Name: Tom Myers
Home: Seattle, WA
Occupation: President, Touratech USA
“I learned to ride at the age of 10 on the Big Island of Hawaii. We lived on the outskirts of Hilo, so I rode all over the sugarcane fields. From there I started racing motocross, advancing to the 125cc Expert class, but I quit when I was 18 to attend engineering college. I started racing hare scrambles and enduros nine years later in the state of Washington, working my way up to the AA level. I still race about once a year, and do pretty well in the Over-50 class.
“In the mid-’90s I was invited to the Cascade 800; a multi-day, off-road camping ride in Washington State. Casey McCoy—a member of KTM’ s Dakar team at the time—came along as well. Long-distance, multi-day trail riding and camping became a passion, and with that I started CycoActive, manufacturing dual-sport products and specializing in GPS-related equipment. From there I took over Touratech USA in 2001, where I got my introduction to BMW’s big GS models.
“In ’09 I rode across Oregon, following the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route. One of our riding companions was Helge Pedersen on his BMW HP2: a limited-edition model made only for ’06. Riding alongside Helge on an F800GS, I envied the way his HP2 soaked up bumps, accelerated out of corners and carried all that camping gear so well. Finally, there was a relatively lightweight version of the venerable R1200GS with long-travel suspension—I had to have one! Soon after, I bought an HP2 with only 3000 miles on it.
“I’ve added a 9-gallon fuel tank since then, along with a set of Touratech ZegaPro aluminum panniers, setting it up similarly to Helge’ s globe-trotting machine. While it lacks some of the long-distance comforts of the R1200GS, along with the extra safety of ABS, the lighter package is a better fit for my favorite roads. Its agility, balance and torque are second to none. I entered this bike in RawHyde’ s 2010 Adventure Rider Challenge, negotiating everything from a climb studded with railroad ties to mud and sand with only one dab, which resulted in the top finish. In the summer of 2010 I rode the inaugural Washington Backcountry Discovery Route, spending seven nights camping in the woods. This summer I’m looking forward to filming a documentary about riding the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route.”