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17 June 2021

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  • How much Motorcycle Gear Do I Need? How much to SPEND on gears?
    17 June 2021

    Riding a motorcycle is fun, but it is a dangerous activity nonetheless. Motorcycles offer minimal protection to the rider, requiring them to wear riding gear to prevent sustaining injuries during an accident. Most beginner motorcycle riders have various questions regarding the riding gear they require.

    The most common doubt they have is How much riding gear do I actually need? It is very important to protect every body part while riding a motorcycle. To prevent injuries and damage to yourself, you must wear complete riding gear such as a riding jacket, riding pants, riding boots, riding gloves, and a DOT certified helmet. 

    There are various kinds of riding gear for every season, type, and riding style. For summers, riding jackets, gloves, and pants are designed with ventilation pockets and lighter to keep the body cool and promote air circulation.

    Riding boots are also designed for selected weather conditions. Season-specific riding boots are available for summers, winters, and even the rainy season. If you do not have a luxurious budget that can cater to these needs individually, then you can go with all-weather riding gear. 

    While these are slightly costlier than normal gear, it allows you to use the equipment through the year in changing weather conditions.

    There are many motorcycle riders that ride without certain riding gear. However, we highly recommend that you do not follow this practice. No one can predict what can happen on the road. Therefore, wearing complete riding gear may just end up saving your life in a crash. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

    It is very important that you always have your helmet on before a ride. You can skip wearing a riding jacket if it is too expensive or uncomfortable for you.

    However, ensure that you purchase separate protection for your elbows and hands. You can also purchase chest protectors that can be worn in a regular shirt or jacket for additional safety. 

    From personal experience, separate protectors are not the most comfortable while riding. They have a tendency to slide from their original place, which will require you to stop and adjust them regularly.

    My personal opinion would be to purchase an all-weather riding jacket and pants as well as two or three pairs of riding gloves. 

    You can wear gloves according to the season, and all-weather gear with its various layers will keep you comfortable and safe during your ride, be it during winter or the rain.

    Do Motorcycle Gear Help?

    Motorcycle gears come with different levels of protection for the important joints of the body like the shoulders, wrists, elbows, and knees. It also offers protection to the chest, back, and thighs. There are three different levels of armor that you can buy separately and use with gear like jackets and pants.

    Riding gear armor is made up of high-density foam combined with carbon fiber or Kevlar composite. This makes them lightweight and strong, allowing them to handle any kind of impact and protect the rider from fractures, abrasions, and impact injuries. 

    The famous acronym ATGATT (All The Gear, All The Time) is one that you must follow religiously. If you are thinking of riding to a nearby store to buy some stuff, you may feel the need to ride with minimal gear or no gear at all. However, it is more common to get in an accident in such situations than when you are on a long ride. 

    In an accident, your gear is the only thing between you and the hard surface you are about to impact such as the road, another vehicle, or the pavement. Therefore, ensure that you are in full riding gear every single time before you take your motorcycle out.

    All motorcycle armors are certified by the government as well as private organizations to ensure the highest standards of safety. There are differences between each level of armor that you can read about in this detailed article by Wikipedia.

    Some studies prove that wearing armor or riding gear can help in protecting various body parts. In the table attached below, you can see how many injuries can be prevented if you are in proper riding gear.

    Wearing any kind of protective riding gear can reduce the risk of getting a back or spine injury by 116% and for the chest, it can reduce the damage by upto 23%. Wearing proper riding pants and boots can help prevent any kind of injury to your legs by 45-53%. 

    If you want to read a detailed study on how riding gear contributes to rider protection, then you can read up on a study conducted by Marine Corps Safety & Force Preservation. I have attached the link for the same here.

    How Much Should You Spend on Riding Gears?

    Budget can be an issue for many new riders when they are out buying riding gear for the first time. Many of us also get confused about how much is too much when it comes to spending on motorcycle riding gear. 

    There is no definite answer to such a question, as requirements and preferences vary from rider to rider. Having a higher budget or specific brand in mind can also have a big influence on the gear you wish to purchase.

    Before buying a new motorcycle, you should keep around 5-7% of the total budget for riding gear. Once you purchase your new motorcycle, pick out good quality riding gear that comes with at least level 1 armor. 

    Get an all-weather riding jacket and riding pants if you are looking to avoid spending on two or more different jackets for different seasons. Getting a good quality product can ensure you are safe and also make your riding experience much more comfortable.

    Don’t forget to buy riding boots and riding gloves as these can also be helpful during a crash. Once, I did not have my riding gloves on me while I was out riding in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, I made contact with a car that had something attached to one of its mirrors. The resulting impact fractured my tiny finger which resulted in me undergoing surgery to get it fixed.

    That was when I realized the true worth of riding gloves. In short, don’t skip any of your riding gear. Remember to follow the ATGATT (All The Gear, All The Time) rule and wear them all. 

    However, this does not mean that you have to overspend while choosing your riding gear. Do your research and pick out the products that meet your requirements and budget, while being comfortable as well. 

    Important things to keep in mind while Buying Motorcycle Gear (for Beginners)

    If you are a beginner rider, you will now have an approximate idea of how much you must keep aside to buy motorcycle gear. 

    If this is your first time purchasing a motorcycle, you may not have anything at all. Therefore, I thought of sharing a few points with you if you are a beginner rider looking to procure new riding gear.

    Buying new riding gears can be confusing as there are lots of options out there. While some of them look really good, others are designed to offer maximum protection. 

    If you do your research, you will find riding gears that are good-looking and protect your body effectively in unfortunate situations. 


    The most important part of the body is the head that must be protected at all costs. You will need a helmet to do so and ensure that you are protected from injuries that can lead to brain damage or even loss of life. 

    There are many types of helmets out there such as half-face, full face, modular and ¾ helmets, as well as a few fancy models.

    The most common and protective among all designs is the full-face helmet. It provides full protection to the head region, covering the entire area of your skull as well. They are more durable during a crash as there are moving parts, unlike in modular designs.

    You can get any color or design you want but go for a full-face helmet with a clear visor. Clear visors can be used during the day as well as at night unlike tinted visors, which are not good for riding after the sunset. 

    The helmet must meet the DOT, ECE, or SNELL standards, which are safety certifications of different countries that ensure your helmet protects you during an impact. Depending on the country you reside in, ensure your helmet meets the criteria to ensure your helmet is legal and keeps you safe.


    Next on your riding gear list is a riding jacket. There are many types of jackets such as mesh jackets, leather jackets, lightweight ones, and so on. You can buy whichever model suits you best, be it any design or color. 

    Make sure the riding jacket has Level 1 armor protection on the shoulder, back, chest, and elbow section. If it doesn’t have the armor incorporated, then make sure there are pockets inside that allow you to add armor of your choice. 

    You can buy this armor separately according to your budget and likes, but it must fit properly in the jacket pockets meant to accommodate them. Try the jacket and ensure that it fits you well, without being too tight or too big. 

    Riding jackets have straps all around them so that you can tighten them up when you are riding. This prevents them from moving around due to the wind at high speeds. Do not wear a jacket that doesn’t have any kind of protection or armor inside it. 

    If you are thinking of buying an all-weather jacket, then purchase a product from a good brand that has been reviewed extensively and has been purchased by many riders. These jackets come with an inner layer that you can use during winters to keep yourself warm. 

    A second layer ensures proper ventilation, and a rain liner layer ensures that you can wear it even in rainy conditions.


    Riding pants are the most neglected riding gear that many motorcycle riders choose not to wear. However, they are not aware of its benefits, as it protects your hips, thighs, and knees. 

    Riding pants are more comfortable than jeans as they come with ventilation pockets. You can open them while riding your motorcycle so that there is proper air circulation which keeps the rider cool. 

    Many new riders think buying a pair of knee guards that they can wear above their jeans or trousers will save some money. Though I was of the same opinion while starting out, I realized that they are not comfortable and slide down after some time. The frustration of having to stop and adjust them frequently often ruined my riding mood.

    Over long rides, I was fed up with my knee pads. This was especially true in the summers, as the straps trap heat and cause additional sweating. 

    All of these experiences led me to buy a good pair of riding pants. I would suggest the same to you to help you avoid wasting money while buying new equipment.


    Riding gloves are another aspect of riding gear that many riders neglect. However, their lack of concern for their fingers is rather appalling, as they are quite sensitive and can easily bend and fracture during impacts. 

    If you hurt your fingers and wrist during a ride then you will not be able to control your motorcycle properly anymore and you will be forced to stop your ride.

    So, get a good pair of riding gloves that offer good protection. Cheap mesh gloves come with plastics that cannot protect your hand effectively during a crash. Leather gloves are a good option for summers, as they come with armor on the palm side and above the finger. 

    During a crash, our hands are amongst the first parts of our body that hit the ground. The palm armor will absorb the impact and protect your hand during a slide. 

    You can get a longer pair that offer additional protection to your wrists and forearms. They are known as gauntlets and can be put inside the arm of the riding jacket itself. We have made a detailed motorcycle glove buying guide, that you can read to know the various types and armor levels that motorcycle gloves come in.


    Many new motorcycle riders think riding boots are only needed during long rides or track days, which is not true. Riding boots comes with armor protection to keep your toes and bones in the foot safe during a crash.

    There are different kinds of riding boots varying in size and design depending on the purpose they are to be used for.

    If you are only going to ride on roads, then you can go with normal size riding boots that and slightly over the ankles. If you plan to go on long rides, then it is better to buy long boots that will cover your entire leg from the feet to just below the knee.

    I learned the importance of long boots during one of my motorcycle tours when I was hit by a small rock that had been thrown up by the tire of the car driving in front of me. It struck me just below the knee on the bone, and it was quite an impact. 

    The resulting pain that I experienced was excruciating but there was no way for me to stop or even massage the area as I was afraid of losing control of my motorcycle and meeting with an accident.

    I hope my unfortunate personal experience convinces you to purchase long-riding boots for long-distance rides. If you can only afford a single pair right now, you can choose these designs as they work well for short and long rides. 

    These boots are strong and durable. They are also rigid and maintain their shape while sliding or in impact situations, protecting your leg from fractures due to unnatural bending. 

    Before buying any gear, try it on to ensure you have the perfect fit. We suggest you go and complete these purchases in a physical store. Doing so will help you try out and make wise decisions when it comes to your first set of riding gear. 

    You can also be guided by the expert assistance of the salespersons at the store, or take a friend with riding experience to help you in such situations.

    Related Questions:

    Are Jeans good for motorcycle riding? Riding a motorcycle without riding pants can be dangerous as jeans don’t come with any kind of protective armors, that can help you prevent scratches during an accident. And jeans can be uncomfortable as well to ride a motorcycle. 

    Also read:

  • For Sale: 640cc Rotax/KTM Framer
    17 June 2021

    Reader Advert

    Championship winning 640 Rotax/KTM Framer 'Magic Carpet'

    Imported from the US flat track scene and raced in the DTRA championship by Ross Herrod (took Ross to win the DTRA Thunderbike champion) and latterly took me to 2nd in the 2019 Thunderbike championship. She's a magic carpet, more than capable of winning races and championships.

    KTM chromoly main frame with custom subframe. The bike is very well sorted, with the correct geometry to make a great handling flat tracker.

    The motor is a 640 Rotax, rebuilt by Gary at Sportax racing at the beginning of the 2019 season so it’s only got a couple of hours on the rebuilt motor.

    Whilst Gary rebuilt the motor, I completely stripped and rebuilt the bike, rebuilt wheels, gold hubs, powder coated frame, new bearings everywhere.

    Dellorto phm40 pumper carb

    Cobuilt custom exhaust

    Bodywork and aluminium fuel cell from survivor customs (come with spare seat/number board unit and tank cover)

    Ready to race and win.

    Bike will be at the Ammanford DTRA round in Jul-21 if not sold.

    Price £5450.00 ovno

    Contact Dan on 07775621379 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Bike located in Somerset. UK Delivery possible.

    #ForSale #rotax #KTM #thunderbike

  • Wolfman Luggage B-Base WP, Mount and Packing System [REVIEW]
    17 June 2021
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    Wolfman’s Versatile Luggage Range

    Ah, another review of motorcycle luggage and one of many that I hope wBW will ask me to do for 2021, even though many of us are not (yet) getting to implement either the near or long term or distance-based travel we have and are planning for; patience and understanding are, real virtues in our pandemic world.

    With spring well underway, some of the wet stuff is abating and the temperatures seem to be creeping up in a relatively linear manner (although the highs and lows have been very noticeable) – patience with the weather is also a virtue.

    Since reviewing the Wolfman Luggage Expedition Saddle Bags, the Blackhawk Motorcycle Tank Bag, and the Wolf Bottle Holster, as from their new for 2020 WP lineup, there has been considerable chomping at the bit in anticipation of getting more of the WP products.

    With some coordination, last fall and an anxious wait, another package from Wolfman Luggage was received mid-February this year and this box contained a B-Base and two large Rolie Bag along with some new stuff-saks for the Saddle Bags reviewed last year.

    But, as is usual for this part of the world, winter continued to intercede, and then as spring started to get a better grip and some short riding stints were possible, local pandemic restrictions put a serious crimp into many things for a while.

    But we are (all) slowly working our way through it all and spring riding, at least locally, is something that can and is done as a socially distanced and non-grouped activity, even though many dirt and off-road activities are off-limits due to ground conditions.

    And speaking of dirt and off-road activities, the topic of this review is indeed a product that is, or could be seen to be specifically oriented for off-road riders. But hold on…we shouldn’t be too hasty here and treating these products as ideal solutions for ADV-oriented riding, including off-road activities is a better and more encompassing expression.

    Even that definition might be a bit too restrictive; many motorcyclists see opportunities in almost anything and adaptation truly is or can be a good thing, if done properly and safely; to wit, the now-departed F900XR looked and worked just fine in wearing the Mosko Moto Reckless 80 (v3) kit, and it would be equally at home in wearing the Wolfman Luggage B-Base.

    Wolfman Luggage introduced rack-less motorcycle saddlebags way back in 2010 and a decade later the E-Base and B-Base products were fully rethought and transformed into new offerings. This then is our entry point.

    The Wolfman Luggage B-Base ‘Unrack’ System

    Wolfman Luggage has three ‘Base’ WP (welded process) products – the E-Base designed for enduro and (smaller) dual-sport machines, the B-Base for the big ADV and larger dual-sport motos, and the Tank Pannier Base that reflects E and B-Base design but goes its own way regarding versatility and modularity.

    But until a smaller lighter off-road-focused moto is added to the home fleet that might be better served with the smaller E-Base or Tank Pannier Base products, it is the B-Base, along with two Large Rolie Bags WP that helps satisfy the craving for more Wolfman Luggage pieces that can address virtually any soft-sided packing requirement.

    In addition to the F 850 GS Adventure and R 1250 GS (HP) occupying garage space, the B-Base and Rolie Bag solution is well-suited for bigger KTM singles and twins, Husky Nordon (on my shortlist) along with any old or new KLR650 models, Honda AT in all variants, the venerable but valued Honda XR650L, Yamaha T7, and Suzuki DR650 or V-Strom editions…you get the picture.

    In other words, there isn’t much the Wolfman Luggage B-Base can’t be used on. Its simplistic conforming shape and minimalist but effective three-strap approach to keeping the piece securely in place on the motorcycle works.

    And when it’s time for some (or more) end-of-day recreational exploration on two wheels or if laying over for a spell and living under something with a roof, the B-Base and secured packed pieces can be removed in seconds and carried off in one fell swoop.

    B-Base Construction Details

    Two layers of durable 840d TPU with a middle plastic insert form a strong material sandwich giving the Wolfman Luggage B-Base strength, durability, and stability while providing (very) good shape performance for mounting purposes; eliminating the need for side racks or other supports – as intended, although an exhaust heat shield might still be prudent.

    Three simple, easy-to-use, and replaceable mounting straps, one at the back and one at the front on each side provide the motorcycle attachment solution. With the B-Base secured in place the strategically placed precisely formed laser-cut slots facilitate the use of the included flat straps for mounting up the Wolfman Luggage Rolie Bags or any other desired luggage pieces.

    Long 50cm (2in) wide flat compression or cinch straps with slide adjusters and large buckle connectors are positioned vertically so they can run over and down the length of the side bags and once their two sections are connected, provide even more security in mounting the side bags while enhancing the overall stability of the system.

    More high-stress and strong versatile attachment points in the form of six 50cm or two-inch D-rings along with surface-mounted pass-through sliders for narrower 2.5cm or 1in strapping and additional slide fasteners are found on the top section or deck of the B-Base.

    The large D-rings, two on each side and two in the center are ideal for mounting and securing large drybags, duffels, or whatever across or along the seat and back section (or rack combination) or, multiple pieces side by side, like two small or medium Rolie bags with the center D-rings as the shared anchor points for both pieces…imagine the possibilities – just keep it all safe.

    As with virtually everything Wolfman Luggage produces, all the base or ‘unrack’ mounting straps and assembly components are replaceable; there is a lot of versatility, flexibility, and survivability in this approach that is hard to beat.

    System solutions are easy if small, medium, or large Rolie Bags are used, along with other Wolfman Luggage pieces like the Expedition Duffels WP, the large Zippered Expedition Duffel WP, the new Zip-R Bags, or other brand packing gear.

    Smaller connectable containers or carriers, like the Wolf Bottle Holster, a Pitkin Pole Bag for tent poles, or a Tincup Pocket are also easily mounted to the B-Base or the Rolie Bags.

    Rolie Bag Construction Details

    These three Rolie Bags utilize the same durable 840d TPU WP (Welded Product) build as all the new Wolfman Luggage pieces for a 100% waterproof shell. They use a simple roll-top design and loop fastener (not a pull-down, side-strap approach).

    Non-skid non-scratch pad and inside plastic protect contents and the motorcycle from abrasion. The flat mounting straps are easy to use and easy to replace. These original-style Rolie bags come in three sizes providing 6L, 12L, and 20L of capacity – one style of bag, lots of functionality, and versatility.

    Features & Specifications

    B-Base Features & Specs

    • Single piece shaped layout construction, no side racks or pieces needed
    • B-Base WP (Welded Product) is the foundation or base piece
    • Two-layer 840d TPU fabric with plastic middle – durability, shaping and stability
    • Laser-cut webbing slots for increased bag stability and versatility
    • Multiple 5cm (2in) D-rings for attachment points laid out on B-Base surface
    • 5cm (2in) wide webbing for stability and strength
    • All high-stress areas are reinforced
    • Design in the USA and made with Wolfman legendary care and quality
    • Dimensions: fitment width, 23cm to 46cm (9 to 18in)
    • Weight: 1.6kg (3.4lbs)
    • Colour: Black

    Rolie Bag Features & Specs

    • 100 waterproof, radio frequency welded seams (WP)
    • Ultra-tough 840x TPU fabric construction
    • Black outside and bright yellow for interior
    • Simple roll-top and fastener design
    • Laser-cut flat strap slots for mounting versatility and strength
    • Non-skid non-scratch pad and inside plastic to protect contents and motorcycle
    • Mounting straps easy to easy, easy to replace
    • Distinctive reflective Wolf logo
    • Small Rolie = 6L or 366 cu in, 15cm x 38cm (6in x 15in), Front to back 10cm (4in)
    • Medium Rolie = 12L, 20cm x 38cm (8in x 15in), Front to back 15cm (6in)
    • Large Rolie = 20L or 1220 cu in, 25.5cm x 38cm (10in x 15in) , Front to back 20cm (8in)
    • Designed in the USA

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    B-Base & Rolie Bag Mounting


    The B-Base’s multi-layer construct makes for a tough, shaped piece that is stiff and supportive but still conforming when fitted over the seat, back section, fender, or on a rack and pulled down along the sides.

    Once laid out so the needed support points for attaching luggage pieces, like the Rolie bags, to the side arms or the top section is made easy and, but without compromising its basic layout shape so it does not or cannot get mixed up with any motorcycle components or moving parts.

    The single back strap is 89 cm or 35 in long and mounts to the friction adjusters on the left and right back edge of the base. The front mounting straps are the same length, but once looped and mounted to the flat D-ring assembly there is about 84 cm or 33 in of usable length. The CAM buckle and strap layout can be changed on the D-ring piece as needed – total versatility.

    B-Base on 2020 R 1250 GS HP

    With the OE plastic luggage grid piece removed, the back of the newest member of the home fleet now sports a well used Alt Rider Rear Luggage plate that provides a large, strong rear deck good for many uses – one being to host the SHAD aluminum top case plate needed to use the TERRA aluminum TR37 and TR48 top cases.

    The SHAD aluminum plate or its front top case engagement pieces are easy to use as needed for deck layout purposes, but after trying a couple of different layouts with the B-Base, the optimal positioning has the back of the base piece pushed up against the front of the Alt Rider piece and the back mounting strap runs through back or side cut-outs on the Alt Rider plate.

    And when wanting to use the TERRA top cases for some lockable luggage, the back mounting strap runs to the side underneath the Alt Rider plate, around the back mounting points, and over and back up to the other slide adjuster; this also works for the F 850GS Adv layout.

    The front mounting straps pull forward and slightly downwards (as desired) to loop around the passenger footpeg assemblies and then back to the CAM buckle for connection and adjustment. With the passenger footpeg pieces now removed, subsequent installation of the B-Base will see the lower guard pieces above and slightly behind the footpegs used.

    B-Base on 2020 F850GS Adventure

    The first layout..

  • E10 Petrol | Government urges you to Know Your Fuel
    17 June 2021

    The Government is urging all road users to Know Your Fuel ahead of Summer 2021 E10 petrol rollout

  • Moto Guzzi USA Launches Ecommerce Platform
    17 June 2021

    On Moto Guzzi USA’s new online store you can check out the latest models, like the special editions celebrating the brand’s 100th anniversary this year. (Moto Guzzi/)

    As a response to growing retail customer demands (and the realities of modern life), Moto Guzzi USA has announced that it’s giving the green light to a new ecommerce platform. Last week’s announcement, which undoubtedly comes as a relief to those frustrated Guzzisti who’ve been shopping online for years, coincides with the 100th anniversary of the brand’s founding, and according to the official PR, will offer “contemporary solutions to changing retail challenges,” with the dealer network fulfilling all orders to make purchasing and accessorizing a new Moto Guzzi more seamless for buyers.

    Apparel and accessories? Yep, you can now buy them online more easily. (Moto Guzzi/)

    It’s certainly not a groundbreaking initiative, but it’ll go a long way toward streamlining Guzzi’s interactions with existing customers and potentially getting the brand more traffic from potential ones. Customers can shop online for bikes, order accessories for their new ride, and even select whether they’ll pick it up at the dealer or have it delivered to them. Authorized Moto Guzzi casual accessories and apparel will also be available on the site/store, and potential buyers can see what financing options or promotions are currently on offer. That’s basic stuff in this day and age, but Guzzi sorely needed the upgrade to meet the growing need for 24/7 online servicing of both present and future owners.

    You can also choose your dealer, initiate transactions online, and opt for delivery to your home too. (Moto Guzzi/)

    With the new (and updated) online retail platform, Moto Guzzi USA says it’s adding a tool that can better support prospective owners by connecting them with a dealership that fulfills their needs. As for authorized Moto Guzzi dealerships, the online store can help identify qualifying customers for finance options while allowing dealerships to better anticipate near-term stocking needs for the floor.

    The Moto Guzzi ecommerce is now live at, but be warned; when we last checked, much of the posted content looked like it was not yet updated. Stay tuned.

  • Ultimate staycation - Scottish Highland Scramble with Bikerbnb & Royal Enfield
    17 June 2021

    Royal Enfield & Bikerbnb have partnered up to bring the ultimate staycation tours in Scotland, offering Highland Scramble dates on purpose-built machines.

  • Shoei Hornet X2 Helmet with Transitions Face Shield Review
    17 June 2021

    Published in: Gear

    This intermediate-oval, dual-sport/ADV-style lid is packed with the best features for in-helmet safety, comfort and visibility. Coming from the well-known Japanese manufacturer founded in 1959, the Shoei Hornet X2 does not disappoint; especially when mated to a Shoei Transitions Photochromic Shield.

    The Photochromic Shield replaces the stock version that comes with the lid. It’s activated when placed under UV light and takes less than a minute to react and darken.

    As far as venting, there are three closable vents: one in the area of the upper lip, another on the center of the forehead, and the last atop the helmet. For exhaust ports, there are two vertical, parallel two-inch strips at the downslope near the back of the skull and one horizontal at the lower back of the helmet. I purposely chose not to install the supplied Pinlock EVO lens to see how well the supplied breath guard prevented the face shield fogging. To my surprise, it worked well.

    The helmet also comes with a chin curtain that I chose not to use and got along without. Perhaps if you were to be riding in cooler temps, the chin curtain would come in handy by keeping cold air from getting through.

    This DOT- and SNELL-approved helmet feels light and weighs in at ~4 lb. for large and a little more for XL (sizes are from XS–XXL). There are five solid colors and three graphic designs from Sovereign TC.

    Like previous Hornet X2 models, the beak or face shield can be removed. The inner pads can also be removed and are washable.

    Matthias Beier, Shoei’s Marketing Coordinator, told me that they’ve discontinued the Transitions Photochromic Shield for this helmet due to quality control issues. At the same time he assured me that those still available are in proper working condition.

    One thing I wish they’d do is make the chin strap a ratchet-style system versus the old-school D-ring. Other than that, it’s a great choice for the discerning rider. Shoei’s Hornet X2 is on the pricier side but is worth the dough with all the built-in safety and comfort technology features.

    MSRP: $599.99−$719.99 | CNS-2 Transitions Photochromic Shield (discontinued)—$200

    • PROS:
    • Awesome Transitions Photochromic Shield
    • All-day riding comfort
    • Good venting
    • Both SNELL and DOT approved
    • CONS:
    • Expensive
    • Needs ratchet-style chin strap

  • How can a cop club in origin turn into a 1% Outlaw Motorcycle Club
    17 June 2021
  • Detectives investigating the execution-style murder of Gold Coast bikie Shane Bowden believe members of the Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle gang
    17 June 2021
    “The Streets Pity No One!” Get your copy of Brotherhood & Betrayal- This book delivers the goods where other biker books don’t

    Detectives investigating the execution-style murder of Gold Coast bikie Shane Bowden believe members of the Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle gang are behind the killing.

    A $250,000 reward has today been announced, with police hoping the massive cash incentive will entice those with information about the brutal slaying to come forward.

    Mr Bowden was gunned down in the garage of his girlfriend’s home on Cox Road at Pimpama in the early hours of October 12, 2020.

    The 48-year-old was returning home from the gym when his attackers pounced, firing up to twelve gunshots through his vehicle around 12.20am.

    Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith said based on investigations so far, it is clear that members of the Mongols are behind the murder.

    “We don’t shy away from making that announcement, that we’re confident that it’s the Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle gang that are actively involved in this murder,” Detective Superintendent Smith said.

    “We believe there are people out in the community who could have information about Shane’s murder.

    “We believe this was a targeted attack on him and there will be people who know of or have information about his murder.

    “This is most definitely the time to come forward and tell us what you know.”

    Read Rest of Article

  • Sununu Releases Review of NH DMV Ahead of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club Crash
    17 June 2021
    “The Streets Pity No One!” Get your copy of Brotherhood & Betrayal- This book delivers the goods where other biker books don’t

    CONCORD – On Wednesday, Governor Chris Sununu issued the following statement ahead of the two year anniversary of the tragic crash in Randolph, New Hampshire, that killed seven members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club. The Governor also released an update to the comprehensive review the state undertook in 2019 in response to the crash. 
    “As we reflect on the two year anniversary of the tragic crash in Randolph, our prayers go out to the victims, the survivors, and the friends and family of the Jarhead Motorcycle Club,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Today’s update is the result of nonstop work over the last two years to improve our systems at the NH DMV. We have more work to do, but citizens can rest assured that we remain committed to making sure meaningful reforms are followed through on and the citizens are served.” 

    Following the horrific crash and the revelation that a backlog within the Massachusetts DMV system had failed to suspend the license of the truck driver at fault, Governor Chris Sununu immediately directed an in-depth review of the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) processes that support driver licensing to ensure that New Hampshire would never be in a similar situation.

    Read Rest of Article

Motorcycle Podcasts

Motorcycle Podcasts

17 June 2021

Motorcycle Podcasts Motorcycle Podcasts
  • Episode 5 – Unplanned Hiatus
    16 June 2021

    Crash and DaddyNoFun catch up on the last three months. Crash spent some time on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan while DaddyNoFun develops an interest in all things electric vehicle. At some point, the two even talk about motorcycles.

  • Episode 662: Bend it like a KTM?
    16 June 2021

    There was plenty of action from Barcelona. Frames and leathers got adjusted but only one worked out.

    Join Jim and Skyler as they re cap the weekend!

    ©2021 MotoPod
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  • ClevelandMoto 331 Chris Smith Inception...
    15 June 2021

    Podcast listeners Christ Smith and Son and our new DRG  friend join us on a packed house! EVERYONE IS HERE! AND IT'S AWESOME!

    #Motorcycles #podcast #manscaped4.0 
    Get 20% Off + FREE Shipping @Manscaped with the code: CLEVELANDMOTO  at!! #ad

    Support the show (

  • Motorcycle Credit & Financing
    15 June 2021

    The focus of this month's episode is less on building motorcycles and more on buying them. We discuss BMW's balloon-payment financing model, how special financing deals can make a brand-new vehicle more attractive than buying used, depreciation, and the wisdom of paying cash. We wrap up by discussing new bikes that might get us into a dealer's showroom, and used minibikes and karts that have surprising pricetags.

  • Todd Did What? Are You Sure?
    15 June 2021

    Episode 302: 


    Stories, classifieds, and laughing at our own dumb jokes because this is how we do.


    Wheelnerds stickers and keytags for sale!  Check them out here!   Classifieds:   Permanent Links:

    Want to hear yourself on our show? Ridden a bike (like your own) and got an opinion? Got a cool piece of gear or farkle? Got a story? Know some jokes? Record an MP3 (or whatever) and email it to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We’ll throw it on the air and talk about it, too. That’s right, you can be the first on your block to be openly mocked by the Wheelnerds.

    Or call our voicemail: (801) 305-4677

    Or, leave us a voicemail via Skype! Our skype ID is wheelnerds.

    Just go ahead, call, and leave us your story there! (We still read your emails, too, and will answer them on the show). If you got something really cool, shoot us a line and maybe we’ll talk to you live, too.

  • Podcast 424: Postindustrial with Carmen Gentile
    14 June 2021
    This week on our motorcycle podcast we are joined by author, biker, journalist and pirate Carmen Gentile. Okay, he's not really a pirate, but he is a really cool guy who is mixing his passion (motorcycling) with his profession (journalism) by riding around the rust belt of America and finding cool stories along the way. Check them out at We hear from Liza, who had a little get off on her Africa Twin. But good news, the bike is all right. Seems Liza cushioned the blow with her body. We also hear from Emma who tells us about the Vincent Black Shadow that's currently on her bench, and we share our calendar of upcoming events this summer. With Scott, Liza, Stumpy John, Miss Emma, Naked Jim and Award Winning Mike. Send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Pushrods and Dildos, Do YOU Know The Difference?
    14 June 2021

     Man buns, giga pets, the great unknown and beyond. We cover a lot in this episode. Moto3 concerns are shared around the industry, Stickers we no longer see on bikes, Emails, and of course best/worst bike. Its a lot to get in to. Are you gonna keep yourself distracted at work long enough to find out about all of it?

    Best bike the Yamaha Bt1100 Bulldog
    Worst bike The Kawasaki Z125 

  • Pulled, Pushed and Towed - From Germany to New York on Ural Motorcycles
    11 June 2021

    Five young artists decided to take their studios on the road for an expedition - on four Ural Sidecars - from Germany, through Russia and to New York. Their trip included “armies of mosquitos and mountains of bureaucracy”, riding on the Road of Bones and building amphibious motorcycles. They had an incredible 972 breakdowns, which culminated in meeting some strange characters who helped them continue their adventure, but only until the next breakdown.

    More motorcycle travel episodes available on Adventure Rider Radio at  Want to help out? Subscribe, rate and review us on iTunes or on your favourite podcast app, tell your family, friends, riding buddies or club about ARR.

    Adventure Rider Radio is a listener supported show and we'd love to get your help. Please check us out on Patreon.

    Have a comment? Go to the episode show notes on our website and have your say at the bottom of the page.

  • ClevelandMoto 330 The New Honda Trail 125 - Tips for AMA VMD
    09 June 2021

    We discuss the Honda CT125 (Trail 125 Hunter Cub) and the SuperCub 125. Yeah, Phil now has both of them. 

    Tips for Mid-Ohio

    Support the show (

  • Let's Fine Race Direction
    08 June 2021

Vintage Motorcycle Blogs

Vintage Motorcycle Blogs

17 June 2021

Vintage Motorcycle Blogs Vintage Motorcycle Blogs
  • Queen of the Desert: Honda XRV750 Africa Twin (RD04)
    17 June 2021

    In 1982, a single-cylinder XL550R gave Honda their first win in the legendary Paris-Dakar Rally, the world’s most demanding desert race. In the years that followed, however, it became clear that a twin would be needed to regain the top step of the podium:

    “The singles lost more and more ground against the two-cylinder machines on the fast stages in Africa. With a top speed of around 160 km/h the single cylinders lost a lot of time compared to the 180 km/h of the two-cylinder bikes. It was too great a disadvantage for their more agile handling to compensate…” —ADV Pulse

    For 1986, Honda unveiled their newly-developed NXR750, sporting a 779cc V-twin with 70 hp on tap, as well as a massive 15-gallon gas tank. This “Queen of the Desert” would secure the first of four consecutive Dakar wins and give birth to a production version, the Africa Twin.

    The first Africa Twin was the XRV650 (RD03), whose chief designer, Tomonon Mogi, wanted the bike to be as close to the factory NXR as possible. The AT featured a 647cc liquid-cooled 52° V-twin, twin aluminum radiators, quick-release fairings, a bash guard, and the lovely tricolor HRC livery. Of course, Honda made much of the bike’s Dakar pedigree:

    “Sand dunes stretching as far as the eye can see. Stony paths burning hot in the sun. Villages in the middle of nowhere, buried in deepest Africa. This was the atmosphere, the unforgettable setting, that gave birth to the Africa Twin, Honda’s Queen of the Desert. The Africa Twin incorporates expertise proven in the motorcycle that has consecutively won the toughest test ever taken by a two-wheeled machine: the Paris-Dakar Rally.” –Honda

    Posing with the new Africa Twin!

    To prove the Africa Twin didn’t just look the part, the French Honda importer came up with a bold initiative — they put 50 amateur riders on modified production AT’s for the ’89 Paris-Dakar Rally!

    “Under the slogan ’50 Africa Twin à Dakar’ privateers were offered an opportunity to participate in the rally on only mildly-modified Africa Twins (two 8-litre rear tanks, rebuild suspension). A remarkable 18 amateur riders reached the finish line.” —ADV Pulse

    Opération 50 Africa Twin à Dakar

    In 1990, the Honda XRV750 (RD04) appeared, featuring a slightly larger 742cc liquid-cooled 52° V-twin with 62 horsepower and a dry weight of 457 pounds.

    That’s where our new friend Blake Jones comes in, a professional forester from New Zealand who loves to tinker with bikes on the side.

    “I’ve built CT110s, Dax’s, Cubs, a CB50 and CT185 scramblers. My other larger bikes are an XR250r and a BMW R80G/S PD I’m restoring.”

    His father-in-law, however, has a 100% stock XRV750 RD04 — a bike never sold in NZ — which ignited Blake’s passion for the legendary Africa Twin. After some searching, he found one for sale from a round-the-world traveler in quite a sad state. The plastics were missing, the carbs all but ruined, and the previous owner had painted it yellow with a brush!

    “It was one of the most ugly motorcycles I had seen, but the bones were there so I grabbed it.” –Blake

    Over the last year, Blake has worked to bring the bike back to its former glory. He learned fiberglass to rebuild the missing OEM plastics, and even melted down Lego pieces to create an ABS plastic paste to repair the cracked fairings! The bike is also sporting custom crash bars and pannier racks.

    The inspiration for the Rothman’s design came straight from the 1989 Paris-Dakar winning NXR of French rider Gilles Lalay, the 9-time ISDE champion and father of extreme enduro who would perish in a Dakar accident in 1992. The paint and decal creation/application were carried out by Slipper’s Refinishing and Watermark Signs, respectively, and Blake was very happy with the result.

    “The custom fiberglass side panels and rear fender I’m particularly proud of, as it was all new to me. I just love how it looks, but that’s more a testament to the sign writer. I just gave him a bunch of photos of the Dakar bike and said, ‘make this.'”

    Gilles Lalay’s NXR

    Blake’s Africa Twin is no show pony, either. In fact, he just finished a 7-day, 2100-mile tour around the South Island of NZ! Below, we get the full story behind this Queen of New Zealand.

    Honda RD04 Africa Twin: Owner Interview

    • Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.

    My name Is Blake Jones, I’m a professional Forester in New Zealand and love tinkering with bikes on the side. Other than my Xl185 I had as a kid, most of my bikes have been small bikes and usually Hondas. NZ has lots of local small bike clubs that often get together for big rides. I’ve built CT110s, dax’s, cubs, a cb50 and CT185 scramblers. My other larger bikes are an XR250r and a BMW R80G/S PD I’m restoring.

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

    1990 XRV750 Africa Twin (RD04).

    • Why was this bike built/restored?

    My father-in-law has a very tidy, 100% stock RD04 and that’s where I fell in love with Africa Twins. I had never seen another RD04 for sale in NZ, as they weren’t sold new here. This one came up for a reasonable price — the previous owner purchased it after a crash and “kitted it out” to take over to South America for a big tour. This involved throwing away lots of broken plastics, using checker plate as side panels and the dash. Installing a high front mudguard that didn’t sit right and painting the entire bike yellow with a brush. The chokes had been stuck so they were blanked off with half a tube of RTV that made it start like a dog. It was one of the most ugly motorcycles I had seen, but the bones were there so I grabbed it.

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

    All the inspiration for this bike came from the 1989 Paris-Dakar winning NXR750 Africa Twin ridden by Frenchman Gilles Lalay. This was the 4th consecutive Paris-Dakar win for the Honda Africa Twin.

    • What custom work was done to the bike?

    The previous owner threw away the factory side panels and rear mudguard section. These are very expensive to buy now and I wanted to make the rear slimmer for panniers. This brought on the challenge of learning how to fiberglass. I made plugs out of flooring insulation and then molds. I was very happy with how these turned out in the end. Other than the crash bars and pannier racks, those are the only custom bits of the bike — other than the paint job and decals of course. The paintwork was done by Slipper’s Refinishing and all the decals designed and applied by Watermark Signs in Wellington.

    • Does the bike have a nickname?

    Almost all of my bikes have a nickname except this one, it mostly gets referred to as “the Africa” or “the Twin.”

  • Vintage Warhorse: 1973 BSA B50MX
    16 June 2021

    “This bike is like a owning a horse…. Whisper softly to her and she might get you home.”

    The BSA B50MX was the motocross version of the beloved B50, which would be the last of the big unit-construction singles to come from the Birmingham Small Arms company before their demise in 1973. That gives the MX quite a distinction:

    “The BSA B50 MX was the final competition motorcycle ever built by BSA, a proud British motorcycle manufacturer who had built a staggering number of race winning motorcycles over its decades long history.” —Silodrome

    Built for off-road competition, the B50 MX version was stripped down to 300 pounds, with BSA engineers using as much alloy as possible to lighten the machine. The frame was a tubular steel duplex cradle design, which held the oil in the top tube, and the engine was a 499cc OHV unit-construction single that sent 34 horsepower through a 4-speed gearbox.

    Photo credit: @lostandenjoy

    While the bike struggled to compete against the new breed of lightweight European two-strokes, the B50MX remains a sought-after vintage dirt bike that harks back to the golden age of British big-single off-roaders.

    Plated for the street!

    Our new friend Stephan J. Bridges (@xsbridgesx) is a dual US-UK citizen who found his way to British motorcycles through another of the United Kingdom’s storied products: whisky.  In 2016, Stephan inherited the whisky collection of his late father, a military veteran, and began posting reviews on his Whisky Spy page, where he crossed paths like-thinking motorcycle enthusiasts and soon took the step of buying his first bike, a Triumph Bonneville T120.

    “My English heritage and dual US-UK citizenship was and remains the dominant influence on my motorcycle riding.”

    Within the first few years of riding, Stephan had joined the 59 Club and Brit Iron Rebels, putting nearly 50,000 miles of street riding under his belt, but the desert dirt beckoned.

    “I brought my bikes to BA Moto in Long Beach for service and parts where I met Nate Hudson who runs the shop. I had always envied their vintage Triumph dirt bikes and the fun they appeared to have racing them at Glen Helen.”

    Photo credit: @lostandenjoy

    Soon, he was on the hunt for a machine of his own, and in August of last year, he bought this 1973 BSA B50MX from his friend Jeff Sedlik, who was trying to trim down his stable of two-wheeled animals. It would be Stephan’s first vintage bike, first dirt bike, first race bike, and the first bike he really planned to wrench on himself.

    “My intention for this bike is to ride it in the Mojave and enter vintage classes for some of the longer desert races. Vintage motocross track racing has become a step along the way. It is much different than open desert racing, but if anything, it gets you out in the dirt regularly and forces you to keep your wrenches turning.”

    The original find in Missoula, MT, by Stephan’s friend Jeff Sedlik.

    After upgrading the bike for vintage competition — details below — Stephan began competing in American Retrocross, a vintage motocross series, which is teaching him the “prep, race, clean, repair, prep again” cycle of racing — invaluable lessons for desert racing, when he may have to fix the bike on the side of the trail, 30+ miles from his truck.

    We especially love Stephan’s description of owning his BSA motocross machine:

    “This bike is like a owning a horse. She is temperamental and requires considerable care and feeding. You can’t let her idle in the stable for too long. You need to get her out otherwise she can get very uncooperative. If you can get her to kick, she chomps at the bit to run. Her gallop is a little rough out of the gate but once you’ve earned her respect, she softens up and smooths out her stride. Whisper softly to her and she might get you home.”

    Though it can be tough to put such a gorgeous and storied vintage machine through the punishment of competition, Stephan has received some sound advice from the Southern California off-road community:

    “Some of the best advice I had been given so far is, just shrug your shoulders and remind yourself it’s a race bike. This sentiment keeps things light and breezy.”

    Stephan says, given the big thumper’s curmudgeonly nature, every time he gets the bike prepped, puts it on the line, and passing the checkered flag at a vintage motocross event, he feels a great sense of pride and accomplishment. But the BSA has become more than that — a way to honor and remember his father:

    “Moreover, if my dad were still here, he would have enjoyed seeing me ride my motorcycles. In my own small way, this is part of my salute to him and his life. I ride with the mindset he is watching all the time and I know he would be proud.”

    Below, we get the full story from Stephan himself on this British thumper, and more gorgeous shots from Jeff Coté Photography (@lostandenjoy).

    BSA B50MX Vintage Motocrosser: Owner Interview

    Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.

    I gave the eulogy for my dad’s memorial service in the Spring of 2016. He passed at age 80 although his Alzheimer’s had taken over a few years before. He was buried with full military honors at Miramar National Cemetery. Through a kind favor from an active colonel at the base, we were informed to “look up” as he arranged a flyover during his service. I watched the two fighter jets approach our small gathering and with tears in my eyes, one broke away from the other in a missing man formation tribute. While I watched the jet continue out of sight, my only thought was how can I honor my dad and his military and civilian accomplishments?

    I acquired the contents of his whisky collection with all the good juice he was saving for special occasions. I began sipping some of it and posted images of the vintage bottles along with some Japanese whiskies I had to Instagram. A few hashtags and followers later, I launched my Whisky Spy page and started regular postings and reviews. It was a great little diversion project in honor of my dad. Soon, I started liking the vintage cars and cafe racer motorcycles showing up in my feed. I had always appreciated these machines but given no one in my family ever rode a motorcycle — I always just admired from afar.

  • SQ4 - bushing the saddle nose
    15 June 2021
    Since I've had it on the road, the Square Four has felt a bit wayward around the rear end. Since I had rebuilt the rear suspension and knew that it had no wear, I suspected the tyre and wheel though they were both new and rebuilt - until I realised the problem was closer to home. Literally much closer, to my backside.

    The saddle nose bracket on an Ariel frame is quite small, giving little bearing area. Coupled with a bolt with an over-long thread, used a s a bearing surface produces this effect after a few years:

    This picture shows the saddle removed, but with the bolt in position. The red circle shows a portion of the thread used as a bearing - a very poor idea:

    So, the first job is to make those worn holes round again. The bolt is 5/16" (0.312", or around 8mm), and they are both worn to over 0.350". I used an adjustable reamer on them to remove the ovality.

    Ovality in the frame holes is not the only problem - the holes in the saddle frame are also very large. I have another problem in this area in that the fuel tank has very little clearance around the saddle nose bolt and I have solved both these problems in one go. In this picture, the original bolt has had it's head thickness reduced to produce a shoulder which fits in the saddle frame hole with very little clearance, and the full nut used at the other end has been reduced to the thickness of a half nut, again with a shoulder. This enabled the bolt length to be reduced, to get more clearance for the tank, and removed the whole assembly to the right to move the thread out of the bearing area.

    Next job was to make two shouldered bushes to fit in the holes:

    The bushes pass right through the fixed frame lugs, to provide maximum bearing area; there is a minimal shoulder to allow the bush to be retained in place (or removed).

    This repair has removed virtually all the play from the saddle nose bearing.
  • The The Vintagent Premier: Earned: The Story Of Keith Hale’s Ducati 750SS
    15 June 2021

    An intimate look at a man, an extremely rare motorcycle, and the value of living a good life.

    The post The The Vintagent Premier: Earned: The Story Of Keith Hale’s Ducati 750SS first appeared on The Vintagent.
  • The Vintagent Selects: All The Pretty Things
    15 June 2021

    Cool as hell.

    The post The Vintagent Selects: All The Pretty Things first appeared on The Vintagent.
  • Model A - new bits from club spares
    10 June 2021

     I had a nice little present from AOMCC Black Ariel Spares this morning:

    Here we see a pair of footrests, a brake pedal spring, the gearbox adjuster and a valve cap spanner.
  • Model A - Rear Brake Rod
    08 June 2021

     The rear brake rod is a much simpler affair than the front - it has a clevis at the rear end and this just needs a new pin, which is easy to make on the mini-lathe using a tailstock V-block:

    The brake rod is just a bit of 1/4 round bar, threaded 1/4 CEI for the adjuster. The clevis is there, though very worn and we can find a spring from stock. The adjusting knob is missing, so we will turn that from a bit of 303 round bar, 1 OD:

    It's reduced to 1/2" at the rear end, and the front appears to be domed but other than that is is similar to the front one. Same straight knurl:

    Dome is made after parting off, with a combination of turning and a bit of filing:

    We can mill a shallow groove in the rear to accommodate the clevis using an end mill.

    Job done, though I think that clevis will need replacing.

  • Trial Nortons, 1938
    06 June 2021

    -JdK- Dennis kindly sent us the pics with the following words: "Morton’s Motorcycle Media in Horncastle, Lincs. are the holders of the photo/literature archive of the old “MotorCycle” and  “MotorCycling” magazines.

    In the archive are quite a few brown paper large scrapbooks that contain pasted in photos from staff photographers of the time... the sort of “spares” from a photo shoot. The page I have attached for you indicates the photos above are from the 1938 Eastern Command Trial and the pic below is the Norton Team from the 1938 Scottish 6 day trial."

  • The Vintagent Classics: Angel Unchained
    03 June 2021

    This is the hell run that you make alone!

    The post The Vintagent Classics: Angel Unchained first appeared on The Vintagent.
  • Bud Ekins Desert Sled by Ace Classics
    01 June 2021

    Ace Classics builds a faithful replica of Bud Ekins’s desert sled…

    James Sherwin “Bud” Ekins was an accomplished motocross, desert, and enduro racer from Southern California who would become one of Hollywood’s most famous stuntmen, best-known for performing the over-the-fence jump at the end of The Great Escape — the most iconic motorcycle stunt in cinema history.

    Bud Ekins making the Great Escape jump.

    Bud owned a Triumph dealership in Sherman Oaks, California, where he first met a young Steve McQueen, who took karate lessons nearby. He would help McQueen learn the ropes of off-road racing and the two would form a strong friendship, competing together in the 1964 International Six Days Trial (ISDT), the “Olympics of Motorcycling” — a competition in which Bud would earn a total of four gold medals throughout the 1960s.

    Bud tearing through the desert on a Triumph!

    What’s more, Bud and another SoCal racer, Bill Robertson Jr., made a pioneering run down the Baja Peninsula in 1962 on a pair of lightly modified Honda CL72 scramblers — a 40-hour trip through a tierra incognita of burro trails, farm spurs, dry lakes, and broken tarmac that would evolve into the legendary Baja 1000:

    “Four years later, in 1966, the two Ekins brothers made the same trip on a pair of Triumphs. The very next year, NORRA (the National Off Road Racing ­Association) organized the first official race, the Mexican 1000.” —Cycle World

    Enter Cliff and Kevin Rushworth, the father/son team behind London’s Ace Classics, a shop started 30 years ago when father Cliff was restoring his 1960 Bonneville and couldn’t find any parts that would fit.

    “He decided to start to have a few parts made to help with his restoration and then the idea of opening a shop that would eventually be a ‘one stop shop’ for parts developed. The shop’s original slogan when it first opened in 1991 was ‘Triumph parts that fit!'”

    Kevin went to work in the shop when he turned 16, and after two decades in business, Ace Classics was busy enough that Cliff gave up his day job in roofing to work in the shop full-time:

    “Our business is now stronger than ever and we are best known in the industry for manufacturing parts that fit classic Triumphs, building high-quality classic Triumph restorations and specialist bikes such as the Steve McQueen inspired bikes.”

    The bike you see here is a 1963 Triumph T120 Bonneville TT, built for a collector who wanted a replica of Bud Ekins’s own desert sled. Southern California desert racing was a passion for both Bud and McQueen, and most of the riders modified British street bikes to survive the rough, high-speed races through the desert — sometimes 500 competitors starting on the line at one time!

    Bud was one of the very best at setting up the desert sleds of the era, and this bike celebrates the Motorcycle Hall of Famer’s pioneering efforts in the sport of desert racing. The Ace Classics crew did a ton of research to discover just how Bud set up his Triumphs in order to create this replica, scouring the internet for photos of this particular bike and other sleds that Bud built.

    The bike has different rear shocks, throttle cables routed over the top of the tank, high pipes for ground clearance, braced handlebars, off-road tires, a Bates desert race seat, a giant air filter, skid plates, and an early front wheel from a 1957 bike:

    “Bud liked to use the 8” half width hub front brake in most of the bikes as can be seen on this bike…. This front brake was a lot lighter than the newer full width hub!”

    You can follow Ace Desert Parts for more information on the Ace Classics desert sled builds, and most of the parts needed to build your own Triumph desert sled are available through their online shop. Below, we get the full story on this Bud Ekins desert sled!

    Bud Ekins Desert Sled Replica: Builder Interview • Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.

    Ace Classics started back in 1991, when my dad (Clifford Rushworth) was restoring his 1960 Bonneville and couldn’t buy any parts that would fit it anywhere! He decided to start to have a few parts made to help with his restoration and then the idea of opening a shop that would eventually be a “one stop shop” for parts developed. The shop’s original slogan when it first opened in 1991 was “Triumph parts that fit!”

    Back then the shop was only open two days a week because my dad was a roofer during the day and would only be able to come into the shop in the evenings to pack up orders. As soon as I was sixteen I left school and started to work in the shop full time. We then opened from Tuesday to Saturday and Cliff would come in and help me in the evenings. This happened for 20 years until the shop was finally busy enough (10 years ago) for Cliff to give up roofing and come into the shop full time. Our business is now stronger than ever and we are best known in the industry for manufacturing parts that fit classic Triumphs, building high-quality classic Triumph restorations and specialist bikes such as the Steve McQueen inspired bikes.

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

    1963 Triumph T120 Bonneville TT. Bud Ekins Desert Sled Replica.

    • Why was this bike built?

    We built this bike to order for a big collector in France.

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

    We love building desert racers and I suggested to our customer this bike would be a good one to have in his collection with other Steve McQueen bikes we had built him already.

    • What custom work was done to the bike?

    This bike has been built as Bud Ekins’s Desert Sled: different rear shocks, throttle cables going over the top of the tank, high pipes for ground clearance, braced handlebars, off-road tyres, Bates Desert race seat, big air filter to cope with the desert, front footrests plates to make them stronger. Early front wheel from a 1957 bike.


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

    The bike is great to ride, a lot of run and sounds great.

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

    This is the sort of bike we’re building all the time and we have now made a whole range of parts for them, so it’s now quite easy for someone to build their own Triumph Desert Sled using all of our parts:

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UK Motorcycle Blogs

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  • Riding style will do a lot: MotoGP gears up for the Sachsenring

    The pre-event Press Conference gets the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland underway.

    The pre-event Press Conference kicked the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland into gear on Thursday, with Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) joined by closest challenger, compatriot and top Independent Team rider Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing), Ducati Lenovo Team’s Jack Miller, reigning World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales, Catalan GP winner Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and newly-signed 2022 MotoGP rider Fabio Di Giannantonio, currently competing in the Moto2 World Championship with Federal Oil Gresini Moto2.

    Here are some key quotes:

    Fabio Quartararo: “Catalunya was a strange race. At Turn 1 my leathers were completely open, I tried to put it back but then my chest protector went flying so yeah, I did the last laps with the leather open. Then I got the penalty three hours later, I prefer to take it in the funny way than to be upset, it makes no sense. Now we arrive at a new track and try to work on a new system and yeah that’s what happened in Barcelona.

    “I think that all the circuits the bike is working well. This is a track I’m not a big fan of but two years ago we had great pace but then I crashed on the first or second lap, but I think the bike is suited to all the circuits. I’m looking forward to this as when something not good happens in the previous race it makes you eager to start the next one, so looking forward to tomorrow.”

    On Fabio Di Giannantonio moving to MotoGP:
    “I think, in the past, I didn’t make many races with Fabio, but looking at his style, he is really smooth and precise. This is important for MotoGP. He will do well, but it is important he does his best for this year. I was in the same situation a couple years ago, where I had my contract for the Sachsenring and I was so excited, but the important thing is to stay focused until the end of the season. He will enjoy the first test, and I wish him luck with the first straight on the MotoGP bike!”

    Johann Zarco: “As usual I try to be neutral and positive. We know… or we hear from all the media that this is not the best track for the Ducati, but I don’t fully agree with it because we can have some good surprise and really with the experience and getting on now with the time and on this bike, I’m curious to see which feeling I will have on this track that it’s a real particular one compared to all the others. But, pretty happy to be back in Germany just to drive to Germany, go again to north of Europe to with the car and be there. It’s quite warm, but the paddock is so like tricky… special on one side, the hospitality and some other trucks on the other side of the paddock. I like all of this and just hope to enjoy this weekend and do great things to keep pushing in this Championship, that everything is going well at the moment.

    “As Jack said now, the bike is much more easier than what he rode before, even when he got the fourth position, so this means we will have a step forward that can give a good feeling on this track and for me it’s really something you have to understand on this track because we can think maybe we need to turn a lot, we cannot use the power, but in the end it’s always Marc that was winning here and it was not always a Yamaha rider. Maybe the Yamaha is the best for the turning but always Marc was show that the V engine was winning here. So, I try to take it in that way, and we have to start the weekend to really know what the potential is, but always with this positive mind that it’s possible to do well.”

    Jack Miller: “It’s a special track for me Germany. It’s fantastic in Moto3, but on a GP bike it is tight, but no, it is fun, it has its own unique character which is nice to have because many of the tracks are quite similar to each other, so it is nice to have something a bit left-field, literally left! Like you say, I’m excited for the weekend, last time we were here I think it was Dovi, myself and Danilo had a nice little fight for 4, 5, 6 so it wasn’t too bad. I’m definitely excited to take the GP21 around here, it is definitely a better package and I think we can be quite surprised with how well it works here. The weather looks fantastic for the weekend and yeah, 10 years! (since his Grand Prix debut).

    “There are always tracks that suit your bike more than others but it is about how you adapt your bike to the track. Here it isn’t too bad, the corners aren’t like other tracks where you rely on turning to a massive degree, you’re not changing directions too much, it’s all one way. Whereas Assen is another kettle of fish with a lot of change directions at high speed, so we have two very different elements these next two weekends for our bike, as I said, I’m super excited to see how the GP21 works in those conditions because, it’s definitely been an improvement from what we rode here in 2019, and yeah, we need to keep working on that and hopefully we can turn some of the non-Ducati tracks, like we’ve done to a few so far, into ones that aren’t too bad for a Ducati.”

    Joan Mir: “This is a track is that I always enjoy! A lot of left corners then yeah, it’s quite special the ups and downs and I think that the Suzuki can fit quite well here. In 2019 my feelings were quite good even though I was not really strong. But, yeah, I remembered I fought with the Ducatis during all the race so I enjoyed that. I expect to be competitive, to be strong, to be able to try to fight for the podium and who knows, let’s try for the victory.”

    On Fabio Di Giannantonio moving to MotoGP:
    “I had a couple of fights with Fabio (Di Giannantonio) in the past in Moto3 and he’s always in a really good position on the bike, he’s quite smooth and yeah, like Fabio (Quartararo) said, I think he will fit well on a MotoGP bike. You have to be really precise, and I think that he’s also precise. I wish him luck because now the most important thing for him is to finish that the season in a best way and then and then for sure he will be really excited the first time to try the MotoGP bike that always is amazing.”

    Maverick Viñales: “Actually, I think we worked quite well in Catalunya, we were trying to build a good weekend and in the middle of the race we closed the gaps but I ran out the tyres and I couldn’t overtake Joan and I could not go forwards, so basically we are trying to build up the confidence. Here in the Sachsenring, it is a track I like a lot, I enjoy it a lot here and it is a track we can be strong so I have really high confidence on it and we can do a good job.

    “I needed a lot of laps (in the test), because after three bad races you need laps to understand and get back the confidence. It went really well, we tried many different things on the bike, which normally is difficult to understand but the Montmelo test was very positive. Everything we learned there we will try to put into use at the Sachsenring, for sure, it is one of the tracks where the riding style will do a lot so we will try to be fast from FP1.”

    Miguel Oliveira: “I’m confident, but as always with the feet on the ground. I think we need still to start the weekend and see the level here. I believe our bike is now much more suitable to many racetracks and we are not so worried when we come to race that we haven’t tried this bike before, and yeah. I’m motivated, of course, back-to-back podiums and looking forward to starting the weekend and see what we can do.”

    Fabio Di Giannantonio: “First of all, I’m excited to be here for the first time, so it’s quite unusual to me. So, honestly, I’m super happy, so excited to start already but we still have to be super focused on this year. For sure, next year will be something amazing for me because I will ride in MotoGP with the best riders in the world and also with the bike of my dreams, you know, the Ducati is for an Italian guy is something amazing, so yeah really excited honestly. But, as I said, I have to be really focused on this season. I want to do more podiums and more victories and arrive in MotoGP as ready as possible and then trying to achieve the best for this year; that’s the main goal at the moment!”

    That’s it from Thursday! Free Practice begins on Friday morning, before MotoGP gears up in Germany at 14:00 (GMT +2) on Sunday.

    For more MotoGP info checkout our dedicated MotoGP News page

    Or visit the official MotoGP website

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    Quartararo had some drama in Barcelona but he remains ahead in the standings

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  • Join The World Adventure Week And Ride Away On A New KTM 1290

    Join The World Adventure Week and ride away on a new KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

    Pack your panniers, spot a point on the map and GO ADVENTURE. Calling on all adventure seekers, no matter what bike you ride, THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK is coming with thrilling daily challenges and the chance to enter the draw for a brand new KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S*.

    Seven days, seven unique challenges, plus 1,000 km to complete. KTM is calling on the global community of Adventure motorcyclists to go out and explore the tracks they’ve always wanted to during THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK that will take place on July 5 to 11, 2021.

    Powered by KTM and RISER, THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK is the perfect excuse to do some mileage, no matter what motorcycle you own. To join, you simply need to download the RISER app, accept THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK challenge by filling in the registration form and then start recording your daily rides.

    THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK daily challenges are:
    // July 5th => Complete a ride & share it using #theworldadventureweek
    // July 6th => Ride through an altitude of 890 m
    // July 7th => Check in at a KTM dealer while out riding
    // July 8th => Complete a total elevation gain of 1290 m
    // July 9th => Get at least one ride tracked per day, Monday to Friday
    // July 10th => Ride exactly 390 km start to finish
    // July 11th => Complete a Pack Ride with at least two riding buddies

    Successful completion of each challenge will award you with 250 points, with an added 1000 points given to all those who clock up 1,000 km. You will need a minimum of 2000 points to enter the draw for a brand new KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S, which means you have to complete at least four of the seven daily challenges during THE WORLD ADVENTURE WEEK.

    Each participant’s progress will be monitored via a live leaderboard on and within the app. All riders who successfully complete 1,000 km or more during the week will receive a personalized award by KTM.

    Are you ready to GO ADVENTURE? Visit for more information on how to join, an explanation of the daily challenges and the respective Terms&Conditions.

    *All prizes are subject to availabilities in each participant’s country of residence.

    For more KTM Motorcycles UK news check out our dedicated page KTM Motorcycles UK News

    or head to the official KTM Motorcycles UK website

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  • Calendar Update: 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship

    Infront Moto Racing presents some updates to the 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship racing calendar.

    Firstly, MXGP is pleased to confirm the venue for the MXGP of France on the 9th & 10th of October, as Lacapelle-Marival! The circuit, located in the southwest of France is not entirely new to the FIM Motocross World Championship, with the venue having hosted the MX3 World Championship in 2009 and 2011, along with a round of EMX2 and WMX.

    While this will be the first time that Lacapelle-Marival will officially welcome MXGP, majority of the GP riders are very familiar with the French circuit, as it is a regular host of the annual pre-season International ‘Masters of Motocross’ race.

    Infront Moto Racing are delighted to add another new circuit to the 2021 MXGP racing calendar and look forward to heading to France in October.

    Additionally, the MXGP of Latvia in Kegums, originally scheduled on the 10th & 11th of July, will now move to the 7th & 8th of August, meanwhile the MXGP of Sweden in Uddevalla will no longer take place in 2021 and is postponed to the 2022 season.

    Unfortunately, these changes have been unavoidable and while we are saddened to not be heading to Sweden once again in 2021, we look forward to returning to the popular Uddevalla circuit next year under better circumstances.

    Infront Moto Racing would like to thank all of the parties involved for understanding and cooperation during this period. We look forward to continuing the racing this season and delivering a really strong championship.

    For more news checkout our dedicated MXGP/MX2 News page

    Or visit the official MXGP website

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  • Amazon Prime Day mountain bike deals

    There will be some great Amazon Prime Day mountain bike deals, fitness gadget sales and tech bargains to be found as the annual Bezos bonanza kicks off.

    There will be some great Amazon Prime Day mountain bike deals, fitness gadget sales and tech bargains to be found as the annual Bezos bonanza kicks off.
  • The Panigale V4 is ready to compete on any circuit with Ducati Performance accessories

    The Panigale V4 S is the bike that embodies all the essence of Ducati sportiness. In the 2021 version, the Borgo Panigale super sports bike is even easier to ride and is designed to help the rider achieve top performance on the circuit, resulting in an improvement in lap times both for the professional and for the amateur. The Panigale V4 2021 is equipped with two Race Riding Modes, A and B, which can be customized by the user and is the only bike in the world equipped with ABS Cornering “Only Front” developed specifically for maximum performance on the track, as well as the lowest levels of electronics settings (DTC, DSC and DWC).

    To make the Panigale V4 S even more unique and performing on track, Ducati offers its fans a series of accessories from the Ducati Performance catalogue. The accessories contained in the catalogue are designed by the Centro Stile Ducati and produced in collaboration with selected partners, with the aim of ensuring maximum performance and enhancing the typically racing look of the bike.

    On 30 May, Barni Racing Team rider Luca Salvadori demonstrated the Panigale V4 S competitiveness, by participating and winning in the 1000 Open category of the second round of the MotoEstate 2021 Trophy, one of the most popular amateur trophies in Italy. On that occasion, the stock Panigale V4 S ridden by Salvadori, equipped with a full racing exhaust, Pirelli slick tyres and a series of accessories contained in the Ducati Performance catalogue, also took pole position, setting the Cremona Circuit lap record.

    The accessories mounted on Salvadori’s Panigale V4 S during the race can be purchased from all dealers in the Ducati network. They include the Akrapovič complete titanium exhaust group , developed by Ducati Corse technicians on the basis of the exhaust mounted on the Panigale V4 R used in the Superbike World Championship by Scott Redding and Michael Rinaldi; the Rizoma adjustable aluminium footpegs, which allow riders to find the best possible position for their build and riding style and a racing seat in technical fabric, able to offer comfort and grip to maximize stability while riding. There are also a series of elements made of carbon, such as the front mudguard and swingarm cover, but also the number plate holder removal cover sets and mirror hole covers, ideal for occluding the holes made by the removal of unnecessary elements in track use.

    These accessories are the same as the ones equipping the Panigale V4 S that Ducati Corse riders use to train between rounds of the MotoGP and Superbike World Championships.

    On the website there is the  ‘Configurator’ section, a tool designed by the Borgo Panigale manufacturer to offer all Ducatisti the possibility of customizing their motorcycles, by selecting accessories and special parts, which also include magnesium rims and a dry clutch.

    For more Ducati news check out our dedicated page Ducati UK News

    or head to the official Ducati UK website

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  • Pirelli introduce ‘SCX’ Slick Tyre for 14th Year of BSB Racing

    Pirelli introduce ‘SCX’ Slick (Super Soft) tyre for 14th year of Bennetts British Superbike Championship Sole Tyre Supply.

    Pirelli enter their fourteenth season as Sole Tyre Supplier to the Bennetts British Superbike (BSB) Championship with the addition of the DIABLO Superbike Slick SCX (Super Soft) tyre to rider’s available options

    Introduced into the WSBK paddock in 2019, the BSB series debut of the SCX tyre follows last season’s change to Pirelli’s larger size tyres.

    Each BSB event will be now a triple header with a ‘Sprint’ race on Saturday after qualifying, ahead of two standard length Superbike races on Sunday. The new SCX tyre is likely to feature heavily during Saturday qualifying and the shorter ‘Sprint’ outing providing ultimate performance over the shortened distance races.

    SCX also comes into its own when track temperatures are higher and on smoother asphalt, allowing teams to develop a chassis setting aimed at exploiting the increased grip levels provided by the SCX option.

    Superbike riders will have the choice of the new SCX tyre and the almost universally used (in BSB2020) SC0 Soft rear tyre. After inclement weather at the early BSB tests, riders were able to evaluate the qualities of the new tyre at the most recent Donington test which was held in warm temperatures. Rear tyre sizes as introduced last year are 200/65R17, with a larger diameter for increased grip as riders exit a corner.

    At the ‘front end’, riders can choose from the SC1 and SC2 (harder) option tyres with the SC2 giving a more stable feeling as a rider transitions into a corner (drops in). The front tyres were also increased in size last season to give a wider contact patch from a 120 to 125 section (now 125/70 17).

    In the event of rain, there are two RAIN tyres in a soft or harder compound and the Diablo WET (Intermediate) tyre, which was used to good effect by Jonathan Rea at the recently held Aragon round of the World Superbikes Championship.

    The Pirelli presence in the paddock has also changed as new logistics partner Protyre Motorsport will be bringing 4,000 tyres to each of the eleven events to service the Superbike, Supersport, Superstock, Junior Superstock, Junior Supersport and Ducati Tri-Options classes.

    Jason Griffiths Pirelli UK Racing Manager explained, “Pirelli are ready for what will certainly be a very busy season with a compact race calendar. The introduction to the series of the SCX rear tyre will provide added interest in terms of tyre strategy. The high track temperatures at the recent Donington Park test allowed the teams and riders to evaluate the new tyre over race distance and it is clear that given suitable track temperatures and less aggressive asphalt the SCX option can be used for the full length races, as we have seen in World Superbikes. BSB continues to provide an incredibly competitive grid and we’re ready for the racing to begin.”



    • 125/70 R17 SC1 (SOFTER):

    This is the softest solution available for the front. This compound was developed to provide high grip, performance and riding precision with a versatility of use.

    • 125/70 R17 SC2 (HARDER)

    This new medium solution is sturdier and quicker in direction changes, gives more support, good grip, maximum lean angle and better absorption of any bumps on the track.


    • 200/65 R17 SCX (SUPER SOFT)

    This solution, which uses an extremely soft compound, designed to sit between the performance of a qualifying compound and that of a soft racing tyre.

    • 200/65 R17 SC0 (SOFT)

    This option was the tyre of choice for the 2020 BSB series. It offers consistency for long races and also delivers maximum performance across a wide operating temperature range.



    There are two RAIN rear tyres which were first utilised in BSB in 2019 (now in size 200/60) with different groove angles in the grip area, which allow a more consistent wear across the tyre and greater tread stability. Revised shoulder grooves improve water dispersion and improve grip when leaning and traction coming out of corners. Two compounds are available:

    • SCR1: compound intended for use in cooler conditions (asphalt temperatures lower than 15°C) or particularly smooth asphalt. This tyre gives the greater grip level.
    • SCR2: compound dedicated to higher track temperatures (asphalt temperatures higher than 15°C) or particularly aggressive asphalt. This should be the most used solution if the track is starting to dry out.

    As previously an ‘intermediate’ tyre is available for the tricky damp / drying track which features less grooves than the ‘full’ RAIN tyre. Developed in 190/60 R17 sizing for the rear.

    A regular total dry tyre usage limit applies for the race weekend (free practice, qualifying practice, warm up and races). 8 Rear (dry) tyres and 8 Front (dry) tyres. Riders graduating to Qualifying 2, (the top six) from Qualifying 1 are authorised to use one extra set of tyres (1 dry front and 1 dry rear). In Qualifying 1 and Qualifying 2 all riders may use a maximum of one set of tyres (1 front and 1 rear) in each session. This will be indicated by a “Q” sticker on each tyre used.

    The all new (for 2019), third generation, PIRELLI DIABLO Supercorsa SC V3 has been completely redesigned in terms of structure, profiles, tread pattern and compounds to give a more consistent performance.

    These tyres are available for the following classes: Quattro British Supersport 600 & 300, Pirelli National Superstock 1000 & 600 plus the Ducati TriOptions Cup.

    The DIABLO Supercorsa range of road legal tyres are the ultimate in Pirelli’s customer range of treaded tyres for racing and track day use. The ‘SP’ version of these tyres are used by sports bike owners the world over for everyday road and trackday usage.

    2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship dates

    (each event features three ‘BSB’ races)

    June 25-27 – Oulton Park
    July 9-11 – Knockhill
    July 23-25 – Brands Hatch GP
    July 30-Aug 1 – Thruxton
    Aug 13-15  – Donington Park National
    Aug 20-22 – Cadwell Park
    Sept 3-5 – Snetterton 300
    Sept 10-12 – Silverstone National
    Sept 24-26 – Oulton Park
    Oct 1-3 – Donington Park GP
    Oct 15-17 – Brands Hatch GP

    To find out more about the full range of Pirelli track and road tyres visit:

    For more Pirelli Tyre news check out our dedicated page Pirelli Tyres

    or head to the official Pirelli Tyres UK website visit

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  • E10 Petrol | Government urges you to Know Your Fuel

    The Government is urging all road users to Know Your Fuel ahead of Summer 2021 E10 petrol rollout

  • Ultimate staycation - Scottish Highland Scramble with Bikerbnb & Royal Enfield

    Royal Enfield & Bikerbnb have partnered up to bring the ultimate staycation tours in Scotland, offering Highland Scramble dates on purpose-built machines.

  • Silverstone Auctions Introduce Their First Dedicated Motorcycle Sale

    Silverstone auctions introduce their first dedicated motorcycle sale at Silverstone circuit for the classic on Friday 30th July 2021.

    • Friday 30TH July 2021 – dedicated motorcycle sale at The Classic
    • UK Auction Market Leaders eleventh year at world’s largest classic motor racing festival
    • 1995 Ducati 900SS SP – original example and very rare in the UK
    • 1998 Harley Davidson XL53 Sportster Custom – low mileage and matching numbers
    • 1958 Triumph T20 Tiger Cub – matching numbers machine
    • 1974 Kawasaki H2B Mach IV 75 – correct numbers and correct exhaust pipes

    Silverstone Auctions next auction will be The Classic at Silverstone on Friday 30st July – Sunday 1st August. What a weekend it will be with a number of classic cars, competition cars and much more going under the hammer, including their first dedicated motorcycle sale at The Classic on Friday 30th July.

    The May Sale was Silverstone Auctions first dedicated motorcycle sale and the auction resulted in a sales rate of 62%. A number of exceptional bikes were sold including the iconic, 1 of only 1,152 produced, 1973 Triumph X-75 Hurricane which achieved a great price of £29,813. Another was the highly sought after, 1969 Honda CB750 K0 with just 19,500 miles recorded, this exceptional motorcycle sold for £15,638. More of the fantastic results can be found on their website. The auction house are excited to see the motorcycles confirmed for The Classic go under the hammer for more superb results.

    Mark Bryan, Motorcycle Specialist for Silverstone Auctions, added “I am excited for my first sale at The Silverstone Classic with a great line-up of bikes already confirmed! From classics to competition motorcycles, don’t miss your chance to submit your bike alongside our early entries. This is a great venue in which people can attend in person

    – the world’s largest classic motor racing event!”.

    The first bike to be previewed for the sale is the 1995 Ducati 900SS SP. This is an original example of the very collectable model and is still complete with its original exhaust system. The limited edition 900SS SP has correct numbers and is in good running order. This is the US equivalent of the Superlight model and is very rare in the UK.

    Another classic motorcycle crossing the block is the 1998 Harley Davidson XL53 Sportster Custom. This is a lovely, low mileage and matching numbers bike which has been with the same owner since 2003. Presented in very original condition, this bike has been fitted with a Screaming Eagle ‘Stage 1’ exhaust system.

    Offered at No Reserve is this 1958 Triumph T20 Tiger Cub. This great little Tiger Club is a matching numbers machine and finished in Silver with a recently restored seat. Complete with old handbooks and some old tax discs, this bike has been stored away for the last few years and would be a great restoration project or run as it is.

    This 1974 Kawasaki H2B Mach IV 750 is finished in Black and Candy Purple, and has correct numbers and correct exhaust pipes with original rear shocks included. This example is UK registered from new, the Mach IV has a certain ‘magic’ and remains very much in demand.

    Silverstone Auctions are currently inviting motorcycle entries for their motorcycle sale for The Classic at Silverstone on the 30th July. Motorcycle Manager, Mark Bryan can be contacted on 07958 107974, by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via their website if you would like more information.

    The UK market leading classic car auction house can be contacted on 01926 691141, or by email:

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    For more information on Silverstone Auctions head to the official website:

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  • SP-Connect Colour Your Active Life

    SP CONNECT debuts its new collection of ART INSPIRED smartphone cases infusing contemporary style and designs with the best in form and function.

    SP CONNECT will offer a new collection of ART INSPIRED cases for the first time ever. While SP phone cases have traditionally been available in black only, it will expand its pallet starting June 2021.

    These limited-edition designs will feature various patterns, illustrations, and designs. The initial motifs will have geometric patterns and themed illustrations. They will have designs that amplify style, play on themes, and allow you to express your identity on the go.

    Look for exciting new designs to come, co-labs with our iconic brand partners, and other cool artwork with famed artists. With our proprietary printing technology, the sky is the limit for what we can do with these cases.


    • Designed and crafted in Europe
    • Unique and original designs
    • Limited production
    • Durable finish
    • SP CONNECT compatible
    • 30 Day Customer Satisfaction
    • 2-Year Limited Warranty
    • Free Standard Shipping

    For more information or to start collecting your cases today please visit

    For more SP Connect UK News check out our dedicated page SP Connect UK

    or head to the official SP Connect UK website

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Motorcycle Restoration blogs

Motorcycle Restoration Blogs

17 June 2021

Motorcycle Restoration Blogs Motorcycle Restoration Blogs
  • Why Your Motorcycle Won’t Start After Carb Cleaning
    17 June 2021

    Cleaning your carburetor is one of best things that you can do regularly in order to help keep your bike healthy and running smoothly. As dirt and fuel residue build up in the carburetor, the engine itself will run less efficiently. Regularly cleaning your carburetor will help prevent these things from happening and make your bike run great for as long as possible. 

    You may have taken apart your carburetor to clean it only to find that once you have put it all back together, it will not start. What could be wrong? Your motorcycle might not start after cleaning the carburetor because you may have put the float back together upside down. This will prevent the flow of fuel and therefore your bike will not be able to start. Make sure there are no air leaks, the spark plug is plugged in, and clean out the jets and ports.

    Your carburetor has a very important job to perform and if things are blocking it from doing its job, your bike will not run. The carburetor has the important job of mixing the fuel and air before it enters the engine. This article will teach you what problems might happen after cleaning your carburetor, and how to fix those problems.

    Why A Motorcycle Will Not Start After Cleaning The Carbs

    So, why exactly might your motorcycle not start after cleaning the carbs? Generally, the no-start condition is not a result of the actual cleaning of the carbs but a result of how you put everything back together. The most common culprit is the float. If you are not careful, you may accidentally put the float back together upside down after cleaning. This will cut off the flow of fuel into the engine. With no fuel, the engine will not run at all. Take a look at your float and make sure that it is installed correctly.

    Secondly, you will want to make sure that you do not have any air leaks. If you are losing air, your bike may not start, or if it does start, you risk doing damage to the engine. By running a leak test, you can verify if there are any. You also can run a compression test on your engine. If your compression is bad, that could be your issue.

    The next thing that you will want to check is for spark. Make sure that your spark plug is actually connected. If it is, run a test and make sure that you are actually getting spark. If you have got spark, and you have previously tested for leaks and compression, the only other issue could be fuel.

    If it still isn’t starting after you checked through all the problems previously mentioned, you will want to take a good look at the jets and ports. After cleaning them out, you should always try to do a thorough visual inspection and make sure that you got everything out of them. If you cannot see any gunk in any of them, then you did a good job. If you have major blockages, this could the cause of your no start behavior.

    Tips On Starting Your Motorcycle After Cleaning The Carbs

    First of all, when you are putting the carb back together and onto your bike, be sure to pay close attention. Make sure that everything gets put back together correctly. You do not want to forget to connect any hoses or plugs. Make sure that you reassemble everything properly. Not paying attention while reassembling the carburetor can cause a lot of trouble down the road.

    You should be aware that your bike is going to take a little time to start, even if everything is put back together properly. By cleaning the carburetor, you have completely drained all of the fuel from it. It will take a minute before the necessary vacuum pull has formed again and fuel is flowing through the carb. Do not be alarmed if you experience this because it is completely normal.

    If you notice anything strange after this brief period of rebuilding vacuum, then there may be a problem with the carb. Start by checking the simple and easy things. Are you sure that you reconnected all of the vacuum lines? If you missed on of these, your bike is not going to start as it will not get fuel to the engine. If you do not see anything apparent and obvious, then you may need to remove your carb again and make sure everything got put back together properly. Checking the simplest things first will save you time down the road.

    How To Know Your Carbs Are The Reason Your Motorcycle Is Not Starting

    There are potentially a lot of different things that could be causing your bike not to start. While the issue is often a carb-related issue, that is not always the case. So, how can you tell whether it is the carb or if it is something else? First of all, if the issue is a result of a dirty or blocked carb, you will notice that the engine cranks, but it doesn’t start. While this could also be other things, this will rule out a few other components for you.

    Remember that your bike needs four main things to run. Those are air, fuel, spark, and compression. Without any one of those, your bike will not run at all. Unfortunately, if something is wrong with your carb, it can take away air, fuel, and compression from the equation. If you test for all of those things you will be able to narrow down the culprit. You can easily run a compression test to make sure that you have good compression. You can also run a leak test to be sure you do not have any air leaks. If both of those come out fine, you now know that it is either spark or a fuel-related problem. You can now inspect the carburetor for any fuel-related problems. Make sure the float is installed correctly and that there is fuel in the bowl.

    How To Properly Clean Your Carbs

    So, what is the proper way to clean your carburetor? First off, remember how important your carburetor is. Doing a good job on your cleaning is very important. Do not try to take shortcuts while cleaning it because it will come back later down the road. You will want to do a good and thorough job so the bike will continue to work properly.

    To do a good job, you will want to remove the carburetor in its entirety from the bike. Next, you will need a good cleaner that is safe to be used with plastics and rubbers. There are lots of carb cleaners that you can use. Once you have the carburetor off, you will now want to take the float off. 

    Now you are ready to start cleaning things up. You can take the float and the other carb pieces off and soak them in a cleaner. This will really help to get all the gunk to start coming off. You can also take a brush and use that to scrub the parts while they are soaking in the container. This will help to get the really tricky stuff off. Afterward, you will want to wash things off with water to get rid of your cleaning chemicals. Then let the carb dry. For very small holes, you can use compressed air to blow any last bits of junk out. 

    Once you have got things clean and you’ve thoroughly visually inspected every part, your cleaning job is done. You are now ready to start putting everything back together. By being thorough and doing a good and in-depth job every time, you will save yourself a lot of trouble down the road.

    The post Why Your Motorcycle Won’t Start After Carb Cleaning first appeared on Motorcycle Habit.
  • The Top 10 Best Budget Motorcycles For You
    17 June 2021

    If you are looking to buy your first motorcycle or are looking to add another to your collection, you may be interested to know which models will give you the most bang for your buck. There are hundreds of options when looking into motorcycles to purchase. In this article we are going to dive into the top ten best budget new motorcycles for under $5000. These will be ranked based on the initial cost of the bike, the cost to maintain the bike, it’s reliability, and it’s performance. 

    If you are new to the world of motorcycles and are looking to buy your first, you will want to find yourself a good starter bike that will not break the bank. Fortunately, motorcycles are extremely affordable and there are tons of options that you can purchase for less than $5,000. Now, remember that most of these models will have smaller engines and less power. Even if you are just starting out, they are a great and safe way to get used to riding motorcycles around. Then when you are ready, you can trade-in for a big bike.

    If you have got plenty of experience riding motorcycles and are looking to add another one to your arsenal, there are plenty that you can get for a great price. Whether you are looking to save some money on gas, have an easier time finding parking, or just enjoy riding motorcycles around, we will walk you through the best motorcycles out there to make this a reality.

    Criteria For What Qualifies A Motorcycle To Be In The Category Of Best Budget Motorcycles

    So first, we want to talk about what qualifies a motorcycle to be a part of the best budget motorcycles list. The first and most important thing that we are going to look at is the cost of buying the motorcycle. Obviously, a budget motorcycle has to be affordable.

    Going hand in hand with this, is the value you are getting for that price. The motorcycle has to perform well for the price that you are paying. Particularly, we are looking at motorcycles for under $5,000. At that price, there is a huge spectrum of bikes with differing technology, aesthetics, and performance. Some bikes will offer great technology such as digital displays, anti-lock brakes, and adjustable suspension. Some bikes in this price range will not offer any of this.

    The second thing that we are going to take a look at is the cost to maintain the vehicle. Different motorcycles can vary quite a bit in this aspect. Some motorcycles require much more maintenance to keep them running correctly. Depending on the bike, the cost of things that you need for this maintenance can be more expensive than others. We will keep the annual maintenance cost in mind as we look at what is the best budget motorcycle.

    The third thing that we are going to look at is the reliability of the motorcycle. Certain motorcycle manufacturers are known for being very reliable and others for being unreliable. Likewise, certain models of these manufacturers are more reliable than others. We will keep this in mind while making our list. A cheap bike that frequently breaks down and costs lots of money to repair is not worth the money you spent on it.

    The last thing that we are going to be looking at is the bike’s performance. This includes power, speed, handling, and comfort. We want to make sure that the bike does what it is designed for. This will vary somewhat depending on what the bike was designed for. Another big part of this is the aesthetics of the bike. For less than $5,000, you can still get a very nice-looking bike, but you can also get very basic and plain-looking bikes. We will take all of these different aspects into account throughout the article.

    Top 10 Budget-Friendly Motorcycles And Their Qualifications

    KTM Duke 200

    The Duke series of bikes came into the market in 2013 and almost immediately took over the small-displacement premium bike market. After years of success, they released the 200. This motorcycle, while much smaller than some of it is larger family members, is still an outstanding bike, especially for a new rider. For only $3,999 you can get yourself a brand new one. These bikes also offer lots of great tech such as ABS Brembo brakes, liquid cooling, and an inverted WP fork, and mono-shock. If you are looking for a fun, great-looking, beginning bike for a great price, the KTM Duke 200 is exactly that.

    BMW G310R

    This one squeaks in just under our $5,000 limit at $4,945. The BMW S1000R is a fantastic roadster and is actually what the G310R was originally based on. This bike comes with the legendary BMW “M Racing” paint option. It offers a ton of great perks such as tons of digital displays, aluminum wheels, and a great amount of power, for a bike at this price.

    Kawasaki Ninja 400

    This bike is a screaming deal. If you want to get as much performance as you possibly can for less than $5000, this is the bike for you. With 400cc, 50hp, and 30 ft-lbs of torque, this bike offers a great deal with a very affordable price tag.

    This bike is a great medium for riders of every experience level. It also is a very fun bike for someone very experienced. These bikes are made to be taken to the track and ridden hard. 0-60 miles per hour in 4 seconds will put a smile on your face no matter how long you have been riding bikes. This bike also offers several other perks such as LED lights around the bike and bodywork all around it. If performance is your main concern, this is the best you can get for less than $5,000.

    Honda CB300R

    This is another great-performing bike that offers quite a bit of nice technology. With this bike, you get a bunch of cool add-ons that are not common in entry-level, small-displacement bikes. One of the coolest of which is the counterbalance shaft. This gets rid of vibrations and makes the bike extremely comfortable on long-distance rides. It also comes with ABS brakes, LED lights, and a chassis built for the track. This bike is a great way to get a lot of bang for your buck.

    Yamaha V-Star 250

    Our fifth bike on this list is the very best cruiser that you can find for this price. This bike is a screaming deal for what you are getting. This is a great bike for long road trips, commuting around town, and just about any other drive you could think of. Despite being a 250-cc engine, it has a V-Twin powertrain. It also gets exceptional gas mileage at 78 miles per gallon. This bike is hands down the best cruiser that you will find for the price as it comes in new at $4,499. 

    Benelli TNT135

    While many people may not be interested in minibikes, we just had to add this to the list. The main reason is that the price tag for a new bike like this is $2,749. That is an outstanding price for a new bike. For a minibike, this one also looks really good. It has an aggressive natural style to it. If price is your biggest concern, this may be the motorcycle for you.


    This is a great all-around bike. It can be used as a commuter to and from work. It can be used for touring and long road trips. It also performs pretty well on the track. It offers a 321cc twin engine that is plenty for someone who is just learning how to ride or even for someone with little experience with riding a motorcycle. Another bonus of this bike is that it looks great. The styling and design match its larger displacement counterparts and gives it a great, yet aggressive look.


    This is another outstanding bike that comes from Yamaha. This is an excellent, small-displacement, track bike. It is extremely light and very easy to handle. It offers a 321cc twin engine that provides plenty of power for the price. If you are interested in learning how to race on a track, this is a great bike to learn on. The weight and power are fantastic for learning. It will teach you how to lean hard on turns. It’s slim figure also makes it great for weaving through traffic. This has been one of the best budget bikes on the market for years. You will not go wrong with getting one of these.

    Honda Rebel 300

    You can get one of these for the low price of $4,499. This is a great bike for driving around town, long road trips, cruising down the canyon, or whatever you want. This bike actually shares an engine with the aforementioned Honda CB300R. The simplistic design of the motorcycle looks great. It is extremely comfy to ride in while cruising around. The height of the low seat really helps to make this possible. If you are looking for an affordable cruiser, this is a great deal.

    SYM Wolf CR300i

    This was the last bike to make our list. It is a pretty decent, all-around bike. You get a decent amount of power, a top speed of 85 mph, and even a two-year warranty that covers everything on the bike. This motorcycle also features digital instrumentation which helps to complete the look. This bike has come a very long way. In its very early days, it was not the prettiest. The bike has come a very long way because now, it looks and feels great. If you want a well-rounded café racer-style bike, this is another great choice.

    Ranking Our Top 3 Choices

    As we have seen, there are a ton of great bikes out there that you can get for very cheap. There are bikes in basically every class that you can find for less than $5,000, and brand new. If you need a cruiser, there are cruiser choices. If you want a café racer, there are plenty of options. If you are looking for a decent track bike, there are many varieties. many people are attracted to motorcycles due to their low cost. Now, let’s get into my top 3 bike choices.

    Kawasaki Ninja 400

    This is my number 1 bike out of all the ones we reviewed. This bike is an absolutely amazing deal. For less than $5,000, you have yourself a track-ready, 400cc bike that looks absolutely fantastic. There is no other bike available that offers this much for that little of a price. 400cc is still enough for a beginner to ride with but it will also please someone with more experience riding bigger bikes. Its lightweight, narrow body really provides some outstanding handling that few other bikes can compare to. Dollar for dollar, there is not another bike that even comes close to this one. That is exactly why we put this bike as the number 1 budget bike under $5,000.

    Honda CB300R

    This bike takes second place for many reasons. For a long time, this bike was known as the king of budget bikes. It offers great looks, decent performance, a lot of modern technology, and a great ride for a decent price. I would say that this bike was dethroned only by the Kawasaki Ninja 400. This bike is fantastic for a wide variety of things. It is an extremely comfortable bike if you are looking to go on a long road trip. Its sleek agile body also performs fairly well on a track. This is a very well-rounded bike for a great price.

    BMW 310R

    This is another great deal for an excellent bike. With this, you get a very good sporty bike that offers plenty of power, without being intimidating to new riders. It offers an extremely comfortable ride with a very low seat height and excellent suspension. On top of that, you get an extremely aggressive, attractive-looking bike. It offers excellent technology like ABS brakes to keep you safe, digital displays, and aluminum wheels. All in all, It made our number 3 spot because it is such a great performing bike.

    As you can see, there are a ton of fantastic bikes that you can get brand new for less than $5,000. These are just the ones that we thought were the top ten. There are tons more makes and models that you can get for this same and attractive price tag. We have highlighted our top choices. Now, it is up to you to decide what your preferences are and which bike will get you the most bang for your buck.

    The post The Top 10 Best Budget Motorcycles For You first appeared on Motorcycle Habit.
  • Signs Your Motorcycle Needs An Oil Change
    17 June 2021

    Oil is an integral part of your motorcycle’s engine operation. The thing about oil is that it does eventually break down and become less effective. Because of this, oil is designed to be changed to prolong the life of the engine. 

    What are the signs that your motorcycle needs an oil change? Signs that your motorcycle needs an oil change include, the oil in the engine is black and thick due to it being full of dirt and dust. The warning lights are on, signaling that it’s time for an oil change. Or there is more engine noise than is considered normal because the oil is no longer lubricating the engine.

    It might look challenging at first to determine if your bike needs an oil change, and then fix it. But it is a relatively quick fix that you can learn from this article.

    Signs That Your Oil Is Overdue

    If it has been a while since the last oil change, it is a good idea to check the oil. Here are a few conditions you might find that indicate if an oil change is necessary:

    Oil is black and thick. Pull the dipstick up and see what your oil looks like. If it is really black and thick, it is probably due for a change. The blackness comes from dirt, dust, and carbon deposits. These contaminants also change the thickness and affect the overall lubrication of the engine.

    Warning Lights. Most modern bikes will have an oil pressure sensor. This detects the pressure of the oil and sends an alert if it drops too low. Low oil pressure is indicative of a few different, yet serious problems, so pay attention to the light that is typically shaped like an old-fashioned oil can. The most common reason for this light is low oil level as it slowly burns or leaks out.

    Excessive engine noise. When the lubricating effect of the oil is degraded, it allows metal-to-metal contact, which creates more noise than usual. This will usually be more pronounced in the top end of the engine where the camshaft and valves usually are. As you can imagine, this condition is not ideal and will shorten the lifespan of the engine if left unfixed. 

    The internal combustion engine has been engineered over the past century to implement principles of physics, including fluid mechanics. It turns out that oil is non-compressible and therefore can be used as a bearing. This greatly reduces friction between metal parts that would otherwise quickly heat up and wear out. 

    If that seems like rocket science, just know that oil is important for your engine. Furthermore, using the right grade of oil is important. Engines have very small passages and channels so the right thickness of oil is required. Almost all commercially available oils meet a universal standard of quality and follow consistent grades. Some common grades of oil for motorcycle engines are 

    • 10W-30 
    • 10W-40 
    • 20W-50

    These numbers represent different viscosity and the W number represents the viscosity in cold weather. There are oils designed specifically for motorcycles in contrast to car engine oil. Since motorcycles often use engine oil to lube the transmission, it requires specific additives that are not found in car engine oils. 

    There are also different types of oil, including mineral oil/conventional, synthetic, and semi-synthetic. This refers to the kind of oil used as a base to carry different additives. Mineral oil is derived from petroleum refineries and is a very common type of oil. Synthetic oil has been chemically engineered to mimic conventional oil.

    It is really important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for oil grade. The tolerances, or space between, engine parts is quite small, as in fractions of an inch. Engineers design such tolerances to use a specific grade of oil. Refer to your owner’s manual or a trusted source for your bike’s oil type and quantity. 

    It is often debated about which brand is superior, but this has more to do with the user’s preference. The difference in brands is mostly what additives they add and less about the actual quality of the oil. Find a brand that you like and stick with it.

    How Often To Change The Oil

    The frequency of oil changes will depend on the type of oil and the riding conditions. You should always change the oil at least once per year, even after low-mileage riding. Otherwise, follow your manufacturer’s recommended guidelines.

    If you don’t know what is recommended, here are some good rules of thumb to follow. During normal riding conditions, change your oil every

    • 2000 miles for conventional (mineral) oil.
    • 5000 – 6000 miles for synthetic blend oil.
    • 7000 – 10,000 for full synthetic.

    Conventional oil tends to break down quicker than synthesized oils and therefore goes fewer miles before requiring changing. Synthetic oil stretches out the lifespan of the oil with different brands, all claiming different mileages. However, more frequent changes will keep fresh oil in your engine, so err on the side of caution. 

    To keep up with the maintenance of your bike, you will want to regularly change the oil. Here are some ways to measure the frequency of oil changes:

    • Mileage since last change. 
      • This is the best way to track oil life and manufacturers base their recommendations on mileage. Mileage is used because it is a simple way to know the work that the oil has been through and how much it has degraded. Going over the mileage interval is not going to be catastrophic, but keep it as close as possible.
    • Date since last change
      • If you don’t put a lot of miles on your bike, using time is another simple way to measure the life of the oil. In this case, it is better to change it more often than not.
    • Oil level and condition
      • Looking at the condition of the oil on the dipstick can help you know if the oil needs changed, but it is a bit unreliable. On a newer engine, it will be easy to see the oil stay cleaner longer. However, on older engines, the oil will become darker sooner, but that doesn’t always mean that it is bad. 
      • Similarly, if the oil level changes, you might want to think about changing it. This may also indicate a deeper problem. If the level is low, then oil may be getting burned or leaking out of the engine. If the level is rising, then the oil may be diluted and is therefore ineffective.
    • Engine rebuild
      • If you have a freshly rebuilt engine, it is really important to keep up with the oil changes. Immediately after rebuilding, there is a break-in period in which special break-in oil is used. This is usually a shorter interval compared to regular oil changes. After the break-in period, you will want to diligently keep the oil fresh as this will maximize the life of your freshly rebuilt engine.

    If you are ever in doubt, it is worthwhile to change the oil. Changing oil is usually inexpensive to do yourself if you are on a budget. Otherwise, take it to a competent mechanic who can also check for other potential issues with your bike

    Why Oil Is Important

    Oil is integral to engine operation and maintaining it is the best way to extend the life of your bike. Neglecting the oil will not only shorten the life of your bike but will also decrease the performance of your bike. Along those lines, if you can’t take good care of your bike, it decreases the potential resale value should you need to get rid of it. 

    Some people might neglect oil maintenance because they are unsure what to do about it. Here are three steps to take if you happen to find yourself in this situation. First, think back to when it was last changed and calculate when it’s due. If you can’t figure it out, do it anyway. Second, find a capable repair shop that can handle the job. A trained eye may also find hidden issues you may not know about. Third, make it a habit. Whether you are just getting into motorcycles or have been for a while, prioritizing maintenance will keep you on the road longer.


    Oil is critical to your engine’s operation. It is also important for transmission operation. Keeping it fresh will keep your bike running better longer. Refer to your owner’s manual for specifics, but oil is usually changed 2000-5000 miles depending on the type of oil you use. Make sure you use the right grade of oil from a reliable brand. Doing so will maintain the value of your bike so you can enjoy the open road.

    The post Signs Your Motorcycle Needs An Oil Change first appeared on Motorcycle Habit.
  • The 10 Best Motorcycles To Ride Cross Country
    17 June 2021

    Traveling to see the country on a motorcycle is a great way to see the sights. However, not all bikes make for an enjoyable cross-country trip. Before setting off, it’s good to have a plan. This includes having the right bike and equipment.

    Before Traveling Cross Country

    The first step to traveling across the nation is to have a plan. However, the adventure will be enhanced if there is room for spontaneity. Planning a general route allows you to get to your desired destination and any other major stops you would want to make. Allowing for some ambiguity lets you discover something new.

    Another important aspect of planning ahead is planning what type of ride you are in for. There are tons of highways and byways to cruise, but wandering off the beaten path can open up a lot of possibilities. If you’re strictly on the street, a cruiser or touring bike is the way to go. If you have some dirt trails you want to hit up, having a dual-sport motorcycle will allow you to explore those options.

    What To Look For In A Cross Country Bike

    Although the idea of riding a vintage bike into the sunset across the desert is very romantic, In reality, it can be quite uncomfortable. For a long trip, having some modern amenities makes the journey more enjoyable. Safety features, comfort niceties, cargo, and other accessories will make the long trip more doable and are available on most modern motorcycles.

    But before getting into these options, it’s important to consider the basics. Having a bike with a larger engine, 1000cc or more, will make highway cruising a better experience. You will be able to ride at highway speeds while having low-end torque to get up and go. Unless you are hot rodding it, a bigger motorcycle will actually do well on fuel mileage. Having a bit longer wheelbase will make the handling comfortable.

    Safety features include anti-lock brake systems, lighting, crash bars, and safety clothing. Anti-lock brakes, or ABS, help the rider to maintain control during aggressive braking by pulsing the brakes to prevent skidding. Having adequate lighting, including brake lights, headlights, turn signals, and marker lights, improve visibility for the rider as well as other motorists to prevent accidents. In the case of an accident, having crash bars installed helps lessen the potential of damage and injury. Likewise, wearing the proper clothing, including a helmet, jacket, boots, and so on, provides peace of mind and protection.

    What is going to be comfortable is a big deal. Stress on your back and hips when sitting for long periods of time leads to pain. Nobody wants that during a long trip, so think ahead and get a bike that will provide the most comfort for you. Some aspects to look at are seat type and height. This will vary on preference and rider size, but there are many options to choose from.

    Closely related is the riding position. An upright position with the legs forward will be comfortable for a long trip. The sport riding position with the legs bent under the rider and a more leaning forward position will be less comfortable for a long ride. Finally, an overlooked comfort feature is the windshield, which diverts the force of the wind making it easier to hang on.

    Fuel mileage will make your trip a bit easier on your wallet. Long trips are going to require a lot of fuel and frequent stops can be interruptive. When shopping for your cross-country bike, take into consideration the fuel economy and tank size. This can make a difference especially if you’re traveling in the desert or through national parks where gas stations tend to be more scarce. A decent MPG is around 40-45 and tank capacity will be around 4-6 gallons.

    Motorcycles aren’t designed to carry much cargo, but on a long trip, you will need to have some supplies. Fortunately, there are options to expand cargo capacity. Saddlebags will be the preferable option for cargo as opposed to a backpack. Having extra weight on your shoulders and back will be uncomfortable on a long trip. Motorcycles are also typically a one-person ride, but there are ways to carry a passenger. Passenger seats are more than just a cushion as many have back support and armrests. There are options to tow a small trailer to haul the cargo, allowing the bike to be dedicated for riders.

    Having the right accessories during the trip adds another level of comfort. Infotainment systems are more and more common on motorcycles and can be a welcome addition to the trip. Having a way to play music, audiobooks, or podcasts helps the long stretches of the road pass faster. GPS systems are also available to help navigate unfamiliar roads. Another comfort feature is cruise control. This takes the stress off of your wrist for long stretches. Newer cruising bikes come with cruise control as well as cup holders, stereos, and so on, so shop around and find what you need.

    These features are only options for you to select from and your preference is what ultimately matters. If you are still wondering what to look for, hit up your local dealership or read through a few forums to look for anything else that might be available. It’s worth taking some extra prep time to yield an awesome cross-country tour.

    Top 10 Bikes For Cross Country Riding

    Another reason these bikes are a great buy is that they last for a long time. Honda has legendary reliability and the Goldwing is no exception. This makes it convenient to find a used bike with a lot of life left in it. If you’re looking for a newer model, you can rest assured that it’s going to take you on as many trips as you want to take. A drawback is the fuel economy has about 38 mpg, but this is still a touch more than some of its competitors.

    Harley Davidson Electra Glide

    The HD Electra Glide is another classic ride. While this model can be customized to different styles, it is well-fitted for touring as a 2 seater. The Electra Glide is also known for its “batwing” fairing, which is the bodywork on the handlebars. There is also plenty of room for cargo in the hard-body saddlebags.

    The Electra Glide is the final rendition of the FL series of bikes from Harley Davidson. These bikes have large frames and are equipped with the Milwaukee-Eight 107. For modern bikes, the gauges and electronics are located in the batwing fairing. The rider sits in an upright position and the bike is equipped with floorboards for a very comfortable ride.

    Used bikes are still going to be a bit expensive, but they hold their value well. There are many aftermarket options to fit what you need. One negative aspect of the Electra is the fuel economy, clocking in at only about 33-38 mpg. This depends on the way you ride, but it is certainly worth considering.

    BMW R1200GS

    Akin to the RT, the GS an adventure-style bike, meaning it is well-fitted to go off-road as well as a cruise on the highway. There are also variations on these adaptations, including more road or off-road-biased options. The boxer engine puts out about 134 hp and the bike weighs around 600lbs. Newer models have an eco-mode and pro-mode for easier or more aggressive riding as well as traction control and ABS.

    While there are no stock saddlebags or panniers, there are aftermarket options. An option that is available from the factory is the Enduro Package, which includes an engine guard and raised handlebars. 

    While still on the more spendy side of bikes, the GS boasts 41 mpg in with a 5-gallon tank. This makes for a great off-road adventure where gas stations will be miles away. The rider sits in an upright position with the ability to stand while navigating trails or rocky conditions. 

    BMW K Series

    The K Series is a sport-touring model from BMW. The K series began in the mid-1980s and offers several models and submodels. While not all models are in production, there are still some good used K series bikes out there to be had. Current models include the K1600 which is the most comparable to other touring bikes. 

    The K1600 comes in the GTL, GTL, B, and Grand America submodels. The GLT and Grand America offer the most for touring, including a passenger seat. The B submodel stands for Bagger and offers a lower seat position, floorboards, and a chopped windscreen. All models come with a 6-cylinder in-line engine putting out around 100-120 lb-ft of torque for scooting around town. New models come with a built-in audio and navigation system. 

    These bikes won’t come cheap but do offer a lot of niceties and a comfy, yet powerful ride. The fuel mileage varies around the mid-to high-30’s from a 7-gallon tank. If you have the means, a K series touring bike would make for a great cross-country ride.

    Yamaha V Star 1300

    The V Star has a classic cruiser look and the 1300 model will take you where you need to go. Unfortunately, 1300 is not in production and was produced between 2007 and 2017, so there are a lot of used bikes on the market for a reasonable price. 

    Due to its age, you won’t be able to have some of the modern amenities, such as infotainment or built-in navigation. However, the low seat height, upright riding position, and a bit of juice from the engine make for a good touring ride. There are also aftermarket saddlebags, windshields, and other options. Aside from these upgrades, you won’t need to do much wrenching, as the V Star is pretty dependable.

    1300 gets low to mid 40’s for mpg, which is very competitive with the Gold Wing or K 1600. The carbureted V-twin runs strong matched with a 5-speed trans to a drive shaft is easy to upkeep. While this may not be the flashiest option, it could be a great, lower-price option for a first-timer.

    Indian Roadmaster

    Another legendary motorcycle company, Indian Motorcycles, know how to make a cruiser. The Roadmaster is a revamped Chieftain, which is another cruiser. The Roadmaster has a trunk, fairings, floorboards, and other comforts for the road. It offers a 111 cubic in. v-twin and six-speed transmission which is plenty to get down the road.

    The Roadmaster gets around 40mpg from a 5.5-gallon tank, which is towards the top compared to its competitors. The two-seater has plenty of cargo space between the truck and hard saddlebags. For a classic look from a legendary motorcycle, the Roadmaster is the way to go.

    Kawasaki Vulcan 

    The Vulcan has been Kawasaki’s entry in the cruiser motorcycle market since 1984. The Vulcan has come in several sizes, but presently there are the 650 S, 900, and 1700 in production. The Vulcan 1700 Nomad and the Vulcan 1700 Voyager are similar bikes equipped for touring. With ABS and traction control as well as audio systems and passenger seats, there isn’t much left to be desired.

    For fuel mileage, the Vulcan can do mid-to high-30’s with a 5.3-gallon tank. The v-twin puts out about 107 lb-ft of torque to get you up to highway speeds. New models have integrated storage and a plush passenger seat. The full front fairing keeps the wind and rain off of you and the overall noise of the bike is quieter compared to others. The Vulcan is another good bike for a first-timer and it can hold its own for a veteran rider. 

    Yamaha FJR 1300

    The FJR was introduced to the States in 2002 and has held its own as a sport-touring motorcycle. With a zippy 1298cc 4-cylinder EFI engine, it’s easy to see why this makes for a great touring bike. Despite its sporty look, it is equipped for long hauls and has a passenger seat. One drawback is that the rider’s legs are more underneath versus forward, which can make for cramped legs on a longer ride.

    With a larger 6.6-gallon fuel tank, the FJR puts out an impressive low/mid 40’s for fuel mileage. With adjustable suspension, anti-lock brakes, and sporty tires, handling is a breeze. There is a lot to love about this bike, but for the price, it’s a bit difficult to not consider the BMW 1250RT, which has more features for a similar price.

    Top 3 Picks

    Best Sport Touring: BMW R1250RT

    The RT is a bit lighter than other BMW touring bikes, which makes for better, sportier handling. This model is a sport-touring bike but is still comfortable on those long stretches of empty road. It’s worth mentioning that the R1250RT is an award-winning for the best sport-touring bike for a couple of years and it lives up to the hype. 

    These bikes have a boxer engine which puts out around 136 horsepower. This makes zipping through the countryside a breeze. Alongside that nice power comes some great amenities, including traction control, adjustable ride height, and an adjustable windshield. These along with a few more options make this a luxurious ride.

    The BMX R1250RT has a reported 47 MPG, which is a fair bit higher than other touring bikes. However, this comes with a price as these bikes are on the higher end. But if you’re looking for a bike that you can take just about anywhere in any condition, this is the bike for you.

    Best Classic Touring: Honda Goldwing

    The Honda Goldwing is a classic standard for touring bikes. First available in 1975, the Goldwing has gone on to be one of the most popular bikes in its class. With over 640,000 sold in the U.S., there are plenty to come by. This model was introduced at a time when people were looking for a touring bike but didn’t want to break the bank. Honda has pandered to that target market ever since.

    There are a few reasons why the Goldwing is a great touring bike. First off, there are engine options, such as the flat-four or flat-six with carburetors or fuel injectors. Furthermore, the fairings not only block the wind from carrying you off the bike, but they also house the amenities, such as the infotainment system and cup holders. This balance of power and comfort makes for an ideal touring bike. There are also towing options for the Goldwing for those who need some extra gear.

    Top Pick for Dual-Sport: Suzuki V-Strom 

    Another dual-sport option, the Suzuki V-Strom is a well-rounded machine. The 1037cc V-twin was originally designed for the TL1000S and TL1000R sport motorcycles, but the fuel-injected engine fit nicely for an adventure model. Produced from 2002-2019, the V-Strom also features traction control and ABS for additional safety. 

    Options include clip-on saddlebags, an informative dash display, and slim fairings. While it has a one-piece seat, it is suited for a passenger, but may not be as plush as some other bikes. MPG ranges from high 30’s to low 40’s with a 5.3-gallon tank. If you are into a dual-sport experience, this bike will offer a great ride.

    The post The 10 Best Motorcycles To Ride Cross Country first appeared on Motorcycle Habit.
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  • Please welcome our new team member David who's apprenticing with @dudley_goodwin_motor_co in the clean room, here disassembling John's #isetta300 motor. #Vintagebmwmotorcycles #scottiesworkshop
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  • Motorcycle Only Runs On Reserve? Here’s Why
    15 June 2021

    It’s Important for the fuel delivery system to work properly on every motorcycle. Though the fuel delivery system on motorcycles is simple, there can still be some issues that come along with it. One of those issues could include the petcock. Your bike may start to exhibit a weird behavior where it only seems to run while in reserve.

    Why is my motorcycle only running while on reserve? A motorcycle may only run while on reserve because of a clogged petcock screen inside the fuel tank or the three-way valve on the petcock itself is clogged. Another less likely scenario is a failed vacuum line from the carburetor to the petcock. Ensure the vacuum line isn’t pinched shut or has a hole in it.

    We’ve all ran into situations where you’re in the middle of nowhere, and you run out of gas. Our goal is to inform you about how to not run into those situations, and how to fix it.

    Why A Motorcycle May Only Run On Reserve

    If you take a look down near the fuel tank, there will be a dial that is known as the fuel petcock. This petcock allows you to switch between one of three settings. These are “On”, “Off”, and “Reserve”. The “On” setting is the one that you will use most of the time. This uses the main fuel line that sticks up about two inches in the tank. There is a second line that is connected to reserve that only barely sticks up. When switching to reserve, it accesses this other second line. When selecting off, it shuts off flow from both lines.

    When riding around, and the fuel drops below the level that the main line can reach, your bike will start to sputter and eventually die. At that point, you can switch to reserve and the bike will drive normally for a short while. You generally have about another gallon of fuel in the tank at this point. It will not get you super far but far enough to get to another gas station and get some fuel.

    You may start to notice that your bike only seems to be able to run while on reserve. Even with a full tank, your bike may not start or run while the petcock is switched to the regular on position. There are a couple of different reasons that this might be happening but fortunately none of them are too difficult to fix.

    The very first thing that you should check is the screens on the petcock tube. If these get plugged up, they can stop the flow of fuel. As the screen on the reserve tube is separate, you still may be able to get flow through that tube. This would be the exact behavior that we were talking about.

    You also will want to make sure that there are not any obstructions or blockages within the petcock itself. Make sure that everything seems clear. Sometimes, even just taking everything apart and putting it back together again is enough to fix this problem. Closely inspect the petcock, the screens, and the tubes and verify that everything appears as it should.

    Lastly, there could be an issue with the vacuum on your main fuel line. This could be the result of a hole somewhere in the line or the line becoming disconnected entirely. The main line relies heavily on vacuum suction from the engine in order to flow fuel into the carburetor. Any leaks or breaks in these lines can cause you to lose your vacuum pull entirely.

    Is It Bad To Run A Motorcycle On Reserve All The Time?

    So, is it actually bad to run your motorcycle in reserve? Could you ride your bike around in reserve all the time? The main reason that you should not do that is for safety-related reasons. Your main fuel line utilizes an engine vacuum in order to pull the fuel into the carburetor.

    This vacuum-operated valve is a safety feature. The entire point is to prevent fuel from flowing into the carburetor when the engine is not running. There is no vacuum to pull the fuel because the engine is not running. By using the reserves, you are bypassing this vacuum system. While this is almost never a concern, you must be aware that you have eliminated your protective barrier between you and a flooded carburetor. 

    Secondly, if you were to ever run out of gas, you would now be stranded. Your reserve, when used properly, serves as a warning that your fuel level is dropping very low. It is an extremely obvious and loud warning that you need to get gas. By using reserve instead, you are now removing that warning. As long as you keep track of your gas and mileage, this probably will not be a problem. Although, if you are not careful you could end up entirely stranded.

    Ultimately, it is not terrible for your bike to constantly run in reserve. There are only two real reasons why you should not, and they are not big deals in the long run. As long as you are aware of how much fuel you have, how far that can take you, and you are sure not to flood the carburetor, it will not matter if you use the reserve. It will not destroy your motorcycle.

    How To Fix Motorcycle That Will Only Run On Reserve

    So how can you fix a motorcycle that will only run while on reserve? As we mentioned previously, it is not too difficult. Anyone with a small amount of mechanical experience can figure this out. First, you will want to check out the screens. Make sure that they are not plugged up. You do not want anything choking the flow of the fuel, as it is filtered. If you notice anything in there, you can clean it out with compressed air or replace the screens.

    Secondly, you will want to inspect the actual fuel lines. Your motorcycle is heavily relying on vacuum suction in order to bring fuel into the carburetor. If there are any leaks at all, you will lose all or some of that suction. This can prevent you from being able to ride your bike with the fuel petcock turned to the on position. If you do notice any leaks or poor connections, you will want to take care of them immediately. Replace the bad hose or make a better seal on the connection and you should notice that your bike is now running properly.

    If neither of the aforementioned solutions resolve your issue, there may be some other things to look at. Check the petcock functionality. When you turn it, is it doing what it is should be? Are there any obstructions in the petcock itself? If there are, you need to replace your petcock.

    How To Properly Use The Reserve While It Is Functioning Properly

    So, what is the proper way to use the reserve setting on your bike? Ideally, you should be using the “on” setting for your everyday riding. This will be the mode that you will use for commuting around town, road trips, and going to the track. The “on” setting offers additional safety features that can help protect you and your motorcycle in case of certain scenarios that we have previously explained. While it is not usually going to cause any problems to ride around while on reserve, it is a simple thing to switch the petcock back to “on” that there is really no reason not to do so.

    There are times when you will want to use the reserve. When you are riding in the “on” setting, your bike may start to sputter, or it could die on you entirely. This is the time to turn on the reserve setting. Doing this will allow you to use about another gallon of gas. You will want to ride directly to the nearest gas station from there and get gas as soon as possible. Once you have filled up at the gas station, be sure to switch the petcock back to the “on” setting. 

    The reserve setting is only meant for that particular scenario. It is a way to let you know that you are almost out of gas and then allow you to get another 30-80 miles in order to get to a gas station. Anything outside of this scenario should be done using the “on” setting. If your “on” setting does not work for you, we have highlighted several things that you can check in order to get it working once again.

    The post Motorcycle Only Runs On Reserve? Here’s Why first appeared on Motorcycle Habit.
  • Common Problems With The V Star 1100 That You’ll Want to Hear
    15 June 2021

    If you own or are considering buying a Yamaha V Star 1100, you may be interested in knowing what the common problems are. This article could save you time and money down the road.

    So, what are the most common problems with the V Star 1100? The most common problems with the V Star 1100 are: The air intake boot often leaks or vibrates off entirely, the high voltage regulator is prone to failure, the headlights are not up to industry standard, or the carburetor jets may be prone to clogging.

    Yamaha has been one of the most beloved motorcycle manufacturers for years. They have made some great bikes and they have made some bad bikes. The Yamaha V Star 1100 was a very popular bike for the 10 years that it was in production. Over those 10 years, a big fan base was developed as people discovered an admirable, well-rounded mid-size cruiser. Even today, many of these bikes can still be seen cruising down the road. Many of these bikes have made it past 80,000 miles.

    While the bike itself performs very well, there still are some causes of complaint, as there are with any bike. Apart from the issues previously explained, there are also several big maintenance complaints. The first of those issues being that in order to change the oil filter, you have to entirely remove the exhaust. While this is not a terribly difficult thing to do, a quick maintenance task takes much longer than it should. There are oil filter relocation kits you can purchase that will help make your filter changes as quick as they were meant to be.

    The other common complaint is that the V Star 1100 calls for you to check the valves at every 4,000-mile service. That makes your routine maintenance a much longer task each time it comes around. Although, there is rarely any action needed, apart from a verification that they are working as they should, it’s still an annoyance to have to do this every 4,000 miles.

    Common Problems The V Star 1100 May Have

    One of the big problems with the V Star 1100 is the intake boot. It is known to leak and to pop off unexpectedly. When this happens, it will not always be apparent that something has taken place. The danger of this is that the engine is now sucking in unfiltered air. You also run the risk of gas coming out of the line where the intake boot should be. You can start to get a small mist of fuel spraying out from the intake boot area. If you do notice a leak or that intake boot has come off entirely, the parts are fairly cheap in order to reseal everything.

    Another big complaint with the V Star 1100 is the headlights. Plenty of riders have complained that the headlights are awful because they give a very low level of visibility at night. Fortunately, with a little bit of money, this is a fairly simple problem to resolve. There are tons of different aftermarket headlight options. You can go to HID/Xenon lights or even LEDs. Each of these will offer quite a bit more visibility while riding and make the V Star 1100 much more enjoyable to ride.

    The high voltage system is another known common problem with the V Star 1100. The main problem of this system is the high voltage regulator. If it does fail, you will likely notice that your headlights are fluctuating between dimmer and brighter. If you experience this, you will want to test out the system.

    First, check the voltage on your battery while it is sitting idle and make sure the regulator is still in place. Then, start the bike while measuring the voltage to ensure that it doesn’t drop too low. If it is still in range, your battery should not be the issue. Next, measure the voltage across the battery while twisting the throttle. If your voltage jumps up above 14.6, then you know that the rectifier is toast. 

    How A Rider Can Prevent These Problems

    As a rider, are there things that you can do to prevent these problems? There actually are. As far as the headlight issue goes, it is fairly simple. You can easily purchase aftermarket headlights that will allow you to see much better at night. This is a fairly cheap and quick fix that you can do yourself.

    The intake boot issue is a hard problem to prevent; although, it is not a difficult thing to remedy, as soon as it does occur. The best thing that a rider can do is check the intake boot regularly for leaks. The last thing that you want is for the boot to be leaking, unnoticed, for weeks while you ride around. You could bring all sorts of contaminants into the engine, along with the risk of spraying fuel everywhere. Just pay close attention to it while you take care of your bike and you should be fine.

    To make your rectifier last longer, make sure that you are always using a good battery. If you use a weak or dying battery, your rectifier will have to work harder, causing it to get a lot hotter. This will cause it to fail sooner. So always check your battery for problems, it is best to replace it sooner rather than later.

    Is It Better To Buy A New Or Used One?

    If you are considering buying a V Star 1100, should you buy it new or used? The answer to this question is very simple because your only option is to buy one used. Despite being a fairly popular bike, Yamaha only produced the V Star 1100 from 1998-2008. This is no longer a bike that you can purchase new.

    If you are looking to purchase one, you may be interested in knowing a little bit about what model you want to buy. The V Star 1100 gathered a pretty decent fan base very quickly because of their original design. As such in 2000, they introduced the classic model. This one offered some new bonus perks, such as a 7-inch headlight, fork covers, a larger front tire, bigger brakes and shift levers, some longer fenders, magnesium wheels, and floorboards. Later on, the Silverado model was introduced. This was meant to be the nicest model because it offered side bags, a backrest for your passenger, and a windscreen.

    If you are looking to buy one of these bikes, you will need to decide which of these models has what you are looking for. If you care for all of the extra amenities, the Silverado may be the fit for you. If you are looking for a project motorcycle to play with and learn about bikes on, the original, or the “custom” may be your choice. Regardless of which model you are interested in, you will have to buy it used. As long as the bike has been well maintained, you do not need to worry about it breaking down on you, as these are very reliable bikes.

    Would I Recommend Getting One?

    So, now comes the big question, would I recommend getting a Yamaha V Star 1100? The answer is yes. The V Star 1100 is an all-around excellent bike. It has a good amount of power that can keep you satisfied without being overwhelming. It rides and handles very well. These bikes are known for being very reliable. All in all, it is a very well-rounded, mid-size cruiser. If you are looking for a bike that has a decent amount of power and rides comfortably on trips, this may be the bike for you.

    The V Star name has a big fan base in the motorcycle world for a reason. People loved the V Star 1100 for the 10 years that it was in production and still love it today. Yes, there are some caveats and challenges to owning it, but I do not think that those problems outweigh the benefits in the slightest. I think that if you want an affordable, exciting, comfortable, and reliable bike, the V Star 1100 is a great choice. It is up to you to look at the pros and cons now and decide if this bike is for you.

    The post Common Problems With The V Star 1100 That You’ll Want to Hear first appeared on Motorcycle Habit.
  • #finaldrive #beveldrive #VintageBMWMotorcycles #scottiesworkshop
    15 June 2021

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Motorcycle Touring Blogs

Motorcycle Touring Blogs

17 June 2021

Motorcycle Touring Blogs Motorcycle Touring Blogs
  • Mid Season Meandering
    16 June 2021

    Between Spring and Summer is Japan’s rainy season so it seemed a joke when the tv news announced it will be fine next week. However after checking the modelling on Windy this seemed true. Quickly assembling some routes sitting on the shelf from a previously washed out tour, I packed […]

    The post Mid Season Meandering first appeared on Motorcycle Paradise.
  • Murupara Meanderings Part 2
    15 June 2021
    So after a chilly night in our chilly motel (perhaps we should have left the lights on for the extra heat) we topped up the tanks on the bikes and made for the Forgotten Highway.  This was another change to our plans and was due to the accommodation shortage taking us a bit further away from our planned Sunday jump-off point.  Never mind, the FH is always a great ride...Overnight there'd
  • What & How to pack for Offroad Motocamping
    12 June 2021

    Wanna go on an offroad motorcycle adventure but not sure what to bring or how to pack it efficiently?

    Don't worry, check out our latest YouTube video where our photographer Alex guides us through what he brings when he heads out in the bush:

    Here's a detailed list of what he packs:

    31L MotoBag:

    Sleeping / hygiene

    • Sleeping bag + inflatable pillow
    • Merino wool Baselayer + Beanie for cold nights
    • Inflatable ultralight sleeping mattress
    • Toiletry bag
      • Toothbrush + toothpaste
      • Deo-roll
      • Small comb
      • Nail cutter + eartops
      • Medicine (Painkillers, allergy medicine, etc)
    • Toilet paper
    • Fast drying towel

    Cooking utensils

    • Camping stove (3 pots, 1 pan) with gas & liquid fuel
    • Hydration Bladder
    • Additional space is left for food and drink


    38L MotoBag:
    • Mosquito hat
    • Wooden cup
    • Fold-a-cup
    • Spork
    • Water treatment
    • Foldable Saw
    • Knife
    • Storm Lighter
    • Matches in waterproof packing
    • Fire steel
    • Washing soap concentrate
    • Washing line

    Travel Packing cubes set

    • Fast drying baselayers
    • Fast drying underwear
    • Thin and flatseam Balaclavas
    • Moisture Wicking midlayer
    • Outdoor pants
    • Shoes

    Dry Bags 10+20L

    • Perfect for storing wet / muddy apparel
    • Can be used to collect water (MotoBag innerbags works well too)
    MicroBag (attached to MotoBag 38):

    This bag is used to charge the Packtalk Bold intercom + noice cancelling earbuds while taking a break.

    • Powerbank
    • Charging accessories
    • Misc. electronic devices
    MiniBag, left side:
    • First Aid Kit
    • Tyre Puncture Repair kit
    • Portable compressor
    • Multitool
    • LED Headlamp
    MiniBag, right side:
    • Extra riding gloves (summer / cold weather)
    • Luggage straps
    • Luggage net
    • Tool Roll + all tools he uses for maintenance
    • Small tyre irons
    • Mechanic / nitrile gloves
    Handlebar Bag:
    • Chargnig of electronics while riding
    • Fast access to essentials (toll cards, sunglasses, etc)
    ADV Tent
    • If extra space and comfort is preferred, the ADV Tent can be swapped for a MotoTent.
  • Animal Guides: The Unusual, Outlandish, and Zany
    11 June 2021

    Animal Guides: The Unusual, Outlandish, and Zany

    Animal guides, as with human guides appear along our life’s path to help and teach us. We may not even recognize them as guides, especially when the circumstances around their appearance are outlandish and unexpected. We’re likely to think of animal guides as of deer, bear, eagle, raven, or even jaguar, but they can be anything.

    The walking pilgrimage I’ve undertaken for much for the past year is typically quiet, contemplative, and regenerative. There’s a sensory connection with fellow nature beings and it’s common to come away with new perspectives and insights. Always there’s a sense of sanctity, peacefulness, and wellbeing.

    Once in a while a close friend joins me on a section of the Bruce Trail. And so it was that my cousin/sister Judy Willems (Jude) and I planned to meet at Kinsmen Park in Beamsville last week for a short hike east and back. It would be a delightful diversion on my route to visit my mom in Long Term Care.

    Our destination was the farmstead our grandparents bought in 1949. This was their first land purchase after arriving in Canada as refugees in 1924. It’s still in the family and now stewarded by our cousins, something my grandparents would be proud of.

    Jude and I had allowed plenty of time to walk, pop in at the farm and say hi. We’d then return to our starting point in time for me to get to Mom’s in time for her 4:30 dinner. It’s peak farm season after all with no time for impromptu visits.

    The day’s energy already felt chaotic as I blasted down the highway for an hour and a half at 130kph/80mph to get to our meeting spot. I knew exactly where to find Kinsmen Park in a rural area above the escarpment in Beamsville, Ontario. Except what I pictured was actually Beamsville Lion’s Park. Flummoxed, I needed to find someone to ask for directions. Finally, I spotted a man mowing in the distance, parked Trudy (my motorcycle) on the gravel shoulder, and walked over. It still took a few minutes to get his attention over the sound of the mower and through his ear muffs. Kinsmen Park wasn’t far off and he didn’t know the names of the roads but he gave me landmarks to follow.

    Trudy had a protector when I returned. A rooster had wandered over from across the road and strutted back and forth, barring my access. As I tried to reason with him, he startled me by cock-a-doodle-doing. Meanwhile, the clock ticked and the cock crowed. When he decided it was time, he sashayed off on his terms.

    Kinsmen Park, where Jude waited, was less than five minutes away. Finding the Bruce Trail trailhead was less straightforward. The park and escarpment for miles around is a warren of walking and bicycle paths. The handful of walkers we asked for directions either admitted they didn’t know or sent us off course. We didn’t mind because the whole idea was to get out walking in nature and have rare precious time together. We’d been looking forward to this for weeks. On the other hand, I’d planned to be at Mom’s for dinner. Defeated after twenty minutes on wrong, albeit scenic paths, I pulled out my App which led us to the trail. It was close to where we’d parked.

    That section of trail tracks through rocky, gnarly, and uneven Carolinian forest. You need to pay attention to your footing so there’s not a lot of opportunity to look around unless you stop. We slowed momentarily a few times to take in the surroundings but we both would have liked more. The trees were at their spring finest, humming with green energy.

    It was a wonderful walk and I loved that we could be out there together but I was beginning to feel time pressured. We didn’t look at our clocks but I knew it was taking longer than planned.

    At our designated point we got off the trail and walked the bit of road to the farmstead. Before walking down the driveway, we stood at frontage reminiscing. The same tall pines of our childhood stand at the side of the yard but the red chair-swing they held is long gone. Our uncle used to push us it on until we screeched. Jude remembered the circle of Adirondack chairs that used to sit in the yard. Family and strangers alike were always welcomed in that home, and still are. Across the road, a metal pipe protrudes from the rock face of the escarpment. The spring it tapped into dried up long ago, but not the memories of an endless supply of cold refreshing water with a distinct mineral taste.

    The energy of family and the ancestral memories they brought with them to this country are grounded in that farm. It was where one line of our family finally put down roots after decades of upheaval and migration.

    As expected, everyone was working. Jane, who lives there, popped out to say hi when her meeting ended. Checking the time, we weighed our options and realized we weren’t likely going to make it back to our vehicles in time for me to feed Mom her dinner. I kicked myself for not allowing more time. We could hurry back on the path and might make it but given the terrain and our common history of falls and broken bones, we ruled it out.

    While we were mulling our choices, our cousin Robin pulled on the yard in his pickup. Even before we finished explaining our dilemma he offered us a lift, in spite of his farm duties. Caught up in the energy of that special place and day, we laughed and cavorted like children. Jude jumped in the cab with Robin and I hopped in the back with Caesar the giant German Shepherd farm dog. As I bounced along beside Caesar I couldn’t help but think of the saying about motorcycle riders knowing why a dog hangs his head out the window!

    I got to Mom’s in time to feed her her dinner. I told her how I’d spent the afternoon and about the animal guides. Jude and I made plans to meet at Kinsmen park again and this time walk west and cover a different section of trail. It may not be so gnarly, but we never know what the path will bring, It’s always a different journey

    This is the thing about a pilgrimage. You never know what lessons or what stories the land wants you to hear or in what format those stories are delivered. Or which animal guides will appear. Except for the drive down, everything that day had taken longer than planned. The wrong park, the rooster, the false start, the rocky path, had all eaten time. I had fretted about not having the “path” experience I’d envisioned or getting to Mom’s on time. In fact, the day had exceeded my expectations in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

    I should have known when that rooster showed up that things were going sideways. Caesar capped it off! Clearly, although I didn’t recognize it at the time, these zany animal guides were reminding me to lighten up, laugh, and have fun! Go with the chaos of the day. Accept the beautiful gift of family and memories when they appear. Embrace my wild and wonderful life however it appears.

    And if I’m going to expect anything, expect the unexpected!

    Liz Jansen

  • Murupara Meanderings Part 1
    11 June 2021
    Last weekend was a long weekend and those are purpose designed for getting out for a decent ride.  And so, we had to and now I'd better waffle on about it...Initially we had big plans for eating up all three days and covering some serious ground but in the end we dialed it back to two days so that we could leave some excitement for another day.An early start planned for Saturday morning meant
  • City Escapes: Springfield, Missouri
    10 June 2021
    The Ozark Mountain region of Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas provides one of the best motorcycling venues in central U.S. The combination of vibrant scenery, rural mountain roads, historic Civil War sites, and the iconic Victorian village of Eureka Springs, AR, makes this route a pleasing riding escape from Springfield, MO.
  • City Escapes: Sante Fe, New Mexico
    10 June 2021
    Route names like “The High Road to Taos” and “The Enchanted Circle” give you some indication just how special this city escape north of Santa Fe is. Mix in some great New Mexican towns like Taos, Angel Fire, and Red River—with several significant historical sites—and you have a truly memorable ride. This escape features a […]
  • The Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250
    10 June 2021

    Manufacturing Plant for Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 – York, PA

    As promised, here is a post on the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250.

    I’ve previously posted on the Pan America all-new Revolution Max 1250 engine HERE. To recap, it’s a liquid-cooled V-twin with variable valve timing that produces 150 horsepower with 94 pound-feet of torque at 9,500 rpm and is attached to a six-speed transmission. The engine features maintenance-free valves, thanks to hydraulic valve lifters, crankshaft connecting-rod journals, offset 30 degrees creating a 90-degree firing order, forged aluminum pistons, a 13.0:1 compression ratio, which requires 91-octane fuel. The engine is a “stressed member.”  Meaning the front frame, the mid-frame, and the tail section bolt directly to the powertrain. According to Harley, this design results in a stiffer chassis and less weight. The frame is mounted to a cast-aluminum swing-arm that minimizes unsprung weight.

    Start of Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Manufacturing in York, PA

    The base Pan America uses conventional Showa suspension with 7.5 inches of travel at both ends, while the Special trim gets an Ohlins steering damper and semi-active electronically adjustable system with Adaptive Ride Height (ARH) technology ($1,000 option), and with Vehicle Loading Control, which senses the rider’s weight, a passenger, and/or luggage to select optimal suspension sag by automatically adjusting rear preload.  It will also lower the bike over an inch when stopped. Once moving again, the bike automatically lifts itself back to an optimal ride height. The Pan America has a bucket load of acronyms: Cornering Enhanced Linked Braking System (C-ELB), Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS), Drag-Torque Slip Control System (DSCS), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) to impress all your ADV posse riders during set up of your Jetboil camp stove!

    Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 “In the Wild”

    The motorcycle has a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear cast-aluminum wheels. Harley-Davidson worked with Michelin to create the Scorcher Adventure tires and the Anakee Wild tires that are also available with a more aggressive block-pattern tread. Tubeless cross-laced spoked wheels (additional $500) are also available. Brembo monoblock four-piston calipers that squeeze dual 320mm discs up front, and a single 280mm disc in back. The motorcycle uses a corrosion-resistant 304-series stainless steel exhaust system that’s Euro 5 compliant and features two mufflers – one below the engine and the other on the right side. The radiator shrouds are guarded by a crash bar and there’s an optional two-inch bar riser that doesn’t require lengthening the cables.

    Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250

    The motorcycle has smart rider aids that are all based on Bosch’s six-axis Inertia Measurement Unit (IMU) that makes the anti-lock brakes, traction control and other safety features lean-sensitive. In addition to traction control and ABS, the Pan America offers electronically controlled linked braking, Harley’s drag torque-slip control (this automatically modulates engine torque to reduce wheel spin) and hill hold control. The base model uses a Daymaker Signature LED headlamp, and the Special is upgraded with the Daymaker Adaptive Headlamp technology, which utilizes the ABS IMU to determine the motorcycle’s lean angle and automatically projects additional light into corners. All other motorcycle lights are LED.

    Manufacturing the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250

    Electronics are plentiful on both models and include: Four rider modes: Road, Sport, Rain, Off-Road, and Off-Road Plus. The base features one customizable mode and the Special offers two customized modes. Both models use a 6.8-inch TFT touchscreen instrumentation that pairs with your mobile device. The screen’s touch feature is disabled when the Pan America is in motion. Missing is Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration, but Harley instead chose to handle all the media and navigation integration with Bluetooth and an app.

    The four-position windscreen is adjustable in a range of 1.8 inches by using “one” hand.  There are heated grips on the Special model with standard cruise control. Fuel capacity is 5.6 Gallons and the curb weight: 534 pounds (Special: 559 pounds).

    Harley is asking $17,319 for the base Pan America and $19,999 for the Special. For comparison, BMW’s base R1250 GS starts at $17,995 with a relatively extensive list of available options. The more expensive GS Adventure starts at $20,345.

    Harley-Davidson took a lot of time researching, understanding and developing a motorcycle for the ADV market. They’ve used components from the same trusted brand names that you’ll find attached to a BMW, KTM, Ducati, Honda, Yamaha or Triumph. They’ve engineered a power plant which in of itself is most impressive. They have lineage with building Baja-winning dirt bikes in the 1970s, along with dirt track racing experience and with Buell one could debate that they had a semi-Adventure Touring motorcycle back in the early 2000s.

    I imagine somewhere in a Milwaukee conference room a marketing exec said “Bring It On“…  Bring on that competition!

    Previous Pan America posts:
    Harley-Davidson Explores The Unexpected
    Harley-Davidson Announces New Movie Telling Origin Story Of ADV Motorcycles
    Can Harley-Davidson Stay Relevant With Pan America and Bronx

    Photos courtesy of Harley-Davidson

    All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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    09 June 2021
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  • Highway 61 Remastered: Riding Along Minnesota’s North Shore
    09 June 2021
    The North Shore of Minnesota may look all pretty. But don’t let it fool you. Billions of years of violence sculpted this land. (Photos by the author and Sahlee Grace Kotoski)

    If you go when the snowflakes storm
    When the rivers freeze and summer ends
    Please see if she’s wearing a coat so warm
    To keep her from the howlin’ winds
    — Bob Dylan, “Girl from the North Country”

    I had forgotten about that feeling of violence that rises up through the ancient volcanic rock of Minnesota’s North Shore, where Highway 61 carves a thin rivulet of asphalt against a dead mountain range that descends into deep, dangerous water.

    REVER Route — MN North Shore: Duluth to Gunflint Trail via Highway 61

    The sun had yet to rise. The air was cold but there was no frost. Cars with bright lights and loud trucks with loads of lumber cut through the darkness on their way to the Canadian border. My mind wandered, from Bob Dylan’s youth to the geologic time scale to the warm, soft bed my wife and I had just left.

    My wife was huddled, bundled tight, hiding from the wind in a wave-carved basalt pocket. Besides a flashlight and the burning ember of my Newport, it was completely dark. Slowly the sun rose, turning purple, red, orange, and finally yellow. The lake turned blue again, and behind the lodge, the forest that covered the mountain came alive with color. It had been over 10 years since I had looked clear to the horizon over Lake Superior.

    “It’s hard to believe this place is real,” Sahlee said.

    Regal riding on the Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited.

    We were on the third day of a four-day motorcycle trip along Lake Superior to capture the peak autumnal colors before the heavy Minnesotan winter tightened its grip. And it was our first long ride together in many years. We started our journey at St. Paul Harley-Davidson, where we borrowed an Ultra Limited in Vivid Black — a beast of a machine in both weight and power, a 900-pound workhorse designed for regal riding. It turned heads, and with a 114ci Milwaukee-Eight V-twin, it chewed up miles without hesitation.

    We had checked into the historic Cascade Lodge, located between Lutsen and Grand Marais — a ski resort and a bohemian art enclave, respectively — shortly before dark the night before, following a 100-mile brisk ride north from Duluth. The lodge was established in 1927 to serve affluent Duluthians and wealthy socialites. Profiting from fishing, forestry, mining, and trade along the Great Lakes, some had predicted that Duluth would rival Chicago. F. Scott Fitzgerald, a Minnesota native, would have fit in well there. Thom McAleer, who has run the Cascade Lodge with his wife since 2017, said business was good year-round, with plenty of motorcyclists in summer and snowmobilers in winter.

    The historic Cascade Lodge catered to the wealthy and elite during the early 1900s, now it welcomes motorcyclists and snowmobilers.

    The geology of Lake Superior has always fascinated me. It is a history of violence that can still be felt today. Long before human barnacles — from the ghostly-white Scandinavians to the soiled French fur trappers on down to the spirits that guided the Ojibwe — clung to life on this rocky, inhospitable shore, billions of years of primeval and powerful forces created, shaped and sculpted what we see today: the world’s largest freshwater lake that has claimed thousands of mariners’ lives and at least 550 ships, including the Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank in 1975. 

    As we rode into Grand Marais (French for “big swamp”), we followed advice we received the day prior from Andy Goldfine, founder of the legendary riding apparel company Aerostich, and scanned the sky, hoping to see a congregation of seagulls darting at a skiff loaded with fresh herring.

    The wise and wonderful Andy Goldfine at the Aerostich factory in Duluth, where Roadcrafter suits are made.

    “If you sneak behind the Angry Trout Cafe, you can find fishermen cutting up the day’s catch, and freeze packing them to be sent to a rabbi in Chicago to make them kosher,” Goldfine told us.

    When we met Goldfine the day before at his factory in west Duluth, we were greeted by a short, thoughtful, balding, and bespectacled man. Andy and I commiserated over our time at the University of Duluth, albeit decades apart, him with his philosophy major and English minor, and me with the exact opposite. As our conversation moved from topic to topic, from technology and its effects on society (good and bad), to the absurdity of the global fashion industry as satirized in the movie “Zoolander,” to the history of Duluth’s post-WWII economy, to global trade and how America has become a consumerism-driven throw-away society and finally trends in motorcycling, it became clear that Goldfine was not just an inventor, but a sage.

    The road along the North Shore has few curves, but the scenery is beautiful.

    He started Aerostich in 1983, when Duluth was in an economic recession and on the verge of becoming another hollowed-out Rustbelt town. U.S. Steel closed its coke plant in 1979. A decade prior the Air Force shuttered the base that housed the 11th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, a secretive Cold War defense outpost that housed 2,500 to 3,500 servicemen tasked with aircrafts that would be deployed in the event of a Soviet invasion.

    When I was living in Duluth 16 years ago, the west side of town was rundown and largely abandoned. Tourism, college kids with bar money, and gentrification have revived the area, with craftspeople, brewers, and restaurateurs operating in clean, modern industrial spaces like you’d find in Brooklyn. Goldfine observed all of the changes to this historic part of town. What hasn’t changed is his philosophy regarding Aerostich’s Roadcrafter suits, which have been an integral part of the riding community for decades.

    With leaves past their fall peak, winter is coming.

    “Our customers are everyday riders because Aerostich makes equipment. Just like a farmer’s overalls, a carpenter’s pants, a lawyer’s or banker’s suit, it is the equipment that these professions invest in, not fashion,” Goldfine said. “Our logic is that our products are sacrificial. [A Roadcrafter] keeps you safe from the elements, and say you crash going 60 and you are okay, it did its job.”

    We toured Goldfine’s factory, met with his tailors, and checked out his waterproofing testing equipment and impact armor fabrication set-up. When we left, he wished us a happy marriage and I felt better knowing that guys like Andy Goldfine are so dedicated to their craft.

    Sunrise along the North Shore somewhere south of Grand Marais.

    From Grand Marais, we rode north and then northwest, 15 or so miles up the beautiful Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway that, further north, terminates at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness — a 150-mile stretch of hard-to-reach pristine lakes along the U.S./Canada border that skirts the Laurentian Divide, which separates water flow from either going down to the Gulf of Mexico or up to Hudson Bay. Starting in the 1600s, voyageurs would make a special stop here to collect flint from chert deposits for their rifles.

    A loaded lumber truck with two blown-out wheels partially blocked our path up the Gunflint, so we turned around and returned to the lake, thundering down the road on the mighty Ultra Limited as a kaleidoscope of fall colors became a blur.

    A 1905 storm that wrecked 30 ships prompted the construction of Split Rock Lighthouse. (Photo by John Steitz)

    “The Lake Superior Basin … sits dead center over an ancient rift [that] was active 1.1 billion years ago when Minnesota was really the center of the North American continent,” wrote geologist Ron Morton, in his 2011 book A Road Guide: The North Shore of Lake Superior on Highway 61. “Hot molten magma rose upward from deep within the earth, and as it approached the surface, it caused the crust to arch or bow upward, and then split like an overcooked sausage,” he added. A heavy, miles-deep pancake of basalt lava spread across the region, with larger eruptions piling pyroclastic rocks around the edges of what today is the rugged Lake Superior shoreline. When the volcanic activity stopped, the weight of the lava started to sink the earth.

    Morning coffee at a rustic family cabin.

    But long before that, a massive mountain range — larger than the Alps or Rockies today — had formed. As the mountain range eroded over eons, the sinking basin filled with sediment, creating a swampy plain. Then came what’s known as the Last Glacial Period, starting a mere 115,000 years ago. Thick sheets of ice covered the land and pushed southward, violently scooping out the basin like excavators. The earth warmed, the glaciers melted and a lake was formed — the world’s largest in terms of area, third-largest in terms of volume. Geologic instability causes the south and southwestern sides of Lake Superior to rise a few centimeters each year, raising the waterline on the Canadian side.

    From Grand Marais, we drove up to the Lutsen Mountains Ski and Summer Resort, where we paid $24 each to take the gondola up to the summit for impressive and expansive views of the landscape. From a western outlook hundreds of feet above the valley floor, the trees were dead brown and red, a couple of days past peak, while to the east, yellows, oranges, and reds mingled with the green, winter-hardened conifers.

    The rhyolitic red rock of Palisade Head and the Tettegouche area is the legacy of ancient lava flows over 1.1 billion years ago.

    Our final sightseeing stop was Tettegouche State Park to see Palisade Head, a large rock formation with staggering 300-foot sheer cliffs that end in a jumble of jagged rocks along the shore. I remember coming here when I was in college. The wind would whip so hard it felt as if it would blow you right off the cliff edge, creating a mix of fear and excitement. Palisade Head and I have both aged. It looks and feels the same. Can’t say the same about myself.

    Biting cold wind meant that Old Man Winter would arrive soon. Time to get back down to St. Paul to return the Harley and hunker down.

    The post Highway 61 Remastered: Riding Along Minnesota’s North Shore first appeared on Rider Magazine.

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