November/December 2019
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Touring and Travel Articles

City Escape: Sparta, Wisconsin

City Escape: Sparta, Wisconsin

Sparta became “The Bicycling Capital of America” by completing the first Rails-to-Trails project converting an abandoned railway track into a bicycling trail system. The Elroy-Sparta State Trail, built in 1965, is 32.5 miles long. Pedal bikers have it made in Sparta, but motorcycle riders also have great riding options to the north in the Coulee Country, and in the Driftless Region, south of the city.  Length Approximately 180 miles round-trip  Meetup Spot
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City Escape: Kahului, Maui, Hawaii

City Escape: Kahului, Maui, Hawaii

This entertaining, challenging, and supremely beautiful ride has Kahului, Maui’s largest city, as its axis. It features a short out-and-back on the island’s famed Road to Hana as well as a full loop around the beautiful West Maui region.
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Nebraska: Hiding in Plain Sight

Nebraska: Hiding in Plain Sight

The most interesting stories can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places.
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Natchitoches, LA Shamrock Tour®: The Heart of Creole Country

Natchitoches, LA Shamrock Tour®: The Heart of Creole Country

Founded in 1714 on the banks of what was then the Red River, Natchitoches, LA, is named after a Native American tribe that lived in the area. It is the oldest European settlement of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase territory. People flocked to the area, but eventually the river changed course, cutting Natchitoches off from the lucrative Mississippi River. The town adapted to this, as well as many other changes since its establishment. With Native American, French, Spanish, African American, Creole, and Anglo influences, the city’s cultural mixture is diverse, to say the least. This sounded like a perfect place for a Shamrock Tour®, so Marisa and I are taking a ride down the Natchez Trace Parkway from our home in Tennessee and then west to Natchitoches in search of American history, Cajun cuisine, and great riding.
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Portugal: Stone Age

Portugal: Stone Age

Few corners of Europe are as remote as northern Portugal, a fact that makes a journey to this region particularly worthwhile.
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West Virginia: Ride the High 5

West Virginia: Ride the High 5

Northeast West Virginia is a treasure for motorcyclists, with mountains, vistas, and curves galore. Hardy, Grant, Pendleton, and Hampshire counties banded together to create a map called Ride the High 5 that shows all of the best roads, accommodations, and area attractions. I knew the most famous stretches of scenic roads already, but locals always know best, and thus I learned about several new roads.
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Motorcycle Reviews

2020 Zero SR/F: This is the Noise That Speed Makes Now

2020 Zero SR/F: This is the Noise That Speed Makes Now

Riders who have not experienced an electric motorcycle might think the power output will be quaint, like that of a supercharged electric toothbrush or perhaps one of those ubiquitous city scooters. Despite warnings to the contrary, these same riders have a come-to-Jesus moment when they finally whack open the throttle. This is especially true of Zero Motorcycles’ latest offering, the all-new SR/F (as in “Street Fighter”), which makes a tractorlike 140 lb-ft of torque, delivers 110 horsepower, and reaches a top speed of 124 mph. On a naked bike with this kind of muscle, one should pull the trigger only after grasping the handlebar with premeditation and purpose.
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2019 Ducati Diavel 1260 S: Diavel at the Crossroads

2019 Ducati Diavel 1260 S: Diavel at the Crossroads

When Ducati introduced the Diavel (the name translates to “Devil”) in 2010, the Italian manufacturer broke new ground, entering the somewhat unlikely realm of cruisers. The Diavel was an impressive audition in a world where one manufacturer has enjoyed a virtual stranglehold for some time. The Ducati’s persona and performance helped contribute to the evolution of a new category: the “power cruiser.” The manufacturer continues its commitment to, and faith in, the Diavel, evolving its stature with subtle implications of taking on America and, in equal measure, seducing a cadre of motorcyclists who may not have ever considered putting a Ducati in their garage.
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