TMF’s Frequently Asked Questions:

Why do you always say “Hey Kids” at the start of a video, it’s condescending and I’m not a child?

Ah well to be honest I do somewhat regret using that phrase now as it has given me nothing but grief! It was originally intended as a quirky catchphrase opening to my videos (which in truth I stole from another You Tube channel called “Old Man Triple” – go check him out!). I gave no thought to the fact that in these politically correct days it could cause me trouble. I thought it was just a fun way to open my videos and I know from my marketing background that people love a repetitive catchphrase and it, and other repeated phrases I use, are what people come to know and expect from the channel. I have experimented with not saying it at the start of videos and I always get complaints in the comments for dropping it. If I leave it I get (fewer) complaints about me addressing, let’s face it predominantly middle aged men, as “kids”. So my view is to hell with it, I like it, it’s staying! Out of interest I also stole “Stick around and stay tuned” – that came from Del Boy’s Garage (and Del has kindly told me I can keep the phrase!) and “Until next time, this has been the …..” came from a talented young Vlogger who stopped making videos some years ago and I can’t even remember his name!

Why don’t you have any reviews of “such and such” a bike?

I can only ride and review bikes that are available to me. Please bear in mind I am not a professional journalist, just a fella in his garage who likes motorbikes the same as you! So I don’t have a way to borrow certain bikes and don’t (yet) have many contacts in to the motorcycling industry that can make certain machines available to me.  This is changing as the channel expands though so hopefully, in time, there won’t be such glaring gaps in my review coverage.  All that said, I will continue to try and ride older and classic bikes (because they’re fun!).  I have had the chance to ride some older bikes and if you search on my channel you will find them.

When are you going to review some second hand/older/classic bikes?

I’d love to review some older bikes, be they a decade old or a hundred years old! The issue is that I’m just a normal private individual like you and have no special way to get hold of bikes to review (I don’t have the network of contacts that say bike journalists have, although over time I’m building some!). I have tried to get some older bikes to review through my “Readers Rides” series but this is logistically very difficult to do and quite time consuming to set up.

You seem to like all the bikes you ride, why don’t you ever say bad things about a bike?

Well the truth is that most new bikes these days are good! I do try very hard to be objective in my bike reviews and if I can, try and point out the negative aspects as well as the positive. Trouble is the negative aspects don’t always become evident on a quick test ride! …when I get to keep a bike for longer I can do more in-depth reviews, and it is in these videos where I always list the pros and cons….

Why don’t we see you on bike launches?

Several reasons, firstly I don’t regard myself as a motorcycle journalist (I’m just a bloke who likes bikes and likes making videos…I’ve never claimed to be an expert, I’m just an enthusiast). I think part of the appeal of my channel is that I am just an ordinary bloke and “ordinary blokes” don’t get invited to bike launches! Secondly the journalists that go on launches get paid by their respective publications to go and so it is worth their while, if I went , it would take at least 3 days of my time (for example) and I would make one video out of it – in that time normally I can make two or more videos – I also wouldn’t get paid for the time, so in short, it wouldn’t be good use of my time. Thirdly whenever these launches take place there tends to be a rash of videos from the various publications and vloggers all showing the same locations, bikes and in some cases shots….those guys will always do a more professional job than me, I’m not actually that great at producing flashily edited videos (you may have noticed!). Fourth reason is that I’m not a great rider, often these launches involve testosterone charged track days and they simply aren’t my thing, nor is hard core off-roading or pulling wheelies on the road. Fifth reason, I make TMF for fun, and the idea of sitting in a Powerpoint presentation for half a day hearing why a new spirving bearing effectively reduces side fumbling in a bike isn’t what I call fun. Sixth reason, I like my own bed. …and last but not least – I very rarely get asked to go on launches (I wonder why!!!), I can think of only three to date, all of which I’ve turned down for the reasons stated. Does this make me a bad person? Doesn’t stop me feeling a bit miffed though when I see manufacturers invite other You Tube vloggers and much smaller motorcycle channels to launches and not me – can’t win can they!!!

In your kit corner reviews you never say anything bad about the products you review, why?

This isn’t strictly true but I do take the point. I only review kit that I genuinely have used for a period of time and rate myself as good. One of the good things about having a You Tube channel is that often manufacturers do send me items for review, and often for free, if I get something which I think is rubbish (and it happens quite often!) then I tell the manufacturer so and ask if they still want me to do the review….surprise surprise they normally say “no”! I’m aware that my channel does have influence and I’m not in the business of impacting other people’s businesses negatively, if I would give a mostly negative review I always give the supplier the option to veto my review for this reason.

What is your day job?

Well I guess these days you could say being a YouTube creator is as that’s what I spend the vast majority of my time doing, although sadly it’s not how I make my full living – although the income from things like sponsors, Patreons and Google advertising is very helpful and without it I could not continue to produce the channel…I make half a living through YouTube.

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What is your real name?

Andy, pleased to meet you.

What are your favourite bikes?

See my “Top Bikes” list….although this changes from day to day!

What camera kit do you use?

I use a Nikon D700 DSLR with various lenses for filming in my garage and for livestreams, I use a GoPro Hero 4 for capturing video and audio on the bike and a GoPro Hero 7 black for pieces to camera when I’m out and about.  I’m always changing various elements of my kit and the current equipment at any time is listed below the videos I post.

How do you get such good sound in your on bike videos?

See my video “ How to set up your helmet for motorcycle vlogging” here >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld34m5CR9sQ&t=41s

How much does You Tube pay you?

In my case I seem to get about £1 for every thousand views I get on a video, but this varies according to time of year, video subject, and so on – more of an art than a science. Being a small You Tuber isn’t a good way to get rich!

How long do you spend making videos for your channel?

Actually making videos doesn’t take that long – say it’s a bike review where I ride a bike from a dealer on a test ride, a typical “first ride” type review. That might take 30mins to set up on the phone/via e-mail, an hour of prep for me to learn the spec of the bike, 3 hours to get to the dealer and film the review and get home, 3 hours to edit and another hour to upload and optimise. Then say another 30mins promoting the video on social media. So overall about 9 hours for one of those videos. In depth reviews take far longer, kit reviews a bit less, biker scran longer, trips and tours waaay longer and so on – it varies by video but that’s a rule of thumb for me.

The stuff that takes most of my time are the bits you don’t see – answering hundreds of e-mails, YouTube comments, Facebook messages, Twitter comments and Instagram comments every day. Posting on social media. Developing upload schedules. Arranging interviews. Arranging trips and tours, accommodation and travel. Finding and negotiating with sponsors. Monthly invoicing and book keeping. Researching videos. Analysing view performance. Writing for MCN and this website, etc, etc. I tend to start my day answering messages from overnight at 7am and usually finish around 11:30pm – I reckon I spend 12 hours a day, 7 days a week running my channel. It’s much more work than it looks, is far more demanding on my time than any “proper job” I had previously, and to make a go of it you really have to like all aspects of it.

If you could only own one bike what would it be?

Easy – My BMW GS. Not the most exciting bike in the world but to date it’s the best do-it-all bike that is pretty good at everything that I have found.

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