Month: October 2020

Appalachian Playground

If you want a land to get into your soul, ask it to dance. Roam through its curves, flirt with its scenery, stop and stare at its unfolding landscape and it will talk to you, revealing itself like an intimate dance partner. Ask the landscape questions and it will whisper the answers in your ear, embedding it into your memory forever. As a northwest native, I never thought I could feel that way about Fall in the Appalachians.

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MotoAmerica Season Wrap Up At Laguna Seca

The titles were pretty much sealed up in each race class before the final MotoAmerica round of the 2020 season was even upon us, but that fact didn’t detract from a thrilling weekend of racing on the fabled Laguna Seca in Monterrey, California. The reigning champions in each class finished the season in dominating fashion, taking every one of their respective races, the only exception being 2020 Supersport champ Richie Escalante, who retired with tech problems from race one, then battled with Sean Dylan Kelly for a 2nd place finish in race two.

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Road Dirt Rides Nikens

We rolled into the parking lot of Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, anticipating an enjoyable walk back through the annals of American motorcycle history. As with everywhere we rode the Yamaha Nikens, a gathering of gawkers closed in, slack jawed and cameras snapping. An old curmudgeon in a “brand specific” shirt shuffled up to Ted, who was still removing his helmet, and loudly asked in a deep Southern drawl, “Whut da hail is ‘at??” Ted smiled and replied, “It’s a Yamaha Niken.” Before he could offer any details, the old codger declared, “Ha, more like a Yamaha nuthin!” There was a brief moment of stunned silence on our part, as he ambled around the bike, chuckling. Did this clown really just insult the motorcycle of a total stranger??

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Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge & Resort

Nestled among the ancient, sublime Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina, down a winding, narrow road through a verdant valley, lies a secluded, 40+ acre motorcycle resort that attracts riders from across the continent and even the world. Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge & Resort, first established in 2003 “by riders for riders”, resides along a meandering, burbling creek fed by chilly mountain waters, and serves as the perfect base camp for some of the best motorcycle riding in North America.

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Lost in Translation

There are few universal truths in the world, but one I’ve come to learn with regard to motorcycle repair is that if an aftermarket part promises it will fit, you can be damn sure it won’t. Inevitably, something always gets lost in translation. Yet knowing these dangers, I still venture into the world of aftermarket parts hoping and praying that things will be different this time.

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MotoAmerica Hits The Brickyard

But the Superbike star for the weekend would have to be Bobby Fong of M4 ECSTAR Suzuki. After snatching the lead in race one on Saturday after Beaubier crashed out, Fong fought off Beaubier’s Attack Yamaha teammate Jake Gagne for the win. Then the Suzuki rider claimed the 2nd step in race two, and dominated race three after teammate Toni Elias crashed out in front of him, as did Jake Gagne behind him.

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Hot Laps In A Honda Talon

Recently I was given the opportunity by American Flat Track and Honda Powersports to take a ride in a modern version of those old buggys, a Honda Talon 1000X-4 side-by-side. At the Dixie Speedway round of the AFT season, they gave me the chance to not only experience a ride in one of these beasts, but we would run several hot laps around the track to experience the thrill of powering and sliding it across the Georgia red clay.

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Super Natural

I think there is something in our biking DNA, something that makes us wonder and wander and spirit us to adventure. We may be our nation’s last living symbol of American freedom, exploring the frontier and what the hell ever comes our way. Thankfully, there are still parts of this country that seem untouched by civilization, wild and ancient and otherworldly lands.

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