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Tag: off-road

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Honda Revives the Transalp

Back in the summer I was visiting my friend Barry, the sales manager at Cycle World of Athens, discussing our time with the Yamaha Tenere 700. “This bike is so popular with the ADV crowd, do you think Honda will respond with a mid-size Africa Twin?” I asked. Barry responded, “Not that we’ve caught wind of yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them bring back the old Transalp in this size.” I had not thought of that model in quite some time, but it turns out Barry was prophetic in his proclamation. Honda has indeed reintroduced the venerable old adventure bike from yesteryear, in an all-new package and livery.

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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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Playing In The Dirt Again

I am chasing Barry down another rarely-travelled unpaved road out in east central Georgia, barely able to make out his silhouette ahead of me from the cloud of red clay and gravel dust he and others ahead of him are kicking up. I’m alternating between sitting and standing, bouncing and sliding along about 45 mph, hard on the little 300’s throttle, trying to keep them at least vaguely in sight. I am telling myself, audibly at times, “Relax, breathe, keep a loose grip on the grips, let the bike float and move beneath you. You’re doing fine.”

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