Roy Kunda grew up in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, with his parents and two younger sisters. He spent a lot of time with his dog, Sacha, hunting rabbits in the paddocks until he discovered the other boys riding motorcycles out in the bushlands behind the budding housing estates near South Morang.
Roy started riding one of his new mates’ bikes in the afternoons after school and hiding his cuts and abrasions from his parents at night. He bought his first motorcycle, a Yamaha YZ80 D, at 13 years of age with money he’d earned mowing lawns. He hid it from his dad in a nearby friend’s garage.
After his parents learned that Roy’s tales did not explain the constant gravel rash and injuries, they eventually got to the bottom of the story. They weren’t thrilled by Roy’s craving for riding, so they decided to use motorcycling as a goal-setting tool to make Roy work harder for his grades at school. For every goal he reached, they supported him with new riding gear or new motorcycles at the end of the year. His dad would eventually drive him to race meetings and trail riding areas.
Trail riding became a passion for Roy, and he spent all his spare time around the northern part of Melbourne; King Lake, Whittlesea, and Flowerdale. His appetite for adventure grew while watching documentaries made by Alby Mangles and Malcolm Douglas. Their trips into remote and exotic locations inspired Roy to research his dream of one day doing it for himself and exploring the outback on a motorcycle.
Roy had a map of Cape York on his bedroom wall, and he visualised and worked towards that goal of traveling around Australia, planning, and mapping all the old stock routes around Australia. Cape York was yet to be confirmed as his ideal destination, but he was already thinking of starting motorcycle tours before leaving Melbourne.
The day after his 21st birthday Roy Kunda packed up his trusty Yamaha Tenerѐ and headed off. He set out with a couple of friends on a motorcycle tour of Australia. The group made their way through Broken Hill and Silverton in South Australia to hit the first stock routes – ‘The Oodnadatta Track’ and ‘The Birdsville Track.’
After Birdsville, they crossed the east coast and Far North Queensland and Cairns. This was Roy’s first impression of what became his forever home. The beauty of the area and the tropical lifestyle fed his desire to be outdoors, and it far exceeded his expectations. The group stayed in Cairns for a few months picking up odd jobs to replenish their funds, and headed off again. Roy knew he would be back very soon.
CYMCA (Cape York Motorcycle Adventures) was the first full-time motorcycle tour operation to begin in Australia. Roy was told a thousand times not to turn his hobby into a business and that it would NEVER work. Despite that, Roy Kunda (who looks remarkably like Robert De Niro) ran his first customer ride to the Cape in 1990, and he’s been humming up and down that wild frontier ever since, clocking up at least 20,000km a season. The masses of riders wanting to tick the bucket list item of Cape York off their lists just keep coming to the northern-most point of the Australian mainland, and they show no signs of slowing down.
Cape York Motorcycle Adventures is a family business. Renae Kunda has been by Roy’s side, running the administration, creating policies that didn’t exist, and finding the market that worked for the company. His son Jordan joined the company after completing an apprenticeship in Mechanics and spent a year in administration before he was allowed to begin his tour guide training. Jordan is an excellent tour guide with the patience of a saint, and he’s pretty handy on a guitar around the campfire.
They operate fully guided off road tours from Cairns to the northernmost tip of the Australian continent – Cape York – where the riders can experience the best off road trails the Cape has to offer, and it is the real adventure for any motorcyclist. The company was the world’s first motorcycle tour company to become Eco-Certified, and it is a credit to them to have maintained it for over ten years. They have won multiple business and tourism awards. The business accesses National Parks, private properties, secluded swimming holes, secret fishing spots, etc. CYMCA has a varied range of tours to suit any budget or time frame. Designed to test the rider’s skill level, it is the best motorcycle adventure you’ll find – customers ride, and CYMCA takes care of the rest.
Roy’s experience, accompanied by his vast knowledge of the region, mechanical expertise, amazing riding ability and gift with people, has led to the growing success of CYMCA and what this man doesn’t know about the Cape just isn’t worth worrying about. Roy looks forward to slowly stepping back from the business’s day-to-day operations and handing the reins over to his son Jordan to continue the legacy. He has no desire to retire and looks forward to many more years in the saddle. He is more likely to be spending his time exploring new destinations and creating new experiences to add to the business. 2021 will see the addition of Cairns to Darwin tours, and Roy is very excited to explore and provide new tour offerings as he creates them.
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