About Road and Trail

Welcome to Road and Trail. My name is Randy, and I created this website to share my experiences with, knowledge of, and perspectives on, motorcycles and motorcycling. The name "Road and Trail" was chosen to reflect that the website focusses on both road and trail riding from a recreational aspect (laidback and fun). I created this website because of my long running passion for motorcycling. I don't make any money off this website or YouTube - it's a hobby, not a business. I also have no sponsorship - I pay for everything out of pocket. (It would be nice to earn a little bit just to cover some expenses, though.)

This website launched in July 2021. It replaces another motorcycle website that I created and ran for a number of years: Motor Sport Rider (motorsportrider.net). I've shut down that website.

Harris Creek Road - Home Road

Currently there are three main types of content on this website consisting of BC motorcycle rides, motorcycle reviews and motorcycle servicing, but there's some additional content too. I've also recently started posting videos on YouTube.

The BC motorcycle rides that are documented here include paved (mostly) roads and dual sport / adventure (varied surfaces - gravel, dirt, mud, rocks, some pavement). There is some overlap in these ride types. For example, the dual sport / adventure rides may contain sections suitable for street bikes as well as sections that are suitable for dirt bikes. The paved road rides are predominately pavement, but some may contain short sections of good gravel road. Consider all the information when deciding if the ride is suitable for you and your bike. Often you can choose to ride just a portion of the route. I don't consider all off-pavement riding the same as off-road riding. In the future I may add a third ride type, "trail / off-road", limited to FSRs and trails.

Although the rides that are documented on this site are all in the southern interior of British Columbia, I have ridden in other parts of BC as well as in Alberta and in a few of the north-western US states.

The bike reviews are mostly of bikes that I, or family members, own or have owned, but a few are of bikes that I have only test ridden. I make the distinction in the review.

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Now, a little bit about me...

I started riding over 40 years ago. I'm a recreational rider. I ride solo quite a bit, exploring backroads, forest service roads and trails. I also enjoy riding the twisty, scenic secondary highways. I usually try to avoid the main highways. I've done a number of multi-day motorcycle trips. I also frequently ride with my wife and kid. In the past, I would often commute by motorcycle, but these days I don't ride in the city much except to get out of it.

I have owned several motorcycles over the years including dirt bikes (ex. MR175, XR200, XR200R, CRF250F), dual sport (ex. DR350S, KLX250S, DR650SE, CRF300L ...) and street (ex. 550 Seca, NT650, VFR750, V-Strom 650, ...). I have owned many others, and I have ridden many more. My current bikes include a 2010 Suzuki DR650SE, a 2022 Honda CRF250F and a 2023 Honda CRF300L.

I perform most of the maintenance and repairs on my (and my family's) motorcycles, and I have done so for many years. There's a certain satisfaction in doing the work yourself, and you can save yourself quite a bit of money. A lot of the maintenance tasks are not difficult. My advice is to get the factory service manual for your motorcycle and get some decent tools, including accurate torque wrenches if you don't already have some. Other than taking shop classes in high school, I have no formal training in servicing vehicles. My knowledge comes mostly from experience and reading service manuals, although I've searched for and found some good information online (you have to be critical of what you see on the Internet, though). I've also had several poor experiences with having dealerships perform work (including PDI and warranty work) on our motorcycles in the past (work not done correctly or damage done), so that's another reason to maintain your motorcycles yourself.

Career-wise, I worked in healthcare for almost a decade before going back to university and making a career switch. I then worked in software development for many years.

My kid on a CRF250F, Aberdeen Plateau, near Vernon BC
My kid on a CRF250F, Aberdeen Plateau, near Vernon BC

Some thoughts on buying new motorcycles...

Like most of you, I buy motorcycles that I want to ride and own. I don't buy motorcycles solely to create content like some YouTubers do. I'm also on a budget, so I have to consider value when making a purchase and the cost of ownership. Sometimes I have difficulty choosing a bike because there's nothing available that I really want or the prices are too high (or not within the budget I set), so I end up weighing the pros and cons of the bikes that are available, and conclude that my current bike is perfectly adequate and put off the new bike purchase until next season.

I was planning on buying a new motorcycle last year, maybe even two, but I became put-off by the whole bike shopping experience. The inventory for the bikes I was interested in were low (or sold-out early regionally), and the out the door prices were sky-high: MSRPs keep going up and the added fees are outrageous! One dealer wanted $2090 in fees (+ tax) for a Tenere 700! I also got a quote for a 2023 KLX300: $9300! Here's another example (Jan 2024): $1588 in fees on a 2024 XT250. Tell me that isn't greed. None of the dealers that I contacted were willing to negotiate except one which was willing to take $100 off. Used bike prices have also been pretty high the last few years for the most part, and in BC we still have to pay 12% sales tax on them. With improving motorcycle inventories, maybe (hopefully) we'll see some more reasonable prices; on the other hand, maybe not as there always seems to be a lot of people with no shortage of money and a willingness to spend it. I have been seeing more rebates and extended warranties being offered recently, so that's encouraging.

I'm not willing to pay additional dealer markup in terms of high fees even if I really want a particular motorcycle. I am willing to pay a fair price, though (MSRP + reasonable fees). Paying high dealer fees just encourages dealers to raise their fees even more. It's gotten totally out-of-hand. For a non-current bike (model and/or year), or if it's near the end of the riding season, I expect the price to be discounted, otherwise I might as well buy the next model year.

I hope you like the website and find it useful.

Have fun and ride safe,
Road and Trail

Green Mountain Road
Green Mountain Road near Penticton, BC