autoevolution
 

83-Year-Old Plans to Take His Norton on 10,000 KM Cross-Continent Trip

There's an old saying: "I didn't stop riding because I got old... I got old because I stopped riding." Even though some might say that these are nothing but empty words, here's Gil Yarrow, 83, to laugh in their faces and prove the exact opposite.
83-year-old Gil Yarrow to ride from Vancouver to North Carolina and back on his '71 Norton 7 photos
83-y.o. rider Gil YarrowGil Yarrow's Norton Commando 7501971 Norton Commando 75083-y.o. rider Gil Yarrow's bike ready to roll83-y.o. rider Gil Yarrow will travel 10,000 kmRetro bike detail
Yarrow, who got his first bike when he was 19, is planning to travel once more to the International Norton Owners Association rally (INOA), an event that will take place in North Carolina this summer. This will be his ninth participation to an INOA rally, with the previous ones taking him to New York, Oregon, Utah and Colorado.

Now, in case you missed a small detail at the beginning of this piece... Mr. Yarrow lives in Canada, in the Vancouver area. This puts 3,000 miles (4,830 km) between him and the INOA 2015, but it looks like the distance is only part of the fun.
Riding buddies bailed on him
He was planning to ride with several friends to NC, but the distance made them back off. Still, his friend Rick will accompany him, trailing his own Norton Combat and acting like a support vehicle if needed.

The two plan to spend eight days riding to NC, five days there and another eight days on the way back. Their amazing adventure will start on July 6th, and Gil will ride his 1971 kickstarted Norton Commando 750.

The Commando is only one of Yarrow's six bikes, and it shares the garage with a 1998 Ducati Supersport 900, a Kawasaki KLR, a Yamaha FJ1100, and two other classics: a 1960 BSA Super Rocket, and a 1968 Triumph T120 Bonneville.
Gil is a true Ironbutt
Gill is as hardcore as you'd expect, and is in fact, much tougher than most of the riders much younger than him. Back in 2005 (at 73), he took part in the dreaded Ironbutt Rally and clocked 11,000 miles (17,700 km) in 11 days with his Yamaha FJR, driving.ca says.

Now, if you plan to attend the International Norton Owners Association rally in North Carolina this year, look out for Gil and go shake his hand, because the old man is about one of the toughest riders you'll ever run into.

Hats off, Mr. Yarrow!

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories