Month: March 2021

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Celebrates 10 Years

The worldwide Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is marking its 10th birthday in grand fashion this year, in spite of a continued international pandemic. As countries around the globe try to return to some semblance of normal while still fighting COVID, the DGR plans to renew their global campaign to bring “dapper riders” together to enjoy a day ride together and raise funds and awareness for men’s cancer and mental health causes, via the Movember Foundation.

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The Little Guys

While the large dealerships have so much to offer, not only in bikes, but in apparel, accessories, parts, and great service, I admire and applaud the small shops, the family and individually owned establishments, for their passion, dedication, and personalized attention to detail. The big enterprises get all the attention, but these “Little Men” as Alan Jackson once immortalized in song, are in many respects the backbone of American motorcycling, and certainly of our national economy. My father, before giving up riding in 2019, always carried his ’03 Harley Heritage to a small one-man shop in Sparta, Georgia, owned by Mike, a retired certified H-D mechanic, when he needed service or parts. They’ve become friends, and Pops completely trusted his bike to Mike. “I’ll never take my Harley to anyone but Mike,” Pops once declared.

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Harley to Tour the Pan America

Harley-Davidson recently unveiled their take on adventure touring with the all-new Pan America™ 1250 and Pan America™ 1250 Special motorcycles. Adventure touring is becoming the fastest growing segment in American motorcycling, with its endless on/off-road possibilities and unrestrained freedom.

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Strider & All Kids Bike

As a kid growing up in south Florida and later north Georgia, my bicycle was my life. I’m unsure what my first starter one was, and my parents can’t remember either, but I perfectly recall the bike that defined my childhood. It was a metallic blue Schwinn Stingray with a pearl white banana seat, a high back “sissy bar”, and a serious ape hanger handlebar, at least for a 2nd-3rd grader. I’d clip playing cards (always the Jokers) to the forks and frame, fore and aft, so it would clatter against the wheel spokes and mimic the sound of my dad’s Triumph TR6. No hand brake, but slowed/stopped by reversing the pedal action. I rode that bike all around our small community, through the woods behind our home, and took quite a few spills on it, always getting back up and rolling on. I remember teaching our own girls how to ride, each when they turned about 5. And like their father, they rode those little bikes all over the neighborhoods we raised them in.

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Legendary Bikes: 1977-79 Harley-Davidson XLCR

The first time I ever beheld a Harley-Davidson XLCR Cafe’ Racer, I was awestruck. A friend had stowed a motorcycle magazine (don’t remember which one) in his book satchel, and during class had it opened inside his class textbook, acting like he was paying attention to the teacher. I sat behind and just to the left of him, sneaking peeks occasionally as he silently perused the pages. When he fell on a full-page, center-mag advertisement of the XLCR, my eyes widened. I poked him in the shoulder, keeping an eye on the teacher, and motioned for him to let me see the ad. He slipped me the magazine, which I tucked underneath my desk, then inched it into my lap to have a better look. The two-page spread was a visual feast to my youthful eyes. Wow. I’d never seen a motorcycle so cool, so mean, so utterly bad-@$$ looking. I was in love. “If ever I get to buy a street bike, I want that one,” I quietly mused to myself.

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Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

I’ve parted company with my beloved “Bertha” after nearly two decades. I feel as though I’ve sold out my best friend. You’ve heard of “buyer’s regret”? I think I’m feeling “seller’s remorse”. And yet, deep down, I know it was time. The older I get, the heavier that bike feels. The more years and miles she accumulates, the more attention she needs- old parts need replacing, more tune-ups are necessary, more tightening and wrenching is required. For someone not very mechanically inclined, this would eventually become a challenge.

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IMS Outdoors- From Convention To Carnival

I remember the very first IMS show I ever attended. It was in North Atlanta, at a large convention venue called the Cobb Galleria. A bunch of guys and gals in my riding group had taken the bikes on a chilly January morning around the north Atlanta perimeter, to attend the show on a Saturday. We arrived well before the doors ever opened, purchased our tickets, and awaited the grand entrance. When IMS flung the doors open, The visual moto-feast I beheld raised the hair on the back of my neck. Expansive displays of current and coming models from all the major national and international brands, chrome, paint and rubber from one end of the convention floor to the other. Marques lofted their logo banners, rock music wafted over the sound system, young women walked around passing out show packets. I was in motorcycle heaven.

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Crash Course

I knew something was wrong. I remounted and ascended the grade slowly. With its rock face to the left and sheer drop to the right, running wide here meant endless airtime to consider what went wrong, get your affairs in order and picture your kids’ faces before gravity pulls you toward your inevitable handshake with the basalt rocks that lie below, waiting to mangle rider and bike. A couple of minutes into my climb I found Corey’s wreck. He had run wide.

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SA1NT Motowear Unbreakable Pants and Gloves

There’s a new motorcycle apparel company in town, from the “Land Down Under”. SA1NT carries a full line of motorcycle riding gear, as in riding pants, jackets, gloves, shirts, even socks. We recently acquainted ourselves with this unique Australian garment company, and were offered the opportunity to test and review a sampling of their MotoWear line.

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