Valentino Rossi Back in the Saddle Only 3 Weeks After Broken Leg

In early September, MotoGP fans were shocked to hear that Valentino Rossi, the series’ most widely loved star, suffered a broken leg in an enduro riding accident, and could be out for the rest of the season. But they were even more shocked to hear that he was already recovered and would be back on the grid at Aragon – a mere 23 days later! Read about the 9-time champ’s miraculous recovery here! 

 

On August 31st, 2017, fans of 9-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi, and officials from both Dorna and Yamaha Movistar received heartbreaking news – the Italian champ, 4th in MotoGP at the time, had broken his leg in an enduro riding accident.

Immediately, fans were heartbroken, as a broken leg would certainly eliminate Rossi’s chance at a 10th MotoGP title in 2017. While fans lamented the injury and loss a MotoGP favorite, MotoGP executives immediately set about preparing for the worst. Yamaha Movistar began selecting a rider to replace Rossi to finish out the season (settling on Superbike rider Michael Van Der Mark), and Dorna executives began running projections on how the loss of the series’ biggest name and most charismatic star would hurt the remainder of the MotoGP series.

 

9-time World Champion Valentino Rossi draws so many fans to MotoGP on his own, Dorna officials were concerned about the popularity of the rest of the MotoGP season with him absent. Luckily, due to his miraculously speedy recovery, his broken leg ultimately only kept him out of one race!

 

Meanwhile, Rossi and his team had other ideas entirely. Rossis accident took place near his home in Tavullia, Italy, and he was able to get immediate medical attention, undergoing surgery from Dr. Raffaele Pascarella, Director of the Orthopedic and Trauma Division of Ancona Hospital. Rossi’s injury was a fracture of both the tibia and fibula on his right leg, the same one that was broken in a high-speed crash at Mugello in 2010. Dr. Pascarella explained to the Italian media that the surgery was complicated not only due to the fact that the leg was broken before and scar tissue buildup made the surgery difficult, but that the high stakes of working on a champ as high-profile as Rossi, right in the middle of the season, made it an especially stressful ordeal!

But Dr. Pascarella managed to repair the fracture, and recommended a recovery time of at least 30-40 days before Rossi could ride again – a timeline that would cause him to miss both the September 10 race at Misano, and the September 24 race at Aragon. Unfortunately, this simply wasn’t going to work for Rossi.

Valentino Rossi is often described as one of four “aliens” in MotoGP, the superstar riders so supremely talented in motorcycle racing, they seem to surpass the level of human abilities. Rossi is the winningest rider currently in the series, with an incredible 9 World Championships under his belt. But Rossi’s alien-like talent isn’t the only reason he has been such a successful racer – he is also an incredibly hard worker and a fierce competitor, and the recovery regimen he underwent after his surgery shows it. Rossi underwent intense physiotherapy, which included 6 hours of recovery training every day after his surgery, all while in severe pain.

But Rossi is nothing if not determined, and it was only days after his accident that he felt he could get back on a bike. Missing the MotoGP round at Misano was especially unfortunate, as the Italian track is one of two that Rossi considers a “home track,” where tens of thousands of Italian fans cheer him on, and he is able to ride in front of his own family and friends.
But Rossi would still end up on the track at Misano, though not on race weekend – instead, completed several rounds of testing aboard a Yamaha R1 the following week, to see if he was really ready to ride again. This took place a mere 17 days after his accident, and after riding numerous laps in both dry and wet conditions, Rossi insisted that he could race at the following round at Aragon.

 

Rossi looked terrific at the last MotoGP round in Aragon considering he had a broken leg, ultimately qualifying in the front row on the grid and finishing 5th.

 

Though in great pain, Rossi proved that he could ride, and he then miraculously passed a medical examination to ride at Aragon. Hesitantly, officials cleared him to enter the race that would take place only 23 days after suffering a broken leg – and Rossi soothed all fears that his recovery was premature, qualifying for the first row and then placing 5th overall in the race!

Though the injury and the missed round at Misano will eliminate any chance of Rossi having a title shot this year, Rossi has shown once again to the world why he is so well-loved, and why he is the most successful rider on the grid today. Rossi has the heart of a champion and a fiercely competitive spirit, and this story will add even more to his legacy as one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time, and proves that will and determination can overcome even the biggest challenges. Our hats are off to the racing hero, and we look forward to seeing him back on the grid in the remaining 4 MotoGP rounds for 2017!

 

Rossi’s title chances were shattered after missing Misano, but what is fully intact is the superstar racer’s worldwide popularity. Stories like this show why he is such a fan favorite and the most successful MotoGP racer riding today, and add to his already legendary status.

 

Giant Loop Wins “Nifty 50” Award

 

 

GIANT LOOP PANNIER MOUNT FOR MOTORCYCLE SOFT LUGGAGE AND GEAR WIN “NIFTY 50” AWARD FROM POWERSPORTS BUSINESS

Giant Loop Crew

For the fifth consecutive year, expedition gear innovator Giant Loop has won a “Nifty 50” award for best new products. For 2018, it’s Giant Loop’s GL Pannier Mount, an ultralight, rugged, stable, quick-connect, quick-release, lockable solution for motorcycle soft luggage and equipment. Constructed of aluminum with a black powder coated finish, stainless steel hardware and a key lock mechanism, GL Pannier Mounts weigh just 3.6 lbs. per pair, including spare keys. In keeping with the company’s minimalist “go light, go fast, go far” design philosophy, GL Pannier Mounts feature just two moving parts, an anchor clasp and a lock, both of which are accessible without having to reach inside motorcycle luggage.

Although specifically designed for Giant Loop rack-mounted motorcycle soft luggage, Round The World Panniers and MotoTrekk Panniers, GL Pannier Mounts offer remarkably versatile solutions for attaching gear to motorcycle side luggage racks. Pre-drilled holes provide easy installation of RotoPax® gas cans, water cans and accessories, and strap slots enable virtually any other gear, tools or bags, to be secured to the GL Pannier Mounts with Giant Loop’s heavy-duty stretch polyurethane Pronghorn Straps.

Giant Loop Pannier Mount

GL Pannier Mounts are currently compatible with most side luggage rack designs featuring flat, vertical hoops constructed of 16-18mm round tubing. Examples include Givi Outback, Touratech pannier racks and the BMW R1200GS Adventure’s OE luggage racks (Giant Loop adapter required for exhaust side of BMW GSA). Other adapters and mounting options will be available soon. Sold as a set of two with four keys included.

Giant Loop Coyote Saddlebag

Past “Nifty 50” award winners from Giant Loop include: Fandango Pro Tank Bag (2014), Tracker Packer emergency beacon holster (2015), Gas Bag Fuel Safe Bladder (2016) and Great Basin Saddlebag Roll Top (2017).

Since 2008, Giant Loop has been a leading innovator in motorcycles, snowmobiles, snow bikes (e.g. Timbersled), ATVs, UTVs, Side-By-Sides and overland 4x4s, as well as paddlesports, bicycling and outdoor recreation.

Giant Loop Columbia Dry Bag

Giant Loop Siskiyou Panniers

Endurocross Adds Pedal E-Bike Events

EnduroCross Announces eMTB Challenge Series

EnduroCross teams with Electric Bike Events for eMTB Experience, kicking off August 25 in Prescott Valley, AZ

The 2018 AMA EnduroCross Series is proud to introduce the first-ever EnduroCross eMTB Challenge Series! Through cooperation with international tradeshow organizer, E.J. Krause & Associates (EJK) and Electric Bike Events, LLC, this series within a series brings pedal-assist electric mountain bikes together with America’s most extreme indoor off-road motorcycle competition, and also brings with it the eMTB Experience where fans can test ride the latest models on a purpose-built test track.

The eMTB Experience will be featured at four rounds of the six-round 2018 AMA EnduroCross Series where the public will be welcomed to demo a wide variety of electric mountain bikes on Saturday and Sunday. The EnduroCross eMTB Challenge Series will take place at the same four rounds on the Sunday after AMA EnduroCross. The first round of the eMTB Experience and eMTB Challenge Series will take place August 25 in Prescott Valley, Arizona, the opening round of the 2018 AMA EnduroCross Series.

“Many of our EnduroCross riders use mountain bikes for cross-training and when they had the chance to test ride electrified versions, they all talked about how similar it was to riding off-road bikes. So it made sense to bring the two together,” explained Race Organizer, Corey Eastman of Bonnier Corporation. “We think fans will really enjoy the opportunity to try something new in such a fun environment.”

In the eMTB Experience, consumers will be able to browse showcases from electric mountain bike manufacturers, along with mountain bike accessory suppliers and local bicycle dealers. The closed-loop dirt test track (separate from the EnduroCross race course) will feature a number of terrain elements designed to highlight the handling features and pedal power of an electric mountain bike.  There will be no limit as to the number of bikes an individual can test ride, however, all riders must be a minimum age of 16 to participate.

The eMTB Challenge Series will be held inside the arena on Sunday on a specially tailored race course, sure to be a never-before-seen format for eMTB racers. The entire venue is a unique prospect for the growing sector of eMTB, bringing together fans, racers, vendors and athletes to experience the product firsthand, learn about the technology and see the possibilities of pedal-assist mountain biking.

“We’re excited to bring this rare opportunity to fans where they can test ride the same machines that will be used in competition,” said Ron Askins, Senior Vice President of EJK. “Fans can ride a pedal-assist mountain bike for themselves, and then see what the same bikes are capable of in the hands of racers during Sunday’s eMTB Challenge.”

2018 eMTB Challenge Series Schedule

August 26, 2018  –  Prescott Valley, AZ  –  Prescott Valley Event Center

September 23, 2018  –  Reno, NV  –  Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center

October 21, 2018  –  Denver, CO  –  National Western Events Center

November 4, 3018  –  Nampa, ID  –  Ford Idaho Center

 

2018 AMA EnduroCross Championship Schedule

August 25, 2018  –  Prescott Valley, AZ  –  Prescott Valley Event Center

September 15, 2018  –  Costa Mesa, CA  –  Racetrack at OC Fairgrounds

September 22, 2018  –  Reno, NV  –  Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center

October 20, 2018  –  Denver, CO  –  National Western Events Center

October 27, 2018  –  Everett, WA  –  XFINITY Arena

November 3, 3018  –  Nampa, ID  –  Ford Idaho Center

90’s Dream Bikes

 

 

During 1990’s motorcyclists were treated to a wide selection of fascinating and unique superbikes. It was a period when the line between street going machines and true race bikes became blurred. The showrooms filled with bikes that fueled the race aspirations of many young riders. Not only did the stock bikes look sleek and racy, there were many to choose from. Here is a look at some of the most influential models from the period.

1992 Suzuki GSXR-1100

The big GSXR is granddaddy of all modern superbikes. When enough just isn’t enough, when you want the volume turned up to 11 (or 1100), the Suzuki was your choice. The big bore Suzuki wasn’t the lightest or best handling, but it became the standard by which all other replica racers were judged.

In a time when superbike racing was limited to 750cc’s, the 1100 found its place in the WERA Formula USA series. A true “run what you brung” class, F-USA saw the monster Suzuki’s routinely chasing a couple of Yamaha 500cc GP bikes around the track. What a show it was!

Despite being eclipsed by better performers, Suzuki was able to sell the GSXR for many years virtually unchanged. It was all based on reputation. I can remember customers walking into the shop where I worked in the late 90’s asking for the “Slingshot”. They didn’t want to know about anything else, to them it was still king of the hill.

I chose the 1992 model because of the iconic tiger stripe graphic. It was a look the GSXR was able to pull off even long after it had gone out of style.

Honda VFR750R – the RC30

The RC30, what needs to be said. It is the epitome of sex on wheels. When it comes to beauty expressed in aluminum and steel, it stands on a pedestal. It resides in a realm that at the time was typically reserved for likes of Ducati and Bimota.

Rule number one of selling 1990’s motorcycles: give them twin headlights. Rules number two, three and four would be; single sided swingarm, high mount exhaust and wonderful mechanical sound. This is the  kind of uniqueness in design that sells motorcycles. There is no mistaking the RC30, dressed up in any livery it is still very identifiable.

Like the street going sibling, the VFR750, the gear driven V4 motor has a wonderful cadence. There are many more performance aspects we could talk about, but let’s face it, it is a supermodel, who really cares about the rest.

1992 Kawasaki ZX7R

In a side note that has been lost over time is the original ZX7R. Unlike the standard ZX7, the first R model was a real race track refugee. With its long and low stance, the big Kawasaki was just a set of slicks away from being track ready. Later the R designation would be added to the regular show room model and some of its uniqueness lost.

But for the original R, it came with a solo seat, no passenger pegs and a host of track style upgrades. The  most obvious were the real ram air ducts that ran through the aluminum gas tank. Few bikes have ever been so true to the long time Kawasaki muscle bike persona.

Rob Muzzy would make the race green color scheme famous in the hands of Doug Chandler and Scott Russell. Later Eric Bostrom would continue the wins on the aging but still competitive ZX7R.  

Ducati 851 and 888

During the 80’s the famous Italian marque faded from its glory days of racing. They were still out there, flogging around the F1, but in truth the company was riding on the coat tails of the Mike Hailwood Isle of Man victory in 1978. They certainly did not have a bike that would bring the masses to the showroom.

But things began to change in the early 90’s, first with the introduction of the 900ss, a bike for the masses. Then came the famous 851 desmoquattro . Here was a Ducati for a new decade with four valves, liquid cooling and fuel injection.

It took a few years to really get the power and durability sorted for racing. But once that happened, the Ducati was a nightmare for the completion. The combination of added displacement and wonderful power delivery from the V twin made it a terror in World Superbike and AMA racing. Keep in mind this was long before the days of traction control, so getting power to the ground smoothly was key to winning.  Doug Polen and Troy Corser won consecutive AMA championships in 1993 and 1994. Polen had already had two WSBK titles on the Duck.

Honda CBR900RR

One of the ongoing goals of the 90’s was to figure out how to get perfect mix of open class power and 750cc class handling. It wasn’t as simple as putting an open class motor in a 750 chassis. Chuck Graves did manage to stuff a Suzuki RF900 motor into the GSXR 750, but it only saw moderate track success.

Honda dropped a game changer on everyone with the introduction of the original CBR900RR also known as the Fireblade overseas. With the typical Honda level of technology and refinement, this was instantly hailed as the open class sport bike for the masses.

The styling was just right too. There are enough visual cues in common with the RC30 to show the relationship. Honda also made some very smart choices in the graphics. Not only was there a traditional red/white/blue, but they introduced a black/red/white color scheme that would become iconic for the model and popular on the showroom floor.

1998 Yamaha YZF-R1

I am going to come right out and say it. The Yamaha doesn’t really belong on this list. While it debuted in 1998, it was far enough ahead of its time  that it should be considered a Y2K bike.  Once the R1 hit the showrooms, everything changed again. The next era had arrived.

While the performance was shattering, it is perhaps the styling that had the lasting impact. Here we are twenty years later and many of the visual cues remain with us. What it represents is a move to a more aerodynamic driven shape and less of an artistic expression of beauty.  

Where the earlier goal had been to give open class bikes 750cc handling, the R1 leapfrogged to 600cc class handling and 150 horsepower. The competition was caught asleep at the wheel and would spend years catching up.

 

I am sure I have missed a few other standout bikes of the day. An honorable mention certainly has to go to the 1996 Suzuki GSXR-750. But then Suzuki had a couple of duds in there too, particularly the TLR and TLS V-twins.

As the R1 ushered in a new era of design, modern sport bikes started to lose their uniqueness. The wind tunnel isn’t going to provide you with a variety of design options. Sport bikes all look very much the same today. Were it not for the company logos, the average enthusiast would probably have difficulty telling one brand from another. 

Perhaps we just need a new RC30. I bet it would still sell today.

KTM Announces Flat Track Race Program

 

Building upon its racing success in the offroad and motocross segments, as well as the continued commitment to American Road Racing at the junior level, KTM Motorsports is pleased to announce its plan to go racing in the 2019 American Flat Track Championship. KTM has appointed former HMC KTM Factory Superbike racer and Brand Ambassador, Chris Fillmore, as the new Flat Track and Road Racing Team Manager to oversee its racing efforts in the U.S.

American Flat Track is America’s original extreme sport. At its core, it’s a highly competitive, adrenaline-fueled motorsport, featuring specialized motorcycles and piloted by young world-class athletes. With history dating back to the first two-wheel racers in the 1920s, American Flat Track is widely regarded as the most prestigious and competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing in the world.

John Hinz, President, KTM North America, Inc.:“We have been following the changes happening to the racing in American Flat Track and the excitement it’s produced, so as a READY TO RACE company it was natural for KTM to want to be involved. I am proud to continue a long-standing relationship with Chris Fillmore as the new Team Manager for our Flat Track and Road Racing efforts. Chris has a history with KTM beginning in 2003 when he rode on KTM’s first Super Moto team before leading our RC8R Sport Bike effort in Road Racing, and most recently setting the World record on a 1290 SUPER DUKE R at Pikes Peak. Chris has been working with the MotoAmerica RC Cup racers and is currently heading the Orange Brigade Road Racing Team with two young riders in the MotoAmerica Junior Cup so we’re confident in his abilities to take on this exciting project.”

For 2019, KTM will field a race team to compete in the AFT Singles Class aboard the championship-proven 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION. The future is poised to bring even more excitement in the AFT Twins class with the upcoming 2019 KTM 790 DUKE.

Chris Fillmore: “It’s pretty exciting to work on this new project to go racing in the American Flat Track Championship. We have the full support of KTM’s global motorsports team with Pit Beirer, Roger De Coster, Ian Harrison and the Austrian R&D department which provides a wealth of knowledge and experience behind us. Our goal is to use 2019 as a building year to create our structure and race team in the AFT Singles Class and the 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION is a championship-proven race bike and the perfect platform for KTM to engage with the new American Flat Track series. We’re well aware that KTM’s new 790 DUKE has the perfect power plant to compete in the AFT Twins class and we’re excited to see what the future brings in this new journey.”

The 2018 American Flat Track Championship is underway with the first two rounds complete. KTM-mounted rider Dan Bromley has gotten off to a great start as he currently leads the AFT Single class on a privateer-backed KTM 450 SX-F.

KTM LC8 Twin Flat Tracker

Vintage KTM 500 two stroke Flat Track conversion

KTM RFS set up as Flat Tracker

Confessions Of A Tour Guide

 

 

“You must have the greatest job in the world”. That comment, or something like it is what I hear so often. In many ways I do. I get paid to ride motorcycles. That is the dream for many of us; figure out how to make a living on a motorcycle.

But there is far more to being a professional tour guide than meets the eye. The amount of work, learning, investment, time, risk and… Well I could go on and on about it. So let me share with you the view of the world from my seat.

First off, it is really hard work. As both the owner and guide/rider, I put a tremendous amount of time into preparing for a ride and then actually guiding. There is the whole business side of marketing, finding clients, arranging dates and collecting money. I have to discreetly screen every rider to determine their ability and interests so I can pair them with similar riders.

Once that is all done, I prep bikes and vehicles for the ride. My bike has to be perfect. I can’t have mechanical issues of my own during a ride. Well, perhaps I should say I “shouldn’t” have any mechanical problems. But I test things on my bike and sometimes they don’t work as they should. For example, the new 350xcf decided to be neurotic on the last ride. It had to go back and have a counseling session with the KTM computer system before it decided it was really ready to go to Baja.

 I have a fleet of rental bikes, they have to be prepped too. Then there is the van (due to be replaced), trailer and entire laundry list of things we take on each trip. There is literally a list that I print out for each trip so I can keep everything in order. All has to be ready to go. I probably have enough bikes, parts and equipment to run a motorcycle shop.

My backpack alone is worth thousands of dollars. Does that sound crazy? It contains my sat phone, Spot Tracker, delicate parts like spare injectors and tools. On top of that I keep a big wad of cash stashed in it at all times.

I have a significant investment in what I do. Some of it is tangible, but much of it is what resides inside my noggin. It took me over a decade to learn the routes and figure out how to arrange all the little details of organization. Places like riding in the “Pine Forest” are really tricky to learn. I also build trails, so I am always on the lookout for new and interesting places we might be able to put a trail. But these are the areas I excel in too. I have a very good memory for places, sense of direction.

It is a lot of physical work. The average 4 day tour is a 7 day week for me. Two days prepping, maybe more depending on the number of rental bikes. Then 4 days of riding and one day to unload, clean and put everything away. The first and last days of riding are 12 hour days once the drive time is considered.

It is a business and I have competition, sort of. I joke that every third rider in Baja calls himself a tour guide. It is an easy thing to start a tour business. It is much harder to really make a go at it. In reality there are about 3 other companies that are legitimate players who I look at as competition. Each takes a slightly different approach, for better or worse. I’m conceited enough to figure I am the best at what I do. And in a sense I don’t have much for competition because most of my clients specifically wish to ride with me.

The truth of it is, I am uniquely suited to what I do. Not to say others are not also. Let’s just say they are unique in their own way too. As for me, I speak fluent Spanish. I have a large and varied motorcycle background. I love to travel and learn cultures. I appreciate good food. While the riding is the first priority, there are so many other wonderful things about traveling in Mexico that I love to share with clients. I try to show them a bigger picture of the culture and scenic beauty of the country.

I am very selective about what I share with others. Everyone is your friend when they need information about where to ride in Baja. For the most part I am happy to talk Baja travel with people I encounter. Many of them are looking for basic information about routes, fuel, food and lodging. If it is common knowledge, the kind of routes found on the map, then I am happy to share my experience. If you ask me about riding in a sensitive area, I will steer you away from it.

If you ask for a GPS track, I won’t even reply. I have had to make it a rule, no GPS tracks for anyone. Back country travel in Baja is a serious undertaking. I learned most of it by trial and error and it taught me how to be prepared. Nothing like an unplanned night of sleeping in the desert to make you contemplate the things you should have done different or brought along with you.

I field emails from random motorcyclists every week with these kinds of questions. These emails are second in volume to “what bike should I buy” questions.  I try to answer most of them the best I can. I have to balance running a business against being a good resource for others. For the most part I figure good will comes back around in the long run.

I have to find a balance between work and pleasure riding. I get invited everywhere. Everyone one wants me to come on their group ride. They even offer to pay my expenses. But showing people where to go is my business and I get paid for it. So I turn down most offers to ride with others.

On the trail I am the boss, plain and simple, I have put years into figuring out the best way to keep riders safe and having fun. When it comes time for someone to make a decision about the ride, I just do it. I have the most experience and I usually know the best plan. During a tour, I spend much of my ride day thinking about all the variables; how everyone is doing, should we go left or right, who is struggling, do we need to make the route shorter, how much daylight is left and so on.

I have to gauge the group by inferring everyone’s status. No one ever wants to admit they are struggling. Often when it comes to having to make a choice to go an easier way, I make the decision without telling anyone. That way no one feels singled out because they may be struggling. But my inclination is always to ride more, so at times I do misjudge it and end up riding more than we should.

I have to be everyone’s mechanic. I am the flat tire specialist. Chances are you have never met anyone who has changed more flats on the trail than yours truly. I have to carry enough tools to handle any trailside repair. I carry extra of everything; spares, fuel, food, water, first aid supplies, clothes etc. My Giant Loop bag weighs 16lbs, my backpack 15lbs and add another 3lbs for my fanny pack. I carry a lot of stuff!

As for running a business, this is about as challenging as it gets. First, the only way to make any money is to do it as your own business.  Why is this so? There are plenty of enthusiasts out there who are willing to work for almost nothing just for the opportunity to get to go to Baja and ride a motorcycle. The average tour company employee barely makes minimum wage.

So now I have all this experience and investment in my own business and I make some money. Oh, but wait, this is only a seasonal business. The Baja season is about 8 months total, yet the heart of it is really about 5 months. It is hardly something to rely on as a sole income.

It begs the question, why do it at all? Well there is the part about going to Baja and riding a motorcycle. It is pretty cool and can be lots of fun. I consider Baja as the last frontier of dirt biking. Much of what we do would land you in jail stateside. I was contemplating some of this while riding a while back; I have lots of time to think out on the trail. I love being outdoors and this is one of the very best ways to do it anywhere. The Baja backcountry is beautiful and I really enjoy it.

I am fortunate that I can blend different types of work together. I have a great proving ground for testing bikes and products. I log the kind of miles most magazine editors can only dream of. I end up with all kinds of interesting experiences to write about and share with other enthusiasts.

I also get to meet all kinds of interesting people. In regards to the kinds of people who choose to ride with me, I am very fortunate. Nearly all share the same kind of outlook and approach to Baja that I do. Most follow me on social media or Enduro360, so they know a little about me to begin with.

Lastly, well I am just really good at being a tour guide. It takes a very special kind of temperament to do this. It is kind of hard to explain. Besides being a good rider and organizer, it takes a tremendous amount of patience and mental agility to juggle all the elements that come into play.

 I work hard to give clients a great ride experience and keep them safe. In life there is something to be said for being good at something. I have had many jobs that I was good at but disliked. Nothing ever quite suited me like this. It comes very naturally.

So if you catch me out on the trail, know that I am working hard to not look like I am working at all.

Sidi SRS Sole Replacement Video

 

 

One of my favorite boots is the Sidi Crossfire. Part of the reason is the ease of changing the soles with the SRS system. My current boots are ready for new soles. In this video I show how to do it.

Sidi Crossfire 2 Boots

Sidi SRS Sole

Sidi SRS Enduro Sole

For extreme conditions I have had good luck using the Sidi enduro sole. One thing to keep in mind is that the boot does not release from the footpeg quite as easy.

Off-Road Boot Buyers Guide

 

 

When it comes to riding gear, specifically off-road riding gear, it seems that many riders are always looking to get the latest pants, jersey and glove combo that get released from almost every company at least twice a year.

Sadly one piece of equipment that often gets neglected are rider’s boots. While they are built sturdy and don’t require seasonal replacement, they often do require maintenance and ultimately after a few seasons they need to be replaced. Do your current boots have replaceable soles or sole inserts? How about the buckles? Wouldn’t it be nice not having to wrap duct tape around the top of your boots because of those broken buckles? Finally, those 10 year old boots aren’t going to give you the support and protection they did when you first got them.

What’s The Difference?

Now that we’ve got you thinking, it’s time to look at your options and there are plenty of them to make your mind explode at first glance. The first thing that jumps out at you are the prices right? Sure you could save a bundle and find boots under $100, but will those boots really do the job you need them to? Now we’re not saying that those boots aren’t good, because if they weren’t we wouldn’t be selling them. You have to think about what kind of riding you do and the kinds of features that you want/need to keep your feet, ankles, shins/calves protected. Let’s face it; these are going to be protecting the parts of our bodies that get some of the most use.

 

Not all boots are created equal. Many people think that work boots offer the same protection as purpose built off-road boots and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

Shopping for boots is very much like shopping for helmets. They all have the same job, but the higher cost is usually associated with additional features and higher quality features. The less expensive models will usually feature plastic buckles, non-replaceable soles, and many times the leather quality is a lesser grade than that of the higher end models making for a stiffer boot that requires a much longer break-in period. On the other end of the spectrum, the premium boots feature aluminum buckles, some type of replaceable soles, hinged ankle points for increased mobility while providing great support and a price tag that supports the improvements as well. Additionally many boots will have a different fit around foot, ankle and calves

Which Boot Is Right for You

If you’re riding utility ATVs or dual-sport motorcycles, you’ll likely need a boot that offers a sole with good tread and isn’t as stiff for when you’re off the bike walking around and you’re likely not hitting any 90’ triple jumps so those Sidi Crossfire 3’s might be a little overkill. If you’re a rider that rides more aggressive and likes to hit the local tracks or bang bars with your buddies, those Sidi’s or other comparable boot might be what you’re looking for. These premium boots are designed for abuse, which is why they’re the same ones that you’ll find on the world’s fastest racers.

 

The sole on the Moose Racing M1.3 ATV Boots are a great choice for ATV and even dirt bike trail riders with their lugged soles. The sole on the Alpinestars Tech 10 (right) not so much, but is much stiffer to help riders absorb those big hits.

 

Now that you’ve got an idea of what style of boot you’re looking for and a rough budget, we’ve taken the time to gather our best-selling boots in 3 different price ranges so you can see which is best for you. Here you’ll be able to see the boots and the top features of each that made these choices the most desirable to our customers.

 

Off-Road Boots $200 and Under

Don’t let the price fool you. Many boots in this category are packed with value and might be exactly what you’re looking for in an off-road style boot. These are great options for entry level riders or those riders that just don’t need the bells and whistles of premier brand boots that can cost 5x as much. These are great for casual enduro riders or even ATV riders that spend time on and off the bike in their gears so they’ll have soles with a good blocky tread for traction and a fair amount of flexibility for ease of walking, but will still be better than “work boots” in most cases. Standard features you’ll find hear are uaually plastic quick release buckle systems, steel toe guards, injection molded shin protection and more.

 

Off-Road Boots $200 and Under
Fly Racing Maverick Motorcycle Boots O'Neal Rider Motorcycle Boots Fox Comp 5 Motorcycle Boots

Fly Racing Maverick MC Boots

O’Neal Rider MC Boots

Fox Comp 5 MC Boots

Features:

  • Adjustable quick lock buckles
  • Race sole w/ steel internal shank
  • Articulated rear ankle gives subtle flexibility to bend your foot down
  • 3-D shin protection pre-shaped molded plastic
Features:

  • Easy to operate, Snap-Lock adjustable four buckle closure system
  • Moderate grip sole is great for track, trail and ATV riders
  • Injection molded plastic plates protect against impacts
  • Air mesh interior
Features:

  • All day comfort and support
  • Soft touch aluminum buckles for easy closure
  • Plastic shin plate medial guard provides great coverage

 

 

Off-Road Boots $200 to $450

These boots are where budget meets performance. Sure you’re paying a little more, but what you ultimately get in return will be well worth it. This is where you’ll find a mid-grade option from some of the premier companies like Alpinestars, Fox, Sidi and Gaerne. They know you don’t need their top of the line offerings but require more than the basics of the less expensive boots. In this price range you’ll find boots that feature at the least aluminum buckling systems, steel shanks in the soles, replaceable soles and even ankle pivot systems that are usualy only found on premium boots. Take a look at some of our top sellers and see if they’re what you’re looking for.

 

Off-Road Boots $200 to $450
Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots Gaerne SG-10 Motorcycle Boots Sidi X-3 Boots

Alpinestars Tech 7 MC Boots

Gaerne SG-10 MC Boots

Sidi X-3 MC Boots

Features:

  • TPU protects toes, foot, ankle and lower leg from dangerous impact
  • Brand new outsole using Tech 10 technology
  • Achilles flex zones for superior comfort
  • Dual compound toe-box for improved flexibility
Features:

  • Closure system made of lightweight and replaceable buckles with velcro on the top for a precise fit
  • Rubber grip offers heat protection as well as exceptional grip on the bike
  • Dual composite rubber sole and memory cell PU inner foam liner
Features:

  • Removable arch support
  • Rigid, shock resistant, anatomically shaped heel for maximum protection
  • Replaceable micro adjustable cam lock buckle system with memory straps
  • Slim, cool non-bootie design

 

Off-Road Boots $450 and Above

Ok… you’ve been saving your pennies and know that you want the boots considered to be the Crea, of The Crop. The Bees Knees. Top of The Line! You know that they’re not going to be cheap because they’re going to be loaded with premium features. Brands like Sidi have boots that have more adjustments and interchangable parts than the clickers on your shock and forks of your motorcycle. You’ll also find that boots in this price range have a better quality leather for a quicker break-in period if they even require one at all. And if you’re about being the cool kid with the new gear, you can brag that you’ve got the same boots as (insert favorite mx/sx racer here).

 

Off-Road Boots $451 and Above
Gaerne SG-12 Boots Sidi Crossfire 3 SRS Motorcycle Boots TCX Comp EVO 2 Michelin Boots

Gaerne SG-12 MC Boots

Sidi Crossfire 3 SRS MC Boots

TCX Comp EVO 2 Michelin MC Boots

Features:

  • Dual-stage pivot system
  • Lightweight alloy buckle system
  • Gaerne Memory Cell Foam inner lining
  • Gaerne “Dual Composite” anti-shock rubber sole
Features:

  • Exclusive and patented flex system w/ hyper extenstion block
  • SRS replaceable sole
  • Micro adjustable and replaceable buckle system
  • Fully adjustable calf area
Features:

  • High-wear resistant Michelin® MX Hybrid sole – a TCX exclusive
  • Four aluminum micro-adjustable buckles
  • Polyurethane adjustable shin plate, toe guard and heel reinforcement
  • Breathable lining with soft padded ankle

 

 

All of the above boots are our best selling boots by the numbers, but we’ve got plenty more to choose from in every price category. When you’re ready to buy or just want to see what’s new, be sure to check out our huge off-road boot selection at bikebandit.com.

Off-Road Boot Buyers Guide

 

 

When it comes to riding gear, specifically off-road riding gear, it seems that many riders are always looking to get the latest pants, jersey and glove combo that get released from almost every company at least twice a year.

Sadly one piece of equipment that often gets neglected are rider’s boots. While they are built sturdy and don’t require seasonal replacement, they often do require maintenance and ultimately after a few seasons they need to be replaced. Do your current boots have replaceable soles or sole inserts? How about the buckles? Wouldn’t it be nice not having to wrap duct tape around the top of your boots because of those broken buckles? Finally, those 10 year old boots aren’t going to give you the support and protection they did when you first got them.

What’s The Difference?

Now that we’ve got you thinking, it’s time to look at your options and there are plenty of them to make your mind explode at first glance. The first thing that jumps out at you are the prices right? Sure you could save a bundle and find boots under $100, but will those boots really do the job you need them to? Now we’re not saying that those boots aren’t good, because if they weren’t we wouldn’t be selling them. You have to think about what kind of riding you do and the kinds of features that you want/need to keep your feet, ankles, shins/calves protected. Let’s face it; these are going to be protecting the parts of our bodies that get some of the most use.

 

Not all boots are created equal. Many people think that work boots offer the same protection as purpose built off-road boots and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

Shopping for boots is very much like shopping for helmets. They all have the same job, but the higher cost is usually associated with additional features and higher quality features. The less expensive models will usually feature plastic buckles, non-replaceable soles, and many times the leather quality is a lesser grade than that of the higher end models making for a stiffer boot that requires a much longer break-in period. On the other end of the spectrum, the premium boots feature aluminum buckles, some type of replaceable soles, hinged ankle points for increased mobility while providing great support and a price tag that supports the improvements as well. Additionally many boots will have a different fit around foot, ankle and calves

Which Boot Is Right for You

If you’re riding utility ATVs or dual-sport motorcycles, you’ll likely need a boot that offers a sole with good tread and isn’t as stiff for when you’re off the bike walking around and you’re likely not hitting any 90’ triple jumps so those Sidi Crossfire 3’s might be a little overkill. If you’re a rider that rides more aggressive and likes to hit the local tracks or bang bars with your buddies, those Sidi’s or other comparable boot might be what you’re looking for. These premium boots are designed for abuse, which is why they’re the same ones that you’ll find on the world’s fastest racers.

 

The sole on the Moose Racing M1.3 ATV Boots are a great choice for ATV and even dirt bike trail riders with their lugged soles. The sole on the Alpinestars Tech 10 (right) not so much, but is much stiffer to help riders absorb those big hits.

 

Now that you’ve got an idea of what style of boot you’re looking for and a rough budget, we’ve taken the time to gather our best-selling boots in 3 different price ranges so you can see which is best for you. Here you’ll be able to see the boots and the top features of each that made these choices the most desirable to our customers.

 

Off-Road Boots $200 and Under

Don’t let the price fool you. Many boots in this category are packed with value and might be exactly what you’re looking for in an off-road style boot. These are great options for entry level riders or those riders that just don’t need the bells and whistles of premier brand boots that can cost 5x as much. These are great for casual enduro riders or even ATV riders that spend time on and off the bike in their gears so they’ll have soles with a good blocky tread for traction and a fair amount of flexibility for ease of walking, but will still be better than “work boots” in most cases. Standard features you’ll find hear are uaually plastic quick release buckle systems, steel toe guards, injection molded shin protection and more.

 

Off-Road Boots $200 and Under
Fly Racing Maverick Motorcycle Boots O'Neal Rider Motorcycle Boots Fox Comp 5 Motorcycle Boots

Fly Racing Maverick MC Boots

O’Neal Rider MC Boots

Fox Comp 5 MC Boots

Features:

  • Adjustable quick lock buckles
  • Race sole w/ steel internal shank
  • Articulated rear ankle gives subtle flexibility to bend your foot down
  • 3-D shin protection pre-shaped molded plastic
Features:

  • Easy to operate, Snap-Lock adjustable four buckle closure system
  • Moderate grip sole is great for track, trail and ATV riders
  • Injection molded plastic plates protect against impacts
  • Air mesh interior
Features:

  • All day comfort and support
  • Soft touch aluminum buckles for easy closure
  • Plastic shin plate medial guard provides great coverage

 

 

Off-Road Boots $200 to $450

These boots are where budget meets performance. Sure you’re paying a little more, but what you ultimately get in return will be well worth it. This is where you’ll find a mid-grade option from some of the premier companies like Alpinestars, Fox, Sidi and Gaerne. They know you don’t need their top of the line offerings but require more than the basics of the less expensive boots. In this price range you’ll find boots that feature at the least aluminum buckling systems, steel shanks in the soles, replaceable soles and even ankle pivot systems that are usualy only found on premium boots. Take a look at some of our top sellers and see if they’re what you’re looking for.

 

Off-Road Boots $200 to $450
Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots Gaerne SG-10 Motorcycle Boots Sidi X-3 Boots

Alpinestars Tech 7 MC Boots

Gaerne SG-10 MC Boots

Sidi X-3 MC Boots

Features:

  • TPU protects toes, foot, ankle and lower leg from dangerous impact
  • Brand new outsole using Tech 10 technology
  • Achilles flex zones for superior comfort
  • Dual compound toe-box for improved flexibility
Features:

  • Closure system made of lightweight and replaceable buckles with velcro on the top for a precise fit
  • Rubber grip offers heat protection as well as exceptional grip on the bike
  • Dual composite rubber sole and memory cell PU inner foam liner
Features:

  • Removable arch support
  • Rigid, shock resistant, anatomically shaped heel for maximum protection
  • Replaceable micro adjustable cam lock buckle system with memory straps
  • Slim, cool non-bootie design

 

Off-Road Boots $450 and Above

Ok… you’ve been saving your pennies and know that you want the boots considered to be the Crea, of The Crop. The Bees Knees. Top of The Line! You know that they’re not going to be cheap because they’re going to be loaded with premium features. Brands like Sidi have boots that have more adjustments and interchangable parts than the clickers on your shock and forks of your motorcycle. You’ll also find that boots in this price range have a better quality leather for a quicker break-in period if they even require one at all. And if you’re about being the cool kid with the new gear, you can brag that you’ve got the same boots as (insert favorite mx/sx racer here).

 

Off-Road Boots $451 and Above
Gaerne SG-12 Boots Sidi Crossfire 3 SRS Motorcycle Boots TCX Comp EVO 2 Michelin Boots

Gaerne SG-12 MC Boots

Sidi Crossfire 3 SRS MC Boots

TCX Comp EVO 2 Michelin MC Boots

Features:

  • Dual-stage pivot system
  • Lightweight alloy buckle system
  • Gaerne Memory Cell Foam inner lining
  • Gaerne “Dual Composite” anti-shock rubber sole
Features:

  • Exclusive and patented flex system w/ hyper extenstion block
  • SRS replaceable sole
  • Micro adjustable and replaceable buckle system
  • Fully adjustable calf area
Features:

  • High-wear resistant Michelin® MX Hybrid sole – a TCX exclusive
  • Four aluminum micro-adjustable buckles
  • Polyurethane adjustable shin plate, toe guard and heel reinforcement
  • Breathable lining with soft padded ankle

 

 

All of the above boots are our best selling boots by the numbers, but we’ve got plenty more to choose from in every price category. When you’re ready to buy or just want to see what’s new, be sure to check out our huge off-road boot selection at bikebandit.com.

Two Yankees In Alaska

 

If you could sit with us in a marketing meeting here at Bike Bandit, one of the questions you would hear us talk about is “what inspires people to ride”. As I look at it, it really represents the core of what we do. It certainly is what makes me tick and what drives our business and industry.

 

Ossa Importer John Taylor dreamed up this unique 500cc twin

As it was told to me, former Cycle World editor David Edwards used this idea as the yard stick for everything the magazine published. Does this photo/story inspire you to ride your motorcycle? Few things have ever struck a chord so completely with me, so I use it too. I will happily admit that I borrowed the idea.

I am blessed to have a strong photo record of my family history on motorcycles. It is a great motivator for me and a torch for me to carry on. It also seems to give me a penchant for nostalgia. I have mentioned this before, I love old motorcycle magazines. There was a style and panache that is gone from what we read today. The 70’s were heady days for the industry and money flowed freely at the magazines. They produced some great content that just would not be feasible today.

So this is brings me around to my point for the day. I have found my own inspiration for a new adventure from an old magazine story. I will get to that new adventure later. For now I want to share some of the story highlights. I am not quite sure what the etiquette is for sharing or reprinting something from an old magazine. But the magazine is long since defunct. Perhaps the editors may get some satisfaction from knowing that their work still draws a reader or two.

On the road through Canada and on to Alaska

This is from Cycle, December 1972. The story is titled “Two Yankees In Alaska”. The saga is of a ride from Seattle to Fairbanks and back on two Yankee 500s. The Alcan Highway was mostly dirt at the time. This was an epic adventure through Canada and Alaska in all kinds of challenging conditions.

If you are not familiar with Yankee motorcycles, they represent a small but rather unique place in our motorcycling history. Here is a very short biography.  In Schenectady, New York, Yankee was the importer for the Spanish marque Ossa.  Daytona winner and all around legend Dick Mann raced Ossa’s on short tracks with considerable success. Yankee went on to design a frame for Dick and later sold it as a Dick Mann replica.

Enduro bikes were still very much in their infancy. 360cc was typically the largest displacement. The idea was hatched to create a 500cc two stroke twin. Yankee would build and market the bike here in the states. Ossa would design and build the engine; it was basically two 250cc Ossa’s melded together.

The Yankee 500 Z was only produced for a short period in 1971 and 72(?), with less than 1,000 models built. There were many unique features that we take for granted today like rear disc brake, electronic ignition, six speed transmission and oversized frame tubing. Much of the bike was probably over built as it weighed in at 345 pounds with a full tank.

Our hero and author, Cycle editor Frank Conner tried to down play the weight. “And the rider will be able to do things he can’t do on a 250, like start off at the bottom of a steep gully and plonk right up the wall. Or climb a long, rough hillside that would stall anything else… Therefore a 500cc enduro machine doesn’t necessarily have to be built ultralight.”

So here is the story of this wild idea for Frank Conner and his drafted sixteen year old assistant Mark Calderone to ride two stroke dirt bikes thousands of miles through some of the most remote areas of Canada and Alaska, tilting windmills they went.

The bikes were flown to Seattle as the jumping off point. You will notice the complete lack of so many conveniences we would consider necessities today. Just a rain suit and some gear strapped to a rack. Starting north from Seattle in a downpour, the big twin cylinder kick starting routine had to first be addressed.

“To fire up the Z you turn on the fuel taps, tickle the carbs, fold up the right footpeg…There are at least two ways you can kick it through. One is to leave the sidestand down and stand on the left footpeg, and kick like hell with the right foot….Engine designer Eduardo Giro has only one major shortcoming. He considers all motorcycle riders to be 250 pound karate experts and he always comes up with the wrong kickstarter ratios.” Turns out using the compression release was the preferred method.

Kickstarting required a specific technique and sturdy leg

Getting into Canada and away from the bustle of the freeway the author describes the vista “On our right were the mighty Cascade Mountains, bright green with trees. High on the mountain, a thin stream of water would leap off the edge, fall 50 feet, flow lightly for another 200 feet down an almost vertical creekbed, then sail off into space for another hundred feet, kissing the mountainside here and there for thousands of feet all the way down to the bottom.”

Passing through the twisty tarmac roads of British Columbia the Yankee’s handling came to the fore front.  “More S-bends, and I got a hair braver each time, hunching forward on the bike and crouching the way I do when I’m really feeling enthusiastic on a motorcycle. The machine was incredibly sensitive while I was gassing it through the corners and I could not detect any signs of flexing…At last I had found a big-bore bike that would out-corner the legendary Spanish lightweights.” An earlier reference had been made to the terrific handling of the Bultaco Metrella and Ossa Wildfire.

The unique rear disc brake of the Yankee

But life on the road on a two stroke dirt bike has its share of ups and downs. “Mark’s bike ate a plug and turned into a 250. A new NGK B9ES solved the problem. Between loading up one of the engines at night because of dripping fuel taps and wearing out plugs, we used a total of twenty sparkplugs during the long 5000-mile trip.”

The unique upswept Yankee muffler proved not very sturdy. After a couple of repairs and welds along the way, one finally disintegrated beyond repair. Another set were quickly shipped out from the New York factory, but between lost airline baggage and Canadian customs, it was a full 10 days before the riders were back on the road. No comment was made as to how they spent their downtime.

Rough roads, piles of gravel, potholes and big trucks were constant hazards along the Alaskan Highway. There were a few mishaps, but the riders and bikes both proved to be tough enough to handle a few spills. Mufflers and luggage racks would continue to need periodic maintenance and repairs.

After a few weeks of life on the remote northern roads, the city came as a bit of a shock. “Fairbanks blew our minds. Twenty miles out the road turned into a four lane highway. The temperature was 90 degrees and we rode into town past mile marker 1523, the end of the Alaska Highway. We were caught in the middle of a traffic jam…It was like spending your life riding dirt roads in the Ozarks and then getting plucked down in New York on 42nd street at 4:45pm on Friday.”

The Yankees drew a crowd everywhere they went. Some had heard of them, but never expected to see one in person. “Mark looked out the window and saw a guy with a beard standing just outside, memorizing our machines. He was a high school teacher and motorcycle dealer named Ren Rueger. Ren had heard that we were in town, but he didn’t know where, so he just started checking motels until he found one with the two Yankees parked in front.”  As you might expect, Ren was an instant best friend and wanted to share everything about the bikes and experience. The bikes were treated to a full tune up and service in Ren’s shop, including more welding repairs. In exchange test rides were offered to him and his service manager.

1972 Yankee 500 Z

The miles were starting to take a toll on the bikes and the return trip had not even begun. “…got ready to leave Fairbanks. Then his clutch cable broke at the handlebar lever. My muffler fell off the header pipes. Back to Ren’s shop.”

One bike got reluctant to start. It would flood even with the fuel taps turned off. The fuel line had to be removed each night. But bump starting became the norm. One luggage rack came off for good. Spares were transferred to the second bike and a package of non-essentials took a bus trip home. Then a rear brake line sheared off at the fitting. The front brake only riding technique caused more than one close encounter.

“At Whitehorse we found another brake line, but there was also a leak in the slave cylinder and nobody had a kit that would fit. Somehow that didn’t bother either one of us very much. The Z had such good manners that both of us were perfectly willing to ride the bike the next 900 miles without a brake. Our rear chains had been stretching, but they weren’t kinking, so we took two links out of each one. Our lights didn’t work…”

Duct tape and cardbord, a makeshift mudflap

The nonplused writing may be more to soft foot around the fact that the Yankees seemed to be falling apart around them. Damn the torpedoes, I am going down with my ship! What motorcyclist hasn’t felt those kinds of loyalties to his machine?

As the trip neared the end. More parts broke and more welding and bubble gum repairs were devised. One sprocket was worn down to the nub and the chains were well past the end of their useful life. “We only got 400 miles to go, and I want to see if the original chain and sprockets will make it. We’ll tighten the chains every fifty miles.”

Despite the valiant effort, one bike still didn’t make it. The fuel cross over hose broke and drained all the gas leaving them stranded many miles from the nearest station. That was just the immediate problem.  The writer attempts to describe the desolate situation; empty road, impending rain, mosquitos and a big black bear. The result being they were forced to bum a ride for one rider and one bike from a passing pickup.

But still the finish line would not give up her prize easily. For the solo bike continuing on, the road gave way to a mudfest that proved to be more like riding an enduro. A bulldozer was towing cars out of the muck. The hard running drained the fuel and now the second rider, covered in mud, had to thumb into town.

Homeward from the land of the midnight sun

“Only 300 miles to go, but we were fast running out of time and money. We decided reluctantly to ship Mark’s bike back from Fort Nelson.” The best remaining parts were cobbled together on the remaining bike. One rain storm more and “late that afternoon I pulled into the parking lot at the Fort St John airport and the rear chain jumped its sprocket. I coasted the bike down to CP Air’s cargo terminal. Two of the men wheeled the bike away to crate it up, and I really didn’t want to see it go. I would miss it badly.”

There are a few more footnotes to the story. Total mileage for each bike was about 5,000, 2,400 in the dirt. The editor dutifully talks of all the things that didn’t break and how proper scheduled maintenance would have avoided some issues. He also followed up with some of the lessons learned and improvements Yankee would have coming on subsequent production runs. Yet the Yankee would prove short lived. An interesting idea, but Yankee was never destined for commercial success.

Minor crash damage to the odometer, but it still worked

I have read Frank Conner’s Alaska adventure three or four times now. Somehow it just captures my imagination. Part of it is the sense of nostalgia. Part of it is riding bikes that we would consider archaic today. This story comes from a time when the world was much larger and unknown, but motorcyclists ventured out just the same. Not that the road to Alaska was that unknown, in some ways it may have been more popular back then at the start of the 70’s oil boom.  My folks drove it twice during the same period and have lots of fun stories to tell of the people they encountered.

The author’s gritty adventure and homespun writing style absolutely inspire me to ride. So much so, that I am right now working on an idea to ride bikes from the same era on some similar kind of adventure. I will let you know when that plan comes together. For now, I hope this story does the same for you. Spring is coming, so get out there and make the most of it.

Testing the Yankee suspension in Alaska

Finally, one from the family album, Bad Rock ISDT Qualifier, 1972. Gordon White talks with Yankee rider Charlie Vincent (?)