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2023-06-14 19:09:29

Motorcycle Filmmaker - 23 Years with BMW GS

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And in this video , I'm going to share my history of riding the BMW G S motorcycle .

Over 20 years of riding adventure motorcycles .

I've had three BMW G S motorcycles .

Like a lot of you guys , I started out riding when I was a kid .

I got my first motorcycle on my eighth birthday and it was a little Honda 50 and that's what started it all for me .

I lived in rural west Michigan on a blueberry farm and I would take off on my little Honda 50 with a knapsack filled with food .

And I would go on an epic five or 10 mile adventure by myself in the woods and in the trails , it might not seem like a lot now , but as an eight year old , that was quite an epic adventure .

And that's what put the love into me for motorcycle adventure traveling .

And I rode that bike for a few years until I was like maybe 12 years old .

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And then I upgraded to a Yamaha 360 in Duro , rode that bike for a couple more years until I was in my early teens .

And then I kind of got out of motorcycling .

I got into video production and so motorcycling kind of took a back seat and disappeared from my life for a while .

But it wasn't until I was in my early Twentys and I was living in Seattle , Washington at the time and I was commuting to a job , didn't have a car .

I was riding the bus and for whatever reason I decided that I wanted to get back into motorcycling .

So I looked in the newspaper and the classified ads at those times and I found a used BMW R 50 for sale .

So this is a 1972 boxer engine style BMW motorcycle .

I purchased that bike for $1000 put a little extra money into restoring it .

And that was the first motorcycle that I had as an adult .

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The cool thing is , is that I still have this motorcycle today .

It's right here at my motel down here in Bisbee .

It's fully restored and I ride it around the Southwest quite often .

I love that old bike .

It's got a lot of character and personality and that was my first BMW and it's what got me back into motorcycling way back in my 20 .

So I rode that bike around the Northwest for about four years and really found that I loved motorcycle touring .

I loved going on long rides .

I loved exploring new places and that was a great street touring motorcycle for me at the time .

After about four years of riding it .

I was starting to get the itch to be able to travel on places where I couldn't go on that motorcycle .

I really loved the back country .

I was into backpacking and rock climbing and I just started to think , wouldn't it be cool if I had a motorcycle that I could go into these places with as well ?

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In 1998 three things happened that really sort of defined the rest of my life until this point in terms of motorcycling and riding the BMW GS .

The first thing that happened was that I got laid off from my job , my contract ended , I was doing video production for a software company .

And when my contract ended , rather than just jump back in and try to find another job doing video production , I sat down and I thought , what is it that I really want to be working on ?

You know , what kind of film and video projects do I envision or dream about doing ?

And the thing that came to my mind was that , why don't I do a film about motorcycling ?

You know , that was a new love that I had just found in my life .

And so I decided that I would take some time off and I would try to make a documentary about motorcycling .

The second thing that happened at that pivotal time in my life was that it was 1998 .

And that was the first year that came out with a chain drive motorcycle .

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It was the F 650 Gs .

It was also known as the funeral .

It was a GS motorcycle that a young guy like me could actually afford .

And so when this new chain drive 650 motorcycle came out by BMW , I went out and purchased one that was my first BMW GS motorcycle .

I bought it new from the dealership and that was the beginning of this long journey that I've been on .

So right away when I bought my 650 I found out that this was a perfect bike for me .

It was the kind of bike that I could do , the kind of rides that I wanted to do in the back country .

And that's exactly what I did .

I started exploring the northwest , camping off my motorcycle , getting off the beaten track and it was a great start to my own adventure riding career .

It's pretty wet out and I'm heading up into the mountains away from the coast .

And I noticed on the gps that the elevation is obviously going up .

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The third critical thing that happened at that point in my life was that I went to a slide show at the local BMW motorcycle dealership in Seattle .

And the name of the slide show was 10 years on two wheels .

And it was by a gentleman named Helge Peterson who had just spent 10 years traveling around the world on his BMW R A G s and he's a photographer and he documented his journey and made a beautiful coffee table book .

And when I saw his slide show about 10 years of global motorcycle travel , that was the hook that got set .

And I realized that I really needed to get into this kind of riding where I could do something similar where I could travel around the world or in the back country and go to these beautiful , amazing places on a motorcycle .

Seeing that slide show really set the hook in me .

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And I went up to this gentleman Helge Peterson after the show introduced myself , told him my experience with film and video making and motorcycle riding and asked him if there was a way we could work on a project together .

Unfortunately , he said yes .

And a couple of months later , we went out and filmed a short motorcycle documentary together .

And that video as old as it is , is even on this channel today , you can watch it .

I'll post a link below , but that was kind of my first motorcycling film and I was getting one step closer to doing the kind of motorcycle rides and film and video projects that I wanted to .

One of the first rides that I took on my 650 G S was to Iceland .

He invited me to travel to Iceland with another friend riding around Iceland documenting our journey .

And I ended up producing a feature length film about the Iceland expedition .

That was a huge ride and a big project for me as a young filmmaker .

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Imagine , I'm barely 30 years old and I'm on my G S motorcycle riding in a place like Iceland and filming it , doing it for work .

It was a passion project and it just told me that my dream was possible and that I could actually go out and have these kind of adventures and film them on motorcycles like I was doing in Iceland .

So from about 2002 until 2010 , I did five or six global world tours with Helge Peterson and Globe riders .

We rode across Africa , we rode across Asia Europe .

We did the Silk Road , we rode across Russia and China .

All of these fantastic long distance rides with a lot of BMW G S motorcycles .

They were commercial tours .

There were like 10 to 15 riders on each ride .

And again , most of those videos are on this channel , whether you know that or not , you can dig down through my archives and you can see several feature length documentaries about riding adventure bikes in all these different places around the world .

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Most of those trips I was traveling in a support vehicle or a chase vehicle .

I didn't have my own motorcycle .

I would ride in the van or the car .

I would film the ride as best I could in those ways .

But I wasn't on my own bike unless somebody was hurt or injured , that would be the only opportunity that I would get to ride someone else's bike .

And that happened quite often .

I remember in Russia , one of our customers fell down and broke his ankle .

And so I got to ride his BMW 1150 GS across Siberia for three weeks .

And it was fantastic .

So I rode my first BMW , the 650 GS for over 10 years , had a lot of great rides , put about 50,000 miles on that motorcycle .

And in 2009 , I took off on my first big riding solo type of project down to Mexico .

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And I spent 50 days riding 2500 or 3000 miles on my 650 solo in Mexico .

I'm equipped to be a self sufficient solo video journalist and I do it all on the road with equipment that I carry with me on the motorcycle .

And I don't have any prearranged lodging or hotels or things like that .

Nor do I have a chase vehicle following me .

So I'm going to be totally alone and responsible for everything that happens along the way .

I documented that entire journey .

That movie is the movie on this channel that has the most amount of views on it whatsoever .

It's called Beyond The Border Riding Solo in Mexico .

And so if you like my new riding solo series and you want to see where that kind of all began .

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Maybe you should check out that movie beyond the border because to me that's kind of where my history and background of solo motorcycle adventure travel really began .

And that was in 2009 .

It was kind of the last big ride that I took on the 6 50 G S I got onto a road .

That was the worst I've seen yet on this trip , the rocks , the sand , everything .

And I was afraid if it was going to keep going like that , that I would never even make it out of there .

I was doing about five miles an hour and it lasted for about two or three kilometers and then it connected with a different road and it got better .

So things were looking up in 2010 , my 650 was getting a little worn out .

I had just come home from Mexico .

But fortunately my good friend , Helge Peterson , once again , he came to me with a project and he said BMW motorcycles wants to do something special this year .

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It's the 30 year anniversary of the BMW G S .

The first one came out in 1980 .

And so in 2010 , they wanted to , to do something special to sort of celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the BMW G S .

And they asked helge , if he would be willing to produce a documentary film about that subject .

And helge is a photographer .

He's not a filmmaker .

And so he graciously came to me and asked if I would be interested in taking on that project .

And he said , look , there's a good chance you could get a new motorcycle out of this .

And so we talked to BMW and we came up with a plan and they agreed to give me a new BMW F 800 G S in return for producing a documentary about the 30 year history of BMW motorcycles .

It was perfect timing for me .

My old bike was just getting worn out and I now had an opportunity to get a new BMW G S the 800 which was like the next level of their chain drive motorcycles after the 6 50 .

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So I said yes , I spent many months researching the history of BMW motorcycles .

I produced a film for BMW .

That movie is also on this channel as well .

If you're interested in learning about the history of BMW G S .

But long story short , I produced that film for them and I got a brand new BMW 800 G S .

The first big ride I took with that BMW was my last Globe Riders project that I did in 2010 .

And it was the Globe Riders Africa Adventure .

We spent 37 days riding around Africa and I filmed that whole on my BMW 800 G S by myself carrying all of my camera gear riding with all of the other riders .

And it was a great start for me on my new BMW 800 G S 2010 was a big year because that was also the year that we started the back country discovery routes .

I lived in Seattle , Washington at the time .

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And the first B D R route that we created was Washington State .

We filmed that in the summer of 2010 and we produced a different B D R adventure in a different state every year since then .

So I rode that BMW 800 G S for the next seven years filming all of the back country discovery route expeditions .

I did other rides on it in the northwest on the continental divide down to Mexico .

I put a lot of miles on that bike .

It served me very well .

It allowed me to get out in the back country and do the kind of filming that I need to do .

And it was just a great bike .

In 2016 .

I was invited to film a project called Expedition 65 and this was a South America motorcycle adventure led by Jim Hyde from Raw Hyde adventures in Southern California .

And Jim invited me to tag along with a dozen other motorcyclists on a 65 day tour of South America .

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And so I shipped my 800 G S down to Cartagena .

And I filmed that ride from the 800 G S Expedition 65 was the last big trip that I took on my 800 G S .

And the reason for that is that once again , after about 60,000 miles of back country riding , that motorcycle was getting a little bit worn in and I was down in Peru and my clutch went out .

We were at over 13,000 ft of elevation .

Way in the hell out in the middle of nowhere .

The weather was turning bad and my clutch goes out .

You'll see it in the Expedition 65 movie .

It was quite an adventure to extract my broken motorcycle from the mountains of Peru and get it down to Lima where I could get it repaired at the dealership and then continue on on that journey .

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But that trip , Expedition 65 in 2016 was the last trip I was able to do on my 800 G si can't help but think that this has got to be one of the most spectacular parts of the journey .

For me personally , the riding in the back of this truck like this .

Wow , this is the way to appreciate this scene .

This is absolutely memorable and I'll never forget this .

I Yeah .

Now the challenge is going to be to see if I can pick up this mother in this wind , which I highly doubt I will be able to do that .

So after I got back from South America with a slightly used , broken down , beaten up BMW , 800 G S I knew that this bike wasn't going to serve me that much longer in my capacity as a filmmaker and doing the work that I was contracted , hired to do .

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And so I approached BMW and I said , look , you know who I am , you've seen the movies that I've been making for Globe Riders and for back country discovery routes .

And I gave them a list of every project that I worked on for every year for the last seven years on that motorcycle that they gave me back in 2010 .

And I was honest , I said , I think your customers get a lot of value out of my movies .

I'm pretty sure a lot of people have bought motorcycles because they've been inspired by these films .

And if you want me to be able to continue what I'm doing , I need to be able to show up at work with a tool that gets the job done .

I can't show up to film a motorcycle expedition on a bike that's beaten down and broken and isn't going to be reliable .

I need to be a professional , I need to have a machine that works and it's in your best interest that I show up on a good new modern BMW motorcycle to promote the brand and to do the kind of work that I'm doing .

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And I know that a company like BMW gets a lot of requests from people all the time with projects and ideas and they want to get sponsorship .

And I was honest , I said , look , I know you get approached by people like me all the time wanting motorcycles , et cetera .

But I'm not asking for anything for free .

I would totally be willing to work on another project for you guys like I did with the last one in return for a new motorcycle .

And they said , well , you know what , we've got this thing , it's called the BMW G S Trophy .

It's a competition around BMW motorcycles and we'd like it if you could film the qualifying events this year that are taking place around the USA .

And so I went to those different qualifying events around the USA produced a series of videos about the BMW G S trophy in return for this bike .

That was how I got this motorcycle and just being completely honest and transparent here .

I didn't go out and buy it but it wasn't free either .

I worked for it .

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I did a whole series of videos or BMW and they gave me this 2017 BMW G S in return .

BMW G S has been a great motorcycle for me .

I've had three of them in 22 years and I'll probably continue to ride them for a really long time .

I need to be completely honest that I would really like to ride some other motorcycles as well .

I think for me , the perfect solution would be to keep this motorcycle and then maybe augment it with more of a mid sized adventure bike , something in the 6 to 700 cc range .

When I first started riding BMW motorcycles , the BMW G S was really one of the only choices in this kind of category of adventure motorcycles .

We didn't have the amount of adventure motorcycles available to us 20 years ago that we have today .

I mean , if you're looking to buy a new adventure motorcycle today , you have so many more choices and options than we did 20 years ago .

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And BMW has always been a leader in this category .

They're still a leader , but now you have other K T MS and Hondas and Yamaha and so many other bikes out there to choose from .

So whatever bike you ride , just get out there , get out there and ride , explore , find out what it can do .

It can probably take you places that you've never imagined .

The limitations are probably in your own riding skills and in your own mind more than the motorcycle itself .

I'm going to keep riding this motorcycle for a while .

We've got lots of great adventures to come .

I've also got my eye on some other bikes and hopefully sometime later this year , you're going to see some different motorcycles on this channel .

I've got some surprises in store and some really cool new adventures planned .

Well , there you go .

Thanks .

For watching this video .

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I hope you've got something out of it and enjoyed learning a little bit about my history and my background as a motorcycle filmmaker and in particular , why I've always written the BMW G S motorcycle .

Thanks a lot for your support .

You guys .

It means the world to me .

I love your comments and all the videos .

I appreciate your support and we'll see you coming up real soon .

Ok ?

Take care .


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