January/February 2008
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Touring and Travel Articles

Tour of the Week: Williamsport, PA  -  Round Trip

Tour of the Week: Williamsport, PA - Round Trip

Like most American kids, I had my baseball heroes. The exploits of Roberto Clemente and Brooks Robinson inspired me to pick up a glove and take to the diamond. Though the mitt eventually gave way to a soccer ball and dirt bikes, I always managed to tune in to ABC's coverage of the Little League World Series from Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
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Shamrock Tour® - Sturgis and Deadwood, South Dakota

Shamrock Tour® - Sturgis and Deadwood, South Dakota

The biker hordes have yet to arrive for the annual Black Hills Motor Classic Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. I have this majestic and surreal landscape mostly to myself for the next several days to explore. Buttes, bison grazing on rolling grasslands, the infamous town of Deadwood, South Dakota, historic highways and much more await my motorcycle meanderings through America's northern Great Plains.
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RoadRUNNER's Five-Country Europe Tour

RoadRUNNER's Five-Country Europe Tour

The dog days of summer have slowed life to a crawl, with seemingly endless triple-digit temperatures scorching everything in sight. As I ride home after dark, even the sliver of moon hanging low in the early evening sky is on fire. Battling traffic, impatiently waiting for lights while inhaling hot fumes, I start daydreaming about my upcoming trip to cool Alpine passes, clear mountain lakes, roads twisting through pine forests, and stays in small, family-run hotels that serve fantastic cuisine a short walk from a comfortable room.
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East Africa

East Africa

The horizon is pink and yellow and purple and we are airborne, high above East Africa. Our destination is close - Mombasa at the Indian Ocean. Some 200 miles south of the equator in northeastern Tanzania, we see the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. The rising tropical sun catches the flanks of the mountain, and glaciated Uhuru, Africa's highest peak at 19,340 feet, shines a bright orange. The highlands of Tanzania and Kenya stretch to the west and north, and the Massai Steppe to the south. Rivers swollen with dull water snake through lush vegetation and the green squares of the fields. We are to discover these are not rivers, but the roads we will be on today. The rains were unseasonably late this year, and although it is already the end of May, the land is still flooded.
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Along the Trans-America Trail

Along the Trans-America Trail

After surviving the unexpected floods in the Utah desert caused by the most rain the area had seen in the last 60 years, Jeff and I are on to the next, and hopefully drier, state of our cross-country motorcycle adventure.
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Burke's Garden, Virginia

Burke's Garden, Virginia

Years ago, Kathy and I met a fellow rider while touring the Virginia mountains. As residents of Asheville, North Carolina, at the time, we thought one of his tales was unusually curious. It seems that the beautiful location of our city's crown jewel, the Biltmore Estate, was really tycoon George Vanderbilt's Plan B.
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Touring Southern West Virginia

Touring Southern West Virginia

The history of West Virginia, the only state established as a result of the Civil War, is defined by its location and geology. Allegedly split in personality, it has simultaneously been called the most southern Northern state, the most northern Southern state, and the most eastern Midwestern state. Seceding from Virginia during the Great Rebellion, grounded in Appalachian ways, and covered end to end with treed, tumbling hills, maybe West Virginia does remind one a bit of all those other regions. But for many others, riders particularly, it stands alone beyond compare.
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Motorcycle Reviews

Triumph Rocket III Touring

Triumph Rocket III Touring

Back in 2004, Triumph rocked the motorcycle world with the christening of the shockingly large Rocket III. Even in a cruiser arena crowded with machines flexing motor muscles measuring 1600, 1800, and even 2000cc, this big bad Brit crashed the V-twin party with a titanic triple kegger that emphatically pounded the pavement with nearly 300cc more than the nearest competition.
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BMW F 800 GS

BMW F 800 GS

With the long-awaited F 800 GS travel enduro, BMW Motorrad intends to continue their mastery of on- and off-road motorcycling. Power for this latest Bavarian offering comes from an 85 horsepower, liquid-cooled, vertical twin derived from the F 800 S/ST models.
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2008 Kawasaki Versys 650

2008 Kawasaki Versys 650

In dictionary terms, a system consists of a number of individual parts with particular attributes combined in appropriate relationships within a specific environment. The idea is that the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts - and once we got together to ride the roads in the hills above San Diego, I wondered if this definition would hold true for Kawasaki's cleverly named Versatility System motorcycle, the Versys?
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2007 Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod

2007 Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod

The term "power cruiser" seems an odd, oxymoronic descriptive. Cruising, by its general nature, implies taking one's time and embracing a heightened level of relaxation that allows for an in-depth exploration of the aesthetics of the ride, or a quick trip down to the local watering hole, whichever comes first. Whereas power (i.e., velocity) seems an element that should sit on the cruising priority list somewhere between the taller sissy bar and chrome gas cap.
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KYMCO's Xciting 500 Scooter

KYMCO's Xciting 500 Scooter

The Kwang Yang Motor Company's roots in the powersports industry can be traced back to the Taiwanese company's founding in 1963. Today, it manufactures over 500,000 motor scooters, motorcycles and ATVs each year at five plants in Asia, and exports products to over 70 countries. KYMCO USA, headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina, serves over 600 U.S. dealer locations.
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Also in this issue ...

  • The 2007 BMW MOA Rally [Read]
  • Motorcycles - Hobby or Passion? [Read]
  • Motorcyclist Down! [Read]