During the summer of 2020 when we were in lockdown, and unable to go anywhere, I started browsing motorcycle YouTube videos on my TV. I came across Lyndon Poskitt, a Yorkshire lad from Knaresborough who had done a bit of travelling and rally racing on his KTM 690. Due to the random way that videos pop up, the first one I watched was him riding through Mongolia where he entered the Mongolian Rally which is about 5 days long. After riding from Knaresborough to Mongolia, he prepped the bike in a local workshop, started the race ok, got disqualified for something he didn`t do, got re-instated, finished a stage on his rear wheel rim after his tyre disintegrated, broke a record of the fastest bike to navigate a section with no `Road Book` instructions, just a map and also beat all the cars which was also a first. After watching this I was quite interested in what else he had done so looked into it further. I have now watched hours` of his video`s of which I would think there are approx 150 – 200 ranging from 10 mins to over an hour. The video`s are descriptive and informative from an engineering perspective, without being boring, and he explains the reasoning behind why and how he does things.
Lyndon was an Aerospace engineer working for BAE who started as a schoolboy in Motorcycle Trials, tried Supermoto, track racing and Enduro & Rally racing. He had a dream to race the DAKAR and in 2013 entered the race finishing 46th.
A year later after a spell in hospital where he re-evaluated his life, left hospital, packed his job in, sold everything, whilst at the same time building a bike robust enough to ride round the world fully loaded and also race in the worlds biggest Rally’s whilst on his travels. He had an alliance with a company called Adventure Spec AS who make off road clothing (These also do their own videos). These suggested he film his travels and they came up with the name RACES2PLACES.
`BASIL BIKE` was born. This was morphed from a 2007 KTM 690 Rally Factory Replica. This is a lot different from the `Enduro` model. It has a stronger frame, swingarm and taller suspension. He completely stripped the bike back to the frame, made some of his own mod`s such as a bit of strengthening to support the extra weight of his luggage. He then removed the fuel injection and fitted a carburettor, as he didn`t want to get a FI failure in a desert/remote place where you`d need a laptop to interrogate it. He basically went back to basics and built a bike with the minimum of electronics to improve long term reliability. Added a `Tower` to the front headstock to carry the Roadbook/timers etc which are required to race in a Rally. Uprated his running gear with stronger wheels/spokes and brake discs. He uses two different rates of rear spring on the shock for touring and racing. And also the fork cartridges are made to his spec. The video of him building Basil with all the technical info is Races2Places Special Feature Basil Bike and it`s 43mins.
The trip started in 2014, rode through Europe Russia, the Stans, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, North America, South America and Africa whilst competing in Rallys including, Mongolian, Australian Finke Desert, Baha, Kalahari, Roof of Africa, Redbull Romaniacs, Dakar and Africa Eco Rally.
In 2017 the DAKAR rules had changed and the engine sizes were reduced to 450cc. This meant that Basil was no longer eligible to race, so `REX` Bike was born from a KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica. This was entered into the MALLE MOTO class of the Dakar. A total of 173 riders entered the 2017 Dakar, 17 of them in the Malle Moto. Lyndon and Rex finished 2nd in class.
The trip turned into a Five-year adventure. By 2017 he had travelled through 52 countries and covered 156,000km. Not sure of his total mileage by the time he finished the `trip`.
He now runs a `Rally` school from a base in Spain where he does `Dakar Rally` simulations in Spain, Portugal and Morocco where you can get the full Rally road book experience or customised training depending on your needs. He is currently an ambassador for Husqvarna for the launch of the 901 Adventure bike after doing many test miles for the company.
Written by Bob Arnett