The unlikely globetrotter: 'Mini GS' Monkey's round-the-world ride

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You probably have to be half mad to attempt a round-the-world motorcycle ride, but you have to be certifiably bonkers if you choose to do it on a 125cc Honda Monkey. But that’s exactly what YouTuber Alan Dowsett is undertaking.

“I have already put it through loads,” explains Alan. “I rode on the Strata Florida greenlane (Wales), I rode the Malle Mile, I rode it around the UK last November, so the next stage is the world.”

To get the diminutive steed ready for such a punishing trip, Alan reached out to his followers on social media, where he goes by the name of Helmet Head, to see if anyone was willing to upgrade it.

Alan Dowsett picks up his Monkey from Ashworth Automotive

“Luckily a garage called Ashworth Automotive, in Weston-Super-Mare, took me up on it and spent quite a lot of money and time making it into the bike it is now.

“I had already slightly killed the bike on my UK trip so I gave it to them burning oil and all this stuff, so they have done the piston rings and barrel,” he continued.

“They have upgraded the suspension for the weight, it has a front rack on it, custom-made pannier racks, and they changed the clutch and the wheel bearings just in case.

The Honda Monkey is now like a mini BMW GS

“Now it is like a different bike. It’s a bit higher than standard, it is so much smoother to ride. It’s like a mini BMW GS!”

The ride will be undertaken in stages to allow the 40-year-old biker time to accrue time off from his day job as a train driver.

The trek began last Wednesday with the first few stages already organised. “I wanted to show how you can do it without giving up your job,” says Alan.

“First, I’m riding the length of France and I have a place to store the bike in the Pyrenees. I will fly home and go back out about six weeks later.”

MCN readers may know Helmet Head from previous charity rides, but this adventure is for the fun of it, with a ‘winging it’ approach.

“It’s amazing how many people are offering me places to stay, or getting involved. I wing all my rides and this is very much the same.”

Search ‘Helmet Head’ to follow Alan on Facebook and YouTube.