Motorcycle Blogs

Motorcycle Blogs

07 October 2022

Motorcycle Blogs Motorcycle Blogs
  • The Royal Enfield Hunter 350 Makes Its Way To Europe
    07 October 2022
    The neo-retro roadster is set to enter the old continent in November, 2022.
  • The Royal Enfield Hunter 350 Makes Its Way To Europe
    07 October 2022
    The neo-retro roadster is set to enter the old continent in November, 2022.
  • The Reasoning Bikernet Weekly News for October 6th, 2022
    07 October 2022


    Riding Free since 1996
    The Weekly News that matters – every Thursday on

    Click Here to get your weekly round-up on motorcycles and motorcyclists now

    Halloween is coming up and we already have a terrific batch of Halloween girls coming your way from Barry Green.

    Bandit is working with the factory, Markus Cuff and maybe Jon Kosmoski or Dave Perewitz on a story about gas tanks and paint.

    Bill May, a longtime Bikernet Contributor and friend sent Bandit a “Why We Chop” story. Read the published ones for free, only at

    Bandit’s Books are now available on Amazon Kindle – find it by clicking here. Your own copy wherever you go. Featured below pic of Bandit’s first novel based on his own true experience of his stolen motorcycle and going after it. It’s finally reprinted and available for sale as an e-book and paperback.

    Get a signed one when you join the Cantina. Refer Cantina details by visiting “Membership section”, simply click here.


    The post The Reasoning Bikernet Weekly News for October 6th, 2022 appeared first on Bikernet Blog - Online Biker Magazine.

  • Motorcycle Live: BSB star Mackenzie among growing VIP guest list
    07 October 2022

    Motorcycle Live has revealed some of the VIP guests that will be attending this year's show, including World Trials star Dougie Lampkin.

  • Are You Playing a Finite or Infinite Game of Motorcycling?
    07 October 2022

    A finite DesertX existence on this infinitely beautiful planet. (NemoLtu/)

    Motorcycles tell stories. We absorb an abundance of information with just a glance. The details of its shape, function, and personality reflect light into our photoreceptors, as our own perceptive filters—made up with all we’ve learned and experienced—spin a tale in our mind.

    Whether it’s a sheepskin-covered seat, with a tattered Tibetan prayer flag strung between the handlebars, covered in earth (and stickers), with a spare tire cinched down over the belongings of what appears to be a well-trodden steed, or a beast of a different kind altogether. Perhaps a sleek, shiny, two-wheeled rocket, nothing aboard to hamper aerodynamics, simply a vision of what an old friend of mine deems “stupid fast.”

    These are two conceptions of motorcycles with very different stories.

    Tibetan prayer flags strung across the mirrors on this Royal Enfield Bullet near the city of Leh, India, nestled between Kashmir and Tibet. (Nihal Huzz/)

    I find myself tasting such diverse narratives of motorcycles when I abruptly arrive within the depths of Los Angeles, hanging around motorcycle racers, after spending months on end in the middle of what many may deem as “nowhere,” navigating my way through the Andes, the Amazon jungle, the mule-cart-filled, machete-toting gauchos of the central plazas, and shooing capuchin monkeys away from discarding the entire contents of my motorcycle luggage on the ground.

    Self-reflection becomes a habitual state of mind when you spend as much time alone in your helmet as I do. The pits were no different. There I was, walking amid the suited-up racers, meandering through the labyrinth of individual tents sheltering each racer’s sacred paraphernalia, as I started to ponder the finite and infinite games of motorcycling.

    Related: The Risks, And Rewards, Of Riding Motorcycles

    There is a persistent illusion in our society that boundaries and rules exist outside of ourselves, but they do not. (Karrie Blittersdorf/)
    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” —Albert Einstein (Franz Republic on Unsplash/)

    Some Background

    You may well know the highly influential book by James Carse, Finite and Infinite Games. The book description reveals finite games as “the familiar contests of everyday life, the games we play in business and politics, in the bedroom and on the battlefield—games with winners and losers, a beginning and an end.” The finite game is one played with the goal of winning.

    Infinite games are those that are unscripted, rules are undefined, and the goal of the game is to continue playing.

    These two types of games make up the strategies of our lives, not so much as the types of games we choose, as finite games always exist within the infinite game, but rather the mindset of the player while they are playing. The crucial dichotomy exists between those who play finite games for recognition, ranking, and awards and those who play infinite games for the sheer joy of the enduring challenge itself.

    “A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.” —James Carse (Joe Neric on Unsplash/)

    Paradoxical Bikers

    These racers, especially of the hooligan variety who I’ve spent time with, are pushing themselves to their absolute limits. They often knock into one another, getting into wrecks that have tremendous consequences. This is a very finite game, with an experienced racer seeking to win before they even begin. They train to know every move they’re going to make, burning it into muscle memory before the starting gun. The game itself is more of a demonstration of what the player has already figured out.

    By contrast, because I’m alone, and usually quite far away from any hospital—especially one that is sterilized—I’m trying to be as safe as I can, which is relative based on the inherent riskiness of riding a motorcycle abroad. Getting injured would really mess up my journey. Wrecking my bike would leave me stranded somewhere, likely for a good chunk of time, and may even be the end of this lifestyle I’m quite fond of. Therefore, I’m doing my best to play the long game.

    The racers and I both have lives which revolve around motorcycles, but in a manner that is strikingly dissimilar. Does that mean we’re playing different games?

    “Only that which can change can continue.” —James Carse (NemoLtu/)

    It’s All in the Mind

    The mentality of finite players is to beat everyone around them whereas infinite players play to be better than themselves each day, each moment. Maybe we’ve met racers who are in the infinite game. They are content no matter what place they come in, as long as they know they did their best and they see improvements within their own skill, their own game.

    We’ve likely also met finite players on long-distance motorcycle trips. Those who are checking boxes by simply passing through a city, a country, or linking a route, such as finishing the journey from Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina. The finite players may not feel content at the end of their journey; they feel empty and without purpose. The urge to compare themselves to others who have made the same journey arises, which is almost guaranteed to bring about personal suffering. Joy and fulfillment does not come from comparison, but rather from your own personal advancement.

    The hallucinogenic angel’s-trumpet flower is infinitely beautiful and finitely lethal. (Janelle Kaz/)

    Game Over

    The winnings gained in an infinite game is simply the pleasure of being in it. Your game strategy is often defined and altered day by day, with the goal of longevity. The infinite game mentality is that of the horizon. You never reach the end—there’s always further to go, and the only competitor is yourself. The more time you have to play, the more free you are.

    I suppose that one of the quandaries of the “infinite” game is in the name. As I’m sure you’ve already considered, our life spans here on this planet are not infinite (spoiler alert!). This game, regardless of your mentality, does come to an end, which makes the game itself more precious.

    “To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.” —James Carse (Karthegan Padmanaban on Unsplash/)

    To Infinity and Beyond

    How do we live with an overarching infinite game mentality, on and off the bike, despite the awareness of our own demise? Adapted from Simon Sinek’s book, The Infinite Game, in the context of motorcycles, here are five tips to help the infinite player make value-based moves.

    1. Commit to something bigger than yourself. Identify and focus on your values and mission and develop a strategy that is consistent with that.
    2. Cultivate vulnerability and empathy as you accept the fact that in the long game, some players will perform better than you at certain points in time.
    3. Continue to execute your plans and improve your skills.
    4. Understand that change is inevitable and work to adapt.
    5. Embrace play and look for win-win situations.

    You alone get to choose how you play the game of life, as well as the sub-games within it.

    “It is important to celebrate our victories, but we cannot linger on them. For the Infinite Game is still going and there is still much work to be done.” —Simon Sinek (Karthegan Padmanaban on Unsplash/)

    It is pretty easy to throttle past the notion of committing to something bigger than ourselves, casually throwing it in before four other steps, when in reality, it is a pretty big deal (think: mahogany and leather-bound books, etc). What does that mean? How do we find the thing to commit ourselves to? Unfortunately, those aren’t easily answered questions, as the answers corner around aspects of our own life’s meaning and our purpose here. A cause bigger than yourself could look inclusive, being in service of others, dedicating yourself to a just mission, or inhabiting your own integrity and resiliency and helping others do the same. Find an idea that you can’t be talked out of.

    “How” we achieve our goals is the strategy, whereas the “why” is the driving force behind it, the fuel.

    Let the “why” be your fuel.

    So while not every game we play in life is endless, such as life itself, we retain the power to choose what type of mindset we exist within while playing. We control the narrative. We can choose to be better versions of ourselves every day, to help others do the same, and to advance a cause greater than ourselves. It doesn’t matter if you’re a motorcycle racer pushing your limits on the track, or a long-distance solo traveler going wherever the wind takes you, the first step is in knowing which game you’re playing, and why. It is essential that you know whether you’re making a decision, problem solving, or taking action in the short term, win-lose finite game, or in the long term, enduring infinite game. Thinking in context of these two types of games can help you achieve your goals, in the long and short run.

    If the game is keeping the spirit of riding alive, the stories of all motorcycles and their riders can be told through the lens of the infinite game, of encouraging and supporting one another regardless of whether we’re aiming for the finish line or heading out toward the endless horizon.

    “As for us, those who choose to embrace the infinite mindset, our journey is one that will lead us to feel inspired every morning, safe when we are at work, and fulfilled at the end of each day. And when it’s time to leave the game, we will look back at our lives and our careers and say, ‘I lived a life worth living,’ and more important, when imagining what the future holds, we will see how many people we’ve inspired to carry on the journey without us.” —Simon Sinek (G Creates on Unsplash/)
  • 116 BB Clutch options
    07 October 2022
    As many in here already know, I have put in a 116 BB kit in my XCT.
    Removed the PCV now and changed that out with a Maximus tuner.
    Gained over 30nm and 10hp on the backwheel just with that on the dyno but now my clutch is saying fukk off
    I still run with the stock clutch pack and that has gone over 80.000km so it has done its job.
    Before I choose to go for the variable clutch I would like to hear from other in here with a big bore kit, what clutch options do you use?
    I have a barnett...

    116 BB Clutch options
  • random photos
    07 October 2022
    D300 Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 f/8 1/3s shutter ISO 200
  • Livewire®
    07 October 2022
    Has anyone heard any qualified reason why Livewire sales were halted? Have they been re-instated?
  • Don’t Hit That Rock
    07 October 2022
    From Socorro we did not have a long day’s ride ahead so we took our time leaving. This gave me time to go next door to the Ace Hardware and purchase a steel rod and some Gorilla Tape. With some luck and creativity I hoped to jerry-rig my busted left mirror so it would be […]
  • Honda Releases Redesigned Forza 350 Maxi-Scooter In Thailand
    07 October 2022
    The new maxi-scooter features a variety of styling and tech updates.

Motorcycle Podcasts

Motorcycle Podcasts

07 October 2022

Motorcycle Podcasts Motorcycle Podcasts
  • On Land and Sea - Two Unique Ways of Motorcycle Travel
    07 October 2022

    What if you could go on a motorcycle camping trip and not take any gear? Sean Burch did just that when he recently rode the South Carolina Adventure Route, and met up with his wife at the end of each day. And what if you could take your motorcycle to work with you and use it every chance you had? Scott DeMello is the Captain of a 50 meter super yacht and he gets to take his motorcycles with him to ride when he and his wife, the boat’s chef, are on shore leave. On this episode, we talk about two very different kinds of motorcycle travel, on land and sea.

    Photos and links for this episode can be found on our website at Adventure Rider Radio is the original and longest running adventure motorcycle and travel podcast and has been produced weekly since 2014! You can count on us to be there for you every Thursday with a new and exciting episode, we never miss a week. And we hope we can count on you for your support. Become a Patreon supporter for just $5 a month and get a sticker and ad-free listening. Make a one time donation of just $10 and we'll send you a sticker. A donation of $50 or more also gets you a shout-out on RAW. To become a supporter please head over to the Support page on our website. Thank you!

  • ClevelandMoto 391 The return of Grumpy Sewer Guy and Fighting Cock!
    06 October 2022


    PHIL, SLEEPY, OSCAR, JOHN MAC , DAN KROMKE, CHRIS SMITH and  GRUMPY SEWER GUY talk motorcycles and and more!

    Support the show
  • LAB-314-Lurch's First Adventure Motorcycle Rides | Stories and Debacles
    05 October 2022

    Official Website:

    This is part one of a two-part series about our 2022 Midwest motorcycle trip. In June 2022, members of Law Abiding Biker™ Media along with members of the Sworn Few LEMC embarked on a 10-day, 4000-mile, 5-state cross-country motorcycle trip. This trip would take us out of Washington State and into Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. We stayed over in cities such as Butte, Montana, Bismark, North Dakota, Duluth, Minnesota, Minot, North Dakota, Havre, Montana, and Whitefish, Montana. You can find the Harley-Davidson Ride Plan HERE

    We took a day trip along Lake Superior, which was a great ride and a lot of fun.  You can find the Harley-Davidson Ride Plan HERE

    There will be a motorcycle documentary film released later on this entire trip and experience!

    We visited many places and saw a ton of great country on our Midwest motorcycle trip. We stayed at some good and not-so-good hotels and motels. We ate at some good restaurants and some bad ones. We experienced good and bad weather and a few of the bikes experienced some mechanical problems that had to be fixed.


    We had some very funny times as a group and made memories that will last a lifetime. Everything that happened shaped the trip in some way.

    Listen in as we tell all the stories of our Midwest motorcycle trip. We also share tips and tricks to assist riders who may be thinking of a long-distance motorcycle road trip.


    Our Patron Members support us financially, so we can continue to help as many bikes as we can worldwide. Of course, our Patron Members get benefits and exclusive access such as meetups.  Unfortunately, due to health reasons, I was unable to plan a Patron meetup this year.   There is usually an awesome day ride prepared for the members. We have plenty of time to visit and get to know each other on a more personal level. We normally end the day at a private location where the Patron Members enjoyed a catered dinner by Law Abiding Biker Media!  We look forward to doing a Patron Meetup Ride on our next summer trip.  


    Sponsor-Ciro 3D
    • Innovative products for Harley-Davidson & Goldwing
    • Affordable chrome, lighting, and comfort products
    • Ciro 3D has a passion for design and innovation
    • The Ultimate Motorcycle Luggage Rack Solution
    • Forget those messy straps and bungee cords
    • Go strapless with a RickRak quick attach luggage system & quality bag
    Sponsor-Butt Buffer
    • Want to ride longer?
    • Tired of a sore and achy ass?
    • Then fix it with a high-quality Butt Buffer seat cushion?
    New Patrons:
    • Michael Goebel of Bismark, North Dakota
    • Aaron Koonce of Maroa, Illinois
    • Barry Bergen of Canada
    • Tara Duncan of Delavan, Wisconsin
    • Lance Hourany of Walnut Creek, California
    • Matthew Bloom of Maple Grove, Minnesota
    • Mathew Mckay of Safety Beach, Victoria, Australia
    • Dwayne Stiles of Perryville, Kentucky
    • Ken Getty
    If you appreciate the content we put out and want to make sure it keeps on coming your way then become a Patron too! There are benefits and there is no risk. Thanks to the following bikers for supporting us via a flat donation:
    • Carl Scholl SR of Jacksonville, Florida
    • Joe Rametta of El Cajon, California
    • Paul Joy of Cave Creek, Arizona



  • Episode 705: MotoGP Aragon & Motegi Catch Up
    03 October 2022
    Jim & Rich are back for a belated catch up on the recent MotoGP races in Spain & Japan. There’s also a quick catch up from Jim following his visit to Barber Motorsports Park for the concluding round of Moto America and Rich debates an action packed and highly contentious first showdown round at Oulton Park in BSB. Another show will follow this week to review the weekends goings on in Thailand (MotoGP) and Donington Park (BSB). Please don’t forget to contribute to Gino Rea's neuro-rehabilitation treatment fund. We’ll catch you again in a few days. Zoom Zoom…….
  • Podcast 491: Chickistan '22
    03 October 2022
    This week on our motorcycle podcast Liza is back, and she's got stories from Pakistan. Relda and Erin join the group to share their perspectives on this action packed trip, as riders with little to no dirt experience. This place is truly an adventure lovers moto paradise, where everything has a certain element of danger. The little 150cc bikes they ride don't seem like an obvious choice, considering the high altitudes, water crossing, death roads, bridges and off roading they do, but somehow these little bikes get the job done. Big thanks to all of our Patreon supporters who funded the bike donated to the Shimshall Girls Hostel in Hunza, 80 girls will now have the chance to experience the one thing all of us love: motorcycles. We highly recommend this experience, and you can find out more about it here: With Liza, Stumpy John, Miss Emma, Relda, Brad, Marcus and Bagel. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Almost lost
    01 October 2022

    holy crap we almost lost this episode, but now it is found

    Support the show
  • Jeremy Toye Is a Racer, Crew Chief, Coach and Faster Than You!
    01 October 2022

    Jeremy Toye is one bad dude. In addition to winning Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on his first attempt he was also on the podium at the Macau Grand Prix and was the fastest newcomer at a small race called the Isle of Man TT.

    If all this doesn't impress you he survived racing with Gal Ratner at WSMC just by hitting the apexes.

    As Crew Chief to Sean Dylan Kelly and Ashton Yates he used his extensive racing experience to develop both machines and riders.

  • EP30: Motorcycle Builder Josh Allison of American Metal Customs
    01 October 2022

    Former Orange County Choppers co-star Josh Allison recently opened a shop called American Metal in Danbury, Connecticut. Fans of Allison's work may also remember his appearances on American Chopper and Wrench Against the Machine, in addition to the impressive custom builds he helped to fabricate with the Teutels on OCC.

  • Having What it Takes to do a Solo Motorcycle Trip - Ali Peberdy
    30 September 2022

    Ali Peberdy, retired motorcycle cop, has just returned from an eight week trip to Europe. Before she left, we spoke with Ali and she told us about some concerns she had, things like dropping her bike, going solo, age and breakdowns. Ali is back in the UK now and she has some stories to tell about the things she experienced on her trip, from the rude hotel receptionist to the mishap in the cornfield, and whether or not her trip concerns were valid.

    Photos and links can be found on our website at If you've enjoyed this show please tell someone you know about it. If you'd like to help out we'd love to get your support.

  • ClevelandMoto 390 Fix your own damn bike.
    29 September 2022

    Fix your motorcycle by simply cutting a wire? Or would you rather pay $400 for a new alternator? 

    PHIL, SLEEPY, OSCAR, JOHN MAC , DAN KROMKE, CHRIS SMITH and  SPECIAL GUEST NIGEL from the UK talk motorcycles and and more!

    This one is like an actual motorcycle news program, interesting!


    ClevelandMoto Football Scarf $30 

    MADE IN CHERMANY! Big Ass Futbol (Soccer) Scarf...too wide, too thick and hollow so you can use it as a Weenie Warmer (year right)

    Support the show

Vintage Motorcycle Blogs

Vintage Motorcycle Blogs

07 October 2022

Vintage Motorcycle Blogs Vintage Motorcycle Blogs
  • The Current News: Oct. 6 2022
    07 October 2022

    What a week! Tesla unveils nightmare AI 'helper' robot - Elon Musk's fantasy of a self-replicating clone army. Is it Halloween yet?

    The post The Current News: Oct. 6 2022 first appeared on The Vintagent.
  • The Vintagent Classics: Knightriders
    03 October 2022

    Camelot is a state of mind.

    The post The Vintagent Classics: Knightriders first appeared on The Vintagent.
  • A sunday afternoon with the CJ
    02 October 2022


    -JdK- It was a sunny Sunday afternoon so I took a Norton for a spin, this time my 1936 Model CJ that I've owned for almost 10 years now. I've completely rebuilt the bike and it goes very well, especially since I fitted a smaller sprocket to the crankshaft. Being a 350cc and an OHC there's little torque and it only goes well when you rev it hard.

    One thing that has been puzzling me is that Norton literature suggests that a 1" carburettor should be fitted; the inlet stub's outer diameter is however too wide to fit a 1" type 6 or type 276 which must be the reason why it came with the 1 1/16" Amal that is still on the bike. The inner diameter of the inlet stub is however 1", all of which makes little sense to me. Please contact us when you think you can explain!

  • The Vintagent Classics: Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann
    01 October 2022

    Lyle Swann is a champion off-road racer. But to the people of 1877, he's something very, very different...

    The post The Vintagent Classics: Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann first appeared on The Vintagent.
  • The Current News: September 29, 2022
    30 September 2022

    Livewire debuts the S2 Del Mar, China sells 6 million electric cars this year, CAKE saves the bees, and a flying motorcycle!

    The post The Current News: September 29, 2022 first appeared on The Vintagent.
  • The Vintagent Selects: East Bay Rats
    26 September 2022

    "Ruining it for everyone else since 1994."

    The post The Vintagent Selects: East Bay Rats first appeared on The Vintagent.
  • “Silbergrau” CB: 1972 Honda CB500 Café Racer
    25 September 2022

    Alchemy Motorcycles builds a show-stopping silver-grey CB… 

    The Honda CB500 Four made quite the splash when it debuted at the London Racing and Sporting Motorcycle Show in early 1972. Described as “one of the “show stealers” (Motorcycle Mechanics), the 50-hp four-cylinder SOHC machine offered performance in line with the 650 twins of the era. In fact, many riders and reviewers even came to favor the 500 middleweight over its iconic big sibling, the CB750:

    “The new for 1971 Honda CB500 Four took all the 750’s fine attributes and focused them into a smaller, lighter bike that in many ways was better than its much-lauded forbearer.” —Motorcycle Classics

    When it comes to customizing the CB series, few builders do it as well as Michel Valle and family from California’s Alchemy Motorcycles. Michel, together with his brother (Christian) and wife (Janelle Villa), focus on one-off builds both for customers and themselves. Back in 2018, we featured their “Grey Ghost” CB550K, and just last month, their CB750 “Chalk” graced our pages.

    Now they’re back with this stunning ’72 CB500 — a bike built for the 2021 OG Moto Show in Los Angeles, where they were an invited builder:

    “The design concept was to build a minimalist, yet clean and sophisticated show bike. Trimmed down to the essentials and polished up to shine.”

    First things first, the bike had a full overhaul, including an engine rebuild and freshened top end before the motor was vapor-honed and painted. Then they stripped down and detabbed the frame, shaped a custom seat cowl, and laced up the Borani shouldered rims with new Buchanan stainless spokes.

    Other highlights include Bimota NOS rear sets, rebuilt forks, and polished stainless/chrome Hagon shocks. Then the real work began:

    “Once all of the fabrication and mockup was done, we tore the bike down completely and every inch of the bike has been refinished in paint, vapor honed, polished, or plated in chrome…lots of chrome.”

    We especially love the color they chose, BMW’s Silbergrau — silver-grey — a metallic paint that really accentuates the curves on the bike. What’s more, Michel estimates that they’ve gotten the bike down to a svelte 330 pounds, meaning this CB500 Four goes as well as it shows:

    “The bike rides like a dream. Light and nimble, with some great acceleration. All in all a fun bike to show off at shows or local bike meet ups.”

    Below, we talk to Michel for more details on the build.

    Honda CB500 Four Café Racer: Builder Interview

    • What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?

    1972 Honda CB500.

    • Why was this bike built?

    The bike was built to showcase our detailed show bike building skills. We debuted the bike at the 2021 OG Moto show in L.A. as an invited builder. We love building these type of show bikes because they are so fun to build, but mostly how great they look under the show lights.


    • What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

    The design concept was to build a minimalist, yet clean and sophisticated show bike. Trimmed down to the essentials and polished up to shine.

    • What custom work was done to the bike?

    The bike was a complete overhaul. The engine was rebuilt since it had a base gasket leak, so we freshened up the top end before vapor honing and painting the motor.

    The frame was stripped down and cleaned up before shaping out the custom seat cowl. A center-mounted headlight and clip-ons cleaned the front end up and Bimota NOS rear sets for clean foot controls. New slightly oversized tires beefed up the Borani shouldered rims that were laced with new hand-polished stainless Buchanan spokes. Rebuilt forks and polished stainless/chrome Hagon shocks handled the suspension.

    Once all of the fabrication and mockup was done, we tore the bike down completely and every inch of the bike has been refinished in paint, vapor honed, polished, or plated in chrome…lots of chrome. We went with a BMW color (silbergrau) because of how the metallic paint would really accentuate the curves on the bike. After reassembly, a new simplified wiring harness was made from scratch to hide the loom as much as possible. The rebuilt carburetors were then dyno-tuned to the polished velocity stacks.

    • Does the bike have a nickname?

    We’re calling it “Silbergrau” after the color.

    • Any idea of horsepower, weight, and/or performance numbers?

    50hp, we’re down to about 330 lbs (est.)

    • Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?

    The bike rides like a dream. Light and nimble, with some great acceleration. All in all a fun bike to show off at shows or local bike meet ups.

    • Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

    I think the overall feel of the bike was what we are most proud of. The bike turned out to be the showpiece we envisioned we could build. We sought out to build a clean sophisticated CB500 and I think we achieved that goal.

  • NYC Trackmaster: Norton Street Tracker
    25 September 2022

    A Commando-powered street tracker from NYC Norton… 

    Kenny Cummings began restoring a 1974 Norton Commando in the mid-1990s, registering the domain to document the project. He was visiting his father when he mentioned that he’d bought a Norton to restore:

    “My father chuckled and walked out of the room, only to return a few moments later with a dusty old photo album. He opened it up and there, in true 1970s Polaroid glory, were pictures of me as a child sitting on my Father’s Norton.  I about fell off my chair. Wow! Sure, I remembered he had a bike but had no idea it was a Norton!”

    Kenny Cummings of NYC Norton

    Perhaps Nortons run in the blood! Kenny went on to have some serious racing successes and turned his Norton obsession into a business.  Today, NYC Norton is a household name in the world of vintage British motorcycles.

    The story of the stunning Norton Trackmaster you see here started several years ago with a lone engine build, a Commando Combat engine — the more highly tuned version of the 750 twin:

    “NYC Norton was secured to build up a ’72 Commando Combat motor with the addition of rebalanced crank for rigid mounting, a bigger cam, ported head, and all machining done to allow for a magneto in the traditional spot behind the cylinders — an elaborate mod requiring machining of the cases, fitting longer intermediate spindle, turning down the timing cover boss, and relieving the points cavity to fit the outboard cam sprocket.”

    The engine boasted forged JE pistons, Carrillo rods, a Mick Hemmings PW3 cam, and a ported head with KPM Black Diamond valves and bronze guides, skimmed even further than a stock Combat for a measured 9.75:1 compression.

    Initially, the customer was going to source a flat track chassis and build up the bike himself, but then he inquired whether NYC Norton would be interested in completing a full flat track-inspired street bike — yes they would!

    “The NYC Norton shop is a sea of Commandos/Seeleys/Featherbeds, all built around superior ‘Roadholding’, so the opportunity to order off the menu was a welcome change. A short time later, a Tri-C Trackmaster replica frame was delivered to our shop, and the fun really began.”

    The brief was simple: RH side foot controls like a real dirt tracker, just enough lights / electronics to pass inspection, and design inspiration from the famous Ron Wood / CR Axtell championship Norton twin-downtube flat tracker:

    “Lofty goals, but hey… let’s shoot for the stars. Armed with a couple of cocktail napkin sketches, we went to work.”

    The gearbox was built from scratch using an HD shell with increased wall thickness, and NYC Norton designed a custom manifold to run Dell Orto PHF 34s carbs as in the Axtell setup.

    Then they turned down a custom set of bronze swingarm bushings — the same setup used in their championship-winning Titschmarsh Seeleys.

    The Trackmaster is running a G85 primary with a Steve Maney Racing 40mm belt drive and anodized lightweight Commando clutch.

    “This required cutting down the end of the Norton crankshaft and tapping to add front pulley fastening, and also necessitated adding a 1/2″ wide belly band for space between the inner and outer primary cover.”

    Up front are a set of 35mm Ceriani replica forks with caliper hangers, and the bike is rolling on Borrani 19-inch flanged alloy rims with stainless spokes.

    Many of the major components were nickel-plated: the chassis, swingarm, manifold, center stand, side stand, etc. All case covers were polished, while the velocity stacks and rear sprocket were gold-anodized.

    As for the wiring, they kept it as simple as possible — just enough lights to keep the authorities happy:

    “A simple harness runs from a key switch to a small battery under the single seat, which powers the 5″ Bates style headlight, Analog Motorcycles rear tail light, brake lights activated by hydraulic brake switches, and a small horn – enough to keep the coppers at bay.”

    The legendary metal magician himself, Evan Wilcox, fabricated the tank, while Jen Mussari (@jenmussari) did a hand-painted logo in gold leaf with clear coat over the top:

    “When she brought the tank to our shop for the reveal it was like our baby was born!”

    Photographs courtesy of Marian Sell (@mariansellphoto), owner of a 1936 Norton!

    Build List
    • Trackmaster replica frame, nickel plated and polished
    • Custom bronze swingarm bushings ala NYC Norton Seeleys
    • Handmade tank by Evan Wilcox
    • Beautiful Hand-painted Gold Leaf Norton Logo by Jen Mussari
    • Ceriani 35mm front end
    • Borranni Rims
    • NYC Norton Performance Street Motor Build (balanced crank, 9.75:1 comp, pw3, carrillos, JE pistons, etc)
    • Joe Hunt Magneto
    • HD Gearbox Shell and rebuilt with new gear cluster
    • Dell Orto PHF34 pumper carbs
    • Custom exhaust in tuned dimensions
    • Hand made gear change and brake controls, on RH side, mimicking our NYC Norton rearset designs
    • Maney Belt Drive fit within Matchless G85CS Primary with widening belly band
    • Reed breather, plumbed
    • AP Racing front master
    • Hurst Airheart rear master
    • Barnes Disk Rotors
    • Barnes Spool Hub on rear with quick change knock-off sprockets
    • Bates 5″ Headlight
    • Bates-style custom fabricated rear tail light hand crafted by Analog Motorcycles
    • Veglia tachometer adapted to Norton Commando speedo drive
  • Thriving in Two Strokes: NYC Mopeds
    22 September 2022

    It’s satisfying to see people still thriving, small business not disappearing but actually opening in the hardest of times. NYC Mopeds is a success.

    The post Thriving in Two Strokes: NYC Mopeds first appeared on The Vintagent.
  • The Current News: September 22, 2022
    22 September 2022

    The Arc Vector is a superhero machine that's just about ready for the real world. Plus, Flying cars, off-grid campers, and concrete bicycles.

    The post The Current News: September 22, 2022 first appeared on The Vintagent.

UK Motorcycle Blogs

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  • Nine to Five – 200-mile Scotland day ride

    200-mile round trip to the Scottish seaside is a good day’s work – artists, old planes and a million cockle shells

    The better way back – old A74, with motorway just visible

    WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: Willie Davidson

    I’ve got a 675cc Triumph Street Triple R. It’s a hoot to ride and from three miles into the first test ride, I’ve loved it. However, one of the things I decided during Covid lockdown was that I wanted to travel more and take more road trips. So I’ve traded in the Street Triple for a new Tiger 900GT. But with my new bike still in a crate halfway across the South China Sea, there was time for a final long ride on the 675cc Triple. Meanwhile, my mate Phil had just bought a new Royal Enfield Interceptor and took little persuasion to make a road trip to the seaside.

    We both live in Lanark in the Scottish central belt and a wee round trip to Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway is just under 200 miles. So this ride starts in Lanark which, in many ways, is a good place to begin. It’s a Royal and Ancient Burgh and in the 13th century William Wallace came visiting to kill the English Sheriff, thus getting a scene 800 years later in the movie Braveheart. More recently (18th century) a cotton mill and model village were created at New Lanark, now a UNESCO World Heritage Centre; if you want to stay, there’s a reasonably priced hotel and youth hostel.

    We weren’t thinking of history as we set off on our seaside trip. It was cool but dry with bright spring sunshine as Phil and I headed down the A73, a well-surfaced road across moorland with gentle curves and pleasant views. About 35 miles south of Lanark is the town of Leadhills which, appropriately, has a lead mining museum. Six miles further on is Wanlockhead, at 1532ft Scotland’s highest village. After this the A797 becomes narrow, undulating and twisty as it winds down between the hills. It’s also poorly surfaced, covered in gravel, with unfenced sheep and solid concrete posts on both sides. Phil and I liked it so much we rode back to Wanlockhead from the bottom of the valley just so we could ride it again! Oh, it also has awesomely distracting views.

    At Mennock we turned left and joined the A76, with a side trip to Drumlanrig Castle before turning on to the A702, then the A762. This road stays gloriously twisty and stunningly beautiful all the way to Kirkcudbright, but regular and deep potholes mean moderating your speed and keeping your focus.

    Nae Lugs

    Kirkcudbright is a small fishing town at the mouth of the River Dee which became the haunt of artists in the last century when a community of painters moved in. It was also a location in the cult 1973 horror film The Wicker Man, and a gorgeous wee place where Phil and I stopped for coffee and bacon rolls.

    Not long after leaving Kirkcudbright on the A711 the roads become more majestically sweeping, but still have the odd pothole to keep you on the ball. At Dalbeattie we switched on to the A710 but turned off briefly to see Rough Beach at Kippford. At low tide what appears to be golden sands are, on closer inspection, actually millions of cockleshells.

    Dumfries is the only larger town in these parts and we stopped to see the Aviation Museum, which has a fascinating collection of aircraft, but today it was closed. We were, however, able to fuel up in Dumfries and Phil was delighted that the Street Triple’s tank took £15 to fill where his Interceptor only needed £11. He blamed my extra 25cc.

    From Dumfries it’s a 20-mile trip north to the pretty little town of Moffat. When I was growing up in the Borders in the 70s I used to ride my two-stroke, air-cooled, Yamaha RD250 to Moffat for an ice cream. If you’d told me then that the town would become a mecca for touring motorcyclists, I would have laughed myself incontinent. Yet, life is a funny thing and 45 years later Moffat has a growing reputation among touring bikers.

    Our little jaunt to the seaside had a circular route, so you could start/end this trip in the town. Either way, here’s an interesting story about Moffat. Due to its importance in the wool trade, Moffat commissioned a statue of a ram for the town centre. According to legend when this large and imposing statue was unveiled to the people of the town a local farmer exclaimed: “It hasn’ae ony lugs.” Roughly translated this means, ‘It hasn’t any ears.’ Sculptor William Brodie was so devastated by his mistake that he retired to his room (which overlooked the statue) and hung himself! Allegedly you can still see Brodie’s ghost walking the town looking for his ram’s lost lugs.

    For the last leg of the journey, there’s a choice. Hammer up the M74 until junction 12 at Lesmahagow and be back in Lanark in under 35 minutes. Or take the A701, B7076, A702 and B7078 to Lesmahagow and be back in Lanark in 40. Why should I take an extra five minutes to get back, I hear you ask? Well, this route was the old road before the M74 was built and it has a certain charm.

    As Phil and I cruised up it I realised it was similar to somewhere I’d been before. While the North Coast 500 is often described as Scotland’s Route 66, I think this – the old A74 – is actually closer to the reality. I was lucky enough to ride Route 66 a couple of years ago and the faded grandeur, lack of traffic and the fact that this one runs parallel to a newer motorway reminded me of the Mother Road.

    Anyway, the day was a splendid send off for my Street Triple and an excellent introduction for Phil’s Interceptor. The route is best ridden at an easy touring pace and after departing at 9am we were back in Lanark just after five. It proved to be the most enjoyable 9-5 I’ve had in years!

    Fancy doing the ride yourself? Check out the map below and download the route here:

    The post Nine to Five – 200-mile Scotland day ride appeared first on MoreBikes.

  • Preview: November issue of Fast Bikes

    As always, our November edition of Fast Bikes magazine is packed with product guides, columns, and fantastic features.

    If you’d like to read Fast Bikes, then you can order yourself a print copy, save the trees and download the digital version, or better yet bag a saving and subscribe! Here’s what to expect this month…

    Naked Sportsbike of the Year: Track Special

    Last issue we put the seven best super-nakeds against each other on the road. This month it’s all about which can go the fastest on track.

    BMW’s Secret Superbike

    Thirty years ago, BMW came very close to making its World Superbike debut with a desmo driven Boxer. This is the untold story.

    KTM 1290 Super Duke GT Termer

    Johnny’s raring to get more miles in on his big twin.

    Track Spec

    Yamaha’s R1M makes for an awesome track bike, as this lucky owner gets to hammer home.

    Fast Bikes magazine is on sale in UK newsagents and supermarkets, or you can buy the current issue in digital and paper formats here!

    The post Preview: November issue of Fast Bikes appeared first on MoreBikes.

  • Phil Read MBE 1939 – 2022

    Phil Read MBE, ‘The Prince of Speed’, died on Thursday morning. 

    The Read family released a statement on Thursday to report that he had died peacefully in his sleep on the morning of October 6th. He was 83.

    Phil is best known for winning Yamaha’s first world championship title in 1964 with four more Yamaha-mounted titles including one fought as a privateer, plus two premier class 500cc world championships in 1973 and 1974 for the Italian MV Agusta marque.

    Born in Luton in 1939, Phil began his racing career in 1961, when he raced in the 350cc class at Isle of Man TT. This would be the first of 8 Isle of Man TT Race wins, which earned him the nickname ‘Prince of Speed.’
    His prolific racing career also included 52 FIM Grand Prix wins. In 2002 he was granted the status of “MotoGP Legend” by Dorna.
    Phil is survived by his sons Michael, Graham, Phil Jr, Roki and daughter Esme’. Further details on any public celebrations of life will be shared.


    The post Phil Read MBE 1939 – 2022 appeared first on MoreBikes.

  • Motorcycle Live: BSB star Mackenzie among growing VIP guest list

    Motorcycle Live has revealed some of the VIP guests that will be attending this year's show, including World Trials star Dougie Lampkin.

  • Preview: November issue of Fast Bikes

    As always, our November edition of Fast Bikes magazine is packed with product guides, columns, and fantastic features.

    If you’d like to read Fast Bikes, then you can order yourself a print copy, save the trees and download the digital version, or better yet bag a saving and subscribe! Here’s what to expect this month…

    Naked Sportsbike of the Year: Track Special

    Last issue we put the seven best super-nakeds against each other on the road. This month it’s all about which can go the fastest on track.

    BMW’s Secret Superbike

    Thirty years ago, BMW came very close to making its World Superbike debut with a desmo driven Boxer. This is the untold story.

    KTM 1290 Super Duke GT Termer

    Johnny’s raring to get more miles in on his big twin.

    Track Spec

    Yamaha’s R1M makes for an awesome track bike, as this lucky owner gets to hammer home.

    Fast Bikes magazine is on sale in UK newsagents and supermarkets, or you can buy the current issue in digital and paper formats here!

  • Phil Read MBE 1939 – 2022

    Phil Read MBE, ‘The Prince of Speed’, died on Thursday morning. 

    The Read family released a statement on Thursday to report that he had died peacefully in his sleep on the morning of October 6th. He was 83.

    Phil is best known for winning Yamaha’s first world championship title in 1964 with four more Yamaha-mounted titles including one fought as a privateer, plus two premier class 500cc world championships in 1973 and 1974 for the Italian MV Agusta marque.

    Born in Luton in 1939, Phil began his racing career in 1961, when he raced in the 350cc class at Isle of Man TT. This would be the first of 8 Isle of Man TT Race wins, which earned him the nickname ‘Prince of Speed.’
    His prolific racing career also included 52 FIM Grand Prix wins. In 2002 he was granted the status of “MotoGP Legend” by Dorna.
    Phil is survived by his sons Michael, Graham, Phil Jr, Roki and daughter Esme’. Further details on any public celebrations of life will be shared.


  • I thought it was a mechanical fault…

    I had an unexplained loss of control on my bike that I initially believed was a mechanical fault.

    My bike has sustained around £5-6k of damage – depending on what, if any, scuffs I can live with. Anyway, after I saw the bike in the workshop, I am happy that what I thought was a mechanical failure was actually rider error on my part. I can live with that.

    However, because I told my insurers that there may have been a mechanical fault, they keep referring me to a clause in my insurance which excludes mechanical fault – and now they have gone silent.

    I reported the claim in the early autumn of 2021: the last thing I heard from my insurers was when I emailed them and told them there was no mechanical fault, and their response was; “As you have previously advised us your collision was caused by a mechanical fault, we are unable to assist you further. Further, we remind you that in order to benefit from the insurance, the motorcycle must be roadworthy and your motorcycle clearly was not roadworthy when it developed its mechanical fault. Sadly, we have to reject your claim in this regard and you will need to fund your own repairs.”

    What I actually said was; “I think there may have been a mechanical fault and I will be checking the bike to confirm.” I have confirmed and the bike fired up, went through the gears and is in fact rideable; its damage is largely cosmetic. The engine-management warning lights are having a fit but the bike is mechanically sound.

    Have I dropped a major clanger?


    The only clanger you have dropped is by using one of the worst motorcycle insurers in the country. This is their standard modus operandi. You have given them an imaginary thread to pull at and they will pull at it.

    I have read your contract of insurance. You are covered for this risk. Your bike is fully comprehensively insured. There is a specific clause which excludes liability for “damage arising from a mechanical condition or fault in the insured motorcycle” and there is a general roadworthiness clause. However, in order to rely on the roadworthiness clause, the insurers will have to show your nearly-new bike had a fault sufficient to breach the provisions of either the Road Traffic Acts or the Construction and Use Regulations, which they cannot.

    However, none of this matters at all because you crashed and damaged your bike either as a result of some surface contaminant on the road (which you don’t really think) or you overcooked a bend on a road you do not know well and which looks, from the photos, to be fairly polished. In other words, you crashed. There is no mechanical fault for the insurers to rely upon and they carry the burden of proof of showing this, which they cannot.

    I have gone a bit Latin with my modus operandi but here goes with some more Latin; the rule of contra preferentum, which applies in your case. A contract of insurance is a standard contract. As such, where there is ambiguity, it is construed against the company which drafted its own contract. You wrote it, you own it is a more vernacular way of putting it. But there is no ambiguity.

    This is as straightforward an attempt to wriggle out of paying as I have ever seen. Bearing in mind the value of the repairs which are around a third of the value of the bike, this is a ‘small claim’.

    So if you instruct someone like me, I will not be paid by the insurer and it would cost you the value of the repairs to have me represent you. However, this is such a transparent con trick. Just go to small claims. My experience of this insurer – and I have plenty – is that once you trigger court proceedings, they fold.

    As a word of warning though; I would not speculate as to mechanical faults unless you have something pretty solid to go on. Pretty well all of these I have done have had a locked-solid rear wheel as a result of something disastrous happening, with bits of engine, gearbox or drivetrain being obviously and catastrophically broken.

    Andrew Dalton

    RiDE Magazine – April 2022

  • World Supercross superstars swap dirt bikes for Cardiff history lesson ahead of British GP

    Click here for more info on Vitesse T-Shirts UK

    With the first ever FIM World Supercross Championship Grand Prix ready to take place in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium this weekend, riders took the time to brush up on the city’s history, with a visit to the iconic Cardiff Castle followed by a river tour to the picturesque Cardiff Bay.

    Ken Roczen, Chad Reed and Justin Brayton plus local heroes Max Anstie and Jack Burnell led the group on a short walk from Principality Stadium to Cardiff Castle.

    The original medieval castle dates back to the 11th century, when it was built on top of a 3rd century Roman Fort. Over the coming centuries the castle was repeatedly involved in conflicts and rebuilt over the ages.

    After hiding from the rain and a brief history lesson the riders embarked on a river cruise, taking in some of the Welsh capital’s other sights, with a stop off at the redeveloped Cardiff Bay and a look at the striking Wales Millennium Centre, the major modern culture venue, home to music shows, theatre, and opera.

    On Saturday 8 October Cardiff’s Principality Stadium will host the British Grand Prix, which marks the beginning of a new era of supercross, as the new FIM World Supercross Championship takes the sport to global audiences for the first time.

    The 2022 pilot season will conclude with the Australian Grand Prix on 21-22 October, where the world champions will be crowned.

    Tickets for Saturday’s British Grand Prix can be purchased here.

    Click here for more info on Vitesse T-Shirts UK

    Follow us on social media:

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  • The new Zero DSR/X: an all-electric adventure bike

    Electric motorbikes are on the precipice of being a genuine reality for adventure riders, but are they there yet? ABR went to Sicily to test Zero’s latest entry in the electric motorcycle market.

    The scene is Mount Etna. Located on the east coast of Sicily, it’s one of the world’s most active volcanoes. An empty road twists itself through the ever-changing landscape, struggling to hold on against the forces of nature.

    Then, a silent flash darts around the corner, slides through the bend, and is gone. That was the herald of the future racing laps around the Earth’s most ancient of wonders. That was the Zero DSR/X. Here’s a sneak peek of our review, which you can read in the November/December issue of Adventure Bike Rider magazine.

    No bark, all bite

    One of the most exciting features about electric motorbikes is the lack of delay between twisting the throttle and torque being transferred to the wheels. One second, you’re stopped at a traffic light, the next, you’re gone.

    The DSR/X produces a hair-raising 225Nm of torque in peak power mode. In comparison, a BMW R 1250 GS musters a comparatively measly 143Nm at 7,750 rpm. This puts the acceleration of the Zero DSR/X more in line with a sports superbike than a typical adventure bike and makes for a seriously fun ride.

    Easy riding

    The DSR/X is made for effortless riding: no gears to shift, no noise, no heat, no fluids to change. Zero have also partnered with Bosch to beef up the electronic safety features on the DSR/X, including lean-sensitive traction and control and ABS as standard.

    It’s true that the growl of an engine at full revs will be missed among dedicated petrolheads. But for those who want something that’s easy to maintain and won’t cause a fuss amongst the window-watchers in the neighbourhood, an electric motorcycle might be right for you.

    It’s got flair

    I really like the way the DSR/X looks. I’m not usually a huge fan of ultra-sleek modern motorbike bodies, but there’s something about the fighter-jet lines on the DSR/X that really catch my eye. The menacing headlight array seamlessly blends into the bodywork, and the heatsink incased in the frame give the bike a futuristic but recognisable appearance.

    It’s not over the top, but it doesn’t look like a toy either. It looks like it means business. It’s not quite the classic adventure bike look; but like the rest of this bike, it forges its own identity.

    What about the range?

    No, I’m not ignoring you. I know you’re asking about the range. And yes, it’s not as capable in this respect as an adventure bike with an internal combustion engine. If you want to ride across Mongolia or the length of South America, then it’s absolutely not going to cut it.

    However, the quoted range of 115 miles of combined highway and city riding means it’s well suited to being a commuter, while still having enough juice for a green lane detour.

    That being said, Zero claims that you can squeeze out 220 miles of casual off-road riding with the Power Tank optional extra (£2,899), so adventure riding is not totally out of the question. After all, the first drivers at the start of last century had to grapple with a lack of range and infrastructure too. Now, it’s time again for the pioneers to rise up again and prove what these bikes can do.

    All the comforts you’d expect

    The DSR/X has been thoughtfully built. It’s adorned with quality Showa suspension components and J-Juan brakes that are made to handle the 247kg bike. Add in Bosch rider aids and a comfortable riding position, all make for a handling experience that can tango with the best adventure bikes on the market.

    Zero has also included riding modes which change the behaviour of the bike. For example, selecting Eco mode limits the maximum power output to save charge,, while Canyon mode unleashes the bike’s full output, meanwhile configuring the throttle response to give you a smooth surge of acceleration.

    Another handy inclusion is regenerative braking, which mimics conventional engine braking while also recharging the battery. All in all, the handling package is well considered, and suits the needs of an adventure rider nicely.

    Is it worth it?

    You have to hand it to Zero. The dedication to build such a capable electric motorbike despite the limitations of current battery technology is commendable.

    The DSR/X has some fantastic features, and we can see it carving out a niche within the adventure bike market. You can read our full review and final verdict in the November/December of ABR magazine. Until then, head over to Zero’s website here to check the bike out for yourself.

    The post The new Zero DSR/X: an all-electric adventure bike appeared first on Adventure Bike Rider.

  • New Triple Clamps from Talon

    Click here for more info on Vitesse T-Shirts UK

    High quality, British-made triple clamp set-up for serious off-road riding. 

    The result of 1000+ hours of R&D, FEA analysis and real-world testing at national and international level racing, Talon’s new RAPTOR Fork Clamps feature RAKLOK Adjustable Bar Mounts to deliver a serious set-up improvement for serious off-road riders.

    CNC machined in-house from aerospace-grade aluminium alloy, Talon’s RAPTOR (RAPidly Tune-able Offset Race) Adjustable Fork Clamps bring extra stiffness to forks, for improved feel and performance.

    Lighter than OEM clamps, they feature split clamping for a better hold on the fork legs and to allow for accurate torque settings. Bend-Line Support on the lower edge of the bottom clamp enables a smoother fit with the fork leg during impacts and hard riding.

    They’re fully adjustable – 6mm of fork offset adjustment, from 19 mm through to 25 mm – so riders can tailor to their needs. And they use standard OEM handlebar rubber-mounts, allowing riders to fit all current OEM and aftermarket bar mount systems.

    Talon supply the RAPTOR Clamps with their latest RAKLOK Adjustable Bar Mounts, providing 8mm of front-to-back movement for the handlebars.

    Rack-style toothed position adjustment moves in increments of 2mm, for easy setting; with a high shear strength ‘locked’ mounting. This ‘set and forget’ bar positioning means there’s no need to move levers, bar front-back roll angle or left to right position in order to adjust the bars.

    A cross brace mount plate between bar mounts prevents bar torsion or ‘tweaking’ during crashes, so handlebars don’t need to be loosened and settings disturbed to release the twist.

    Also CNC machined in Talon’s UK factory, using aerospace-grade Aluminium Alloy and High Performance Engineering Steel Alloy, the RAKLOK come in 1 ⅛  or ⅞  inch bar diameters.

    Talon’s Triple Clamp retails at £699.99 including VAT, for the RAPTOR and RAKLOK set-up. Standard anodised colours are Black, Orange (KTM), Red (Gas Gas), Blue (Husqvarna), Red (Honda), Blue (Yamaha), Green (Kawasaki), with an option to upgrade to Red, Blue, Orange, Green, Silver, Pink, Purple, Magnesium, Titan and Gold.

    Visit to pre-order

    Click here for more info on Vitesse T-Shirts UK

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  • Spain, Portugal & Morocco 2022 Tour Blog – week 2
    07 October 2022

    Leaving Marrakesh we were over half way through the tour but with plenty of highlights and wonderful riding ahead.

    Soon after leaving Marrakesh, we were riding into the Atlas Mountains again and we had lunch at the beautiful Ouzzound waterfalls, some 10 kms off the main road.  Today we were celebrating a birthday of one of the fellow riders and an enjoyable evening of cold drinks, pizza and music was had around the pool of our hotel.  It was a memorable night for a us all to remember.

    The road to Meknes has had some major works since our last visit in 2019 and the endless twisties on fresh tarmac and the remote rocky scenery made this one of the best ride days of the tour.  Whilst fuelling up on the outskirts of Meknes a local motorcycle police office was fascinated by our bikes and insisted on giving us a police escort to the hotel, lights flashing and blowing his whistle to stop traffic as we triumphantly rode through town with VIP treatment.  Navigating to the hotel today was a breeze.

    40 minutes from our hotel are Volubilis ruins, a partially excavated Berber – Roman city. Founded in the 3rd century BC it became an important outpost for the Roman empire and is the best-preserved archaeological site in Morocco. It is thought that Volubilis was once the capital of the kingdom of Mauretania.   Our local guide Achmed, took us for a walk around the site and many of the clients found this one of the best off bike highlights of the tour and rightfully so, it’s truly fascinating and only a very small portion of the site has been excavated, it is immense.

    Our last stop in Morocco was in Asilah, a fortified city located on the northwest tip of the Atlantic Coast, just one hour away from the Port of Tangiers where we would be taking a morning ferry back to Spain. The old town of Asilah was built by colonial Portuguese and dates back to the 15th century.  We had time before dinner where some enjoyed a swim in the ocean and leisurely walk on the white sandy beach. We enjoyed expresso martinis and some of the local beer (Casablanca) before enjoying one of the nicest meals of the tour at the Port XIV restaurant.  Whilst we had been enjoying the local tagine dishes some Mediterranean cuisine and local seafood including local swordfish and prawns was welcomed.

    It was an early start today as we needed to be at the port at 7am for our 8am sailing.  Today we were having breakfast in Morocco, lunch in Gibraltar and dinner in Spain.  Three meals in three countries.  Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and was ruled by the Spanish until 1713 before being ceded to the British.  Known for the Rock of Gibraltar (a 421 metre high limestone ridge) and also for its airport which has a reputation as one of the most scariest in the world. Traffic lights control pedestrians and traffic as the aircraft land and take off. A runway of 1800 metres long, just enough room for an airbus than needs 1400 metres to land.  Its spectacular.

    We enjoyed a lunch of English style fish and chips and a short bus tour through the old town and a visit to the impressive St Michael’s caves.

    Passing back through Spanish immigration and back on the bikes we rode a section of the Costa del Sol before heading north into the mountaintop city of Ronda, spectacularly set onto above a deep 120 metre high gorge.  A parador is a hotel which is owned and administered by the Spanish government and there are ninety-seven of them in Spain.   They are very popular with both tourists and locals.   We stayed at the Parador de Ronda one of the most popular paradors and no doubt, the best accommodation in town with its fine views over the gorge. We had lunch at a Michelin Star restaurant, enjoying an array of local tapas and sampling local wines and beers.  It’s no surprise our stay in Ronda was a highlight for many.

    Granda was next on the itinerary and is home to the Alhambra, an ancient palace, fortress and citadel located and is world heritage listed.  Our hotel was conveniently located near the site and we enjoyed a guided tour of the site.

    Our last night in Spain was spent in Cordova best known for La Mezquita, an important Roman city and one of the world’s greatest Islamic buildings with an immense mosque dating back to 784 AD, in 1236, it became a Catholic Church.  

    Leaving Cordova we ascended into the Sierra de Hornachuelos, with a series of endless twisties and mountain scenery.   Riding back roads through wine country and small Portuguese villages we overnighted in Evora, home to the Chapel of Bones, which is actually the final resting place of hundred of skulls and bones exhumed from the city graveyards in the 16th century.  The main entrance to the chapel has a Portuguese inscription reading “We, the bones that are here await yours”.   It’s certainly an eerie attraction not for the faint hearted!   

    Returning to Lisbon we dropped the motorcycles off at the bike supplier – the GS bikes had performed faultlessly. 

     A final group meal was enjoyed down at the waterfront and we reflected on what had been a fantastic 20 days, a tour many had been waiting years to enjoy.  Seeing the big smiles and friendships formed, it would be fair to say that it was worth the wait!

    The post Spain, Portugal & Morocco 2022 Tour Blog – week 2 appeared first on Compass Expeditions Motorcycle Tours and Rentals.

  • The Best Motorcycle Ride in Eastern Oklahoma
    05 October 2022
    One of the Green Country Oklahoma Adventure Tour’s (GOAT) most beautiful segments runs along a dirt road east of the Illinois River, accessed via Combs Bridge. Photos by Susan Dragoo.

    If you’re planning a motorcycle tour in Eastern Oklahoma and you want to find the best roads and the most scenic and historic sites, take a ride with Oklahoma locals Bill and Susan Dragoo in this feature, “Riding the Territory,” from the pages of Rider magazine’s October issue. Scroll down for a route map and a link to the route on REVER.

    Red skies silhouette the towering sandstone spires of Monument Valley. A six-horse team gallops across the movie screen in the foreground, pulling a stagecoach trailing a cloud of dust as the occupants desperately try to escape a band of mounted Plains Indians shooting arrows and sending up war whoops. It’s an exciting scene and an image that easily comes to mind when we try to picture life in the 1800s west of the Mississippi. The “Wild West,” in other words.

    While that iconic scene may have occurred at some moment in time, a depiction of Western adventure somewhat closer to reality is the story of True Grit, in which aging U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn is recruited by a teenage girl to track down her father’s killer in the dangerous, outlaw-ridden Indian Territory during the days of “Hanging Judge” Isaac Parker.

    Smooth asphalt winds through lush tree canopies in Eastern Oklahoma, illustrating how Green Country got its name.

    The Indian Territory – what is now Eastern Oklahoma – truly had its share of outlaws in the days after the Civil War. Cattle rustlers, horse thieves, whiskey peddlers, and bandits sought refuge in the untamed territory. For many years, the only court with jurisdiction over white men in Indian Territory was the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas located in Fort Smith, where Judge Parker held the bench for 21 years and handed down 160 death sentences.

    Those outlaw days left a colorful legacy still recognizable in places like Horsethief Springs, Robbers Cave State Park, and the Fort Smith National Historic Site. And thanks to its hilly topography, Eastern Oklahoma is not only full of historical riches but also rife with great motorcycle roads. The Ozark Plateau stretches over from Arkansas into northeastern Oklahoma, and farther south, the Ouachita Mountains provide an even craggier landscape. As a result, the roads – once foot trails, wagon roads, stagecoach routes, and military roads – are a playground for motorcyclists.

    Scan QR code above or click here to view the route on REVER

    Wonderful paved twisties and miles of dirt and gravel backroads pervade the hills and hollows, flowing through this sparsely populated countryside. The feeling is one of remoteness, even if you’re never very far from a stretch of highway that will get you to an outpost of civilization.

    We’ve spent much of our lives exploring Oklahoma. And while we live in the prairies farther west, the deep green forests and remote byways of the state’s eastern region keep drawing us back, time after time.

    Limestone bluffs tower over twisty State Highway 10, the corridor to many of Eastern Oklahoma’s scenic delights.

    For us, a perfect starting point for a multiday tour of Oklahoma’s “Green Country” is Tahlequah. Situated about 70 miles southeast of Tulsa, Tahlequah is the modern headquarters of the Cherokee Nation and the end point for the Cherokees’ forced removal from their homeland east of the Mississippi. This relocation took place during 1838 and 1839. Other eastern tribes affected by the forced-removal policy of the U.S. government that would later come to be known as the “Trail of Tears” included the Choctaws, Creeks (Muscogees), Seminoles, and Chickasaws. Along with the Cherokees, they were known as the “Five Civilized Tribes.”

    For more information about Tahlequah and the surrounding area, visit

    Once re-settled in Indian Territory, they rebuilt their societies, governed themselves, and lived in relative peace and prosperity until the devastation of the Civil War, after which white settlers inundated the Territory. Oklahoma statehood in 1907 erased tribal sovereignty. In the 1970s, legislation restored the tribes’ ability to exercise powers of self-government, allowing entities such as the Cherokee Nation to thrive.

    Tahlequah’s historic sites require a leisurely day or two to enjoy, so we recommend spending some time there seeing the Cherokee National History Museum, housed in the renovated Cherokee National Capitol. Also in downtown Tahlequah is the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, which was built in 1844 and housed the printing press of the Cherokee Advocate, the first newspaper in Oklahoma. This museum is the oldest government building in Oklahoma. Hunter’s Home in nearby Park Hill is the only remaining pre-Civil War plantation home in the state. 

    The Cherokee National Capitol in Tahlequah was completed in 1869. It now serves as the Cherokee Nation Courthouse. Photo courtesy Tour Tahlequah.

    When you’re ready to get on the road, cruise north from Tahlequah on State Highway 10 along the Illinois River, one of Oklahoma’s few state-designated scenic rivers and a popular site for floating, fishing, and camping. Stay on Highway 10 or veer off at Combs Bridge, crossing the Illinois River to explore an easy dirt road squeezed between the river and the bluff. It winds through farmland and across an area of cascading water called Bathtub Rocks.

    Bathtub Rocks is located in the JT Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve near Tahlequah.

    At Combs Bridge, you can also pick up the Green Country Oklahoma Adventure Tour (GOAT), a route of about 500 miles almost entirely within the Cherokee Nation. The GOAT follows public roads with loose gravel, large rocks, mud, steep hills, and an abundance of water crossings, making for a lot of fun, especially after a good rain.

    County Road 569 passes over Bathtub Rocks, offering a perpetual water crossing.

    If you’re more into pavement, continue northeast on Highway 10 to U.S. Route 412 and detour to beautiful Natural Falls State Park, which offers a short hike to a 77-foot waterfall and dripping springs. Grab lunch in nearby Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and return west to Highway 10/U.S. Route 59 for a pavement ride north over Lake Eucha to State Highway 20, which takes you on a super-twisty route around Spavinaw Lake southwest to Salina, the oldest European-American settlement in Oklahoma. In 1796, Jean Pierre Chouteau encouraged several thousand Osage people to move from Missouri to what would become northeastern Oklahoma, establishing a trading post at present-day Salina. An old salt kettle in a city park along Highway 20 is all that remains of this rich history.

    Clear, rushing brooks abound in the hills of Eastern Oklahoma; the one can be found tent-side in Tenkiller State Park.

    From Salina, State Highway 82 returns you to Tahlequah, but if you have time, veer west on State Highway 51 and catch State Highway 80 for a jaunt south on a twisty paved road along the eastern shore of Fort Gibson Lake and continue to the Fort Gibson Historic Site.

    Built in 1824, this was the first military post established in Indian Territory and was intended to maintain peace between the Osages and Cherokees. It figured prominently in the forced relocations of the 1830s and served as a base for military expeditions exploring the West. It was abandoned in 1857 but reactivated during the Civil War. The army stayed for some years after the war, dealing with outlaws and keeping the peace. Visitors can see a 1930s reconstruction of the early log fort and the stockade, as well as original buildings dating back to the 1840s. 

    Riding the GOAT after a good rain assures some adventure on low water crossings.

    From Fort Gibson, loop back to Highway 82 and ride along the eastern shore of Lake Tenkiller, where Tenkiller State Park offers another good spot for camping, as well as lodging in cabins. Continuing south, a short detour out of Sallisaw brings you to Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum. Sequoyah created a system of writing for the Cherokee people and built this log cabin in 1829. It is enclosed by a stone structure built in 1936.

    Camping and cabins at Tenkiller State Park offer beautiful sunset views.

    Just north of Sequoyah’s Cabin is one of the more technical segments of the GOAT, the rough and rocky Old Stagecoach Road. Which stagecoach line used the road is unclear, but it is definitely old. The road shows up clear as day on a 1901 topographic map, following West Cedar Creek through a gap in the Brushy Mountains. With a moderate level of skill, an average rider can negotiate Old Stagecoach Road.

    Continuing south takes you into the Choctaw Nation. At Red Oak, catch some twisty pavement over the mountains on Highway 82, ending up in Talihina. Or turn west at Red Oak on State Highway 270 and spend a day at Robbers Cave State Park just north of Wilburton, where Civil War deserters and outlaws – including the Youngers, the Dalton Gang, and Belle Starr – reportedly hid in the park’s namesake cave.

    The colorful history and intriguing rock formations of Robbers Cave make it a popular destination.

    Legend has it that the remote location and rugged terrain made the cave a nearly impregnable fortress, with the criminals able to escape through a secret back exit. We’ve been in the cave, and that “back exit” looks like a tight squeeze and a dead end. The park also features camping, lodging in vintage cabins built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and some of the state’s best hiking.

    Heading on toward Talihina, you enter the Ouachita National Forest and some of the most spectacular riding in Oklahoma, on or off pavement. The star of the show in this region is the Talimena Scenic Drive, which begins just northeast of Talihina. The serpentine 54-mile national scenic byway steeply ascends Winding Stair Mountains, staying on the crest as it crosses over into Arkansas. Across the state line atop Rich Mountain, Queen Wilhelmina State Park is a popular stop. At nearly 2,700 feet elevation, Rich Mountain is Arkansas’ second highest peak, and the spot offers breathtaking scenery when the clouds aren’t draped over the mountaintop.

    A bird’s eye view of Talimena Scenic Drive, a national scenic byway that follows the crest of the Winding Stair Mountains through Oklahoma and Arkansas.

    The Talimena Scenic Drive also boasts multiple offshoots for unpaved riding, and hiking trails abound. One popular footpath is Horsethief Springs, which follows a route horse thieves used in the 1800s, making their camps and corrals near the top of the mountain near a perennial spring. A stone structure built by the CCC in the 1930s now surrounds the spring, which had run dry the last time we passed through.

    For hardcore hikers, the 223-mile Ouachita National Recreation Trail runs along this same ridge. We’ve backpacked the trail from Talimena State Park to Little Rock, Arkansas, in a series of section hikes and can affirm that steep, difficult climbing does not require high elevations. Nearby you can also pick up the Oklahoma Adventure Trail for more off-road two-wheeled exploration. This approximately 1,500-mile mostly unpaved trail circumnavigates Oklahoma and offers a huge variety of terrain.

    The Ouachita Trail’s 223-mile path is a backpacker’s delight, especially in the fall.

    The Talimena Scenic Drive drops you off in Mena, Arkansas, and from there you can follow U.S. Highway 71 to Fort Smith. The Fort Smith National Historic Site and its surroundings offer a glimpse into a spot that was once the westernmost military post in the United States and later became best known for the justice meted out by Judge Parker. A reproduction of the gallows and Parker’s restored courtroom are among the exhibits. 

    From Fort Smith, take a leisurely ride north on Arkansas Highway 59, a scenic paved road hugging the border between Oklahoma and Arkansas. Along the way, make a stop at Natural Dam Falls, a lovely waterfall just off the highway. Near Dutch Mills, Arkansas, take a short side trip to Cane Hill, where you’ll swear you just emerged from a time warp. Attracted by the area’s natural springs, Cane Hill’s first European settlers established a township there in 1829. A museum and walking trails help the visitor interpret and explore the community’s well-preserved historic sites.

    Jog back to Highway 59 northbound to U.S. Highway 62, which crosses into Oklahoma at Westville, the easternmost point of the Trans-America Trail as it begins its Oklahoma segment across the state’s northern tier.

    Back in Tahlequah, pick up where you left off with historical exploration, or take a break and float the Illinois. No matter what you choose, take a moment to contemplate the Western history you’ve just experienced. Then go watch True Grit again.

    The rising sun typically burns off the fog in Eastern Oklahoma’s Illinois River valley. Photo courtesy Tour Tahlequah.

    This article originally appeared in the October 2022 issue of Rider.

    The post The Best Motorcycle Ride in Eastern Oklahoma first appeared on Rider Magazine.
  • The Grace of the Land
    05 October 2022

    The Grace of the Land

    Five years ago today, my father passed away. It was fitting that he, a farmer, a man of the land his entire life, should pass on the Harvest Moon.

    My studies into how my ancestors related to the lands they lived on has renewed my exploration into where and how they spent their time. Because Dad’s father died when Dad was two, and none of the rest of his father’s immediate family (whose name was other than Jansen) came to Canada, he never knew them or anything about them. Although he had second cousins here, his heart ached to know more. He also yearned to return to the prairies!

    It’s been an honor that his/my cousins have pitched in on this quest. That’s how two disparate photographs turned up that identified Dad’s great-grandfather with certainty. How apt on this anniversary that through their effort, Dad has found his place in his family.

    During Dad’s final days, it was a gift to him and to his family, that he had time to reminisce, recapitulate, and say what he wanted to say. Dad touched many people during that time, including Bob Tees, who worked in Spiritual Care at the hospital. Bob often dropped in to listen and offer solace. As a result of our conversations, Bob was moved to write The Grace of the Land for my parents on what would be Dad’s last day. It’s shared here with Bob’s permission.

    The Grace of the Land

    walked a mile in the carpenter’s shoes
    sang his songs, played his blues
    the dusty road washed my feet
    step by step, beat by beat

    rays of sunlight sweep the plain
    prairie fields sing a long refrain
    wind and starlight paint the western sky
    my darling dances always in my mind’s eye

    so many things I don’t understand
    but my heart knows the grace of the land
    so many times you’ve taken my hand
    that’s when I felt the grace of the land

    o Maker of earth, stars and sea
    thanks for the wonder and place to be free
    Maker of heaven, laughter and praise
    Walk with your children these passing days

    the far away past sleeps lightly and true
    comes gently awake, makes old things new
    blooms in the graveyard, joy from the earth
    doves from the ashes, springs from a miracle birth

    so many things I don’t understand
    but my heart knows the grace of the land
    so many times you’ve taken my hand
    that’s when I felt the grace of the land

    for Ben and Margaret Jansen
    October 5, 2017
    Bob Tees, 2017


    Liz Jansen

  • Suzuki Releases Updated V-Strom 1050DE: Off-Road Ready
    04 October 2022

    Suzuki’s V-Strom 1050 has been one of many stalwarts in the Suzuki family of motorcycles. While it’s not a category-defining adventure bike like the BMW R 1250 GS or KTM 1290 Super Adventure, many people love its versatility, reliability, and affordability. 

    For 2023, Suzuki has brought several updates to the V-Strom 1050 lineup, including two new models: the V-Strom 1050DE and V-Strom 1050DE Adventure. These replace the well-received V-Strom 1050XT and 1050XT Adventure models. 

    First, The 2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 Updates

    Before we get into the DE models, first, let’s highlight the changes to the entire V-Strom 1050 range. The big news is all models now receive a six-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), which was previously only available on the now-outgoing XT models. 

    The IMU is paired to Suzuki’s Intelligent Ride System, which is Suzuki’s rider aide suite of electronics that includes ride modes, cornering ABS, traction control, cruise control, and an advanced hill hold control that can adjust brake pressure for hill starts, slopes, and/or load on the motorcycle. 

    Updated electronics like this require an updated ride-by-wire system, new ABS control unit, new CAN wiring, and a new, more powerful 32-bit Engine Control Module (ECM).

    Next, the V-Stroms get a quickshifter for both up- and down-shifts, meaning the clutch is now only used at a stop. There’s a new 5-inch TFT display, adjustable windscreen, 12-volt power adapter, new mirrors, and new LED turn signals and tail lights. 

    Mechanically, the 1050 V-Twin engine is essentially unchanged except for sodium-filled exhaust valves to help keep temps under control. First and sixth gears are revised inside the transmission for smoother shifting action. 

    A more durable O-ring chain comes standard, as does an engine bash guard to protect the vital underside of the engine from damage, mainly off-road.

    The V-Strom 1050DE

    Switching to the DE and DE Adventure models, the first change is to the wheels and tires. The DE versions use wire-spoke wheels (instead of cast wheels on standard V-Stroms), measuring 21 inches in the front and 17 inches in the back. Dunlop supplies the Trailmax Mixtour tires.

    There are also physical differences for the DE as well. A new swingarm compared to the standard model adds 10% more torsional rigidity for better off-road control, and at least partially contributes to the DE’s longer wheelbase of 62.8 inches (61.2 inches for the standard model). Other geometry changes include different rake and trail numbers (27.3 degrees vs. 25.4 degree, and 4.96 inches of trail vs 4.33 inches).  

    Because the DE is focused on adventure riding more than the V-Strom ever has been, suspension settings have also been changed. The 43mm fork and single rear shock now have different spring rates, valving, and even pistons to better suit off-road conditions. 

    With those changes comes more ground clearance compared to the standard V-Strom 1050 (7.5 inches vs. 6.5) and more suspension travel (6.7 inches of front travel (vs. 6.3) and 6.6 inches of rear travel (vs. 6.3). There’s even a different, wider handlebar by 1.6 inches.

    A new Gravel ride mode has been added to the rider aid suite, which presumably allows more rear tire spin-up should you want it. There’s also the ability to turn off rear ABS completely in case you want total control. 

    Other changes include a three-piece front fender, shorter windscreen, revised side, and center stands, and a fixed 34.6-inch seat height with the seat itself re-shaped to be more comfortable and provide more side grip when standing. 

    Specific to the DE Adventure version are 37-liter saddlebags made from 1.5mm aluminum for extra toughness, complete with a silver anodized finish. They are keyed with the bike and are said to be completely waterproof, giving your gear shelter should you ride or camp in bad weather.  

    If history is our guide, the V-Strom 1050 DE and DE Adventure will gain a cult following among die-hard V-Strom fans but will likely be a nice blip on the radar for the overall ADV scene. Nonetheless, Suzuki is dedicating more resources to keeping the aging platform relevant—and capable—in this expanding and competitive ADV market is commendable. 

    It appears to have the necessary upgrades today’s buyers are looking for, though we wonder if it’ll be enough.

    But, as always, its affordable price tag—which, ironically, hasn’t been announced as of this post—will likely keep it relevant in at least a few minds of riders who don’t need all the bells and whistles more expensive European brands have to offer.

  • Riding Disruption
    04 October 2022

    For Whom the Bell Tolls After two and a half years of careful conduct, I’ve succumbed to the virus that has turned the world upside down. For me, the news that I tested positive for COVID-19 was slightly more worrisome because of my drug suppressed immune system. Along with several other unfortunate medical conditions. It […]

    The post Riding Disruption appeared first on Scooter in the Sticks.

  • Singular Focus While Riding a Motorcycle
    02 October 2022

    Chocolate Chip Cookie How is it that a chocolate chip cookie is so important to me? Is it really a talisman of some mindful focus on the present moment? Or merely a reflection of a lifelong addiction to sugar? I choose to believe the cookie’s oversized importance points to something greater than sugar. A magical […]

    The post Singular Focus While Riding a Motorcycle appeared first on Scooter in the Sticks.

  • Back to the Books: Ukrainian Steppes to Alberta Prairies
    30 September 2022

    Back to the Books: Ukrainian Steppes to Alberta Prairies

    Last month I described the sensation of timelessness as I walked on rocks formed hundreds of millions of years ago. This month, it’s back to the books! (Read Newfoundland: Keeper of Stories in Stone)

    This time, I’ve landed in an academic world and am exploring the present from the lessons of the more recent past. I’ve begun Graduate Studies at York University in Toronto. My goal is to understand how my ancestors related to the lands they lived on over the past centuries and the beings, human and other, they shared it with. What wisdom do they have to teach me that I can share in today’s world?

    This has fascinated me for decades as those who have read Crash Landing can attest. Although I thought I was done digging in the past , it was not finished with me. I’m continuing that work further back in time and in more depth, with scholarly expertise and guidance.

    This two-year Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies involves three areas of study: Canadian History, Mennonite Studies, and Women’s Studies. My job is to integrate them into meaningful stories we can all learn from. Already, two courses, Mennonites in Imperialist Russia and the other in North American Indigenous History have opened my eyes to events I had little awareness of.  I’ll explain the connection in later posts.

    A Brief History

    The experience you will hear is not the experience of all Mennonites. Also, Mennonites are NOT the same as Amish, Hutterites, or Doukhobors. They arose of the Protestant Reformation in the mid 1500s in what is now the Netherlands. From there they scattered in many directions, to avoid persecution, like getting burned at the stake. Looking for lands where they could live by their values and achieve economic sustainability, Mennonites ended up all around the world. Best available 2015 numbers show more Mennonites living in Africa in than in North America (GAMEO).

    Along with others, my ancestors migrated to Prussia/Poland in the late 1500s and early 1600s and stayed for more than 250 years. Over time they did well economically but by the late 1700s, their refusal to bear arms led to an irreconcilable value conflict with the government. Although many Mennonites stayed in Poland, my “people” responded to the call of Catherine the Great as she cast a wide net in Europe to populate Russia. The lands they called home for more than a century were on the Ukrainian steppe now facing annexation by Russia. There they remained until immigrating to Canada and the Alberta prairies in the 1920s after the Bolshevik revolution.

    Why Study This Now?

    First of all, it’s a calling that I was happy to accept, starting with a walk in Writing-on-Stone-Park in 2019. (Read: Taking the Backward Step to Move Forward in 2020)

    We’re shaped by the stories we’ve been told, stories that have been passed down through the generations from before we were born. Over time, however, we, and those who have gone before, unintentionally and unknowingly, construct new stories and myths to protect ourselves and justify our choices. It affects how we treat each other, other beings, and the environment.

    For a whole host of reasons, when we look back with an open mind, we see things we didn’t see before. Now more than ever, it’s urgent that we learn from the past to make a difference today. Then, we need to act.

    All we have to do is our part. We have the answers in us. Our ancestors have given them to us if we but listen. They didn’t always have it right. We don’t all have to dig back like I’m doing. I’m sure my ancestors, and others, will be happy to share their stories. And I’m happy to share what I learn. We have access to more information than we ever did and so much is waiting to be heard.

    For now, it’s back to the books!

    Photo by Engin Akyurt

    Liz Jansen

  • When Vespa Riders Gather
    29 September 2022

    The Magnetic Attraction of Vespa Scooters If I were adept at mathematics I might create an equation that describes the phenomenon of attraction between these metal machines. Newton, or Einstein might be able to illuminate it. I merely marvel at the scene of suggesting Vespa riders gather. Like a soft force in the Universe. Grateful […]

    The post When Vespa Riders Gather appeared first on Scooter in the Sticks.

  • Med to the Balkans research trip – week 3
    26 September 2022

    Our 3rd and final week saw us entering the storybook world of Dubrovnik, a fabled walled city on the Adriatic coastline. This UNESCO listed city left us in no doubt why Warner Bros chose this location for the renowned Game of Thrones series. Walking the 2-kilometre-long city walls offered stupendous views of the old city with its narrow alleys, red roofed buildings, ornate villas and cupola topped churches, one side was the old city the other the Adriatic, it was breathtaking.

    Departing Dubrovnik, we travelled the incredible coastline with yet more epic views of Dubrovnik before reaching Montenegro.  Like Corsica, Montenegro is an absolute revelation, we drove the stunning coastline wedged in between the Bay of Kotor and the towering granite peaks that ascended almost vertically. It was an idyllic scene of turquoise bays lined with red roofed villas, fishing boats gently rocking in the waves and spectacularly located restaurants lining the bay. We reached UNESCO listed Perast and caught a taxi boat out to the remarkable Our Lady of the Rocks church standing on an artificial island built by sailors from the 16th century onwards.

    Leaving the Adriatic behind we ascended into the mountains via the legendary Serpentine Road, a wonderful barely one lane wide road offering superb views of Kotor and its fjord far far below, certainly one of the most amazing series of twisties I have ever been on. Away from the crowds we spent a great night in the Montenegrin ski resort of Lovcen National Park. 

    Sadly, we departed Montenegro via an incredible series of back roads that saw perhaps 5 local cars for the day, let alone any tourists, through some amazing Montenegrin back country before reaching Bosnia. Making it to Mostar and its renown old city, home to perhaps one of the most famous bridges in the world, for all the wrong reasons, Stari Most (Old Bridge). Incredibly we bumped into a past client, Marc, from NY who was touring the region, we were stunned to see him as Veronica and I personally led the 2 tours of Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia that Marc joined us on in 2018, what an amazing small world. Ever gracious Marc told us that Compass was still, by far, the best tour company he has ever been with, we both felt humbled and proud as we dedicate a huge amount of effort and resources into these research trips and comments like this confirm we are getting it right. 

    Riding the back roads of Bosnia was yet another surprise, the mountains were simply stunning, and we revelled in the lonely quiet tracks through an incredible landscape. One “must see” weird sight was Tito’s Bunker, an enormous underground bunker built into the side of a mountain that could house 350 people in the event of a nuclear war. At a cost of over 20 billion US$ no one has ever spent a night in it, a colossal waste of money. Amazingly it took 26 years to construct, and no one knew about it! We wound our back into Croatia and hit the Adriatic Coast again visiting Split and the nearby Trogir with its UNESCO listed old town, similar to Split minus the crowds. 

    Our final country, except Austria, where we spent 30 minutes taking a shortcut, Slovenia was probably the most scenically outstanding part of the entire trip, and that really is saying something. Words really do defy adequate description of this epic alpine scenery. The outstanding fairy-tale scenery around Lake Bled, absolutely incredible mountain vistas and the utterly incomparable Logar Valley and the Solcava Panoramic Route was simply the best way possible to finish this tour in what is sure to become a classic ride amongst our ride offerings. 

    This 20-day tour showed us an unbelievable diversity of landscapes, cultures, history and off the beaten track ride experiences. From the big hitting European highlights like Venice, Pisa, Pompei, Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast, quintessential French countryside scenery in Corsica, and epic Adriatic scenery in Croatia, this ride has it all. The Balkans were a revelation in Bosnia and Montenegro and the alpine vistas of Slovenia left us speechless, this ride really has it all. Now for Africa!

    The post Med to the Balkans research trip – week 3 appeared first on Compass Expeditions Motorcycle Tours and Rentals.

  • Brockville to Montreal – Motorcycle Road Trip Day 3
    26 September 2022

    Motorcycle road trip from Toronto to Quebec City. Today we're riding from Brockville Ontario to Montreal Quebec and exploring Montreal.

    The post Brockville to Montreal – Motorcycle Road Trip Day 3 appeared first on YouMotorcycle.

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