January/February 2005
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Touring and Travel Articles

Crossing the Delaware

Crossing the Delaware

The Delaware River was treacherous with ice on Christmas night 1776 when General George Washington led 2,500 Continental Army soldiers across in small boats during a snowstorm. A bold and dangerous mission, but one that quickly led to a stunning victory over the British and Hessian soldiers occupying Trenton, New Jersey, it revived the morale of a nascent nation struggling for independence. Today, I'm crossing the Delaware River in warm, bright sunshine, riding my mechanical steed along the historic paths followed by the Father of Our Country.
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Shamrock Tour® - Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Shamrock Tour® - Eureka Springs, Arkansas

My destination, Eureka Springs, an authentic nineteenth-century resort tucked away in the Ozarks, is 992 miles away. While on my way and passing through the Smokies, it was 37 degrees and sleeting. The next afternoon in Arkansas, it was 92 and bright. Quite a contrast, and it set the tone for the next few days.
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Alaska

Alaska

Tired, I stumbled into the airplane. Heading for Seattle on a BMW K 1200 GT, I had left Spokane at five o'clock in the morning. Four hours later, I spotted the city skyline, made for the airport and eventually fell into my seat totally worn out. Only a buzz of excitement about seeing Alaska could keep me awake. Our Boeing takes off. Seattle, the ocean and the many islands disappear behind a white curtain of cloud. And in a sense, so did I. The next thing I know, a flight attendant announces our landing in Anchorage. I had slept the entire flight.
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High-Country Idaho

High-Country Idaho

One of the most absurd advertising taglines ever conceived to appear on a license plate has to be the one chosen for the drivers in Idaho: "Famous Potatoes." Arguably, the Gem State contains the highest concentration of eye-popping scenery in the US, with its soaring, snowy mountains, plunging canyons, and roaring, raging rivers - and the best sales pitch its boosters and marketing folks could come up with was...famous potatoes?
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Egypt: Eventually, All Roads Lead to Egypt

Egypt: Eventually, All Roads Lead to Egypt

With a disdainful smile, the Libyan frontier official hands our passports back. "You go back to Tunisia," he sneers. Uwe and I exchange stunned glances. This cannot be...

Just a fortnight ago, when launching this five-year trip around the world, all of our friends and family members had serious doubts about our prospects. "Two greenhorns like you will never make it through the desert," and "You'll be home, defeated, within a month" were among their milder assertions. Stuck here on the border, we couldn't help considering the embarrassing possibility that these bitter predictions might come true much sooner than anyone had thought.
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Riding the Royal Road: Australia's Princes Highway

Riding the Royal Road: Australia's Princes Highway

The Hume Highway is a one-day straight shot of superslab, notorious for the fleets of truck convoys thundering over its tarmac, their drivers reputedly addled by sleep deprivation and amphetamines. Aussie bikers call it the "Gloom and Doom," and avoid it like warm beer.Then, there's the Princes Highway, a two-day ramble around Victoria's rolling farmland and the coast of New South Wales. Though it too has its challenges - wildlife incursions and indifferent surfacing, for example - the Princes easily persuades riders to take their time and smell the roses.
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Southwestern Wisconsin

Southwestern Wisconsin

As the miles roll on across the Southern Wisconsin countryside, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that agriculture is big around here. This fact is certainly not lost on my wife Kathy, occupying pillion. Each time the large fields of stock change, she announces it through the Air Rider communicator. To the tune of the Monty Python "Spam" song, she chants, "Corn, corn, corn..." or "Cows, cows, cows..."
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Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Call me crazy, but I have this firm belief that motorcycles should be on a trailer for only two reasons: mechanical issues and the absence of a license tag. If you want to ride somewhere, ride to get there. This goes for scooters too. When I told people I was planning to ride a Kymco Grandvista 250cc scooter to Charleston, SC, they looked at me funny. When I told them we were going two-up, they called me crazy.
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Motorcycle Reviews

Aprilia SL 1000 Falco

Aprilia SL 1000 Falco

It's a moment that all of us here at RoadRUNNER hope never happens. Any day now, our friends at Aprilia USA will be ringing us up, making the dreaded call to let us know they want their Falco back. It will be tough to part with it, but we know that this brazen bird of prey is destined to hunt elsewhere.
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Suzuki's Boulevard Showdown

Suzuki's Boulevard Showdown

The Suzuki Marauder and Volusia are both 800cc cruisers. The similarity pretty much stops there. They share the same V-twin heart, yet these brothers in wheels have chosen to travel down different lanes of the cruiser boulevard.
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Piaggio X9 Evolution 500

Piaggio X9 Evolution 500

What a way to start a trip. My first flight delayed, I have to change airlines, go through the 'special interest' security screening, endure a two-hour layover in Dallas, and when I land in Los Angeles, I have to ride a scooter. How bad can it be?
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What's in a Name?

What's in a Name?

Aprilia's 500cc model, the Atlantic, is impressive. Its modern looks and great performance convinced me I could easily go on tour with a scooter. I like the old-fashioned look of scooters and so I was really excited about getting to test Aprilia's latest retro- styled scooter, the Scarebeo 500, and to see how it stacks up against the Atlantic.
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Also in this issue ...

  • Getting Ready for Europe Riding [Read]
  • The Alps and Dolomites: Curves, Curves, Curves [Read]
  • City Portrait: Boston, Massachusetts [Read]
  • Group Riding [Read]