Author: Phil Gauthier

Phil & Rob’s Excellent H-D Touring Adventure

A couple of months ago Rob rang me up (that means phone call for you youngsters) to ask if I would like to ride to Daytona Beach Bike Week and give the new 2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide and Street Glide a go, compliments of the H-D Marketing team. He went on about having a place to stay with his old high school buddy for free or some such drivel – not sure. As an official H-D Fan Boy, I couldn’t focus after I heard “new Road Glide and Street Glide”. Following a slight bump in my schedule we had to push our departure one day which cut our demo ride down a bit but I was still down to see what all the fuss was about with these new baggers.

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Holiday Gifts: LEGO Yamaha MT-10 SP

Road Dirt editor Rob Brooks recently scored an amazing gift from Yamaha Motors USA in the form of a LEGO Technic 42159 Yamaha MT-10 SP motorcycle, and was generous in offering for my grandson Parker and I to build it. Rob did have one request attached to the gift – “Please do a Road Dirt review of the build to share with our YouTube audience”. We happily agreed and on a rainy Saturday in mid September prior to our beloved Georgia “Bulldawgs” football game, my buddy 8-YO Parker Burrell and I began the build.

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Riding For Perspective

I’m not sure if it was the feeling of autumn air or the fact that this has been a very busy year for me, but I was able to really enjoy the ride and reflect on so many things other than the tasks normally at hand. Riding seems to help me find new directions on various issues going on in my current season. The thought of just being able to ride and reframe some of these events and topics in a new way really did help create a healthy perspective and a refreshing of my soul.

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My Brothers – Our Bikes Part 2

Nate was still racing, but for me and Greg the smell of premix was replaced by Gatorade, sunblock and trips to our children’s little league games and school functions. Deep down the feeling of the wind and two wheeled power was still drawing us back to our early love of riding.

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My Brothers – Our Bikes Part 1

Standing in his cow pasture out back, Greg was schooling me on his skills and as I watched him jump and bash a few berms I thought, “This dude is crazy.” Next I’m sitting on this Yamaha 60 (a bit small for me) and was taken through the “One Down – Three Up” clutch cadence. I took off and began to feel the exhilaration of power by a simple twist of the wrist and that was it. I loved the feeling of riding on two wheels and motor, and was instantly hooked.

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Bar Swapping

So what’s with all these baggers, tourers and all around bad-@$$ bikes with tall handlebars (AKA) “Apes”? Why would anyone want any other bar (height or width) on a bike other than the stock bar? Well, for me it’s about leverage and making the bike “fit” me better. I’m on my second Harley touring bagger (a Road Glide) and I couldn’t wait to put some 12” bars on it. After I bought a Street Glide in 2017 a family member asked me what I was going to do to make it my own. I wasn’t sure what he meant. A few months later when riding with a group of buddies I noticed one of the guys had installed 12” KST Kustom bars on his Road Glide and I had to ask, “So what’s the big deal – is this just so you can look cool or like a ‘Real’ biker?” My buddy (an engineer by trade) didn’t punch me in the nose for my wise-cracking question, but rather came back with a more technical, and I must say legitimate, response.

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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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Rinehart Slip On – DBX Comparison

A few weeks after I bought my Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special someone asked “What are you going to do to make it yours?”  I wasn’t sure what he meant.  Later while on a ride a buddy on an older Street Glide riding behind me, at our next fuel stop stated “Man, we’ve gotta get you some sound on that thing. Those stock pipes are way too quiet.”  He then promptly lent me a set of Cobra slip-ons which he had replaced with Rineharts. I finally understood what they meant.  I had to make my bike look, ride and sound like I wanted it to.

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A Fat Boy Comes of Age

Every few years a manufacturer (motorcycle, car or otherwise) will select a certain model of a vehicle to pay homage through some sort of limited edition design. The idea is to showcase the models history and integrity within the brand while potentially opening up a new audience to the model. This being the 30th anniversary of the iconic Fat Boy® model, Harley-Davidson decided to do just that.

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