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The First Person To Circumnavigate The World On A Motorcycle

Updated: Jul 4, 2019


Just imagine that you are riding your motorbike around the world. In the beginning, it seems like a dream to you, experiencing diverse cultures of different countries, riding on all sorts of terrains, visiting world-renowned monuments, the idea is there deep down in the heart of every thoughtful motorcycle adventure rider.

We, at Siima MotoWear have done some research about the first motorcycle adventure rider and we present you his story:

Carl Stearns Clancy was an American motorcycle rider and a well-known producer. He is accredited with being the first person to orbit the world on a motorcycle. The ride was primarily started by Carl Clancy and his dear friend Walter Storey. However, Walter Storey did not know how to ride a motorcycle and he wrecked his motorbike badly on the first day of the tour, although it was actually not his mistake.

This enforced Clancy to cart Storey on his motorcycle for around 400-500 miles. Storey ultimately came back to America from Paris, and Clancy carried on with his dream. Clancy accomplished an unbelievable 18,000 miles ride around the globe long before there were gas stations, restoration shops, road structure, banks, or the Internet. His 10-month ride took him from west to east across Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States of America.



During his journey, Clancy encountered wild animals, bandits, unfavorable border officials, the absence of gas and spare parts plus the unknown of travel by motorcycle where no motorcyclist had ventured. There were times when he thought to stop his tour and return, but constant vision kept his hopes high. Clancy had selected Dublin as his leaving point to honor his Irish parents. In Algeria, Clancy drove his motorbike to its top speed of 65mph, until his eyes watered so much that he decided that speed wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

Then he resumed to calmer ride which then complemented his suiting, which was a three-piece suit with shirt and tie, crowned by a flat cap. However, recurring burdens on his finances ensued throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. Government officials implemented creative duties every time he got near a boundary, and an expectant outstretched palm invariably followed the slightest courteousness of the locals. Clancy had to go through various problems.


His bike needed constant repair and at that point of time, there were rare mechanics and repair workshops. He was carrying instruments himself. At times, he used to repair his bike by himself.

Worse roads were a common feature of the trip, but perhaps unexpectedly the poorest came once he’d got back to America. Going from San Francisco to Portland, outfitted in suit and tie, he forced his way up and over unsteady mountain ridges, across flooded plains and through mud-covered trails deep enough to demolish rider and bike.

Having put 18,000 miles beneath his wheels, Carl Stearns Clancy moved into New York, 10 months after setting off, as the first person to have orbited the globe by motorcycle.

Carl Clancy completed the bulk of his tour in a three-piece suit with a shirt and a tie. During his tour, he succeeded to purchase the helmet of a fighter plane pilot only after he touched Japan, before which he rode wearing a cap. Clancy had originally scheduled to cover 15000 miles on the sea and 14000 miles on land which involved 5500 miles in Europe, 400 Miles in Africa, 5000 miles in Asia and 3500 miles in the United States in a span of one year but he ultimately ended up riding 18000 miles in 10 months.


Clancy confronted many difficulties while crossing global borders and was forced to pay heavy amounts to take himself and his Henderson from one country to another. Carl Clancy was compelled to alter his way several times as he found out that most of the countries did not have any roads to cross through. These countries were Singapore, Hong Kong, and even China.

The road structure of these countries was near to zero percent. Carl Clancy had a strategy to ride through India, but he was forced to terminate his idea due to the absence of petrol in the country during the time. Reportedly, Carl Clancy handled the nastiest roads in the United States. He was forced to ride in difficult terrains like overflowing rivers and train tracks. This was the most difficult and testing phase of his ride.

Well-known motorcycle tourer Dr. Gregory Frazier reported Carl Clancy’s journey in his biography of Clancy titled “Motorcycle Adventurer” for which he investigated more than 16 years. After ending his journey of the world, Carl Clancy then starting filmmaking. He directed and produced several films and documentaries in later years of 1920.

Any thoughts on the subject? Leave your comments below.

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