Moto 'vloggers' spread the joy of motorcycling

By Simon Waters

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Auckland moto vlogger Marty Glover (front) meets up with fellow motorcycle vloggers in Whanganui.
Auckland moto vlogger Marty Glover (front) meets up with fellow motorcycle vloggers in Whanganui.

They do it for the love of motorcycling.

And the friendships, even though most have never met.

They are Moto Vloggers - motorcycle enthusiasts who ride around with video cameras on their helmets and make You Tube videos.

"Think of it as a dash cam for your bike. Some of us just add music to the videos we produce, others of us add commentary as we are riding," David Coker, a Whanganui moto vlogger said.

Mr Coker met with three other moto vloggers in the city yesterday. Despite having been friends for over a year he has never before met Marty Glover (Auckland), Chris Nielsen (Hamilton) and Ian (surname withheld) from Palmerston North.

"It's surreal. I feel like I know these guys so well already. We speak most nights on the internet. Yet this is the first time we have met in person."

All four have You Tube channels with odd names where they post their videos - nzbeeker, Volgnit, Kiwi Badger and Black Sheep Biker.

Their videos are free to watch and have attracted a worldwide audience.
"Many of our subscribers are from overseas - USA and Europe in particular," Mr Glover said.
New Zealand's top moto vlogger, Tank Girl, has more than 25,000 subscribers. "That's tremendous but still small fry compared to vloggers in the US - some of them have 800,000 plus. And they do it fulltime. It is theoretically possible to make a living," Mr Coker said.

"I think my You Tube earnings are up to about $3 - so we definitely don't do it for the money here in NZ," Mr Coker said.
While there appears no shortage of viewers, there are only a handful of moto vloggers producing videos in New Zealand.

"Moto vlogging is growing in popularity - especially overseas - but for now there are probably less than 20 of us in New Zealand."
Asked why they do it Mr Glover said it was for the joy of motorcycling and to interact with people from throughout the world. "I have many friends in countries I doubt I will ever visit but that does not stop you making good friends through You Tube and Facebook," Mr Glover said.

So is it dangerous to make videos while riding a motorcycle?

"Not as dangerous as driving a car while on a cellphone," Mr Nielsen said.

That said they do not advise new riders to take up moto vlogging until they are experienced at handling their motorcycles.

"You don't want to be thinking about anything other than the roads and the traffic.

"But once you are an experienced rider there's really nothing to it. You don't have to fiddle with anything once you turn things on and if you do a commentary it's not much different to talking to a passenger in a car," Mr Nielsen said.

There are dangers, however. As with all motorcyclists, moto vloggers are constantly on the alert for car drivers talking on cellphones. "Sorry I didn't see you holds little water when you're six feet under," Mr Glover said.

Some moto vloggers even send their camera footage to the police when they capture drivers talking on cellphones. "I hand out flyers that help explain how dangerous it is to use a cellphone while driving," Ian said.

Aside from a motorcycle, an old action camera and free software will get people started in moto vlogging. But the sky's the limit for those who get bitten by the bug. Second, third and more expensive cameras and microphones can be added for different shots and better videos.

"We are all just amateurs. None of us pretend our videos are anything other. But we enjoy what we do and surprisingly so do plenty of other people," Mr Glover said.

Mr Coker, for example, has produced several videos showcasing Whanganui and district to tourists, and his channel attracts more subscribers every month.

All four moto vloggers have said they will produce videos about their North Island adventure, including footage of their time in Whanganui.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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