102 months ago

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Getting into the motorcycle reviewing game.

Toronto, On, Canada

My F-700 GS on the day I found her.

My F-700 GS on the day I found her.

The ecosystem of offering bikes to writers; them writing opinions on those machines and those opinions influencing armchair motorcyclists has been around since the bronze age. Ok, not actually, but the certainly from the 20th century onward. Yes, slick ads and videos fuel desire, but reviews are critical to most riders who are getting serious about a new purchase.

Having access to many motorbikes for review purposes is an enviable position for any rider. By chance I came across such a person this autumn. A typical parking lot conversation revealed the nature of the exotic bike he was riding that day. He sparked my interest in the pursuit and now I am determined to participate in that world.I think it would be fun and, hey, I have a lot to say about motorcycles.I asked him how to get started…

Well, my homework is to write a review of my own beloved machine and flex my journalistic wings. Before I continue, for the purposes of full disclosure, I should describe my motorcycle experience.

I learned to ride at the age of 45. The upside of this late choice has been to keep my collar bone in its original location and more or less kept the rubber side down. There is an advantage to skipping all that immortal teenage thinking when it comes to motorcycling.

That said, I have managed to rack up a lot of experience in the last 8 years. The experience of my own machines plus many a manufacturers demo day; off road training schools and renting different types of bikes from GTA Exotics while they were still in the business, has offered me great insight into the joyful variations of motorcycles. As well as motorbikes being my principal means of transportation while working in the city, I’ve also done a lot of long distance solo adventure riding. Notably, one trip from Toronto, Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska and back. Then a short time later, a monster 14-country, 5 month, 34,000 kilometre solo ride from Toronto to Ushuaia, Argentina.

I’ve owned four bikes so far. I started with a pretty little red 2003 Honda 250 Rebel which I rode for all of 3 months before realizing it was much too underpowered.

Then I acquired a 1987 BMW K-100 from a friend of a friend.It was a nerve racking leap for a new rider in terms of weight and power but, within a week, I was like a pig in sh*t.In fact it was the K-100 that I took to Alaska. I learned so much in that short time.

While in Whitehorse, my tires were finished and I was trying to get fresh off road tires on a machine with odd rim sizes. All the local shop could do was put a knobby front tire on the rear wheel and keep the bald street tire up front. I managed to avoid trouble on the Taylor (Top of the World) Highway but it says a lot about ignorance being bliss.

The third machine was a 2001 single cylinder BMW F-650 GS. I purchased it used in Toronto; farkled it, then rode it to Argentina. I finally sold it in Puente Arenas, Chile in what is known as a ‘Zona Franca’ or free zone- where it was legal to sell a foreign registered vehicle.

My forth bike is a 2013 BMW F-700 GS. Although they call the colour Ostra Grey, I see it as green so I have nicknamed her ‘Sweet Pea’. This is the machine I will review in the following post.

Wish me luck!

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