Stolen motorcycle found in Porter Creek

A Slovenian man, whose motorcycle journey around the world was put on hold last month after his bike was stolen in Porter Creek, has been reunited with his trusty ride. Bostjan Skrlj has been to 41 countries since 2008 on his BMW GS-1200 adventure motorcycle.

A Slovenian man whose motorcycle journey around the world was put on hold last month after his bike was stolen in Porter Creek has been reunited with his trusty ride.

Bostjan Skrlj has been to 41 countries since 2008 on his BMW GS-1200 adventure motorcycle. It was stolen on the evening of May 10, along with Skrlj’s passport and other important documents, which were inside its boxes.

Last Thursday afternoon, he received a call from someone who claimed to have found the bike, and wanted to verify its vehicle identification number. The person called back about an hour later, Skrlj said, and confirmed it was his bike.

The RCMP was also contacted and the bike, which was found “not far away” in Porter Creek, was eventually towed back to Skrlj’s home.

It was a bittersweet feeling to see the motorcycle again, Skrlj said on Monday morning.

“It’s hard to describe how I felt when I saw the bike because I was happy, but also angry because someone put their hands on something that I really care about,” he said.

“Especially when it’s clear they didn’t know what they were doing. I can’t accept that.”

The damage to the motorcycle is extensive, he said.

The body has been scratched, wires have been pulled out, the seat is ripped, lights are broken, and the computer system is damaged.

Someone tried to hot-wire it, Skrlj thinks, but was unsuccessful. Even the ignition switch is broken, preventing him from putting the key in.

But fortunately Skrlj knows the bike inside out, having worked on it for the past eight years throughout his journey.

In the month that the bike was missing, he said he never gave up hope of finding it again.

“The whole time I was really positive, thinking they’d give up and leave it somewhere because it’s a well-known bike,” he said.

“I was worried they might take it apart and sell the parts, because I have a really good suspension on it. But they didn’t touch it, which proves they really didn’t know what they were doing.”

Skrlj said he’s now waiting to hear back from the RCMP about whether the person will be charged with theft.

Considering he’s travelled through some much tougher countries in the past, he was surprised the bike was stolen here, he said.

In the past he’s had his keys stolen by children in Jordan, he said, but he knew they wouldn’t be able to get away because the bike is too heavy.

Then there was a scary incident in southern Lebanon when he got a bit too close to the Israeli border, and a few Hezbollah soldiers pointed their guns at him.

“My first reaction was to start laughing because it was like in a movie,” he said.

“They checked all my boxes and documents. But an hour later they invited me to go for drinks and food with them, so it turned out to be a great experience.”

For now, Skrlj plans on saving a bit more money and repairing his bike, piece by piece. He’s also waiting on his new passport, which he had to travel to the Slovenian embassy in Ottawa to apply for.

Someone started an online fundraiser for him back in May but he shut it down because he didn’t feel right taking money from people.

“It’s not who I am,” he said, “and I prefer that if people want to donate money, they do it to people who really need it. But I really want to thank everyone who has been so helpful and generous towards me so far.”

Skrlj said he wants to eventually complete his goal of traveling to every country on Earth. But first, he has to go back to Manitoba next spring and attempt to cross the sea ice of Hudson Bay over to Nunavut, after an unsuccessful attempt earlier this year.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speak at a COVID-19 update press conference in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. On Nov. 24, Silver and Hanley announced masks will be mandatory in public places as of Dec. 1, and encouraged Yukoners to begin wearing masks immediately. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Masks mandatory in public places starting on Dec. 1

“The safe six has just got a plus one,” Silver said.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 30. Hanley announced three more COVID-19 cases in a release on Nov. 21. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three more COVID-19 cases, new exposure notice announced

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley, announced three… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: COVID-19 strikes another blow at high-school students

They don’t show up very often in COVID-19 case statistics, but they… Continue reading

The Cornerstone housing project under construction at the end of Main Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. Community Services Minister John Streicker said he will consult with the Yukon Contractors Association after concerns were raised in the legislature about COVID-19 isolation procedures for Outside workers at the site. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Concerns raised about alternate self-isolation plans for construction

Minister Streicker said going forward, official safety plans should be shared across a worksite

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

City council was closed to public on March 23 due to gathering rules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The council is now hoping there will be ways to improve access for residents to directly address council, even if it’s a virtual connection. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Solution sought to allow for more public presentations with council

Teleconference or video may provide opportunities, Roddick says

Megan Waterman, director of the Lastraw Ranch, is using remediated placer mine land in the Dawson area to raise local meat in a new initiative undertaken with the Yukon government’s agriculture branch. (Submitted)
Dawson-area farm using placer miner partnership to raise pigs on leased land

“Who in their right mind is going to do agriculture at a mining claim? But this made sense.”

Riverdale residents can learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s plan to FireSmart a total of 24 hectares in the area of Chadburn Lake Road and south of the Hidden Lakes trail at a meeting on Nov. 26. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Meeting will focus on FireSmart plans

Riverdale residents will learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s FireSmarting… Continue reading

The City of Whitehorse is planning to borrow $10 million to help pay for the construction of the operations building (pictured), a move that has one concillor questioning why they don’t just use reserve funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Councillor questions borrowing plan

City of Whitehorse would borrow $10 million for operations building

Most Read