As we reach the end of one year and the beginning of another, it is only natural to look back at the recent past with more than a little bit of fondness. To date, we’ve listed the best news, most watched videos, most anticipated motorcycles for the upcoming year, and the editor highlights, running the gamut from empirical to emotional choices. Now, we will delve again into the collective psyches of the MO staff in the form of each editor’s favorite MO-produced videos for 2016.
So, what did the esteemed MO editors choose as their personal favorite videos? Ironically, it was the smallest bikes we tested in 2016 that provoked a tussle over who would get to select a particular video as their choice. Burns went all ’Murican with his selection of guns, ammo, and premium unleaded. After that, it was all streetfighters all the time – which makes sense. Naked bikes offer the most real-world fun that can be had per dollar (or was that per cc?).
It was a cool, Fall morning when we filmed the opening sequence of our Battle of the 125c Ankle Biters video, but running around a children’s playground in full leathers and a helmet is still hot work – especially when the director/editor, James Martinec, demands three or more takes of the same sequence. The end result was worth all the sweating as the video captures the true side of MO – a bunch of adult-size children who long ago threw away any hopes of a real career for the opportunity to ride motorcycles as a way of earning a living.
All too often these shootouts get so serious about which bike is better and why, and sometimes we lose sight of the fun factor. That was nearly impossible with this group of Grom-size minis. While we did shake ’em down, fill out a Scorecard and proclaim a winner, I don’t think we had more fun doing so on any other shootout this year, and fun is the reason for doing this in the first place. –Tom Roderick, Content Editor
Tom wasn’t the only one who loved this MO video. Troy was mightily peeved when he found out that Tom had claimed this video as his favorite. Also, even though he wasn’t actually there for the shoot, our Editorial Director, Sean Alexander, says this one feels like MO was always supposed to feel… It’s fun yet informative, irreverent yet relevant. Sean wishes they could all feel like this one.
Frankly, I strenuously avoid watching videos especially if I’m in them, but if forced to pick one, this chronicle of our little bagger comparo shot by Adam Campbell and edited by Sean Matic is one of my faves. Actually there’s a whole ’nother vid that’s the actual comparo, but this one includes us bustin’ caps at Springfield Armory’s test range, and of us getting the tour through Springfield’s factory and Indian’s engine plant a ways up the road in Wisconsin. Harley wouldn’t let us in their Milwaukee plant, so we strolled through their excellent Museum instead. It’s all kind of My Summer Vacation, minus all the deep-dish pizza and other mass quantities we consumed along the way. Burrp. –John Burns, Senior Editor
MO’s been creating motorcycle videos longer than perhaps any other moto publication, but we’ve come a long way since duct-taping a tape-based video camera on a fuel tank. I believe that’s fully evident in the last video we published in 2016, with footage shot in high-resolution 4K, inspiring drone shots, exciting riding clips, and tighter-than-usual dialog. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that the subject matter includes some of the best sporting streetbikes ever made. Kudos to our friend and fellow rider James Martinec, who shot the video, flew the drone, and performed all the editing. Bonus points for sweetening the audio and keeping it balanced among four speakers and three types of microphones! –Kevin Duke, Editor-in-Chief
Yamaha’s FZ-10 really stole my heart the moment I threw a leg over it at its intro, and that feeling was backed up when we put it against some of its contemporaries in our “Yet Another Streetfighter Shootout.” The FZ-10 sounds stellar, is a great handler, and comes equipped with a monstrous mid-range punch I can’t get enough of. Those are all points I make in this video. What you don’t see in the video is my friend, and occasional MO video creator, Sean Matic, who came along for the ride to The Tail of the Dragon to help shoot this video. He worked his butt off getting all the shots, capturing the sound, piloting the drone, and just overall making me look somewhat presentable. It’s no easy task, but he pulled it off and was a pleasure to be around, too. When you’re lucky enough to have a great bike to ride, an awesome location in which to ride it, and a fantastic crew (of one) to work with, it makes picking a favorite video of 2016 pretty simple. –Troy Siahaan, Fanboy Editor
Riding a half-dozen naked sportbikes from Los Angeles to Laguna Seca for the World Superbike/MotoAmerica weekend and back, what could possibly go wrong? Well, one of the bikes took naked a bit too far and decided to show up for a 700-mile brawl without much tread on the rear tire. (A pox on whatever publication performed a tire-destroying burnout on the Gixxus and didn’t inform Suzuki when returning the bike.) And this was only the first day of riding fun.
Once we had new rubber mounted, we continued our three days of riding on some of California’s best roads. Having some of MO’s parent company staff fly in from Toronto to join us on the ride only added to the fun factor. Finally, if that weren’t enough, we got to hang out in the famed Burns man-cave/garage to discuss the fun – a feat I performed with a 101° fever before crawling into bed for two days. Editorial Director, Sean Alexander, summed up our experience the best when he said, “We had so much fun doing this one, amazing roads, great curves, incredible scenery, the perfect mounts. I try not to hog all the good stuff and only participate a couple times per year… this one was a great escape from the office for me.”
So, what did we learn? These bikes are wheelie fun on winding roads through the bleached brown – occasionally burned black – landscape of California’s central valley. They also make for great tools for eating up the miles, despite the fact that they offer minimal protection from the elements. Or you can just ignore all of my babble and simply crank up the volume and listen to the Aprilia’s sexy V-4. –Evans Brasfield, Associate Editor