Author: Rob Brooks

The Unstoppables

Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier leaves New Jersey Motorsports Park and heads to Barber Motorsports Park this week with a massive 84-point lead in the 2020 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship after what was another walk-in-the-park victory for the four-time series champion. Over in Liqui Moly Junior Cup and Twins Cup, 15-year old “Boy Wonder” Rocco Landers dominated both classes, both days, with four wins across the weekend to claim the points lead in both.

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Road Dirt Remembers 9-11

Most of us over the age of 25 remember where we were, what we were doing, and who we were with, on that fateful day in early September, 2001. I had ridden my Yamaha Royal Star to the office that day, and after pouring up a cup of coffee, was at my desk going through the morning’s emails. A coworker send a staff wide message, stating a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. Soon, several of us were gathered in a conference room, watching the events unfold on screen. Thinking a freak accident had happened, and somehow a small plane had flown into the building, we were suddenly horrified to witness a second plane, a large jetliner, plow into the second tower, fire and debris exploding out from the impact. The first words out of my mouth, when I could finally find words to speak, were “We’re under attack.” I’ll go to my grave remembering the images and footage all day from New York, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. It was a defining moment in American history, and a defining moment in many of our lives.

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Anatomy of a Squid

Returning home from town the other day, I was witness to a “squid” couple on a blacked-out, swingarm stretched, and open-piped Yamaha R1. The “pilot” wore shredded, holey blue jeans with white sneakers, a grinning skull bandana covering his face, and a non-DOT spiked “Kaiser” helmet. His passenger, a rather rotund young lady, wore a good full-face helmet (admirable), but tight shorts, a tank top, and sandals (not admirable). They turned right at the light, and nearly lifting the front wheel off the pavement, he loudly rocketed away, his girl clinging for dear life. “Pair of squids,” I grumbled aloud.

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Long Way Up On LiveWires

The trailer for “Long Way Up,” the epic, new Apple Original series from stars Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman is now available. The first three episodes of the 11-part unscripted series will premiere globally on Apple TV+ on Friday, September 18. New episodes will roll out weekly, every Friday.

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Legendary Bikes: Peter Egan’s 1974 Norton Commando

Peter Egan has been called America’s Favorite Automotive Writer. A Wisconsin native, Egan held unprecedented dual editorial positions with both Cycle World and Road & Track magazines for nearly three decades before semi-retiring from his monthly columns in 2013.
In that time, he rode and reviewed hundreds of motorcycles, but none remained as close to his heart as the Norton Commando. In fact, it was “Dateline: Missoula,” a story about an ill-fated, cross-continent trip on a Commando which was his first published article for Cycle World back in December 1977. Egan wrote, “So it seems I owe my journalism career to that Norton as well. If I’d bought a Honda, god knows what I’d be doing now. Possibly something useful to humanity. That or sleeping under a bridge.”

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Triumph Wields A New Trident

In a press release this week, Triumph Motorcycles unveiled a prototype of a new roadster styled motorcycle that should go into production in the coming year, wearing the famous “Trident” moniker. The model name has been in use by Triumph over the years since about 1968, and graced a number of legendary bikes in their lineup.

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Austrian Armageddon

The now infamous crash in the premier class began with a high speed collision between Petronas Yamaha rider Johann Zarco and Avintia Ducati’s Franco Morbidelli down the long stretch toward the circuit’s sharp right turn 3. At over 180 mph the riders tangled then tumbled out into the gravel and grass, while their bikes careened toward the right hander, even as other riders were negotiating the turn. As can be seen from the footage, both bikes rocketed back across the track at still well over 100 mph, trailing debris in their wake, narrowly missing Monster Energy Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and 7-time world champion Valentino Rossi.

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Motorcycle Tank Restoration

I’ve found that old bikes, or even those that have just sat unused for months or years, tend to exhibit some of the same symptoms of age and neglect- gummed carbs, seized brakes, cracked hoses, and of course, rusted/corroded tanks. None of these are insurmountable, but the first symptom I always check for, is the rusted tank. So often, people who claim, “It ran when I parked it” have likely left fuel in it as well, if even in a small amount. Over time, gas evaporation occurs, replaced with H2O moisture accumulation, and left unattended will create the conditions for rust in the tank and corrosion on the inner gas cap.

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