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R5Ker aims for the Arctic Circle after late summer ride to Morocco

Published: 17 November 2019

Updated: 14 November 2019

Andy Barnes took a huge chunk off his 5000-mile annual target with a mammoth 3800-mile trip to Morocco aboard his trusty Yamaha FZ8 – and now he has plans to ride across the Arctic Circle!

Setting off in mid-September from his home in Reading, Andy’s Morocco trip lasted three weeks. He took the ferry to Santander, Spain, then rode into Morocco before returning home via Portugal.

"I’ve now got to think about how I can get to the Arctic Circle," he told MCN. "Really, it’s all about seeing the world and Europe is already well-trodden with lots of people doing it."

"I follow quite a lot of adventurers through Facebook and I was a kid when Long Way Round came out and I watched that with my dad," the 29-year-old project manager explained. "I’ve always enjoyed riding bikes and love seeing the world so this is a great way of combining them."

The roads in Morocco can be stunning

So far he’s visited 15 different countries on his FZ8 and went on to say: "I’ve had the Yamaha for six years and it’s the bike I commute into London on. I’ve done a trackday on it, too. It’s not the best at anything, but it did 4000 miles including the desert and never missed a beat!"

But despite his Yamaha’s reliability, Andy did suffer a few snags along the way. "I was trying to avoid a donkey in central Marrakech and a woman went straight into the back of me on a Honda 50," he says. "But besides that it was relatively trouble-free.

"She was fine, but it was the 50-odd locals getting involved that was scary! I would 100% recommend Morocco to other bikers though, whether they’re planning to do it on-road or off-road.

"It’s a fantastic country and it has got unbelievable natural beauty. What’s more, the people are extremely friendly and accommodating and it’s cheap and easy to get around."

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