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The Writing On The Wall

Our life is but a blip in the expanse of time and tomorrow is guaranteed to no one.  Money, fame, and millions of Facebook or Instagram followers will not buy anyone an extra day.  God decides that.  It made me reflect on how I would end the sentence on the board.  If I had the chalk, what would I write?  Years after taking the picture, I know the answer.

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Return of the Wild Rose Squad

Nothing keeps the Wild Rose Squad from Canada. Undeterred by attempts ruined with rain, terrible traffic or broke down bikes, this smaller, quicker offshoot of the Wenatchee, Washington based Mild Hogs touring group always returns. Despite life’s determined pull to keep us shackled to our daily drudgery, we break free and head north during this same time window each year.

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The Last Ride, Part 2- A Short Story

With the bike resting on the sidestand, I helped him get his left leg on the passenger peg, and supported him as he slowly swung his right leg over and settled in. I got on and fired up the Yamaha Virago’s 1100cc V-Twin. “You sure you’re ready for this?” I asked. “Been ready for 20 years,” he called back.

Aaron’s Story

I was swinging on our front porch with my wife the other night, the sun having set behind the tree line, and the woods around our North Georgia home were awash in the glow of dozens of fireflies. It’s late spring, and I suddenly found myself reflecting on a treasured friendship with an old adolescent pal named Aaron Smith. I’m not sure what triggered the memories, but I lingered there in the gathering dusk, even as Lisa excused herself and stepped inside. I bid welcome to the images, conversations, and shared experiences with my old friend, allowing them to fill my consciousness. I sat and savored, like watching a great old movie I’d seen before, but worth the viewing again and again.

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Kawasaki’s Killer Modern Retro Lineup

Its no secret at Road Dirt- we love classic motorcycles. Sure, sport bikes are thrilling, ADVs are fun in the dirt, and cruisers/tourers are the way to travel. But there’s something nostalgic about old motorcycles that still rev our hearts, and we always gravitate toward “modern classics” when brands design and offer them. Heck, I love my 2017 Triumph Bonneville 900 Street Cup, and when our friend Steven Kent of Law Tigers bought a 2018 Z900RS, we had to spend a day chasing each other around Georgia Lake Country on our retro-cool, slightly-larger-than middleweights.

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Wayward Sons

Close your eyes and visualize Oregon. What does your mind see? Picturesque lighthouses standing watch on jagged coastlines? Liberal urbanites of Portland? Westward expansion along the Oregon Trail? Tall timber forests full of battling loggers and protesters?No matter what your mind’s eye sees, you are both right and wrong. True, Oregon is all of those things but there is, as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story.

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Goodbye Dale, And Thank You

I got word that Dale Walksler, the founder and president of the wonderful Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, Tennessee, passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. Dale was 69 years old. The news struck me hard, as several of us Road Dirt guys were just up there back in September, touring this famous museum of American motorcycling. I’ve visited the museum 5-6 times since they first opened in 2002, and have always marveled at not only the vast collection of American motorcycle history they have amassed, but how every bike in the collection actually runs. Yet best of all was Dale’s personal touch. Until his health prevented it, Dale was often out on the floor, meeting patrons and discussing bikes, history, great rides and fond memories, a precedent the rest of their staff continues to practice. Wheels Through Time truly is, “The Museum That Runs.”

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Dunlop Roadsmart IV vs Michelin Road 6: Wet Handling Test

Yet if you ride in the Pacific Northwest then you know that into every ride a little rain must fall.  Just not this year.  We rode through most of the West anticipating that somewhere, somehow, we would find nature’s rain for the highly anticipated wet weather tire test of Dunlop’s Roadsmart IV vs Michelin’s Road 6, our participants in year two of our tire shootout series.  Instead we found heat, snow, even a biblical plague of grasshoppers but not a single drop of rain.  So to answer the question that both of my readers have been asking, we traversed thousands of miles to some of the best riding in the country, the place where it rains every afternoon: Colorado.

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BSA Motorcycles Debuts 2022 Gold Star 650

Finally, the wait is over. About this time last year, we wrote about the news that Mahindra Group in India had bought the rights to the BSA brand, and would be producing them in the UK. They just pulled the wraps off their debut model a day ahead of “Motorcycle Live 2021” in England. BSA sneak-previewed their all-new Gold Star 650 at England’s National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham before the Motorcycle Live event at the NEC, the first in a series of motorcycles the brand plans to bring to market in the coming year(s).

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Legendary Bikes: Kawasaki KZ650

As we swung our truck and trailer around in the cul-de-sac and parked, I could already see it down Tom’s driveway. Glimmering, almost glowing in the late afternoon sun filtering through the golden leaves of autumn, sat the motorcycle of my youthful dreams- a fully restored 1978 Kawasaki KZ650. Tom, the owner, met me in the driveway and proceeded to share the unique story behind this bike I was about to buy and trailer home. “It looks just like one I owned while I was in college,” Tom told me. “I loved that bike, hated to sell it, and always hoped I’d find another one someday.”

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