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Touring and Travel Articles
It happened in the winter of 1874. Five prospectors hired a man to guide them across the San Juan Mountains. Weather was severe that year; the men fought huge snowdrifts and extreme low temperatures. Progress was very slow. No game for hunting was to be found, and the party ran out of food. Up at Slumgullion Pass, they had already boiled and eaten their moccasins. Six weeks later, only the guide showed up at Los Pinos, claiming he had lost the others in a snowstorm.
Unlike most Shamrock tours, this one has a prequel. Instead of flying into the closest Wisconsin airport, I flew into Utah and then inaugurated the new 2012 Victory Cross Country Tour for a three day trip to Sturgis. There, I met up with Ken Engelman, and we enjoyed the Sturgis Bike Rally for a few days before riding 850 miles across endless plains to our home base: Rhinelander. It’s been a long, straight shot getting here, but now we’re in Shamrock mode and ready for some daily loops.
Let me tell the story, I can tell it all, About the mountain boy who ran illegal alcohol, His daddy made the whiskey, son he drove the load, When the engine roared, they called the highway Thunder Road. - Opening excerpt from the “Ballad of Thunder Road”
Independence in America means freedom. Freedom to do whatever we want to do, whenever, and wherever, right? Well . . .within reason, of course.
At 6:30 a.m. the day is already hot. Alex and Nicco, our new riding companions, are ready to ride. As I strap down the last of the bags, a young and slightly awkward Iranian soldier grabs my attention as he runs into the hotel yard, clearly out of breath. “How is he meant to escort us to the border? What’s he going to do?” asks Alex. “No car, no bike.” I swap around my bags, and my waterproof carryall quickly becomes a makeshift pillion seat as our young escort climbs aboard and finds his perch. Two miles later our small group is safely delivered at the Iran-Pakistan frontier.
Steam rises from the blacktop like smoke signals as we approach the bridge girders over Skeleton Creek. I slow the big BMW R 1200 GS and keep Susan’s bright yellow F 650 in my mirrors as we duck under a canopy of trees. Our early morning ride brings us to this place only moments behind a thundershower that has provided the final ingredient to the cauldron in which we ride.
One year after introducing the popular and acclaimed Tiger 800, Triumph has added its new flagship entry to the growing adventure-touring market—the 1215cc Tiger Explorer. Designed to go head-to-head with BMW’s R 1200 GS and Yamaha’s 1200cc Super Ténéré, the Explorer offers modern styling and a potent powerplant. Powertrain and Performance For the Tiger Explorer, Triumph built a new three-cylinder engine producing a class-leading 135 hp and 89 lb
Martial arts competition, like sport motorcycle riding, stylishly blends power and finesse with razor-sharp wits and the ability to quickly and effectively compensate for any move the opposition, or the road, throws your way. While Honda’s CB1000R certainly delivers black belt performance on the open road, it also packs a mean set of brass knuckles.