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Happy Birthday, Katrina: A Rocky Two-wheeled Romance with New Orleans

In 2009, riding the updated Triumph Bonneville through New Orleans' colorful French Quarter. (Photo by Tom Riles)

Eleven years ago today I woke up in a church wondering what the hell happened. The wooden, one-room tabernacle, located on a quiet residential street in St. Martinville, Louisiana, used to belong to the Presbyterians but was abandoned when the congregation dwindled. Pableaux Johnson, a food writer friend of mine, had bought the church a few years earlier and converted ...

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Blog: Signs Along the Way

web-Williams - 01

I love word play as much as I love motorcycles, and entertaining ways to combine these two passions are conveniently posted along roads where I ride. Signs guide the way and state the rules, but more than a few give me reason to laugh out loud. Often it’s by accident, but other times by design. Signs have alerted me to ...

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Frightening Lightning

Motorcycle in the rain

The lesson I learned as a Cub Scout is still with me: “When thunder roars, go indoors.” In a pinch, an enclosed automobile qualifies as “indoors” because its steel shell can channel a lightning strike around the occupants. Motorcyclists aren’t so fortunate. We’re exposed in a thunderstorm. Our heads are unintended lightning rods sitting atop bodies covered in dreadfully conductive ...

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Crouching Panther, Hidden Ninja

On the cover of our February 2011 issue is the new 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 1000, a fully faired version of the Z1000 that features roomier ergonomics, an adjustable windscreen and touring accessories. Few motorcycle model names have been as enduring as Ninja. The name invokes images of aggressive, powerful sportbikes, often in Kawasaki’s trademark lime green. The Kawasaki Ninja is currently offered ...

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Some Days are Like That

When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, which is about the trials and tribulations of a young boy on a day when nothing goes his way. Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair. He finds no prize in his cereal box (his brothers do) ...

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Dream Garage

Still full of Christmas spirit (and with monthly deadlines behind me), I’ve been thinking about my dream motorcycles. Here are my faves from the list of touring/sport-touring, cruiser, sport and dual-sport motorcycles. First off, my Dream Garage would not have all the clutter and boxes that’s currently filling it, and I’d have a garage just for motorcycles. Touring/Sport Touring: Kawasaki ...

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Out of Gas

It’s been many years since I’ve run out of gas on a motorcycle, but I did just that coming home from work the other night. I’d left work on the Honda VFR1200F DCT with the intent to gas up before getting on the freeway. Somehow I simply forgot, hopped on the freeway and headed home. While I was paying attention to ...

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Stayin’ Safe Advanced Rider Training

Last week Rider’s Riding Well columnist and motorcycle instructor Eric Trow was here doing his first training session in California. Instructor Pete Tamblyn came along, too, for the three-day event. Eric and Pete had flown into Los Angeles International Airport and picked up two BMW R 1200 GSs from EagleRider Motorcycle Rental. Six riders joined them and I popped in for the ...

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Motorcycle Windshields, Er, Windscreens

Here at Rider magazine, we get mail. Boy, do we get mail–email, snail mail, even hand-delivered letters and notes on occasion (though no one ever brings us a cookie. Sniff.). We love it all, good, bad, critical and even incoherent, except maybe the ones pieced together from letters cut out of a magazine. Your correspondence helps us maintain a good handle ...

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