Seven weeks before Charley Boorman and Simon Pavey contest the 2006 Dakar rally, two motorcyclists will be riding similar F650 GS Dakar machines from England to Africa to support healthcare delivery charities in developing countries.
The memorial run to raise awareness of the charity Riders for Health and a new charitable organization, Motorcycle Outreach, is being undertaken by public affairs director of the Motorcycle Industry Association, Craig Carey-Clinch, and founder of the Irish Motorcyclists Action Group, David French. Their ride is in memory of Simon Milward, the motorcycle humanitarian who died in West Africa earlier this year.
The two adventurers explained that the F650 GS Dakar was the natural choice for the African journey. "A BMW bike was the best option for this trip because of the company's reputation for reliable long-distance machines that perform in extreme conditions," said Craig.
Both riders are experienced travelers and Craig is convinced that the BMWs will be perfect for the trip. "The F650 GS Dakar is the natural choice for the type of mixed road conditions that we will face. Some sections of the journey are an unknown quantity in terms of road conditions and we need bikes that are light, flexible and capable of lasting the distance."
Despite both riders' experience on two wheels, the versatility of the Dakar has surprised them both. "Our early test rides showed us that the F650 GS Dakar is perfect for the kind of mixed conditions we are going to face - in fact it's even better than we expected."
It's not just BMW's bikes that Craig and David have decided upon, as they will also be using the company's successful Rallye 2 suit to keep them comfortable and safe throughout the trip. "Once we'd decided on BMW it was a logical progression to use their equally good riding kit. Dave and I are extremely proud to be associated with BMW for this journey," said Craig.
The ride, which is scheduled to leave for Africa in November will take Craig and Dave to the Riders for Health centre in The Gambia. At the time of his death in March 2005 Simon Milward was nearing the end of an around the world ride in support of projects aimed towards using motorcycles for the delivery of primary healthcare services in remote areas of developing countries. In partnership with Riders for Health he had established a motorcycle based healthcare logistics project in Flores, Indonesia and motorcycle Outreach represents a continuation of his work.