Grizzly’s Custom Bagger: 2015 Victory Cross Country

See what this professional motorcycle adventurer from Switzerland chooses to ride.

victory, cross country, touring
Swiss adventurer Urs "Grizzy" Pedraita and his 2015 Victory Cross Country.©Motorcyclist

NAME: Urs "Grizzly" Pedraita
AGE: 49
HOME: Zurich, Switzerland
OCCUPATION: Professional Motorcycle Adventurer

All my life I have been fascinated by motorcycling. I began long-distance touring six years ago, and now I’ve made it my life. My first really big ride was in 2013, a 9,000-mile, 37-day trip from Bern, Switzerland, to Vladivostok, Russia, and back—in the winter. In 2014 I unofficially broke the motorcycle record for crossing all continents at their longest distance, which was 120 days, two hours [held by Kevin and Julia Sanders]. I broke that record by about three days, finishing in 116 days, 12 hours.

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Next I want to do it in 99 days. I want to ride 100,000 kilometers [62,000 miles] in less than 100 days. I will ride across all the required six continents and will add a side trip to Antarctica just to make sure no one can beat my record. I think Africa will be the biggest challenge, particularly between Kenya and Tanzania through Marsabit. And the Siberian Taiga—I know from past trips there that the wolves are hungry, so I can’t make any mistakes. I’ll set off in February of next year, starting and ending my ride in Zurich. I will do a lot of practice rides this year to prepare—I’m planning for about 60,000 miles on sand, ice, paved, and unpaved roads to prepare and test my equipment.

Why a cruiser? I thought from the beginning that everybody does it with an adventure-touring bike, so I wanted to be different. The Victory Cross Country is an ideal bike because of its low center of gravity and agility for such a big bike. We are mostly working on the ergonomics and the suitability to ride through 2-foot-deep water. We will also use off-road tires, added LED lights for better visibility at night, and an extra-large, 8.7-gallon fuel tank. The rest of the bike will be more or less original equipment.