September/October 2019
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Touring and Travel Articles

City Escape: San Francisco, California

City Escape: San Francisco, California

This route unfolds just south of the bustle of San Francisco. The ride includes a coastal stretch as well as a beautiful and twisty route through the mountains. To top it off you can eat lunch at one of the Central Coast’s most iconic motorcycle stops before your return ride beside that famous bay.
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City Escape: Phoenix, Arizona

City Escape: Phoenix, Arizona

This figure-eight ride northwest of the Valley of the Sun links a series of significant roadside attractions on a truly enjoyable route. A wide array of road types, including view-filled straights, ultratight hairpins, and long, sweeping corners, keep the ride lively and interesting. To cap it off, one of the state’s most powerful and touching tributes to heroism punctuates the midpoint of the route. This is a ride best taken in the spring and fall, but it’s passable most of the year.
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Maryland and Virginia: Old Bay

Maryland and Virginia: Old Bay

More than 150 rivers and streams wind their way from New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland, and empty into the Chesapeake Bay. At 200 miles long and 30 miles wide at its widest point, this estuary’s shallow waters (average depth is just 21 feet) and countless bays, inlets, spits, and sandbars can prove challenging for boaters. For decades, lighthouses helped guide the way for a young nation; the history of both can still be found along the bay’s shores.
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Fredericksburg, Texas Shamrock Tour®: The Hill Country Flood!

Fredericksburg, Texas Shamrock Tour®: The Hill Country Flood!

“Idon’t think we should try it,” my wife suggests as she cautiously wades through the rapids. We are communicating through our Sena 30K headsets over the incessant rush of a river overflowing its banks. I am sitting astraddle my 2018 BMW R 1200 GS Rallye. Susan is scoping out the James River a few miles northwest of Fredericksburg, testing the waters, so to speak, before we attempt a crossing. Tropical Storm Rosa is moving into Texas, dumping nearly a foot of rainfall and overflowing the Llano and Colorado rivers along with virtually every other drainage system in its path.
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New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Quebec: Upper East Side

New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Quebec: Upper East Side

We’re passing through Bloomfield, VT, when we stop at the country store for a cold drink. A clearly exasperated farmer named Bob is at the counter, prattling on about the “Moose Fest,” a fair and classic car gathering in the town of Canaan, 20 miles north. (It also happens to include an event that will soon be taking the country by storm: Cow Plop Bingo.) “Dang,” says Bob. “I hate this weekend. When the Moose Fest comes to town, I go camping. It’s a zoo up there.” I notice he’s buying a case of cheap beer for his forthcoming wilderness retreat. Clearly, the guy needs some alone time.
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French Fancy: Roadbook Trail Riding in the Cantal

French Fancy: Roadbook Trail Riding in the Cantal

The concentration is intense. My entire world has shrunk to a roll of stick drawings, a trip meter, and the single track ahead. Behind me there are six other riders relying on my navigation skills to keep the group moving at pace through the achingly beautiful French countryside. But I’m on my A game, flicking my eyes between the three focus points and maintaining a speed that my mates are struggling to keep up with even without trying to decipher the stream of images on the roadbook reader. We rip along a narrow trail in deserted beech woodland, the crisp leaves curling up behind the back wheel in a russet rooster tail, before hanging a right to tackle a monster climb up a rock-strewn path through the trees. This is trail riding in the Cantal region at its best—this is what we came for.
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Brazil: Monstrous Metropolis to Waterfall Wonder Photo Story

Brazil: Monstrous Metropolis to Waterfall Wonder Photo Story

Touring Brazil by motorcycle for nearly three months was an unforgettable experience. After visiting a variety of towns along the coast, it was time for a break in beach town Arraial do Cabo. Next on the agenda: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Curitiba. My riding partner, Lia, and I left the dusty, sandy roads behind, exchanging them for six-lane highways. With exactly 6,000 miles on the counter, we rode in to Rio and found ourselves back in modern-day Brazil. Before leaving the country we rode Southern Brazil’s stunning mountain road Serra do Rio do Rastro and traveled to Foz do Iguazu to see the waterfall wonder Iguazu Falls.
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Motorcycle Reviews

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+

Since Kawasaki first brought the Versys 1000 to market in 2012, the bike has seen a few changes. With the 2019 SE LT+ model, the Japanese manufacturer is upping the ante across the board, offering improved performance, new suspension, more aggressive styling, and loads of high-tech wizardry.  What’s New Electronic throttle valves replace the mechanical units of previous models, allowing for ride-by-wire technology and the addition of cruise control.
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2019 Ducati Multistrada 950 S

2019 Ducati Multistrada 950 S

Ducati’s aptly named Multistrada (“many roads”) has significantly upped the definition of the word sport in sport touring. Imbued with the leading-edge performance and sensual styling that has always been the vanguard of the Italian manufacturer, the new 950 S is a highly consummate and sophisticated motorcycle married to practicality.  The 950 Multistrada is available in two configurations: standard and S model.
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2019 BMW R 1250 GS / GSA: One of the Best Gets Even Better

2019 BMW R 1250 GS / GSA: One of the Best Gets Even Better

The versatile R-series boxer GS models are important to BMW, as the bikes are the top-selling models, with sales of both the GS and GSA (GS Adventure) comprising 27% of all BMW motorcycles sold in the U.S. In this competitive adventure-touring segment, it’s vital to constantly improve and update the machines. A considerable number of changes were made for 2019.
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2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT: Guzzista Magnet

2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT: Guzzista Magnet

For almost 100 years Moto Guzzi has enjoyed a loyalty among its fans (known as Guzzistas) born out of an uncanny sense of exclusivity. The company’s bikes exude a “golden age of motorcycling” aura. Since 1921 every machine they’ve built has rolled out of the original factory in Mandello del Lario, Italy. 2020 represents a new page for the company, with the introduction of the all-new V85 TT, a Guzzi that promises to add members to the exclusive Guzzista club.
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