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Legendary travel author chooses Avon Tyres once again

14 Nov 2013

Sam Manicom – adventure bike rider extraordinaire – has just returned from his latest expedition and he once again chose Avon Tyres.

Manicom – author of four books on motorcycle adventures – has long trusted Avon Gripsters for their unrivalled mix of security and longevity on the varied road surfaces he expects to face on his many travels. His latest trip – a month-long jaunt across Europe to the Bosnian city of Sarajevo – was once again completed on the trusted Avon Gripsters.

Manicom explained, “Every year my partner Birgit and I head off on an adventure and this year we decided to do something that would inspire others to follow – something that was more accessible to people on two or three week breaks from the UK. We wanted to head towards Sarajevo as it is a fascinating city with a dramatic past.”

Riding ‘Libby,’ short for ‘Liberty’ – his 1992 BMW R80GS which now has more than 265,000 miles on the clock – Manicom was joined by partner Birgit on her 1984 BMW R80ST. Manicom enjoyed the whole month-long journey on Avon Gripsters, during which time the bike covered a further few thousand more miles.

“For many of my adventures around the world Libby has been shod by the very excellent Avon Gripsters,” explained Manicom. “These tyres have allowed me to ride in some of the most remote parts of our planet, with the dual purpose nature of the tyres enabling me to cover every form of terrain from the gnarliest dirt roads of Africa to the sweeping tree-lined bends of British Colombia.”

For this trip the pair travelled across France from Cherbourg to the south-eastern corner of the country. From there – and avoiding the major motorways – they rode into and across Italy towards Slovenia, stopping overnight in Trieste before crossing the border. They suffered an accident (no injuries) and a breakdown, but enjoyed much of the Croatian coastline.

Manicom added, “Sarajevo was a delight! We were looking for adventure and we found it on a mix of roads from immaculate highway, to beaten up gravel cornered country roads to the potholes and heat heaves of Bosnian roads. As ever, the Gripsters did a brilliant job. I’ve tried just about every equivalent I can find and none do the job so well.

“The Gripster lives up to its name. When you are on a long distance overlanding adventure you need a tyre that’s going to give you good mileage and that will cope with as many of the road conditions you are going to come across as possible. That can range from tarmac to potholed tarmac, to gravel, sand and mud. No tyre is going to be perfect for all of those conditions, so you look for a tyre that will work for most of them. For me, that’s the Avon Gripster.”

Manicom’s books – ‘Into Africa,’ ‘Under Asian Skies,’ ‘Distant Suns’ and ‘From Tortillas to Totems’ – are all available from

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