Introduction - Who am I?

Hi everyone, this is Tamas. 

I'm an adventure rider and a rally racing enthusiast. This is the first post in my blog called „From Zero to Dakar” about my adventures.

In this post I’m going to introduce myself and give a short explanation about the title of this blog.

My name is Tamas Esch and I'm the man behind Cross-Country Adventures. I'm 34 years old, I live in Hungary, near to Budapest and actually I started learning to ride a motorcycle a bit more than 5 years ago.

My first bike was a BMW F650 GS from 2001, I used that for onroad tours and I preffered riding a bike instead of sitting in a car. I like to discover other countries and meet local people abroad.

I saw lots of photos of bikes used for rally races and I liked their appearance. I modified my 650 to a 650 GS Dakar „edition” what means it got longer travel suspension which is more suitable for offroad use, and I put some TKC80 knobby tires on the bike. The 650 was looking great, a bit like Charley Boorman’s Dakar machine (without the large fuel tank and in different color). By the way, if you haven’t read his book or watched his videos „Race to Dakar”, I recommend you checking it out. It’s a very exciting story from those times when Dakar machines were big, over 250kilos. The bikers were riding with those heavy bikes across the Sahara in incredible conditions.

So, I had the modified 650 and the bike was ready to go offroad. Shortly after that I met a guy who had been riding his big Africa Twin mostly offroad and I gave a try to leave the tarmac: I joined him for a gravel road tour and that was my first offroad experience in 2016.

The second time I was riding with Touratech Hungary on a Travel Event near lake Balaton. There were at least 60 riders with big enduros split into small groups and we were riding in dirt and in mud all day long.

I was sweaty and tired out by the end of the day but it felt so great as never before. I was sitting there exhausted covered in dust and there was only 1 thing I could thought about. This is the kind of riding experience I had always been looking for.

A few month later I changed the 650 to a newer 800 GS. I bought that bike from a really nice slovakien guy, Rusty. You can follow his adventures in social media if you check „rustyontheroad”.

In February, 2017 I went to Morocco with some hungarian fellows. It was my first real adventure with the new bike. We were riding in the desert sometimes using old Dakar „piste”-s. „Piste” is a french word used for tracks crossing the desert. As I was standing in the middle of the Sahara next to my bike completely stucked in the sand I felt I had to compete in the most extreme race in the motorcycle world, called Dakar Rally.

I’m certain that if anyone who has the ambition and determination can get from zero riding knowledge to the finish line of Dakar Rally. It’s matter of time and passion. Besides that you have to stay focused and put effort to it.

Having this mindset during my way I think I can help others to reach their offroad dreams.

So now you understand why I choose the title „From Zero to Dakar” of this blog.

If you are interested how I got from adventure riding to rally racing, and if you want to know how I could recover in less than 6 months from a very serious accident, or if you are curious about how I prepare my bike, how I train and what my plan is to get in a couple of years to the finishers podium of Dakar Rally, you can follow me on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.


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