You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it's right there, so blurred you can't focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness.
Robert M. Pirsig, in "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"
Nobody knows what's around the next bend. At least on a bike, it's unlikely to be boring.
When my mood gets too hot and I find myself wandering beyond control I pull out my motor-bike and hurl it top-speed through these unfit roads for hour after hour. My nerves are jaded and gone near dead, so that nothing less than hours of voluntary danger will prick them into life...
T. E. Lawrence, 14 May, 1923, in a letter to Lionel Curtis
As to motorcycling detrimentally affecting my health, although not in the first bloom of youth, I am never better than when riding. Usually suffering with insomnia and nerves, after a run I almost invariably sleep well, and can certainly recommend motorcycling as beneficial to one's general health.
James Lansdowne Norton (Yes, that Norton)
The one great thing is, that I hope that it'll inspire people, that it's possible. A lot of things in life, people don't do because of the "What if?s". You know-- "Oh, but what if this happens?" and "But what if that happens?". "What if you run out of petrol?" And it stops us doing things. And in actual fact, the "what if's" and the "might be's" are what make it so exciting.
Ewan McGregor, in "The Long Way 'Round"
Local rides, charity and suggested!
Once, not so very long ago, the woman motorcyclist was regarded as something of a crank or a freak. Times have changed, and motorcycling as a sport is becoming more and more popular with women. It has been conclusively proved that motorcycling is not harmful to women... Girls will find that motorcycling brings health. It will give them honest, fresh-air complexions. It will make them hardy and strong, and although the powder puff is not a part of the girl motorcyclist's make-up it can always be hidden away for use when occasion demands it.
Marjorie Cottle, article: "Motor Cycling for Beauty", Evening Standard (UK) 25 September 1928
- The Ted Simon Foundation, a.k.a. Jupiter's Travellers
- Defined by Ted Simon as "Encouraging those who adventure into the world to go the extra mile and transform their experiences into something of value for the world to share." If you don't know who Ted Simon is, then run, don't walk, to the nearest bookstore or library, and read his three books about his motorcycle odyssies around the world, starting with "Jupiters Travels." I am at a loss, trying to think of how to describe this wonderful human being.
- Ara and Spirit's Sidecar Adventure
- Follow the adventures of Ara (the chef extraordinaire) and Spirit (the sidecar-riding pit bull) as they travel the country. Excellent narrative, astonishing photography, very nice guy.
- Ten Years on the Road
- Follow the adventures of Hubert (say "you-bear") Kriegel on his Ural sidehack. This fellow is a true motorcycle adventurer, on a ten-year ride all over the world. Making friends in Mongolia, for example, and staying with them in the family ger. Crossing frozen Lake Baikal. You just have to go visit his site, and be amazed at the people and the photos.
- Meanderings on Two Wheels
- Another blog, this one by a dear friend in Texas. She is also a great photographer, philosopher, and writer, so go visit.
- Actual Riders
- Now here is a great place to hang out with fellow motorcycling enthusiasts and talk about motorcycles and motorcycling. And other subjects as well, but this is meant to be a flame-free environment. I signed up! So have some of the best folks I know online.
- Two-Wheeled Texans
- Even if you are not a Texan, here is a great with one of the most active forums I've ever visited. What amazes me is what a great rider community they have there. They have lots of group rides, like the Tarrant County Pie Run every Tuesday; they have clinics where everybody brings their bikes for check-ups; they pitch in and help each other. I wish we had something like that here in Utah.
- Kathy's Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe
- Down in the Big Bend area of Texas, near Terlingua (where the famous Chili Cookoff is held), sits a very pink eatery called Kathy's Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe. Specializing in burgers and burritos. Coordinates are:
29° 19.520' N 103° 32.894' W
(directions on her blog and the link above). While this is not a motorcycle link per se, the Big Bend area is a popular destination for dual sport riders, especially during the cooler months when it's cold elsewhere but nice there. I've got a couple of friends who have had their pictures taken with Kathy, and I am looking forward to stopping by her place too. Small, friendly eating places are my favorite, and this is also a great place to meet some locals.
- Adventure Riders' Forum
- I'm new to this forum, but it's dedicated to folks who ride where most others don't. Think "Long Way 'Round."
- The best catalog, online and in print, for motorcycle-related stuff. Clothing (including the famous Aerostich Roadcrafter one-piece suit), accessories, tools, camping gear, etc. Have them send you a catalog, as it's entertaining and has just about everything for the motorcyclist. Even helmet ears.
It is hard to describe the joy of finding the latest catalog in your mailbox. The cover is a mosaic of customer-contirbuted photographs; you can go online and click on an imagemap version to see the photos in a larger format. Inside is the stuff of dreams. Just the thing to get you through days when rotten weather or other circumstances keep you off the road.
I've always been very happy with the quality of the merchandise and their customer service. Just excellent. I have never thrown one of their catalogs away.
- Horns Plus
- This is where to get yourself a pair of Stebel TM80 Magnum horns. Make your bike's horns louder than most cars' horns. For cheap! Get a sealed 12 V relay from the Aerostich catalog (above) and run a hot wire through a dedicated fuse to the relay, to provide adequate current. Point them in the correct direction or they will fill up with rainwater and die a slow, horrible death. Lots of fun!
- Gustafsson Plastics
- If your windshield is broken, missing, scratched beyond usefulness, or otherwise in need of replacement, Gustafsson Plastics is where to go! My wife's Honda CL360T has a Shoei fairing on it whose windshield was broken and mostly gone. Not only could these guys provide one, but she had her choice of colors, and the price was very reasonable! Great customer service, quick delivery, and, most of all, top quality!
- Craig Vetter's Website
- Craig Vetter pretty much invented the consumer motorcycle fairing. Honda Gold Wings sported Vetter fairings for years, and Vetter's company made lots of aftermarket motorcycle fairings, most notabley the Windjammer series. When I bought my Kawasaki KZ750, it had the remains of a Windjammer IV attached to it. Mr. Vetter, bless his heart, sells through his website many parts for restoring or repairing the fairings, which went out of production over twenty years ago. You can also read about the history of his fairings, the Hurricane motorcycle, high-efficiency motorcycles, and lots of other cool motorcycle topics here.
- Keeper Corp
- Bungees! Where would we be without bungee cords? Keeper makes all kinds of cargo control products, including tie-downs for securing motorcycles in pickups and on trailers, but I discovered them when I found and bought some bungee cords (with their name molded into the plastic covering on the hooks) that had lots of extension. That is, you can stretch them out a lot. Many cheap or crummy bungees only extend a little, then stop; the Keeper bungees I found can almost double their length. This gives you lots of flexibility in fastening points and load size. When somebody stole one of the cords right off my bike, I went looking for them. The ones I had found were very similar to their present Ultra™ Bungee Cord. I'm trying to find them in stores to see if they are similar to the good one I lost. Meanwhile, I found some flat ones at Wal-Mart that are pretty good, too. Moral to the story: if you find good bungee cords, buy a ton of them while you can!
- RK Cycle
- Where to get your bike fixed, or to buy tires or accessories. Here's where to find an honest, smart, knowledgeable, friendly, motorcycle experrt.
- Nu Skin Rides
- A bunch of us who work for Nu Skin Enterprises like to get together and ride to lunch during the week or take longer rides on Saturdays. Here is where you can see what's coming up, though not all rides are planned in advance. Nor should they be!
- Rand McNally Maps
- Lots of maps to buy. I like the atlases. Buy using this link and I get a cut.
- DoD SuperFAQ Page.
- If I told you what the DoD is, I'd have to... well, you'd better go see for yourself.
- Mark Lawrence's Motorcycle Information Site
- An amazing collection of information about many aspects of motorcycles and motorcycling. For example, if you need advice on loading your bike into the bed of a pickup, pay Mark's site a visit.
- DoD/rec.moto Home Page.
- All kinds of information and entertainment for the dedicated Denizen. Or be brave and wade right into the rec.motorcycles newsgroup on Usenet.
- The Official DoD Site
- The official go-to site to find out about the DoD and how to get your DoD number (if you are worthy).
- My Unofficial Spurious DoD Site
- So far, links to other MC and DoD sites, and a mirror. More to come, as suggested or requested.
- Timberwoof's Motorcycle Pages
- This guy has put together a great FAQ and some very informative pages. Some bits are of particular interest to Californians, BMW fans, etc. For example, how many lights can you legally have on a motorcycle, and what kind?
- Randy Davis' Joust Pics.
- Fifty pics from the 2001 Joust at Songdog.
- Biker ScumTM
- I am the Utah organizer of this fine organization and welcome inquiries from interested riders. Go visit the site-- the "rain" photo on their home page is worth the visit all by itsself.
- The Llama incident.
- I'm giving a temporary home to this former entry in the DoD SuperFAQ, until the whole thing gets "back up in it's former glory" to quote the Keeper of the FAQ. Very entertaining reading, taken from the rec.motorcycles newsgroup. This is Usenet at its finest.
- How to go poor quickly but happily.
- Indian Motorcycle
- came back from the dead in Gilroy, California. Beautiful machines using S&S powertrains. Then they died again. Their website lingered for a while, then went dark. Then a new management team brought them back yet again, on July 20, 2006 (same date as the moon landing), with a wiser business plan. This time they were using their own engines, with the entire motorcycle being hand-built in their Kings Mountain, NC, factory. Instead of trying to jump into mass production from the start, which was the Gilroy company's downfall, they are starting out small. There was a dealer network, and you could, if you wished, pick your bike up from the factory, shake hands with the folks who built it, and ride it home. Wow. It sounded like they understood the emotional side of buying an Indian motorcycle. Then the economy tanked. Then Polaris bought the brand, built some bikes, and is, at this writing, about to launch their first all-new motorcycle. Polaris has deep enough pockets to make this work, if anybody can.
- How British! How beautiful! In Mission Impossible II, Mr. Hunt rides a Trimph Speed Triple. The same engine is used in the Triumph Sprint ST, a sport touring bike. In my fevered dreams of unobtainable motorcycles, I find myself most often on one of these. In British Racing Green. With the matching three-piece hard luggage set. Ahhhhhh. What a wonderful bike to ride, and good-looking, too.
- Quite a nice line of bikes. Read all about them here. My main ride is an old Yamaha XS750SF, a three cylinder machine that's been all over the place. Recipient of two 850 cc heart transplants.
- Now I've got Fawkes, my trusty KZ750. And Andrew has his KL250. And I want to get a KLR650.
- Suzuki has gone all out with their Web site, and sometimes has a contest going. You may also want to read up on the history of Suzuki, which I found very interesting.
- For years, all I could find was Honda cars. Now they've finally got a Web site, and a darn impressive one! My son Andrew wants to start out with a Rebel. Good idea!
- Who but the Italians could come up with motorcycles like these? I've never ridden one, but see them around once in a while. Beautifully designed and built, at any rate.
- Ducati, USA
- U.S. branch of the company?
- BMW, USA
- Riding a BMW motorcycle doesn't carry the same yuppie/poseur/status-seeker stigma as driving a BMW car. Since most of the winners in the Iron Butt competition ride BMWs, I would guess they must be reliable, and comfortable to ride. Some of my best friends have ridden BMW motorcycles.
Wed, 29 Jun 2016