Scooter and sidecar duo ride into the Guinness Book of Records

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Sensible folk generally pick adventure bikes for globe-trotting antics but not these two members of MCN’s #ride5000miles campaign, who’ve ridden into the record books by completing the longest journey by scooter and sidecar.

Matt Bishop and Reece Gilkes, who go by the name The Sidecar Guys, have made it into the 2021 edition of the Guinness Book of Records, after completing a 34,151-mile, 15-month journey round the world on a homemade Honda SH300i outfit.

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"We knew we’d struggle but that was the point," Matt said. "The idea was to see how far we could get with very little money and the kindness of strangers.

"Quite often we were posting in #ride5000miles when we’d broken down and people from the group would get in touch and give us tips on how to get the outfit going again," he said.

Matt Bishop with the 2021 record book

Matt’s companion Reece added: "99% of the people we met on the road were fantastic and we were carried around the world on a conveyor belt of human kindness."

Starting out in October 2017 and finishing the trip in January 2019, they are believed to be the only duo to travel the globe by scooter and sidecar, visiting 35 countries along the way.

Before the trip the pair had spent almost no time on two wheels – let alone three – and alongside experiencing different cultures and pushing their own riding abilities during the journey, went on to raise £7215, which was split between modern slavery charities.

They also had to endure some pretty extreme changes of weather, with temperatures rising to a sweltering 40°C in the Sahara and dropping as far as -40°C during the Siberian winter.

Since returning, the duo have produced the book Our Ridiculous World (Trip), detailing their travels whilst raising more money for charity with every purchase. They have also hosted multiple virtual adventure festivals during the Covid-19 pandemic and generated over £10,000.

The pair are now planning to undertake more rides with a new sidecar set-up, disappearing off for shorter breaks, rather than global epics. For more and to donate visit www.asseenfromthesidecar.org


Video: R5K members lap the world on a shed-built scooter sidecar

First published on 25 August, 2018 by Jon Urry

The scooter and sidecar on the salt flats

If you’re struggling to hit your 5000-mile target, take some inspiration from British duo Matt Bishop and Reece Gilkes. The pair, both #ride5000miles members, are currently 22,000 miles and 10 months into riding a scooter and sidecar around the world.

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"We’re halfway around now and have been through 26 countries, which is further than we thought we would get," Matt told MCN from America.

"Before this trip neither of us had really ridden a motorcycle so it has been a huge adventure and took 18 months of planning."

Why a scooter and sidecar?

"Riding a normal bike around the world has been done loads," explained Matt. "We wanted to be different. We bought a Honda SH300 and then a bloke in a shed made us a sidecar and off we went."

As you would imagine, the trip has already been quite eventful as the pair have ridden through Europe and Africa before shipping the bike to South America and riding their way up to Texas.

The scooter has got through four clutches so far

"We think the bike rides well, but it has been hammered and fixed by us and the handling has certainly deteriorated as the miles have racked up, but you just get used to it," laughed Matt.

"We have been through four clutches so far, the most memorable breakdown was in Ethiopia when one failed in the middle of a carnival."

No-one has circumnavigated the world on one before

As well as a fantastic adventure, the pair are also using the trip to increase awareness about modern slavery and are visiting charities and raising money while en-route, not to mention setting a few Guinness World Records.

"There is a record for distance ridden on a scooter fitted with a sidecar, which is 5000 miles so we’ve already smashed that one," added Matt. "And no-one has circumnavigated the world on one before, so if we finish that’s two records at least."

And the two adventurers have some simple advice for fellow members looking at taking on a big trip. "Don’t plan, just do it! The fun is winging it and seeing where you end up," said Matt.

The adventurers set off from Ace Cafe London

"Don’t give up, just give it a shot and don’t be afraid to ask for help as people are always friendly."

The pair have 18,000 more miles to go through Alaska and then Asia and Europe and are aiming to finish at the Ace Café in seven months time.

You can follow their progress and leave a donation at asseenfromthesidecar.org.


What is R5K?

And if you fancy having your own adventure, why not join our #ride5000miles Facebook page. The is aim to encourage riders to cover 5000 miles in a year. See how others are getting on at our #ride5000miles page.

How do I do it?

Make a note of your mileage at the start of your biking year. Take a photo at the start and end of the challenge.

Five reasons to sign up

1. It’ll make you a better rider.

2. You’ll know your bike better than ever, and enjoy it more.

3. It’ll make you ride to places you’ve never been before.

4. Be part of a top biking community.

5. Share tips on where to ride and what kit can go the distance.

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Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

Senior Writer (motorcycling), sportsbike nut, currently riding a FireBlade