January/February 2009
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Touring and Travel Articles

Shamrock Tour® - Bryson City, North Carolina

Shamrock Tour® - Bryson City, North Carolina

Remember recess? It was every kid's refuge from the old three Rs. Fresh air and freedom reigned and rules were the exception. Unwinding was your sole responsibility and frolicsome fun ensued for no apparent reason. Most motorcyclists know how to get that feeling back and many of them head for the Western North Carolina Mountains to romp on the adult equivalents of those old childhood playgrounds.
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Northwestern Montana

Northwestern Montana

Western Montana has some of the finest scenery and least-traveled roads in the lower 48 states, or anywhere else for that matter. Formed by the jagged Rocky Mountains and separated north to south by the massive Continental Divide, Montana is ruggedly beautiful. For eons, the relentless forces of nature have torn, uplifted and eroded the land. Volcanoes have spewed molten lava, glaciers have carved the verdant valleys, and wind and water have sculpted the terrain to create the breathtaking landscape we see today.
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At Play in Paradise

At Play in Paradise

Hawai'i. The name sounds like a sweet song and my inner eye sees gorgeous girls in hula-skirts moving slowly to tinkling ukuleles. I think about pristine beaches lined with endless rows of palm trees, daredevil surfers waiting for the perfect wave and the heroes of the Ironman Triathlons. But of course there is much more to the Aloha State.
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Japan

Japan

I've been on the trail for so long the prospect of crossing a river that might swallow the front wheel doesn't bother me much. You could say I've grown accustomed to the wilds—even the fresh tracks of those big furred salmon-eaters I recently came across in Alaska provided me with a thrill that was more excitement than fright—and the only places that really make me nervous now are big cities. Tokyo, for example.
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Nebraska

Nebraska

The only hotel in Gordon, Nebraska has no record of my reservation, and they're fully booked. It's 30 miles to the next town, and a prairie storm is unleashing its full force outside. "I could put you in one of our B rooms," says the clerk. B is for basement, it turns out, and my windowless bunker is stark and cramped. I'm channel flipping on the TV when the screen turns red and a disembodied voice tells me a twister just touched down north of town. Dismal as it is, having the basement room suddenly seems like a very bright idea...
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Southern Spain, Andalusia

Southern Spain, Andalusia

Depending on the reason and the place, it's often nice to arrive a little early. My Edelweiss Bike tour of Spain's Andalusia region is slated to begin tomorrow morning, and I have several hours to while away before this evening's initial briefing. What to do? That's easy. The Mediterranean's foamy, turquoise waves are slapping the shore outside the Tryp Guadalmar hotel, and they are just too alluring to ignore.
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Reader Ride: Out West with Dad

Reader Ride: Out West with Dad

Each year I look to plan a ride that will take my dad, who lives in Connecticut, to new and exciting places. It started innocently enough with simple ATV rides in Colorado, which over time grew into more epic rides through the southern Colorado areas of Silverton, Telluride and Ouray.
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Motorcycle Reviews

2009 Victory Launch

2009 Victory Launch

Minnesota-based Victory Motorcycle division of Polaris Industries continues to celebrate its 10th anniversary, a milestone few new startup manufacturers reach in this competitive field and these difficult times. Recently Victory Motorcycles offered the press a viewing of the 2009 model lineup, along with some customs, at the Art Center College for Design, which we covered in the December issue.
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2008 Honda VTX1800T

2008 Honda VTX1800T

Comfort and style always seem to be the talking points when the subject of cruisers comes up. Lots of chrome, thumping V-twin motors, and a relaxed riding position top the list of prerequisites for boulevard supremacy. And while that's all well and good for the short hoppers, supplying a little street cred for those with distance aspirations is even better.
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2008 Yamaha FZ6

2008 Yamaha FZ6

Life, as we know, is full of compromises. In a perfect world, each of us could afford a bike for going to work, one for track days, one for touring and another for carving canyons on the weekends. But then again, since Transformers would have to be real in this perfect world, we'd only need one bike to do it all.
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Also in this issue ...

  • Bush Camping [Read]
  • Save Money and the Planet: Ride! [Read]
  • The Doctor's Notes by Dr. Gregory W. Frazier [Read]
  • Lee Parks' Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic™ [Read]