Most riders hide from winter. Dutch adventure motorcyclist Sjaak Lucassen embraces it, seeing bitter cold, snow and ice as a path to one of the most remote places on earth.
The Test Run
To address the issues he experienced in his test run, Lucassen built another 2001 R1. Enter ‘Arctic 1,’ his new weapon built specifically for the North Pole expedition. The upgraded R1 rides on squishy, monster tires: 60-cm (23.6 inches) wide in the rear, and 40 cm (16 inches) in the front. No such motorcycle tire exists off the shelf, so Lucassen designed them himself and found a company to make them. He also widened the swingarm and designed a drive system with primary and secondary chains to accommodate the fat rear rubber. In the front he designed extra-wide triple clamps and modified the fairings to make it all fit, somehow managing to keep the R1’s sportbike lines intact. In addition, Lucassen added a new radiator with more cooling capacity, heating elements to warm the carbs and the antifreeze, and had special oil developed that wouldn’t solidify in the extreme cold he’ll be facing. He will also carry a small generator to warm the bike for morning starts.The sled was also modified to make it lighter and ensure it can pull 150kg of supplies.