Author: Rob Brooks

Great American Motorcycle Show 2020

With the departure several years ago of the Progressive International Motorcycle Show from Atlanta (or the entire southeast, for that matter), the Great American Motorcycle Show fills that gap left behind for us here in the Deep South. Men and women, young and old, from across the spectrum of our great land, came together to share and enjoy our common passion- all things 2-wheels (and sometimes 3) and a motor.

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An American In Dakar

For the first time in history, an American won the motorcycle class in the legendary Dakar Rally, this year held in Saudi Arabia. Ricky Brabac of Hesperia, California took the coveted Tuareg prize astride a Monster Energy Honda CRF450 Rally, the first win for Honda in 31 years. This was Brabec’s fifth attempt in the Dakar race, and only the second time he’s finished it.

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Bring On Spring!

I recently parked my old 1998 Yamaha Royal Star in my father’s garage for some long-overdue and much needed maintenance. The old girl has about 88K miles on her, and I decided to give attention to several issues during these winter months. My parents live about an hour and a half south of us, so my goal was to get down there several times across the cold months to freshen everything up for the 2020 riding season.

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A Tale Of Two Wheels

A new year and the second decade since the big Y2K scare is upon us. Twenty years later and the human race didn’t suffer from a global computer meltdown despite the chaos that ensued in the months leading up to December 31, 1999. It is also 20 years after the night that Prince sang about, reminding us a few years before just how big every party should be. This is the day after my birthday and my annual reflection on another fateful trip around the sun. As I have done in years past, I offer a writing as a muse to those who may have opportunity to entertain the reading of it.

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2019- The Year in Review

As 2019 draws to a close, many of us pause to consider the year gone by, with all it’s triumphs and tragedies. We at Road Dirt have glanced back over our shoulders as well, contemplating our first year as a motorcycle publication. And what a year it was.

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Fix It Yourself

A confession: I’ve never been very mechanically-minded. I have always admired my father, who can build, repair, modify, or tear down just about anything with a motor. Still can, even at 80 years old. I however, was not blessed with the same skill set. Any abilities I’ve acquired have come by learning from him, teaching myself, and much trial and error (emphasis on error).

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Nelson-Rigg CL Series Deluxe Saddlebags Evaluation

Last year, I took a 3-day road trip on my Triumph Bonneville, packing light with only a backpack and a tail bag rig for the bike. I’d only had the tail bag a few months, having purchased it from a local motorcycle accessories shop. On the return trip home, up in the north Georgia mountains, one of the under seat Velcro straps ripped in half, and nearly sheared the second strap as well, sliding the whole bag immediately over to the right side of the bike. I felt the immediate weight shift, and quickly got off the road. With a fuel station (thankfully) right across the street, I pulled into the parking lot, bag still dangling off the right side, only to realize how close I had come to those ripped straps wrapping around my rear wheel or worse, tangling in my chain. That could have turned ugly, quite quickly. A kind old gent in a rusty pickup witnessed my dilemma, and offered a set of bungee straps to get me home. Very grateful for that Good Samaritan.

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A Master Craftsman and His Legacy

The name Bob McKay of McKay’s Harley-Davidson and McKay’s Cycle Creations in Ontario, Canada is synonymous with everything that has made the motorcycle industry great. Countless people will tell you of his impact. His work has been admired throughout the world for over 4 decades. He was one of the very few that would build every aspect of a motorcycle. From paint to driveline, the finished product was always world class.

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S.O.S.- Save Our Sport!

Out for a fall motorcycle ride recently I stopped off at a old general store in a tiny town out in the country for some fuel and refreshment. Taking a seat near a window, I noticed in a stack of magazines an old issue of LIFE, dated July 20, 1967. Intrigued, I perused the pages, and immediately found something unexpected- two large ads for motorcycle manufacturers, one a full page Honda ad, and the other a half page Harley-Davidson ad. The common denominator, besides the obvious motorcycles, was the demographic these ads were clearly targeting. Both contained young people, enjoying life and astride their bikes, which also, by the way, were small displacement, affordable, and visually appealing…

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