Dave Barr – Prosthetic Limbs, Cojones of Steel!

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Dave Barr – Prosthetic Limbs, Cojones of Steel!

Most of us reading this article, myself included, should consider ourselves extremely lucky; for the fact that we have been blessed by all the physical human abilities. There are many who are not as fortunate as me and you and spend a major part of their lives without many basic abilities. I always thought that there were two kinds of “special people” The disabled, who lose out on hope, blame god, fortune and practically everything and everyone around them for their disability and start to live a difficult and sometimes miserable life. The differently-abled, who accept their way of life, find out ways to admire life’s beauty in the best possible way and live a happy life in spite of all the challenges faced. And then, I read about the third kind. Dave Barr is neither disabled nor differently-abled. He is someone who I would like to call as “super-abled”!

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For starters, he is is the first person to have traveled across the world on a Harley Davidson motorcycle. He did that ride solo. He has two Guinness World records for extreme long distance riding under his name. HE DID ALL THAT WITH PROSTHETIC LEGS! In my eyes he is the most Kickass rider alive today. Lets take a look at some of the Kickass facts from the life of this “super-able” person.

  • Ealry life – Barr was born April 12, 1952, in Los Angeles, California, and was abandoned in the backseat of a car. After nine months in foster care, he was adopted by Guy Barr, a Navy veteran of World War II in the Pacific, and his wife, Lucille.
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  • Military Service for the US – At age 17, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served as door gunner and crew chief on a gunship during the Vietnam War. He was awarded 57 air medals for his service, including a single-mission decoration for valor.
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  • First motorcycle – He bought his first motorcycle, a ‘61 Harley-Davidson Panhead, after he returned in 1971 from Vietnam.
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  • Military service for not just his homeland – After finishing his military career in the U.S. Dave also served in the armed forces of three other nations Israel, Zimbabwe/Rhodesia and finally in South Africa.
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  • The fatal accident – In 1981, while riding a military vehicle in South Africa, his vehicle drove over a land mine, resulting in an explosion that cost him both of his legs and he had to start walking with the help of prosthetic legs.
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  • Restoring his motorcycle – In 1983, he returned to his home in the US and took out his old rickety 1961 Harley Davidson motorcycle. He restored it back to working condition and with the help of some customization, he was able to ride his motorcycle with his prosthetic legs.
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  • The idea is born – While he was on his first ride after the accident, he got the idea to travel around the world on his Harley. It was his hope that he would encourage others to overcome their obstacles and make their own dreams a reality.
  • The epic jouney around the world – Seven years later in 1990, he embarked on one of the most epic journeys of recent times and became the first double amputee to circumnavigate the world on his motorcycle!
  • Route – He started from the southern most tip of Africa and rode till the arctic circle. He then shipped the motorcycle back to the US and rode it all the way to Alaska Alaska. From Alaska,, he turned his bike south and rode to the southernmost point in South America. His bike was then shipped to Hong Kong, and he rode into Mainland China. After spending seven months in China he entered Mongolia where he crossed the Gobi Desert during the Month of Wind and Sand. From Mongolia he rode to Moscow and then north to Murmansk and from Murmansk shipped the motorcycle home.
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  • Statistics and facts – He did this journey completely alone, without support vehicles, publicity teams or major sponsors. Falling off his bike in the Sahara Desert sands up to twenty times a day, and picking up the dead weight of the Wide Glide, Dave covered 132 000 kms in over three and a half years!
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  • Not content with world tour – Many would have stopped after achieving what Dave achieved from his around the world journey but not Dave. He then set his sights on creating a new Guinness World Record and ended up having two Guinness World Records instead of one!
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  • Guinness World Records – For his first Guinness World Record he became the first person to travel by motorcycle across Europe, Russia, and Siberia in the dead of winter. Most of is 13000 kms journey across Eurasia was on thick sheets of ice in hostile terrains and in the heart of winter. He established his second Guinness World Record by riding a 2002 Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster to the four extreme corners of the continent of Australia.
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  • Books – Dave chronicled his around the world journey in a book called “Riding The Edge”. He wrote a second book about his adventures in the Eurasian winters for his first Guinness World Record titled “Riding The Ice”
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  • Charity – Ever since his accident Dave has strived to work for the awareness and betterment of the differently-abled. He started The Dave Barr foundation and has been actively involved in raising money through motorcycling for various organizations like Cheshire Homes, Patriot Express, etc.

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  • Recognition – Dave Barr has received several awards and accolade but his most prestigious recognition is perhaps being inducted in “The Motorcycle Hall of Fame” in 2000.

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  • Adventurist – If all this was not all, Dave is also the first double amputee skydiver in the world!

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Dave Barr, Motorcycling and Skydiving Adventurer, Motivational Speaker, Author, Super-Able Human.


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Showing 4 comments
  • Dan

    Wow. Wow. You are a true American Hero.

    • kickassmotorcycling

      Yes that he was definitely.

  • maria moraitis

    It has been a real pleasure working on the patriot express with him, he is a real inspiration. A wonderful human being..im so glad we met. Keep on riding..❤

    • Ramneek

      Indeed! You are very lucky to have met him! :)

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