around The World On A KTM 500 EXC


The 30,000km journey throughout the Americas now grew to become a world expedition including Europe, Morocco, Central Asia, Mongolia, Russia, Australia, and at last, New Zealand to the route.

How did the KTM 500 carry out? what challenges Aaron confronted alongside the best way? and the place is he headed subsequent? We caught up with the Braaping Kiwi to search out out.

Getting ready the Motorbike

Around The World On A KTM 500 EXC

In response to Aaron, firstly of the journey, the KTM 500 was virtually utterly inventory. The traveler had changed the seat for a Seat ideas unit, added Barkbuster handguards and a bigger twenty-liter tank, and that was the extent of the modifications at first. Nevertheless, Aaron all the time stored an eye fixed on preventive upkeep, doing frequent oil adjustments each 2,000-2,500 km, altering air filters, and preserving the bike in good condition.

“I’m no mechanic, however I knew I wanted to maintain the bike well-maintained if I used to be to cowl lengthy distances. Preventive upkeep isn’t tough and if achieved recurrently, that alone will prevent numerous bother,” Aaron shares.

Around The World On A KTM 500 EXC

The primary greater upkeep job got here up after Aaron reached Oregon and determined to proceed to Alaska. After the Alaska leg of the journey was accomplished, the KTM 500 had 67,000km on the clock and Aaron had the highest finish of the engine rebuilt to verify the bike would maintain for the subsequent lengthy distance leg of his journey.

Alongside the best way, Aaron added a number of different mods to the motorbike: greater, wider footpegs, Renthal bars, Scotts steering damper, an FMF exhaust, Haan wheels with cush drive, break free levers, Moto Minded XL Professional LED headlight, a Boyesen tremendous cooler, and totally different shift and brake levers. “The journey stored evolving alongside the best way, and so did the bike,” Aaron explains.

Around The World On A KTM 500 EXC

In response to him, he by no means had any main points with the bike. As soon as he reached Georgia after finishing the Morocco and Europe leg of the journey, Aaron left the bike for 4 months and flew again to the States to work smuggling the dismantled engine in his checked baggage. “At that time, the bike had 100,000 km on the clock, and I needed to rebuild the underside finish of the engine, so I took it aside and flew to the States to compensate for work and rebuild the engine.”

Around The World On A KTM 500 EXC

By way of baggage, Aaron carried a comfortable Big Loop set as much as preserve the bike as mild as attainable. His minimalist packing included a change of garments, thermal layers, tenting gear, cooking gear, and a few spares like air and oil filters, wheel bearings, and spare tubes, in addition to instruments. “You don’t really want a lot if you’re touring; I experience in four-season gear, carry simply the fundamentals, and if one thing greater had been to occur with the bike, I’d discover a mechanic,” Aaron explains.

Getting By on a Price range

The Braaping Kiwi has financed the complete world expedition himself, renting out his home and making an attempt to dwell as cheaply as attainable. Aaron camped as a lot as he might and prepped his personal meals, particularly in costlier locations like North America and Europe.

Around The World On A KTM 500 EXC

If he might discover lodging for lower than $30, Aaron would keep in visitor homes or lodges, however for more often than not, the traveler relied on tenting and pasta and rice dishes to make the sources final. “I’d keep away from touristy locations, eat the place the locals ate, and customarily don’t spend a lot on the street. If you’re out for every week or two, you might wish to spend extra on nicer lodging or meals, however if you’re on the street for over three years, it’s not a trip, it’s simply life, and also you make it work,” Aaron explains.

World’s Wildest Locations

For Aaron, driving world wide was all about exploring distant locations and driving off street. The Atacama Desert and the Lagunas Route in Bolivia, the Sahara Desert in Morocco, and the wilderness of Central Asia and Mongolia had been among the many highlights of the journey.

Nevertheless, driving in far-flung areas doesn’t come with out threat: as soon as, driving within the Sahara Desert, Aaron couldn’t discover the observe to his vacation spot. He was virtually out of water, and though the adventurer finally discovered the best way, he admits the incident gave him a scare. “It was a reminder to not get complacent,” Aaron remembers.

Attempting to get the engine cleared in Georgian customs was additionally a problem, however the greatest shock throughout the complete journey was the KTM500 getting stolen in Australia. Aaron was tenting close to the Uluru (Ayers Rock) when his motorbike was stolen from outdoors his tent throughout the evening, and at first, the traveler feared the bike wouldn’t be recovered.

“It was one of many worst moments, however it additionally proved that 99.99% of the individuals on the planet are good. I received a lot assist from Australian riders together with fellow Kiwi Chris Birch and the journey driving group total, and finally, my motorbike was discovered inside two days due to the efforts of the native police and the motorcycling group,” Aaron shares. The bike was broken – Aaron needed to substitute the mirrors, quantity plate, indicators, and decals, and simply to be on the protected facet, it was time to offer Tess an total check-up simply in case the enjoyment riders may need broken the clutch or anything on the bike. The motorbike repaired, Aaron carried on driving Tess dwelling to New Zealand.

RTW Suggestions from the Braaping Kiwi

Aaron says that the largest takeaway from his round-the-world motorbike journey is that journeys like his aren’t as harmful or tough as individuals assume. For him, the journey wasn’t solely deliberate, and his perspective of tackling a large distance is straightforward: “how do you eat an elephant? One chew on the time.”

Aaron shares that most people he met alongside the best way had been wonderful, and that the world is a way more welcoming place than we predict. “The period of time I received proven acts of kindness from strangers was humbling, and these are probably the most cherished recollections of my journey,” Aaron says.

For somebody contemplating doing the same journey, Aaron advises to not overthink the logistics and take it at some point at a time. Most significantly, the Braaping Kiwi says it’s essential to belief your individual intestine intuition and journey the best way you need – there isn’t a proper or mistaken means of driving world wide.

Having accomplished his RTW in 2020, simply earlier than COVID hit, Aaron now spends his time adventuring domestically in New Zealand. Nevertheless, he admits getting itchy toes already and is hoping to do one other journey quickly – maybe Africa or the Himalayas, as quickly because the borders open once more.

Comply with Aaron’s adventures on Instagram @braaping_kiwi

Writer: Egle Gerulaityte

Using world wide additional slowly and never taking it too significantly, Egle is all the time looking out for fascinating tales. Editor of the Ladies ADV Riders journal, she focuses on peculiar individuals doing extraordinary issues and hopes to convey journey inspiration to all two-wheeled maniacs on the market.

Leave a Reply

Next Post

Dwelling-Decor Developments That Will Be In style in 2023, In line with Consultants

Tactile textures will likely be fashionable within the coming yr. Texture will likely be fashionable. onurdongel / Getty Photos Danielle Blundell, the manager residence director at Condo Remedy, advised Insider that texture goes to play a giant position in residence decor for 2023, in every part from pillows and couches […]
Dwelling-Decor Developments That Will Be In style in 2023, In line with Consultants

Subscribe US Now