- Increased ground clearance
- Upward-angled exhaust (which sounds amazing)
- Larger fuel tank
- Custom seat
- Passenger accommodation and luggage removed (which Grizzly says has reduced weight by 110 lbs.)
- LED fog lights
- A cockpit littered with GPS, tablet and phone units
- Multiple cameras
His personal preparation is a little less complicated: physical exercise, eating right. Grizzly drinks coffee as we speak but says he will cut it out of his diet in the week or so before he sets out.
I get it. Probably every motorcyclist does. For him, motorcycling is a means of connection. While others find their place through mindfulness courses or Buddhist chanting, Grizzly finds it amid the drone of a 1731cc V-Twin. After all, a motorcycle, despite its mechanical parts, is the most human of things.
And yet, on this trip there will be more than just connection with the universe. He will, of course, be connected to his team – a close-knit crew that behaves like family – who will be helping him keep on top of things like weather and road conditions. But also, thanks to the bike’s extensive satellite and mobile communications gear, he is hoping to stay in touch with, well, everybody.
During the course of our conversation, Grizzly mentions several times the fact that people can track his progress via his website, www.grizzlyraceteam.ch (Incidentally, if you’re like me and are confused as to why the Swiss domain extension is CH rather than, say, SWZ, it’s because the country tends to refer to itself by its latin name “Confoederatio Helvetica”). He encourages me to download a mobile-friendly version of the site, called GrizzlyTracker, that functions as a sort of app, allowing you to see his most recent location, as well as send messages of encouragement.
You can connect, also, via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And once the trip gets under way, there will be daily uploads of video taken from the four cameras mounted to the Daytona1 bike. All that sounds a bit cheesy and over the top when I write it. But when Grizzly tells me about it, I get the real sense of a person who wants to be able to take everyone on the journey with him. He wants every person he meets to be able to hop on the back of the bike with him and experience the same feelings of connection and clarity that he has when riding.
His enthusiasm is infectious. At the end of our conversation I tell him I’m half-inclined to just hop on my bike and join him on his trip.
“Sure,” he laughs. “But you’ll have to keep up.”