Episode 106: Inna Thorn & Tim James from Backcountry Discovery Routes

Welcome one and all to Episode 106 of Chasing the Horizon!

This time we’re talking with two guests, Inna Thorn and Tim James, both of whom work for Backcountry Discovery Routes, better known as BDR. Be sure to check out their website at ridebdr.com, where you can see what BDR has to offer as well as buy their maps, documentary films, stickers and more. As Inna tells us in the discussion, they also have a number of social media outlets, so be sure to listen in.

This episode opens a new chapter for Chasing the Horizon, and we’d like to welcome webBikeWorld (and its sister sites) to the fold as our official news partner. Going forward, we’ll be relying heavily on wBW for links to our news items. Check them out, as well as Motorbike Writer (especially handy for listeners in Australia), Motor Scooter Guide (if you’re into scooters & such) and Return of the Café Racers.

The news this time around kicks off with an ironically named Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak Edition; it’s ironic because the Pikes Peak race organizers have banned (permanently?) motorcycles from competition because a motorcycle rider (on a Ducati) died in 2019. That’s not the only new-ish bike in the news, because Suzuki is back (as I predicted they would be) with an updated version of the Hayabusa.

Much like Sturgis in 2020, the organizers of the 2021 Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida, are insisting their event will take place. We’re all sure attendees will obey social distancing requirements.

Inna Thorn, somewhere on the California BDR.

Daytona was made famous for its races, so be sure to check out some big racing news. Loris Baz, a MotoGP and World Superbike competitor, is coming to America to race a Ducati, and FIM announced a world championship MiniGP series for 10- to 14-year-olds to act as a pipeline to the international pro circuits. The kids will all be riding identical Ohvale GP-0 160 motorcycles, putting the emphasis on skill rather than technology.

In electric motorcycle news, the biggest thing going on is Harley-Davidson’s announcement they’ll be spinning off their electric motorcycle division into a new company. Unfortunately, there aren’t any details, but you know we’ll be following this story.

Tim James … probably not lost.

Crowdfunding is reaching deeper into manufacturing, and two examples of different ways that’s happening is US-based Curtiss Motorcycles and India-based Amber Automotive. (By the way, I’m kind of guessing at the expected price of Amber’s Alpha – if you want to know how to count Indian money, use a primer like I had to). No matter how you buy into electric motorcycles, if you’re in the USA, this might be a good time to do it, as the US government decided to extend the tax credit on electric motorcycles into 2022.

The easiest, bestest way to support Chasing the Horizon is by joining the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America. Digital memberships are $39 a year and traditional memberships are $49 a year; each come with a wide range of member benefits, including access (digital or in your mailbox) to BMW Owners News, the MOA’s monthly magazine. You also get access to one of the best roadside assistance programs for motorcycles available (sorry, only applies to the US), become eligible for a $250 motorcycle training scholarship every year, up to $750 off a new BMW motorcycle and much, much more. Join today!