The March/April 2003 issue is instantly available digitally including all articles, maps and GPS files.
Touring and Travel Articles
The sky is blue and the roads are remote, twisting through the woods between Cumberland, Maryland and Somerset Counties. Swinging through the valleys and towns nestled at the feet of the mountains here, we have no way to predict what is about to happen.
Our shakedown of colonial American history begins in Elizabeth City, NC, just on the other side of the swamps and tidal flats from Jamestown, VA, the first permanent English colony in the New World. Along the way, we're crossing some of the greatest bridges on the East Coast, bridges that span the waterways that opened up this new country for exploration. Along the way, of course, we wouldn't mind a few great roads to keep us entertained as we cruise the early fall weather on a pair of shiny new Moto Guzzis.
A normal day in our office begins with a check of the e-mails. Recently a pleasant surprise popped up when the first message displayed announced that everything was ready for my trip in Australia. Organized for journalists by Twin Blue Motorcycle and called the "Northern Tropics" tour, it winds (with an escort car) some 2,500 miles, from Sydney to Cairns. Soon I would sit astride the saddle of a BMW R1150 R for an exciting exploration of New South Wales and Queensland.
In the middle of the fall, around the end of October, the choice of passable roads narrows in Austria. On streets at high altitude you naturally expect snow at this time of the year. And further down the slopes many of the available touring areas that are closer by may be growing a little old.
Redmond, Oregon: Early Sunday morning. I awoke to the sound of zippers. Nothing signals the end of a rally more than the swoosh of sleeping bags being stuffed into compression bags and the sound of tent flaps opening. Over 6,000 tents were spread out at the BMWMOA national rally; and with no two of them alike, they all put out a different sound.
Motorcycle traveling has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Nowadays pure touring bikes compete with cruisers, standards, and sportbikes, which can be equipped with luggage racks and bags by the factory. In this comparison, the tourer BMW R1150RT met up with a sport-tourer, the Ducati ST4s.
Team Green wants to recapture the crown for the best 600 Supersport bike. In our opinion, the totally new ZX-6R and ZX-6RR bikes greatly enhance the likelihood of meeting that goal, once RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Cruising & Touring jumped at the chance to ride them at their introduction on the GP-racetrack in Sepang, Malaysia.
It had to supercede the other bikes in design, technology, and in performance characteristics on the track and on the street. And now, coming on the heels of its famous 916/996/998-line, Ducati's new 999 is destined to become a great bike that's known for kicking butt and taking no prisoners.