I've been busy wrenching on the sidewalk the past few weeks - scheduled to head to BC from Montreal tomorrow, off to visit family and figured I'd make a trip out of it.

I'm due to leave tomorrow, so of course right now the bike is completely apart while I sort out last-minute LED lighting

The state of the KLR earlier this year:
DSC_2810.jpg

Black plastic = handguard fairings and "Wheat Whacker" fairing mod:

The forks are off for an install of progressive springs and an Eagle Mike fork brace along with an Acerbis supermoto fender.

DSC_2941.jpg

I'm also trying out 8" Odyssey II Jesse luggage  - I want to carry my DSLR video equipment to capture some epic Canadian landscapes and hopefully a story or two...

The KLR is in Cross-Canada mode.
DSC_2956.jpg

I'll be updating in real-time with photos on Twitter - you don't even need an account to follow along.

Keep an eye on twitter.com/motojournalism for the latest.

See you on the road!


Smartphones for motorcycle travel photography



Well, I know I'm late to the party - the last few years have seen smartphones change the way we produce and consume photography. There's no question that it's possible to create fantastic imagery with a smartphone. 



What's kept me away is my completely irrational dislike of telephones - I do not have a land line, or cell phone. I love to talk with people! Just not on the telephone...
So when I realized that the 5th generation iPod touch was essentially an iPhone minus the phone. I figured it was worth trying out.

I've mentioned in the past that I recommend traveling with two cameras; A "serious camera" for the best quality photos, and a point and shoot that can be quickly pulled out to capture those "on the road" moments.

On the road repairs - perfect place for a smartphone snapshot
IMG_0166.jpg

I carry a Nikon D600 as my primary camera and was using the excellent Lumix LX2 as a point and shoot. But it's battered and beat, held together with tape and long due for retirement.

I must say that I'm shocked to find the iPod as a potential replacement for the  aging LX2.
After all the iPod has only a 5mp camera, no real control of aperture or shutter speed, the tiny sensor is awful in low light and dosen't handle high contrast situations well - blown highlights look particularly nasty. The image quality could best be described as "acceptable" not brilliant.

Motorcycle photography in Switzerland

I was very lucky to be invited to Switzerland for three weeks in August - and while it wasn't explicitly a motorcycle trip, there was plenty to photograph from a motorcyclists perspective.


I was able to get a couple day's worth of riding and photographing on a borrowed motorcycle, and boy did it make me appreciate my luggage setup on my own KLR650! More on that later...

Here are a few of the photographs, a sneak preview.


I had no idea that the Swiss made motorcycles. Here is a gorgeous 1934 Condor 850 sidecar.




















Love the "motorcycle" icon on Switzerland's road signs.






Vintage Husqvarna, vintage gear, vintage sideburns! This guy was racing with the modern enduro bikes.



My girlfriend's grandfather checking out a Moto Guzzi at what looks to be an auction or motorcycle show.




Somehow the Swiss license plate just looks right on this Steve McQueen edition Triumph Bonneville T100...



















I was lucky to be loaned this BMW √úndersteer 1200. Not built for the Swiss twisties! I sure was happy to be on a bike though!




The bike I wish I was riding!







Good Spark Garage reviews Motojournalism eBook



I was stoked to hear that the Wilkinson bros. over at the Good Spark Garage posted a review of the Motojournalism photography ebooks.




There are many good blogs these days featuring the latest motorcycle builds, but the Wilkinson brothers dig deeper than most into the history, the people and the beauty of motorcycling.
They are bike builders themselves, and through the Good Spark Garage they interview motorcycle racers, builders, artists, and riders.



Check out the excellent photography and videos, particularly Big Sid listens to his enginesThe Early Days of Motorcycle Messengers and The Beauty of Crossed-up Motorcycles



Crossed Up Flat Tracker Dave Aldana by Photo Tim


Motorcycle Documentary - Fifty Years of Kicks



“Men do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes



Fifty Years of Kicks is a 20 minute video documentary featuring Paul Rodden (right) and Larry Murray (left); two experienced motorcycle riders who continue to do what they love despite age and health issues.

Fifty Years of Kicks, is a collaboration between Motojournalism.com and Traction off-road e-rag.
We've seen too many videos with teenagers doing double backflips, so with Fifty Years of Kicks, we wanted to show older adults pushing their bodies to the limit. We were tired of saying, “I wish I could have tried that when I was young”, we wanted to say, “I want to be like them when I grow up!”

We would like to continue to produce episodes profiling other interesting characters in motorcycling and are looking for sponsors to make that possible. We want to tell the stories of the people who participate, the reasons why these people engage in a sport with inherent risks and dangers, and why they can’t live without these two wheeled machines.

Enjoy the show!



Fifty Years of Kicks - Trailer


"Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Fifty Years of Kicks,
coming next week, April the 12th...

Travel maps - GPS tracks in Google Earth





Any overland traveller worth their salt loves a map. The excitement of a fresh paper map spread out on the floor, every mountain pass and izthmus, terra incognita promising adventure.
It's just as rewarding to revisit torn and battered maps on your return. The map looks different now, the terrain, roads and towns infused with memory of struggles and good times.

I feel the same way about electronic maps. Less romantic, surely. But everything has it's place and the flexibility of GPS software and Google Earth can really be an asset for sharing your adventure.

I'm not the type of traveller who enjoys pre-planning my route, road by road. I prefer spontaneity and flexibility, so I generally use my Garmin GPSmap 60CSx as a way of leaving "breadcrumbs, keeping the tracks as a record of where I've been.