RideApart season finale: Weekend adventuring with the Triumph Bonneville

Dailies, TV -



What does it take to go on a proper motorcycle adventure? Does “proper” always mean weeks of preparation, loads of gear, huge budgets, a giant touring machine and far-away destinations? Determined to prove otherwise, Jamie Robinson hops on a modern Triumph Bonneville cafe racer with no more than a Kriega bag, a Butler map and 48 hours to get out of LA and as lost as possible in the back roads of the Giant Sequoia National Forest. RideApart returns Q4, 2012.

  • Joe

    Will that Kriega fit a helmet?

    I’m looking for a tailbag for my Bonnie that won’t require the big ugly rack that Triumph offers.

    • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

      Not the US-30, but the 40 should.

      Confirmed: “In 40-litre size it is deep enough to carry a full-face helmet.” the 40 extends by way of zips from 30 to 35 to 40, but i don’t know if you can fit it on the back as-is. It’s not in the US range, but the KS…

      • Joe

        Cool thanks, that looks like it might just fit a jacket too. Not having to lug all my gear around would be awesome.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

          Joe, you should take a look at the PacSafe 80 anti-theft bag if you want to leave your riding gear after you get off the bike. I used it for the Sierra trip on the 990, it packs down to nothing when not in use and now I swear by it.

          • Joe

            That might be just the solution I’m looking for. Thanks Grant! I can only get this type of help on HFL haha

  • d3fun

    Thanks HFL. I really enjoyed rideapart.

  • Devin

    It was good, but it felt as much as a video on how to go camping/site seeing by a guy who happened to be on a motorcycle.

    I would have loved more insight about how the Bonnie fared once he got off the road some. Was he slow and scared the whole time or was he able to keep a good clip without issues. We watch him get some air so either he was just gunning it just for the shot or it was doing alright.

    I really liked the series and hoped that it gets renewed for a season two.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Jamie grew up racing MX before moving on to 250 Grand Prix and the Isle of Man TT. As such, stuff like “slow” and “scared” aren’t really relevant here. He’d tell you the bike was easy peasy to get in the air, the front was only washy a couple of moments and anyone should be able to go fast in the hard-pack dirt and gravel roads on worn out street rubber. Personally, I never listen to that kind of advice if I want to make it out alive.

      We’re already scheduled for season 2. Meeting about this afternoon, in fact.

      • RWerksman


        Even just more about the motorcycles that are involved. Year, modifications, general insite about it, etc. Help us connect to the machine as much as the adventure on it or to the feeling it produces.

        Otherwise – fantastic episode. I can’t wait for more.

        • Wereweazle

          I agree with this. I kept waiting for a rundown on the bike as it clearly wasn’t stock and looked well worn. The headlight cage, arrow pipes, drop bars, etc.

          • http://www.twitter.com/wessilerfanclub Sean MacDonald (the other Sean)

            they used my bike. here is a list of the mods i’ve done. the bike is also for sale if anyone is interested.

            arrow exhaust w/fuel remapping
            airbox removal kit
            k&n air filters
            c02 blockoffs
            down a tooth on the sprocket
            new chain
            new front suspension
            fender eliminator kit
            new signals
            fork gators
            cafe bars
            rock grille on headlight
            steel braided brake lines

            the rear tire is a little larger than stock, but mostly because it’s what the dudes at BA Moto had in stock when i needed a new one.

            • wwalkersd

              I would have been interested in buying it, but it’s clearly been abused, what with all this off-roading stuff. :)

              • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

                Haha, I’m going to assume that you’re taking the piss.

                If I can ride my GSX-R1000 through hours of muddy, rocky fire trail in the rain, then I’m sure a Bonneville can handle a few hard packed dirt trails. :)

            • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

              That Bonneville sounds like all kinds of fun! I was wondering what mods it had… cheers for that info!

  • http://www.twitter.com/wessilerfanclub Sean MacDonald (the other Sean)

    bunch of hipster nonsense

  • Jericho7

    The stars at 5:50 are unreal. Great choice of bike for a primal getaway such as this.

  • Roman

    Best rideapart yet!

    Sorry couldn’t help it. Seeing Jamie tear up that dirt road on a cafe’d Bonny makes me feel like a crappy rider.

    • craymor

      ah-men, the way he was sliding around, I’m not even talking about the jumps….

  • ike6116

    Will there be a season 2?

    Also, I’ve watched more than a couple shows where brits make their way through America, it’s always striking to me how they seem to know how to be American more than a lot of Americans, in the sense of just talking to locals and giving themselves over to the road. I suppose that stuff comes easier when you’re european, you get more vacation time and travel more regularly. Camera crew probably doesn’t hurt either.

  • Jon B.


    I’ve got my Ural Solo now, and I am itching!

  • paulo

    Well that works for me !

  • David Dawson

    Nice to see someone else able to go camping without the entirety of the Touratech catalog strapped to the back of their bike. Great way to finish the season.

  • mmike

    Hell of a little trip. I need to get out more.

  • nymoto

    awesome episode – you film it Grant?
    if so what were you riding?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Nik was behind the lens, riding his DRZ400SM, I was on the KTM 990 Adventure.

      • Devin

        It sounds like you adopted the 990.

  • Campisi

    May we now consider the personal failings that have led us to live in places removed from such beauty as this.

  • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

    That episode was really good i think it did a good job capturing what an impromptu road trip looks like. This one will surely speak equally to us and to non-bikers.
    I know it gave me the urge to get my bike and take off.

    Also, Wes, youtube commenters are praising your absence in this one, that’s pretty harsh. I have to say Jammie does do a good job though, and he surely is one hell of a rider.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m something of a controversial journalist thanks to what I do here on HFL and do/did elsewhere. For lack of a better word that means a handful of “enemies” that treat it like their job to show up any place I’m mentioned and try to disparage me. Wish I had that kind of free time. But yeah, Jamie’s wayyyyy better at presenting the show than I am.

      • ike6116

        Im not trying to be a contrarian cunt here, though I know my recent comments may seem otherwise however I actually kind of missed Wes presenting. No knock on Jamie, he’s a great addition to be sure, his riding skill and british charm alone are more than enough however there are times when he sounds like he’s reading lines he’s told to say.

        Wes you are much better at matter of fact delivery and really kind of driving the show. In Top Gear terms, I’d put you as Clarkson, Grant as May and Jamie as Hamilton.

        • $Lindz$

          Pretty great analogy, ike. As entertaining as Top Gear is for 4 wheel stuff, Ride Apart is quickly becoming for moto content. I’ve said it in person and I’ll say it again Wes, totally awesome.

      • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

        Yeah, haters gonna hate.
        I do hope you’ve got your share of on screen time in season 2, the TG analogy is right in what partially makes the show great in my opinion is the difference in caracters and styles.
        I’d love to see an episode on sportsbikes with NYCF for instance (but that may be too controversial for youtube and night shooting could be a bitch).

        Anyway, keep up the good work yall.

        • contender

          Jamie lacks any sense of being polished for the camera. I love this series; its the first online video series I’ve ever followed. But Jamie comes across as a guy that is on camera simply due to his love of motorcycles and ability to get along with others that share his love. Not that I am lacking for not seeing it, but who else would strip down to skivvies on camera just to enjoy that swimming hole?

          Wes has all of the two-wheeled love, but it sometimes comes with a bit of (hollywood?) polish/posturing. I very much enjoy segments involving both, but Jamie’s enthusiasm seems a touch more more pure sometimes.

          Or maybe the accent just wins me over. I don’t know.

  • Tommy

    Funny how I just had almost the exact same weekend. Did you guys take the 190 to get to the land of 100 giants? That road was nuts!! Soooo many turns in so little time, all super tight. It was the most work out i’ve ever got riding a bike on the street.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Yep. 190 is a special road, isn’t it?

      • Tommy

        Hell yea it is. Worked me and I loved it. Definitely going back soon!

  • Coreyvwc

    YES, YES, YES!

    • Coreyvwc

      Thanks guys, my Laguna seca road trip just gained another stop!

  • rvfrules

    Really enjoyed this vid, well done. Reminds me of a ride I did in ’84.

  • Ceolwulf

    Good work Jamie. You made me want to do every single thing you just did.

    Looking forward to the next season!

  • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet

    excellent message at the end. It’s all about the experience.

    • Strandbum

      Yep. Have enjoyed all the episodes but this one strikes the closest in taking a timeout and enjoying nature. E-mailed the link to a buddy who’s interested but still on the sideline. Perhaps this will win him over to take a MSF class.

  • kinsler

    This was my favorite episode. I’d love to see a rough map and estimated travel times. I think that talking about bikes as a tool rather than an object made it very interesting.

  • Wolfgang Romero

    Amazing episode. I wonder what is that big project you’ve mentioned you are working on.

  • The Blue Rider

    Every time my bike desire leans towards “bigger” and “more expensive”, I need to come back and watch Jamie tear shit up on a Bonnie with a big soft backpack on the tail.

    You guys have a knack for showing off everything that’s fucking great about California, too. I’ve never been there, but I can see why people go.

    Campfire, booze, and the (metal) horse hitched nearby… It’s like the 19th Century, but with better stuff. :)

  • Good Thomas

    great episode! as much as i’d love to have a fully-farkled gs adventure, i and most the rest of us don’t have the budget for it. this is the kind of adventure riding i do with my friends – standard bikes with butler map and sleeping bag bungie-corded to the back seat. beautiful paved roads and some dirt-gravel roads on triumph speed triples. i don’t even have the nice kriega pack. who needs to spend hundreds of dollars on gear! especially enjoyed the way the focus was not strictly on the bike itself; the bike is not an adventure in and of itself here, but a vehicle through which to experience the adventure. thanks!

  • 10/10ths

    You guys are the living embodiment of the Aerostich catalog and its philosophy.


    And +1 on The Blue Rider’s comment.

  • Robert

    Great job HFL and all contributors! Have enjoyed every episode and looking forward to more!!

  • Johndo

    Awesome work. That bonny sounds awesome! Great video footage…this is what motorcycles are all about!

  • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

    My heart hurts after seeing this. Thank you for adding a thing to my bucket list.

  • John Elliott

    Good work guys, great filming, awesome location and Jamie is such a great character, superb rider and squeals like a girl when he jumps off a rock.

  • wwalkersd

    I loved the video, as usual. But, “season finale”? What exactly constitutes a “season” in online video? Does this just mean you’re taking the rest of the summer off? How long will we addicted folks have to wait for another episode? Will there be reruns? :)

    It sounds like Jamie, at least, took Aerostich’s book “Lightweight Unsupported Motorcycle Travel for Terminal Cases” (http://www.aerostich.com/aerostich-lightweight-touring-book.html) to heart. Unless Grant was carrying tons of Jamie’s stuff on the 990.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      A channel is a channel, regardless of which device you’re using to watch it. Seasons exist to enable channels to dole out budgets, create variety in programming and allow for the needs of production schedules and whatnot.

      That’s a great little book btw.

      • wwalkersd

        OK, Wes, but you still haven’t said what delimits a season. Is it just an agreed-upon contract period, or does it follow some kind of convention like broadcast TV seasons?

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          13 episodes, one a week = a quarter year.

          • wwalkersd

            Wow, it’s been 13 episodes already? Time flies. So you do follow the industry-standard some-multiple-of-13-weeks rule!

            Now, when’s the next one? And how do you monetize these things on YouTube, anyway?

            • Tony T.

              Youtube is footing the bill. Might be why there aren’t any lead-in ads to skip over.

  • amanlikemike

    Now, THAT is what it is all about.

    Leave ‘em wanting more.

    Bravo, lads!

  • Corey

    This was probably my favorite so far. Well done. Cheers for a great series and season guys!

  • Justin

    i really enjoy the rideapart videos.

  • nick

    This is one of my favs so far. I love weekend rides like this. It makes me hate the fact I’m locked up to my desk right now…

  • Tony T.

    Makes me think I need to strap a sleeping bag to my seat and take off to the Tillamook State Forest. Your series has really evolved this season and I can’t wait to see what you do next.

  • Filipe

    nice job, guys. silly question: what steadicam rig did you guys use on this?

  • Coreyvwc

    I was wondering if you guys had any issues bringing the bikes up to the campsite on Dome rock? (Johnny law & angry hippies?)

  • Joshua Prince

    Loved every frame of this. And loved the music. Wes (or anyone), what song was that at the beginning and end of the episode? Tried Shazaming, but I think the Bonnie exhaust braaap rattled the song genie.

  • Matthew Mason

    Favorite video so far, and great season overall. I definitely like the local color and culture aspect of the series. Keep it up!

  • Archer

    Those stars. Damn.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

    Outstanding all around. This episode was a fantastic end to the first season.

  • RT Moto

    Awesome episode!!! Really enjoyed Ride Apart as a whole. Watching the show evolve over the course of 13 episodes has been fantastic! Can’t wait for the next season and the content it brings us! Great job getting it done!

  • http://moto-mucci.blogspot.com/ Moto-Mucci

    Was that a Jetboil you were using in the morning? Amazing trip, really digging these episodes guys.

  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    I tell you what – Jamie made me want a big burger right now!

    Sweet video! Looking forward to RideApart Season 2!!

  • Justin Watts

    HI I was wondering if you could list the mods done to the bike? By the spokes it looks like the standard Bonny, but it looks like clip ons and not standard bars? The bike is a bute…can you please list the mods?

  • Anup Sethi

    grt stuff……