It’s happening. This is me taking my first step towards realizing my 10 year personal/business goal: “To become the go-to photographer/videographer for documenting epic motorcycle adventures across continents and around the world.” That’s exactly how it is written. So now that this page exists, and can start working its way up the to the google front page for all searches containing: “motorcycle”, “motorbike”, “enduro”, “touring”, “travel”, “photographer”, “videographer” and “documentary maker” (did I miss anything?), it’s my job to convince you to bring me along now.
Maybe you were inspired by Long Way Around, Long Way Down or Motorcycle Diaries to tour the world on two wheels. Perhaps your desire manifested itself elsewhere. Wherever it came from, I should be the one to document your journey for these three reasons:
- I’m an experienced, passionate enduro rider and outdoor adventurer
- I’m a professional, full time, photographer (working on my videography skills)
- I’m fun , easygoing and a relentlessly hard worker (so I’ve been told)
Let’s begin with a little back story on the passion and experience:
Ever since I was six years old I dreamt of riding motorcycles. I was that kid who taped a hockey card to the front forks of my bicycle or rode over a pop can so that my bike sounded like a motorcycle.
I got my first real motorcycle in my second year of college as soon as I moved away from home. It was an 83 GS 550 Suzuki which I decided to COMPLETELY disassemble (just to see what’s inside) and repaint banana yellow (to match my new jacket).
My first motorbike, a used 1983 Suzuki GS550EF that I bought as soon as I moved out from home at age 19. (At this point in my life I was just getting into photography)
Painting a motorcycle was a WAY bigger task than I had imagined. It took me weeks to strip the old paint off and sand all the parts down. I rented an air brush to prime and paint all the parts in my basement. This is when I learned paint dust goes EVERYWHERE. My whole house, even the inside of sealed containers, was covered in fine yellow dust.
Halfway through University, I took a year to work in the oil and gas industry up North. The goal was to earn enough money to travel Southeast Asia for six months. I spent most of that time on two wheels in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. I had wanted to rent a big bike in North-Western Laos. When I arrived and discovered there were no big bikes let alone rental shops in that region, my only option was to purchase a brand new 125cc scooter. I didn’t even take the plastic off the seat, I just strapped a pillow to it for extra height and comfort and rode south. I sold it in the capital, Vientiane, for nearly what I paid.
The shop where I bought the Chinese 110cc Nice.
I’ve since ridden motorbikes in Korea, Vietnam, China, Mexico, the Philippines and Mongolia.
Ever since I spent 10 days spent riding through the barren steppe of Mongolia they have been beckoning me to return. Never before have I experienced such a limitless vista, the freedom to go absolutely any direction I wanted. The only thing to impede me nature’s obstacles like cliffs and rivers.
The point of all the above is to show you that I am extremely passionate about motorcycles, adventure and photography. I have all the technical skills required both behind the camera, and on the bike, to document your adventure to the fullest.
But Greg, we could just document the journey ourselves!
Yes, you certainly could. If photography and videography are something you and your crew are excel at, and are passionate about, then perhaps you should do it. But ask yourself again if you really want to? As a rider, I know how nice it can be to just get in the FLOW. You know, that moment you, your bike and the road are one, when the bike becomes an extension of your body and you’re feeling every curve and corner. When you are deep in the rhythm, often the last thing you want to do is stop, turn off your bike, find a sold pice of ground to stand it on, undo your helmet, unpack the tripod, take out your camera, take off the lens cap, setup the shot, put away the camera, pack up the tripod, put the helmet back on, climb back on your bike, start riding, get in the flow again, see another an even better shot around the corner and repeat. Even if you LIKE doing this, ask your self if the other members of your party will be equally excited about stopping and waiting every few kilometers.
Instead, let me be the guy who takes the hit to the flow. I’ll ride ahead, get everything setup, capture you as you ride past and then catch back up again. You should be able to focus your time and energy on enjoying the ride, the scenery, the adventure, rather than where to best capture the shoot and what lens and shutter speed to use to capture that river crossing you’re about to embark on. You should be able to give that crossing your all without worrying about your expensive camera gear getting smashed and wet. Leave the documentation to me and just be in the moment.
Sold, so how do we book you?
Great! You can contact me via my contact link above in the header. Try and give me as many details as possible such as where you will be riding, for how long, how many people, your budget etc and we can start planning how to best way to document this once, twice, maybe thrice in a lifetime journey!
My third motorcycle, and at at that point the most expensive vehicle I’d ever purchased. A Suzuki DRZ 400S. The stock tires, aka Death Wings, were notoriously bad on the dirt let alone in the snow.
The guys I rode with around Abbotsford in BC. Most were DRZ owners.
My fourth bike, a Hyosung Comet GS250 Naked, a pretty hardy bike that never let me down.
For my fifth bike, I upgraded to the Hyosung Comet GT650R. This was the largest and fastest bike I had ever owned. Sadly she suffered from random electrical issues, namely complete power failure at a certain heat. She would usually come back to life after a short rest and a push start, then overheat a few minutes down the road again…
I rented this Honda XR 200 in during my Moalboal diving trip in the Philippines.
How my bike sees me. Experimenting with camera rig and slow shutter speeds on the Hyosung GT650R.
There’s no better riding season than fall in Korea. The boys and I decided to take a trip from Iksan to Uljin. We spent a solid 5.43 hours, moving time, traversing 422.8 km of twisty South Korean roads, reaching speeds beyond 194 km/h and gaining over 5000m in elevation.
My mom visited and was surprisingly at ease ripping around Korea on the back of my sport bike!
Wishing I could ride my 2007 Hyosung GT650R after a minor snowboarding accident.
Washing a 2007 Hyosung GT650R
Burning off my old tire on a 2007 Hyosung GT650R
Took a moment to stop and smell the flowers while ripping around Geoje on a 2007 Hyosung GT650R
My sixth bike, a 1997 Hyosung RX125 that I picked up for 300 bucks and affectionately named The Blender because he sounded like one. This is the first time I had ever owned TWO bikes at the same time and the feeeling was sublime!!!
Just the two of us on a snowy day in Haemi – 1997 Hyosung RX125
Ripp’n Up The Reservoir on a 1997 Hyosung RX125 after a full day of teaching.
Taking a spill for the camera on a 1997 Hyosung RX125.
Between teaching classes at Hanseo university I would dodge out with my tripod, lighting gear and remote triggers. I liked the contrast between formal attire and Blender, the beater franken-bike.
When cherry blossoms erupted I knew it was time for a pink suit. This was an incredibly challenging self portrait because the new laser trigger I setup didn’t work nearly as well as I had hoped.
Shortly after marriage I was , errr, “encouraged” to sell off my bikes. I managed to negotiate retention of The Blender. Now and then when I needed a little power and agility in my life I rented the BMW 1000RR. What a rocket!
Brandon and I exploring Bohol in the Philippines on Honda 200 XRs.
The Hyosung RX125 was fun in the mountains but it just lacked the power, engineering and reliability I needed to take on more challenging rides and improve my skills. Enter my seventh bike, a used 2007 Honda CR125 and MY FIRST TWO STROKE!!! I had always wanted to try a two stroke and it was every bit as OFF/ON as I had read. What an incredible feeling it was to go from riding a bike that felt like an old sofa to this finely tuned racing machine.
Even the snow couldn’t keep me off my newly acquired 2007 Honda CR125.
Riding the 2007 Honda CR125 using a sound trigger to activate the camera.
For the first time in my life I had three bikes to choose from. My enduro RX125, dirt oriented CR125 and now round the world worthy BMW 1200GS Adventure I borrowed from my buddy Steve. Decisions Decisions! Never had I had three bikes to choose from! A huge thanks to Steve for lending me the bike. Sadly I had to return the BMW after three days.
On a separate note, the image above was taken on my very first camera and lens, an entry level, 6-year-old, 8mp Canon 350D with a Sigma 18-200 f3.5 – 6.3 attached. This body is ancient by today’s standards and you would never find the lens on ANY serious photographer’s wish list. But look at the image quality! You don’t need to drop 3,000+ dollars on a camera and glass to get good results, you just need a decent subject, some creativity and great lighting.
I rode Steve’s BMW1200 GS to Anmyeondo in record time and setup this selfie.
Steve let me borrow his BMW 1200GS Adventure AGAIN for a little trip with some buddies.
Bad to the bone. Greg Timlin on his 1997 VF750 Honda Magna.
Typical Korean country side with a BMW 1200 GS Adventure to make it even nicer. Korea has some of the best roads I’ve ever ridden both from a scenic and technical point of view.
My friend Brandon of 28 years called me up and said, “Want to go to Mongolia?” I replied, “Hell YA”. We rented ten dollar a day Chinese made 150cc Mustangs in Ulaanbaatar, strapped down our gear and rode in the direction that looked most interesting.
Brandon and I played rock, scissors, paper to see who would cross water first. When it was dry you could see many roads and drainage areas had trenches that were meters deep from washouts so you often had no idea if your 150cc Mustang was going be engulfed by a ditch or not.
Good thing we had the 150cc Mustangs and not some BMW or KTM because no one would have had the knowledge or parts to fix them.
Minibar: Water, Juice, Gasoline & Vodka. We learned early in our trip that water is NOT abundant in the Mongolian country side and thus you should probably carry some! I was quite proud of the storage system I rigged out of yesterday’s punctured inner-tube. I cut it into long strips which essentially created bungee tie downs. They were the easiest, strongest and most flexible way to carry ANYTHING on the bikes.
Much of the time we felt like we were on another planet.
Mongolia, possibly the only place left in the world that you can explore unimpeded by fences and property lines. We only ever checked to make sure we would get to gasoline at some point, we didn’t care much for roads which is a good thing because there aren’t many in Mongolia.
A typical scene when riding in Mongolia. The cool part is you might pass through three or four totally different terrains in just one day.
We made it to the top of ANOTHER mountain! What was on the other side? NOTHING! Time to ride to the next horizon!
Many times I told Brandon, “Hold up a minute, I’m going to see if I can ride up there!” It’s amazing how well the 150cc Mustang handled the terrain I threw at it as long as you were willing to go slow and steady.
I’m not sure if this was a legit Kawasaki. My friend Brad organized the bike for me while I was shooting his wedding in China. Remember, when in China, set off fire crackers!
Mom’s extremely generous neighbour lent us this 250cc Kawasaki on Mother’s Day. I took her out for a leisurely ride around the neighbourhood.
A 2017 847cc Yamaha MT 09 I rented for the day to scout out cherry blossom photo locations in Seoul.
I was impressed by the power of the Yamaha MT 09! Sadly the frame was a little too small for my 193cm.
Popping wheelies on the Yamaha MT 09 I rented with a facial expression that says “I hope I don’t crash this thing!”
Now I want to go on a bike trip just so i can have your awesome documentation.