March/April 2009
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Touring and Travel Articles

Off-Roadin' in Eastern Ohio

Off-Roadin' in Eastern Ohio

Not long ago the idea of a dual-sport Shamrock Tour took root when Steve Mauk, a long-time off-road rider, ignited my imagination with tales of scenic gravel roads and trails winding through the overarching canopies of hardwood forests in his native Eastern Ohio. We collaborated on choosing a home base for this shamrock (Coshocton, Ohio) and the riding areas, and we scheduled the trip for mid-June when the roads would be dried out from spring rains and all of the plant life would be in full bloom.
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California's Highway 1

California's Highway 1

It's July and I'm in Redding, California. I have to return my borrowed SV650S to American Suzuki in Los Angeles. I could strafe Interstate 5 through the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys under the blistering summer sun and get there in a day. Or I could add a day to my trip and savor the serpentine bends and ocean breezes of California's coast road, Highway 1. - Is there a choice?
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Europe: Royal Riding from Vienna to Nice

Europe: Royal Riding from Vienna to Nice

Teaming up with Moto Adventures to scout out roads for upcoming tours from Vienna to Nice, I arrive in Klosterneuburg, north of the Austrian capital. Company headquarters are located there between a church and residences dating from the horse and oxcart eras of the 12th century, but the carriages chosen for us - the BMW F 650, a KTM 900 and Ducati 1098 - are decidedly modern. No need to bring any parasols or sachets of lavender along. However, with the dizzying heights to come on such a trip, packing some smelling salts may be a prudent precaution.
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Eastern Tennessee

Eastern Tennessee

Sometimes a tour takes on a life of its own before the wheels even roll from the driveway. Unexpected, odd themes will bubble to the surface, acting as catalysts of sorts for the entire journey. Looking at the map, it dawns on me that I'm leaving the Triad of North Carolina for the Tri-Cities of Tennessee aboard a Triumph Tiger. Oh boy, here we go.
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The Philippines

The Philippines

Not every day do you get the chance to ride a motorcycle on the other side of the world. So when that opportunity arises, you best take full advantage by riding fast, riding hard, and savoring every mile.
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Western Iowa

Western Iowa

Iowa, as everyone in Wisconsin knows, is that big flat place to the west where they grow corn and where all the crummy weather comes from that hits us about three days later. That's why our "gang" had to be nuts to even start a tour, heading straight into the worst weather in over 100 years. Biblical weather - torrential rain, lightning, hail, 50-mph winds, flooding and tornadoes - was in store for us and yet, we never got wet.
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Southern California Sojourn

Southern California Sojourn

Thanks to its mild climate, Los Angeles, California offers great riding almost every day of the year. And with its endless suburban sprawl and a plethora of interesting things to do and places to see, LA is a haven for motorcycle and scooter riders. We decided to take a day ride along the beach on our Piaggio BV250 test scooter and took in four great places all nearby in coastal Malibu and neighboring Pacific Palisades. With the economy on the skids, it's good to know that two people can get to all four places for less than $25 and a gallon of gas!
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Reader Ride: Klamath Falls Trip

Reader Ride: Klamath Falls Trip

I could hear the alarm growing louder the more I gained consciousness. I could see the sunlight peeking through the blinds letting me know that it was time to get up and get this ride started. A stiff cup of coffee and a shower finished, I was loading my gear on my bike and warming it up.My grandfather lives in Klamath Falls, a five-hour ride away, and although I love visiting him, I have made the trip so many times that it's hard to find anything interesting along the way anymore.
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Motorcycle Reviews

2009 Suzuki Boulevard M90

2009 Suzuki Boulevard M90

In the cruiser world, bikes often fall into one of two categories. Either they are staid and mature icons of comfort and style, or they're raucous, straight-line bruisers creating drawn curtains and the frantic summoning of children. Is it asking too much for a taste of both?
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2008 Kawasaki KLR 650

2008 Kawasaki KLR 650

Old soldiers may never die, but sometimes they do get a makeover! Kawasaki's new KLR 650, with a host of changes, should now appeal to a wider range of buyers, from dyed-in-the-wool dirt riders to sport-touring aficionados.
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2009 V Star 950

2009 V Star 950

Once upon a time, the motorcycle tester's job was much simpler. There were good motorcycles and not-so-good motorcycles. It was only necessary to decide the category in which each particular test subject fell. Major manufacturers no longer build bad bikes, however. Some models may not appeal to your personal preferences, and each has its idiosyncrasies; but all of them work pretty much as they should. The most important question then becomes: Is the bike right for its intended customer? Sounds simple, but it isn't.
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Also in this issue ...

  • The Doctor's Notes by Dr. Gregory W. Frazier [Read]
  • Our new World Travelers [Read]