Last updated: March 27th, 2024

Henry Crew: Adventurer

What were you doing at 22? For most of us, it probably wasn't anything too exciting. For Henry Crew, he was travelling the world on 2 wheels: en-route to becoming the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the globe on a motorcycle.

Recently we caught up with Henry Crew: the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the globe on a motorcycle. Read on for the full details of his remarkable achievement, how the trip happened, experiences along the way and the lessons Henry learned on his travels.



You can view the full interview with Henry at the bottom of this article.

381 days. 13 months. 52,500 miles.

For most of us, the notion of circumnavigating the globe is a distant dream, an adventure reserved for movies and daydreams. It's something we imagine but rarely dare to attempt. Now, picture doing this in your early twenties, embarking on a solo journey with nothing but a motorcycle, a few bags, and a tent. It's mind-boggling!

Enter Henry Crew, an adventurer of the most unconventional kind. His story goes beyond defying convention; it's a testament to audacity, resilience, and a thirst for exploration, and in doing what Henry did - he became the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe on a motorcycle.

Henry's journey is evidence of what can be achieved when you have an adventurous nature, and the courage and determination to persevere - no matter the challenges ahead of you.

A Bold Beginning

The trip 'commenced' when Henry was just 21 years old, stuck in a job that failed to ignite his passions. He wanted adventure, to escape the monotony of everyday life, and to witness the world's wonders firsthand. Inspired by an online article featuring Kane Avellano's record-breaking journey, Henry set his sights on breaking that very record.

The journey wasn't just about becoming a record-holder; it was about embracing a grand vision. At 21, most individuals are navigating the intricacies of early adulthood, but Henry chose a different path, one that took him away from familiar home comforts and into the adventure of a lifetime.

The trip came about almost by accident, I went into work one day and found an article on Kane Avellano, I realised I could beat his record, told my friend there & then I was going to do it; 10 months later I was leaving, to go on a 13 month trip around the world.

Henry Crew

The Route Less Traveled

Henry's route would take him through 35 countries, across six continents, and covered a staggering 52,500 miles (originally intended to be 35,000 miles, but some detours were involved). He started his journey in April 2018, leaving from the iconic Bike Shed in London.

In order for someone to be deemed to have circumnavigated the world, there are certain criteria that need to be met, for those attempting it on a motorcycle it is required to travel a minimum of 24,500 miles with 18,500 of those being ridden on a motorcycle: passing through two antipodal points to ensure that you have indeed been around the world.

For many who attempt to circumnavigate the world from the UK, they head south into France and then down to Spain and onwards - Henry's route instead took him east, heading through Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan.

Imagine setting out on a solo expedition, crisscrossing continents, and facing the elements alone. For Henry, this audacious adventure was more than a mere escape from routine. It was a plunge into the unknown, a quest to test his limits, and to break a world-record.

When I was in Australia I got a '35' tattoo (in honour of the number of countries and the 35,000 miles expected to travel), only to quickly realise I was going to be well over that!

Henry Crew

Challenges on the Road

The road of an adventurer is never smooth, and Henry encountered his fair share of challenges. A mechanical issue with his bike meant a 1000 mile stint of the trip was done without the ability to change gear, followed by a months wait in Kazakhstan for new parts to arrive. Border closures caused a 5000 mile detour back on himself, along routes already travelled. All of this while losing around 30% of his body weight throughout the trip due to a lack of food and the physical exertion that an around the world trip takes.

He notes some key takeaways from the trip, in particular regarding the need for the correct equipment:

I wasn't super-keen to wear an adventure suit: but I'm so glad I got my hands on one. It made such a difference to how comfortable I was on the trip. I think in the last few years, brands like RST have really improved the aesthetics of adventure suits, so you're not making a compromise - you can still wear something that looks great, but is really functional.

Henry Crew

People and Stories: The Heart of the Adventure

While the open road stretched before him, it was the people he encountered that made the adventure truly extraordinary. From fellow traveller's to welcoming locals, Henry's journey was a constant source of human connection. He shared stories, learned from diverse cultures, and discovered kindness in the most unexpected places.

Henry Crew's globe-trotting trip is more than just a record-breaking achievement; his story should inspire us to break free from the ordinary, redefine our limits, and embark on adventures that lie just beyond the horizon.

Challenges: Conquering the Unconquerable

Henry faced extreme weather conditions, navigated chaotic city traffic, overcame language barriers, and ventured into remote and unfamiliar territories. Challenges were the constant companions of his expedition, from navigating scorching deserts to conquering freezing mountain passes - he found many occasions where the only option he had was to ride on, ride through the challenges he faced. Summing it up, he reflected that the only way to get out of a bad place was to persist. There was no turning back and heading home.

I think the longest I spent on the bike in one day was 16 hours, I did two or three days where I did 1000 miles a day. Absolutely brutal!

Henry Crew

A Bold Inspiration

Henry's journey is a testament to the spirit of adventure. It should serve as a reminder that there should be no barriers on achieving our dreams; and that the world is a vast place waiting to be explored.

His story encourages all of us to embark on our own adventures, no matter where we are in life.

He defied convention, took on the challenge of travelling the world with very little riding experience and returned as a record-breaker. His journey reminds us that while the road may be long and challenging, the journey itself is what truly matters.

#AdventureStartsHere


Full interview video below;


Henry wears the RST Adventure-X Jacket and Jean, along with OUR Adventure-X boot and Glove.

You can find out more about these products below;


PRO SERIES ADVENTURE-X CE MENS TEXTILE JACKET & Jean

The Pro Series Adventure-X Jacket and Jean is a must have for all adventure riding. Designed with input from legendary Dakar Rally finisher Mick Extance, who knows what is needed to make the best jackets for adventure riding!

View Adventure-X Jacket
View Adventure-X Jean

ADVENTURE-X CE MENS WATERPROOF BOOT

Equipped with a large twin buckle closure system, the Adventure-X is easy to put on and take off, while remaining fastened in place with additional hook & loop fasteners. The system allows the boot to fit around a range of calf sizes for a secure, supportive and comfortable fit. A breathable SinAqua Pro membrane keeps the foot dry and fresh whether riding in the rain or wading through mud, with a walking boot style sole for grip when taking the adventure off the bike!

View Adventure-X Boots
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Written by

Christopher Impey

A motorcycle rider and enthusiast; as the digital editor for RST, Chris is responsible for creating compelling copy and captivating digital experiences.