Our guest on Episode 42 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is Andre LaPlante, who runs MotoVentures, an off-road training school started in 1998 by his father, Gary LaPlante. Andre has worked in the motorcycle industry for 20 years in various sales, marketing, and advertising roles, including 16 years at Cobra Engineering. He has raced motocross and competed in trials for 30 years, and he took 3rd place at the 2022 BMW GS Trophy Qualifier West. Andre is also a U.S. Motorcycle Coaching Association (USMCA) certified instructor. During this episode, we talk about MotoVenture’s “dirt first” philosophy and the value of off-road training for motorcyclists of all ages. Even if you are a street rider, you can learn valuable skills that will help you ride more confidently.
We also talk about Andre’s father, Gary LaPlante, a long-time motorcycle industry veteran who started and ran MotoVentures for many years and wrote the book How to Ride Off-Road Motorcycles. Gary is battling brain cancer, and we encourage listeners to show their support by signing up for training with MotoVentures, buying Gary’s book, or visiting his GoFundMe page and making a donation to help defray his significant medical expenses. Andre is a down-to-earth motorcycle enthusiast who is carrying on his father’s legacy of training people how to be better riders. That’s an effort we applaud and fully support.
Our guest on Episode 41 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is Scott A. Williams, who has been a regular contributor to Rider for two decades. A lifelong New Englander, Scott is a storyteller. His writing reflects the insights of a regular guy with a keen sense of observation and a passion for exploring on two wheels. Scott’s motorcycle touring features are less about “turn here, then turn there” and more about the culture of the regions he rides through and the people he meets along the way. His columns consider the rider’s experience, viewed through the lens of his personal encounters. Known as “Bones” since he was a little kid, Scott had been a Rider magazine subscriber for years when it occurred to him, “I’m a writer and a rider, I should write for Rider.” Twenty years ago, he made a story pitch to then-editor Mark Tuttle, and since then he has written nearly a hundred pieces for what he will tell you is still his favorite magazine. Check out some of Scott’s writing for Rider via the links below.
Our guest for Episode 40 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is Chris Peterman, Director of Motorcycles for CFMOTO USA, which manufactures and sells motorcycles, ATVs, and side-by-sides. For 2022, CFMOTO has introduced a seven-model lineup of motorcycles to the U.S. They include the Papio minibike ($2,999), the 300NK naked bike ($3,999) and 300SS sportbike ($4,299), the naked 650NK ($6,499) and 650ADVentura adventure bike ($6,799), and the neo-retro 700CL-X ($6,499) and 700CLX Sport ($6,999). (For more details, read our first look review.) We had a chance to test ride all seven bikes the week before this interview was recorded. We talk to Chris about the history of the CFMOTO brand, review the details and pricing of each model, and share our riding impressions. LINKS: CFMOTOUSA.com, CFMOTO USA on Facebook, CFMOTO on Instagram
Our guest for Episode 39 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is Hayley Bell, Founder and President of Global Business Development for Women Riders World Relay. The mission of Women Riders World Relay is to bring fun, experience, confidence, and a sense of unity to female riders globally. Between February 2019 and February 2020, more than 3,500 women from 79 countries on six continents circumnavigated the globe on two wheels, passing a baton from woman to woman and logging 63,000 miles.
For her efforts with WRWR, Bell was named 2019 Motorcyclist of the Year by the American Motorcyclist Association. We talk to Bell about how she started WRWR, how the movement grew exponentially within a matter of weeks, and how hundreds of women around the world volunteered their time and effort to plan, organize, and complete the global relay. We also talk about the impact WRWR is having on the motorcycle industry, and her role as a spokesperson and advocate.
Our guest on Episode 38 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is Eric Trow, a life-long motorcyclist, a renowned motorcycling proficiency expert, and a recipient of the AMA Outstanding Road Rider Award. Trow is a Contributing Editor at Rider Magazine, where he writes the popular “Riding Well” column as well as special features. Trow developed the modern Stayin’ Safe method of advanced rider training, and Stayin’ Safe Training Tours are available through MotoMark1. In this episode, we talk with Trow about his background in motorcycle skills training and how he got involved with Rider Magazine. We get the backstory on two of Trow’s popular features published in Rider, “Chasing Gene and Washie” (Feb. 2022 issue) and “Parker Discovers America” (Aug. 2021 issue). And we learn what motorcycles Trow has in his garage, from his grandfather’s 1953 Indian Chief (one of the last ones built) to his newly acquired Honda Trail 90.
Our guest on Episode 37 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is Bill Dragoo of Dragoo Adventure Rider Training (DART). Bill has led an interesting and varied life as a pilot, a sky diver, a scuba diver, and as a competitor on dirtbikes, adventure bikes, mountain bikes, and sailboats. He has been a winner or podium finisher in three RawHyde Adventure Challenges, and he was a member of the BMW GS Trophy team that represented the U.S. in South Africa in 2010. Bill is a certified BMW factory-trained off-road instructor, and a certified Motorcycle Safety Foundation Rider Coach. Through Dragoo Adventure Rider Training (DART), he trains motorcyclists of all ages to ride adventure bikes with more confidence. We talk about how Bill got into riding and racing motorcycles, his challenges and successes in competition, and his philosophy for training riders how to handle big adventure bikes. Visit the DART website for Bill’s upcoming training and immersion tour schedule as well as links to DART tips, publications, podcasts, videos, and more.
Our guest on Episode 36 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is Gordon McCall, who is CEO of McCall Events and Director of Motorsports at Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel Valley, California. The 12th annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering presented by GEICO takes place Saturday, May 14. The sold-out Quail Ride, a 100-mile ride for 100 motorcycles that includes parade laps at Laguna Seca Raceway and a gala dinner, is on Friday, May 13. The Quail Motorcycle Gathering features more than 350 motorcycles displayed on the golf course at the Quail Lodge. Traditional classes include American, British, Italian, Other European, Japanese, Competition On Road, Competition Off Road, Antique, Custom/Modified, Choppers, and Extraordinary Bicycles and Scooters Class. Featured classes at the 2022 Quail include Harley-Davidson XR750, BMW /5 Series, Two-Stroke “Braaaps,” and mini bikes | BIG FUN. This year’s Legend of the Sport Guest is Roland Sands.
We talk with Gordon about the history of the Quail, what makes the Monterey Peninsula such as special place for motorcycle and car events, and what attendees can expect. The Quail was on hiatus for two years due to the pandemic, so Gordon and The Quail team are excited to welcome motorcycle enthusiasts back this year. Tickets for The Quail Motorcycle Gathering are available online or at the gate.
Charley, who famously rode around thew world on three major journeys depicted in book ad TV series with Star Wars actor and longtime pal Ewan McGregor, is this time joined by bike builder Ant Partridge and mean’s health advocate Ben Bowers.
Their new motorcycle culture and mental health podcast is being launched through Motorcycle News and Bauer Media with audio episodes on Apple and Spotify and video episodes on the Motorcycle News YouTube Channel.
Each episode will feature a guest and we suspect Ewan will be near the top of the list.
While he is not yet confirmed, those who will feature include include former F1 driver Damon Hill, Briths actor Grace Webb, artist D*Face and six-time British Superbike champion, and MotoGP and WSBK racer Shane (Shakey) Byrne.
The show will centre around the love of motorcycles, but also also delve into themes of wellbeing and mental health as they look to normalise and empower conversations.
Our guest for Episode 35 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is Rennie Scaysbrook. Rennie is one of the hardest working motorcycle journalists in the business. He’s Road Test Editor at Cycle News, which cranks out a new issue every week. Rennie travels the world testing motorcycles, and he writes race coverage, news, and features for the magazine. Rennie is also a motorcycle racer who has competed several times in the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb, where he set the motorcycle record in 2019. Rennie competes in several race series. He campaigns a Pirelli-sponsored Suzuki GSX-R600 in the Chuckwalla Valley Motorcycle Association series. He races the Roland Sands Design Indian Chief in the Super Hooligan National Championship series. And in June he’ll get his first opportunity to race in the prestigious Isle of Man TT.
If that weren’t enough, Rennie is a husband and a father, and his son Harvey was the inspiration for him to write and publish a children’s book called “The Big Book of Motorbikes,” which is available through Amazon. Rennie and I had fun recording this episode after riding more than 300 miles at the Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ press launch and having a few drinks at dinner. We have an unfiltered, uncensored conversation about Rennie growing up in a prominent racing family in Australia, how he became a motojournalist, and what prompted him to move to America. We also take a deep dive into his experiences racing motorcycles at Pikes Peak – the good, the bad, and the ugly – as well as his preparations for the 2022 Isle of Man TT. You can follow Rennie on Instagram @renski33.
Episode 34 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is brought to you by Fly Racing. Our guest is Cat MacLeod, the man behind Leod Escapes “Track and Tour” motorcycle tours, which combine track days at MotoGP circuits with multi-day scenic sport tours in Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, and other destinations. Leod Escapes is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022. We talk about what makes Track and Tours unique, what makes for a successful tour, and what tours are available this year. Cat’s an interesting guy who has turned his passions for track riding and foreign travel into a business. Other than professional racers, not many people can say they’ve ridden on 10 MotoGP tracks like Cat has. You can find Leod Escapes’ 2022 Track and Tour calendar at leodescapes.com. You can aslo read our review of a Leod Escapes tour in Italy that included a track day at Mugello.