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Author: Rob Brooks

Mimi and Moto: The Motorcycle Monkeys

I first met Mark Augustyn of Little Rider Enterprises at the final race weekend of the 2022 MotoAmerica Road racing series at Barber Motorsports Park. I was familiar with the book series, having seen them in MotoAmerica‘s merchandise tents over the years and at other events around the Southeast. Mark and I talked extensively that weekend about his and Nancy’s inspiration for the book series, and the hopes they had for its future.

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Legendary Bikes: Kawasaki KZ650

As we swung our truck and trailer around in the cul-de-sac and parked, I could already see it down Tom’s driveway. Glimmering, almost glowing in the late afternoon sun filtering through the golden leaves of autumn, sat the motorcycle of my youthful dreams- a fully restored 1978 Kawasaki KZ650. Tom, the owner, met me in the driveway and proceeded to share the unique story behind this bike I was about to buy and trailer home. “It looks just like one I owned while I was in college,” Tom told me. “I loved that bike, hated to sell it, and always hoped I’d find another one someday.”

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Legendary Bikes: Motus MST

At the recent MotoAmerica season finale at Barber Motorsports Park, I was invited by Neale Bayly to attend a gathering in the museum’s Advanced Design Center. In the course of the evening, after chatting with various moto-dignitaries, I took notice of the Motus MST-R on display. Instantly I was transported back to the day I spent riding one of those amazing motorcycles and touring the Motus plant in Birmingham, Alabama with founders Brian Case and Lee Conn. Brian is now with the Advanced Design Center, and we talked for a few minutes about my experiences that unforgettable day back in 2017, how enthralled I had been with the first American-designed and built four cylinder street motorcycle since World War II.

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A Chat With Josh Hayes

For those who have ever followed American motorcycle road racing, Josh Hayes is a familiar name and face. The four-time AMA Superbike champion and his wife Melissa Paris have established themselves as motorcycle racing royalty here in the States, setting/breaking records, leading successful race teams, coaching younger riders, and were even featured in the already iconic motorcycling movie, “Why We Ride”. Neither needs any introduction.

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A Thriller At The Barber

Jake Gagne defended his Superbike crown in style at Barber Motorsports Park over the weekend, capping off a thrilling season of racing not only in Superbike, but in every other race class as well. The now 2x National Superbike Champion snagged a race 1 win on Saturday in typical Jake fashion, i.e. got the jump on everyone at the start, then ran away from the pack. Race 2 shaped up differently, in a fashion that took many by surprise. This one will be talked about among road racing fans for quite some time, we’re guessing. What a finish to a memorable year.

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The Moto Mindset

So much of proficient motorcycle riding is all in your head. We all assume a measure of risk every time we throw a leg over and throttle out. Most people are unwilling to take that risk upon themselves. That’s what makes us motorcyclists different, sets us apart. We control our fears, conquer our reservations, and prepare ourselves as best we can to enjoy what we love- two wheels, a motor, and an open road before us. It all begins “between the ears.” This truth became abundantly clear to me on a recent road trip with friends.

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Helmet Review: HJC i10 Robust

But if life and cognizance is critical to you, as it is to me, a quality motorcycle helmet is a must. The problem is, superior protection comes at a superior price, a concern in these uncertain economic times that might be difficult for some. So where can you find quality at an affordable price point? I found the HJC i10 Robust line of motorbike helmets, and I think they might fit the bill, literally.

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Triumph’s Plucky Tiger Sport 660

We’d had the 2022 Tiger Sport 660 in the Road Dirt garage for a couple of weeks already, and I was very much enjoying the bike. I asked Adam, “How would you sum up the little Tiger’s reception so far this year in the North American market?” After a moment of reflection, Adam replied, “It’s the bike nobody knows they want.”

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Dynamite In Small Packages

I’m hard on the throttle exiting the wide sweeping curve known as “The Bowl”, trying to click up through the gears as fast as possible before the brake/downshift zone and the left hairpin that is turn 1. As I drift wide so as to dive deep into turn 1’s apex, an 11-year old named Cooper undercuts me on the inside, passing me on a 110cc Ohvale like I’m standing still. “That kid’s good,” I muse to myself as he rockets away down the back straight.

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