Pete Tamblyn (MotoSwami)

Pete Tamblyn

Pete Tamblyn

Pete Tamblyn began riding motorcycles when he was 18 and college-bound. What he excused to his parents as an economical, sanitary form of campus transportation became a life-long obsession.

His first bike — a 1956 Triumph Tiger 110 — initially only a tool for avoiding studies on weekends, soon morphed to include enduro and flat track capabilities.

The hook was set

Pete’s first real motorcycle touring experience came about in the Peace Corps during the 60’s. While with the Peace Corps in Malawi, East Africa, he traveled the roads of the Rhodesias into South Africa, returning along the rugged Mozambique coast. His TR-5 Triumph Trophy was the best tool available then for the job. Ten years later Ted Simon followed riding Jupiter, the same bike, in much the same area. Ahead of his time?

Pete’s love of twin cylinder adventure-style bikes continues to this day. Now he picks a more-reliable Honda Transalp or a Suzuki DL650 when there are secondary roads to be explored.

Frankly, it’s hard to get a straight answer from Pete when asked, ”How many motorcycles *do* you own?”

Other bikes that have entered his garage include cult favorites such as the Yamaha TY-250, RZ-350 and SR500, the Kawasaki ZRX1100, a couple of early Buells, and a bunch of lovable Honda market failures (NX250, GB500, HawkGT, NX650, Pacific Coast). Many have stayed, in spite of numerous insults suffered under the wrench or paint gun in the quest for individuality.

Motorcycle instructor, tour leader, explorer

Pete Tamblyn

Pete Leading a Motorcycle Tour

Pete has covered (on two wheels) all but the northwestern part of the United States, and ventured as far south as the Panama Canal in Central America. European travels include Germany, Holland, Denmark and southern Norway (two-up on a Honda ST1100), and a dizzying spin around the Zocalo in Rome on a Vespa. Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are the three Canadian provinces traversed….so far.

Pete has designed and led tours for Pancho Villa Moto Tours, Nordic Bike Adventures and Atlanta Motorcycle Schools. Two of his more challenging tour experiences involved showing his favorite part of the World — Appalachia — to one group from New Zealand and another from Norway. “I never suspected a group of hard-core international motorcyclists would yearn for a shopping mall fix, or to see (gulp) Dollywood, but I’ve learned it’s all part of the fun.”

When not leading tours, rebuilding Transalps or trying to complete the rustic home he started building 30 years ago, Pete conducts training tours with Stayin Safe Motorcycle Training and also instructs with Atlanta Motorcycle Schools.

Stained glass artist, writer

Pete — a former motorcycle mechanic, teacher, and health program administrator — is also an accomplished stained glass artist. His unique abilities to put pen-to-paper complete the package.

Pete draws upon his experiences as a motorcycle instructor, teacher, and mentor, to help beginning riders. His riding tips and answers to rider questions are found throughout the site, while his more whimsical writings are in the popular HelmetThoughts section. A treat for all readers.

Pete is also editor of the book, Stayin’ Safe: The Art and Science of Riding Really Well… a must read.

When not touring or instructing, Pete resides in rural northeast Georgia.