Month: January 2021

Brand Nostalgia

Iconic brands such as Triumph, Indian, Jawa, Norton and Ariel have returned to the road, some after absences lasting longer than the company was in business. The comebacks are usually the effort of sources unrelated to the original company, buying the trademark from whomever has some claim on the brand lineage. Most recently, BSA plans a comeback focused on electric bikes, although reports indicate it may begin production with conventional fossil fuel-powered units. Anytime an old brand somehow rambles back to market, an angel gets his wings, or a biker gets his leathers, or whatever. In any event, there is joy and jubilation in bikerland.

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The Shark And The Bat

In the world of American made touring bikes, the battle for fairing dominance often comes down to personal taste (look and feel) over performance. I must admit, when initially shopping for my first bagger I was drawn to the look of the batwing fairing on the Harley Davidson Street Glide. The idea of cruising behind a set of 12” bars with my feet up on highway pegs just felt right in my mind. So in September 2017, I made that dream a reality and picked up a 2014 Street Glide.

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Harley-Davidson 2021 Virtual Launch

Harley-Davidson took to the Internet for their 2021 new models unveiling, holding their first-ever “Virtual Launch” January 19. To participate, invitees registered via a link to the showcase site, and at 11:00am EST, the launch went active. We at Road Dirt tuned in, and we must say, it was quite the production.

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The Death of Print

With great sadness I hold in my hand the last print issue of Cycle World. The brainchild of Joe Parkhust started publication in 1962 but ceased printing of magazines in 2020 as they transitioned to online media only. As the print version died, so did my dream of ever seeing my name in an issue of Cycle World…

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Honda Takes 1st & 2nd At Dakar

The Dakar Rally Raid of 2021 concluded in dramatic fashion, as the Monster Energy Honda Team claimed an historic 1st and second place on the podium. After 12 grueling stages across 14 days of circumnavigating the Saudi peninsula, across some of the world’s most inhospitable terrain and conditions, Kevin Benavides of Argentina and 2020 defending champion Ricky Brabec bested all comers to take the coveted top rungs in the coastal city of Jedda, where the race both began and ended. Great Britain’s Sam Sunderland took an impressive 3rd place on the platform, riding the Red Bull KTM Factory 450.

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Riding Into The Wild, Wild Wet

Let me preface this with a general, generic disclaimer: In technical terms, biking is not for babies. If you ride outside you will get wet sooner or later, and probably cold, and maybe a little grumpy. But it doesn’t have to ruin your good time. With the right gear, proper technique and a happy attitude, even a rainy day can be a good day.

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Dakar Rally 2021

The new year kicked off with the most grueling race on the planet, the annual Dakar Rally. In its second year hosted by Saudi Arabia, the race is circumnavigating the Saudi peninsula, covering over 4600 miles in 13 days, with one day reserved for rest and repairs. The race kicked off on January 3 in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and will ultimately conclude there on January 15. In between, riders and drivers in all classes must traverse some of the most desolate, unforgiving, barren terrain on the earth.

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Revisiting Why We Ride

The other night, while the wife was working on some budget stuff, I was thumbing through our DVD collection while cleaning up a shelf. The movie “Why We Ride” caught my eye, and I decided to pop it in while I worked, since I’d not viewed the documentary in several years. Soon I was transfixed, seated on the floor, gazing at the beautiful scenes of riding, soaking in the stories and testimonies of motorcycle riders, racers, builders and adventurers. I’d intended to merely click though various scene selections, but instead found myself captured again by the movie and the people in it, watching it from start to finish. From road trips to racing, asphalt to dirt, senior adults to children, the sheer love of riding the movie displays across all lines was palpable. By the end, I was in tears, so thankful I’m able to experience the joy of two wheels and a motor. Lisa, a non-rider, had slipped in near the end, and as I sat through the credits where each person interviewed for the movie was identified, she remarked, “That was really good.” Yes dear, it was, and is.

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Insuring Your Ride and Your Hide

There are a number of what many call, “necessary evils” we all must contend with in life. Those inevitables of which we say, “can’t live with them, can’t live without them.” They include government, taxes, lawyers, mothers-in-law, to name a few. Insurance might be named among these as well. It’s a hassle to deal with, and not often easy on the bank account. But if you’ve ever “been down” as I have, (and it’s often not a question of “if” but of “when”) having the right insurance coverage with the right company can mean the difference between getting back on the road in a timely fashion, or languishing indefinitely on the front porch.

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