March/April 2011
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Touring and Travel Articles

Skyline Drive, Virginia Shamrock Tour®

Skyline Drive, Virginia Shamrock Tour®

The Great Appalachian Valley is a gigantic trough that stretches 700 miles from Canada to Alabama. The eastern boundary, for most of its length, is the Blue Ridge Mountain Range. Skyline Drive threads its way along the top of these mountains in north central Virginia for 105 miles; it will be our home base for the next four days. I'm thrilled at the prospect of introducing my two world-traveling riding companions to the scenic wonders of this gorgeous slice of America.
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California

California

It's as much about the time - and the roads - leading up to the race, as it is about the race itself. In July 2010, my brother Jim and good friends Pete, Gary F., and Gary K., and I spent five days of motorcycle touring together, logging a total of nearly 800 miles on our respective bikes: Yamaha FJR, Harley Road Glide, Honda ST 1300, Kawasaki Concours, and a Suzuki V-Strom 650.
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Northern Arizona

Northern Arizona

Something is rustling outside. I'm lying in the tent and my thoughts circle around bears. But bears here in this semi-desert area of Arizona? Can't be! I just want to continue sleeping. no way. The strange visitor outside rustles more. I shout through the canvas of my mobile accommodation, shake the tent's walls. Doesn't bother him. Finally I decide to get out and scare the harasser away.
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Part III: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio via Route 50

Part III: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio via Route 50

For the better part of our journey across the United States, Kathy and I have felt that we were being followed. Like the incessant footfalls of an unseen pursuer, the potential for rain and nasty weather has plagued our daily routine. Though drops have not always fallen, the need to keep the raingear handy has loomed all-too-large. But for a day, at least, we seem to have shaken that specter.
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World Travelers: Brazil's Amazon Jungle, Part II

World Travelers: Brazil's Amazon Jungle, Part II

The fall from the bridge was this morning. The day has been a blur of failed mechanics interspersed with lost consciousness. I can't choke back any more drugs, especially as we have so few and no soon opportunity to gain more. As the daylight disappears the thick Amazon foliage takes on a sinister demeanor — much like it had last night.
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Reader Ride: Florida Coast

Reader Ride: Florida Coast

St. Augustine, FL, the nation's oldest city, is a twenty-minute ride south on the super-slab from Jacksonville, but where is the fun in that? Instead of the Interstate, I opt to take a more circuitous route. I leave Jacksonville on State Road 13, through Fruit Cove, towards the tiny town of Hastings, forty miles to the south.
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Motorcycle Reviews

2011 Kawasaki Vulcan® Vaquero™

2011 Kawasaki Vulcan® Vaquero™

Kawasaki's latest touring-cruiser Vaquero (which means "cowboy" in Spanish) was appropriately introduced amid longhorns and cattle ranches in the Lone Star State north of Houston. The Vaquero shares Voyager's wide upper fairing, but with a shorter windscreen and revamped lower bodywork, plus new, hard saddlebags. The upper fairing also houses the Vaquero's unique louvers which can additionally mount driving lamps.
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2012 Yamaha Super Ténéré

2012 Yamaha Super Ténéré

Yamaha has been selling this new Super Ténéré adventure-touring model in Europe for several years now and is finally bringing it to North America. Ténéré (pronounced like "tay-nay-ray") is the word for "desert" in the language of the Tuareg tribe that resides in the region of the Sahara where Timbuktu is located. The first bike to carry the Super Ténéré name was the 1989 XTZ750 twin and it won the trans-Saharan Dakar Rally six times — so this new machine has good DNA!
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2011 Triumph Sprint GT

2011 Triumph Sprint GT

The Sprint, one of the most popular and enduring models in Triumph's lineup, got a successful makeover that will no doubt please most riders. Although still sporty, this touring king offers comfort for both rider and passenger, along with luggage capacity fit for royalty.
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