Michael Martin BMW R 1200 GS | Motorcycle Adventurer

Motorcycle: Planet Desert

Since 1991, motorcycle adventurer and desert expert Michael Martin has used BMW GS models as fast, robust and reliable partners on his long-distance travels. Over the years, BMW GS versions have taken him to such places as the sources of the Nile, right across Africa and through deserts there. He has undertaken journeys on BMW GS models to the desert regions of Asia, Australia and America.

Having crossed the dry deserts of the Earth, the 46-year-old Munich is now going one step further: within a period of three years he wants to travel on a BMW R 1200 GS Adventure through the main ice and volcanic deserts of the planet, in addition to the dry deserts.

Here, his interest will focus mainly on the people who live under extreme conditions in such regions. But the project name Planet Desert also highlights Martin’s aspiration to provide an illustrative documentation of global themes such as climate change in the form of both pictures and reports.

The motorcycle project with destinations all over the world started in August 2009 in the volcanic deserts of Iceland. After an extensive lecture tour this autumn and winter, this will be followed by trips through the ice deserts of Greenland, Spitsbergen and Northern Siberia. One aim will be to undertake a comparison of the dry, ice and volcanic deserts.

On this extreme motorcycle tour, geographer Michael Martin will also travel on his BMW 1200 GS Adventure to deserts such as the Sahara, Gobi and Atacama which he already knows, but this time he will be travelling in very remote areas he has never been to before. Martin will also be exploring other desert regions such as the Saudi Arabian Rub al Kahli, the Patagonian desert, Kamchatka and the Tibetan Chang Tang desert, where he will seek out life in its fascinating forms. Finally he will set out into the ice deserts of Antarctica. The final destination of this global adventure is the South Pole, where Michael Martin wants to arrive at the beginning of 2012.

On this latest project Planet Desert, Michael Martin will stay with his well-proven method: he will travel with a standard BMW R 1200 GS Adventure adapted only with a few special features provided by Touratech for extreme use such as a pannier system, ceramic clutch, GPS, long-distance headlamps and oil pan guard. In addition to the travel-tested R 1200 GS Adventure, Martin will also be making use of the BMW Motorrad range of accessories and rider equipment which has proved itself many times over on such extreme projects.

Michael Martin is travelling without a back-up team or external film team. This guarantees maximum authenticity and genuine adventure. State-of-the-art film and photographic technology and decades of experience ensure professional results.

Highlights in his career have included lectures to the Royal Geographical Society in London, at the World Climate Conference in Montreal, the UN conference in Tokyo and the UN desert conference in Buenos Aires. In 2006 Martin had the honour of being asked to design the official calendar of the UNCCD, short hand for secretary of UN convention to combat desertification and the secretary of UN framework convention on climate change. His illustrated book "Deserts of the Earth" was the official book of the UN’s international year of deserts and desertification. This standard work was translated into six languages, while the slide show of the same name set new standards both in terms of photography and content and was shown throughout German-speaking countries. The film project "Deserts of the Earth", which Michael Martin carried out in collaboration with Elke Wallner, was highly successful in more than 30 countries.

In October 2009, Martin starts his Germany-wide lecture tour "30 Years of Adventure" in which he takes stock of his fascinating experience. The book of the same name is due to be published in September 2009 by Frederking & Thaler. The end of his lecture on "30 Years of Adventure" focuses on his recently completed trip to Iceland, which at the same provides a foretaste of his new project.

The book, TV series and new lecture are due to be released in autumn 2014. The project Planet Desert is sponsored by the Royal Geographic Society, the UNCCD and BMW Motorrad.


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