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Special Retrospective: The Birth of Victory Motorcycles

Victory V92C

Editor’s Note: This story first appeared as a regular One-Track Mind column in the September 1997 issue of Rider. Unless you’re a snowmobile, ATV or personal watercraft (PWC) enthusiast, America’s newest motorcycle manufacturer may be a stranger to you. They certainly were to me, so I sat down for about 2-and-a-half hours with Matt Parks, general manager of Polaris’ Victory motorcycle division, ...

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Special Retrospective: Victory V92C | First Ride Review

Victory V92C

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the September 1997 issue of Rider. If an American company like Polaris is going to jump feet first into the motorcycle market with one bike in the late 1990s, it has to be with a cruiser. The trick was, how do you make that cruiser stand out in the veritable sea of V-twins, ...

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Interview: Round-the-World Record Setter Urs ‘Grizzly’ Pedraita

Urs "Grizzly" Pedraita and his Victory Cross Country.

Despite his nickname, Urs “Grizzly” Pedraita is a friendly, soft-spoken 52-year-old from Switzerland who could easily be your family doctor or accountant. But deep down Grizzly is tougher and more bearlike than most of us. In addition to holding the record for the fastest circumnavigation of the planet by motorcycle on the shortest route—16 days—in 2016 Grizzly smashed the record ...

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A Literal Black Eye On Our Sport

A gang of riders on unlicensed dirt bikes and ATVs beat a motorist who attempted to pass them as they performed stunts on a California freeway.

It took decades for motorcycling to overcome the negative perception of the lifestyle that was prevalent in the 1950s. So much of that perception was unfairly created in entertainment and the media. Movies that portrayed motorcyclists as roving gangs of thugs and staged magazine photographs of drunken, antisocial bikers put a lasting, negative patina on the activity that we love ...

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Six Weeks in Europe on a Bonneville T120, Two-Up

The Isle of Man.

I have been my husband Bill’s pillion rider for 30-plus years, riding a variety of bikes on trips as short as just around the corner for ice cream, or as far away as Lumby, British Columbia, for a Norton rally (we live in Ohio). Bill is an experienced rider and I always feel safe. So, when we decided to take ...

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Stayin’ Safe: Hidden Valley

The view of the road ahead looks wide open at first. But look again and notice the stretch of road that is hidden from sight.

Riding a stretch of rising and falling road is fun, but also presents a special kind of challenge for the back-road motorcyclist. While the rider can often see the road stretching out into the distance, parts of the path are hidden from view by one or more low elevation hillcrests. Those shallow dips—often hardly noticeable—can be as dangerous as a ...

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Riding a Royal Enfield Through Wild West Africa

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How a little touring in England turned into the ride of a lifetime. Buy the bike you want. Never mind what anyone else says. If you love it, get it. It’s your ride. My vice: A Royal Enfield Bullet. “First contact” was during a two-week ride with my dad through the Himalayas in the north of India. At the end of the tour, ...

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Why Are Sidecars Called “Hacks”?

Ural sidecar with passenger.

The word “hack” has a bad rap, at least here in the U.S. It can mean using a hatchet in a violent manner, or employing nefarious means to gain unauthorized access to data. So why in the world would we use it as a slang term for something as innocent and fun as a motorcycle sidecar rig? It’s questions like ...

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What the Heck is a Farkle?

Farkled-out Kawasaki KLR650.

If you’ve spent much time around sport-touring or adventure-touring riders, you’ve likely heard a strange term being tossed casually around, typically at rallies or Saturday morning pre-ride coffee. “Farkle.” You’re a smart cookie though, and have figured out that it seems to refer to motorcycle accessories…but why are some accessories “farkles” and others are just, well, accessories? Or is there ...

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