Epic Roadtrip – USA to Patagonia on a Electric Motorcycle [VIDEO]

electric powered odyssey

Have you always wanted to take an epic motorcycle roadtrip? Have you always wanted to be the first person to do something? The journalist Thomas Tomczyk wants to do both of these things as he is currently attempting to be the first man to travel from the United States to Patagonia, the southern most tip of South America, on an electric motorcycle.  Sounds like an epic roadtrip to us.

Tomczyk is calling the 12,000 mile journey the “Electric Powered Odyssey – USA to Patagonia on an Electric Motorcycle.” He started from Philadelphia, PA around the beginning of April I believe and he’s made some good progress on his trip. As of this writing he’s in Colon, Panama and he’s been documenting the trip well on social media and Electric Powered Odyssey website. He estimates he should be able to reach Patagonia by October of this year.  There are some great pictures and videos he’s been posting on his motorcycle journey, like these.

Electric Powered Odyssey – Americas

Electric Powered Odyssey – Selfie Stick

A little background on Thomas from the Electric Powered Odyssey website;

Thomas Thomczyk is an experienced rider, journalist and magazine publisher who rode a KTM 640 Adventure from South Africa to Europe in 2010, while blogging for Rider Magazine. With electric bikes becoming a viable option for adventure and long-distance riding, we look forward to this new feat riding from Patagonia to the USA, thereby proving the rugged reliability of an American electric motorcycle.

Thomas is from Poland and originally studied to be an architect. Then he realized how amazing journalism is and profitable it can (ahh, I wish) and started covering issues related to the Horn-of-Africa. He has a MA in Journalism from University of Missouri and has experience in photojournalism and editorial cartooning.  In 2003 he decided to combine all his passions by launching Bay Islands Voice, a community publication on Roatan, Honduras.  In July 2013, he launched Motmot Magazine which covers Nicaragua.

Some more from the website about him and the person helping him, Nicole Vultan;

WHO WE ARE: We an outgoing and experienced group of professionals passionate about motorcycles, long distance travel and journalism. All are Spanish speakers, with a passion to undertake new challenges.

RIDER: Thomas Tomczyk, a journalist and publisher of Nicaragua’s national monthly English language travel magazine, MotMot magazine.

MARKETING: Nicole Vulcan, a multimedia journalist with 14 years of experience as a TV producer, writer, editor, media consultant & social media marketer.

Including the epic trip he did from South Africa to Europe for Rider Magazine, Tomczyk has done other endurance motorcycle trips as well.  He’s done several trips across India including going 12,000 miles on a 1950’s 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet. According to Gadling, a travel website, the motorcycle trip Across Africa was a life goal of his.

“The idea of crossing Africa came to me when I was 10.  A large map of the world hung above my bed in a small Warsaw apartment. I would study the geography of each continent, its road and railroad network. The most prominent continent would be Africa, placed in the middle of the map, right above where my head would rest on the pillow. The idea stayed in my mind for years. I would eventually learn to ride motorcycles in India and cover the Horn of Africa for publications in Poland and US. In January 2009 my grandmother passed away and I decided it was time to do the trek I’ve been thinking about for so long. Traveling for travel’s sake was past me, and I decided I needed to find a purpose as I travel, something that would give meaning to the journey and benefit others.”

Africa Heart Beat – South Africa to Europe on a Motorcycle

On the South Africa to Europe trip he was attempting to showcase good work grassroots projects various organizations and people were doing across Africa. For that trip he rode a KTM 640 Adventure bike, a good rugged choice for an motorcycle endurance roadtrip.  (I’d link to the website but he let the domain drop it seems.) For Electric Powered Odyssey he is trying to raise $10,000 dollars for the Wounder Warrior Project. The foundation helps US soldiers that have returned from war and conflicts with injuries.

Of course Thomas also wants to spread the world about electric motorcycle and electric vehicle technology and show what is possible. All while pushing the boundaries of what is doable and being the first person to take a US to South America trip on his electric motorcycle.

For those familiar with electric vehicles we’ve all heard about “Range Anxiety.” This refers to when people with EVs are afraid to go far from their house for fear of not being able to charge up if their battery gets too low or being able to find a charging station.  Well, I guess Thomas Thomczyk has no Range Anxiety. About the travel strategy;

Each typical day of travel would be composed of a morning ride of 60-100 mile ride, and fallowed by battery charging of 2-4 hours at gasoline stations, restaurants, hotels, etc. Each place would be compensated for the electricity used in the charging process. An afternoon 50-60 mile  ride would be concluded at an overnight rest stop where another battery charge would take place. The idea is to go at a steady pace, interacting with people, doing interviews, talks about the project with local motorcycle enthusiasts and spreading the knowledge about Wounded Warrior Project.

What’s surprising to me is the bike he is using for the USA to Patagonia trip is a 2012 Zero S with no modifications.  At least from the pictures I don’t see any mods to the bike. Most people that attempt this type of roadtrip with an electric motorcycle or electric vehicle install some type of quick charger.

As far I am aware Thomas would be the first person to take an electric motorcycle from the US to South America.  I am not aware of anyone else that has attempted this and that includes the Iron Butt award winner Terry Hershner with his Vetter fairings. Hershner has done all his world records on US roads.

We did hear that Chris Bell from Brutus Motorcycle is converting four KTM bikes to electric for Expedition Unplugged.  This is meant to be a 25,000 mile trip from Prudehoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina. There have been no new updates about Expedition Unplugged so we aren’t sure if they are trying to get sponsors, still working on the bikes, are changing route plans, or just aren’t going to do it.

As an FYI for any companies or people that like Electric Powered Odyssey and think that it is awesome, they are looking for sponsors. Currently on the website they have three sponsorship levels listed;

  • Level 1 – $500 to $1000
  • Level 2 – $1000 to $2000
  • Level 3 – $3000 to $10000

When Thomas Thomczyk completes his trip, he deserves some respect from not just the electric vehicle community but the motorcycling community as a whole in my opinion.  Even if you think an electric motorcycle is “stupid” you still got to respect this type of endurance trip and being the first person to do it.

Electric Motorcycle Club will keep updated with his journey and you can also do so via Thomas’s social media channels.  We look forward to writing about another article when he gets to Patagonia.

UPDATE – I’ve been in contact with Thomas and there are a few corrections and things in the article which were not quite accurate that he wanted us to be aware of;

“I am currently in Honduras, regrouping after the 8,500 kilometers on the road and heading out towards Nicaragua.
I started the ride on March 30, 2015. I am currently on Roatan, Honduras after riding 8,500 kilometers.
I have been averaging 90-120 miles per riding day, with maximum of 185 miles. I have one on-board and one extra 72 Delta Q charger.
I typically charge at night and 1-2 times during the day. In US it was all kinds of places: from libraries, to fire stations to casinos, people homes. From Mexico south it has been mostly restaurants, homes, hotels, gas-service stations.”
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