THE last few weeks have been hectic for me.
Now I don’t expect most of you to have any sympathy at all for my hardship because I spent a week in New Zealand on the Triumph Trophy SE launch (in this issue), back home for a few days and then away for another week on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road and mountain areas on the BMW F 800 GT (also in this issue), as part of the BMW TS Safari, followed directly after by the World Superbikes at Phillip Island.
Among all that I’m expected to put Cycle Torque together.
Just today I’ve also got back from the 2013 Yamaha FJR1300 launch.
Three fantastic sports tourer launches in four weeks.
Hectic but very enjoyable. It might surprise you to know that the motorcycle industry, at least the motorcycle magazine industry is a pretty incestuous business. A number of bike journos have worked for numerous publications over the years, and this is a very positive thing I reckon.
Over the eight years I’ve been at Cycle Torque (geez, that’s gone bloody quick) I’ve met some wonderful people in this industry, many of them have become good friends.
Every launch you go to is great fun.
Yes, you have the bikes, but the camaraderie among the journalists, and the motorcycle manufacturers’ staff, is the highlight for me. I really enjoy it. Take the Triumph Trophy SE launch in New Zealand for example. This is certainly the first time I’ve been on a launch where our wives were invited along. It makes perfect sense too because the Trophy SE is a sports tourer, and plenty of miles will be with a pillion on the back.
And what a trip it was.
Besides the unbelievable scenery and the roads, the evening meals with around 20 people at the table was a blast. There’s plenty of sledging on these trips too, something we Aussies love.
On the F 800 GT launch I spent most of my time with Ralph Leavsey-Moase from Australian Motorcycle News who is loads of fun to be around, and when on the gas is hard to keep up with.
We think alike on many subjects, so many a fun conversation was had during the trip. I guess the common denominator here is our love of motorcycles.
On the BMW TS Safari everyone I met was just out to enjoy themselves with like minded people.
That’s what it’s all about, being able to stop and have a coffee and a chat with someone you’ve only just met, and the motorcycle breaks the ice for you. This has happened to me all over the world. In 2010 during our bike tour with Transylvania Live I met some riders from Hungary.
One of them had a T-shirt with Australia emblazoned across it. After much gesturing I finally got through that I was from Australia, and although I couldn’t understand a word he was saying we had a great laugh. On the Isle of Man last year my son Alex and I had a some top chats with other riders, many of them starting after they heard our accents.
Back to the launches though. On the FJR1300 launch we talked about accommodation on launches among other things. I’ve heard on car launches the journos expect pretty flash digs. I can’t confirm or deny that but I do know that most of the motorcycle journos I know would happily stay in a pub. Maybe that’s just the way motorcyclists roll. It’s about the ride, not how many stars the accommodation is at the end of the day. Sure it’s nice to go Five Star but to be honest just being with my mates, on our bikes, is what it’s about for me.