Some Reflections On My Blessings In 2022

Almost a foot of snow fell yesterday around my Pacific Northwest home.  My motorcycles are all parked around the 1966 Ford Mustang convertible, hibernating, tethered to their battery tender umbilicals for the winter.  About a month ago was the last time any of their engines spun, Mustang included, replaced by the monotonous drone of a snowblower.  Staring at them makes me reflect on the things I am most thankful for from the riding year past.

An abundance of moto-happiness, in hibernation for the winter.

Dave “White Girl” Wensveen is at the top of my thankfulness list.  To do Road Dirt’s year long sport touring tire test in scientific fashion, I needed to clone myself, my 5th generation Honda VFR800 and follow myself around all riding season.  So instead of polluting the world with another version of me, I called my cousin, riding buddy, hard core tourer and gear nit-picker Dave and proposed the idea.

Dave foolishly committed to riding his identical VFR800 and touring with me all spring, summer and fall.  The results can be found elsewhere on our site but our tours took us to Oregon’s Rowena Curves, through a Hell’s Canyon thunderstorm, the Eastern Oregon desert, a memorable Fourth of July in Reno including a biker bar we had no business walking into, the Laguna Seca round of MotoAmerica and the farthest northwest point on the continental United States.  As a bonus, I did not get kicked out of Canada this year.

Together, we had once in a lifetime trips almost weekly.  Some stories are told here, others shall remain fireside lore between us.  It was a summer full of adventure I would put on repeat not just because of the spectacular riding but because of the company.  Rare is the person you can tour with all day, every day, all season and not want to bludgeon them while they snore at night.  At the end of the season we were more closely bonded than before.

Dave and Ted- kin and kindred spirits.

I am also thankful for our staff racer Ryan Nolan.  Recently, Yamaha invited Road Dirt to the press release of their new MT-10SP.  Ryan was a natural for the press launch since he has the racing pedigree to put a bike of that caliber to a true test and the humility to make a bike that powerful accessible to every reader.  Every writing staff needs a racing hot shot, and “Rhyno 411” is our ace in the hole.

Ryan Nolan rocking the Yamaha MT-10 SP up in the Santa Monica hills.

Thanks to Triumph for making my favorite bike of the year, the Speed Triple RR.  I flew to Georgia to ride Honda’s CB1000R Black Edition, but could not rip myself from the saddle of the Triumph RR.  In fact, Triumph doesn’t know just how close they came to not getting their bike back.

The double R is sporty while being just barely all day comfortable and has enough power (177 hp and 92 ft lbs of torque) to keep hooligans like me in business.  Ripping exhaust notes coming from the big triple past 7k rpm discourage touching the quickshifter.  Deadly fast and sophisticatedly sexy, it is the James Bond of motorcycles.  In fact, Triumph just released a blacked out Speed Triple RR Bond edition.  Only 60 will be made.

Sizing up the Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR. A bike I could find a home for.

I am also thankful for the MotoAmerica road racing series.  Road Dirt loves not just racing, but also the racing community.  Individuals running the series are genuine lovers of the sport and fan access to the action is as easy as walking up to a racer’s pits and saying hello.  Try that in MotoGP.

Over the course of the year we have had great conversations with elite racers like Jake Gagne and Josh Hayes as well as fan-fave privateers like Max Flinders.  However, whether racer or administrator, everyone involved in MotoAmerica is in it for the right reasons, a true love of the sport.  The more you study racing, the more you discover how rare that is.

We love the MotoAmerica motorcycle road racing series. From the top down, best racing in North America.

Most of all, I am thankful for our editor-in-chief Rob Brooks.  During the spring of 2019 after my previous writing gig had gone fins up, I got a random phone call.  I didn’t recognize the caller and almost ignored it.

Answering that call changed the course of my life.  Turns out it was a guy in Georgia with a perfect radio voice and a smooth southern drawl.  He was a veteran moto-journalist who had just launched a new motorcycle media outlet and was skipping print, going directly digital.  His charm drew me in and I took a chance on his vision.

Years later, Road Dirt Motorcycle Media has grown dramatically.  Rob’s vision, expertise, hard work, and southern charm all seem to attract good staff and build relationships within the motorcycle business.  Over the years he has become not just a trusted editor but a close friend.

The boss man with the plan- and a cool old KZ650.

Road Dirt is all about relationships, not just with riders, major manufacturers, racers, and readers like you but also within our team.  Not many organizations live out that creed, and Rob sets the tone for us all.  Even when I feed his dog Dez way too many cookies under the dinner table, he just rolls his eyes at me and sighs.

I am thankful for the past year, but also look forward to what 2023 brings.  Our relationships within the business and racing side of motorcycling continue to grow and we will continue to test bikes, gear and apparel and drag you with us on our adventures.

Next to my hibernating bikes is a fresh set of tires for our next sport touring tire shootout.  I hope Dave is ready to ride.

Happy Holidays!


mimi and moto books


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