May/June 2007
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Touring and Travel Articles

Part I: New York Waterways

Part I: New York Waterways

The last glacial period in upstate New York left behind a lush landscape of rivers, lakes, gorges, waterfalls, and fertile land. Navigable waterways instrumental to exploration of the area by pre-colonial Europeans took on strategic importance as France and England laid claim to the territory. Forts were built and armies clashed, including those of a new nation seeking independence. When lasting peace emerged in the 19th century, New York's waterways became superhighways of commerce, connecting the east and west of a rapidly expanding America.
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Shamrock Tour® - Boise, Idaho

Shamrock Tour® - Boise, Idaho

Departing from the heart of Idaho's capital city of Boise, you can be riding the open road in about 10 minutes. Since the state's principal claim to fame is its potatoes, you might expect to find yourself among potato plants. But those farms are elsewhere. You'll either be among the sagebrush and scrub of the high desert or climbing into the foothills toward mountain peaks that are capped with snow all year round.
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Canada: Newfoundland - To Terra Nova

Canada: Newfoundland - To Terra Nova

We couldn't recognize much of what the attendant was saying as English, nor did we understand him when he smiled and rattled off a rapid-fire warning, "Yobettagedyoassoutofhere!" But we quickly got the message as the big truck approached. The man's dialect, we later learned, unmistakably identifies him to the rest of Canada as a resident of Newfoundland. And the roaring truck just kept bearing down on us in the parking lane as we finished tying down our trusty bikes in the dark belly of a ferry called the Joseph Smallwood.
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Texas: Wandering the Wide Open Spaces

Texas: Wandering the Wide Open Spaces

As I spur the big Heritage Softail® west out of Abilene, the light mid-morning traffic allows me to take an earnest survey of the immensity unfolding in every direction. Only smatterings of manmade structures and distant clumps of trees mar a limitless horizon that wouldn't budge the bubble in a carpenter's level much off dead center no matter where you placed it. Without a doubt, Jerry Jeff Walker is right on the money when he sings, "You ask me what I like about Texas. I tell you, it's the wide-open spaces!"
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Washington: In the Horse Heaven Hills

Washington: In the Horse Heaven Hills

If you've never heard of Bickleton, Washington, don't feel bad; you're not alone. Little more than a general store, a tavern, and a 90-student K-12 school, the town lazily straddles a quiet county road (the grandly named Bickleton Highway) in the baked brown hills above the Columbia River. However, in the brilliantly plumed realms of ornithology, Bickleton can claim a share of fame: it's the Bluebird Capital of - nothing less than - the World!
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Turkey: Scenic, Safe and Sensational

Turkey: Scenic, Safe and Sensational

There is much to be said for seeing Turkey on a motorcycle. The roads, ease of traveling from the U.S., the unequalled historic and archeological wonders, and the excellent hotels and restaurants make it as convenient as touring in Europe. But the best reason for coming here is to meet the warm and considerate Turkish people, who readily convey a genuine affection for Americans.
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Canada: British Columbia, Coast to Cariboo

Canada: British Columbia, Coast to Cariboo

"Ho-hum," a friend of mine remarked, tongue-in-cheek, as we stood looking across British Columbia's vast Shuswap Lake, "just more mountains, forests, rivers and lakes." Well, for once, he was right. Southern BC is mostly forests, rivers, lakes and mountains. And as motorcyclists know, these geographical features usually indicate something other than the breathtaking vistas - great riding roads!
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Motorcycle Reviews

BMW R1200R

BMW R1200R

An elegant new member of the naked community, the BMW R1200R is a very worthy successor to the extremely popular R1150R.
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Ducati Multistrada 1000DS

Ducati Multistrada 1000DS

If you want to stand out in a crowd, Ducati certainly has the answer. That's my first thought as I ride into a parking lot full of big, bad chromo-cruisers on a bright red Ducati Multistrada. The Duc's avant-garde bodywork and trellis frame give it the look of something that might have fallen off a passing spacecraft, while the retro-Wurlitzer styling of the two-wheeled juggernauts on display is as earthbound as a '59 Caddy.
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Kawasaki Vulcan® 900 Custom

Kawasaki Vulcan® 900 Custom

Just mention Austin, Texas, and I'm ready to head that way. A vibrant, college-town atmosphere, great food, innumerable live music venues, and some great riding make the Lone Star State's capital one of the coolest towns around. So when I recently received an invite to come to Austin and join Kawasaki for a day of riding on their new Vulcan® 900 Custom, all I needed was a flight number.
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Harley-Davidson FXDCI Dyna Super Glide® Custom

Harley-Davidson FXDCI Dyna Super Glide® Custom

There's no telling what tomorrow's assignments will bring. We might be exploring a great new road up in the mountains, riding off to a rally or charity event, or leaving at sunrise on another tour that's likely to eat up a thousand miles or better. Our needs change from day to day and it's nice to have the key to Harley-Davidson's Dyna Super Glide® Custom to meet them. Sure, the tag says "cruiser" but that label, applied to a versatile machine like this one, is far too constraining.
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Super-sized Scooter

Super-sized Scooter

In the burgeoning maxi-scooter market, Piaggio's BV500 is more classically styled than the company's X9 or other more sportbike-inspired competitors. The front exhibits classic scooter design cues, but the rear has been transmogrified into a touring motorcycle. Is this the ingenious creation of an enlightened product development team, or has someone slipped a Vespa two-stroke steroids?
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Also in this issue ...

  • Scooters to the Rescue! [Read]
  • Tired and Confused? [Read]
  • The Rock Store [Read]