March/April 2007
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Touring and Travel Articles

Cruising Nevada's Lonely Roads

Cruising Nevada's Lonely Roads

For a brief 18-month period between April 1860 and November 1861, the east-west route across central Nevada was the busiest it had ever been. Spurred by the looming civil war, California Senator William M. Gwinn proposed a fast mail service from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, provided the mail could be delivered within ten days. The Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company won the contract; but the service that resulted is better known by its operating title: the Pony Express.
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Shamrock Tour® - Glens Falls, New York

Shamrock Tour® - Glens Falls, New York

The curves up the mountain are so tight that you are just peripherally aware of the rock alternating with the forested ravine, first left, then right; you're going so fast, you strain not to bang into the one or go sliding down the other. Your riding companion's taillight appears, then disappears; you focus, focus, as you continue the climb. But there is something about an ascent. As you crest the rise, the land falls away beneath you. Suddenly, the expanse opens up ahead, and you can see all the way to the distant line where it meets the sky. You feel the air inside your belly pushing out at your ribs, as you try to catch your breath and take in the vastness of what nature has laid at your feet. And you wonder if your wheels are still touching the ground.
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Canada: Meandering in Manitoba

Canada: Meandering in Manitoba

You don't always need a Paris-Dakar race-rally replica with a jacked-up saddle, a monster fuel tank, and knobby tires to ride in exotic places. Equipped with a normal street bike and a healthy sense of adventure, you can leave the pressures of daily living behind and easily escape into the rare beauty that is Canada's remote northern wilderness.
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Southwest Georgia: Spring Below the Fall Line

Southwest Georgia: Spring Below the Fall Line

Fleeing south on Interstate 85, I'm feeling relieved to have, once again, successfully completed another circumnavigation of the city of Atlanta. The sheet-metal maelstrom known as Interstate 285, encircling the Capital of the South, arguably has the capacity to supply more "interesting moments" than any road in the country. With the sun slowly making its way toward the horizon, I'm confident of a much more relaxing pace in the gently sloping mountains around Warm Springs, Georgia.
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Colombia: The Far Side Of The Moon

Colombia: The Far Side Of The Moon

Riding a motorcycle around the world is the ultimate learning experience. Take Colombia. Whenever Uwe and I had thought about the northwestern-most country in South America, we immediately imagined drug cartels, chaos, and danger. We could only visualize the dark side of a country whose people have lived through many years of terror. But traveling there, we came to discover another facet rarely brought to light: Colombia was the place we had most misunderstood. Its warmhearted people turned out to be the most hospitable we've ever met, and they welcomed us with open arms wherever we went.
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Montana: Into the Big Sky Sunset

Montana: Into the Big Sky Sunset

Heads still awhirl from a day of amazing sights in Yellowstone National Park, Kathy and I exit the West Entrance and suddenly enter the town of West Yellowstone, Montana. Even though the shadows are lengthening, we decide that it's better for us to push on past this crowded tourist trap and end the day by letting the Wing reveal a bit of Big Sky Country before we retire.
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North Carolina: Nags Head Revisited

North Carolina: Nags Head Revisited

Up until a few months ago I didn't have any fond memories of Eastern North Carolina. The unfavorable impressions that I retain spring from long-ago drives to Nags Head on the Outer Banks - dull, dispiriting trips taken in old, mephitic cars packed with battered musical equipment and spent musicians that rumbled through a string of tired towns on one straight road after another. All of that just to play a set or two for a few drunken compliments, maybe enough gas money, and one more night of discomfort on some kind stranger's floor.
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Motorcycle Reviews

Yamaha FZ1

Yamaha FZ1

A "Jack of All Trades" with handlebars, the Yamaha FZ1 has been handling daily commutes, touring away vacation time, and tearing up track days since 2001. And although it's been called the poster child for limited garage space, this ride is usually much too busy and definitely too much fun to be hanging around for long with the lawn equipment.
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KTM 950 Adventure

KTM 950 Adventure

Ohio, the Spring of 2006. It was standing there, all dressed-up in day-glow orange, seeming to stare, as though daring me, through its double headlights. I thought, this is definitely not the bike you would buy for a Sunday outing to the next café, although it would certainly draw plenty of attention. No, this is a bike meant to be ridden hard and pushed to the limits, wherever and whatever they might be.
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2007 Honda CBR600RR

2007 Honda CBR600RR

For 2007, the 20th anniversary of the Honda Hurricane, Honda is dropping the venerable, street-focused CBR600F4i and returning to their "one 600cc sportbike for all occasions" formula.
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Harley-Davidson's Custom Vehicle Operations

Harley-Davidson's Custom Vehicle Operations

Tucked away at Harley-Davidson facilities is a small team of engineers and stylists that works as a separate unit under the acronym, CVO (Custom Vehicle Operations). Responsible for producing limited numbers of highly customized motorcycles since 1999, the group has four individual models to choose from in the lineup for 2007: a Softail Springer, a Dyna, a Road King, and the big-rig Ultra Classic. Pricing starts at $24,995 for the Springer and Dyna, and climbs to an eyeball-popping $33,595 for the Ultra Classic. The Softail and Touring CVO models are produced in York, but the CVO Dyna is produced in Kansas City. The motor for all of the CVO models, the Twin Cam 110", is produced at the Pilgrim Road Facility in Milwaukee.
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Bumble Beemer

Bumble Beemer

I once asked a BMW car marketing guy what differentiated his company's image from rival Mercedes. "Simple," he said. "We build motorcycles; they build trucks." And considering its traditional image as a maker of staid and stolid motorcycles, BMW has an impressive record of performance innovation: the first factory-faired sport bike, the 1976 Daytona-winning R90S, for example; more recently, the astounding K1200R, the world's fastest street standard; and the bike that created the adventure tourin
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Also in this issue ...

  • Is Motorcycle Camping For You? [Read]
  • Animal Crack-ups [Read]