Desert Riders Motorcycle
Adventure Touring Video
Available From: Adventure
DVD (£12.99), 75 minutes with extras
Filmed on location.
When I was but a wee tyke, I'd occasionally get shunted to my
Grandmother's house on a Friday night whilst my parents did
whatever parents did for fun in the 1950's (which I think
involved playing cards and eating "Welsh Rarebit" with the
"Normal" kids would have been glued in front of the
tube, watching Howdy Doody, but not me. Grandma
had a dusty bookshelf in the living room, full of what I
now realize was one of the most eclectic collections of
books within 50 miles, I'm sure. I have no idea
who the bibliophile was in the family, but tucked away
between "Beowulf" and Bill Mauldin's "A Sort of a Saga"
were several volumes by Richard Halliburton.
Very few probably remember Halliburton today, but he
was the King of travel writers in the last golden age of
I now proudly display his books on my shelf, and I
still can -- and do -- highly recommend them to any
inquisitive 12-year-old. If there are any
12-year-olds left that still actually read books, that
Of all his adventures, Halliburton's travels in the
desert were my favorite, and his writing imbued in me a
lifelong fascination with the arid and massive geography
of North Africa.
Which is why I was so taken by the scenery and
photography in Desert Riders, the latest release
by our modern-day Halliburton, Chris Scott. You
may recall our review of the
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook, the "Bible" of
off-road adventure touring, also written by Chris, along
with his many other books and videos documenting his
off-road and off-beat adventures around the world.
One of the tests I've come to rely on for general
interest motorcycle videos is to invite
non-motorcyclists over to watch. If they enjoy the
video, then it's a success. Such is the case with
Desert Riders, which was filmed in "broadcast quality"
video; I was surprised at how well received it was by
non-riders. But I shouldn't have been, because
parts of the video were also picked up by National
Geographic and were shown on their TV channel to
The quality of the video and camera work is
excellent, a definite step above the typical adventure
touring DVD. The basic plot is somewhat
predictable, as adventure motorcycling videos go: three
British adventurers take Honda XR650L's deep into the
desert of North Africa, on a 6,000 km trek through some
pretty incredible terrain, and very far from any type of
help if thing go awry.
Food and fuel were buried in drops set up in advance,
in the tradition of Ralph Bagnold's Long Range Desert
Group of World War II British Army fame. Except
they used the stars to navigate in WWII, not hand-held
Nevertheless, it's a great story, as long as it's
understood that the video is not meant to provide the
technical details for desert motorcycle travel, but to
provide an all-around great travel adventure to an
audience of motorcyclists and non-motorcyclists alike.
Remember that the holidays are upon us -- if you're
having trouble thinking of a nice gift for your
motorcycling friend or family, this would make an
Review Rating System |
Reviews Home |