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James Williams

Far West 2024

Last known location: Scottsdale, AZ on May 21, 2024 (departure date May 8, 2024). My chain gave out at the Grand Canyon, so I needed to tow the bike to the nearest Ducati dealer.

Distance traveled: 3,896 kilometres

Posts: #far-west-2024

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About

I’m embarking on an epic adventure. Me and Lucia, my Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled, are travelling 7,500 kilometres down the Pacific Coast to Southern California and back up to Calgary through the expansive canyons and national parks of the American Rocky Mountains.

The three-week trip will take me through two Provinces, nine States, and four seasons. I’ll be camping along the ocean on the southbound leg and riding through snow-lined mountain passes on the return.

I’ll be learning a lot as I go, and my plan is to document as much as I can about the preparation, process, and spirit of overland motorcycle travel. I hope it’s useful and interesting.

The Bike

Lucia is a 2022 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled. Despite her looks she is a little heavier than your typical dual-sport bike. With an 803cc twin air-cooled engine, she is a road bike that is fitted with a suspension and tires to handle herself respectably off-road.

For solo overland travel like this, Lucia is near perfect. She is big enough to take care of business on the highway but small enough to pick up on your own if you drop her (don’t ask me how I know). She has a respectable service interval of 12,000 kilometres which is on par with the leading bikes in this domain like the Yamaha Tenere or Honda CBR Rally. My only gripe is the small fuel tank which allows for only ~225 kilometres between fuel ups, but such is the price to pay for that sweet retro profile.

Lucia and I the day I bought her.

Lucia and I the day I bought her in June 2022.

Lucia with her lil' bike backpack in July 2023. Since then I've added saddlebags to bring my total waterproofed luggage capacity to 84 litres.

Lucia with her lil' bike backpack in July 2023. Since then I've added saddlebags to bring my total waterproofed luggage capacity to 84 litres.

The Route

The route can be generally divided into three stints. The southbound leg will take around seven days and conclude in Palm Springs, CA where I’m meeting friends for what will be a welcome rest.

After a few days off, I’ll venture westbound into Arizona, Utah and Colorado. I’ll take a brief rest in Durango, CO before setting out for the final northbound leg to Canada.

Not shown is the return trip from Calgary to Vancouver to complete the loop, as that will be a week or so removed from the larger voyage.

The general route split out by day.