September/October 2007
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Touring and Travel Articles

Mountain Magic

Mountain Magic

As many people live in California as in the whole of Canada, so you'd expect the state to be pretty crowded. And around the major conurbations that's certainly true. But much of the Golden State's northern territory is wild, mountainous, thinly populated, and etched with roads that are just right for riding. Like the ones you find at the northern end of the Sacramento Valley, squeezed between the volcanoes of the Cascades and the coast, in the Klamath Mountains.
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Shamrock Tour® - Tupelo, Mississippi

Shamrock Tour® - Tupelo, Mississippi

Yesterday's soupy clouds have dissolved in Mississippi blues. Nearby, two boys playing tag dart past, disappearing around a signal corner - one side of the shotgun shack in which Elvis Aaron Presley entered this world on January 8, 1935. As their shouting fades the sound of rustling leaves returns. Resting in the shade of the trees under that clear spring sky, I can't imagine a finer spot has ever been created for anyone about to dine on a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich.
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Eastern Europe: For the Children of Chernobyl

Eastern Europe: For the Children of Chernobyl

With the dissolution of that old ideological barrier known as the Iron Curtain, travel restrictions have eased and Western bikers now enjoy much greater access to the roads in Eastern Europe. Even so, a tour of Ukraine and Belarus doesn't yet qualify as a care-free adventure, especially when your travel plans include a visit to Chernobyl. But going there was the whole point of the latest of our Eurobiker Association missions.
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Along the Trans-America Trail

Along the Trans-America Trail

When we landed this assignment, I couldn't have told you why taking a trip across America on the "worst" possible roads sounded so appealing. Maybe it's because off-road riding doesn't even exist back home, in densely populated Germany. Or perhaps it's because we've learned on other trips that we more often meet the authentic characters of this world on country lanes and remote dirt roads than we do in hectic cities where so many are preoccupied and too few can spare the time to talk.
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Kansas

Kansas

For motorcyclists, tours on mountain roads have their obvious joys: there's beauty in the scenery and passion in the pavement. When you're riding the serpentines of twisty highways and climbing through passes, every moment on a bike is unavoidably invigorating. But having toured so many mountain roads, I came to wonder what a journey would be like in the parts of America that bikers tend to ignore. A place, for instance, like Kansas.
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Canada: Nova Scotia, A Seaside Sojourn in the Maritimes

Canada: Nova Scotia, A Seaside Sojourn in the Maritimes

I have traveled around the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes, the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland, but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all! - Alexander Graham Bell
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British Columbia's Hot Springs

British Columbia's Hot Springs

When explorer David Thompson of the Northwest Company was mapping the Columbia River in 1811, he liked nothing better at the end of a hard day's travel than to relax in one of the many hot springs lining his route in what was later to become British Columbia.
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Motorcycle Reviews

2007 Victory Vision

2007 Victory Vision

There's always risk involved when launching a new motorcycle. That's especially true when the model unveiled falls squarely in the upper ranges of the luxury-touring segment. Only a few high-stakes players can sit at that table, and their fan base is very well defined and often fiercely loyal. So, entering this realm is a huge gamble. But when you've successfully fielded models like Vegas, Eight Ball, and Jackpot, you don't start hedging your bets. Letting it ride comes naturally.
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2007 BMW G 650 X Model Series

2007 BMW G 650 X Model Series

It wasn't so long ago that a BMW was considered your father's motorcycle, conservatively styled, quiet, and a little square - the tweed jacket of the motorcycle world. And although understated competence still generates some appeal, the cool contingent wants more pizzazz from today's fast-paced market, and they won't look twice at anything that smacks of argyles and elbow patches.
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2007 Yamaha YZF-R1

2007 Yamaha YZF-R1

Place the tip of your thumb and forefinger three millimeters apart. That's about 1/10 of an inch, and how much Yamaha engineers raised the rear swingarm pivot on the 2007 YZF-R1. Chew on that for a second - not 2mm, not 4mm, but 3mm, to reduce chain tension under power. That's just one instance of the continuous refinement characterizing the 2007 R1, the successor to the iconic bloodline that first burst onto the scene in 1998.
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Honda NSS250A Reflex®

Honda NSS250A Reflex®

I'd be lying if I said working for RoadRUNNER wasn't a great gig. Riding motorcycles for a living is a terrific way to make a buck. But the traveling and great events are only part of the equation. I'm still expected to meet deadlines and show up at the office. And though the routine there isn't at all exceptional, nonetheless I feel fortunate because, like many others who ride their bikes back and forth from the office, I actually enjoy my commute.
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Also in this issue ...

  • When The Pavement Ends [Read]
  • Peter Calles's Magnificent Obsession [Read]