Motor Cyclist - September 2016

Motor Cyclist - September 2016
SEPTEMBER 2016
motorcyclistonline.com
2017 SUZUKI SV650 FIRST RIDE: BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER?
[ BMW F800GS-A vs. HONDA AFRICA TWIN vs. TRIUMPH TIGER 800XC ]
MINI MOTO ROOTS
1971 YAMAHA JT-1: KIDS’ 58CC
TICKET TO FREEDOM
BABES RIDE OUT
• ENGINE OIL EXPLAINED: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
• HOW TO FLUSH YOUR COOLING SYSTEM
• SHOULD YOU UPGRADE YOUR ECU?
1,000 WOMEN IN THE DESERT.
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INSIDE…
24
FIRST RIDE / 2017 SUZUKI SV650
The venerable SV650 is back—lighter, more powerful, and better looking.
26
MC COMPARO / THE NEW MIDDLE GROUND
Is Honda’s Africa Twin the new king of sub-$15,000 ADVs?
34
GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN / BABES RIDE OUT
Riding, camping, and partying in the desert. No boys allowed!
38
ROOTS / YAMAHA JT-1 MINI ENDURO
The best-selling kid’s product since candy pancakes.
42
BACK TO SCHOOL / MOTOMARK1
Hands-on off-road training in North Carolina.
SEPTEMBER 2016
www.motorcyclistonline.com
5
CONTENTS CON’T
8
COOK’S CORNER
10
CRANKED
12
CODE BREAK
14
DRAWING THE LINE
18
MC MAIL
20
ME & MY BIKE
46
GEAR: Summer Travel
47
MC TESTED
GARAGE
48
THE LOWDOWN ON ENGINE OIL
Part I: Viscosity and Service Grades
50
STREET SAVVY:
Reaction Time
53
RETAIL CONFIDENTIAL:
What’s Your Type?
54
HOW TO: Service Your Cooling System
56
DOIN’ TIME
60
SMART MONEY:
2010–2013 BMW R1200RT
66
MEGAPHONE:
Masochism & Motorcycles
SINCE 1912 / MOTORCYCLISTONLINE.COM
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6
MOTORCYCLIST
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COOK’S CORNER
MARC COOK
n recent years, efforts to formally legalize lane-splitting in
California have been unsuccessful—so we continue to be
urged by California Highway Patrol “guidelines” to share
lanes at no faster than 30 mph with no more than a 10-mph
closure rate to cars. It’s worked, but if you live here you know
it’s a widely ignored set of rules.
An effort in 2013 introduced confusion because it specified
certain types of roads where lane-splitting would be allowed but
did not elaborate on the terms of the act itself—except to say that
certain conditions must be met for lane-sharing to be legal: “(1)
The passing occurs during traffic congestion; (2) The passing
occurs at a safe speed.” Less useful than the CHP’s guidelines.
Eventually the sponsor of this bill elected to let it die, and in
its place rose California AB 51. In part, it says, “This bill would
authorize a motorcycle to be driven between rows of stopped
or moving vehicles in the same lane if the speed of traffic is 35
miles per hour or less and the motorcycle is driven no more
than 10 miles per hour faster than the speed of traffic. The bill
would provide that these provisions do not authorize a motorcycle to be driven in contravention of other laws relating to the
safe operation of a vehicle.” An amendment reduced the traffic
speed to 30 mph in February 2015 and then in May raised the
closing rate to 15 mph and the free-traffic maximum to 50 mph.
Around this same time came the study, “Motorcycle Lanesplitting and Safety in California,” conducted by the Safe
I
“If we make the best of our new
guidelines I think we’ll get there. But
we have to be good citizens first.”
motorcyclistmag
8
MOTORCYCLIST
Transportation Research & Education
Center at the University of California,
Berkeley. According to the report, “Lanesplitting motorcyclists were… injured
much less frequently during their collisions. Lane-splitting riders were less
likely to suffer head injury (9% vs 17%), torso injury (19% vs
29%), extremity injury (60% vs 66%), and fatal injury (1.2% vs
3.0%). Lane-splitting motorcyclists were equally likely to suffer
neck injury, compared with non-lane-splitting motorcyclists.”
But here’s an interesting wrinkle, “Compared with other motorcyclists, lane-splitting motorcyclists were more often riding
on weekdays and during commute hours, were using better
helmets, and were traveling at lower speeds. Lane-splitting
riders were also less likely to have been using alcohol and less
likely to have been carrying a passenger.” They’re more apt to be
professional commuters and less fun seekers and likely to be the
reason for the suggested raised speed limits in the later draft.
For the moment, AB 51 has been denuded and passed through
California’s Senate Transportation Committee. Where it once
had specific speed guidelines, now the bill says this: “(a) For
purposes of this section, ‘lane splitting’ means driving a motorcycle, as defined in Section 400, that has two wheels in contact
with the ground between rows of stopped or moving vehicles
in the same lane, including both divided and undivided streets,
roads, or highways. (b) The California Department of Highway
Patrol may develop educational guidelines relating to lane splitting in a manner that would ensure the safety of the motorcyclist
and the drivers and passengers of the surrounding vehicles.
(c) In developing the guidelines pursuant to this section, the
department shall consult with agencies and organizations with
an interest in road safety and motorcycle behavior, including,
but not limited to, all of the following: (1)
The Department of Motor Vehicles; (2) The
Department of Transportation; (3) The Office
of Traffic Safety; (4) A motorcycle organization focused on motorcyclist safety.”
The fact that the guidelines are now shared
among those who would promote motorcycle
safety and those who have to enforce the
rules is good, though I predict a slow ride
through the legal system before we’re done.
The end game should be obvious: legal
lane-splitting across the US. It’s time. Despite
the fair percentage of abusers in California—I
see them every day—it’s proven to be relatively safe and efficient. If we make the best of
our new guidelines and a broad-based effort
comes forward to promote the benefits of
lane-splitting in other states, I think we’ll get
there. But we have to be good citizens first.
motorcyclistonline
@MotorcyclistMag
ZACK COURTS
LANE-SPLITTING LAWS CRAWL ALONG
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CRANKED
JOE GRESH
he guy was looking at the 1/4-20 bolt screwed into the
face shield of my Walmart helmet. I had installed the bolt
a little below eye level because the protruding thread
makes it easier to maneuver the shield. The original plastic
tab had broken off years ago during an end-over in Nevada’s
talcum-powder desert.
I climbed down from the Widowmaker’s saddle and slid my credit
card into the gas pump’s money hole. He stood looking at the bike.
“You might want to check your tire pressure, buddy.” I was
entering my zip code on the keypad and didn’t quite understand,
“What’s that?” He was a young guy, no more than 40 to 45 years
old. “I think your tire is low on air.” I selected “no” to a car wash,
“no” to grocery-store cents-off coupons, and “no” to a 55-gallon
fountain drink.
I turned to face my accuser. He pointed to the KLR250’s
21-inch front tire. “You’ve got severe cupping, buddy. I ride a
Harley and my tire did that from under-inflation.” The two of us
bent down and looked at the tire. The knobs were worn in an
alternating pattern: one high, the next knob nearly gone followed
by another high one. Up and down, the pattern repeated itself
T
“You could’ve lashed 11 stray cats
to the Widowmaker’s luggage rack
and not lowered his opinion of me.”
around the tire’s circumference. “That could cause a crash. You
don’t want to go down on the pavement, buddy.”
The sharp plastic chin bar release lightly grazed my forehead
as I removed my helmet. “I pumped it up this morning. It’s okay,”
I told him, sweeping my hand across my forehead and checking
it for blood. While I was doing this the guy spotted the paper
shop towel I had zip-tied around the clutch-side handgrip. It
looked bad. I should have used a cleaner towel.
I felt obliged to explain. “These damn grips have gone septic
on me. It’s like they’re dissolving. The paper keeps black, gooey
stuff off of my hands.” He looked over the KLR’s broken mirror
mount, ran his eyes across the scratched fenders and rightleaning headlight. He saw the duct tape holding the blinkers on
and then, shaking his head in disbelief, he saw the bald rear tire.
I must have appeared hopeless to him: unshaven, slightly
addled with a motorcycle in quiet distress. Maybe I was riding
the bug-catcher from a 28-foot motorhome. Or maybe I was
a guy down for turkey season and the KLR was my swamp
stomper. Whatever he thought, you could’ve lashed 11 stray cats
to the Widowmaker’s luggage rack and not lowered his opinion
of me. “Well,” he said doubtfully, “be careful out there, buddy.”
He drove off in his metallic-gold Ford F-150. I wanted to
chase after him and tell him that it didn’t happen overnight
and that the KLR was a beautiful motorcycle a few years ago.
Slovenliness crept up on me so slowly I felt nothing.
Infrastructure breakdown is a major problem for us KLR
owners because, like zombies, our motorcycles just keep
moving forward. I saw on the internet-of-science where 83
percent of the parts on a
Beauty is in
KLR can be damaged before
the eye of
you’ll notice any decrease in
the beholder.
performance. Their hardiEspecially
ness makes it hard to tell a
when the
beholder’s eyes
bad KLR from a good KLR.
are clouded
Fixing them doesn’t really
with cataracts
seem
to help anything. First a
of love and
mirror
breaks off or maybe a
fond memories.
tree rearranges the headlight.
You mean to repair it someday. Then the kill
switch dies and plastic oxide rust, always
creeping across a KLR’s bodywork, erodes your
will. A series of insignificant insults spread
over time until you and your motorcycle are
figures to be pitied.
I holstered the fuel nozzle, smoothed the
wrinkles on the Widowmaker’s handgrips, and
pulled the duct tape tighter on the blinkers.
It’s funny how so many defects escaped my
attention. After a while you simply ride right
around them. Like I just did to that metallic-gold
F-150 pickup truck.
Even as a zygote young Mr. Gresh could be heard making vroom-vroom motorcycle noises, albeit very quietly as his mouthparts had not yet formed. It only got worse over time. Now,
there’s no way to stop his incessant bleating about motorcycles, especially if the topic turns to vintage Yamaha two-strokes.
10
MOTORCYCLIST
JOE GRESH
BROKEN WINDOWS
B u i l d Y o u r D r e a m ...
With a little help from BikeMaster.
1993 YAMAHA® TZ-250
CODE BREAK
KEITH CODE
ost riders take a moment to feel how their bike is
settling into the corner before getting on the gas. That
moment is loaded with not-to-be-ignored perceptions
and sensations like feeling the bike’s stability; suspension and
chassis compliance dealing with the road; feeling for traction;
being aware of the deceleration; checking the direction of travel
(line); and gauging lean angle. All these are active and beg for a
portion of our attention—and we wait to respond with the gas.
Instinctually, that moment we take to feel the bike seems like
a safe, logical, and natural part of riding. The problem lies in the
fact that it can last a second or two. Time equates to distance
traveled and is further compounded by our body’s reaction lag
once satisfactory feel is achieved.
Getting back on the gas after braking seems quick enough,
but it’s at least 0.5 second, or three bike lengths, at a mere 30
mph—or 12 lengths at 120 mph, on top of the wait-to-feel time.
To convert your turn entries from reaction time into what
I call action time, you’d need to be perhaps a second or more
M
“Instead of waiting for the bike to
give you permission to roll on the
gas, stick to your plan and do it.”
ahead of that moment you burn “getting the feel of it.” Bluntly
put, instead of waiting for the bike to give you permission to roll
on gas, you stick to your plan and do it.
Running by plan, the job becomes easier. Contrary to our
instincts, there is suddenly plenty of time and attention to spend
on the bike. Overcoming the urge (and the barrier) to wait for
confirmation from the bike is a major stage in any cornering
enthusiast’s development.
Converting from reaction time to action time means
eliminating the wait-to-feel step. Put yourself and the bike into
full control by having a predetermined action-time plan and an
ironclad decision to, as in this example, get back to gas.
My own action-time breakthrough was on a 250 GP bike in
turn three at Willow Springs. The turn is flat on the entry and
picks up a comforting 10 degrees or so of banking as it goes
uphill. I was working out quick-flicking the bike into it while
increasing entry speed but hit one of those frustrating “walls of
improvement.” My effort level and anxiety were on the rise, but
there was no improvement in lap times.
Thinking it through back in the pits, I realized that I had been
waiting to feel that moment of “traction/line/lean and speed
security” as the bike hit and settled into the banking. I was
waiting for confirmation. It had become part of my “plan.” It had
become a point of timing for getting back to the gas.
My action-time plan was simple: Start the roll-on the instant
I had the bike snapped
over, about 1.75 seconds
As soon as
sooner than ever before.
the bike is
leaned over,
I tried it and it worked.
roll on the
The difference in speed,
gas. Waiting
feel, and stability was
for it to
startling. Setting the
“feel” settled
wastes time.
plan and converting to
action-time opened up a
new world of throttle and bike control.
Prior to this, I would have rattled off
a list of benefits of waiting, like how that
feeling of security the banking offered
was a satisfying sensation; that I was
getting a lot of feel from the bike and
tires; that the positive feedback was
comforting; that it gave me a point of
timing, a structure, a sequence, and a
plan to ride that turn; and that I knew
what to expect.
It was definitely rich with satisfying
perceptions but complicated and slow.
I had a self-created reaction-time
barrier. Plans based on reaction time
are all as flawed as this one was.
Keith Code, credited as the father of modern track schools, founded his California Superbike School in 1980 and currently operates programs in 11 countries and on six continents. His A
Twist of the Wrist series of books (and DVDs) are thought by many to be the bible of cornering.
12
MOTORCYCLIST
KEVIN WING
TIME TO FEEL
DRAWING THE LINE
JAMES PARKER
fter I worked on the chassis design for the Mission
R electric bike, I decided to look at the possibility of
a “hybrid” motorcycle. Most hybrid vehicles have
two drive systems—internal combustion and electric—and
on motorcycles this imposes serious weight and packaging
compromises. At this point, I don’t think conventional hybrid
motorcycles would be very good.
But there’s another hybrid technology under development
that could work well to create very interesting high-performance
motorcycles. Starting in 2009, Formula 1 car racing allowed a
hybrid system that provided supplemental horsepower, called
KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System). Electrical (or mechanical) energy generated under braking is stored and then used to
provide additional power under acceleration for short periods.
In 2014, a second hybrid element was introduced. In addition to the KERS motor/generator, there is now a second motor/
generator, this one attached to the engine’s turbocharger. Under
A
“Alternative hybrid technology can
liberate turbocharging from its
dependence on engine rpm and do for
bottom-end power what turbocharging
has always done for top-end power.”
deceleration, when reduced exhaust flow reduces turbo speed,
this motor spins up to maintain turbo rpm and keep boost near
maximum. Turbo lag, the time needed for turbos to speed up
enough to provide boost, has always been the turbo’s weak
point. The new hybrid application virtually eliminates it.
At high engine and turbo revs, the electric motor attached
to the turbo becomes a generator, generating electricity while
working to slow the turbo and thus limit boost from becoming
destructive to the engine. (A conventional wastegate is also
used as a backup.) The electricity charges the battery for when
the motor needs to keep the turbo’s speed up (or to help with the
KERS energy distribution).
The illustration shows the Renault F1 battery (left), engine
(center), and turbo (right). Nested in the engine’s vee is the
turbo’s motor/generator, called the MGU-H by Renault.
Will we see such a system on motorcycles soon? Probably
not, as the F1 setup is astronomically expensive. But there’s
another version, using parallel ideas, that’s closer to production—the Volvo High Performance Drive-E Concept.
This engine is a 2-liter inline-four, with two small, conventional, exhaust-driven turbos mounted close to the exhaust
ports for best efficiency. There’s also a third turbo (or at least
the compressor half), but this one is exclusively electrically
driven to eliminate turbo lag when the engine is at low revs and
the exhaust-driven turbos would not be providing enough boost.
How well does it work? It makes 450 hp from 2 liters and has
the bottom-end torque it needs to pull a heavy car around.
What would something like this look like in, say, a Yamaha
FZ-07? Although its engine is less than half the displacement of
the Volvo project, mechanically it’s much like half of the Volvo with
its two cylinders, two cams, and four valves per cylinder. It would
get one small exhaust-driven turbo and a smaller version of the
Volvo electrically driven turbo. Add an intercooler and various
upgrades to take the additional
Renault’s
power and we’d have a little
KERS engine
superbike.
uses an elecAt the power-pertric motor
displacement number of the
to spin up
Volvo, the little 689cc “FZEthe turbo,
unlocking
07” would put out 155 hp
serious
and would likely have signifilow-end
cantly more bottom-end
power. Would
torque than any literbike.
a similar
system
The lesson here is that
work on a
this alternative hybrid
motorcycle?
technology can liberate
turbocharging from its
dependence on exhaust flow and engine
rpm and do for bottom-end power what
turbocharging has always done for top-end
power. We can perhaps see the superefficient F1 approach to hybrid turbocharging as the preferred
future system, but Volvo has shown that we don’t have to wait to
take that approach—we can have a workable system now.
Audi is also working with turbo company Valeo on what they
call an electric supercharger. With Audi’s involvement with
Ducati, would that be a possible route to seeing hybrid turbos on
motorcycles? Interesting times ahead.
James Parker designed his first original motorcycle in 1971; his most recent design is the Mission R electric superbike. In between, he worked on multiple other motorcycle
projects, including 30 years spent evolving the RADD front suspension system used on the Yamaha GTS1000 and various other prototypes.
14
MOTORCYCLIST
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MCMAIL
UNDERWHELMED BY THE OCTANE
I enjoyed Marc Cook’s evaluation of the
Victory Octane in the July issue. However,
the Octane is one of the ugliest rides I’ve
ever seen. This is compounded by the
regurgitation of the Scout platform and the
ensuing campaign to convince everyone
that it’s a whole different bike.
To this day I, and many of the riders I
connected with back in Victory’s beginnings,
have bemoaned the demise of the V92SC.
I owned both the 2000 and the 2001
and relish the memory of throwing this
700-plus-pound bike into long sweepers
at 90 mph and firing outta the apex like
you were being shot from a cannon…with
confidence! The SC was far from perfect,
but back then Victory was listening to its
riders and taking input seriously.
So when Marc Cook asks “…if the Octane
were a fire-breathing machine with, say,
130 or 140 rear-wheel horsepower, would it
sell?” You bet your ass it would! Especially if
it sat on an updated SC platform! And when
he wonders, “Maybe there’s a truly hot-rod
Vic in the CAD,” I can only pray.
Alfonso Adinolfi / Kent, WA
Cruiser Confusion, Still Impressed By the Interceptor,
and a Call For a More Vicious Victory
I too watched with much anxiety as the
156 project progressed. I read with glee
the recounts of labors involved to expand
the realm of hot-rod bikes. I watched the
videos of progress made racing up the
mountain. When Polaris put the builder
bikes into the hands of individuals, I began
to envision a new ride to adorn my garage.
But alas, yet another project reduced to
only adding another input to the bottom
line. At any rate I do agree with what you
said you anticipated with regard to the
156 Project as it turned into the Octane.
We must “endeavor to persevere” keeping
vigilant the quest to sniff out, investigate,
and enjoy new possibilities.
Bill Warner / via email
CONFUSED BY OUR CRUISER TEST
I was interested to read the comparison
test for lower-priced motorcycles in
the latest issue (“Blue-Collar Cruising,”
July, MC) because I don’t have the funds
to consider most of the motorcycles
you feature. But I was startled to see
the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight come
out ahead of any of the other bikes.
Mr. Courts writes that the Forty-Eight
has an uncomfortable ride, the poorest
brakes, a clunky gearbox (though that’s
an H-D hallmark), and useless mirrors. It
was also the most expensive bike in the
comparison. Its single redeeming feature
was its looks.
I don’t believe that a review like that
should rank it ahead of any motorcycle that
actually has some good qualities while it is
moving. I am not suggesting that the Bolt
C-Spec was a great bike (though being
$2,500 less should be part of the equation),
but I don’t know how you can rate the Bolt
behind a product that does its best work
while sitting on its kickstand. I think bikes
should rate on how they ride and perform.
Looks should never trump function, except
maybe at an art show or museum.
Lee Langenmayr / via email
Unlike our normal comparisons the bikes in
this test weren’t ranked; they were discussed
independently. However, I see where you
got confused in that the Bolt was discussed
first, then the Harley, and so on. The Harley
wasn’t ranked ahead of any of the bikes.
LETTER OF THE MONTH
A SHAMELESS SHED MECHANIC
Geoff Drake owes no one an apology for his ’69
Triumph Tiger (Megaphone, July, MC). He, and many
other vintage-bike owners, keep them together with
the purpose of riding them. As a longtime member of
the International Norton Owners Association, I have
seen every possible iteration of Nortons, Triumphs,
BSAs, and others. Every one of these bikes belongs
to a proud owner who rides them and shows them off
to his or her peers. I by no means have a complete shop or the skills to do
a concours-quality restoration. I am in lockstep with Drake. After all, these
bikes were designed in a pub and built in a shed. I have kept my Norton
together with HHFC (hammer, hacksaw, file, and chisel) for over 40 years.
Be proud and ride!
2016
1974
Frank Gagliano / via email
We hear you loud and clear, Frank. And while you might not win
any concours awards with your HHFC mechanic techniques,
you’ve just won yourself a set of Forcefield Body Armor (from
motonation.com) to upgrade your favorite jacket’s protection.
These CE-approved shoulder and elbow pads are made from flexible and protective Nitrex Evo that retains its integrity, even after
multiple impacts. Stay safe, and keep wrenching with pride! —Ed.
We agree with you that looks shouldn’t
trump function, but not everybody shares
our opinion, which is precisely why Zack
described the Forty-Eight the way he did.
If you came away from the article realizing
that you don’t want a Forty-Eight because
you appreciate functional machines, then
we’ve done our job! —Ed.
REVELING IN OUR ROOTS
I read and re-read the VFR article (Roots,
July, MC) many times. It is an incredible story of an incredible event, one that
Honda is, and should be, extremely proud
of. This article, even on re-reading, keeps
me breathless and picking up new details.
Mitch Boehm is not only a helluva rider, but
he is also a very good writer.
Randy Deinhammer / via email
I’ve really enjoyed Mitch Boehm’s recent
essays about various bikes from the past,
like the Z50, VFR, and Super Rat. Children
of the 1960s like Mitch, Marc, and myself
naturally progressed from ’60s minibikes
to ’70s MX bikes to ’80s streetbikes and I
about them. I’ll bet Ari and Zack might find
these bikes uninteresting, the same way
I tend to feel about pre-WWII stuff. But
some concepts are so well crafted that
they become “timeless.” That’s why Detroit
resurrected the Mustang, Challenger, and
Camaro. That’s why “Stairway to Heaven”
still gets played on the radio. I think the
motocrossers of the ’70s and the sportbikes of the ’80s fit within this idea of timelessness perfectly, and I hope you guys will
keep writing about them.
Steve Huckabee / Smyrna, GA
I have been waiting all year for a magazine
that I could not stop reading, and the July
2016 issue was it. The Roots story on the
VFR brought back memories of reading the
original story in Motorcyclist magazine. The
“Scouts Honor” story made me homesick
for New Orleans. Keep up the good work.
Joe Zuppardo / via email
MORE ADVICE FOR WOULD-BE
MECHANICS
I thoroughly enjoyed Ari Henning’s article
on encouraging people to be better
mechanics (MC Garage, July, MC).
I especially applaud emphasizing the
need to gather information on the task at
hand and related tasks to gather associated facts such as his example of the
camshaft cap alignment. Simply wonderful
thoroughness.
I also agree with the need for organization, organization, organization, for the
tools, the info, and the parts… It’s so critically important. I respectfully wish to add
the need for quality tools. Too many people
shortchange themselves on the joy of good
tools that are competent and will not let
you down.
Lastly I would caution any man or
woman in this field to not get a closed
mind. A risk of assuming you know it all
will shut you off from new techniques, new
materials, new problem-solving abilities,
and will grow your parts bill.
Michael Torre / via email
FIX THE FIT
I just want to offer an alternate solution
to the girl with the painful helmet her
boyfriend gave her (Answers, July, MC). I
have a brand-new helmet that I was ready
to trash for the same reason. I was advised
to swap out the cheek pads. In my case,
Email us at mcmail@bonniercorp.com
www.motorcyclistonline.com
19
ME
1983 Honda CB1100F
Jeff Gilbert
52
Burlington, Vermont
I’m the original owner of this awesome CB1100F, which I bought in October 1983. I sold my ’82
The CB1100F was the last branch on the family tree that sprouted from the original 1969 CB750.
It was the inheritor of the performance lessons Honda learned while racing the ’79 CB750F,
famously ridden by “Fast Freddie” Spencer in the Superbike era. Unlike some of today’s sportbikes, which are built to race, the CB1100F was a product of racing.
Honda took the 750’s DOHC engine and punched it out, strengthened the running gear,
transmission, and wheels, and ultimately upped the power to a level far exceeding that of the
CB750. You got all that for just a few hundred dollars more than the 750. But the 1100F was made
for just one glorious year before the V-4 era dawned. It was overshadowed on the sales floor by
the striking Interceptor but not in the performance department. For one brief, shining moment the
1100F was the fastest production bike on the planet.
Unlike some bikes that were ridden hard, parked in a barn to rot for years, and then rebuilt
or passed on to a nephew just to find their way to some guy like me, this one has been ridden by
me every year since it was new. I ride it like I stole it every time I take it out, and after buying and
selling hundreds of bikes—I currently own five others—it’s the one I’d keep if I could have only one.
It has period-correct upgrades to the intake and exhaust, Ferodo brakes, a Barnett nine-plate
clutch, a Jardine 4-into-1 exhaust that produces a raucous sound like no other bike, and a chin
fairing I painted and designed myself to give it that “1985” look.
My bike proves that if you don’t treat a motorcycle like a disposable paper cup it can still be
relevant and enjoyable even after 30 years. And who needs antilock brakes and wheelie control? I
control both with my right hand—no computers needed, thank you.
JEFF GILBERT
Bike restorer,
personal trainer
CB900F to get it, and I can’t tell you how much of an improvement the 1100 was over the 900.
20 MOTORCYCLIST
www.kiska.com
Photo: P. Matthis
RULE
THE BENDS
This built-to-thrill beauty thrives on its cornering prowess. Lay it flat, get it sideways and
enjoy carving every bend in the road like never before. With unrivaled agility and a powerful
single-cylinder engine, it’s easier than ever to own the streets. Meet the
KTM 690 DUKE
Please do not attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective riding gear and observe the applicable
road traffic laws and regulations. The illustrated vehicles may from country to country and vary in selected details from the
production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost.
KTM Group Partner
WORDS: Ari Henning
/
PHOTOS: Adam Campbell
2017 SUZUKI
“The SV650 magic
is back!”
SV650
“Thank goodness!”
Restored to Glory
Gas gauge, temp gauge, gearposition indicator, and bargraph tachometer. The SV’s
dash is completely digital.
EVOLUTION
Slight updates to the engine and a visual makeover
help refine the SV650 and return it to its former
glory as a fun, versatile, do-it-all streetbike.
The SV650 was a Motorcyclist
staff favorite. More than half of
us have owned SVs, and we’ve
all recommended the bike to others.
Repeatedly. So when the SV650 was
replaced by the more expensive, heavier,
and garish Gladius (later renamed the
SFV650) in 2009, we were dismayed. With
one misguided styling exercise Suzuki took
the SV from being the tasty and wholesome
snack everyone loved to being an overseasoned dish that few could stomach.
Let’s all breathe a sigh of relief then
because Suzuki has brushed the excess
salt off the SV and now has a much more
palatable bike. The ugly is gone, replaced
by a redesigned tank, tail, seat, headlight,
dash, and other parts that more closely
resemble the simple and timeless look
of earlier models. The new bike is also
lighter, more powerful, and less expensive
than the SFV650 it replaces.
All that new bodywork is bolted to a
bike that is more or less the same machine
we’ve always loved, which means a narrow
and nimble chassis and a gruff and lively
engine. The SV’s ergonomics are just about
as middle of the road as they come, so the
riding position feels relaxed and neutral.
Suzuki tweaked the SV’s venerable
V-twin a bit for 2017, increasing output by
a claimed 4 hp. Throttle response is nicely
24
MOTORCYCLIST
refined and thrust is strong off the bottom
and abundant everywhere in the rev range,
but the rhythmic V-twin power pulses
begin to blend together at higher revs and
the engine feels busy and buzzy above
7,000 rpm. No worries, though, because
5,000 rpm puts an indicated 70 mph on the
new all-digital dash in top gear.
On twisty mountain roads, this new SV
is just as fun and willing a dance partner
as the original. The bike has the kind of
light and direct steering that lets you flick
the bike from side to side while remaining
centered in the seat. The engine has the
same sort of encouraging personality—just
leave it in one gear and revel in the smooth
torque, as thick and tasty as a slab of
Canadian bacon.
As with all previous SVs the suspension and brakes are basic. In fact, they’re
the same components Suzuki used on
the original SV650, introduced in 1999!
Updated spring rates and damping help
this new bike feel more sure footed in
corners, and while the Tokico brakes don’t
have great feedback, they’re plenty strong.
ABS is available for an additional $500.
We’re excited to have the SV650 back—
it’s like seeing an old friend. The 2017 bike
The same SV650 we’ve always loved, and
now we don’t mind looking at it!
RIVALS
Aprilia Shiver 750, BMW F800R,
Ducati Monster 821, Honda CBR650F,
Kawasaki Ninja 650, Yamaha FZ-07
has the same character and confidenceinspiring performance that we love but
now with updated styling and a few more
ponies. The best part, though, might be the
price. Just $6,990. That’s all of $9 less than
Yamaha’s FZ-07, which has stood as the
SV650’s stand-in for the past two years.
How do the two bikes compare?
We’re excited to find out. Look for a
comprehensive test in a future issue.
PRICE
$6990
ENGINE
645cc, liquid-cooled 90° V-twin
TRANS/FINAL DRIVE
6-speed/chain
CLAIMED POWER
75.0 hp @ 8500 rpm
CLAIMED TORQUE
47.2 lb.-ft. @ 8100 rpm
FRAME
Tubular-steel trellis
FRONT SUSPENSION
Showa 41mm fork; 4.9-in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION
Showa shock adjustable for spring
preload; 5.1-in. travel
FRONT BRAKE
Tokico two-piston calipers,
290mm discs
REAR BRAKE
Nissin one-piston caliper,
240mm disc
RAKE/TRAIL
25.0°/4.2 in.
SEAT HEIGHT
30.9 in.
WHEELBASE
56.9 in.
FUEL CAPACITY
3.6 gal.
CLAIMED WEIGHT
430 lb. wet
AVAILABLE
Now
MORE INFO AT
suzukicycles.com
It’s the ride
;,!;1!ħ'89W
When the sun meets the
horizon and there’s nothing
in front of you except the
open road. That’s the only
way to live.
';3;38$@$£'
-29<8!2$';3&!@W
Motorcycle
geico.com | 1-800-442-9253 | /RFDO2IĆFH
Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance
Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. Motorcycle and ATV coverages are underwritten by GEICO Indemnity Company. © 2016 GEICO
MC COMPARO
BMW F800GS Adventure vs. Honda Africa Twin vs. Triumph Tiger 800 XCa
THE NEW
MIDDLE
WORDS: Zack Courts
PHOTOS: Kevin Wing
26
MOTORCYCLIST
GROUND
A
dventure, we have said in these pages, is
in the wrist of the rider. It’s up to you to
decide what kind of escapade suits the cut
of your jib. To some, and what now defines
the ADV category, it’s the luxury SUV of
motorcycles—tall, rugged (looking), replete
with whistles, bells, and sci-fi gyroscopes. To others,
adventure is a couple of gallons of gas and just enough
parlay with the DMV to mosey between trailheads. Or
perhaps a venerable thumper somewhere in the middle, as
reliable as taxes.
With adventure touring being so exceptionally popular,
companies have been building down from the $20,000
upper crust, in the general direction of simplicity. If
what you desire is a broadly capable, full-size machine
with the advent of a 21-inch front wheel but without
frivolous gadgets like electronic suspension, you’ll want
an 800-class ADV. For a handful of years now, that has
meant either a Triumph Tiger 800 or a BMW F800GS.
Now, for the same price (less, actually!) you’re welcome
to Honda’s new ADV special agent CRF1000L. Code name:
Africa Twin.
Along with price, it shares approximate power and
weight figures, as well as the general scope of options,
with the Tiger 800 XC and F800GS Adventure. And
because they all share the dirt-biased, not-so-subtle-nodto-off-road-21-inch front rim, we thought we would fit up
Continental TKC 80 knobbies and experiment with each
bike’s actual beyond-the-pavement adventure capability.
Still, we rode them all on the street. Each of the machines
is just fine, delivering suitable and only slightly different
on-road performance. But this test is dedicated to those
customers who truly want to explore slices of this earth
not groomed with tarmac or by heavy equipment.
www.motorcyclistonline.com
27
MC COMPARO
BMW F800GS Adventure vs. Honda Africa Twin vs. Triumph Tiger 800 XCa
The Triumph’s analog/digital dash
is easy on the eyes but kind of a
pain to use via the bar-mounted
info switches. The fog lamp and
heated grip buttons are huge but
could be better lit.
3rd Place
TRIUMPH TIGER 800 XCa
TOUR
OFF ROAD
TECHNOLOGY
» If there’s a company slicing one
category thinner than Triumph with its
Tiger 800 lineup, we’ve never heard of
it. Hinckley now has eight (yes, eight)
different versions of the Tiger 800, split
into two columns of XR and XC—the
XR bikes with cast wheels and Showa
suspension and the XC models with spoke
wheels and WP suspenders. The pricing
spectrum begins at the base-level XR
at $11,500 with ABS and TC but no frills
and goes all the way up to the XCa, which
boasts everything from heated seats and
grips, to cruise control, to a GPS mounting
kit and a $15,500 MSRP.
For the purposes of our test, Triumph
bestowed upon us the latter, a fully farkled
XCa, to take on BMW and Honda. In our first
stint, covering about 50 miles of pavement
escaping greater LA, the Trumpet was off
to a good start. The 800cc triple (which
has been around since the Tiger debuted
in 2010) is as sweet as ever, with excellent ride-by-wire fueling, a terrific growl
from the pipe, and a satisfying top-end
rush. Even though its wind protection was
the worst in this test, the Tiger is smooth
and agreeable on the freeway and doesn’t
28 MOTORCYCLIST
wheeze for a seventh gear like the BMW
does. Handling is nice and light too. From a
parking lot to twisty roads, El Tigre is a fine
tarmac teammate.
As we wound our way into the foothills
via smooth dirt roads, the Tiger continued to
hold its head high, bopping along confidently
on loose gravel and soaking up potholes
without breaking a sweat. If you’re in the
mood to get frisky, turn off the mediocre
off-road traction control and let the triple
drift elegantly all day long, knowing the
trustworthy off-road ABS has your back.
It’s a fun bike, sure, but it was when the
going got tough that the Tiger 800 finally
felt out of its element. The WP fork and
shock seemed refined and well calibrated
on pavement but were immediately overwhelmed, surrendering completely to the
third or fourth water bar. Odd, we thought,
because the Triumph’s springs felt the
stiffest on the street yet bottomed out
the easiest when we went off the beaten
path. When we researched it at a stop we
noticed the Tiger’s suspension sits very
deep in its stroke even when static, which
means there’s less available stroke when a
bump comes along. Even the engine, which
made us smile on asphalt, just seemed
peaky and uneasy in the dirt. It’s a good
sport-touring powerplant, but it’s not the
best for enduro-style riding.
As for amenities, this XCa model
we tested is soaked in doodads meant
to make life easier. Three ride modes
(Road, Off-Road, and Rider) adjust throttle
response, ABS, and TC behavior, with
Rider being a custom mode that can be
tailored via the dash. However, Triumph’s
software team is officially writing
checks that the small LCD screen can’t
cash—cycling through ride modes via the
dash-mounted button is easy enough, but
entering the setup menu and tweaking
the custom settings in the Rider mode
is a headache when compared to other
systems. We used Rider when tackling dirt
because the off-road TC was a hindrance,
though the bike will reset to Road mode
whenever the key is cycled. Safety first!
Because this test focused on the offroad prowess of these machines, you
surely see now why the Triumph is trailing
the pack. It’s just not as well suited to
knobby-tire terrain. And at $15,500 it’s
the most expensive of the group. If it were
up to us, we would probably opt for the
slightly lower-spec XCx—foregoing the
heated seats and grips, fog lamps, and
GPS kit, among other things—which keeps
the essential ADV bits but saves $1,800,
ringing in at $13,700. That price doesn’t fix
what ails the Tiger 800 off road, but then
who are we to say what kind of adventure
you want to have?
2ND Place
BMW F800GS ADVENTURE
TOUR
OFF ROAD
TECHNOLOGY
» For the 2014 model year BMW filled the
cracks in its successful F800GS lineup
with adventurous spackle, and the F800GS
Adventure was born. The main additions
were a bigger windscreen, prominent
crash guards, and a larger front shroud to
match the bulging addition of 2.1 gallons of
fuel capacity under the seat. Side effects
included a taller seat and having more range.
ADV types the world over rejoiced! While
2014 is recent, the F800’s debut in 2008 is,
well…less than recent. Has the midrange GS
stood the test of time? Yes and no.
First the “no.” Our time spent at freeway
speeds showed the BMW’s engine for what
it really is: an uninspired lump that was
originally designed nearly a decade ago.
It’s buzzy at high speed and needs an extra
gear to travel comfortably at American
freeway rates. The F800 mill gets the
Who ordered the dash from 2008? The BMW
might not have the best touring engine, but
6.3 gallons of fuel under the seat is good
for range and, therefore, adventure.
job done, no doubt, but for touring it was
clearly the least successful of the three
here. Aerodynamically, the F800 suits taller
riders better than shorter ones—apropos
considering the 35-inch seat height.
The sour taste of pavement still on
our tongue, trundling down dirt roads
slowly brought the F800GS into focus.
The water bars and rock gardens that
flummoxed the Triumph were no problem
for the BMW, and in fact our confidence
rose with every bump, jump, and turn.
Three-mode ESA (Electronic Suspension
Adjustment) controls rebound damping
in the shock, though it’s hard to tell the
difference between Comfort, Normal, and
Sport settings. Because the F800GS is
a heavy bike, we preferred the stiffest
setting, Sport, both on road and off. Two
simple ride modes, Enduro and Road,
adjust throttle response, ABS, and TC
intervention simultaneously—and, brilliant
as always, BMW allows the rider to switch
either ABS or TC off independently.
The BMW gets high marks for making
the most of simple electronics (though
we’d just as soon see a manually adjustable shock), and yet that’s not even close
to the best part. It’s the balance and poise
of the F800GS that impressed on us the
desire to keep riding. The engine, frankly,
isn’t very inspiring in the dirt either, but
the rest of the bike makes up for it—the
clutch engagement is precise, the turning
radius is terrifically tight, and the bike
itself is incredibly narrow in the middle,
which makes it easy to stand on the pegs
over rough terrain and the tall seat more
approachable.
When it comes to MSRP, the BMW
also seems surprisingly approachable.
The GS-A starts at $13,895 with standard
ABS—not bad, especially compared to
the Triumph—though essentially every
US-bound bike (including our tester) has
the $800 premium package installed. That
includes off-road ABS, traction control
(ASC in BMW speak), heated grips, a
centerstand, and a more advanced trip
computer. Add the $350 ESA, $100 for that
lovely olive green, and a $495 destination
charge and you’re out $15,640. More than
the Triumph!
Based on the rankings, you can see we
still stand behind the F800GS-A as a better
option than the Triumph when dirt is a high
priority. It gives up some touring chops
to the Tiger but in our opinion is a more
complete and well-rounded option if you
have any ambition of exploring the wilderness. While the Beemer displayed excellent composure off road it also showed
us that the platform is getting long in the
tooth. Aside from Triumph, BMW hasn’t
had much competition in this segment, and
we think that it’ll take a tour de force in the
category for Bavaria to significantly update
or redesign the F800GS.
www.motorcyclistonline.com
29
MC COMPARO
BMW F800GS Adventure vs. Honda Africa Twin vs. Triumph Tiger 800 XCa
1ST Place
HONDA CRF1000L AFRICA TWIN
TOUR
OFF ROAD
TECHNOLOGY
» What if, say, Honda was to build an
adventure bike for the modern world? An
excellent engine, off-road technology,
Dakar styling—the works! Would that be
enough to shake Europe into applying some
wherewithal to the midsize-ADV ranks?
Time will tell because it just so happens the
F800GS’s worst nightmare has arrived.
First of all, we have to tip our hat to
Soichiro’s men for the technology bundled
up in this all-new bike. The 998cc parallel
twin fires with a 270 crank, thumping along
similarly to a Yamaha Super Ténéré, with a
dual-spark head and utilizing the Unicam
technology from Honda’s motocross bikes
that allows four valves per cylinder operated by one lightweight cam. A handful of
other engineering items are blended in to
30
MOTORCYCLIST
Honda’s front-brake hardware is ordinary, but software that allows front ABS and the rear
to lock is excellent. That “G” button to the right of the dash engages the gravel mode.
the powerplant, too, all designed to make
the engine compact and easier to package.
The result is a distinctly different feel,
even just sitting behind the bar of the
Africa Twin. It’s a sensation of sitting in the
bike—behind a much taller windshield and
on a noticeably lower seat—rather than
on it, as you do with the BMW or Triumph.
Mass centralization seems to have been on
the front burner for the Africa Twin development team. The CRF1000 feels heavy
but overall the same size underneath you
as an 800-class ADV. (Another reason this
bike felt heavy was probably the extra 23
pounds fitted to our tester in the form of
Honda’s optional auto-shifting, Dual Clutch
Transmission. More on that in a minute.)
On pavement, the Africa Twin is nothing
special. Handling is predicable but not
inspiring, the aerodynamics are good,
and the engine lopes along happily at any
speed. It’s a more comfortable tourer than
the F800 and has much better aero than
the Tiger, but like the BMW it all comes
together for the Africa Twin when the
going gets rough. Fully adjustable Showa
HONDA AFRICA TWIN
BMW F800GS ADVENTURE
A 24.4 in.
TRIUMPH TIGER 800 XCa
C 11.7 in.
A 27.6 in.
D
°
.6
B 22.1 in.
98
suspension is ready to tackle just about any rock garden or
eroded rut and actually seems to delight in skipping over ugly
terrain. Where the Tiger 800 rider had to gently maneuver
through a gnarled slice of earth, the Africa Twin pilot could
throttle up and genuinely attack the same section. These are all
big and heavy machines, mind you, and when the Honda finds a
slippery surface or gets off balance at low speed, that becomes
mightily clear.
After whooping and hooting to the top of the first ridge, we
had an odd realization about the Africa Twin’s engine, which on
the road reminded us very much of Honda’s other practically
perfect and endlessly tranquil parallel twins. This pragmatic,
torque-rich mantra that Honda has been following for many
of its recent engines feels dull sometimes, but for the dirt it’s
absolutely perfect. The Africa Twin does not even come close to
matching bikes like BMW’s R1200GS or KTM’s 1190 Adventure
for raw power, but where those Euro elites can sometimes feel
like wild and loose hot rods in the dirt the Honda feels terrific.
Power is ultra linear, easy to use, and you never even dream of
revving it anywhere near the ceiling. Maybe it’s the way of the
future, and Honda is out ahead like it has been so many times in
the past.
Speaking of which, what about that DCT? From freeway to
two-lane blacktop, the dual-clutch technology left us a little cold.
It works perfectly but only serves to smooth over a process
(shifting) that so many of us have come to enjoy. In the dirt it’s
really fun. Contrary to what you might think about auto-shifting,
the less confident off-road riders in our test crew found the DCT
uninteresting, or even a burden, where the more aggressive and
advanced riders gained the most from it. Same goes for the nifty
“Gravel” mode that delivers quicker clutch engagement at low
speed to put more control in the rider’s hands and the off-road
ABS that allows the rear wheel to lock. The four-level traction
control works well and bucks convention by being just that—
rather than suggestive settings called “rider” or “enduro” there
are simply four settings, plus off.
The best part about the Africa Twin, and all of the technology
it carries, is that Honda created a premium adventure machine
but chose not to charge a premium price. A standard CRF1000L
starts at $12,999, and our DCT tester’s tag is $13,699. Even when
optioned up with a centerstand, power socket, and heated grips
to match the BMW and Triumph, it rang in at $14,215. It’s the ADV
bike the F800GS could be, for less money. When Honda first
unveiled the prototype for this bike it was called simply “True
Adventure.” After riding it and testing it, we couldn’t say it better
ourselves.
8°
2.
10
1°
0.
10
B 21.9 in.
D
D
B 22.6 in.
C 12.5 in.
C 11.9 in.
A 25.8 in.
A
B
C
D
SEAT TO BAR
SEAT TO FOOTPEG
HANDLEBAR RISE
INCLUDED SEATING ANGLE
The Triumph’s longer reach to the handlebar
(A) is noticeable, as is the Honda’s bar feeling
taller (C). The Honda’s low seat means the
least legroom (B) but not by much.
HEY, WHAT ABOUT THE:
Suzuki V-Strom 1000
Strom-troopers of the world will be looking at this test wondering
why their beloved flagship 1000 wasn’t included. Well, as we
mentioned in the main piece, this was mostly about 21-inch front
wheels and off-road prowess. Unfortunately, the V-Strom’s sump,
oil filter, and exhaust dangle too dangerously off the bottom of its
90-degree V-twin. If serious off roading is on your docket, you’ll
be better served with other bikes.
However, for ADV-style sport touring the 1,037cc V-Strom
is a delight. Around 90 hp somehow feels like more, and while
it doesn’t have the luxury texture of Euro ADVs it delivers great
handling and plenty of amenities. The base price is $12,699, which
makes it a stellar alternative to the bikes in this test, so long as the
trail doesn’t get too rocky.
Off the Record
MC COMPARO
BMW F800GS Adventure vs. Honda Africa Twin vs. Triumph Tiger 800 XCa
Horsepower
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
BMW: 73.3 HP @ 8000 RPM
HONDA: 82.4 HP @ 7500 RPM
TRIUMPH: 77.9 HP @ 9100 RPM
20
10
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
6000
7000
8000
9000
10000
11000
I’ve been watching and riding Honda’s
DCT since the beginning. Obviously a key
component in Honda’s outreach efforts to
expand motorcycling, DCT has—without a
ton of fanfare—become very good. With new
shift scheduling, additional rider modes,
and the benefits of the Africa Twin’s mellow,
MARC COOK
thoroughly torquey parallel-twin engine, this
EDITOR IN CHIEF
automatic performs very well in the urban
AGE: 52
and suburban environments where most
HEIGHT: 5’9”
Africa Twins will live.
WEIGHT: 190 lb.
I really appreciate the additional Sport
INSEAM: 32 in.
modes, which give the bike your choice
of slightly to surprisingly aggressive shift
schedules; before it was Drive or Sport, soggy, or just mildly sporty.
I’m still pretty traditional in my tastes, so I would buy the conventional transmission, but I wouldn’t try to talk anyone out of this
particular DCT.
Torque
70
60
50
40
30
20
BMW: 51.9 LB.-FT. @ 5700 RPM
HONDA: 65.6 LB.-FT. @ 5600 RPM
TRIUMPH: 48.6 LB.-FT. @ 5600 RPM
10
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
Dyno data (above) shows,
in black and white, what
happens when an engine
is 200cc larger. The
Triumph’s triple nearly
matches the Honda’s
twin, albeit with higher
revs. But it’s the Africa
Twin’s torque that really
won us over.
5000
6000
7000
8000
9000
10000
The idea behind this group of bikes—and the
entire philosophy behind the Africa Twin—is
usability. These bikes aren’t built to raise the
bar in terms of horsepower or any other performance factor. The GS, Tiger, and Africa Twin are
designed to be smaller, tamer, and a whole lot
more manageable than those big-bore ADVs,
ARI HENNING
whether you’re riding on road or off.
SENIOR ROAD
The bike that does best (off road, anyway)
TEST EDITOR
is the Honda. Riding all three bikes back to
AGE: 31
back I was continually impressed with the
HEIGHT: 5’10”
Africa Twin’s physical balance and its superior
WEIGHT: 175 lb.
suspension, super-functional off-road ABS,
INSEAM: 33 in.
and surprisingly useful DCT. The added power
is a big benefit too, and, boy, is that 270-degree twin tractable! The
Triumph really isn’t suited to off-road exploration, and while the GS
is certainly capable in the dirt it’s not nearly as relaxed on the road
as the Honda. Africa Twin for the win!
11000
BMW F800GS Adventure
Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin
Triumph Tiger 800 XCa
$13,699
$15,500
PRICE
$14,695
ENGINE
798cc, liquid-cooled parallel-twin
998cc, liquid-cooled parallel-twin
800cc, liquid-cooled inline-triple
BORE X STROKE
82.0 x 75.6mm
92.0 x 70.1mm
74.1 x 61.9mm
COMPRESSION
12.0:0
10.0:1
11.3:1
VALVE TRAIN
DOHC, 8v
SOHC, 8v
DOHC, 12v
FUELING
EFI
EFI, ride by wire
EFI, ride by wire
CLUTCH
Wet, multi-plate
Wet, multi-plate
Wet, multi-plate
TRANS/FINAL DRIVE
6-speed/chain
6-speed/chain
6-speed/chain
FRAME
Tubular-steel trellis
Steel semi-double cradle
Tubular-steel trellis
FRONT SUSPENSION
Sachs 43mm fork; 9.1 in. travel
Showa 45mm fork adjustable for
spring preload, compression and
rebound damping; 9.0-in. travel
WP 43mm fork adjustable for
compression and rebound damping;
8.6- in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION
Sachs shock adjustable for spring
preload and rebound damping;
8.5-in. travel
Showa shock adjustable for spring
preload, compression and rebound
damping; 8.6-in. travel
WP shock with adjustable spring
preload and rebound damping;
8.5-in. travel
FRONT BRAKE
Brembo two-piston calipers, 300mm
discs with ABS
Nissin four-piston calipers, 310mm
discs with ABS
Nissin two-piston calipers, 308mm
discs with ABS
REAR BRAKE
Brembo one-piston caliper, 265mm
disc with ABS
Nissin two-piston caliper, 256mm disc
with ABS
Nissin one-piston caliper, 255 disc
with ABS
FRONT TIRE
90/90-21 Pirelli Scorpion Trail
90/90-R21 Dunlop Trailsmart
90/90-21 Bridgestone Battle Wing
REAR TIRE
150/70-R17 Pirelli Scorpion Trail
150/70-R18 Dunlop Trailsmart
150/70-R17 Bridgestone Battle Wing
RAKE/TRAIL
26.0°/4.6 in.
27.3°/4.4 in.
24.3°/3.8 in.
SEAT HEIGHT
35.0 in.
33.5/34.3 in.
33.1/33.9 in.
WHEELBASE
62.1 in.
62.0 in.
60.8 in.
MEASURED WEIGHT
527/489 lb. (tank full/empty)
539/509 lb. (tank full/empty)
592/562 lb. (tank full/empty)
FUEL CAPACITY
6.3 gal.
5.0 gal.
5.0 gal.
FUEL ECONOMY
46/37/42 mpg (high/low/average)
48/45/47 mpg (high/low/average)
43/36/40 mpg (high/low/average)
RANGE
264 mi. (including reserve)
235 mi. (including reserve)
200 mi. (including reserve)
WARRANTY
36 mo., unlimited mi.
12 mo., unlimited mi.
24 mo., unlimited mi.
MORE INFO AT
bmwmotorcycles.com
powersports.honda.com
triumphmotorcycles.com
It starts with us
THE INDUSTRY STANDARD FOR POWERSPORTS VEHICLES
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than all our competitors combined — in
the US and globally. The reason is simple:
advanced engineering, premium quality,
unmatched reliability and long life.
To find a dealer near you, visit yuasabattery.com.
MOTORCYCLE · ATV · UTV · SNOWMOBILE · PERSONAL WATERCRAFT
·
MANUFACTURED IN THE U.S.A. SINCE 1979
SCOOTER
Girls Gotta Be Girls
A Thousand Motorcycling
Women Take Over Joshua
Tree National Park
WORDS & PHOTOS:
Alicia Mariah Elfving
he Babes Ride Out motto is simple:
“No Dudes, No ’Tudes.” There’s a
good reason for that, one that has
nothing to do with exclusion but everything
to do with being a woman motorcyclist.
For many women, the idea of rolling
solo into a large event comprised mainly
of men is daunting. Even the most
experienced rider can get a bruised ego
dropping her bike in front of buddies, and
it’s easy to feel that as a woman you must
perform perfectly to avoid judgment.
That’s where Babes Ride Out comes in.
Three years ago, Anya Violet and
Ashmore Bodiford planned an open
get-together for their lady rider friends
in the Borrego Desert. The event quickly
grew into a group of 70 and earned the
title “Babes in Borrego.” Soon, Babes
Ride Out (BRO) blew up, this year selling
T
34
MOTORCYCLIST
out all 1,200 tickets more than a week
before the event. As the date neared, the
Facebook event feed grew with pictures
of meticulously packed camping gear
loaded up onto all types of bikes. Perfect
strangers synced up to become road
buddies for their departures all over the
country (and continent). Women trekked
all the way from Canada, Germany, New
Zealand, Australia, and France.
When I called up my buddy Sofi Tsingos
and asked if she wanted to fly out from
Texas this year and ride to BRO with me,
she quickly said yes. After I picked her
up from the airport, I introduced her to
the bikes we’d be riding: the modern KTM
Duke 390 and the totally retro Yamaha
SR400. Sofi had been eyeballing the
Baby Duke, as I affectionately call it, and
was beyond excited to get to test it out.
We picked up a few extra supplies like a
lithium-battery charging system (charge
your phone, jump-start your bike), cargo
nets, and bungees and tried to figure out
how we were going to load the bikes.
While it took quite a bit of logistical
planning for newbie motorcycle campers
like us, we got the perfect amount of gear
packed on the bikes. The SR400 ended up
being the trusty pack mule with its classic
metal tank (great for a tank bag) and flat
double seat. The chromed-metal subframe
even has little posts for hooking the cargo
nets and bungees on so they don’t slip
around. The passenger handles on the
Duke proved to be well placed for strapping
a heavy bag and pillow, all while still fitting
Sofi with her backpack. We left later in the
day in an attempt to avoid traffic, as she
had never lane-split before nor had any
Nothing like rolling into a camp of likeminded riders (above). Music and awards
are part of the Saturday program (left). Girls
love boots (below) and the special BRO
socks given to the first 500 campers.
urge to do so on an unfamiliar bike loaded
with camping gear. We still ended up
filtering through traffic for a solid 40 miles,
our newly installed Bluetooth headsets a
big help through the experience.
At our last gas stop while we were
searching for the exact destination, a
couple of ladies walked up to us and said,
“So you guys are going to Babes Ride
Out?” Perfect timing! We looked at the
maps on their phone and took off for the
last few miles of our journey. The sun had
just gone down as we turned onto the long
rolling ribbon of road to the campsite. I
started to get really excited. The magnitude of this event finally hit me when we
came over the last little hill and saw the
sprawling campground. I was standing up
on the pegs of the SR bouncing and doing
a little jig, yelling, “Sofi! It’s our city. Do you
We wound our way through the busy
campground until we found our friends,
Jessi Combs and Theresa Manchester,
who had very kindly saved us some space
for the massive tent I brought. Setting
up camp in the dark is never easy, but as
we were working with our headlamps
and struggling to figure out how to unfurl
the pile of material, ladies popped out
of nowhere to offer us assistance with
lanterns and flashlights. We quickly got it
figured out and managed to fit the oversize
dome among the sea of overlapping tents
spilling into the pathways.
Emboldened by the chattering of ladies
who went into party mode early, I located
some whiskey, unpacked my bed, and
wandered toward the sounds of crashing
metal, explosions, and engines. Following
the booms took me to the main stage area,
surrounded by raw wooden fencing, lights,
the bar, and a huuuuge food line. A bunch
of ladies lay around with Mad Max: Fury
Road playing on a huge projector screen.
Sofi and I got in line for much-needed
food from Madhouse, the same ladies who
catered the weekend last year, and traded
movie was over, the party transformed
from a big meet and greet to an epic limbo
contest followed by arm wrestling. Jessi
claimed the champion title for the evening,
slaying most ladies who challenged her.
Morning brought the sound of bikes
roaring alive and the desert heat quickly
descended on the campground. Jessi,
Theresa, Sofi, and I all found ourselves
some $1 coffee at the camp’s mini shop
to jumpstart our systems and planned
our day. Breakfast in town, riding, photos,
more riding, back to camp in time for the
evening awards and raffle, where I’d be
giving out the Iron Butt trophy I made with
the help of a friend Travis Holland.
We split to Joshua Tree State Park
where the ranger kindly waved us through
the fee gate. What a spectacular place.
Towers of reddish-brown rocks seemed
to shoot out from the earth, surrounded
by beautiful Joshua trees and cacti. The
magical and ancient landscape is exclusive
to that area of the world, making it an
extra-cool experience.
Deeper into the park I zipped to the front
of our group on the little SR400 so I could
www.motorcyclistonline.com
35
Girls Gotta Be Girls
The SR400 proves to
be just the right size
for getting dirty and
exploring Joshua Tree
Park (above). Every style
of gear, all sorts of bikes,
they all ride together
at the quickly growing
ladies-only event,
creating an even bigger
sense of community in
motorcycling (left).
find a good place for us to take photos. We
turned off the main paved road and headed
down a dusty drive, testing the willingness of the little bikes. As it turns out, the
Duke 390’s higher stance, light weight, and
narrow tires make it a bit slippy through
that sort of terrain. The SR held its own
even with street tires, perhaps because of
the extra weight making it feel more stable.
After some burnouts and shenanigans, we
headed back to asphalt where we were
constantly coming across groups of other
lady riders—a totally surreal experience.
For every car you’d see 10 bikes, and 99
percent of them were ridden by women.
Sofi was happy to get off the dirt
and cracked the little Duke’s throttle
open, finally at the front of the pack and
unencumbered by gear loaded on the
rear seat. She took off, and I followed.
Baby Duke was better suited for spirited
riding, with a snappier throttle and better
suspension than the little Yamaha. The
SR400 is essentially a motorcycle from the
36
MOTORCYCLIST
1970s, manufactured new today. Chasing
Sofi took me ringing the throttle and letting
the revs rip, but I was smiling so big my
face hurt. It’s hard to find a group of people
you feel so fluid on the road with.
Later, back at camp, beer and booze
busted out, we gobbled up amazing (free)
pizza provided by Pie for the People,
grooved to funky beats from lady DJs,
and awaited the raffle. I was summoned
to stage to give out the long-distance Iron
Butt award that would kick off the raffle.
The crowd was huge and full of smiling
women who rode from near and far. We
narrowed it down to those who rode more
than 2,000 miles, landing on a pair from
the very southernmost part of Florida—
Julia and Angela. On their way across
the country they stopped in Louisiana,
Missouri, and Oklahoma, making their trip
more than 3,000 miles in total…one way.
On their way through the country they
detoured, meeting up with other women
they knew through Instagram. The seven
of them documented their adventure and
nicknamed the group the Hail Boms. And
perfectly reflecting the ideals behind the
BRO, Julia, who had technically ridden the
longest, shared the Iron Butt award booty
with her original riding buddy Angela. A
DJ took over the tunes when live music
was over, but by 4 a.m. Jessi and I were
the last of our little cluster left standing
so we finally retired under a full moon
surrounded by a glowing halo.
Finally, the next day, it was time to go
home. Opting to take the long way back,
we headed northwest through the twistier
mountain roadways and stopped for lunch
in Big Bear. Some shopping for extra
sweater layers and souvenirs later, we
were back on the road toward Los Angeles.
With our Bluetooth headset communicators all charged up, Sofi and I were able to
chat back and forth about the incredible
weekend and how it was all still sinking in.
BRO was the coalescence of everything
I love about motorcycling in one short
weekend—enjoying the part of ourselves
that we all have in common despite our
ages or personal styles. While some folks
thought it a little crazy to take the little
bikes out into the desert for motorcycle
camping, Sofi and I would both do it again
in a heartbeat. The SR was comfortable
and blended in well among the many
motorcycles of Babes Ride Out. And as
far as Sofi’s love affair with the wee Baby
Duke, the last thing she said before giving
it up was, “I’m definitely going to have to
buy one of those.”
Can you keep up with Ari?
MOTORCYCLISTONLINE.COM
YAMAHA
JT-1 MINI ENDURO
One of 1971’s Amazing Freedom Machines
WORDS: Mitch Boehm
/
PHOTOS: Kevin Wing
he year 1971 was a doozy on entertainment
and historical fronts. All in the Family
debuted on CBS. Led Zeppelin played
“Stairway to Heaven” for the first time to a live
audience. George Harrison released “My Sweet
Lord.” And Apollo 14 got back on the moon after
Apollo 13’s near-debacle.
Motorcyclists had plenty to be excited about
in ’71 as well. Bruce Brown’s moto documentary
On Any Sunday, starring Steve McQueen,
Mert Lawwill, and SoCal racer Malcolm Smith,
opened to rave reviews nationally and garnered
an Oscar nomination.
But it was motorcycling’s kids who let out
the biggest whoops of joy that year because
in ’71 no fewer than four amazing new minicycles were introduced: Honda’s SL70
Motosport, Rupp’s Black Widow, Suzuki’s MT50
Trailhopper, and Yamaha’s JT-1, also known as
the Mini Enduro.
The term minicycle raises few eyebrows
today, but in ’71 it was a fresh idea. The vast
majority of minis prior to that point, aside
from some funky Benellis and the ubiquitous
Honda Z50 of ’68, were exactly what most baby
boomers conjure when they hear the word
minibike: a tube- and rigid-framed two wheeler
with small, squared-off tires, a rear-tire-friction
rear brake, truly evil handling, and motive power
by either Briggs & Stratton or Tecumseh. No
one complained about these things at the time,
but no one knew better either.
Those four new minis were different,
especially the SL70 and Mini Enduro, which
were 3/5-scale versions of the SL175
and SL350 and the now legendary 250cc
DT-1 of ’68. These were real motorcycles,
shrunk in size for the little ones, that fired
the imaginations of millions of boomer-aged
kids like nothing imaginable. A red SL70 was
this author’s very first motorcycle, and it led
directly to a lifetime of two-wheeled fun and
employment. Sales of these minis skyrocketed
overnight and sucked millions of kids into
motorcycling’s maw along the way.
Launched at the 1970 Yamaha dealer
meeting, the Mini Enduro was an instant
sensation. “I introduced the thing to dealers by
carrying it out onto the stage,” says AMA Hall of
Fame inductee and longtime product-planning
guru Ed Burke. “Dealers knew instantly what it
was all about, just by seeing it. I have to say, it
was probably the easiest development project
I was ever involved in. The engineers in Japan
seemed to know exactly what we were going to
ask for in those days, and they seemed to have
that little thing ready to go right when we asked
for a miniature version!
“There was no mystery to what it needed to
be,” Burke adds. “A small DT-1, really, it having
T
Throwback
Our December ’70 issue
covered the all-new Mini
Enduro’s release, while
kid-friendly ads appeared
throughout ’71. Dealers
www.motorcyclistonline.com
39
“Even today, in the face of advanced,
ultra-modern minibikes, the JT-1 looks
near-perfect—handsome, athletic,
purposeful, and well proportioned.”
Behind that engine cover sits a 16mm
carburetor and rotary valve assembly, which
helped the 58cc two-stroke make 4.5 hp.
JT-1s were quiet and slow stock but woke up
nicely with typical hot-rodding.
become the dual-purpose machine by that
point. We just kept building them smaller
and smaller, and when we finally got to
the minibike, everyone knew it would be a
huge hit. And, boy, was it ever!”
Even today, in the face of advanced,
ultra-modern minibikes, the JT-1 looks
near-perfect—handsome, athletic,
purposeful, well proportioned—and
was stunningly transformative for baby
boomers, which is why they’re restored,
collected, ridden, and displayed in
garage rafters and living rooms by aging
boomers everywhere.
“While vacationing in Northern
California several years ago, I found
a restored JT-1—my first real motorcycle—on eBay,” remembers longtime
Motorcyclist photographer Kevin Wing. “It
was not cheap, but it was perfect and local,
40
MOTORCYCLIST
too, and within a few minutes I’d bought it.
I couldn’t help myself. I had to have it!”
The Mini Enduro was not a technical
tour de force. Its 58cc rotary-valve twostroke single, fed by a tiny, 16mm Mikuni
and lubricated by a no-fuss Autolube
system, made very little power. But it was
durable and reliable, and even after a long
winter’s nap in the Midwest and northern
tier of the country, they fired right up
come springtime. (Try that nowadays.)
The suspension was a bit flaccid for larger
kids thanks to el-cheapo shocks and a
fork assembly with just one spring in one
fork leg. But 60-pound Jeff Ward, who
Cycle magazine had evaluate the JT-1 for
its October 1970 road test, seemed happy
with the suspension. “He liked the way the
bike absorbed the jolts before they could
get to his backside,” Cycle wrote.
Overall, the JT-1 was balanced and
handled quite well, and kids didn’t really
care much about ride quality anyway;
all they knew was that the thing was
more fun and freedom-generating than
anything else in their lives. And at less
than $300, the JT-1 was affordable, and
parents—many of them DT-1 owners—
bought them by the bucket-load.
“It was just a crazy time,” Burke
remembers. “JT-1s would come three to
a crate, and dealers would buy 60 at a
time. They’d tell us, ‘We can’t assemble
’em fast enough to keep ’em on the floor!’
Back then, there were so many places to
ride, and the trail and riding-area closings hadn’t begun yet. Motorcycles were
everywhere, and everyone seemed to be
riding. One dealer in a little town called
Sissonville, West Virginia, sold some
3,000 dual-sport Yamahas for us one
year—DT-1s, AT-1s, and, of course, Mini
Enduros. Amazing! It was a great time
to be involved, and it highlighted how big
motorcycling was in the early 1970s.”
Racing legend Jeff Ward rode and
raced a Mini Enduro for a while, as did
AMA National and Supercross Champion
David Bailey. “The Mini Enduro was the
first bike I ever rode,” Bailey remembers.
“It was my stepdad Gary’s pitbike, and
I just got attached to the thing. When I
started racing it, Gary painted it to look
like a Pursang, as he was racing Bultacos
at the time; we called our JT-1 the
YamaTaco!”
A lot of Mini Enduros were ridden into
the ground in stock condition over the
years, but many were also modified, most
of those for racing. Larger carburetors,
high-compression heads, special exhaust
pipes, big-bore kits, and modified rotary
valves gave them considerably more
The coolest part of the Mini Enduro
experience for kids was having a bike that
looked just like the bigger Yamahas or Dad’s
DT-1. AMA motocross champion David Bailey
(right) at speed aboard his dad Gary’s JT-1
pitbike/racer.
power. They were pretty competitive for
a couple of years with the heavier SL70
four-strokes, though all that ended once
the XR75 and YZ80 appeared in ’73 and
’74, respectively. “We helped ourselves a
little by supporting a lot of minibike racing
at the time,” Burke remembers. “We
supported events at Indian Dunes and
Escape Country.”
Cycle’s October 1970 test summarized
the Mini Enduro pretty well: “Yamaha hit
the nail on the head with the new baby
Enduro. It’s better than a bicycle because
you don’t have to pedal it; it’s better
than most minibikes because it has real
suspension units and a real transmission and the stability which comes from
almost-full-sized wheels and tires; and
it’s different from almost all minibikes in
that it looks like a real motorcycle. The
Mini is scheduled for release in October,
just two months this side of Christmas.
Yamaha even has the timing down cold.”
“I’d grown up on my brother’s handme-down JT-1,” remembers Wing, who
still owns the bike photographed for this
story, “and it’s amazing to have one just
like it in the garage, especially with my
old Indian Dunes number on the number
plates. Every time I walk by it I’m only two
kicks away from hearing that memorable
sound, seeing the white puff of smoke, and
smelling that burned two-stroke oil. When I
do that, I’m instantly eight years old again.”
Yamaha wasn’t alone in the
mini uprising of the early 1970s.
Honda’s SL70 Motosport (right)
and Suzuki’s MT50 Trailhopper
(above) also debuted for ’71 and
lit up kids’ imaginations just as
the JT-1 did.
Back to School
MOTOMARK
ADVENTURE
MOTORCYCLE
TRAINING
TOUR
Do This Before You Take Your ADV Bike Off Road
WORDS: Ken Condon / PHOTOS: Wayne Busch, Ken Condon
ual-sport riding and the adventure-bike
market are big these days. Even if you have
no Boorman/McGregor ambitions, dualsport bikes can expand your horizons to include
both pavement and dirt roads into a single outing.
Not only that but learning to ride off road is a great
way to round out your skill set.
Most adventure/dual-sport riders are
transplants from the ranks of pavement dwellers.
The problem is that many of these hardtop riders
find themselves on their head during early off-road
excursions with no clue as to why they ended
up that way. What they failed to learn is that
some street-riding techniques do not work on
low-traction terrain. The good news is that you
can reduce the risk of being battered, bruised, and
broken with some relatively basic training.
D
42
MOTORCYCLIST
In the last several years the Motorcycle
Safety Foundation (MSF) began offering
Dirt Bike School courses for both new and
experienced riders. While these courses
are great, the basic curriculum, easy
training site terrain, and the small dirt
bikes typically provided won’t fully prepare
you for real-world roads and trails on a
bigger dual-sport machine.
To see what more advanced training
looks like I headed to North Carolina to
attend the Adventure Motorcycle Training
Tour offered by MotoMark1 (motomark1.
com). The bulk of MotoMark1’s courses
are for street riders, including advanced
parking-lot courses, on-street training
(featuring Stayin’ Safe) and motor-cop
certification. Owner Mark Brown has a
long résumé of moto-credentials, including
retired police motor instructor for the
North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
The two-day course is designed
for riders who want expert guidance
in handling their full-size dual-sport
machines. I consider myself an
intermediate dirt rider, but I have little
experience on big ADV bikes. The
experience of other trainees attending the
weekend course ranged from an eager
novice to a fellow who has ridden off road
on multiple continents.
The course itself consists of classroom sessions, parking-lot drills, and
two full days riding on miles of paved and
unpaved roads in and around the southwestern end of North Carolina’s Blue
Ridge Mountains. Real-time coaching
is piped into our helmets by means of
one-way radios. Mark deftly narrates his
thought process for managing all types
of riding scenarios while reinforcing
concepts that are discussed in the
classroom and in the parking lot.
Our weekend starts early on Saturday
with an introductory classroom session
followed by a demonstration of proper
on- and off-road body positioning. Any
street rider planning to venture off road
must learn how to counterweight. On the
street you lean your body toward the inside
of a curve, but try that pavement technique
while cornering on loose surfaces and
you’ll likely lose traction. Counterweighting
keeps a vertical load on the tires, allowing
the bike to lean and turn on loose surfaces
without losing traction. Another technique
that facilitates control is standing on the
pegs. Standing helps the suspension absorb
bumps and keeps the machine in balance as
it bounces over rocks. Combining standing
with counterweighting aids maneuverability
and balance by letting the bike move
independently underneath you.
Static drills in the hotel parking lot
allow us to practice standing and counterweighting. After this session we fire up our
bikes and ride to a cone-riddled parking lot
to practice counterweighting and standing
techniques in preparation for the upcoming
dirt ride. Mark uses the radios to coach
clutch control, forward vision, and counterweighting while we follow single file.
As usual, getting to the dirt roads
requires some pavement miles. Mark takes
this opportunity to describe strategies for
managing traffic and predicting potential
road hazards. Much of this on-road
coaching is part of the on-street courses
MotoMark1 offers.
With great anticipation, we turn onto
the first of many remote dirt roads we will
be riding over the weekend. Before we
leave the security of asphalt, Mark reminds
us to switch our minds from “sit-down
www.motorcyclistonline.com
43
Back to School
street mode” to “stand-up dirt mode”
and to establish a wide forward view and
balanced neutral standing position. We
tunnel through autumn forests for the
rest of the morning, navigating gravel
bends and switchbacks that provide ample
opportunity to build off-road confidence.
We refuel our bodies at a local eatery
while Instructor Steve holds a short course
on what tools and first-aid materials we
should consider when heading into the wild;
items can mean the difference between a
bad day and a really, really bad day.
Bellies full, we point our bikes toward
more of North Carolina’s semi-remote
dirt roads. After several miles, we break
to watch instructor Todd demonstrate
front, rear, and combination braking with
and without ABS. Todd also shows how to
manage load transfer and traction using a
stand-up approach and then transitioning to
a rearward sit-down position as load shifts
forward. After the demo, each student gets
a chance to practice threshold braking.
With the daylight nearly gone we head
back to the hotel. But the training day isn’t
over. We reconvene in the classroom after
dinner for more coaching and to watch
some onboard video of each student—a
fun and effective coaching tool. With stars
shining, we then head out for a nocturnal
ride into the nearby woods to learn
about identifying hazards in the dark. A
44 MOTORCYCLIST
Students practice weight-transfer techniques on pavement before putting the skills to use in
the dirt (top). Author Ken Condon (bottom left) and his fellow Adventure Motorcycle Training
Tour classmates pose for a roadside group photo after discussing first-aid necessities (above).
trailside demo allows us to compare each
of our bike’s headlights and witness the
effectiveness of auxiliary LED lighting. In
case you don’t already know: LEDs rock!
A brief classroom session starts day
two followed by a twisty pavement ride up
and over the famous Blue Ridge Parkway
on our way to our next overnight stop at
the awesome Ironhorse Motorcycle Resort
just south of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Arriving at Ironhorse, we unload some of
our cargo and then head out for lunch in
Robbinsville, North Carolina, before tackling the most challenging terrain so far.
The after-lunch route begins with some
tight, twisty, tree-lined rural pavement
in the Nantahala Forest. Mark narrates
strategies for managing blind corners and
hidden hazards, including locals who treat
the centerline as a mere suggestion. We
make a brief stop along the way to discuss
tactics for managing water crossings,
but national park rules prohibit us from
actually crossing the creek.
Then comes Little Snowbird Road,
an epic dirt road that begins with a tight
uphill switchback followed immediately
by a steep, rocky, mile-long ascent. My
borrowed XR650L “cheater bike” handles
the terrain with relative ease, while
others struggle with their much larger
KLR, Tiger, and GS ADV bikes. To my
surprise, everybody arrives at the top on
two wheels. Booyah!
The climb was the toughest trial of the
weekend, but there are more challenges to
come in the form of a tricky descent with
tight switchbacks covered with loose dirt
and gravel. Before we begin our descent, I
ask a fellow student if he wants to switch
bikes—my XR for his 2015 Suzuki V-Strom
1000. My logic for the swap is to learn
just how capable (or not) the Mega-Strom
is at handling dirt and rocks. It turns out
the V-Strom does much better ascending
rough terrain than it does descending on
loose dirt. It takes a lot of work to keep the
pseudo dual-sport front tire from tucking
as it plows from one tight downhill curve
to the next. Thankfully, the Strom has a
one-piece tubular handlebar and a nicely
shaped tank to allow full stand-up maneuvering. And the skills I picked up from the
course helped keep me relaxed, one of the
key elements for off-road success.
With dirt in my teeth and sweat on my
brow, we finish the day with a scenic pavement ride back to the Ironhorse Resort.
MotoMark1 provides lodging at the resort
for this third night as well as a morning
breakfast to ensure everyone is properly
rested before heading home the next
day. If you’ve never visited the Ironhorse
Resort, you really must. John and Charlene
created a top-notch motorcycle destination that is located in the heart of the most
thrilling motorcycle roads on the east
coast and very near Deals Gap.
MotoMark1’s course combines dualsport training with a guided tour of some
awesome paved and dirt roads. You’ll learn
ways to control your big bike on sketchy
surfaces and become aware of hazards
unique to off-road riding.
While we tackled some fairly difficult
terrain and discussed some advanced
techniques, the AMTT curriculum is
targeted mostly toward advanced beginners and intermediate-level riders. You’ll
need to look elsewhere if you want to
refine more advanced techniques like rearwheel steering, brake turning, traversing
hills, and surmounting rocks and logs.
The Adventure Motorcycle Training Tour
offers a lot of substance with three nights
of lodging, multiple classroom sessions, a
nighttime ride, real-time coaching with radio
communication, and a guided tour of many
off-road gems with multiple instructors on
hand. While the $1,395 tuition isn’t cheap, it
is a good value and a smart investment of
time and money because not being trained is
even more expensive, and it hurts.
The Adventure Motorcycle
Training Tour combines
hands-on instruction
(above) as well as
classroom lessons (right).
North Carolina’s semiremote gravel roads provide
plenty of opportunity to
practice our newfound
off-road skills (below).
WORDS: Ari
Henning
SUMMER TRAVEL
NELSON-RIGG
COMPRESSION BAGS
Dunlop
Trailsmart tires
It turns out that squeezing all the air out
of your clothes saves a lot of space in your
panniers! Nelson-Rigg offers compression
bags in three sizes (10, 20, and 35 liters)
starting at $13. Stuff the sack and yank on
the straps to concentrate and consolidate
your gear and gain a little extra cargo space.
If you’ll be stacking on the miles this summer
you’ll likely need to spoon on some fresh
rubber. The new Trailsmarts are designed for
today’s big ADVs, with long-wearing rubber
compounds and deep tread that should support
the occasional off-road excursion. Pricing
ranges from $166 to $261, depending on size.
Stave off sweaty palms with a pair of
Held’s $120 Sambia gloves. They’re highly
breathable and pretty protective with
leather, plastic armor, and SuperFabric in
high-impact areas. Perforated fingers and
various vents keep air flowing through the
glove while you ride so you stay cool and
comfortable.
nelsonrigg.com
dunlopmotorcycletires.com
schuberthnorthamerica.com
GIANT LOOP
PRONGHORN STRAPS
If you’ve grown tired of tying knots or
scratching your bike’s paint with bungee-cord
hooks, check out Giant Loop’s Pronghorn straps.
These versatile cargo straps are a traveler’s
best friend and perfect for securing all sorts of
stuff to your bike. They’re available in various
lengths in packs of two starting at $16 a set.
giantloopmoto.com
HELD SAMBIA GLOVES
MAUI JIM SUNGLASSES
Packability is key for motorcyclists with
limited storage space, so sunglasses that
fold up are a great fit for riders. Maui Jim’s
Stillwater sunglasses fold once, twice, and
then a third time so they’re only as big
as one of the polarized glass lenses. The
Stillwaters are dear at $329, but similar
designs are available for far less.
mauijim.com
DOWCO FASTRAX
BACKROADS TAIL BAG
Traveling light? Then the redesigned Fastrax
Backroads tail bag might be all you need.
It straps to the tail of just about any bike
and expands to 28 liters to accommodate
the overnight essentials. It comes with a
rain cover, shoulder sling, a dry bag that
secures to the top of the pack, and a lifetime
warranty, all for $119.
JULIA LAPALME
dowcopowersports.com
46
MOTORCYCLIST
MOTOCHIC LAUREN BAG
MotoChic Lauren Bag
PRICE:
CONTACT:
A-
$325
motochicgear.com
The quality and style of a highend shoulder bag, made functional enough for a motorcyclist.
As a female motorcyclist, I am often caught between
the need to be practical and the desire to be stylish.
Lucky for me, MotoChic has created a bag designed
specifically for ladies on bikes. Enter the Lauren bag,
named after model, actress, and motorcyclist Lauren
Hutton. This shoulder bag converts to a backpack, or
vice versa, making it a great fit for ladies on the go.
The exterior design is sleek and stylish enough for a
business meeting, with a quilted leather inset down the
center face that’s flanked in reflective material for better
nighttime visibility.
Converting the Lauren from a backpack to a shoulder
bag takes less than a minute. The shoulder straps are
tucked away in a zippered pouch and clip to metal rings
at the bottom of the bag. The padded shoulder straps
are also fitted with an adjustable chest strap, which can
slide up or down, depending where you want the strap
to cross your chest. With the chest strap situated right
across my sternum, in the lowest placement setting, it
felt like this particular feature was designed for very
petite women.
The Lauren will hold 15 liters of whatever you like, and has plenty of useful pockets.
There’s also a rain cover tucked into a compartment in the base of the bag. Great for wet
weather, but stuffing the cover into the bottom means the bag itself doesn’t have a flat
base to sit on. Moving the rain fly to the compartment that holds the backpack straps was
an easy fix.
All in all, this backpack has been very well thought out and engineered. The more I use
it the more I find helpful features, all clearly designed with a female rider in mind. I don’t
know if any other backpack out there can say that.
—Julia LaPalme
JULIA LAPALME
VENTZ COOLING SYSTEM
Have you ever unzipped the cuff of your jacket just a bit on a
really hot day to let fresh, soothing air up your sleeve? I did this
one time and a bee flew up my sleeve and stung me. Not my proudest
moment on two wheels. Whether or not that happened to British rider
Martin Warren isn’t clear, but after a sweaty ride in Southern France
he designed Ventz and was soon manufacturing these little rubberand-plastic portals that clip to the end of your jacket and let air rush
in to the rescue.
The concept is simple, though it relies on some specific scenarios
to work properly. One, there needs to be room in your cuff for another
piece of material (those of us with scrawny wrists won’t have a
problem). Two, your riding position needs to be such that the Ventz
are being hit with strong wind—sometimes that meant flipping them
to the underside of the cuff.
The last issue was that I try to wear jackets that fit
Ventz Cooling System
snugly around my arms so that armor cannot rotate in
the case of a crash. If the arms fit properly, the Ventz
PRICE: $22
don’t work nearly as well because the air has nowhere
CONTACT: ventz-range.com
to go. However, they are handy, easy to pack, inexpenA cool idea but not
sive, and they come in six colors. Plus, the mesh at the
quite as awesome
front is likely to keep bees out. Always a good thing.
as we were hoping.
B
—Zack Courts
www.motorcyclistonline.com
47
A COMPLETE GUIDE TO LIVING WITH YOUR MOTORCYCLE
JULIA LAPALME
PRACTICALITIES
THE LOWDOWN ON ENGINE OIL
PART I: Viscosity and Service Grades
From the saddle you’d never imagine
the violence occurring inside your
engine cases as your cruise down the
road. There is a dizzying number of parts
spinning and reciprocating inside your
motor—some of them at hundreds of times
per second. And all those components rely
on a pitifully thin film of oil to keep them
from turning to slag and bringing the whole
mess to a screeching halt.
Oil is your engine’s lifeblood. Not only
does it keep things spinning smoothly, but
it also cools the transmission and pistons,
helps the piston rings seal combustion
pressure into the head, and even serves to
neutralize nasty chemicals that are created
after the air/fuel charge goes bang.
There’s a lot more to engine oil than just
slipperiness, so in this and the following
installment of MC Garage we’re going to
dive deep into the subject.
The first thing most folks think about
when they consider oil is its viscosity.
48
MOTORCYCLIST
Viscosity refers to the oil’s thickness—
the higher the rating, say 50 weight,
the heavier or more viscous the oil is.
Viscosity is a critical factor in how well
the oil flows and how much protection it
offers. Modern multi-viscosity oils are kind
of magical. They provide the right flow
characteristics and lubrication across a
wide range of temperatures, from frosty
fall mornings to scorching-hot summer
afternoons.
The “W” following the first number in
15W-50 stands for winter, not weight,
and is a measure of the fluid’s flow rate
at a seriously low temperature of -15 to
-20 degrees Fahrenheit. So at sub-zero
temps, 15W-50 will flow no slower than a
15-weight oil. This cold-weather behavior
is critical to cranking speed and how
readily the oil will flow during initial startup in cold climates, though obviously it’s
more relevant to automobile drivers than
to motorcyclists. After all, who’s crazy
enough to go for a ride when it’s below
zero out? The second number in 15W-50
represents the oil’s high-temperature
viscosity, as measured at a temperature
of 212 degrees Fahrenheit. For 15W-50,
that means the oil will be no thinner than a
50-weight oil at operating temperature.
More viscous oil provides a thicker film
and better protects parts during normal
operation. Your motorcycle’s manufacturer
knows what viscosity range will meet the
motor’s needs, so it’s important to abide by
its recommendation.
How does a fluid defy the basic laws
of physics and thicken when heated?
Chemists mix in viscosity index improvers
(VII) that expand and elongate when hot,
thereby increasing the oil’s viscosity. So
to create a 15W-50 oil a manufacturer
would start with a 15-weight oil and
stir in enough VII to make it thicken to
50-weight once hot. There’s both art and
science in choosing the correct mix of
performance and equipment harm.” That
admonishment extends to SD-classified
oils as well. Most motorcycle manufacturers call for an SG rating (introduced
in 1995) or higher, so always look for the
latest designation when buying oil.
Traditionally motorcycles used oil
designed for automobiles, but as fuel efficiency demands for cars increased, friction modifiers have been added to the oil
package. Certain kinds of friction modifiers,
however, are great for cars and light trucks
but can cause clutch slip in motorcycles.
Recognizing that certain oils were
causing issues for motorcyclists, the
JASO stepped up and introduced two
standards for motorcycle oils based on the
SAE’s (Society of Automotive Engineers)
Clutch Friction Test: MA for bikes with wet
clutches and MB for bikes with automatic
transmissions. If your bike has a wet
“Modern multi-viscosity oils are kind of magical.
They provide the right flow characteristics and
lubrication across a wide range of temperatures,
from frosty fall mornings to scorching-hot
summer afternoons.”
categorized as mineral oil or conventional
oil. If the base stock is synthesized in a lab,
you’ve got synthetic oil. There are some
pretty striking differences between mineral
and synthetic oil, but that discussion will
have to wait until the next issue.
Take a look in your owner’s manual and
you’ll find a recommendation for an API
(American Petroleum Institute) service
type and a JASO (Japanese Automotive
Standards Organization) standard. These
little letter codes might seem insignificant,
but you don’t want to ignore them.
The API classification refers to the automobile model years the oil was designed
to work on. It speaks to things like lubrication properties, detergent properties, and
other factors and gets updated every few
years. All API classifications for gasoline
engines start with an S, followed by the
letter A through the current N standard.
Buy an SA-service oil (not hard to find
at gas stations and discount stores) and
you’ll be running your engine on oil that
the API warns “may cause unsatisfactory
clutch you’ll want to make sure you see
that motorcycle-specific MA classification.
Conversely, you want to steer clear of MB
oils and any oil that’s labeled as “energy
conserving” since both blends will contain
problematic friction modifiers.
It’s possible to find automotive oil
with the appropriate API service type
and viscosity range in a non-energyconserving formulation, but that doesn’t
necessarily mean it’s appropriate for
use in your bike. There are some key
differences between motorcycle engines
and car engines, most notably the fact
that motorcycles have shared sumps.
The meat grinder that is the transmission
is tough on the viscosity index modifiers
and calls for high-pressure and anti-wear
additives that aren’t part of the normal
automotive-oil package. Add to that the
fact that motorcycle engines make more
power per liter, spin faster, and run hotter
than car engines and it’s pretty clear
that picking motorcycle-specific oil is
important.
—Ari Henning
SPENSER ROBERT
modifiers, so the oil is equally competent
when cold as when hot.
Viscosity index improvers are just
one of many high-tech additives that get
stirred into each bottle of oil. Besides the
VII there are detergents and dispersants;
detergents do a little light cleaning while
the dispersants hold the junk in suspension
so it cannot be redeposited in the engine.
Plus there are buffers that neutralize
acids, sacrificial lubricants that serve as a
last-ditch barrier between metal-to-metal
contact, solvents to break up impurities,
and corrosion inhibitors.
These additives make up about 20 to 25
percent of the content in each bottle of oil.
That’s right—only about 80 to 75 percent
of each liter is actually oil, known in the
industry as base stock. If the base stock
is refined from crude oil that’s pumped out
of the ground then the finished product is
WHY CHANGE
THE OIL?
Pressing the Reset Button on
All Those Critical Additives
We all know that regular oil and
filter changes are the best way
to keep our engines happy, but
why does oil need to be changed
in the first place? “It gets dirty”
is the simple answer (and true
to some degree—soot from the
combustion process blasts past
the piston rings and clouds the
oil), but there’s a bit more to it
than that.
Remember those magical
viscosity index improvers that
allow a 15-weight oil to thicken
to 50-weight once hot? Those
fancy molecules are fairly fragile
and tend to get chopped up in the
transmission as the miles stack
up, leading to viscosity breakdown and insufficient lubrication.
Other additives get worn out and
used up too. And while the base
oil itself is extremely durable
and will last for thousands and
thousands of miles, it’s important
to change the engine oil in order
to press the reset button on all
those critical additives.
Next month:
The pros and cons of mineral
oil and synthetic oil, what to
use for engine break-in, and
used-oil analysis.
www.motorcyclistonline.com
49
STREET SAVVY
KEN
CONDON
@40 mph
Total stopping distance:
approximately 177 ft.
AVERAGE RIDER
@60 mph
Total stopping distance:
approximately 332 ft.
RICH LEE
AVERAGE RIDER
REACTION TIME
You’re riding along minding your own
business when suddenly you’re facing
the bumper of a left-turning SUV. Every
cell commands you to get the motorcycle
stopped ASAP to prevent your early demise.
But will your response be quick enough?
It’s a good thing we’re hardwired to
respond immediately to threats, but too
often our synapses don’t fire fast enough for
a quick and effective response. Thankfully,
there are ways to help make sure you aren’t
a victim of “too little too late.”
There are actually two components of
reaction time: “perception time” and “activation time.” Perception time is the time
it takes to figure out what’s going on and
decide what action to take. Activation time
is the time it takes to reach for the brakes.
You also have to account for the amount of
time it takes to actually get the bike stopped.
Let’s say you’re traveling at 40 mph,
which is about 56 feet per second. A
reasonably attentive rider will typically
use about one second of “thinking” time to
perceive the situation and begin applying
the brakes. Add at least 0.5 second or
more if you’re daydreaming. That equates
to between 56 and 84 feet before any
physical action is taken.
The actual time it takes to stop the
motorcycle depends on your bike’s weight,
50 MOTORCYCLIST
travel speed, and available traction, as well
as the efficiency of your brain-to-muscle
communication and your ability to use all
of your brakes’ potential without skidding
(ABS helps in this regard). From 40 mph a
typical rider will need somewhere between
100 and 125 feet to get the bike stopped,
depending on ability. Add perception,
activation, and braking distances together
and you could need up to 200 feet to stop.
With perception time adding nearly 50
percent to the total stopping distance, you
can see why it’s so important to remain
alert. You also want to develop your ability
to predict when bad things are about to
happen before they unfold. Get ahead
of sketchy situations by aggressively
scanning for clues that indicate trouble.
Be especially vigilant when approaching
intersections, where most collisions occur.
You can reduce activation time by
covering the front brake lever and rear
brake pedal when approaching potential
hot spots. Not only will this simple action
reduce activation time, but it also puts your
whole system on alert.
Of course, the best way to reduce
braking distances is to slow down.
Trimming just 5 mph off your 40-mph travel
speed requires about 20 fewer feet to stop.
Add 5 mph and you’ll need about 25 more
feet to stop. Speed up to 60 mph and you’re
going to need nearly twice the stopping
distance as you would from 40 mph.
Hard braking when the bike is upright is
tricky enough when facing an emergency.
But things get even more challenging when
you have to stop quickly while leaned
because of a hazard around a corner.
Perception, activation, and braking time
still apply, but now you also need to add
time to reduce lean angle. You reduce lean
angle to free up traction that’s being used
for cornering so you can brake hard with
less chance of traction loss. This necessary action adds to total stopping distance.
Machines with cornering ABS offer a
distinct advantage here where you can
brake hard while maintaining lean angle.
Whether or not you avoid a crash is
dependent on your ability to react quickly
when an otherwise sublime day suddenly
turns into a DEFCON 1 war zone. The best
riders remain alert and ready for battle and
waste very little processing time before
executing evasive action. They also cover
the brakes to reduce activation time when
approaching intersections. The final step
is to regularly practice emergency braking
techniques. Can you stop your motorcycle
in the shortest possible distance while
maintaining control? Too many riders can’t.
Josh Hayes
Monster Energy Graves
Factory Yamaha
4 Time AMA Superbike
Champion
Photo: Brian J. Nelson
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• Available for Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki,
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MOTORCYCLISTONLINE.COM
MOTORCYCLIST is your go-to
source for the latest Up To
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How-To tech, and new
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WHAT ARE YOU
CARRYING?
Every rider
deserves to
carry a great
pocketknife.
GARAGE
ANSWERS
,W·VDQHVVHQWLDOWRRO,I\RX·UHOLNHPRVWRIXV\RX·G
SUHIHUWRFDUU\$PHULFDQ³LILWZRUNVLQWKHEXGJHW
1RZLWGRHV1RZ\RXFDQRZQDPDGHLQWKH86$
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RINQLIHIRUDOLWWOHSULFH
Enough Alone
A friend of mine who is a new rider just bought a 2015 Kawasaki
Versys 650. So far he loves the bike. Just after the first service,
though, talk around the dealership was that he should change the
fueling by putting a Power Commander or something on the bike. They say
that the Versys runs too lean and that it could run a lot better with some help.
He’s not so certain.
MADE IN USA
LINK 1776
MSRP $59.99 - $69.99
kershawknives.com
Joe McCrandall / via email
It’s true that modern bikes run
on the lean side of the air/fuel
mixture spectrum to help meet
emissions. In fact, it’s been that way for
decades, but the difference now is that
manufacturers rely on catalytic converters
and oxygen sensors to get to that goal of
low emissions without making the bike
run poorly. A cat-con burns whatever
hydrocarbons don’t get consumed in the
engine, while the O2 sensor allows the fuel
injection to quickly adjust, in real time, to
various riding conditions.
But the real issue is to determine if
there’s a real issue. Does your friend’s
Versys stumble or surge or run too hot?
You’ll notice stumbling just as you pick up
the throttle. If the engine gasps or hesitates in this transition from off throttle to
on, it could be too lean. Surging: If you hold
the throttle steady at any given speed, does
the bike want to rhythmically speed up and
slow down? Does the coolant temperature
run above 200 degrees Fahrenheit in stopand-go traffic? If his Versys is like all the
ones we’ve tested recently, the answer is
probably no to all.
Exceptions? When you modify in a way
that could change the airflow through the
engine—a high-flow air filter element or a
full exhaust system, for example. At that
point, the stock injection computer might
run out of its range during closed-loop
running—this is where it’s watching the
O2 sensor and tuning on the fly—and will
probably not be ideal at engine speeds
and loads where the ECU goes into openloop mode.
Bottom line: If your friend’s Versys is
running well in the stock configuration,
leave it stock.
Your Turn!
We know you have a question you’re just
dying to ask, so send it to us already at:
mcmail@bonniercorp.com
RETAIL CONFIDENTIAL
WHAT’S YOUR TYPE?
While I’ve found that every customer is
truly different, it’s possible to separate
them into clear categories by their actions.
Some fall into a certain type because that’s
the way they’re wired, while some react
to outside influences to display a definable kind of behavior. Here are the most
common. Which one are you?
there’s the small matter
of making a decision. As
JEFF
analytical as the mind can
MADDOX
be, picking one bike over
the other can be the hardest decision you
make. My advice? Don’t overthink it. Go
with your gut. Don’t talk yourself out of
the bike you’re leaning toward.
MR. DECISIVE. You have done your
homework, know exactly what you want,
and the final price isn’t going to make or
break the deal. Your trade-in is usually well
kept, and there are few hiccups during the
sales process. “Seamless” is a great way
to describe you as a buyer. We work very
hard to make you happy because you’re the
type of buyer who makes our work a joy.
THE NEGOTIATOR. I get it. You’re shopping other dealerships, you want the best
deal, and whoever gives you the bargain of
the century will make the sale. To answer
your questions: I can’t throw everything
in. I can budge a little on price, but I can’t
take $3,000 off the sticker. And, yes, I
want to sell you a motorcycle. My best
cash price out the door? That’s my cue
BIG SPENDER. Not to be confused with Mr. Decisive, you also
know what you’re looking for and have done your homework.
But at some time during the sales process it’s apparent we’re
talking above your price point. We might run the numbers and
put the deal together per your request, but you quickly find out
that most no-money-down deals on a $15,000 motorcycle won’t
hit the magical $125-a-month mark that you have in mind. I
can make it work, but it will require a large down payment or a
trade-in with equity. This deal will typically dissolve right before
my eyes but not after a lot of bouncing back and forth.
BE-BACK, A.K.A. SASQUATCH. The
twisty road we ride is often paved with
good intentions. Whether it comes down to
Partner Sasquatch offering a resounding
“No!” to the deal or whether it’s common
sense and cold feet, you walk out the
door and we never see you again, leaving
us with nothing more than some really
large plaster footprints to remember you
by. This deal can get as far as prepping
the bike and completing all documents
awaiting your signature, and then you’re
a no-show. But I heard you were sighted
along the wooded area down by the river.
THE UNDECIDED. You’re all about the
research. You have the specs memorized
and seem to have a handle on the strengths
and weaknesses—it almost sounds like
you’re selling the bike to me. But you’ve
done this for two different bikes, and
to ask you, “Are you buying today and are
you actually paying cash?” If not, I have
a couple of more questions I need to ask
you. Such as, do you have a trade and
are you financing your purchase? You
always seem surprised when we get to
our bottom dollar and won’t go any further.
Please understand we have to make a
profit to stay in business.
Obviously, motorcycle sales is not a
simple or completely predictable endeavor.
Every new customer is given the opportunity to show his type, and it’s up to us to
react properly and make it the best experience possible. Oh, and Sasquatch? Don’t
worry—we sold your bike to someone else.
Jeff Maddox is the sales manager for a multiline dealership in the Midwest. Questions for
him? Email us at mcmail@bonniercorp.com.
GARAGE
WORDS: Ari Henning
SERVICE YOUR
COOLING SYSTEM
Summer heat isn’t just hard on you as a rider; it’s also
hard on your engine. Make it a little easier by performing
a cooling-system service. Most owner’s manuals recommend
replacing the coolant every two years. This procedure works
for most bikes, but some have very specific steps to take.
Consult your manual before you begin.
45
Now is a good time to inspect the radiator
hoses for cracks or damage. Also inspect
the hose clamps and take a close look at the
radiator itself. Use a small flat-blade screwdriver to straighten bent cooling fins.
54 MOTORCYCLIST
Position a drain pan under the bike and
unscrew the drain bolt on the water pump,
identifiable by the copper washer behind the
bolt head. Open the radiator cap and allow
the coolant to drain. Drain the reserve tank
as well.
Flushing out the radiator isn’t usually
necessary (and creates a lot of contaminated water to dispose of), but if you have
scale buildup you might want to treat your
radiator with a cleaning solution to remove
residue and scale.
Reinstall the drain bolt and pour in fresh
coolant to the top of the filler neck. Then
start the bike (with the radiator cap off)
and run it for several minutes, blipping the
throttle and rocking the bike gently to help
free any air bubbles.
Top off, reinstall the radiator cap, reattach
the reservoir hose, fill the reservoir tank to
the upper line, and you’re good to go! Enjoy
the riding season knowing your engine is
properly prepared to stand the heat.
JULIA LAPALME
If your bike was recently ridden, give it
some time to cool before you pop the
radiator cap. Most coolant is toxic, so keep
it off painted surfaces, keep it in a closed
container, and dispose of it properly.
WORLD-CLASS
MOTORCYCLE RACING
IN AMERICA
CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF AMA SUPERBIKE RACING
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new jersey motorsports park
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may 13 - 15
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virginia international raceway
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june 3 - 5
* schedule subject to change
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GET TICKETS ONLINE AT MOTOAMERICA.COM
’
GARAGE
TRIUMPH STREET TWIN
WRIST: Julia LaPalme
MSRP (2016): $8,700
MILES: 2,000
MPG: 55
UPDATE
MODS: None yet
’ve been looking forward to getting hold
of the new Triumph Bonneville Street
Twin as my long-termer—so much so that
when bossman Cook texted me with the
assignment to retrieve it from their fleet
garage, I squealed with joy. It’s a girl thing.
I’ve been a fan of classic-style naked
“standards” since I started riding more
than 10 years ago. I love the combination
of sportbike-esque performance with the
timeless lines of motos from the 1950s
and ’60s: round headlights (a must),
exposed frame, gracefully simple tank
shape, upright seating. Much as I love a
true sportbike to tear around on, when it
comes to aesthetics, the classic styling
of standards, “sit-up bikes,” and café
racers has always had my heart. Turns out
Triumph shares that mindset.
With the new Bonnevilles released
JULIA LAPALME
I
this year, Triumph took its tried-and-true
classic motorcycles and made them even
better: low to the ground, narrow chassis,
ABS, traction control, and updated gauges.
I hop on the Street Twin and fire it up
and can’t help but smile. The sound of that
exhaust gets me every time (and that’s just
stock!). I pull away from a stoplight, and
the low-end torque of the 900cc parallel
twin keeps me ahead of traffic no problem.
Even with all its charm, I will say I’ve
already got my eye on a few things I’d like
to explore for this baby Bonnie: a windscreen, perhaps, so freeway runs aren’t
such a neck ache; a luggage rack and/or
saddlebags so I can save my back when
toting things to and fro; and maybe a peek
into tweaking the suspension. With all the
custom mods being done to café racers
new and old, I’m sure I won’t run out of
inspiration for this Street Twin. Stay tuned
to see what comes next!
That’s exactly the sort of low-grip
scenario Stompgrip (stompgrip.com; $55)
is made to address. I’ve slapped these
bumpy rubber pads on various bikes
over the years, and they really boost grip
and make it easier to latch onto the bike.
The pads are made from a tacky rubber
material and have small, flexible spikes
(Stompgrip calls them “volcanoes”) that
lock your knees to the bike when you
clamp down on the tank. They come in
black and clear, cut to fit the Tuono’s tank.
Out on the road the added grip is a
big help, not just while riding hard in
the canyons but also while going for ice
cream with my wife on the back. Instead
of slipping on the tank my knees are solidly
locked in place. If the flanks of those
mechanical bulls had Stompgrips on them
(and if the riders were less inebriated) the
ride would surely last longer. But it probably wouldn’t be as fun to watch!
APRILIA TUONO V4 1100 RR
WRIST: Ari Henning
MSRP (2016): $14,799
MILES: 825
MPG: 30
UPDATE
MODS: Tank traction
ave you ever seen one of those bullriding machines in a bar? Patrons who
have maybe had a few too many Buds get
up and straddle the mechanical beast, only
to get tossed to the mat after slipping out of
the saddle as the machine bucks forward
and back. It’s entertaining for spectators
but frustrating for riders.
It feels a little like riding a bucking
bronco when I get frisky with the Tuono’s
throttle or clamp down hard on the front
brake lever. This bike stacks speed so
quickly and stops so fast that sometimes
I have a hard time holding onto the tank
and staying in the seat! The Aprilia’s tank
is perfectly contoured to provide lots of
surface area for your knees and thighs to
press against, but my riding jeans (Kevlarreinforced and armored) just slip on the
slick paint.
56
MOTORCYCLIST
JULIA LAPALME
H
KTM RC390
WRIST: Ari Henning
MSRP (2015): $5,499
MILES: 3,347
MPG: N/A
UPDATE
MODS: Race bodywork
ear readers, I’m pleased to introduce
you to the RC390 racebike. Yes, the
KTM has been to the track quite a bit
already, but it was always wearing stock
bodywork. I deliberately stuck with the
stock skin because I wanted race bodywork to be the last major mod for the
RC. The race fiberglass is kind of like a
graduation gown. The RC390 finally has its
Bachelor of Roadracing degree!
I’ve had a Tyga belly pan on the bike since
I started racing the RC earlier this spring, so I
figured I’d stick with Tyga (available through
formula390.com) for the rest of the pieces.
The Tyga panels are available in sexy carbon
fiber or fiberglass, and while the individual
panels are affordable, there are a lot of them!
The complete fiberglass kit costs $830 (it’s
nearly double that for carbon), including seat
foam and a windscreen. To cut costs, you
could retain the stock side fairings (that’s
what the Cup bikes run) and front fender and
save yourself $455.
4THERIDERS
D
The Tyga parts come primered in
white, and I ran them as is. (Albeit with
the addition of a bunch of stickers to
spice things up. Think I went overboard?)
Besides making the bike look legit, the
race bodywork allowed me to shed the
stock headlight and taillight assemblies,
cutting quite a bit of weight from high up
on both ends of the bike. The bodywork
went on easily, though I did have to break
out the automotive grinder to clearance
the side panels so they’d fit flush with the
nose fairing. Some mounting hardware is
provided, and you can use the stock bolts
for everything else.
So the little RC390 is all grown up and
has become the dedicated track tool its
high-school counselor said it could be. And
while the KTM now has a full-time job as
a racebike, its development and learning
aren’t over yet. The RC390 still has to get
its Master of Roadracing degree.
GARAGE
’
Kawasaki Versys 650 LT
WRIST: Spenser Robert
MSRP (2016): $8,799
2,215
MPG: 33
UPDATE
The impact
with a car
busted the
water pump
cover and
the poor
little Versys
peed all
over itself.
MODS: Salvage title
s venerable wordsmith (and wouldbe motorcycle enthusiast) Charles
Dickens once wrote, “It was the best of
times, it was the worst of times…” Such is
the state of things in this Versys update.
Starting with the best of times, the
Versys got its first taste of the track out
at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. While I
am by no means a track-riding expert
myself, it’ll come as no surprise that I had
an absolute blast riding the bike around a
closed course. Even as I hung off the bike,
desperately trying to get my knee down, I
never had a moment’s issue with grip from
the fresh set of stock Dunlop Sportmax
D222 tires.
The stock suspension settings were
another story. Out of the box they were
much too soft for any aggressive braking or
cornering, so I ended up going with about
A
18 to 20 clicks of preload in the rear (out of
a possible 24) and approximately 12 turns
of preload in the front (out of a possible
20). Increasing the preload in the rear was
particularly helpful for getting the bike into
a more controlled position during corner
entry, but even with these increases,
the Versys experienced its fair share
of suspension diving and bobbing. Still,
this bike was never meant to be a track
machine, and even with more skilled riders
and sportbikes whizzing by me, nothing
came close to wiping the Versys-650-atthe-racetrack smile off my face.
JULIA LAPALME
MILES:
Unfortunately, the worst of times
weren’t far behind. Less than 24 hours
after our inaugural track session, the
Versys and I suffered a mid-freeway collision that left the bike badly damaged. By
the grace of some Kawasaki-loving deity,
the bike and I never actually went down,
but the impact was still severe enough
to bend the frame and render the Versys
irreparable. We’re hoping to hear back
from Kawasaki regarding a replacement
Versys, but for now I mourn the loss of an
innocent Versys and just hope that it’s not
too long before I swing a leg over another.
BMW S1000XR
WRIST: Marc Cook
MSRP (2016): $19,790 (as tested)
MILES: 18,954
MPG: 37
UPDATE
n the life of the S1000XR, the 18,000mile maintenance was supposed to be
the big one, a general checkover of the bike
plus the first time the valve clearances are
checked. Owners get a little nervous about
the valve check because of the possibility
that one or more clearances will be out,
and the design of modern engines means
you’ll have to extract the cams and move
adjusting shims around to get the clearances right. It’s a difficult job for the home
mechanic and sometimes even for the guy
who gets paid to do it.
Good news with my XR, whose valves
were all within spec, so the service tallied
up $423 in parts (including a headlight bulb)
and 5.5 hours of labor for $594. That also
includes 4 quarts of oil, four new spark
plugs (at $20 each), as well as new oiland air-filter elements. Some of that labor
includes a full flush of the brake system.
I
58 MOTORCYCLIST
Friend of MC
Paul Bertorelli
(left) rode
the XR
2,600 miles,
two-up, just
to fly Randy
Lervold’s
XCub. That’s
dedication.
That would be the happy end of the
story had the bike not failed me within
5 miles of my house. Apparently, the XR
had been reassembled in such a way that
the throttle-body harness got pinched,
eventually shorting out a couple of wires
and putting the bike into limp-home
mode. On a Friday afternoon, Long Beach
BMW got the XR on the back of a flatbed
truck and by Monday had diagnosed the
problem. Unfortunately, the bike would
be in the shop for more than two weeks
waiting for parts.
Otherwise, no complaints, as they say.
The Michelin Pilot Road 4s are holding up
well at 4,600 miles, with the rear beginning
to square off. I rode the bike a fair bit in the
rain and can say the Michelins are very good
in the wet: predictable, lots of grip, quick to
warm up. Now that the XR has been released
from the dealership’s grip, I’m more than
eager to wear these Michelins out.
PAUL BERTORELLI
MODS: None
JULIA LAPALME
The R1 project bike prepped for racing. Just like
people, it looks better when the lighting is moody.
Yamaha YZF-R1
WRIST: Zack Courts
MSRP (2015): $16,490
MILES:
3,281
MPG: 33
UPDATE
MODS: Slicks and stickers!
hen I set out to turn this 2015 R1
into a racebike I set some goals
for myself, the most prominent being to
either win a race or go fast enough that I
felt I reached my personal limit and wasn’t
being held back by the bike. Secretly, as
arbitrary as it sounds, I wanted to break
the one-minute 50-second barrier at our
local track, Chuckwalla Valley Raceway
(my previous best was somewhere in the
1:52 bracket, on a stock literbike). The
other requisite was to go racing as simply
and economically as possible.
As discussed last month, I added
Hotbodies Racing bodywork, R&G Racing
crash protection, and Bridgestone R10
race rubber. The result was a third-place
finish and a lap time of 1:51.9. Good, not
great. I struggled with overheating the
DOT-spec R10 race tire but mostly with
just calibrating myself to the cognitive
pace of racing a 1,000cc superstock
machine. Line selection is paramount, and
there’s no time to rest. I knew I had more to
give, and the bike was ready.
W
A couple of months later, and I set out
once again to Chuckwalla. This time armed
with Motorcyclist stickers splashed across
the unpainted bodywork, Bridgestone
V02 slick race rubber, and, perhaps
most important of all, “real” printed
race numbers from our friends at Vinyl
Disorder (vinyldisorder.com). That would
be worth at least a few tenths! Jokes aside,
the slicks were immediately an improvement—quicker transitions, more feedback,
and no matter how much power I fed to the
rear tire I couldn’t overheat it. The result
this time? The R1 achieved a victory in
Open Supersport and a lap time of 1:49.1.
As a reminder: This is an R1 with a stock
ECU, stock pipe, and stock suspension
that hasn’t even been adjusted away from
owner’s manual settings.
With that outcome, some things should
be clear. One, if you can slap slicks on it
and get within a couple of seconds of the
lap record, it makes sense that people
complain about the R1 being too stiff as a
streetbike! And two, this proves once and
for all that the R1 is a showroom-ready
track weapon. The V02 slicks (bridgestone.
com; $400/set) are not cheap, and it’s an
investment in time and money to race-prep
any bike. But it also means my research is
complete. I need not explore the boundaries
of the R1’s track potential anymore. Ehhh,
actually, one more weekend couldn’t hurt…
GARAGE
SMART MONEY
2005–2009 BMW R1200RT
BMW continued to push the RT toward the
sporting end of the sport-touring spectrum,
thanks to a weight-reduction program, a new
1,170cc engine from the R1200GS with more
torque, and a redesigned fairing. Almost
ubiquitous as a cop bike at this point.
2010–2013 BMW R1200RT
you switch damping rates from Sport to
BMW isn’t the only brand in the
Normal to Comfort and back again on the
sport-touring club, but it’s one of
fly. Other nice touches included an adjustthe founding members, and any other
motorcycle manufacturer applying for
able windscreen, heated grips, an optional
admission has a pretty good idea whose
heated seat, rubber-mounted handlebars,
standards it has to meet. Since its debut in
an exceptionally effective fairing, and a
2005, the R1200RT has chaired just about
6.6-gallon tank that lets you ride almost
every meeting of riders who want solid
250 miles between fill-ups.
comfort and overall competence from their
Legroom for both pilot and passenger
mounts. In 2010 BMW passed a motion to
was generous, with the seating position
give the R-RT the engine out of that year’s
described as sporty by some and neutral
R1200GS, ensuring its reappointment to
by others. The rider’s part of the seat could
almost everyone’s Best Sport Tourer list
be raised from 32.3 to 33.1 inches, and
for at least another few years.
several other seat options were
CHEERS
The R-RT’s 1,170cc, air-/oilavailable. The optional top trunk
Refined and
cooled, DOHC boxer lump got
gave the passenger welcome
capable. Like
bigger valves and throttle bodies,
back support.
a good butler,
different cam specs, and new
The handling was composed
willing to see to
your every sportpistons. Claimed output was 110
and controlled, with more
touring need.
hp, not outstanding among its
than enough cornering clearsport-touring competitors, but
ance for a bike with the R-RT’s
JEERS
Not the most
that number was actually less
mission statement. Few riders
thrilling ride you
significant than the increase in
were excited by it, but fewer
can buy. Tends
torque throughout the powerstill found that to be enough of
to blend into the
a drawback to overshadow its
band, which peaked at a claimed
scenery.
other virtues. It was a far cry
88 pound-feet and got serious
WATCH FOR
from its stripped-down ancesat about 3,000 rpm. The added
Drops of fluid
oomph made reaching for the
tors, dwarfing them in terms
under the finaldrive housing,
8,500-rpm redline—500 revs
of size and capabilities, but the
non-functional
higher than the previous engine—
teutonic nature remained.
electronic
an unnecessary exercise.
Build quality of the R1200RT
features.
Optional ABS and traction control
was high, with the fit and finish
VERDICT
moderated the flow of power in
you’d expect from a premium
Brilliant evolution
the appropriate circumstances.
model. Not exactly a hooligan’s
of the boxer and
The chassis featured the
first choice for stunting, used
proof there’s life
in the concept for
familiar Telelever front and
ones have usually been cared
years to come.
Paralever rear suspension, but
for scrupulously—but there are
the optional ESA II added an extra
exceptions, so ask for service
VALUE
2010 / $10,790
dimension of control by letting
records, and if you don’t get
60
MOTORCYCLIST
2011 / $11,900
2012 / $12,865
2013 / $13,585
2002–2004 BMW R1150RT
The box score: Great chassis, so-so engine,
clunky gearbox. Servo-assisted brakes will
live in infamy. This generation got dual-plug
heads in 2004, which is less of a milestone,
more of a road map pointing to the R-RT’s
eventual metamorphosis into a more sharply
focused sport-tourer.
1996–2001 BMW R1100RT
After BMW introduced the Oilhead in the
R1100RS, it was only logical to create an RT
off the same platform. As expected, it was
heavier and less thrilling to ride than the
RS. Vibey, heavy, and with a clunky gearbox.
There are driveline reliability issues on highmileage bikes.
them, move on. According to owners, BMW
still had not eradicated final-drive failures
by this generation—though the rates were
in single-digit percentages—so check for
proper service and evidence of leaks, and
feel carefully for any bearing play.
Addressing any of these issues is no
job for amateurs, and BMW dealers tend
to charge handsomely for their time and
expertise. Even with that price to pay, the
R1200RT is a stellar sport-touring option
with a healthy aftermarket and many,
many happy customers.
—Jerry Smith
SEPTEMBER 7–11, 2016
FIVE DAYS,
1000 MILES,
1,000,000 Stories
Come join the GEICO
Motorcycle Hot Bike Tour
on September 7, 2016,
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presented by Rinehart.
.
motorcycles builders
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used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase
with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon
must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day. must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day. must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day. must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
Customer Rating
LOT 60728/69034 shown
63054/62858
10 FT. x 20 FT.
PORTABLE CAR CANOPY
R
PE ON
SU UP
CO
99
comp at
R
PE ON
SU UP
CO
$
SAVE
$50
R
PE ON
SU UP
CO
99
WE CARRY
A FULL LINE OF
WELDING WIRE
90 AMP FLUX
WIRE WELDER
Customer Rating
LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be
used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase
with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon
must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
$
LOT 61849
62719
68887 shown
• No Gas
Required
ON
UP
CO
119
99
– Truckin' Magazine
WINNER
LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling
800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior
purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt.
Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be
presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
$
R
PE ON
SU UP
CO
LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be
used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase
with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon
must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
$29.97
comp at
LOT 61282 shown
62326/61253
73 lbs.
Customer Rating
RAPID PUMP® 3 TON
LOW PROFILE
HEAVY DUTY STEEL
FLOOR JACK • Weighs
R
PE ON
SU UP
O
C
Customer Rating
SAVE
$102
LOT 69026
60392 shown
MOTORCYCLE
WHEEL CHOCK
LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling
800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior
purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt.
Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be
presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
comp at
$132.95
2999
$
R
PE ON
SU UP
CO
LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be
used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase
with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon
must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
LOT 62340/62546
63104/96289 shown
9
SAVE
66%
$ 99
1500 WATT DUAL
TEMPERATURE
HEAT GUN (572°/1112°)
We have invested millions
of dollars in our own
state-of-the-art quality test
labs and millions more in
our factories, so our tools
will go toe-to-toe with the
top professional brands.
And we can sell them for a
fraction of the price because
we cut out the middle man
and pass the savings on to
you. It’s just that simple!
Come visit one of our
650+ Stores Nationwide.
R
PE ON
SU UP
O
C
Limit 1 coupon per customer per day. Save 20% on any 1 item purchased.
*Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or any of the following
items or brands: Inside Track Club membership, extended service plan,
gift card, open box item, 3 day parking lot sale item, compressors, floor
jacks, saw mills, storage cabinets, chests or carts, trailers, trenchers,
welders, Admiral, Badland, CoverPro, Daytona, Diablo, Earthquake,
Franklin, Grant’s, Holt, Jupiter, Maddox, Portland, Predator, Stik-Tek,
StormCat, Union, Vanguard, Viking. Not valid on prior purchases. Nontransferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16.
ANY
SINGLE
ITEM
20%
OFF
SUPER COUPON
How Does Harbor Freight
Sell GREAT QUALITY Tools
at the LOWEST Prices?
QUALITY TOOLS LOWEST PRICES
$5.55
1
comp at
$ 99
SAVE
64%
$
49
SAVE
43%
at
99 comp
$89
LOT 95275 shown
60637/61615
3 GALLON, 100 PSI
OILLESS PANCAKE
AIR COMPRESSOR
comp at
$20.37
7
SAVE
60%
$ 99
LOT 63056/63057/60405/63094
63150/61524/62322/90984 shown
4 PIECE 1" x 15 FT.
RATCHETING TIE DOWNS
$
comp at
$469
28999
LOT 69675/69728/63090/63089
• 70 dB CALIFORNIA ONLY
Customer Rating
Noise
Level
LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling
800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior
purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt.
Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be
presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
SAVE
$179
6.5 HP (212 CC)
GAS GENERATORS
4000 PEAK/
LOT 63079/69729/63080/69676 shown
QUIET
R
PE
SU
SUPER
LIMIT 6 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling
800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior
purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt.
Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be
presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
R
PE ON
SU UP
CO
LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling
800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior
purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt.
Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be
presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
Customer Rating
R
PE ON
SU UP
CO
LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling
800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior
purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt.
Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be
presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
Customer Rating
68440/69678 shown
R
MICROFIBER
PE ON
SU UP LOT 63030/63253CLEANING CLOTHS
PACK OF 4
CO
59
99
SAVE $
$106
comp at $166
Customer Rating
LOT 93897 shown
69265/62344
RETRACTABLE AIR HOSE REEL
WITH 3/8" x 50 FT. HOSE
$369.99
Customer Rating
$39.99
comp at
$59.97
8
$ 99
LOT 91616 shown
69087/60379
LIMIT 8 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be
used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase
with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon
must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
SAVE
85%
• Drill 28
Hole Sizes
3 PIECE TITANIUM
NITRIDE COATED
HIGH SPEED STEEL
STEP BITS
Customer Rating
LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be
used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase
with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon
must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
comp at
19
SAVE
50%
$
99
350 LB. CAPACITY MOTOCROSS
DIRT BIKE STAND
LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be
used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase
with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon
must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
comp at
$
15999
LOT 32879/60603 shown
• Pair of arbor plates
included
SAVE
$210
20 TON
SHOP PRESS
R
PE ON
SU UP
CO
Customer Rating
$752.99
31999
comp at
$
LOT 61256/61889
60813 shown
12,000 LB. ELECTRIC WINCH
WITH REMOTE CONTROL AND
AUTOMATIC BRAKE
3
SAVE $ 99
57% comp at $9.38
Customer Rating
LOT 69249/69115/69137
69129/69121/877 shown
YOUR
CHOICE
Customer Rating
comp at
SAE
$46.97
LOT69279
LOT 69280/69333
61
69560 shown 69332/695
SET
DEEP IMPACT SOCKETMET
RIC
WOW SUP13ERPIECOUCEPON
1/2" DRIVE
S
$198.99
7999
comp at
$
LOT 95896
comp at
$1029.99
36999
LOT 69995 shown
60536/61632
comp at
$135
6999
LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be
used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase
with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon
must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
$
• Lift range: 5-1/4" to 17"
Customer Rating
1500 LB. CAPACITY
MOTORCYCLE LIFT
LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be
used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase
with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon
must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
$
SAVE
$660
• Weighs 245 lbs.
LOT 69387
68784 shown
62744/63271
• 650+ Stores Nationwide
• HarborFreight.com 800-423-2567
l
s last. Non-transferable. Origina
. Offer good while supplieone coupon per customer per day.
purchase with original receipt
Valid through 11/19/16. Limit
coupon must be presented.
LIMIT 5 -
SAVE
57%
Customer Rating
• 1250 lb. capacity
LOW PROFILE
MOTORCYCLE DOLLY
LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be
used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase
with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon
must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
SAVE
$119
R
PE ON
SU UP
CO
44", 13 DRAWER
7 FT. 4" x 9 FT. 6"
ER
ALL PURPOSE WEATHER UP PON Customer Rating INDUSTRIAL QUALITY
S
U
ROLLER CABINET
RESISTANT TARP O
C
LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be
used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase
with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon
must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
R
PE ON
SU UP
CO
LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be
used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase
with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon
must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
SAVE
$433
R
PE ON
SU UP
CO
• 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
• No Hassle Return Policy
• Over 30 Million Satisfied Customers • Lifetime Warranty On All Hand Tools
LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be
used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase
with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon
must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
$179.99
79
99
• 1500 lb.
capacity
69595/60334
comp at
SAVE
$100
$
R
SUPER-WIDE TRI-FOLD
PE ON
ALUMINUM LOADING RAMP
SU UP Customer Rating
O
C
LOT 90018 shown
LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be
used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase
with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon
must be presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
R
PE
SU
LIMIT 1 - Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or prior purchase.
Coupon good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567.
Offer good while supplies last. Shipping & Handling charges may apply if not
picked up in-store. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented.
Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one FREE GIFT coupon per customer per day.
VALUE
$ 99
4
LOT 65020/69052 shown
69111/62522/62573
3-1/2" SUPER BRIGHT
NINE LED ALUMINUM
FLASHLIGHT
WITH ANY PURCHASE
FREE
SUPER COUPON
$199
Customer Rating
LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling
800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior
purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt.
Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be
presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
$39.99
1999
LOT 46319 shown
61160/61896
• 300 lb.
capacity
comp at
$
SAVE
50%
R
Customer Rating PNEUMATIC
PE ON
ADJUSTABLE
SU UP
O
C
ROLLER SEAT
LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling
800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior
purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt.
Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be
presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
comp at
99
LOT 62837/99721 shown
400 LB. CAPACITY
RECEIVER-MOUNT
MOTORCYCLE CARRIER
SAVE
$99
$
99
R
PE ON
SU UP
O
C
LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or HarborFreight.com or by calling
800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior
purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt.
Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be
presented. Valid through 11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
$19.97
comp at
7
$ 99
LOT 60497/93888 shown
61899/62399/63095/63096
63098/63097
MOVER'S DOLLY
• 1000 lb.
capacity
SAVE
59%
Customer Rating
R
PE ON
SU UP
CO
with original receipt.
from original purchase
purchases after 30 days last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be
Offer good while supplies11/19/16. Limit one coupon per customer per day.
presented. Valid through
LIMIT 5 -
comp at
$201.50
Includes hook, mirror,
magnet accessories, and
video-out cable.
LOT 61839/62359 shown
INSPECTION CAMERA
Customer Rating
SAVE
$131
SUPER COUPON
WOW
2.4" COLOR LCD DIGITAL
Throttlemeister.com
#
∀!
#∀∀#
∀!!∀
#∀∀#∀∀&∀#∀
∃∀##!
∀!"!#
#∋∀∀∀%"
'##(∃!
!!
∀#∃!)"#!!!#
414-464-6060
®
crampbuster.com 1-800-735-5240
64
MOTORCYCLIST
RIDING THE
OTTOMAN EMPIRE
facebook.com/edelweissbike
FOR MORE INFORMATION
PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE
The Scottish
solution to
chain
lubrication
www.Scottoiler.com
Photo by Craig Olson
Call : (814) 592-7003
BETTER FIT
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©2016
Download the New Catalog now!
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65
Daylight makes navigating
abandoned barns easier,
but what’s fun about
easy? Riding at night—
while exhausted—is when
things get exciting!
JUSTIN W. COFFEY
JUSTIN
W. COFFEY
MASOCHISM & MOTORCYCLES
“W
e’re gonna need a firearm.
Anyone have a pistol
we can use to get this
thing going?” A short
man, round in the middle,
wearing all the tones of Mother Nature—
brown, green, blue, and some type of
taupe—passed his eyes around the waning
audience. The pre-race briefing had ended
and the 100-plus racers were wandering
back to their respective pits. In a few
minutes, a Le Mans-style start would kick
off a 24-hour off-road endurance race on
an 800-acre piece of property sandwiched
between Oregon and Washington.
I raised my hand: “I’ve got a 9mm in my
van.” The squat man landed his eyes on
me and asked, “Mind if we fire off a round
to start the race?” I walked back to the van,
cleared the chamber, locked the slide, and
brought my Glock to the big fella waiting
next to the timing-and-scoring shack.
A loud crack, clearly the sound of an
exceptionally well-built Austrian pistol,
wafted across the sheep shit-covered
field. The first wave of racers, lined up
shoulder to shoulder at one end of the field,
came running toward us. What lay ahead
of them was a mix of baby-head stones
and razor-sharp rocks, just waiting for
someone to trip and end their race early.
Their motorcycles were strewn across
the ground next to an oversize water hole.
The racers kicked feverishly to get them
going and then tore off around the lake and
into a horizon layered with golden grass
and burgundy barns. This was Starvation
Ridge, and the race, a 24-hour test of
idiocy, er, endurance was underway.
The event organizer, land owner, and
race promoter is a tall man with three
fingers on one hand and four on the other.
He looks like he’s made from some combination of old leather, Carhartt, and Crown
Royal—bruised and battered by years
spent tending to his property. Shortly
before the start he threw those three
fingers into the air while addressing a
crowd of eager participants. He laid down
the rules: 24 hours of non-stop racing,
each lap taking roughly 40 minutes for
the fast guys, and more than an hour for
everyone else. Teams consisted of one to
eight members.
The course looks like a medieval hedge
maze carved into the land, took competitors through abandoned barns, along
narrow ridgelines, past fields of freshly
planted who-knows-what, and then down
Nissan Hill, an immensely steep slab of
dirt that more than one rider opted out of.
As an entry-level masochist myself, the
course looked enticing. But when I made
my way back to the pits, aboard a course
worker’s side-by-side, and saw the faces
of participants who had endured a lap (or
two), I was glad I had a van to climb inside
of and not a motorcycle I had to mount.
Unlike a lot of off-road races I’ve
attended, either as a participant or picture
taker, the 24 Hours of Starvation Ridge is
not accustomed to compliments. They’ve
never really had a “write up,” and the
availability of information on the internet
is slim. So when I announced my intentions to cover the race, the organizers
were confused. Very few people go out
there other than to race this insane event
or work the pits. But this event is the kind
of thing more people need to know about.
An event that promotes proper racing
etiquette, team-building techniques, and
self-reliance. It’s difficult, no doubt, but
what’s fun about easy?
When the checkered flag waved the next
morning, less than half the teams were
standing—the rest bowed out because of
weather, fatigue, or mechanical failure. A
mixed bag of disaster and disappointment.
Most will be back again next year.
MOTORCYCLIST (ISSN 0027-2205, USPS 517-970), September 2016, issue No. 1610, is published monthly except the February/March and December/January issues by Bonnier Corp., 2 Park Ave., New York, NY 10016. Periodical postage paid at New York, NY and
additional mailing offices. Copyright 2016 by Bonnier Corp. All rights reserved. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission of Bonnier Corp. Mailing List: We make a portion of our mailing lists available to reputable firms. If you would prefer that we
don’t include your name, please write us at the Harlan, IA address. POSTMASTER: Send all address changes and all UAA to CFS, NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITES: to MOTORCYCLIST, PO Box 6364, Harlan, IA 51593-1864. Subscription rates: $18.00 for 1
year. Please add $12 per year for Canadian addresses and $24 per year for all other international addresses. Canada Post Publication agreement # 40612608. Canada Return Mail: IMEX, PO Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2, Canada.
66
MOTORCYCLIST
Thom Hill, Lebec, CA,
leaves the office behind on his Harley ® Sportster ® 48.
CUBICLES
ARE
DANGEROUS.
People say riding a motorcycle is dangerous. But for those who can’t imagine
life without two wheels, NOT RIDING A MOTORCYCLE IS DANGEROUS.
That’s why Allstate offers protection with one purpose: to keep riders riding.
LOCAL AGENT
877-361-BIKE
ALLSTATE.COM
Subject to terms, conditions, availability and qualifications. New Motorcycle Replacement is an optional coverage. Claims will be settled based on customer choice to obtain original
equipment manufacturer parts for their bike make and model. Actual savings will vary and may depend on coverages selected. Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Property and
Casualty Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL and Allstate New Jersey Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Bridgewater, NJ. © 2014 Allstate Insurance Company
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