Rider Magazine, June 2019

Cover of the June 2019 issue of Rider magazine.
Cover of the June 2019 issue of Rider magazine.

The “Thousand Miles of Arizona Highways” was a nice article. However, the author bypassed the very finest road in Arizona and one of the finest in the entire nation. I speak, of course, of U.S. Highway 191, also called “Devil’s Highway,” from Duncan to Alpine. The author rode through Duncan right past the south end of this famous roadbut did not ride it! Any rider looking for the best riding road in Arizona should head to the Devil’s Highway. The last time I rode this highway my wife was my passenger and kept her eyes closed a lot of the way because of the curves and drop-offs. Her concern was unnecessary as we made it to Alpine just fine on a beautiful day and an unforgettable ride.

Jeff Dean, via email

I’m from upstate New York, Siberacuse (more affectionately known as Syracuse) specifically, and your magazine does its best to get us through the winter until we can actually ride again. The June issue had an article written by Dan Bisbee about Route 100 in Vermont, a truly great ride (Favorite Ride). Every year on my trek to Americade I frequently take time to ride at least some portion of Route 100. Unfortunately Dan made his trip a one-way ride to Canada, and I wondered how he got home. In my opinion he missed another awesome New England road: the “Kanc.” The Kancamagus Highway crosses Hew Hampshire right through the White Mountains, and the vistas are unbelievable on a clear day. I’ve done the ride many times and can never seem to get enough. 

George Gridley, Fayetteville, New York

Check out the Favorite Ride from the August 2017 issue, where Mr. Bisbee traverses the “Kanc.” You can also find it on ridermagazine.com under “Favorite Rides.” –EIC

Just read Clement’s “Health and Happiness” article (Road Tales, June 2019) and found myself laughing out loud. Great read there Clem, but I think with the motorcycle exercise regimen you outlined in your article, you would have a better chance at growing five inches than reducing your girth by 2 1/2 inches. Love this mag. Keep up the good work.

Tim Radniecki, Erskine, Minnesota

Boy, did you guys just take me on a trip down memory lane (Tips, Tricks & Answers, June 2019)! I bought my first motorcycle, a ’94 Yamaha Seca II in that same stunning yellow pictured on your pages, in April of 1995. I quickly put 38,000 miles on it before buying a new Yamaha YZF600R in November 1998, which I still own, and on which I have now amassed over 100,000 miles. I also learned how to take motorcycle road trips on the Seca II, up and down the East Coast from the Catskills to lower Virginia. I loved my Seca. It was comfortable and quick enough. It had some vibrations and the head gasket seeped oil, which I fixed, but otherwise it was a really good bike. I sold it in early 2000 and replaced it with a ‘95 GPZ1100, which became my long-distance ride. At this point I have four motorcycles: my aforementioned YZF600R, the GPZ1100, an ‘06 FJR1300 and an ‘01 W650. But my first motorcycle love will always be my little Seca II, which was a reliable and fun companion to tool around on for my formative motorcycle years. Thanks for the reminder of a wonderful and very underrated little bike that did it all, and did it all well!

Ralph L. Angelo, Jr., via email

I enjoyed Clement Salvadori’s Retrospective(June 2019) about the Runpet. In 1964, I was at Pop Kenyon’s then-small shop in Mountain View, California, looking at a unique Japanese bike called a Lilac. It was a tiny BMW copy. It was a 2-stroke and the little opposed twin was probably less than 250cc. I was there to complain to Pop that the front wheel of my 305 SuperHawk didn’t line up with the handlebars. Pop wheeled it over to the fence, put the front wheel between two poles and yanked it straight. There, it’s fixed.

Terry Zaccone, Saratoga, California

Having been a subscriber to Rider for about 20 years, I have read a great number of articles submitted by motorcyclists and have found many to be entertaining and interesting. Some don’t quite meet this threshold, but the story written by Kathleen Kemsley in the June 2019 issue (“A Thousand Miles of Arizona Highways”) clearly falls into the category of entertaining and interesting. I really appreciated her descriptions and pictures of the ride, the landscape and the communities. My wife and I have ridden over a large portion of the western United States, including a part of Arizona. Kathleen’s description of her ride inspired me to make this ride a part of our itinerary at some point, and to even make it a week-long venture to cover more of the state. Ms. Kemsley’s identification of historical points of interest also fascinate me. We have read about many of the events and sites she identifies in her story and her photography really helps to bring them to life. The day I read this article I was looking at six inches of new snow on the ground where we live. The 80- and 90-degree temperatures she described around Surprise, Arizona, were extremely appealing.

Wally Baird, Granby, Colorado

Greetings! I’ve been a Ridermagazine reader for years, either by subscription or off the shelf when the subscription ran out and that renewal notice passed me by. I thoroughly enjoyed the “Thousand Miles of Arizona Highways” write up and two things in particular stood out. First, how did you ever get all that gear secured down on the Honda Shadow? And second, what’s that I spy on the tank bag? An honest-to-goodness REAL map! Now, I’m all about the latest in GPS navigation devices, but give me a paper map or atlas (I’m a real fan of the Michelin offering) for my trip planning and routings. Nothing beats sitting around the kitchen table with my trusty atlas for trip planning or dreaming. And on the road, well, technology fails sometimes you know…. So, thanks again for another great issue and proof that sometimes even low tech still has its place in a modern world.

Larry Rotters, Sweetwater, Tennessee

I was really looking forward to reading about the 2020 Suzuki Katana (“Return of an Icon,” June 2019)! My only thought is this letter won’t be the first or last one about the really small fuel capacity. Someone has already beat me to the punch on this one, I am sure. Dang, Suzuki, you guys could have really made an impact with this bike, kind of like the Kawasaki Z900RS or the Honda CB1100 with their retro looks recalling the best days of motorcycle styling. My retro 2001 ZRX1200 holds five gallons and, as such, has a decent range. Nothing draws curious looks on a brand-new bike like a plastic fuel can strapped to the back.

Howard Bonser, Palmer Lake, Colorado

Hello EIC Tuttle, Steve Larsen here. You may recall publishing several of my stories in Riderover the years, although not recently. You always treated these stories with such care and made them look so good. Thank you so much for that. Your June editorial (One-Track Mind) with its 1991 letter to your son Alex really hit home, causing my eyes to brim with tears. Like you, I wrote a series of letters to my very young daughter to be opened when she was in her mid-teens, wanting to capture and convey to her the feelings I had at that time. It was a rewarding experience for both of us and I remember her anticipation at turning 16 so she could open that letter sealed up so long ago. Frankly, I was pretty curious too, as I’d forgotten what I’d said. When she was eight years old my son (her brother) passed away just shy of his second birthday. If he hadn’t, there is no doubt our family would have had to address the degree to which we’d want to encourage him to ride. But like you and your wife, I suspect supporting your kids was far more important that restricting them. My daughter, while sporting a motorcycle endorsement and logging several days at Gary LaPlante’s off-road riding ranch, never really took to motorcycling. 

Scott “Bones” Williams’ letter (Response) also resonated with me. Your editorial fingerprints are so present on every issue. The magazine you’ve created and guidelines you developed and enforced make it a delight to read every month. Now that I’ve recovered from some health challenges, perhaps I can again submit something worthy of the high standards at Rider

Steve Larsen, Phoenix, Arizona

Another glowing review of Honda’s NC (“Class-Bending Commuter,” April 2019) with no mention of the one thing that put off many of the lifelong riders who I’ve talked to: its yawnable power. The NC700X made 51 horsepower. Now they added 50 more cc and got it to…51 horsepower. 750cc and 51hp sounds more like some old Euro bike or maybe something by Royal Enfield. It’s a new low in Honda’s performance numbers, and takes the bike out of the running as a class leader. I’ve ridden one. It is boring. For my money, and the money of many guys I know, the Wee Strom spanks the NC with better handling and braking, and, the coup de gras, 15 more horsepower (even though its motor is 100cc smaller).

Lucien Lewis, San Rafael, California

Pleasantly surprised? No. I was overjoyed to see the new Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard in the June issue (Kickstarts). H-D has spent way too much time selling glitzy “pre-customized” motorcycles. They’ve finally realized there’s a market for a clean, plain starting point from which a customer can build out the bike of his/her dreams. I rode a ‘96 FLHT, after moving up the line from Sportster to FXR to bagger over time. I didn’t need an “Ultra” to have the ultimate riding fun. It was economical to run, agile enough to keep up with the sportier Harleys in the group, and toured like there was no tomorrow. I’d recommend the FLHT to anyone wanting a basic, comfortable ride with no limit to the customizing possibilities. (And, be glad the floorboards fold up…they will scrape!)

Scott Barber, Bend, Oregon

Clement, you mentioning leaving your petcock on reserve (Road Tales, May 2019) brought back a painful memory. I did the same and was riding home from work on the expressway when my VTX1300 started burping. I reached down to flip to reserve, found it was already there. The first thing to come to mind was to shake the bike and spill those precious few ounces in the right lobe over to the left lobe. That was good for a quarter-mile. Did it again. And again. I was five miles from home and shook that bike repeatedly and managed to get off the freeway and coast up to the gas station at the entrance to my subdivision. The next morning my abs were so sore I could barely stand up, and they stayed sore for two weeks! Those cruisers are tough to walk, let alone for five miles. Hopefully a lesson learned.

Ken Klosterhaus, Washington Township, Michigan

Hello Ridermagazine staff! Love your magazine, I read it cover to cover every issue. I’ve been meaning to write for a long time regarding a pet peeve of mine regarding sizing of motorcycle apparel. I’m 63 and let’s say overly well fed (wink wink). At 6 feet tall and 322 pounds, I have a bear (no pun intended) of a time trying to find anything that fits or is even made for bodies like mine. I suspect it may partly be because gear seems to be based off slim cut European designs, but there may be other factors afoot, such as manufacturers only being willing to target the so-called “sweet spot” of the general population, in order to save manufacturing costs. I don’t know for sure, but I do know I feel discriminated against. We weight-challenged folk deserve protective clothing that fits too! Helmets also seem to be incorrectly sized. I religiously measure my head according to size charts, which say I need a large or extra large, but what in fact fits is a XXXL. Come on manufacturers, can’t you build products for us oversized Americans!

Steven Heureux, via email

I just read “Main Street, Vermont” (Favorite Ride, June 2019). I have ridden Route 100 many times, as my parents had a vacation house in Waitsfield that they eventually retired to. As I was reading I was reminiscing riding on the same roads with my father and friends. I’m planning a trip up there this summer. Thanks for the article, it brought back some precious memories of riding with my dad. 

Chuck Garby, Medford, New York

Rider magazine publishes many motorcycle tours – which inspired me to write about my first long-distance ride on motorcycle some 40 years ago. Me and a good friend rode our 850 Yamahas from Gary, Indiana to Houston, Texas spending most nights camping under the stars – that’s about as primitive as I’ve ever gotten on two wheels. We planned our trip with a personalized AMA Tour Guide report with marked routes indicating starting destinations and intermediate stops that included all the road maps and detailed information we needed to know about cities and towns on our route. It was a great tool to use back in 1979. Does Rider magazine provide any similar reports or know of any websites that can provide a detailed report for motorcycle riders like me that travel long-distances?

Ray Salinas, via email

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