September/October 2008
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Touring and Travel Articles

Shamrock Tour® - Southern Illinois

Shamrock Tour® - Southern Illinois

Some nicknames make perfect sense. I often answer to Red, nothing out of the ordinary for a carrottop, and my college roommate, Fats, was usually one of the last to leave the pizza buffet. But every now and again, you run across a moniker that leaves you downright mystified, like the appellation they came up with to designate this gently rolling countryside in Southern Illinois.
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Key Largo to Key West

Key Largo to Key West

It's surprising how much island hopping one can do without booking a cabin on a cruise ship - and in southern Florida that's exactly what I might have had to do if it hadn't been for one wily oil tycoon. Instead, comfortably settled into the low-slung seat of a new Vulcan 900, I can roam the long smooth deck of US 1 and never once lay eyes on a shuffleboard player while heading south to Key West.
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California: Along Hwy 49

California: Along Hwy 49

"In a cavern, in a canyon, excavating for a mineDwelt a miner forty-niner, and his daughter Clementine.Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling, Clementine, You are lost and gone forever, dreadful sorry, Clementine."
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Newfoundland's T'railway Provincial Park

Newfoundland's T'railway Provincial Park

Located at the northernmost tip of North America, Newfoundland offers a vision of barren beauty that attracts half a million tourists each year. And after finding out the big island also has a 550-mile railway trail system that's open to motorcyclists, we couldn't possibly resist the lure of traveling there, either.
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The Natchez Trace Parkway - From Mississippi to Tennessee

The Natchez Trace Parkway - From Mississippi to Tennessee

Many of the roads loved most by motorcyclists are timeworn remnants. Too often, when a forest or mountain stands in the way, it's been a simple matter of putting the big equipment to work indiscriminately slashing trees and moving tons of dirt to fashion the perfect point-A to point-B route. Thankfully though, we still have roads that follow the path of least resistance, and some of the best are age-old trails.
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China

China

Delicate white lilac blooms and the rosy blush of peach tree blossoms herald the arrival of spring in Beijing. Some Chinese residents have helped me with the importation of my motorcycle into the country, and now my new friend Pai and I are strolling in the glorious garden of the New Summer Palace. After the long, cold winter I spent in Germany, the sun feels good and I am looking forward to the next three months of travel in China.
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Reader Ride: Doing the Dempster

Reader Ride: Doing the Dempster

Stretching across the Yukon and Northwest Territories of Canada, the 720-kilometer Dempster Highway wanders for days through untamed wilderness to reach the frontier outpost of Inuvik. Backtracking its length is the only way off the tundra, but rest assured that not a single moment of this incredible adventure will fail to amaze.
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Motorcycle Reviews

2008 BMW R 1200 GS & R 1200 GS Adventure

2008 BMW R 1200 GS & R 1200 GS Adventure

What is it that makes a motorcycle great? Is it all-around ability, or sharply focused functionality in a specific area? For the R 1200 GS series, a hot item for BMW aficionados with over 75,000 of them already sold worldwide, it may be both.
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Two August Agustas

Two August Agustas

Early morning light bathes the seductively shaped sculptures in warm radiance. Curvaceous bodywork, distinctively flared fuel tanks, brilliant red paint and the assertive thrust of those symmetric silencers denote great style and speed. The marque badges, with their iconic lettering, simply proclaim the obvious: MV Agusta.
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2008 Kamp Kawasaki

2008 Kamp Kawasaki

Once a year Kawasaki hosts a get-together for its friends, the media, as well as past and present racers. The event is always scheduled to coincide with the AMA races at Infineon (formerly Sears Point) Raceway in Sonoma, California, and special guests at this year's gathering included Gary Nixon, Jay Springsteen, Rickey Gadson, Jimmy Filice, Jason Britton and others.The Saturday and Sunday racing highlights were rounds one and two of the premier superbike class competition.
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2008 Victory Vision Touring

2008 Victory Vision Touring

Before I laid eyes on it and spent four days touring with it, the Victory Vision wasn't on my short list of "must rides." But all of the preconceptions I had - that the bike's styling was too futuristic, it wouldn't handle well in curves and the V-twin motor would produce too much vibration for comfortable long-distance touring ­- proved to be invalid.
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New Kymco Models

New Kymco Models

Now that gas prices have smashed through the roof, interest in alternative transportation is soaring sky-high too. For a company like Kymco, known for economical and reliable scooters, those circumstances have created the perfect opportunity to go all in and ride to the rescue.
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2008 Piaggio MP3 400 & 500

2008 Piaggio MP3 400 & 500

It takes a lot to catch the jaded eye of a typical New Yorker. But here we are in the metropolis astride Piaggio's second wave of funky 3-wheeled MP3 scooters, drawing long stares everywhere we go. One urban hipster eyeing the passel of Piaggios exclaims, with just the right amount of mock irony, "Are you guys from the future?"
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Also in this issue ...

  • The Doctor's Notes by Dr. Gregory Frazier [Read]
  • Drying Out [Read]