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Riding Into History Concours d’Elegance 2016

A lovely Suzuki 250 flanked by a pair of vintage ’60s Hondas were just three of the 270 entries in 2016’s Riding Into History Concours d’Elegance at the World Golf Village near St. Augustine, Florida.

Motorcycle enthusiasts tend to be good people. Generous with their time, always ready to help out for a good cause, and in general we look out for one another, too. Few events I have attended better exemplify this spirit than the annual Riding Into History Concours d’Elegance held at the World Golf Village near historic St. Augustine, Florida, the nation’s ...

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Precious Cargo: The Art of Carrying Stuff on a Motorcycle

Precious Cargo

Recently I order a half-case of wine on the Internet, and the six bottles were delivered in a large box to our office via UPS. My daily round-trip commute is about 50 miles, and I won’t drive my car unless both my legs are broken, so the challenge was to figure out how to carry the bulky, 24-pound box full ...

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Unexpected Serenity in Southern California

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Is there any scenic countryside left for motorcyclists in the urban sprawl of Southern California? Actually there is, and it’s surprisingly close to the densely populated areas of San Diego County and amazingly diverse in climate, altitude and scenery. Starting off early on a weekday from my house in Escondido, 30 miles north of San Diego, it’s a quick jump onto ...

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Retrospective: 1993-2000 Harley-Davidson MT350E

1996 Harley-Davidson MT350E. Owner: Chris Backs, Santa Maria, California.

An unusual bike for the Harley brand, but this was back in its heyday when the Milwaukee company was booming and expanding in every direction. Over in Europe, the NATO countries had asked for a motorcycle to be used by the military, and the MT500 and MT350 were the result. These were rugged, rudimentary, dual-purpose motorcycles powered by Austrian-made Rotax engines ...

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The Dangerous Mundane

The Dangerous Mundane

We humans are creatures of habit. Our brains are wired in such a way as to allow us to develop routines and habits, both good and bad. Routines are what let us prepare coffee in the morning while planning out how we’ll present our new idea in today’s big meeting. A daily commute on roads and in traffic that, in ...

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2017 BMW G 310 R – First Ride Review

2017 BMW G 310 R

I’ve always enjoyed riding smaller bikes. Part of that comes from not being terribly large, but it’s also because it’s just fun to fling them around corners and through traffic, and parking lot maneuvers are a breeze. Having 160 horsepower on tap is fun too, but let’s face it—unless you’re a 1-percenter of the professional racing variety, you’re never going ...

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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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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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