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Tackling LA-Barstow-Vegas on a 2WD Ural Gear-Up

LA-Barstow-Vegas on a 2WD 2016 Ural Gear-Up.

It’s well before dawn, and the temperature is below freezing. Ben’s KTM 1190 Adventure says it’s 27 F., but Kurt’s BMW R 1200 GS is somewhat more optimistic at a balmy 31. My Ural Gear-Up is silent on the matter, perhaps in indifference to these mild temperatures. After all, it was originally built to carry Russian soldiers through snow and ...

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2016 Holiday Gift Guide

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A Few of Our Favorite Things… It’s that time of year again! To assist you in the search for that perfect gift, three of us on the Rider staff each assembled a few of our favorite things to review for this special Holiday Gift Guide. Every one is a much better gift for your favorite rider than a leopard-print Snuggie, ...

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2017 Kawasaki Z650 – First Ride Review

2017 Kawasaki Z650 ABS

In the 1970s, an influx of in-line four cylinder motorcycles from the Japanese “Big Four” quickly took over the market. These quick, reliable and comfortable speed machines became known as Universal Japanese Motorcycles, or UJMs, both for their similarities to one another and their universal appeal. Kawasaki’s contributions to UJM domination included the mighty Z1 and the KZ650—which was known ...

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Swamp People and Hot Sauce

Riding through the backcountry bayous and swamps of southern Louisiana. (Photos: the author)

I have lived in southern Louisiana my whole life, and for this sport-touring rider, the weather from late October through April is pretty hard to beat. Frontal systems are usually at least five days apart, and in between, the weather is predictably dry and very comfortable. Such was the case on this Saturday in mid-February. I chose a familiar 275-mile ...

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Follow the Rivers: Tracing the Headwaters of the Colorado River

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Having just retired from a wildfire management position with the Forest Service the previous year, and thus off the hook for working fire pre-suppression all summer long, I took the opportunity to ride up into the high Rockies in June, following the great rivers—the Colorado and its tributaries—all the way to their origin. Departing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, I rode ...

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The Quail Motorcycle Gathering 2016

Anybody looking for a sporting big single in 1929 could have chosen this Moto Guzzi Sport 500, with a neat little box on the gas tank to hold those metric tools.

What a show! The day began cool and lightly overcast, but by 11 o’clock the skies were blue and white, with lovely puffy cumulus clouds drifting slowly overhead. Absolutely perfect weather—obviously ordered up for the occasion. A walk through the entrance opened to four grassy acres of the venue, with more than 400 bikes on display, some going back a ...

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BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100

Unlike a concept bike that might see production in a few years, BMW’s Vision machine is a sci-fi look 30-40 years into a possible future, when the dangers of riding and the need for a helmet and protective gear have been eliminated.

On March 7, 2016, the BMW Group celebrated its 100th anniversary by unveiling the first of four visionary vehicles from its BMW, Rolls-Royce and Mini automobile and BMW Motorrad brands, each of which represents a distinct interpretation of mobility well in the future. While it’s not uncommon for vehicle manufacturers to look 8-10 years into the future for design inspiration, ...

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Tour Test: Riding the Devil’s Highway on a V-Strom 650XT

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The road is turning and twisting in an almost violent way, with 10-mph hairpins and 25-mph curves in endless succession. We (V-Strom and I) are riding high in the sky, above the valleys thousands of feet below, sometimes to the east, sometimes to the west. The left foot is working the transmission incessantly, going from 2nd to 4th, rarely 5th, ...

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Ridden & Rated Review: 2017 BMW R nineT Scrambler

A higher handlebar, skinnier, right-side-up fork with gaiters and upswept exhaust—not to mention a lower price—distinguish the Scrambler from the standard R nineT. (Photos: Markus Jahn, Peter Musch, Arnold Debus and Jorg Kunstle)

Simple is Best. That’s an axiom manufacturers are increasingly turning toward, as a counterpoint to the ongoing electronically driven techno-race. “There are lots of people who want to get away from all that technology,” says BMW Motorrad’s Head of Design, Edgar Heinrich. “They want a cool style above all else, in a lower-performance package. We must try to provide that.” ...

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