1.Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
It might not be a surprise anymore that I’m called Leonoor (hence the LNR handle) and that I’m a fellow Dutchie. A bit lesser-known information about me is that I was born in January 1990, have no history whatsoever with motorcycles. I only passed my license when I was 28 and my first job within the moto world was at a rental company in Amsterdam.
I prepped and inspected the rental bikes and also did some basic maintenance on customer’s motorcycles. I’ve been photographing since I was 13, but it kind of went silent between 16 and 23. I only started picking up my camera again when I bought my first motorcycle and it turned out to be the best decision ever.
It eventually grew my freelancing existence as a motorcycle photographer and storyteller under the handle LNR Creations. In my job I combine motorcycles with as much riding and traveling. But that niche focus has only been there for a year. Before that I took on anything I could: automotive, interior design, landscapes, and portraits. Now more recently, I renamed my IG handle to LNR Moto and added a YouTube channel and a website. The main goal is to inspire other motorcycle riders to go out there and to document my own adventures in the motorcycle world. I’m nowhere near a professional videographer, but getting creative with something that I really wanted to try and challenge myself? Oh yes!
2. You are traveling on a Ducati Desert X at the moment. Why did you choose this motorcycle?
The moment I saw the Ducati Desert X presented as a concept bike on the EICMA in 2019, I instantly fell in love. I said to myself, if it will be produced one day and I’m able to buy it - I will. At that time, I had (and still have) my Monster 821, but the adventure bike segment grew on me rapidly in the following years. Word got out that the Desert X would be available in 2022 and July 9th was the day I could pick it up at my Ducati dealer in Amsterdam. Probably my happiest moto-day of 2022!
I chose this model because of its capabilities of traveling comfortably, and having off-roading options and that I could take all my gear with me in a more convenient way. After a ride on some of the latest generation Ducati’s at the end of 2021 (same engine) I was hooked. Only thing I was quite worried about was the seat height as I’m “only” 1,67m. But I ordered it anyway and then the long wait began.
3. What do you like most about the Ducati Desert X as an adventure bike?
The combination of the whole bike really. The great dosage of power and torque, a more upright seating position, being able to ride 10 hours a day and still have energy after. The lines and looks of course and also having the option to take some non-tarmac roads (not so comfortable with the Monster, yet doable). It’s just a full package of awesomeness, and I was looking at a bike where I could adventure on, yet travel in comfort and style and it is truly the perfect fit for me. Well, with a lowered seat already installed and very soon a lowering kit that is.
I could easily ride it without these mods, but I prefer to have a bit more feeling with the ground when standing still. When it’s lowered, I’m also planning on taking on more off-roading. But more about that later.
4. Did you do any modifications to the bike, and if yes, which ones and why?
I actually have a pretty big makeover coming up very soon, because mid-February the X is getting disassembled. It will get a completely new look and more accessories (among other things a full system exhaust and more protective parts) will be installed and repainted. I’m really excited to show the new design!
I currently have fitted a sub frame for side panniers, the alu panniers, crash bars, a lowered seat and DIY’ed some tank pads. Not the biggest changes, but with the timespan I had after picking it up at the dealer the second week of July, the difficulty of getting accessories in time worldwide last summer and fitting it into a busy workshop calendar, you can understand I was extremely happy I could start travelling.
I had a 6 week journey through Italy, Spain and Switzerland planned on the Desert X, leaving on July 18th. If my Desert X hadn’t arrived in early July, I would’ve had to cancel everything and make new plans for traveling with the Monster. I just wanted to ride first and I could adjust everything after.
5. You have just been to the Canary Islands, what was it like riding a motorcycle there?
One word? AMAZING. I love a good view while on two wheels and you’re treated with lots of them on Gran Canaria! The tarmac is in excellent condition, there are many windy roads and with great weather all year round, it’s truly paradise for any motorcyclist. I got some awesome routes and information about nice lunch spots and other points of interest from the rental company.
I even met with some local riders who I’ve been talking to for a long time on Instagram. It’s no punishment to ride roads multiple times, because I guarantee it’ll be different each and every time. The landscapes are super diverse; you’ll ride through canyon-like sceneries and shortly after you can be riding in luscious greens. And don’t forget the amazing switchbacks on the 605 road with views towards the North Atlantic Ocean. I could talk continuously about the great spots the island provides, but you’ll just have to check on my channels later!
6. Which country in the world is the highest on your list to explore by motorcycle and why?
I’m really having a hard time deciding which one to put on top. There is so much on that list, and following your journeys for the past years has made me question every one of those destinations. There is just so much to see out there! Where do you even begin?
Europe is already beautiful and I definitely haven’t seen everything yet, but I’d also love to explore beyond the European borders. So, two countries outside the EU that are ranking high for now are Australia and Canada. From what I’ve seen the landscapes are insanely beautiful and I could really enjoy myself riding, photographing and videoing there. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be able to ride there with my own Ducati!
7. What is the next adventure that you have planned?
The next planned motorcycle trip is Tenerife in March. For the upcoming year, some plans have already been locked in my agenda, but as the season is slowly starting again, I’m also leaving my agenda open for many more trips and events to come as I’m sure they will!
Next to planning new trips, I’m also taking on a new adventure content wise. I have started a ‘Through the lens’ series on YouTube where you can follow me adventuring and I show you how I shoot some of my photographs while doing so. That means climbing, wrestling myself in unnatural positions to take amazing photos. I am hoping to leave you in awe and to get you inspired to go out there as well. Or just enjoy the nice scenery I encounter.
I was playing with the idea of a continuous series on YouTube and wanted to dedicate it to my main job: photography. After I got back from my trip to Spain and Andorra December 2022, I worked out some options. But I couldn’t make content afterwards of course. It left me with quite some gaps in the storytelling for that Andorra video, but I still edited and published it as a try-out. In Andorra, I wasn’t thinking about talking details while photographing, filming it at the same time and I also didn’t want to fill a video with only voice-overs after.
I needed a new workflow, because photographing is already a lot of work, but adding video is finding a completely new way of doing my job. And, yes, lots of more work. While filming the second video in Gran Canaria I tried to pay attention to more details. This included recording way more footage than I could use in this series. Learning by doing has now already left me with plenty of new ideas of how to edit and shoot on the spot next time. I love to get creative like this and the videoing is all quite new to me and pretty different from photography. It does however come in handy to have the eye for composition, lighting etc.
8. You are a very talented photographer. Do you have any good tips for taking good motorcycle photographs?
For me personally there are so many ways to take amazing shots. I follow many photographers and they all have their style. Many have put a gigantic number of hours into developing this style of shooting and editing, me included. Some general tips I could share are;
- Always be alert of your surroundings. Paying attention to composition and removing annoying details out of the shot could make or break that photo. It’s better to remove things out of your frame beforehand, instead of photoshopping it out. Saves you so much time! That doesn’t mean I don’t shop a bit here and there, because some details are just inevitable. But firstly I always check if I can reposition myself to get those details out of my frame.
- Learn to shoot manually. I shoot around 90% manually, always. It forced me to learn how to work with my camera. I’ve been doing this since my first DSLR and as you can see in my work, I use what was really there. No nifty cloud layers inserted or other unnatural bonuses via editing programs. Learning how to manage your shutter speed, aperture, ISO and other important settings will not only give you more insight in how your camera works but also how you can make your surroundings work to your advantage.
- Try to avoid repetition. You see it happening a lot, people who only pose their bike in one way. It’s the easiest but also the least challenging way of photographing in my opinion. It tends to get boring to look at, so play around with your composition, take a risk, and include stunning backdrops if you have them. Work with what’s given. It can refresh your images.
- Focus on something else. Playing with your camera’s depth of field (via aperture) could give you amazing shots; you could also play with focusing on backgrounds instead of the subject. For example: I have a motorcycle with a mountainous backdrop, so I position that bike in the foreground and focus on the backdrop. The bike will appear blurry in the photo. This way your eyes will first look at the mountain and it gives you a different and surprising perspective from what you’re used to. It’s like you’re there in the scene looking at the mountain and enjoying the views. Which I do - a lot.
9. What is your most valued piece of equipment that you wouldn't travel without and why?
This is a no brainer, of course that would be my camera! It’s my passion and my job, my life really. It became such a huge part of me in the last decade, that if I don’t have a camera with me while traveling nowadays I feel naked and incomplete. Collecting my memories in this way is what truly makes me happy. Now with the whole video journey it comes to life even more and I’m excited to be putting out more perspectives.
10. Where can we follow you and read/watch more about your adventures?
If you would like to see more motorcycle content and/or want inspiration for your next destination you can continue to click on these links:
Hello Noraly. I found your channels just a week ago, and I've been devouring the astonishing and somewhat overwhelming body of work you've done. I poked around when GoPros first came out (as a cheap little Chinese camera in a waterproof case) and persisted through a number of camera iterations doing videos of the myriad of interests and projects I do (ADHD unleashed). I finally determined I hated editing and gave all my cameras away--a reasonably huge collection by then.
Your work inspired me to give it another shot, so I took both your basic and advanced courses. I've done a quick first pass, watching just the videos, and now I'll plod back through, taking notes and actually doing the challenges. I'm on my way to Costco this morning to pick up whatever the current version of GoPro might be.
I've been riding motorcycles since I was 16 (I'm 76 now) and I have a silly accumulation of bikes since I'm terrible at selling them on when I get something new. I think I have a reasonable set of skills to assemble into a cohesive bundle--I've got drones, in fact, I was part of the loose association of open-source coders and builders who created the early drones. I have a ridiculous number of them, the clumsy, early ones I built myself (some even run my own crappy code) up through a recent Mavic Air and a totally silly Aspire with all the expensive goodies that my wife gave me for one of my many birthdays. I've built numerous blogs, understand writing (wrote a few books) and marketing (I retired from an advertising agency I co-founded), I'm a decent but undisciplined coder, I build electronic stuff, love riding offroad and on, and do a number of weird watersports. And I'm a pretty good amateur chef. I did mention the ADHD, eh?
That long intro serves mostly to explain why I thank you so much for sparking another interest. Some people will say that's the last thing I need. But at this age I need all the inspiration I can get to keep my brain and body going--and you've given me a remarkable boost. I doubt you'll have the chance or the reason to read this, but I'd be remiss if I didn't say how much I appreciate you and your work.
Noraly.......why are you so quiet???? Looking every day to see a new post!!!! Hope you are OK!!!!! Missing you and Alaska!!!!
Are you off to AUS & NZ, this is the question? :)
Look at you, Noraly; the interviewee becomes the interviewer! And promoter of the like-minded. Fantastic! In my mind mankind is becoming far too disconnected from Mother Earth - a universally perceived feminine "hitching post in space." What better way to help us all reconnect to Earth (and see other cultures) than to view it through the lenses of women riding outside of containment on two motorized wheels?! I love that you are promoting variations on your theme like LNRmoto. Please keep riding and doing what you do for as long as you can keep doing it!! And I hope Leonoor's work blossoms with the same vigor as yours. You can bet that I'll be viewing!
I really enjoyed the rescue of Alaska from the port in Germany. My guess is your back in Africa to finish visiting as many safe countries and you could, since travel with Savannah was limited to those just adjacent to SA. The bet on the thaw in Alaska is going to be interesting. How time flies since you were there.
More behind the scenes if possible for supporters would be one of my favorite things.
She has some good shots and she laughs a bit like you., too.
I came across Leonoor's channel a few weeks ago in my YouTube recommendations, so it's awesome that you've featured her here on your blog. I love watching how vloggers creatively and uniquely share their stories, and Leonoor with her specialty in photography is no exception. All the best to you ladies! Much love from Texas.
Thanks so much, Naomi:)
I have a Ducati Multistrada1260S which is fantastic. I have been thinking hard about the Desert X for easier off road riding. It has the same engine as the SuperSport that I previously owned. I think it is an excellent engine with adequate power. Unlike Noraly you have a motorcycle that is great on paved roads as well as in the dirt. If she had a Desert X, maybe she wouldn't complain about pavement and obsess about dirt. Your Gran Canaria video is a fine example of thrilling rides on twisty mountain roads.
I’ve heard a lot of good things about Ducati’s (never ridden one). Light, but good handling and comfortable bikes. I’ll have to watch your (Leonor) YouTube videos to see how it performs, and obviously your (Leonor) adventures.
As a prediction, I expect somewhere down the line, the two of you will meet up, perhaps at a rally. Best wishes to both of you for the upcoming year!
Photograph and videography the one two punch in sharing adventure travel stories. Thanks for these tips on photograph. I’m alway in awe of those that get the great shots. Of course it doesn’t hurt that you have the super nice Desert X to include in as many of the shots too. An impressive bike for an impressive photographer. Thanks Noraly for featuring LNR. Looking forward to following along.
It's a pleasure!