Transport Torque Capacity Audience Pays Tribute To Pioneering Motorcycle Adventurer Mary SievierA full lecture theatre at the National Motor Museum’s Collections Centre at Beaulieu watched the premier of Mary Motorcycle, the story of Mary Sievier the first British woman to ride solo around the world on Saturday evening.

Tributes were paid to Mary, who sadly died in 2023, and a moving portrait featured as part of a Question and Answer session with Saul Jeavons of The Overland Event, adventure motorcyclist Tiffany Coates, and film maker and past editor of Bike Magazine, Martyn Moore.

As well as Friends of the National Motor Museum many leading figures in the overland motorcycle world were in the capacity audience.

Mary’s 1965 BSA Bantam D7 had been bought from the Museum where it has been on loan since the autumn of 2022.

Transport Torque Capacity Audience Pays Tribute To Pioneering Motorcycle Adventurer Mary SievierA remarkable untold story

Mary Sievier acquired the Bantam second hand in 1967. Her plan was to ride to Russia, however, the Soviet authorities had different ideas and refused Mary a visa. Undeterred she decided to ride to India instead. An amazing adventure ensued that would see Mary ride the two-stroke BSA overland not only to India but later through East Africa, around Australia, New Zealand and parts of South East Asia. She broke her journey several times to work, her shorthand skills repeatedly coming to the fore with secretarial jobs to finance her adventure. After a period in Hong Kong, where Mary met her future husband, she shipped the BSA across the Pacific to complete her circumnavigation by crossing the USA, returning to the UK in 1976. All this was achieved without fanfare or media attention at the time and Mary’s achievement went largely unnoticed until a few years ago when she was brought to the attention of the adventure motorcycle community.

Patrick Collins, Vehicle Curator at the National Motor museum said, “Our Transport Torque evening was a lovely tribute to Mary Sievier. We are fortunate to have had Mary’s personal memories captured with the film Mary Motorcycle – her experience was truly amazing, and her round-the-world trip was undertaken not for fame or fortune but to satisfy her personal ambition and accomplishment. I was fortunate to meet Mary when she visited the Museum in October 2022 – her motorcycle remains in the Museum as a tribute to her endeavour and unassuming nature.”

Transport Torques

Mary Motorcycle was one of a series of specialist evening lectures or ‘Transport Torques’ in the Collections Centre theatre will bring experts in the field of heritage transport to Beaulieu. This year speakers include Tiff­ Needell, Anthony Coulls, Christopher McGowan and Andy Saunders. Full details of the events programme are in the National Motor Museum Events 2024 leaflet – downloadable via https://bit.ly/48Qdxkj