After traveling 29,888 miles over 46 days and 15 hours, Swiss endurance rider Urs “Grizzly” Pedraita is on his way to achieving his quest to set a new world record by circumnavigating six continents in less than 100 riding days aboard his Victory Cross Country Tour.
Grizzly recently departed North Cape (Nordkapp) Norway after completing the European leg of his journey, and is on his way across Russia to the eastern city of Vladivostok. Grizzly rode away from Daytona International Speedway on March 11 flanked by hundreds of owners of Victory motorcycles who joined him to ride one lap of the Daytona 200 road course and escort him out of town for the first part of his journey.
From Daytona Beach, Fla., he traveled 3,971 miles in six days and 14 hours to complete the first leg of the ride in Panama City, Panama. He then continued traveling south 6,269 miles for nine days and 23 hours to reach Ushuaia, Argentina, at the tip of South America. From there, he returned 2,088 miles to Santiago, Chile, loaded his bike onto a plane and transferred to Australia, where he spent six days and five hours riding 4,604 miles west across the continent from Sydney to Perth.
From Perth, Grizzly and his Victory were flown to Cape Town, South Africa, and awaited clearance through customs. Thereafter, he took 13 days and 23 hours for a 7,509-mile journey from Cape Town to Cairo, Egypt, and a ferry to take him across the Mediterranean to Tarragona, Spain. From there, he rode 5,447 miles in six days and 23 hours, from northern Spain to Gibraltar, then all the way up to North Cape following a stop in Zurich, Switzerland where dozens of Victory riders were waiting to receive him in his home country.
“My travel from Cape Town north through Africa was largely uneventful, although I met many friendly and helpful people,” Grizzly says. “Europe was a pleasure and I was pleased to see so many friends along the route. However, leaving North Cape, I collided with a reindeer at 65 mph and with tears in my eyes had to release it from his tortures at the site of the accident. Prior to entering Russia, I stopped in Helsinki to have the bike inspected.”
After quick stops in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Grizzly is currently in Siberia and has his front wheel aimed toward Vladivostok. Future destinations include Seoul, Hanoi, Bangkok and Singapore, where he’ll load his bike onto a plane and travel to Anchorage, Alaska, before resuming his tour across North America to a planned finish in Daytona Beach.
As with any epic journey, some plans may have to change en-route. “We might see some route changes in Asia compared to the planned route due to customs and vehicle regulations as well as availability of quick transfers,” Grizzly says. “I am sure it will again be an interesting leg before I return back to the North American continent.”
The Victory Cross Country Tour used for this attempt was specially modified by Motostyling Zurich. While the engine, frame and running gear remain relatively untouched, other parts of the bike have been redesigned to fit Grizzly’s needs as he covers long distances in remote parts of the world.
“Grizzly’s progress speaks volumes about his determination,” says Nate Secor, Marketing Manager for Victory Motorcycles. “He has been riding some tough roads in remote regions, so it also speaks to the dependability of his Victory. It has been fantastic to track this record-breaking journey and we look forward to his safe transition through the miles ahead.”
Time and position measurement are being done via GPS and satellite tracking. Timing is not stopped on overland routes (i.e., when waiting to pass a country border or when the rider is sleeping). However, timing is stopped for air and sea transfers between continents and restarts once the bike arrives on the new continent.
Grizzly’s total distance is scheduled to be approx. 62,000 miles. The current record for such a ride is 120 days.