Thursday, March 5, 2020

Some terrain is best reached with a capable dirtbike

I recently loaded up a Beta 390 RR-S for some exploring with @justingchatwin, actor and international man of mystery, @joshmarcuson, arborist, construction, and suture guru, @drhime, fearless trail explorer and bike thrower, and @officialtravigator, leader, and the only dude who could ride everything clean.

Two 4-strokes and three 2-strokes.
Let the combustion cycle debate begin...

Rider POV video of the above section:

03b-waterfall from Jon Beck on Vimeo.

loadbike from Jon Beck on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

KTM: 790R vs 990R

In the final few hours of 2019, my comparison review of KTM's 790R vs 990R went live. I can think of several bikes that stand out as exceptionally memorable, but the KTM 950/990 platform has always remained in a class by itself... until this review.

While I was fortunate to spend a great deal of time aboard the 790R well beyond a typical press launch scenario, I've vastly more miles over the years on 990 bikes, and over 70,000 miles of mostly gnarly terrain on my personal 950 Adventure S. It requires a truly exceptional motorcycle to shake that kind of experience, and this review is the first to have apparently done so.

The future appears bright for the adventure touring realm... here's to more of this in 2020!

Gear involved over this extensive test included the following:
Klim Motorcycle
Troy Lee Designs
TCX Boots
Wolfman Luggage
Trail Tech
Continental Tire
Pirelli Tire

The 2005 950 Adventure S. My first personally-owned LC8:

Prior to the original LC8 being released, I owned several LC4 machines. This proven single-cylinder design would become the root of KTM's first twin cylinder motorcycle. Perhaps the subject of a future story...

This 2003 KTM 640 Adventure was purchased from legendary racer Larry Roeseler following a shoot for Dirt Bike magazine. Here seen riding it home from his shop in Hesperia, California:

Friday, December 27, 2019

Meta • Travels with Jason Lee • Part I

Meta's volume sixteen contains an introduction to road trips spanning 10 years with Jason Lee. The same edition contains an amazing piece written by my cousin-in-law, Keith Saarloos of Saarloos and Sons Winery, about a 10-day trip with freestyle motorcycle legend Carey Hart.

Travel stories sometimes involve finding uniqueness in the quiet and understated, and other times selecting what to write from an abundance of activity and detail. These road trips spanned the gamut from driving the desert in an '84 Mercedes and '94 Lincoln, to riding Baja on KTMs, to participating in the L.A. - Barstow to Vegas event on a BMW R1200GS Adventure and 1971 Triumph TR6C.

Analog cameras spanning many decades, and using several different types of film were along for all these trips.

Jason and I in Denton, Texas with Eric Pulido of the band Midlake 
I'd just rolled in after a 1000-mile day on the bike, thus the riding gear...

Experimental film around the Salton Sea using a mix of digital and Super-8 cameras:

The Wayfarer's Memoirs from Jon Beck on Vimeo.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Nebraska Cover Story

The December 2019 cover of Roadrunner magazine features an image taken in one of the many surprisingly unexpected places Nebraska hides in plain sight.

Having no directives other than to ride, photograph, and write about the state proved very rewarding. The relative emptiness of Nebraska turns the land into a blank canvas for the interesting stories contained in the prairie.

Thanks to Indian Motorcycle for providing the Roadmaster on this trek.

A post shared by Jon Beck (@jonbeckadv) on