March/April 2008
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Touring and Travel Articles

In Arizona and New Mexico

In Arizona and New Mexico

It's hot, an "airless" afternoon, when I park the K1200R and hike across bus-sized boulders to Spider Rock Overlook at Canyon de Chelly. I snap my camera onto the tripod to take a self-timer shot, set the shutter and pose near the edge. Just then, caprice whips up a solid gust of wind - and the tripod falls. The camera slams into the rock like a hammer cracking concrete. Imagining a nearby cash register ringing up a prodigious total, I can almost see the dollar signs floating skyward, irrecoverable in the updraft sweeping the ravine.
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Shamrock Tour® - Western Maryland

Shamrock Tour® - Western Maryland

The Appalachian Mountains, once reaching Himalayan-scale heights, are among the oldest on earth. Erosion-resistant sandstone sustains their rounded green shoulders, while limestone undergirds the verdant valleys. Yes, there are many attractive features in the western highlands of Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia; but the most appealing of all has to be the sheer abundance of winding two-lane roads.
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Edmonton to Alaska

Edmonton to Alaska

Joining a band of motorcyclists on an annual run to Hyder, Alaska, we rode north from Edmonton to celebrate Ron Ayres's 1998 feat of smashing the Iron Butt record (riding to 48 states within 10 days) in what is now called the 48 Plus! Iron Butt Ride. Making it to 48 states plus Alaska in a time of 7 days and 20 minutes, he received an assist on the final leg from a group of Edmonton riders who offered themselves up as sacrificial lambs. Running as an advance party, sweeping ahead for possible speed traps, they helped ensure that Ayres finished the ride and established the record.
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Maine

Maine

The biggest, wildest state in New England, Maine is also the first state in the union to catch the light of the rising sun. As a September dawn wakes me in Kennebunkport, the nearby routes along this storied coast exert a very strong pull - nearly 3,500 miles of beaches, bays, inlets, and harbors - but I have other intriguing plans for the day.
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Mexico, Part 1: The South

Mexico, Part 1: The South

Traveling northwest from Guatemala, we reach Chiapas. Mexico's southernmost state is referred to as "Mundo Mayas," the gate to the world of the Mayas. At 6,900 feet, in a densely forested valley in the mountains of the Sierra Madre, lies San Cristóbal de las Casas. This lively town is a unique mixture of Spanish and Pre-Columbian architecture and culture. Street vendors sell tropical fruit and cotton candy. Immediately, when riding our KTM 640 Adventures through the narrow cobblestone alleys lined by low houses with colored facades, we feel at home.
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Eastern Kentucky Round Trip

Eastern Kentucky Round Trip

The wondrous back roads of Eastern Kentucky unravel in crazy-quilt complexity. Hewn from time-scarred mountains and rising and falling along creek bottoms and ancient hunting trails, they wriggle in madcap fashion through boundless forests and hidden hollows. To a motorcyclist, it's country like this that represents the finest form of intoxication there is.
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Motorcycle Reviews

2007 Triumph Tiger 1050

2007 Triumph Tiger 1050

Since its founding in 1883, the Triumph marque has seen good times, bad times, and many of its UK neighbors, such as Norton and BSA, unceremoniously ushered off into the shadowy abyss of moto-history by the auctioneer's gavel. Without getting too misty-eyed over recent developments, it really does cheer one's spirits to see Triumph delivering a series of truly notable motorcycles, with John Bloor's regime whacking open the throttle, popping the clutch, and racing away from the company's not-yet-distant years of strife.
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BMW's New Enduros

BMW's New Enduros

BMW Motorrad starts out what promises to be an exciting year by unveiling a new range of enduro bikes in various classes for different purposes.
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Honda ST1300

Honda ST1300

Being able to have the best of both worlds is a tough proposition when you're out on the road in unfamiliar territory. Two cases in point: the difficulty of finding clean, comfortable rooms for reasonable sums or restaurants that still serve tasty and wholesome fare. Sometimes you don't have any control over situations. However, the bike used is all about having control, and in rare instances, it also redefines the best of the sport and touring worlds. Case in point: Honda's ST1300.
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2008 Can-Am Spyder

2008 Can-Am Spyder

Looking more like an imaginative prop from a sci-fi movie than a product you can buy on the spot from your nearby dealer today, the new Can-Am Spyder strikes a radical pose.
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Also in this issue ...

  • Storm Watch 101 [Read]
  • BMW Motorcycle Training Classes [Read]
  • 6th Annual Femmoto Track Event [Read]
  • The Legend of the Motorcycle 2007 [Read]