Archive | February, 2012

Questions with Chris Scott

28 Feb

Awhile back, I started asking Chris Scott, the author of the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook if he’d come on the show and talk with us. He indicated that he’d rather just do things via writing so I polled on the facebook page for some questions to shoot over to him. Some of the questions are… not as serious as others. Here are they are though with his answers in blue.

1. What’s his favorite coffee spot?

I tend not to do favourites – anywhere it’s good is good.

2. What snacks does he bring along?

I dont bother anymore as exploring foreign snacks is part of the adventure.

3. What items does he personally have to have before he leaves on a long adventure?

A good plan and an open attitude for when the former falls apart

4. What does he think about the commercialization of the adventure travel boom?

Would it be seen as a boom without the commercialisation? There’s a demand so enterprising individuals and organisations supply.

5. Does he feel slighted when it’s viewed as frivolous nonsense?

No one I know sees adventure motorcycle travel in that way.
It’s important to understand that in crowded Europe we view AM as riding to far off foreign places like Africa and Asia. Maybe in North America it’s different.

6. Does he think most of these new devotees should go back to HD and stop pretending?

Are HD riders selling up to ride the world on a GS – then good for them!
Or is AM more of a ‘all the gear – no idea’ in the US than Europe? If so I can see why you’re cynical.

7. How about the adventure travel style bike as the ultimate swiss army knife “everything” bike?

Yep, that’s always been the goal with my bikes and a lot of stuff I own: “one xxx to do it all” 

I’m finishing such a bike off right now: http://adventuremotorcyclinghandbook.wordpress.com/suzuki-gs500r-overlander/

8. Are the many north american motorcycle travellers who are propagating across the globe just making a mess, or are they being good representatives for the biking community?

I’ve not heard any complaints from UNESCO concerning messy North American RTW riders, so I guess it’s #2. Let the people ride.

9. Are there changes for the better as far as m/c travel in the last decade due to the recent popularity of this style of travel?

Well there’s a lot more gear and a lot more info but the adventure is same as it ever was. I feel the latest AM bikes may have passed their peak as genuinely functional overlanders as the ‘adventure touring look’ takes hold – massively heavy and expensive machines. So you adapt and DIY which is easy enough. The bike is only a tool.

10. Maybe he could comment on organizations such as Horizon’s Unlimited and their impact on the global m/c travelling community.

All I know is HU is the first place I’d look online for moto travel info on Africa, Asia and Latin America – what I call the ‘AM Zone’.
I’ve moderated the HU Sahara Travel forum since 2000.
We all managed before HU, like we managed before GPS – but both resources have enabled us to take it further with less error.

11. Where’s the best place to go for us career guys that have to take our adventures a week or two at a time? (this listener is US-based if that helps).

That would be to the boss to hand in your notice.
Tell him you love your job so you’ll be back in a year or so, all fired up to get back to work ;-)

And that, folks, is the definition of hardcore. For the rest of us, I say the best advice I’ve heard is to start local. Do what you would do if you were a moto-tourist to your home state/province/whathaveyou.   Hit the internet and scour for what’s close, then radiate out from there. In the USA, heading south or north to our neighbors would certainly be awesome! Our thanks to Chris Scott for taking the time to answer!

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Ep 39: Genetically Hippie

23 Feb

Hey, kids! Check it out? On time this week? Hell to the no. AHEAD of time! We’re filled with love for you here and this is our small way of showing it. Very small. Plus, Todd nagged me continually about it to make sure I wouldn’t forget it was Thursday for the third week in a row. Take note, kids, nagging Chuck works very much well!

We revisit Todd’s Bored By Beemers syndrome as Todd’s turned it over in his head for another week and wants to talk about it. Keep in mind that at the time this was recorded, he hadn’t yet seen all the hate coming his way since bashing on the F800GS. That’s coming next week!

For some giggles, here’s the “PG Porn” we talked about. James Gunn is full of awesome. It’s on YouTube, but work-safe warnings for innuendo, girl in tiny skirts, and language (I dunno how strict they are where you work, but I’m in a government office):

 

Here’s a real treat: we have a returning guest. Our first one! And not just any returning guest, but this guy actually met us in person the first time around. This time, he decided to do the interview from another country so take from that what you will. We have Ryan Grassley, aka HalfThrottle of You-Tube:

"Why, yes, I AM a rock star."

Ryan’s come back to talk with us about his new iBook project (available from the iTunes store: HERE):

The Volcán Barú Adventure

In his words: “A motorcycle adventure in Panama from sea level to over 11,000 feet.  I ride a Kawasaki KLR650 from the bottom of Panama to the top.  From 95 degrees at the beach to 33 at the top of Volcán Barú.  It was difficult, it was miserable.  It was everything an adventure is supposed to be. The Volcán Barú Adventure is filled with photos of the ride, and over 70 minutes of video of my ride to the roof of Panama.”

We make fun of “Adventure” on the show, but this one’s the real thing and Ryan shows why it’s called adventure. If you got an iPad then you can grab a copy of this and check it out. Well, worth it!

Want to hear yourself on our show? Ridden a bike (like your own) and got an opinion? Got a cool piece of gear or farkle? Got a story? Know some jokes? Record an MP3 (or whatever) and email it to us at wheelnerds@gmail.com. We’ll throw it on the air and talk about it, too. That’s right, you can be the first on your block to be openly mocked by the Wheelnerds.

Or call our voicemail: (801) 917-4136

Or, leave us a voicemail via Skype! Our skype ID is wheelnerds.

Just go ahead, call, and leave us your story there! (We still read your emails, too, and will answer them on the show). If you got something really cool, shoot us a line and maybe we’ll talk to you live, too.

As always, you can listen to the episode above or download direct here:

Genetically Hippie

To subscribe to the podcast, either hit the link in the sidebar to the right or even right here. Copy that address into podcast listener/getter/subscriber of choice. We’re also listed in the Itunes Store podcast section, just do a search for Wheelnerds.

Ep 38: OK

17 Feb

Third time’s the charm. I think Friday morning is going to be the new official publish time for the show. Apparently, I’m too old and soft to stay up late Thursday night anymore to post shows.

Breaking news: Britain says scooters are dangerous. Who knew? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16844525

Our guest on the show this week is:

Fred Rau and his Lucky Hat

http://www.fredrau.com

Fred’s new book is the Motorcycle Touring Bible. A great introduction to the topic of sport-touring, it’s loaded with pictures, stories, and tons of great info. Geared toward newbies to the topic, I think even experienced tourers will enjoy reading the anecdotes and frequent asides. It’s like a coffee table book, except one you’d actually want to read instead of listlessly leafing through while waiting. We got an Amazon affiliate link for you to use to go check it out (and maybe even buy. Wheelnerds need taco money!)

 Motorcycle Touring Bible by Fred Rau

In listener mail this week, Peter J sent us this pretty long one that we talk about on air. Here it is in its entirety. A passionate defense of latte-sippers everywhere! (just kidding)

Hi guys…

Feel free to edit this- after reading it I realize I tend to ramble a lot.

Dexter Ford’s recent interview prompted me to do a little thinking about the adventure bike market, and perhaps stick a pin in some of the over-inflated windbag nay-sayers.

We don’t all buy these bikes with pretensions of the African outback, or traversing the Nile serengeti.

Furthermore, not all of us polish them feverishly in hopes someone will notice them leaning rakishly in front of the local S-bux.

No, the heavy duty build quality and excessive suspension travel appeal to another breed of rider entirely. The motorcyclist.

I ride an F8GS. Yes, it has wide-ass aluminum saddlebags (NOT panniers – those go over the gas tank – lets all learn the terminology, people.) Yes it has crash bars, and hand guards, and looks like it could survive a class 5 rapids. But all these fripperies are to keep it from breaking in the event of an unplanned slide down the road, not give me “loads of cred”. I don’t have a skid plate – for the type of riding I do, it will not likely ever be required.  The saddlebags hold tools, lunch, and rain gear. I use this bike every day, rain, shine, sub-zero, 100F, anything short of snow and ice – although it’s seen it’s share of both. If I hit a pothole, or a dog, or a drive shaft lying on the highway (last year), I can expect it to behave with aplomb. Yes Glen, I do have a GPS. It’s for navigating to hotels in strange new cities. On the road, I rarely use it.

I’ve equipped it with a Mirage II fairing from Brittania Composites to keep the wind off me, and power outlets to keep me warm. I tried the TKC’s – they looked totally hard core, bro’. But they’re noisy, they vibrate – and they really suck if you have to stop RIGHT NOW. Off they came, and some Anakee II’s went on. Great street tires, capable enough off road if you need to go there. It’s a guerilla commuter and part time tourer, and if want an adventure too, it’s ready and willing.

It’s a working bike, and it shows. I wash it about 3 times a year, and other than routine maintenance, it gets ignored. Ridden hard, put away wet as the saying goes. It never complains. It’s built for it.

I agree with Dexter regarding the DR650. I had one, and sold it to a friend who prompty rode it to Tierra del Fuego. (This is her if you’re interestedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JW_1gUuuvc&feature=share ). Great bike. But a tourer it’s not, and she will back me up on that. Oh, you can do it… but it’s a bigger compromise than I’m willing to endure. My wife and I rode a few thousand miles around the western U.S. last summer, and I don’t think it would have been all that enjoyable on a DR. I also had a DR350 for the dirt, and an R1200R for the street. And then there were my wife’s bikes. I looked at that overstuffed garage and thought “what can I do the consolidate this fleet?”

I needed one bike (to rule them all), a jack of all trades, a man for all seasons if you will. I found it in the F800GS. Sure, it’s overkill on the street… or is it? Have you ever encountered road construction? Not a problem. How about a shortcut over a traffic island? Similarly non-dramatic. Can it happily drone on the superslab for 12 hours at a time? Yes, if you shave the seat a little. And lets say you are interested in what’s at the end of that dirt road – should I risk it with my chromed out v-twin behemoth – oooohh… better not. This bike? Pshaw. Go get the tent. This bike is what a Scrambler should be. The rugged off-roady bits are actually functional.

The ADVENTURE market has become a victim of it’s own marketing, and a bit of a laughingstock it seems. I don’t give a shit what people think. These bikes are the most practical things on two wheels. And the matching gear is practical too. It’s easy to poke fun at the GS type rider in the armored whale foreskin hazmat suit – but have you worn one? They are truly versatile. I don’t have to tell you guys, you know. You ride in more than sunny warm weather. They offer great protection from impact, abraision, and inclement weather. So we look like spacemen. Fuck you, you look like Blackbeard’s gay cousin Thtewart.

I think that despite all the negative press, adventure style bikes are starting to get noticed – not because of their ability to elude rampaging elephants, but in spite of it. People are realizing how good they are at being motorcycles. Even some of the die-hard sportbike crowd on a local Vancouver forum are swallowing their pride and buying a bike that will happily endure traffic jams without requiring physiotherapy afterward. I think they may have realized they had been underestimating dual-sports after getting passed on the outside by an old dude riding one on a couple of back road strafing runs.

This little rant is probably one of many similar you have heard, but I felt compelled to defend my trusty mount. I wish I had a clever name for her (him?), maybe you could suggest one.

Thanks for listening.
Peter J

Great feedback. We love hearing it!

Want to hear yourself on our show? Ridden a bike (like your own) and got an opinion? Got a cool piece of gear or farkle? Got a story? Know some jokes? Record an MP3 (or whatever) and email it to us at wheelnerds@gmail.com. We’ll throw it on the air and talk about it, too. That’s right, you can be the first on your block to be openly mocked by the Wheelnerds.

Or call our voicemail: (801) 917-4136

Or, leave us a voicemail via Skype! Our skype ID is wheelnerds.

Just go ahead, call, and leave us your story there! (We still read your emails, too, and will answer them on the show). If you got something really cool, shoot us a line and maybe we’ll talk to you live, too.

As always, you can listen to the episode above or download direct here:

OK

To subscribe to the podcast, either hit the link in the sidebar to the right or even right here. Copy that address into podcast listener/getter/subscriber of choice. We’re also listed in the Itunes Store podcast section, just do a search for Wheelnerds.

Ep 37: Unheard Of

10 Feb

I’d apologize for yet another late posting, but who am I kidding?  Not you, you’re certainly far too smart and, might I add, good-looking to be taken in by such transparent fawnings for forgiveness! You sharp listener, you!

For this week, for those of you who hate just hearing Todd and I talk, we’ve got a whole hour of just Todd and I talking. Linky links and clicky clicks are:

No link for the tiny box wine. Maybe your local 7-11 can help.

The possibly-nautical sidecar: http://harrisburg.craigslist.org/mcy/2826367926.html

Ural’s expanding because guys in skinny jeans with ironic tattoos saw Brad Pitt riding one: http://www.roadbikemag.com/home/ural-to-expand-after-2011-growth/

NOT A BIKE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/16264660

What’s Erik Buell’s 1190RS up against? This thing: http://confederate.com/bike/gallery/x132_hellcat

Our main topic for this show is talking about shop space. Having your own place whether it’s in the front yard, the garage, someone else’s garage, or even a shop-shop. Chop-chop.

Want to hear yourself on our show? Ridden a bike (like your own) and got an opinion? Got a cool piece of gear or farkle? Got a story? Know some jokes? Record an MP3 (or whatever) and email it to us at wheelnerds@gmail.com. We’ll throw it on the air and talk about it, too. That’s right, you can be the first on your block to be openly mocked by the Wheelnerds.

Or call our voicemail: (801) 917-4136

Or, leave us a voicemail via Skype! Our skype ID is wheelnerds.

Just go ahead, call, and leave us your story there! (We still read your emails, too, and will answer them on the show). If you got something really cool, shoot us a line and maybe we’ll talk to you live, too.

As always, you can listen to the episode above or download direct here:

Unheard Of

To subscribe to the podcast, either hit the link in the sidebar to the right or even right here. Copy that address into podcast listener/getter/subscriber of choice. We’re also listed in the Itunes Store podcast section, just do a search for Wheelnerds.

Ep 36: Karmic Llama

3 Feb

Apologies for the late posting, I had a hell of a day. The show did make it to the RSS feed last night though, so another good reason to subscribe to us. Even when Chuck is at his laziest, the RSS goes through!

Our guest this week is motojournalist Dexter Ford!

“And then I broke his neck like this.”

Dexter’s written a lot of stuff about motorcycles, cars, planes, boats, and likely spaceships. He’s got a website at http://www.dexterford.com. You might remember when we’ve talked about Ford before due to his article about ‘adventure’ riders: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/14/automobiles/tough-bikes-for-suburban-adventurers.html. Ford chats about that article, his time at Motorcyclist, his choice in helmets (HAHA), and his recent ADVENTURE tour (which sounds pretty cool to us).

Linky links:

The preview for the THE FINDER:

No, Craig, this isn’t me: http://www.torontosun.com/videos/1402034180001#1403029790001

The Hip Ural: http://www.hammacher.com/Product/11888?promo=search

Want to hear yourself on our show? Ridden a bike (like your own) and got an opinion? Got a cool piece of gear or farkle? Got a story? Know some jokes? Record an MP3 (or whatever) and email it to us at wheelnerds@gmail.com. We’ll throw it on the air and talk about it, too. That’s right, you can be the first on your block to be openly mocked by the Wheelnerds. Alternatively, you could call our google talk # to the right there and leave us a message if you’ve got no way to record something. Or, even cooler, (to me, anyway), you can now also leave us a voicemail via Skype! Our skype ID iswheelnerds. Just go ahead, call, and leave us your story there! (We still read your emails, too, and will answer them on the show). If you got something really cool, shoot us a line and maybe we’ll talk to you live, too.

As always, you can listen to the episode above or download direct here:

Karmic Llama

To subscribe to the podcast, either hit the link in the sidebar to the right or even right here. Copy that address into podcast listener/getter/subscriber of choice. We’re also listed in the Itunes Store podcast section, just do a search for Wheelnerds.

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