“Passion” is a motivator that describes a wealth of different enthusiasts, throughout the world, all dedicated to their art or skill. One of these impassioned people that is completely committed to their lifestyle, is the incomparable globetrotter, Sjaak Lucassen. This born-to-be adventurer defines passion, as his love of riding motorcycles is nearly unmatched. Some people ride for the fun of it, expressing their passion by taking the bike out for a daily ride on a beautiful sunny day or for a long weekend at to the beach. While this is their way of expressing their passion for riding, Sjaak Lucassen takes it to a whole new level of expression. What makes this Dutch world-traveler stand out amongst a group of passionate riders?
Well, a way he shows himself to be truly passionate is by being the complete opposite of a fair weather rider. Instead of taking the easy way out, making decisions to ride based on the perfect riding conditions, and by using a bike that was designed to tackle the environment he would be setting out to conquer, Sjaak rides to challenge both himself and the bike. In 2001, he proved this passion for challenge, by deciding to take a riding trip around the world. After already taking a 99,000 mi. trip on a Honda Fireblade from 1995 to 1998, this would be just one more step in expressing his passion, as he would be heading off on a worldwide experience, riding upon the back of a Yamaha YZF-R1.
For those of you unfamiliar with that model, an R1 is a superbike, designed completely for street racing and riding. Many deemed the bike unfit for a journey of that magnitude and for the terrain he would be up against. Sjaak felt that the bike could handle it and set off, not necessarily to prove a point, but again, because he was passionate about the challenge. However, the more defiant people were towards the idea, the greater his passion for attempting this trip grew.
Sjaak proved his passion for riding even more so, by making decisions on his trip that would only add to the challenge. Instead of taking the easy path, Sjaak would ride across deserts, war torn countries, and through muddy jungles, all because he loved the challenge of the ride.
After the trip, when describing his decision to ride the R1, Sjaak stated it was like choosing a marriage mate. You don’t make the decision based on whether that person can do the dishes or cook, it’s based on how your heart feels towards them. That is what made up his mind for riding the R1 on this adventure of a lifetime. It was a challenge, but one that he conquered, proving to doubters everywhere just how far passion can get you.