July/August 2004
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Touring and Travel Articles

Shamrock Tour® - Rutland, Vermont

Shamrock Tour® - Rutland, Vermont

No longer summer, not quite autumn - on impulse I stopped by Vermont's newest motorcycle dealership, Lucky's Motorsports. With the Beemer more than a little ragged-looking after my crash in the Berkshires, I was hoping to acquire a photogenic factory ride for Shamrock use. And as luck would have it, Ken Hall graciously offered me the use of not one, but three different Indian Motorcycle models. Good timing and fortune combined: the Indian Motorcycle factory closed its doors as I was finishing this tour and neither my doctor nor my girlfriend knew I was once again straddling two wheels.
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Southeast Oregon

Southeast Oregon

It was my fourth visit to Oregon in a year. After taking in the tall-treed majesty of the Cascades, the rambling golden grasslands of the northeast and the soaring ridges of the Wallowa Mountains, I was expecting my meander around the high desert of southeast Oregon to send me to sleep. I didn't realize I'd saved the best for last.
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Montenegro: Land of the Black Mountains

Montenegro: Land of the Black Mountains

Although only the size of Connecticut, the breakaway republic of Montenegro has it all for tourism - beaches and mountains, lakes and canyons. Thankfully, most of the tourists haven't caught on yet.
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Appalachian Trails

Appalachian Trails

Most riders and drivers prefer to wait for autumn's cavalcade of color for scenic tours along the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. In the summer, these outrageous roads are packed full when loads of city slickers escape the lowland humidity for picnics and maybe some napping in the shade of high country trees. Me? I usually like to travel there during the quieter days of spring, especially in the month of April.
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Florida Keys

Florida Keys

While other parts of the country have mountains with impressive, winding roads, the vertically challenged state of Florida has its share of gorgeous curves, too - all courtesy of its renowned beaches, resorts and beauties baking in the year-round sun. Add great fishing, diving, seafood, and all manner of water sports to the many enticements of Miami and the Florida Keys, and we're talking about one great biking destination.
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A Short Ride the Long Way

A Short Ride the Long Way

It's 6:30 on a July Saturday night in The Dalles, Oregon, a tidy lumber town on the Columbia River. Snagged in a street festival, we crawl the stop-start traffic, boiling inside our leathers, engines pinging, clutches slipping. I spy an outdoor time and temperature display: 102 degrees! We've committed to camping, but the air-conditioned Budget Motel beckons, and only sheer inertia prevents me from pulling in.
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Motorcycle Reviews

Kawasaki Vulcan 2000

Kawasaki Vulcan 2000

In the country that invented "super-sized" servings, the Kawasaki Vulcan is King and boldly going where no Kawasaki has gone before - over 2,000cc. Computer controlled and fuel-injected, this mega-cruiser puts out 116 horses and a mind-blowing 141 ft/lbs of torque. Simply stated, this is the world's biggest, most powerful production V-twin cruiser, and on a bright sunny day in Santa Barbara, California, I was among the world's first to ride the beast.
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V-Strom 650

V-Strom 650

That simple sentence once summed up the philosophy of the English economist, Sir Carl Popper. Today, it's an ethos that certainly appeals to the motorcycle makers at Suzuki. And even in the US - a country where it often seems everything has to be big - it's a sweet little concept made real that's more than ready for the road.
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2004 Yamaha Royal Star Midnight Venture

2004 Yamaha Royal Star Midnight Venture

It's big. It's black. It gleams with lacquered paint and brilliant chrome. The Midnight Venture muscles its way past the large displacement metric cruisers to sit atop the heap as the undisputed champion in the tourer class.
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1978 Triumph Bonneville T140V

1978 Triumph Bonneville T140V

For years I've known I would someday get around to buying a classic bike. My heart told me it would be a British bike. And since finding one is no longer a problem - what with so many auctions going on and sites like cycletrader.com now commonplace - I didn't really have any excuse for not looking around at least. So, I decided to follow my heart and explore some of the Internet offers.
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Also in this issue ...

  • The 66 Diner [Read]
  • Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum [Read]
  • City Portrait: Covington Kentucky [Read]
  • Tour Planning Nuts & Bolts [Read]