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Author: Rob Brooks

Legendary Bikes- Christian Sarron’s Yamaha YZR500

The old adage, “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday” was practically a mantra for motorcycle brands and their dealerships back in the 1970s-1990s. With the popularity of motorcycles here Stateside and the sell-out crowds at motorcycle races, the manufacturers often developed race bikes then would incorporate what they observed and learned into their street legal machines. Even the livery of their factory race motorcycles would be painted on street (and dirt) bikes, making them even more desirable to potential buyers. Cases in point- the HRC Repsol Honda replicas, the Kenny Roberts Yamaha paint schemes, among others. The brands still do that occasionally today, with the “Ago Superveloce”, Suzuki’s MotoGP Winners series, and the 2022 Yamaha XSR900, a throwback to the factory YZR500 two-stroke French rider Christian Sarron raced in the late 1980s.

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Riding The Storm Out

If you ride motorcycles long enough, you’ll either find yourself caught in a storm, or you’ll find yourself with no choice but to ride through one. Either way, “riding the storm out” (props to REO Speedwagon’s classic tune) is a common experience we eventually all share. And as with many experiences out on the road, we often recall it with a smile we didn’t wear in the middle of it. Ted calls that, “Type II Fun.”

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Into The Woods With A Honda Pioneer 1000

So here I am, deep in the woods on miles of mountainous Tennessee trails, bouncing/banging around in Honda’s all-purpose UTV. These trails, of which there are over 600 miles criss-crossing this portion of the state, would be entertaining for trials motorcycle riders. We are climbing over rock formations, negotiating deep gullies, fording mountain streams and large mud puddles, and climbing up/down steep mountain trails.
I’ve never done anything like this before. And I’m thoroughly enjoying myself.

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Wayne Rainey Rides Again

Our respect and admiration for Wayne Rainey went through the roof over this past weekend when we learned of his amazing feat at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed, held yearly in Sussex, England. The three time 500cc Grand Prix world champion (1990-92) was reunited with his 1992 championship-winning YZR500, and in fact rode the historic machine multiple times around the famed Goodwood course over the festival weekend.

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Road Tripping a 2022 Yamaha Ténéré 700

I am ascending into a low cloud bank outside Hiawassee, Georgia, and visibility is limited to about 30 yards in front of me. I’m on GA 75, a twisting, curvy state road winding its way across the mountains, and rain has been pelting me since pulling out of town. My pace is slowed, both the windshield and Transitions face shield on my Bell Qualifier helmet are covered in dancing water droplets, and I’m intently peering through the fog, throttling this 2022 Yamaha Ténéré 700 cautiously across the soaked road surface.

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Wet and Wild in Wisconsin

MotoAmerica rolled into the famed 4-mile racetrack known as Road America in Elkhart Lake over the weekend, with a full slate of exciting races across seven(!) classes on Saturday and Sunday. What ensued would be counted among the fiercest competition of the season thus far. But nothing could hold a candle to what went down in the Medallia Superbike class both days

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2022 Yamaha Ténéré 700 First Impressions

First introduced in 2019, Yamaha’s Ténéré 700 has been a runaway hit for the “Tuning Fork” moto brand, despite the pandemic difficulties it debuted under. It’s midsize displacement, narrow body and tank, flat seating and neutral riding position, as well as a reasonable price tag, have given it a wide appeal in the ADV motorcycle segment. Yamaha offered us an opportunity to sample one for a couple of months, and we were more than a bit enthusiastic.

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Age Is But A Number

Josh Hayes just proved that age is but a number, by stunning the MotoAmerica Supersport field this weekend with a win on Saturday and a tight second on Sunday at VIRginia Intl. Raceway. This after a fourth place finish in the legendary Daytona 200 back in March, all of these against riders half or more of his age, which by the way is 47. The adage, “old age and treachery beats youth and exuberance” certainly held true for Hayes.

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