Eye of the Rider Moto Docos

Motorcycle Adventure Documentaries

10 Great Moments in Adventure Motorcycling (according to ABR Mag)

10 of the greatest moments in adventure motorcycling from the past 85 years 

WRITTEN BY ROB SLADE   

Although the adventure motorcycling scene has only really blown up over the last decade or so, the roots of this brilliant obsession of ours take us all the way back to the early 20th Century. Over the years there have been many defining moments that has made this industry what it is today.

So, to celebrate the heritage of adventure motorcycling we teamed up with Bennetts, a company that will have insured many adventure motorcyclists over the years, as they celebrate 85 years of business since their launch in 1930. Here are the top 10 moments of adventure biking from the past 85 years.

 

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Ian Horsborgh - An adventurous life cut too short

Late on Saturday 4 October Ian Horsborgh lost his life after succumbing to internal injuries caused by crashing his KTM690 after hitting an emu in Central NSW. He survived the crash but died after he was taken by air or road ambulance to hospital. He was riding with fellow BMW Touring Club Member Dave Beers who was following some distance behind to avoid dust and didn't see the collision with the emu, which was dead when Dave arrived at the scene.

Ian at 6am 26 July 2014 - excited to be leaving for the Kimberly, 11000K 4 weeks round trip

Ian at 6am 26 July 2014 - excited to be leaving for the Kimberly, 11000K 4 weeks round trip

The details may become clearer soon but no doubt Ian will be talked about over coffees, beers and campfires over the years ahead.

How could such a giant man with the hugest hand I have ever had the pleasure to shake have skin so soft? Yet he was always the first to get his hands dirty when a tyre needed changing or deal with a problem, as happened at a remote stop in the Barrington Tops on the 2014 Karuah Rally, a KTM990 was leaking fuel in a steady stream after a rock pierced the tank, Ian was the first to rush over and quickly dismantle half the bike to stem the flow, much to the delight of the owner who didn't know Ian or seem to know how to fix it.

He didn't mind having a go at things he wasn't familiar with either. It was a big step to edit the Newsletter of the BMW Touring Club of NSW with a fabricating background. 

Ian fixing someone else's puncture again.

Ian fixing someone else's puncture again.

He was always someone I looked forward to seeing when I heard his bike roll up to the house. Usually concocting something that was interesting to hear or see. Anyone who saw his KTM 690 would know what I mean. Sam from Australasian Dirt bike Magazine was interested in featuring his bike after a quick look and seeing mod after mod but a time couldn't be worked out before the Off Centre Rally for a photo shoot and Ian never seemed to stop riding since he got back from that epic trip. 

Ian didn't seem too attentive to the media interest, after all he had already been on the cover of Australian Motorcycle News a few years ago. He had a chuckle over that but Ian was the salt of the earth type, more concerned with helping his country mates at wheat harvest time or his weekly game of dominos with some of his city mates. 

Waaaay out west - Ian Horsborgh, Paul Evans and Andris Murnibks on the way to the OCR 2014

Waaaay out west - Ian Horsborgh, Paul Evans and Andris Murnibks on the way to the OCR 2014

A real highlight for me was hearing Ian talk passionately, over bluetooth intercom on the way to the Far Cairn Rally 2013, about wheat farming. Farming talk is usually a bit dry for me, but to hear it told like high roller gambling was fascinating without forgetting the human side to all that loss that goes hand in hand with such high stakes.

Which brings me to Ian's wife Chrissy who I struggle to picture in my mind without a lump developing in my throat and without thinking of how my big crash could have changed my wife's life. It is too hard to comprehend the life left behind, yet we who ride keep on riding knowing we can only lessen the risks while pretending we have it all covered.

 

Don't look back Ian, you did your earthly job and made a lot of people happy. 

"Are you still listening to my farming stories back there?"

How do you wipe the smile off a 69 year olds face?

The long riders have arrived on the other side of Australia, 5217k's from Sydney.

But someone isn't smiling now...

Check out these quotes from down the crackly phone line.

Give us your best caption. 

Give us your best caption. 

After standing up for hours, riding in deep sand I finally saw a black ribbon of bitumen. Exhausted I sat down, slumping into my seat, 300 metres too soon.
— Describing another tank slapper - Phone call home from Innaminka, Day 4
So are you having a go at Big Red tomorrow? Just to say you’ve tried?” says Josh excitedly

Paul, deflated - “You can shove Big Red up your bum
— Phone call home from Birdsville, Day 5
The road surface changes every five minutes, it’s crazy!
”Oh this surface is greaaaaat!....OHHHH NO... SOFT STUFF!
— Phone call home, Day 7
The 2014 Off Centre Rally location, from the safety of Google Maps and Spot Tracker.

The 2014 Off Centre Rally location, from the safety of Google Maps and Spot Tracker.

The Long Riders

You know an adventure is starting well when it is the middle of winter, pre dawn and raining.

Finally leaving the garage - Ian Horsborgh and  'Eye of the Rider' veteran Paul Evans on their adventurised machines

You know your ride is serious when there are 11,000 kilometres ahead of you and dirt roads will comprise over 50% of the never ending ribbon disappearing to the horizon. Will the brand new Heidenau hard compound rear tyres make the full distance? It's a race to the canvas....

Yikes, that is a long way!

Yikes, that is a long way!

 

 

In less than two weeks Arrows Of Fire will hit the big screen. Are you ready?

On June 27th the Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival will kick off in Winton, QLD.

Check out the official film festival website for dates, times and locations so you can catch your favourite Australian films in a classic outback location.

This will be be the first time Arrows Of Fire will be screened at a film festival and we look forward to your support and hope to see you there. 

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Old Man and the Three.

Before Eye of the Rider there was The Old Man and the Three. A tale of adventure in the Australian Alpine Country.

 

The night is dark. The road is rocky. And I can’t help thinking about how far the drop is to my right as my front tire bounces from rock to rock. Then, without time to respond, my heavily laden KTM is pointing over the edge. The headlight illuminates nothing but the dark void yawning below. On the brakes but it’s too late. I drop the bike just as the front wheel sails over the edge and it lands awkwardly on a fragile fairing. In all my six months of riding I’ve never seen roads like this. As I struggle to pull the bike back up, I reflect on my situation.

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