January/February 2007
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Touring and Travel Articles

Connecticut: Cruisin' the Constitution State

Connecticut: Cruisin' the Constitution State

Despite being one of the most heavily industrialized states in the nation and occasionally being derided as nothing more than a "suburb" between Boston and New York, Connecticut has plenty of attractions and sites of historic import, as well as some beautiful and scenic roads to offer the avid traveler, as I would discover on a meandering two-day trip through the Constitution State.
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Shamrock Tour® - Bardstown, Kentucky

Shamrock Tour® - Bardstown, Kentucky

In many places, life is governed by stressful, pell-mell routines. Rush-hour traffic, get it done yesterday, I need that on my desk by five - now move, move, move! No wonder there always seems to be an underlying need to escape. That's why many of us ride. Out there, somewhere down the road, maybe, just maybe, we'll find that special place where time streams more slowly from hidden springs.
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Alaska: A Ride Under the Midnight Sun

Alaska: A Ride Under the Midnight Sun

The sign is in bold black letters, and reads: "Stop. Authorized vehicles only." So we stop. We are in an Indian reservation called Mentasta Lake. Riding on the Alaska Highway from the Canadian border, we were heading southwest from the town of Tok on Hwy 1 until we came across this turn-off onto a lonesome, narrow, side road. Promising! It's 10 p.m., and still early enough by Alaskan standards to find a place to pitch our tent. The phenomenon of the midnight sun makes one day seem to last forever, a nice change from the hectic world we left behind. Up here, in the great north, we have not yet come across anyone complaining about not having enough time. It's the beginning of July and the sun never really sets. An abundance of light and sun does the weirdest things to your inner clock. Last night, we found ourselves wide-awake at three in the morning and craving a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs.
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Iceland: Reykjavik and the Golden Circle

Iceland: Reykjavik and the Golden Circle

On the basis of its name, you'd expect Iceland to be swathed in snowdrifts and its shores locked in a frozen sea. But thanks to the warming influence of the Gulf Stream's ocean currents, the coarsely serrated coastline that looms through swirling clouds in the window of my Icelandair Boeing 757 appears mostly green.
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The Flight of Davis and Lee

The Flight of Davis and Lee

From the beginning of the American Civil War, "On to Richmond" became the rallying cry of Union troops. The Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 was a turning point in the war, and the bulk of both armies eventually entrenched and fought around the cities of Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia.
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Peru to Ecuador: In the Footsteps of the Incas

Peru to Ecuador: In the Footsteps of the Incas

The cobalt blue waters of Lake Titicaca are dotted with fishermen in their reed boats. At an altitude of 12,628 feet, the air is crystal clear. White clouds hang low over the red and brown hills of the Altiplano, reflected in the mirror-like surface of the lake. Irrigated maize and potato fields line the shore. Low, mud-brick houses with glinting tin roofs break the carpet-like pattern. Plumes of wood smoke rise from their chimneys. Indian women in bowler hats and vividly colored traditional garments, with woolen blankets draped around their shoulders, spend the morning herding their llamas.
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Wyoming: Of Prairies, Peaks, and Pronghorns

Wyoming: Of Prairies, Peaks, and Pronghorns

Loneliness must have come to the rolling hills of southern Wyoming just to get away from it all. It liked what it saw and settled down. And we can feel it trying to grab hold as we cross the treeless landscape, rolling along over the smooth surface of Highway 191. The empty miles continue to spool away in easy bends that tempt my throttle hand to urge us over the next rise toward anything that might resemble home. But out here all traces of civilization have vanished and only the occasional notice from a pronghorn antelope bears witness to the passing Gold Wing.
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Around the Delaware Bay

Around the Delaware Bay

Hot humid weather makes the conditions for this day trip less than ideal, but I hardly notice any discomfort. My 1989 Honda GB500 single is sending lovely vibrations throughout my body as I rumble through one of the most historic areas in America
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Motorcycle Reviews

2006 Triumph Scrambler

2006 Triumph Scrambler

When you get away from all the facts, figures, and statistics, you have to admit that one of the most compelling reasons for riding a motorcycle is that it is just plain cool. Catering to this rationale, the new 2006 Triumph Scrambler is not going to win any performance contests or long-distance-riding awards, but it is without a doubt one of the coolest new motorcycles to hit the streets this year.
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Suzuki's Six-and-a-half

Suzuki's Six-and-a-half

In the 1960s, when I first got interested in motorcycles, 650 was a number heavy with significance. It had special connotations of power and speed. Royal Enfield's oddball 692cc Constellation notwithstanding, a 650cc was the biggest, most powerful bike you could buy in England. Vincent had gone to the wall, the side-valve, 1000cc, sidecar haulers of pre-WWII days were extinct, and while there may have been some big Harley imports, I'd certainly never seen one on the road.
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Breaking the Mold

Breaking the Mold

The view from the top of the "steepest road in Texas" is, well, OK. San Antonio lies out there somewhere in the hazy distance, as an early October sun pegs the thermostat at 90+ degrees. Riders from similarly "mountainous" states - like Kansas and Delaware - may be impressed, but as soon as I've chugged down a bottle of water, I'm ready to go.
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2006 Aprilia Tuono 1000R

2006 Aprilia Tuono 1000R

In recent years, the Aprilia product line has been stacked end-to-end with truly inspired bikes such as the Tuono, the Mille, and the no longer domestically available Futura, that dominated the top slots of many an enthusiast's "if money were no object" list.
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Conveniently Cool

Conveniently Cool

There's something fascinating about the lore and lure of San Francisco. Think Steve McQueen catching air in his '68 Mustang and Dirty Harry demanding to know if luck is in the offing...Well, is it? And let's not forget about Alcatraz, Lombard Street, Chinatown, Haight-Asbury, and Coit Tower. Very few places truly exemplify the rigors of urbanity more than the vertiginous City by the Bay. Maybe that's why Suzuki chose a flat site, Fisherman's Wharf, as the meeting place for a bunch of journalists ready to take a little scooter ride.
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Also in this issue ...

  • The Case For Camping [Read]
  • Snow Job: Riding in Winter [Read]