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Touring and Travel Articles
When selecting a route near Milwaukee, it often pays to follow the hometown iron. Highway 67 is very popular with Milwaukee Harley riders, as they take this twisting route through Kettle Moraine State Forest. A bonus is the small town of Eagle, which offers various pub and grill establishments and a gas station. While traversing 67 in the state forest, look for green and white (“Kettle Moraine Scenic Route”) and brown and yellow (“Rustic Road”) signs that indicate good side roads. By riding 67 through Eagle on your way out and 59 through Eagle on the way back to Milwaukee, you can sample both of these twisting roads and “do the Double Eagle.”
South Carolina’s Lowcountry is rich in history, art, cuisine, and natural wonder, and the perfect setting for a late spring or summer ride. Take in Charleston’s brilliant colors and blooming azaleas and magnolias, then saddle up for a charming ride north through surrounding small towns and forests, with a breathtaking finale down the Edisto Island National Scenic Byway.
I won the lottery—and I didn’t even know I was playing. Growing up in Europe where there is usually another town every couple of miles, I wasn’t aware that I could ride for 75 miles without seeing a single gas station. In Washington, I don’t need the additional excitement. Two beautiful passes offer enough adrenaline for the day. They take me via Highway 20 across the North Cascade Mountains, from the lush green western side of Washington to the “dry side.” I came here for a reason. This less populated part of the state offers some of the finest off-road riding in the country.
It’s June—high season for a motorcycle magazine. Just a short five months ago, my wife, Sarah, and I welcomed Oliver, our first child, into this world. Like most new parents, I think, we questioned the hospital for letting us take this fragile little human home just a few days after birth. Well, he made it, and so did we. Of course Sarah is the main factor in our success. She’s the one who gets up at night and constantly cares for Oliver with scarcely any breaks—and virtually no breaks with me away on this trip. When the chance for a Shamrock Tour® in Augusta arose many months ago, I was the first to raise a hand. As an avid golfer, getting to ride and play was a no-brainer. But as I barrel south for the less-than-four-hour ride to Georgia, I can’t help but feel a little selfish. This will be Sarah’s first time alone with Oliver for a whole week while I cruise, shoot, and tee off on my solo trip to golf’s mecca.
To experience as many different environments as possible, in only three weeks: this is our mission. What better place to attempt such a journey than Australia, a beautiful and largely unknown country with a population of only 24 million people. Aboard an R 1200 GS, I’m joined by a group of seven other riders. Traveling from heights of 6,050 feet to depths of 50 feet below sea level, in temperatures ranging from 50-degree mornings to 112-degree afternoons, we are surrounded by a menagerie of wild animals roaming freely through multicolored landscapes. Australia answered our challenge with unparalleled adventure.
We pick up the Cherokee removal journey in central Missouri: “We travelled about 12 miles to a settlement called Port Royal (believed to be Waynesville by researchers), on the banks of a beautiful stream, named Rubedoo. Here we had a delightful place, on the bank of the river, convenient to wood and water. We employed our kind Nancy, a black woman to wash, and dried our clothes in the evening by the fire.” —Rev. Daniel Butrick, March 12, 1839
We’re riding north on the Pan-American Highway, passing lush, green meadows and houses with gable roofs and stucco façades. For a moment, the landscape feels strangely European. But we’re quickly reminded we aren’t at home: After four months of motorcycling in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru on our trusty KTMs, we reach the border of Ecuador. My travel partner, Irene, and I cross the middle of the country and meander our way through a dense forest. On either side, the roads are dotted with banana plants and ferns—we’re close to the Amazon. We’re heading toward Villa Ticca in Quito, a childcare center founded by two Dutch women that provides teenage mothers the opportunity to study and/or work.
There comes a time in every man’s life when you realize you are never going to meet certain goals you set for yourself. Call it the proverbial “midlife crisis” or just a healthy dose of reality brought on by too many years treading water in the flotsam and jetsam of life.
It’s a great time to be an adventure motorcyclist. The options are nearly endless, with every OEM offering an iteration of the do-everything, go-anywhere motorcycle. Lately, however, there has been a push for smaller displacement ADV bikes, with manufacturers like Honda, Kawasaki, and BMW offering sub-500cc styles. In an effort to slim down and simplify their “multi-bike” line, Ducati unveiled the Multistrada 950 at EICMA late last year. But can a smaller Multistrada keep up with the likes of Honda’s Africa Twin, BMW’s F 800 GS, or KTM’s soon-to-be-released 1090 Adventure R?
Suzuki’s top-of-the-line touring V-twin hasn’t changed much in the past few years, but it’s a solid platform for effortless roaming of backroads, with plenty of opportunity for customization. This model has been tested over the past year, mainly in the Southeast, with plenty of curves in the Appalachians, coastal roads, and sweltering heat and humidity.