Author: Rob Brooks

Better On A Bike

I’m no poet, but while seated in an aircraft at 35,000 feet somewhere over the Arabian Sea west of India, these words began to materialize in my head. Returning from a 16-day mission/relief trip to Indonesia with 127 Legacy Foundation, I longed to unwind on a motorcycle and ride off into uncrowded countryside. Through exhaustion, overseas illness, and jet-lag, I mused, “I’m always better on a bike.”

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Motorcycle Gear: Alpinestars Tech-Air 3 Airbag Vest

A couple of years ago about this time, I had a low speed slideout while making a left-hand turn onto another road. I hit an unseen patch of gravel that had washed out onto the road from a storm the previous day, and I hit it while leaning left to negotiate the turn. The Yamaha XR900 I was riding lost traction, and I went down pretty hard on my left side. The bike was fine, mostly, as the handlebar and a couple of left side frame sliders prevented any real damage. My HJC i10 Robust helmet took a knock on the left side, so I had no head or neck injuries. I rode the bike home with no problems. Over the next day or two however, my left side shoulder, ribs and hip became a little sore from the impact.
It wasn’t long thereafter that I took an interest in the growing array of wearable airbag offerings on the market for motorcycle riders.

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This Old Bike And Me

I took my old 1978 Kawasaki KZ 650 out for a ride on a recent Sunday afternoon. The skies were clear, a warm gentle breeze was blowing, and I needed some alone time on a motorcycle. It had been a few weeks since I had last ridden the old bike, and it took a little coaxing to get her to fire up and settle into a smooth idle. Opening the petcock, adding some choke, thumbing the starter a couple of times, a little throttle massage until she was warm, then we were off into the rolling countryside south of our north Georgia home.

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MotoAmerica’s Mathew Scholtz: Back In The Race

For Mathew Scholtz, 2024 began with much uncertainty and a measure of disillusionment. “I contemplated returning home,” to his native South Africa, he confided. The acclaimed Superbike superstar was without a racing team, without a job, and due to timing, wasn’t certain any team in the American motorcycle road racing series known as MotoAmerica would be able to bring him onboard.
From the top tiers of North American motorcycle racing, to “moto-homeless”, the new year was off to rocky start for one of the most beloved riders in the paddock.

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Yamaha MT-09 Ride & Review

The MT-09 has been a staple in Yamaha’s “Hyper Naked” sportbike lineup for ten years, alongside their MT-07 twin, both best sellers in the American market. We’ve had the opportunity to sample the torquey triple mill in their “Sport Heritage” XSR900 a couple of years ago, and were so impressed with the Tracer 9 GT+ that it won our 2023 Bike of the Year. So when invited out to sample the powerplant in their naked sportbike iteration, I jumped at the chance.

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Predictably Unpredictable: MotoAmerica at Road Atlanta

For years now, the MotoAmerica motorcycle road racing series has opened its season at Road Atlanta, with unpredictable, sketchy conditions always a possibility. This year‘s season opener was no different, with a hot and humid Friday for practicing and qualifying, followed by a near perfect day on Saturday with gentle breezes, partly cloudy skies and temps comfortably settling in the 70s, then Sunday brought a chilly rain and temperatures hovering in the low 50s.
The only thing predictable about our weather this time of year, is it’s unpredictability.

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Cleaning & Polishing Motorcycle Pipes

There are several inevitabilities in motorcycle riding and maintenance, and one of them is pipe discoloration. Over time, our pipes blue, yellow, darken, retain imprints and fingerprints, and just get downright unsightly. And whereas the rest of your motorcycle can be washed, cleaned, polished, and made shiny again, the same can’t always be said for your exhaust pipes. Due to extreme heat, time, exposure, and their own composition, keeping pipes clean and shiny is just a much more difficult job.

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Triumph Speed 400 Ride & Review

The Triumph Speed 400 is that pint-sized chihuahua that comes charging into the dog park, confidently yapping at the bigger canines, who give him a wide berth out of sheer respect (yes, I’ve seen this at our nearby park). It’s that good.

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