What made you choose Triumph back in 1973?
I was warned off Japanese bikes, because people still thought they were unreliable. I wanted a bike that would work over a long stretch and was easy to maintain, and the Triumph was deemed most likely to survive.
In 2001 you undertook another global motorcycle journey of 59,000 miles. How have things changed?
The main thing that is stunningly obvious is the population explosion. Go back to places and you find them almost submerged under waves of immigrants, new buildings, new slums and it's obvious that the land can't support that number of people in a rural system, so they flood into the cities and there's no work for them.
On your travels, was there one thing that kept you going even in the darkest moments?
I had a sense of enormous privilege that I was able to do it at all. My darkest moment was when I was locked up in Brazil, during the brutal military dictatorship, and I really thought that there was a good chance that they would dispose of me. The most important thing was to be allowed to go on with the journey because it was a really vital celebration of being alive in the world.
The Ted Simon Foundation was launched officially on 6 October, what are its aims? I realised that I would enjoy promoting and fostering the idea of people travelling with something rather more in mind than just thrills and adventures. If there were more people travelling using their eyes and their heads there would be less trouble in the world.
In 1973 Ted Simon set out alone to explore the world on a Triumph Tiger, recording his experiences in his book, Jupiter's Travels. Now the Ted Simon Foundation aims to help today's travellers tell their amazing stories.