Remembering Emilio Scotto’s Epic Motorcycle Adventure

Apr 14, 2015 View Comments by

Remembering Emilio Scotto’s Epic Motorcycle Adventure	This year marks the 20th anniversary of the completion of Emilio Scotto’s historic 10-year, nearly half-million mile motorcycle ride around the world. In 1985, the Argentine quit his job as a pharmaceutical sales representative in Buenos Aires and embarked on the motorized adventure. His record-setting ride circumnavigated the world including all of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, some Pacific islands, and all of North and South America. Scotto rolled through 232 countries in all.

I recently happened upon an impressive visual display of the accomplishment at a Laughlin, NV, automotive museum. What first caught my eye was the 1980 Honda Gold Wing GL 1100 that was slowly revolving atop a motorized platform. The big Honda, which Scotto named “Black Princess,” is still dressed in a kaleidoscopic array of stickers and decals and sits on full knobby tires.

After viewing the Gold Wing from every angle, the backdrop of the display came into focus. Photos, maps, flags, quotes, and riding gear adorned the walls that surrounded the motorcycle. The tribute to the ride was almost a sensory overload—fitting, since the adventure itself surely was. The photos chronicle Scotto’s interaction with people of all nationalities, races, and religions from around the world. Yes, the mechanical and logistical aspects of the ride are amazing (see the photo with the notable statistics). However, it is this human and social side of the ride that is truly inspirational.

So how does Scotto view himself and his purpose in making his global trek? In his book, The Longest Ride, he penned, “Through my journey, my life consisted simply of moving forward…above all, I was a wanderer. Along 460,000 miles of highways, roadways, rivers, seas, mountains, steppes, jungles, deserts, and even swamps, I experienced everything that I possibly could, and I always did it with only one intention: to feel myself alive.”

Laughlin Riverside Resort Automotive Museum: www.riversideresort.com/entertainment.aspx?id=175

By Tim Kessel

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