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A Photographer's Journey Around the World

Map showing Helge's "10 Years on 2 Wheels" travels.



Having good riding gear has always been important for both Karen and I. Even in Greece where the sun was shining and other tourists were sunbathing in the nude, Karen played it safe. Haven’t they heard about the thin Ozone layer and the danger of skin cancer?

The Wall

It had been 8 years since I had last been in Europe with my bike, and that was when I was returning from Africa. Many things had changed and perhaps the most visible was the fall of the Soviet Union. This time Karen and I could ride our bike into Berlin«s East side and continue on through Poland even without a visa. It was an amazing feeling to be there, crossing a country that was once closed to the world.

The End

This picture was taken by Motorrad’s photographer, Elke Losskarn. The 10 year journey around the world had come to an end. I had worked for Motorrad magazine and other European magazines telling my story for 10 years, which provided my only source of income.


Olga, my trusty BMW R80 G/S-81, had done a good job. She had been around the world, done what she had been chosen to do and now it was time to rest. I felt honored and very happy when BMW AG asked if I was interested in trading Olga for a brand new R1100 GS. Most of all it made me happy that she would be in a place where people could share her story and not disappear in some dusty old garage. At the same time it made me sad to leave her after so many years. It did however help that I could drive away with a brand new red BMW.

BMW Museum

There she stands in all her glory with 250,000 miles, 77 countries and memories to last a lifetime. She is not alone, all around her are other machines that have their own stories to tell. They all shine from the spotlights reflecting the newly polished paint or chrome. She is different in that respect. She has no chrome and no shining paint. But she does have a washing machine on the rear (bucket+water+laundry soap + bumpy road = washing machine), a poison frog on the front and a teddy bear as a mascot. If you ever visit the BMW museum in Munchen, Germany, could you be so kind and say hello to Olga from me.... I do miss her!

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