By Victor Wanchena
Motorcycle travel documentaries can be hit or miss. Some are a fascinating window into someone else’s adventure while others are just boring video clips from someone else’s vacation. This month’s movie review is definitely a window into a big adventure. Motonomad is the work Adam Riemann, best known for his work as an Australian moto-journalist, and chronicles a daring dual sport ride into the war torn Mid-East.
Filmed during 2013, Motonomad follows Adam and co-rider Mark Portbury on their trip from the KTM factory in Austria to Egypt. The distance, route, and going unsupported is laudable, but isn’t new territory. What makes the trip infinitely bolder is the backdrop of the rising tensions in the Mid-East.
The film begins with Adam and Mark picking up a pair of 500 EXC’s in Austria and beginning the prep work. After departing KTM headquarters in Mattighofen the pair find out how hard it is to find off-road riding in the home country of KTM. They push on through Eastern Europe through Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria and into Turkey. In Romania they attempt to follow some of the Red Bull Romainacs Enduo course. They push on to Turkey and begin to feel the tensions of the political turmoil. All land routes to Egypt are blocked by war or civil unrest, so the pair get their bikes ferried across the Mediterranean to Alexandria, Egypt.
Once on the ground in Egypt they confronted with the reality of filming and traveling in a chaotic country. They pull off an unauthorized ride past the pyramids and then push on into the lawless Sinai region. Daring to say the least.
The filming well done especially considering the entire film was done without a film crew, and the scenery throughout the film is very grand. It’s all shot first person using GoPro’s, a camera equipped drone, and hand held video cameras. It’s even more remarkable given they carried all of this on two dirt bikes along with the gear needed to ride and camp for several weeks. Adam provides some narration throughout the film.
I thoroughly enjoyed Motonomad, and was impressed by the quality of the production. It wasn’t poorly stitched together helmet camera footage. The film combines pure adventure aspects of a movie like Mondo Enduro (MMM June 2008) with the high quality production of Dust to Glory (MMM Winter 2007). Look for a review of the sequel, Motonomad II, in a coming issue of MMM.
Motonomad is available through digital download for Motology Films (www.motologyfilms.com) for $20 or $30 on DVD.