September/October 2006
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Touring and Travel Articles

North Dakota Roundtrip

North Dakota Roundtrip

'Throttle up and start cruising,' the North Dakota motorcycle map recommends. Sage advice I conclude while steering the Gold Wing out of the small town of Williston. The vast prairie does beckon in a beguiling manner, yet one can't help but feel a slight sense of unease upon departure. You see, in this part of the United States, leaving the confines of town brings a whole new meaning to being on your own.
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Shamrock Tour® - Palm Springs, California

Shamrock Tour® - Palm Springs, California

I have a theory that most males are fascinated by either wheels or spheres. The latter group spends much of their recreational time chasing a ball or watching someone else do the same. The "true" wheel guys share a passion for transportation, and they couldn't care less about RBIs, touchdowns, dunks or golf. It's well known that Palm Springs and its satellite resorts are set up for those birdie chasers, but what's a wheel guy going to do there? Hit the road, of course!
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Northeastern Michigan: Bay City and Presque Isle County

Northeastern Michigan: Bay City and Presque Isle County

The opposite ends of this tour take in two different worlds connected by great scenic roads. In Bay City, you can stay busy sightseeing, shopping or sampling the night life. And over in Presque Isle County where the simplest pleasures hold sway, you can stroll in settings of undeveloped serenity along the Lake Huron shoreline or sit beside an inland lake and listen to the loons.
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Canada: Call of the Yukon - Part Two

Canada: Call of the Yukon - Part Two

It's the great, big, broad land 'way up yonder, It's the forests where silence has lease; It's the beauty that thrills me with wonder, It's the stillness that fills me with peace. - Robert Service Around the midpoint of the Second World War, oil-rich Alaska was threatened by Japanese invasion.
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Basic Bolivia

Basic Bolivia

"Welcome to Coca Country" could well be the most fitting name for the Bolivian exhibition hall at the next World's Fair or maybe for some future installation at Six Flags over South America. Admittedly provocative (unless the soft-drink giant underwrites its construction), nevertheless the hall might tell a very different story from the tales of torment so often lived in the fast circles and inner cities of the U.S. and elsewhere.
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Classic Byways: US Highway 191 - Arizona

Classic Byways: US Highway 191 - Arizona

A little north of Tombstone, the coyote (Roadrunnerus digestus) emerges from the low scrub brush on the dusty shoulder of Arizona's Route 80. He stops mid-trot and watches with apparent nonchalance as our RoadRUNNER Gold Wing (Burn-em-upus asphaltus) breezes by. But I'm not fooled by his insouciance - years of Saturday mornings have taught me that Wile E. Coyote always has something up his sleeve. The rest of the way to Douglas, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for anything tagged "Acme."
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North Carolina Mountains

North Carolina Mountains

In my younger, more impetuous days, my old buddy Rich and I were known for embarking on road trips that often defied logic in their timing and execution. Never sticklers for details, we'd throw caution to the wind and, on a whim, hit the road with reckless abandon. Not all of our sojourns were great successes, but none could ever be considered complete failures. No matter the situation, Rich's indefatigable spirit of exploration always carried the day. Even when the chips were down and things looked bad, he'd simply smile and say, "Where's your sense of adventure?
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Motorcycle Reviews

Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Kawasaki Ninja 650R

Poised to inject serious fun into the bargain-blaster segment of the market, the new Kawasaki Ninja 650R is a street hip, super sharp, smooth operator that flashes the boulevard with a most affordable price tag. Designed with the rider in mind, the bike's comfortable ergonomics, useful wind protection and energetic twin cylinder engine are part and parcel of a compact package bound to please everyone from the most experienced rider to the first-time buyer, without missing anyone in between.
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Suzuki M109R

Suzuki M109R

Shaping up for a "Battle of the Titans" in the heavyweight cruiser class, Suzuki entered the arena this year with their new M109R Boulevard. Going toe to toe with Kawasaki's Vulcan 2000 and Yamaha's 1854cc Roadliner, the pre-fight buzz has Suzuki claiming the most powerful V-twin cruiser in the class.
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2006 BMW R1200ST

2006 BMW R1200ST

As I conducted my initial walk-around of the BMW R1200ST at the Palm Springs press intro, my first impression was that the bike offered three good sides and one that only a Bavarian mother could love. Appointed in the most appealing of its available color combinations (red with black trim), from either side, the ST's lines flowed energetically from the front fender to the rear like a pair of speed-whipped ribbons.
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Kymco People 250

Kymco People 250

Let's see, my driveway is right at ten miles from the parking lot here at the palatial RoadRUNNER towers. Simple math indicates that I'll ride Kymco's People 250 right at 100 miles every week just to get to my keyboard. Throw in a couple of errands and an occasional long-way-home jaunt and I may actually burn close to an entire tank of high test in a week. The cool thing is, the tank only holds a splash over two gallons.
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Also in this issue ...

  • BMW Mendoza [Read]
  • New York's Scooter Scene [Read]
  • City Portrait: Knoxville, Tennessee [Read]