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Author: Ted Edwards

The Immaculate Restoration

In the motorcycle world, Honda’s 1969 CB750 was a fork tailed devil of a different sort, striking its own deadly blow to its slow, unreliable competition and irreversibly changing the course of motorcycling. Its innovations were previously unthinkable: disc brakes came standard, power came easy, size and weight became manageable, electronics became reliable, beauty was standard. It killed the competition. There was no reversing course.

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Motorcycle Gear: InEarz UH-1 Custom Earbuds

Hearing protection is critical for motorcycle riders. Wind noise and exhaust sounds combine to erode our hearing until we are straining to hear conversations in a noisy restaurant or asking our significant other to repeat dialogue at the movies. Loud pipes may save lives, but they destroy your ears.

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Nine Ways To Miss

I miss the anticipation of the trip, the packing, the excitement of cramming my saddlebags full of warm clothes and strapping camping gear everywhere until it was heavily laden like a Yukon bound pack mule seeking a golden fortune.  However, instead of heading for the frozen north, we were pointing our front wheels south to mine our memories from the golden shores of the Pacific Coast Highway.  Levering my weighty bike off the kickstand and thumbing the starter felt like a leap into the unknown, the first steps of a thousand mile journey, my Honda VFR’s repaired electrics held together by electrical tape and happy thoughts, partly because I got lazy, party because it finally worked and I didn’t want to mess with it lest the whole mess unravel.

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Dunlop RoadSmart IV vs Michelin Road 6- Long Term Handling Test

New tires are a gift to motorcycle handling, fresh rubber turning your bike into a dance partner with nimble feet and newfound agility. Yet tires do not stay perfectly round for long as accumulated miles flatten rubber eliminating the roundness of honeymoon handling bliss. Much of a tire’s life is spent squared off and how a tire handles at mid-life is a concern of many rider.

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Dunlop Q5 Motorcycle Tire Test

Last fall, Dunlop introduced it’s newest releases in hypersport rubber, the Q5 and Q5S, replacing the track focused Q4 and grippy but street oriented Q3+ in Dunlop’s lineup.  Being curious, I purchased a set of Q5S out of my ridiculously abundant Road Dirt paycheck, spooned them on my Honda Superhawk and headed to The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington.

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Red Light Blues

The red fuel injection warning light came on.  The engine died. Time slowed.
In motorcycling physics, miles per hour equals radius.  More speed means a wider circle.  Cut throttle (or have sudden power loss) and your circle tightens immediately.  Engine power that had been keeping me passing the tanker truck around the outside abruptly left like a girlfriend scorned, and my radius tightened towards the tanker truck on my right.

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Dunlop Roadsmart IV vs. Michelin Road 6: Dry Handling Comparison

For the second year in a row, Road Dirt will be pitting two tire giants against each other in a head-to-head battle for sport touring tire supremacy. Last year, Dunlop’s Roadsmart IV easily won the test over Pirelli’s Angel GT with better dry handling, equal wet weather grip, better long term handling and a shocking 70% more tire life. Conversations with riders and comments from both of my readers asked about Michelins touring giant, the Road 6. So once again, I twisted the arm of my touring companion Dave “White Girl” Wensveen and convinced him to join me for another summer of testing.

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Summer Tire Shootout- Dunlop Roadsmart IV vs. Michelin Road 6

Road Dirt’s summer tire shootout is back.
Last spring, after Dave “White Girl” Wensveen and I grossly over caffeinated ourselves, our acute grasp of the obvious made us realize we had the exact same bike. I suggested that it would be a perfect test bed for tires. Two identical bikes, two identical riders, each following the other around all spring, summer and fall while testing and taking notes sounded like the ideal way to put to bed all of the heresy regarding tire performance.

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