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Touring and Travel Articles

City Escapes:  Maryville, Tennessee

City Escapes: Maryville, Tennessee

This trip is for those who like long riding days. Start early to complete the entire loop before dark and ride during summer to get the most sunlight. This is a three-season route, as higher elevations tend to get snowed up in the winter. The mountains are stunning in this area, with vibrant valleys, mountain passes, and flowing streams. You’ll also go through some of the tightest and twistiest roads in Tennessee and North Carolina, perfect for sport or sport touring riders. With many famous roads like Deals Gap and Cherohala Skyway, the Smoky Mountains are a riding gold mine.
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City Escapes:  San Bernardino, California

City Escapes: San Bernardino, California

This route takes you to one of California’s most picturesque lakes. The return leg of this twisty, mountainous escape runs along the aptly named Rim of the World Hwy. It is hard to beat the mix of forests, lakes, and million-dollar views on this short city escape. The ride may just change your perception of Southern California. The views are incredible throughout the route, and Big Bear makes for the perfect spot for lunch halfway through the ride. Due to the elevation, this is a spring, summer, and early fall trip. San Bernardino traffic is most often heavy, but the gridlock thins out nicely in the mountains. Big Bear is a popular recreational destination, though, so weekend traffic can reflect this.
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US 1 in Florida, Part 1:  Down from the North

US 1 in Florida, Part 1: Down from the North

The US 1 stretches across 545 miles throughout the entire length of Florida along its eastern shore, from the northern border with Georgia to the southernmost tip of the continental U.S. in Key West. It was designated the first U.S. highway when the Numbered Highways System was rolled out in 1926. While Floridian roads are infamous for their lack of curves, the ride down US 1 is far from dull. The sheer length of the route offers ample opportunities for proactive riders to make their own fun, or just enjoy Florida’s vibrant scenery.
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Western Pennsylvania & New York Part 1

Western Pennsylvania & New York Part 1

Science tells us that around 55% to 60% of the human body is composed of water. In that vein, marine biologist Wallace J. Nicholas has noted that: “We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us …” Water, in its many forms—rivers, lakes, rain, waterfalls, canals, and streams—will be a constant companion for Jeff Arpin and me, riding a silver and blue Honda ST1300 respectively, as we explore western Pennsylvania and New York.
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Phoenix, Arizona Shamrock Tour

Phoenix, Arizona Shamrock Tour

It’s been six years since Kris and I decided to relocate from Michigan to Arizona. The impromptu move was brought about by a job opportunity for Kris and my “restless leg syndrome” (meaning my inability to stay in one place for too long). With no advanced planning, in 17 whirlwind days we sold our home, our furniture, most of our personal belongings, packed up what was left, and moved west. Three days later we arrived in Phoenix with our then 2-year-old daughter Allison, a pug named Stella, a fish named Pete, and little else. Kris settled into her new job and I set about transferring my business operation from Michigan to Arizona.
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Austria:  The Art of Indulgence

Austria: The Art of Indulgence

My friend Michael comes from Vienna. The Viennese are sometimes ill-reputed in the rest of Austria. The residents of the capital city are supposedly snotty and a bit too self-aggrandizing. Michael, however, embodies another undisputed quality of the Viennese—they know how to indulge in the good things. During our journey through Croatia he raved about a place in southern Austria that would not only be great for motorcycling, but where the culinary arts have also been driven to perfection. He was talking about Southern Styria.
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Motorcycle Reviews

2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin 
Adventure Sports ES

2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin 
Adventure Sports ES

Discussions about big adventure bikes regularly center on BMW’s iconic GSs and KTM’s Adventure models, which is a disservice to Honda’s updated Africa Twin. When introduced in 2016, the Africa Twin (AT) excelled in off-road situations but fell short of its European rivals in terms of features, technology, and long-haul comfort. Updates in 2018 added electronic throttle control for its 998cc parallel-twin engine and a greater breadth of traction-control adjustments. In the following year, Honda introduced the more touring-focused Adventure Sports (AS) version with greater wind protection, more fuel capacity and longer-travel suspension.
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2020 KTM 890 Duke R

2020 KTM 890 Duke R

The newest Duke is pointed up an enticingly twisty road, tugging at its leash. It begs to scamper and effortlessly lunges up the hill, its motor’s bark rising briskly before being interrupted momentarily with a pop from its quickshifter. A corner looms, and hitting hard on the brakes, you get to enjoy robust feedback and tremendous deceleration while sizing up the apex of the bend. The tip-in response is immediate as you dive toward the apex and then aim with precision for the next one. This is surely one of the best motorcycles in the world for tearing up squiggly lines on a map.
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