Elspeth Beard: Inspiration for the adventurer in us all…

King of the Hill

Motorcycle adventure touring is nothing new, but recent years have seen a huge increase in sales of bikes that target this particular style and market.  There is something appealing about the idea of being able to strap on some luggage, pack your tent, and head off into the sunset…

While the lure of “adventure” on one of these modern bikes could seem audacious, the stories we like to hear are those from back in the day, when a big part of the adventure was the bike itself.  Modern BMWs are known to swallow hundreds of thousands of miles, often packed with state-of-the-art camping and location equipment.  But years ago, there were those that chose to travel on two-wheels, and the details of how to make the bike last, were more murky.  These were not times when a dealership could be found in every town, and overnight parts shipping was still 20 years in the future.

Elspeth Beard: ready for her trip around the world...

Enter Elspeth Beard and her trusty 1974 R 60/6 flat-twin Air-Head BMW.  Both her last name and the moniker for her bike should be focused on, because she was neither lacking in femininity, nor ditzy.  She was an architectural student who heard the call of the open road.  After purchasing the R 60 in 1980, with 30,000 miles already on the clock, she shipped off for New York to begin her journey, which would see her traverse the world, over the span of 3 years.

Mrs Beard today

There are some great articles that have been written about Mrs. Beard, and it would do the adventurer in us all to read some of the details of her trip.  Above is a shot of Mrs. Beard now, a woman we would love to hang out with and get some firsthand tales of her adventures.

Check out some of the details HERE:

5 Replies to “Elspeth Beard: Inspiration for the adventurer in us all…”

  1. Most of the articles about Elspeth since 2005 were uncredited versions of one written by me for BMW. I also took the colour photo of her above, in 2003. Please note that she is not, and has never been ‘Mrs’ Beard! She was born Elspeth Beard, and Ms Elspeth Beard she remains!

    1. Mr, Blezard, thanks for writing in. I’m on the road right now, but will modify the post to reflect your corrections.

      I can only imagine that speaking to her must have provided some amazing stories, and some great inspiration for your own adventures.

      Thanks for the clarification, and expect to see a credit ASAP.

  2. In July 2016 BMW made a 4 minute video interview with Elspeth in and on her water tower and
    featuring her firing up and riding off on her freshly re-furbished 1973 RTW R60!
    See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O4Xp6Qndfw
    She has also written a book about her round the world adventure which is due to be
    published in 2017.

    1. Thanks for sharing the info Paul. I had heard rumblings a while back, but fell out of touch with the actual release. Should be a very interesting read!

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