Yesterday morning, I was sipping coffee and reading the latest issue of Rider magazine: EIC Tuttle’s tips on cold weather riding (One-Track Mind, March 2019). Later that afternoon, I rolled out the Ducati and suited up for a ride on an unusually nice day here in New Jersey. Fifty degrees, no worries. But as I rode I thought of one more item we East Coasters might need: insurance. It’s not uncommon for many of us to purchase insurance for only a half year, April to September for example, to somewhat coincide with the riding season. But on a nice day between October and March there’s a temptation to take advantage of the weather and get out for a quick ride, even though any mishaps will not be covered. It’s easier and not much more expensive for me to pay for 12 months of coverage so that any nice “off-season” days are not wasted. By the way, it’s nice to get an issue of Rider every month.
Peter Krynicki, via email
Great editorial on safe winter riding. I can ride vicariously through your great stories but always need some seat therapy of my own. My goal is to ride my BMW R 1200 GS every month I own it. My R 1150 RT is also ridden year-round. With proper care and equipment I always find at least one day each month to exercise the bikes. The fact that I live in Minnesota hasn’t kept me on the couch, even when it’s nine degrees. Thanks for a great magazine.
Philip F. Schweitzer, via email
I was surprised to see a picture of the Cassoday Country Store in the March issue (“Bluestem Pastures”). Took me a while to verify, but that was the location of the one photo I took in 2012 when I was passing through Kansas. It was a cross-country trek on my 2007 Bonneville. The crosswinds in Kansas had me riding at an angle all day. I pushed through 765 miles to reach Colorado, vowing that I would not sleep until I was out of the state. Despite how many times I cursed Kansas in my helmet that day, Frederick Tressler’s description of the small towns and country roads made me want to go back. It is great writing like this that reminds us that if we slow down and take time to explore, we can find amazing beauty in what seems to be completely inhospitable country. Thank you, Rider, for always delivering!
Peter Collins, Narberth, Pennsylvania
I have been waiting for Ari Henning to make reappearance in a motorcycle magazine, and I am so glad that it is yours. You have the best magazine for the motorcyclist. I have been riding and racing my entire life and still have four bikes. I am retired from the motorcycle industry and only enjoy reading articles that truly target what motorcycles and their riders are about. Ari is one of the best and has a great history of quality work for such a young man. I am looking forward to more from him and all of you at Rider. Thanks for a great magazine for motorcycle people.
Buz Conlin, Monson, Massachussetts
I just wanted to say that your magazine is number one, and bringing on Ari Henning is an excellent move; he has enthusiasm and a lot of knowledge about motorcycles. Also, I want to encourage you to keep up the good work, you stand alone now as an informative magazine with quality content.
Dave Banks, via email
Even though I’m not in the market for a new bike, I really enjoy the new model previews and road tests. One thing I’d love to see your magazine do is a comparison test between the new café racer bikes like the Triumph Street Cup, Royal Enfield Continental GT and Kawasaki W800 Cafe. To me, it seems they are vying for the same market share and it would be fun to see how similar and different they are.
Steve O’Gwin, Inola, Oklahoma
Your magazine is a deeply valued contributor to my enjoyable riding and reading life. To wit, Clement Salvadori’s article in the February issue of Rider, “Time and Distance, People and Places.” Mr. Salvadori’s columns always evoke great memories and inspire new adventures. One such recollection takes me back to 1971. I had taken delivery of a new BMW R75/5 in West Berlin, Germany. After living there for several months my wife and I took off on an 8-week tour of Western Europe. Another couple, also in their mid-twenties, accompanied us on their brand-spanking-new black R75/5. In Munich, Germany, the youth hostel manager refused to allow us to park our bikes in the secure courtyard. Grumbling loudly, we settled into our rooms after parking the bikes out on the street.
Next morning my buddy and I discover that someone had stolen his entire front wheel during the night. Naturally, we entertained some fairly profane thoughts about that hostel manager. Nevertheless, I get on the phone—it’s a Friday—and call virtually every BMW dealer in Munich. Nobody has a front wheel assembly. Nobody! Despite Munich being the headquarters of BMW Motorrad, we’re coming up with zero. So I call the factory. By now it’s Friday afternoon. Somehow I get a man on the other end of the line who sounds sympathetic. I explain our predicament. He says, “Come out to the factory tomorrow morning at 11:00. I’ll see what we can do.”
We are punctual, and so is he. In his hand he’s carrying a front wheel assembly, gleaming in the bright mid-day sun. “Everyone told us there aren’t any of these in all of Munich,” I say in Deutsch. “They are right,” says the BMW employee. “Then where did you find this one?,” I query. “I am the head engineer here. And I am a rider. So I just put one together, spoke by spoke. Here you are.” Our jaws drop, more so when he tells us that all we have to pay is what the parts cost, wholesale. About half or less of what it would have cost in a dealership. Talk about “Freude Beim Fahren” (Joy of Riding); that day, BMW more than lived up to its slogan. Suddenly on a sunny Saturday morning in Munich, the old story of The Good Samaritan took on a whole new meaning. Thanks for your column, Clement; once again your writing hits home.
Duane Sarazin, Hastings, Minnesota
I can relate to Clement Salvadori’s article, “The Rhythm and the Road” (Road Tales, March 2019). I had a very similar experience on my Honda ST1100. One of my favorite roads is near Golden, Colorado, known as Golden Gate Canyon Road. It is a fairly technical and complicated road with three switchbacks and it climbs or descends about 1,200 feet of elevation. I would ride this road over and over again, getting more and more confident each time and increasing my speed through each switchback. Then one day, as I was descending one switchback, I saw a big yellow object in the opposing lane. It was a school bus! I had to lean more…and more…to avoid hitting the bus. I thought: never again, I need to slow down. My riding experience made me acutely aware that life is too short! The only difference between Clement and me is that I do have a bit of dancing rhythm. I grew up during the disco era and met my wife at one of our favorite clubs. We still enjoy getting on the dance floor and I believe one reason she married me was because I ride a motorcycle. As you mentioned, Mr. Salvadori, “The art of motorcycling is a learned art.” I do have more rhythm on the dance floor but I am always learning better rhythms on my motorcycles. Thank you for your insight.
Ray Salinas, Arvada, Colorado
Clem hit a homer with me in the April issue of Rider: adventure! I think adventure, like beauty, is in the eye (or seat of the pants) of the beholder (rider). I have far too many Great Adventures on motorcycles to cover in one short letter, but several stand out: my first solo trip to Alaska on a Yamaha FJ1100, riding my first Colorado 500 at the invite of Sherm Cooper and meeting Dan Gurney and Rick Mears, riding through my 49th state, Rhode Island, and finally last year, nine days on a rented bike in Ireland! Each of these adventures stand out in my mind in a different way, but each was, in its own way, a Great Adventure. And now I’m planning yet another adventure: riding back to Alaska on my FJR1300. And doing it with a good friend will be an adventure of a different kind, since we have a limited amount of time and will have little time to stop and smell the bears! I don’t know how many more Great Adventures I have left but I don’t intend to quit looking for them now!
Russ Locke, Lakehills, Texas
Dear Jenny, I enjoyed reading about your Three Flags adventure (“There and Back Again,” February 2019). Regarding your earplugs chafing in your ear canal, try using the Mack’s brand. They are made of pliable silicone and they mold to your ear. Intended for swimming, but perfect for us riders! You can find them in the pharmacy section at drugstores or Walmart. Ride safe.
Scott Magruder, Acworth, Georgia
In the February 2019 issue of Rider, you invited readers to email their takes on why they would choose to have a cruiser over a performance/sport bike (One-Track Mind). Thanks for the offer. I’ve been riding motorized two-wheeled vehicles for around 70 years and have tried a variety of styles. I had a BSA Road Rocket, used for street and drag. It was pretty fast and comfortable. Since then, I have leaned toward performance standards. I have plenty of opinions on style vs. function, but if you will, turn to page 12 of the February 2019 edition of Rider, and you will be able to read Clement Salvadori’s well-stated view on the style of bike that makes one cool, or smart, or whatever the “right” ride makes you feel. One size does not fit all.
Bob Wilson, Port Angeles, Washington
Awesome! Ari Henning is now with Rider. He was the best thing about Motorcyclist, which is currently a glossy joke (I no longer subscribe). Please keep him and keep Rider one of the few viable moto mags.
David Hillyer, Moss Landing, California
I just wanted to say that your magazine is number one. There are/were a few other magazines that had excellent content but a year or so ago threw it all away and went to every other month delivery with old, pretty much useless content with no coverage of today’s motorcycles. I just wanted to say bringing on Ari Henning was an excellent move; he has enthusiasm and a lot of knowledge on motorcycles. Also, I want to encourage you to keep up the good work, you stand alone now as an informative magazine, you have actual content.
Dave Banks, via email
I was happy to see Ari Henning as one of your contributors in your March issue. I have followed his how-to articles over the last four years in Motorcyclist since I got back into riding. Hope to see more! Also, thanks for still being a monthly magazine. I look forward to it every month! The others I subscribed to are now bimonthly or quarterly and I tend to forget about them.
Stephen McUmber, via email
Greetings. I am a long-time subscriber, and there’s something that I’ve needed to say for a while now regarding Jenny Smith. Let me begin by saying I’m kind of old, and a product of my generation. When Ms. Smith was introduced to us readers, I remember thinking, “Oh, good. I like it when motorcyclists take into account the feminine perspective.” I am now somewhat ashamed to admit that what I expected was reviews on gear and apparel for women and pillion reports.
Boy, was I wrong! There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that she is the real deal. To Jenny I have to say, “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize. You are truly one of us.” I look forward to your reviews and articles and hold your opinions in as high regard as I do any of the fine staff at Rider, my favorite magazine. It makes my heart soar to know that women like you exist. To whoever made the decision to hire her I say, “Well done! And thank you.”
Steve, via email