Month: July 2020

The Firefly Hour

Summer “dog days” in the Deep South are often hot, humid, still, and stale. Temps in the upper 90s may not be the hottest in the nation (my brother regularly experiences 100+ in middle Texas), but the stifling humidity and often breezeless days tend to leave us soaked in sweat, forcing us to escape the summer suck either indoors or poolside.

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Legendary Bikes: 1958 Ariel Square Four Chopper

I must admit, I’ve been fascinated with the old Ariel marquee for about 10 years, since I first laid eyes on one in a moto mag, then at moto show. The unique Square Four engine configuration, the quintessential Brit bike lines, and those pipes! I’m in love with them. So when I beheld this radically raked out and customized Ariel chopper in the Throttlestop Museum up in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, just up the street from the fabled Road America racetrack, I was awestruck. I had to learn more. To combine the best of the British motorbike scene with the American chopper culture of the late 60s- mid 70s, was pure steel poetry with this build.

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A Pandemic Purchase

I didn’t set out to buy a used motorcycle during a pandemic, but that’s exactly what happened.
Like most people right now, I just needed an escape, something that would enable me to clear my head for a bit without talk of epicenters, vaccine trials, personal protection equipment, etc. So, while my kids watched cartoons after dinner, I got in the habit of surfing Craigslist to see what two-wheeled deals were available.

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Skool of Moto

It’s Independence Day, a Saturday, and students are in school. But the four students attending summer school were not lackluster performers or behavior problems, nor are they being forced to attend against their will.
Quite the opposite. They paid to come here, some traveling thousands of miles to attend. Even more unusual, the curriculum at this school involves clutch control, lofting the front wheel and monkey lifts. All of them, including the instructor and her support staff, are female.
Welcome to Skool of Moto.

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A Walk Through Harley History

As an unapologetic Harley-Davidson owner and brand “Fan Boy” I was, dare I say, exuberant when the opportunity to tour the Harley-Davidson Museum recently presented itself. When I decided it was time to get back on a street bike there was no question it would be a model from the Milwaukee based icon. Since purchasing my first Harley in 2017 I’ve found myself enamored with the lore of the brand and its roots in American manufacturing and motorcycle history. Yes, the company has expanded globally in both manufacturing and distribution, but the impact that the Harley-Davidson Motor Company had in the U.S. during their early years is undeniable. I was excited to take this two-wheeled trip through time and the museum did not disappoint.

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The Last Bullet

Royal Enfield has announced the cessation of an iconic motorcycle in their model lineup- the legendary Bullet 500. Claiming the distinction as the world’s oldest motorcycle in continuous production, the ending of the legendary model came as a surprise to many. As of October 2020, the Bullet 500 will no longer be in production. The company claims the bike fell victim to India’s increasingly constricting emissions regulations, and the rise in popularity of their newest flagship model, the Interceptor 650, which we had the pleasure to ride and write about ourselves.

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Another Casualty of the Times

In the midst of a economically debilitating pandemic, and in light of the dramatic changes taking place in the print publishing world in recent years, the iconic motorcycle magazine American Iron has announced the current issue #390 will be their last. This comes as the most recent casualty in a series of print deaths across the past several years. We’ve seen the departure of Motorcyclist and Cycle World (two publications this author freelanced for), Cruiser, American Bagger, Hot Bike, Cruising Rider, even Motorcycle Consumer News, among others. Some of these have gone digital/social media, while others simply folded. This is not exclusive to motorcycle magazines, as the entire print industry continues to experience upheaval, especially in these current trying times.

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