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t s e B
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. 20 No
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W H A T ’ S
I N S I D E FEATURES
M ON T HLY COLUM N S FREE WHEELIN’.................................................................................3 WHATCHATHINKIN’..........................................................................4 POSTCARDS FROM THE HEDGE .................................................5 ON THE MARK ..................................................................................6 THROTTLE BLIPS ..............................................................................7 THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD......................................................9 BACKLASH .......................................................................................10 INDUSTRY INFOBITES ...................................................................11 MYSTERIOUS AMERICA ...............................................................14 BIG CITY GETAWAY........................................................................16 GREAT ALL AMERICAN DINER RUN.........................................18 WE’RE OUTTA HERE .....................................................................20 UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR ..............................................33 MOTORCYCLE MARKETPLACE...................................................36
BEST OF BACKROADS 2013 .......................................................22 THE PERFECT STORM OF MOTORCYCLE HAZARDS ..........40 NORTH TO ALASKA......................................................................44
MOTORCYCLE SPOTLIGHTS NEW BIKES FOR 2014...................................................................27
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS & REVIEWS TWO FOR THE ROAD - BOOK REVIEWS.................................34 SIDI ARMADA GORE BOOTS ......................................................35 WRAPLIT AND MOONLIT LED ...................................................38 CREDIT CARD FOLDING KNIFE..................................................38 LDCOMFORT COOL SLEEVE.......................................................39 HELMET HOOK ...............................................................................39 ROWE ELECTRONICS PDM60....................................................42 COBRA TIRES FROM AVON.........................................................47
Brian Rathjen • Shira Kamil ~ Publishers Contributors: Jeff Bahr, Greg Bagen Mark Byers, Bill Heald, Mike McCann, Josh Tanquay, Dr. Seymour O’Life
BACKROADS • POB 317, Branchville NJ 07826 Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure
Phone 973.948.4176 • Fax 973.948.0823 • email email@example.com web www.backroadsusa.com • For Advertising Sales Information: 973-948-4176
BACKROADS (ISSN 1087-2088) is published monthly by BACKROADS™, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. BACKROADS™ may not be reproduced in any manner without specific written consent from the publisher. BACKROADS™ welcomes and encourages submissions (text and photos) and suggestions. Include phone number with submissions. BACKROADS™ will only return material with enclosed sufficient postage. The written articles and opinions printed in BACKROADS™ are not necessarily those of the publisher and should not be considered an endorsement. The Rip & Rides® published are ridden on the sole responsibilty of the rider. BACKROADS™ is not responsible for the conditions of the public roadways traversed. Please respect the environment, read your owner’s manual and wear proper protective gear and helmet. Ride within your limits, not over them.
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BACKROADS • JANUARY 2014
FREE WHEELIN’ BRIAN RATHJEN Fast & Furious Last year we did a couple of days training with Reg Pridmore and his CLASS Riding School held this spring at the Virginia International Raceway. This school is not so much about riding faster, but riding smoother, cleaner, more relaxed and in better control. But, you will be moving at speed along the track for the two days of the school. One of the things Reg and all his instructors bring to the table is years of experience and thoughts that we need to know and use in our day to day riding. One of the most important is “Restraint.” It is far safer to hold back to the right time and then make a pass on a slower rider or riders than to just barrel on past them without real thought or concern for them or yourself. On the track this makes good sense. On the street it should be etched in stone, or pavement in this case. The public roads are really not the place to play Fast & Furious. Over the years we have been involved with a few of our own Backroads events, and the 250+ Road Tour, and during, and after, both of these we have had other riders come up to us with concerns over the way some of the riders in attendance handle themselves and their machines during the various rides. Now the folks that were upset with this lack of restraint and dangerous handling are experienced, competent riders with thousands of miles and years of experience behind them. One was a professional motor officer; others just solid riders. Both Shira and I had seen and experienced the same thing with the same groups we are talking about. Passing a group of 5 or 6 riders at warp speed, over the double yellow with little line of sight can ruin a lot of peoples lives in a New York minute. Am I against aggressive riding? Not at all. I am against careless and undisciplined riding.
Page 3 Passing other riders using common sense, and restraint until the proper time is key not only for safety, but for good feelings as well. If these riders – and you know who you are – were fast, then the other riders were just furious. A week later I was having dinner at a great barbeque joint on the Hudson, where we were joined by another rider that was on our 250+ Road Tour. During dinner he brought me to the side and said he was a little concerned about some of the riding styles he witnessed during the Road Tour the previous week. It was obvious he was not happy on certain passes done at great speed and that he was even more angered that the said riders stopped at the next turn as if to help give directions only to speed off again. Another rider had told us of some other rider, a female, who also made very bad and reckless passes multiple times during the day. This man, whom I consider a gentle giant, had some shockingly choice and unfriendly words to say. This same group passed another rider, at speed and over the lines, with a quickly approaching pick-up truck coming their way. The driver had some nasty words and one-fingered salute for them but then decided to berate the rider who had just been passed. The rider who was running his own competent ride had nothing to do with the Fast & Furious crowd, but got the result just the same. That’s never good. We try to keep all our events friendly and inviting, so we hope that these riders think a bit about their riding styles, the choice of passing spots and how other riders, the general public and law enforcement feel about them. A faster group like this might blast through a town or area and then it is the riders just out for a good time that are getting pulled over and hassled for no reason of their own. So kids, take a look at how you’re riding - especially at one of our events. We don’t want something very bad to happen to anyone, nor do we want bad feelings between parts of our extended family. In other words – be good, be smart or be gone.
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JANUARY 2014 • BACKROADS
As I usually do, when putting together this issue, the Best of Backroads, I look back at what was written and how it was presented the previous year. I pretty much follow the same format, easy-to-read recaps and Rip & Rides. As I was re-reading Brian and my columns, I realized that, while we had made this last trip around the sun, we seemed to be in almost the same place as last year. Of course, we had done some amazing riding, seen exciting places and spent time with good friends and family. Since this is a recap issue, I will do just that:
girl could have – I miss you everyday, Dad. May – The real start of our season, the Backroads Spring Break Rally in Cooperstown, NY. A picture-perfect setting on the shore of Lake Otsego with some good riding and comraderie. Later that month we would head to Virginia International Raceway to join the good folks from CLASS for some excellent instruction and much needed track time. Thanks, Reg and crew, for keeping us on our toes and shaking off the cobwebs. June – Back for another year, we headed north for our 24th trip to the largest touring rally in the US, Americade. While the weather didn’t cooperate completely, we had some terrific rides. July – On the plane and off to the West coast for the BMW International Rally in Salem, Oregon, but not before riding up the east side of California to the northwesternmost corner of the continental US and a stop in the ubercool city of Portland, then the awesomeness that is the ride down the Pacific coastline.
January – While the riding was spartan, we did get to spend time with all of you who stopped by our booth at the NYC IMS. We finally had a good location and most everyone was able to find us. February – Beating the East coast cold, we took advantage of the offer to ride Victorys in Texas. From the coolness of Austin to the quietness of the coast and back to Hill Country, we covered many miles and enjoyed every minute of it. Our minds were changed about the Lone Star state. March – Trying to catch some early spring riding, we did catch Opening Day at Citifield with a couple thousand other folks, including our BFFs Mike and Nuri. Grand Slam to start the season – we won’t talk about the rest. April – Among other rides, we joined BMW MOA for their local rally in Gettysburg, hosted by one of our north-of-the-border buddies, Marc Souliere. Historic riding at its best. I also had to say goodbye to the best father any
August – Brian knocked another state off his ‘to ride’ list while visiting with the folks from Victory and then it was off to bag the ‘fourth corner’ as we made our way to Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Maine. September – More local riding and a trek for our feast of the east – the beautiful swimmers that are Maryland Blue Crabs. Spending time on Tangier Island was an experience. Off to the Allegheny Mountains for our Backroads’ Fall Fiesta in Williamsport, PA. Incredible riding, on and off-road, by chance or plan, and a good time had by all, I hope. October – A little international riding with our friends from Edelweiss to the boot nation of Italy. A visit with the Pope in Rome before heading down the Amalfi coast to the magnificent island of Sicily. Stopping by a couple of volcanos, active and not, eating our share of cannolis and experiencing some (Continued on Page 8)
W H ATC H AT H I N K I N ’ SHIRA KAMIL Looking Forward – and Back
Cross Country Cycle 875 Middlesex Ave, Metuchen, NJ (732) 462-4881 www.CrossCountryCycle.net
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BACKROADS • JANUARY 2014
P O S TC A R D S FROM THE HEDGE BILL HEALD the winter oF our content I don’t know what the heck they’re putting in the water everybody drinks at Honda, but I like it. It seems that just when I had things figured out as to the direction the company was aimed in terms of all-new models, they, like, totally faked me out. Treacherous Fiends! Blast these amazingly elusive engineers, designers and marketing mavens! They have savagely mauled my punditry, which didn’t even really exist in the first place. I know, I need to calm down. Chill out, even. There is reason here to pause and relax, especially since the new bikes the company has decided to unleash meet with my complete approval. It’s not that the trend of smaller displacement sport bikes that Honda started with the CBR250R is anything but a good thing, for I was really impressed with that bike, really loved riding it, and now that the industry as a whole has clearly embraced the idea of an affordable, attractive machine that anyone from a new rider to a grizzled veteran can enjoy there are clearly benefits galore. Given this success, I didn’t think we’d see any big-displacement bikes in the 2014 lineup that weren’t the already established machines we’ve had for quite some time, and the proliferation of ultra light sport rides from the competition (and they already had a supply of suitable machinery running around Europe and Asia where they’d already been popular) had only convinced me that’s the type of machine everybody was going to focus on these days. Given this trend, ‘ol Honda has thrown a rather delicious curve ball in the form of two all-new motorcycles that are as big as Texas and anything but subtle. The first is a totally new touring mount that has its roots in the venerable ST sport-touring family, specifically the latest incarnation known as
Page 5 the ST1300. You no doubt know this excellent, decidedly European beast that has not only been a serious civilian road warrior but a very popular police bike. What the company has done is taken this motorcycle’s incredibly smooth, muscular and charismatic V-Four (mounted transversely in the frame like a futuristic Moto Guzzi) and dropped it into a completely fresh touring cruiser platform to create a completely new type of long-haul bike, the CTX1300. Like the ST it has shaft drive, a 5-speed transmission, standard saddlebags and a fuel tank mounted under the seat for better weight distribution. Unlike the ST it has a long, low cruiser stance, a low 29.1-inch seat height and a very stylish shorty windscreen mounded on a very cool integrated half fairing. Everything about this bike was a surprise (for me at least) and a very dramatic move for Honda. I can’t wait to throw a leg over one, and given past experience (the Fury chopper comes to mind here) it will probably be as fun and functional as it is provocatively styled. And then there’s this OTHER bike. Every bit as unexpected as the CTX1300, the other big bike Honda is launching for 2014 is a new machine with a familiar name: the Valkyrie. It may seem hard to believe (it certainly is for me), but it was way back in 1996 when they introduced the original Valkyrie and the world was captivated by this unique Gold Wing-based megacruiser. I fondly remember taking a long trip on a Valkyrie Interstate, which was a touring variant with panniers and a rear trunk. The bike was a darling among many custom bike builders who did all kinds of amazing things with it, and with the new Gold Wing F6B variant we now have three different expressions of Honda’s unique big bike with its iconic 1832cc Flat Six engine. The new Valkyrie has a bit more aggressive riding ergonomics and has shed over 150 lbs. compared with the Gold Wing, so you can imagine what a blast this thing will be to root around on. It still has the Wing’s enormous (and very elegant) aluminum twin-spar frame, and from the moment I first saw this backbone on a Gold (Continued on Page 8)
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JANUARY 2014 • BACKROADS
ON THE MARK MARK BYERS the rush…to MotorcycLing I went to see “Rush,” Ron Howard’s Formula-One flick centered on the 1976 season battle between Niki Lauda and James Hunt. I found it compelling, not only for the action, but also for the rivalry between two very different men. During the movie and after, however, I found myself wondering why we can’t get a similar film about motorcycling. Motorcycle racing certainly has equally dramatic stories, not only of personal rivalry and political intrigue, but also of heroic feats by the competitors. By any standards, Lauda is Superman. Merely surviving the fiery crash at the ‘Ring during the ‘76 German Gran Prix was a miracle. Returning to competition to place 4th at the Italian GP in Monza just six weeks later speaks to his determination, courage, and tolerance of pain. It also made me think of MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo, who broke his collarbone during practice for this year’s Dutch GP in Assen, flew home to Spain to have a titanium plate installed, and returned to place 5th in the race just 48 hours later. The only thing that kept Lorenzo out of the next two races was a similar crash during practice for the German GP that BENT the titanium plate holding his collarbone together! Still, Lorenzo came back to make a contest of it, requiring rookie Marquez to finish 5th or better at Valencia to win the championship by a slim margin. In the opening third of that final race, Lorenzo put on a master class in motorcycle racing, sometimes being passed by and re-passing Dani Pedrosa in the same corner. I don’t think for a moment that a broken bone equates to the burns sustained by Lauda that left him fighting for life, but I’ve had a broken collarbone and
the thought of riding with one, much less racing, pinned or not, gobsmacks me. There are other examples of miraculous motorcycle racers, like Mike Hailwood, who not only raced motorcycles very successfully for Honda and MV Agusta, but also had moderate success driving in Formula One, when Honda pulled out of motorcycle racing and paid Hailwood not to ride. Mike was knighted for his heroic efforts to extract Clay Regazzoni (later to become Niki Lauda’s teammate) from a burning car at the South African Gran Prix. Coincidentally, Hailwood left F1 after being badly injured at…the ‘74 German Gran Prix at the Nurburgring! “Mike the Bike” is best remembered, however, for his return to motorcycle racing at the treacherous Isle of Man TT after an 11-year absence. At age 38, he rode a Ducati 900SS to a win, repeating the feat the following year on a two-stroke Suzuki RGV500. He and his nine-year-old daughter were killed, ironically, just two years later in an auto accident while on their way to get fish and chips. With personalities like Mike Hailwood and Jorge Lorenzo and their epic battles with Giacomo Agostini, Dani Pedrosa, and Marc Marquez, how can the film industry ignore the sport of motorcycle racing? We got thrown a bone with a small, indie film called “The World’s Fastest Indian,” in 2005. While Anthony Hopkins did a wonderful job portraying the quirky New Zealander, Burt Munro, it just never got much traction. I guess Burt needed to get more than a little muffler burn on his leg to be heroic enough. It was a time trial, so there was no bitter rivalry to contest in a bar-to-bar melee. Maybe director Roger Donaldson could have sexed it up some more. It grossed about a fifth of what it cost to make, so maybe the miniscule success of “Indian” is the reason for the outcome of my next rant. We can’t even get a break in the world of animation: in 2006, Pixar came out with the wonderful animated film “Cars.” Even adults enjoyed the film, centered around a plucky little racecar from the NASCAR world. Ironically, the same year “Cars” premiered, a plucky kid from Kentucky named Nicky Hayden won the MotoGP World Championship. After the success of “Cars,” I was (Continued from Page 8)
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BACKROADS • JANUARY 2014
THROT TLE BLIPS JEFF BAHR in Praise oF • Part 2 Last month I broke down and admitted that there actually are things in the motorcycle world that meet with my approval. Here, then, are a few more of those things that make me smile. FLiP heLMets My posse pulled into a gas station and took to the business of refueling. Since it was a hot day we grabbed bottled waters and proceeded to chug them down. All of a sudden my gang pulled away (traitors!) while I was literally left holding the bottle. The reason? They had flip helmets and I was wearing a full-face lid. This meant that I had to remove my helmet to have my drink, and then put it back on before I could get back on the road. Can you say wasted time? I bought a flip helmet shortly thereafter and have never looked back. The convenience of these beauties cannot be overemphasized. The first time you flip your lid to talk to a friend beside the road, or grab a drink, you’ll become a convert. I guarantee it. textiLe cLothing When I purchased a Hein Gericke Cadet jacket (made from space age Cordura nylon) in the late 1980s, I didn’t know that I had become a biker riding on the forefront of a revolution. Leather jackets had ruled the riding roost since day one, and their crashworthiness had never been in question. But, safety aside, leather does have its drawbacks. It can be constrictive; it doesn’t breathe well; its waterrepelling properties are on a par with a sieve; the material is difficult to maintain. Then suddenly, everything changed. Viable alternatives to leather flooded the market in such numbers that it became rare to spot a rider wrapped in traditional animal skin. In short, man-made synthetic (textile) clothing had taken over. Comfort, breathability, water repellency, temperature control and other such boons are the hallmark of this new breed of motorcycle attire. And the crashworthiness of the new hi-tech materials is excellent and constantly on the rise. The torch has clearly been passed. helmet sun Visors This one seems like a no-brainer but it took surprisingly long for manufacturers to dream it up. The engineering thought process probably went something like this: Why should riders have to change shields or don sunglasses on bright days, when we can build a sliding sun shield right into the helmet? Voila! How significant is this breakthrough, you ask? Forget roadside shield changes that require the patience of a saint and the skills of an M.I.T. grad. And forget your sunglasses altogether. The next time Mr. Sun shines brightly on your kisser, slide or click your spring-loaded sunshield into place and marvel at man’s ingenuity. It’s great to have opposable thumbs! Flange Mounted tank Bags I think I’ve owned every type of tank bag ever devised by man. From big to small, tethered to magnetic, my machines have seen them all. In fact, my bikes carry the scars of these “relationships” to this very day. The reason is simple. Any bag that comes into direct contact with a machine’s tank will create blemishes over time. These marks can run the range from mild to severe. Enter flange mounted tank bags. This wonderful creation anchors to a motorcycle’s fuel ring, or flange, and rides above the tank, so scratches become a thing of the
Page 7 past. They’re also convenient and secure. A resounding “click” tells you that your bag is locked in. A quick release mechanism allows you to take the bag with you when you park. Good stuff! affordable safety gear Premium safety gear will always have a place in motorcycling. If you can afford it, it would be crazy not to acquire state-ofthe-art stuff, particularly since so much is riding on that decision. But safety gear is only as good as its accessibility to riders. Have you seen the prices of top notch helmets these days? Boots? Riding suits? These can be priced well out of the reach of many, especially young greenhorns who stand to benefit the most from utilizing such gear. But, alas, we paupers have not been forgotten. An increasingly large segment of the motorcycle aftermarket has stepped up to the plate with affordably-priced, mid-level gear. From stylish helmets that can cost as little as one-quarter the price of premium lids (yet somehow manage to carry the same high-quality safety endorsements) to sanely-priced clothing every bit as robust in critical safety areas as the top notch stuff, this coming seems almost too good to be true. But it’s here and it’s indeed for real. My advice to those short on coin or of a bargain-minded bent? Shop around. You will be flat out amazed how far your moto-dollar goes.
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JANUARY 2014 • BACKROADS
Page 8 whatchathinkin’
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of the best riding around (yes, Brian, you were brilliant), it was a wonderful way to bring another riding season to a close, or at least a shortening. Back to that statement about being in almost the same place as last year. Brian’s column last year gave a synopsis of his dealing with thyroid cancer and the trials, obstacles and path set before him. While our riding year was awesome and filled these pages nicely, November brought on more medical necessities for him, which we will deal with for the next couple of months. Our friends and family have been very supportive and comforting during all this and Brian and I look forward to putting all this behind us. Postcards FroM the hedge
While 2013 was a great riding year, pretty much everything else we could have surely done without. Yes, we always say we hope that next year will be a better one, but I know that it has to be better than this one. This January issue brings us into our 20th year of Backroads, and I can’t think of a better way to have spent that time. Brian, my best buddy, this, too, shall pass and we’ll share 20 years, and more, of exploration, excitement and holding hands. Always remember, I love you more. To you, our readers and friends, I wish you all good health, great adventures and, most importantly, happiness. We’ll see you on the road.
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Wing at the factory during assembly I always thought it was a shame to hide this beautiful structure underneath all that bodywork. From the ground up this beast is truly on the other side of the spectrum from the almost minimalist CBR250R. The fact that Honda has launched this machine and the CTX1300 for 2014 is truly exciting, and it’s not only fun for us who appreciate fine tour-worthy mounts I think it’s a statement of how the company feels about how the motorcycle economy will fare the next few years. These are dynamic, adventurous and very expressive new machines that are designed to celebrate performance and style, and I can’t wait to see what custom bike builders will do with the fresh canvases Honda has provided for them to practice their art. I’m even willing to be chastised for not seeing these big-bike surprises on the horizon, and being wrong about where the company was heading. The new light sport bikes are still great rides, and very appropriate for all kinds of riders. But these new editions are downright bold, and celebrate the joys of the custom bike lifestyle with a healthy dose of big-bore performance to sweeten the pot. Happy New Year indeed! on the Mark
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salivating over the potential to take advantage of Nicky’s championship with a semi-sequel named “Bikes.” I could just see the animated, all-American bike, voiced by Matthew McConaughey, doing battle against the evil Spaniard, voiced by Javier Bardem. It could have been eipc…but nooooooooooo. Instead, we got a damn animated robot named “Wall-E.” I know, I know, I’ve been down this road before (see “Celluloid Cycles”), but dammit, with some onboard cameras, lightly augmented by some CGI, we could get a really great motorcycle-racing movie. If just watching the opening third of the Valencia race doesn’t get your pulse rate up, you’re not alive. Where are you when we need you, Ron Howard? With “Rush” in the can, you’ve got some time in your schedule to make us a bang-up motorcycle flick. Opie? You’ve had your appetizer, pal, it’s time for the main course!
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THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD a Bike to Match
Josh Tanguay This is not a story of sadness. Pete and I still win. The doctor could have said, “You will never ride a motorcycle again”, or worse. Eight weeks is the smallest price to pay for two things. First, this fall Pete is going to open up the coat closet and instead of bypassing his tired leather coat with a sigh, he is going to ease it off its hanger. He is going to let his arms slip through the sleeves. He is going to step outside and hear the fall leaves crinkle under his boots as he walks along the driveway. He will reach into a wool-lined pocket to find a motorcycle key. But this fall, the key will not be so lonely as it will have a bike to match. He is going to fire up Ellie and find that little nook again between two wheels. Second, within a year Pete and I will meet on our motorcycles and go on a long ride. A very long ride. Father and son.
Sometimes I would reach into my dad’s tired leather coat hanging in the coat closet and remove the old motorcycle key lying lonely in the pocket’s soft wool lining. I would try to picture Pete (my dad) on a motorcycle. I was 10 years old or so and my dad seemed like most anything but a former motorcyclist. He sat down with his children after long days of work to help with their homework. He drank a single beer each night with his dinner. He genuinely enjoyed stacking wood and weed whacking on Saturday mornings. But a motorcycle rider? It did not make sense, at least when I was 10. I wondered why he had only kept the key, without the motorcycle. I think Pete often wonders the same thing. In some ways, a man’s motorcycle becomes part of his identity. It grants passage to that little nook within his structured life where freedom and tranquility coincide. Worries melt away with every mile, even the rainy miles. Why did Pete get rid of his bike? I never RIDE WITH THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE. cracked that nut. However, I do know after I began riding and I would ask him about his motorcycle days, he would mumble THE 2013 with regret, “I never should have sold that bike.” I vowed never to sell Ellie, a Honda Magna and my first motorcycle. Unnervingly, I realized Pete probably swore a similar sentiment 30 years ago. No one wants to give something up that makes you feel alive. Something that makes you see a bigger picture. Most importantly, quoting a thought I read recently, “something that may even make you see yourself.” But often people do. I think Pete would hastily assert his family does all of the above for him and while selling his motorcycle was regrettable, it was not tragic. For his bachelor son though, damn it, it is tragic to me. So several weeks ago, I set out to fix my dad with that little nook found between two wheels he lost long ago. About two weeks later, a riding pal, Michael, approached me with a fantastic Honda Valkyrie he had found for sale in the classifieds. I suddenly figured a way to have my cake and eat too. First, I never want to sell Ellie but I needed a motorcycle a little more fit to conquer 500-mile runs on a Friday night after work. Second, Pete needed a bike. Solution? Trust my father with Ellie where I know she will she stay safe and enjoy the Maine coast. I bought the Valkyrie. The stage was set for my parents to arrive from Maine for a Kansas visit and for me to present the bike in a creative way. We would then take off side by side for a ride on our new motorcycles. It did not happen. The night before my parents arrived in Kansas I was out with friends for the night dancing. I attempted a back Sport touring riders are among the most discerning of all motorcyclists, and the Concours® 14 supersport tourer's comflip but my head found the floor before my feet. I bination of technology, comfort and continent conquering performance meets the toughest demands of this selective crowd. cracked my skull and was helicoptered to a trauma cen- It is powered by a muscular heart derived from the legendary Ninja® ZX™-14 sportbike. Comfortable ergonomics make ter at a hospital in the city. it well-suited to long days in the saddle, while offering proper body positioning for sport riding. Its overall performance will Long story short, I am very lucky and doing great. entice riders to pull out the big maps and plan extraordinary sporting tours through the next county or country. My parents frantically caught flights and met me at the hospital. The neurosurgeon dealt a hardy blow while my parents and friends stood around in support. For 8 weeks I cannot drive among other basic operations. I instantly queried, “Motorcycle?” He responded with a definitive “No.” Damn it! I just wanted to go on a ride with my father. To be honest, we have never ridden together. It is certainly not for lack of opportunity or desire. I have only been riding for a year and half and we have never had two bikes between us. Just when I thought I fixed the issue, I break my bloody head.
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JANUARY 2014 • BACKROADS
BACKLASH Hi Shira & BrianJust wanted to let you that I thought December “On the Mark” column was terrific. I can certainly relate to the “scare” factor of trying to ride around a National level MX track. It ain’t for sissies! The opportunity to try something like that is rare and it was great reading a first hand account from Mark. I’m jealous, sniff. Ghosts of the Past. I guess it’s a sign of getting older and our part of the world getting more crowded. I grew up, in riding terms, visiting all three locations. Marcus Dairy was THE place to go for breakfast as part of the Sunday ride. Not bad on Saturday nights for a car cruise either. It wasn’t until that famous Kawasaki ad - when it seemed like the entire riding population showed up on April 16, 1989 that things really took off. That was the unofficial birth of Super Sundays and was always on the calendar each spring. Walking the parking lot with a hot cup of coffee checking out all the motorcycles was a right of passage to the riding community. The Hawk’s Nest too is a shame. What a great spot for lunch on the way to or from a day’s riding. And the Red Apple Rest - how many sport touring rallies, road rallies, poker runs, shows, etc were based out of there? Not to mention the long history of the ‘Rest itself as a travel stop. Every once in a while I ride by, stop and get off the bike, pull my helmet off, press my ear up against the wall and listen. What sounds like the ocean is actually the sucking sound of the terrific void left behind from the demise of these locations. There are a whole bunch of
Letters to the Editor
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us looking for the next ‘Dairy, ‘Nest or ‘Rest. Who or what will rise to take their place? Tony Lisanti Good day Backroads! Regarding the October issue: 1. Thanks for the tip on Billy Joe’s Ribworks. I must go there! I almost ate the page, it looked that good. 2. Tell Jeff Bahr to quick whining and stop wasting his money. Tell him to buy a V-Strom and be done with it. Cheap money, does everything, doesn’t break down, and fits real people right out of the crate. 12-hour, all-day comfortable in 100% stock form. Russell Day Long, Corbin, HeliBars, and a host of other companies do not want him to test ride a V-Strom. Just ask Mike Stackhouse. Jeff Adams, Whitehorse Gear Technical Adviser and Lead Whiner
Give Them a Break! Brian, I can relate to your recent Free Wheelin’ column, “Give Them A Break”. The Mrs. bought me an early Christmas Present a couple weeks ago, been on order from our dealer since August, a BMW K1600GT Sport Edition. The first one in the state. More on that later. As with any new bike there were a few add-on items I wanted and ordered from said dealer. A couple people made the comment to me, “Why order that stuff from the dealer, when you can get it from XYZ Company on-line a lot cheaper”?? My stock answer is this: I want to support my local dealer so that he will be in business for many years to come. When getting ready for a ride on a Friday afternoon and you drop a critical bolt or connector into the darkest regions of your fairing panels, never to be seen again, it’s nice to be able to drive over to your local dealer and purchase said part. Who knows, a good dealer may not have that part, but to save your ride he MAY be willing to take one from a bike he has in stock. No local dealer? Then order the part on-line and wait a few days, or pay the Fed-X $$$$$ to overnight, but either way your weekend trip is over before you ever leave the garage. My point is this, if you don’t support that local dealer he may not be there when you need him. I feel very lucky to have a GOOD dealer just 5 miles from my house, and yes I support them. Philip Eramo • Columbus, Ohio Shira, Do you know where your first bike, the Honda CM450T, ended up? I wish I had one of those today. You guys are doing a great job with the magazine, KUDOS to you both. Nice tribute on John. Isn’t amazing for a guy who tore (Continued on next page)
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BACKROADS • JANUARY 2014
INDUSTRY INFOBITES IS NOW ON
News from the Inside ROKU
EDELWEISS GOES ELECTRIC
The popular web based show is now available on all of your screens, via Roku. Greg’s Garage has launched a channel on the very popular Roku Inc. platform. The popular general powersports show hosted by veteran broadcaster and powersports enthusiast Greg White is now nineteen shows into its first year of production. Recently launched onto the television screen via TUFFTV around the United States, Roku provides an opportunity for people all around the world to stream the show directly to their televisions, computers, or mobile device screens. Greg had this to say, “We are so excited to launch Greg’s Garage on Roku. I have a great team of folks who have worked day and night, over the past few weeks, to get our channel on Roku before Thanksgiving. With the worldwide exposure of our Roku channel, we have plans to include other great content for our viewers. At this time, you can see Greg’s Garage on your TV screen, your computer, and your mobile devices. And be sure to ‘stay tuned’ for more quality programming on Roku’s Greg’s Garage channel! All signs point to Roku as being a strong upward trend in the way people choose to view programming. I am pumped for the future of Greg’s Garage!” For those who do not know Greg’s Garage is a general powersports lifestyle show, showcasing motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, scooters, watercrafts, and snowmobiles. We test, play with, and educate you about them. We chat with you, cover events, and connect you to the sports’ best athletes. Whether you’re a new or experienced rider, we’ve got something for everyone who enjoys sport with an engine! For more information you can visit us online at www.gregsgaragetv.com
At the end of July 2014, you can join Edelweiss Bike Tours on their first venture into the world of electric motorcycles. From July 27 to August 2, you can join the first group to head to the Alps on the new Zero Motorcycles. You’ll travel some of the sought-after passes of the Alps and Dolomites.
2014 Raider SCL
(Continued from previous page) up roads all over North America at an amazing pace with a few million miles under his belt to finally be stopped on a highway in his home state of Jersey! Also, thanks for running my open letter about the HHW incident. Shahram Shiva Seriously - an article celebrating a tour in Cuba? Really? Waxing poetic about a motorcycle tour in a country ruled by a maniacal dictatorial regime responsible for the imprisonment, torture, murder, and general misery of millions since the 1950s? Love the nice touch of Che Guevara in the background too. A vicious murderer unbeknownst to the “hip Che T-shirt wearing crowd” under about age 55 in this country. I’ll be throwing every issue in the trash before my subscription expires and informing all my motorcycle buddies about this, to include an international motorcycle organization magazine that I occasionally write for. I’ll never understand the Left in this country. Joe Siegel • Fox Island, WA Joe, I agree with your views on Castro and Che. Particularly the way Che has become a t-shirt icon. I remind folks all the time that he was a killer. But, this story was about the ride, not politics, so when the opportunity arises to ride in a land that has been locked away for decades we think we’ll take that ride. Russia and the Balkans were all out of reach until recently and we have had travel stories from there as well. Sorry we lost your readership. You might like to think of the map without any borders….
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JANUARY 2014 • BACKROADS
Page 12 According to Edelweiss CEO, Rainer Buck, the 2013 annual office and tour guide ride was a complete success. Here’s what he had to say about the planning process behind this inaugural tour: “When I saw the range of the new Zero motorcycle at the end of 2012, I knew it was time to think outside the box. I immediately had a very tempting thought: sweep through the Alps on silent feet, to enjoy nature with all your senses, to create stunning faces and evoke disbelief, would be really fun. But what about the power, the reach, the driving behavior? Does it work at all? After all, you do not want to stand in the middle of Stelvio and make the coach tourists grin. There is just one answer to this: an acid test – under severe conditions! Done thinking. In May 2013 our annual office and tour guide ride was scheduled. You cannot even imagine the expressions of our tour guides as they stood in awe of the brand new Zero. Incredulous, skeptical but – thank God – also curious. For 3 days we rode the bikes over the passes of the Alps and the Dolomites. Solo and with a passenger. In sports and eco mode. In sunshine and rain. It works, and how! The best thing about the whole story, however, was seeing the grins on each of the tour guides‘ faces, even with helmets on, at the end of the tour. The decision was made. We had to do an Alps Electric tour and not just any tour, but one that makes any motorcycle enthusiast’s mouth water. The Silvretta High Alpine Road, the Stelvio, the Gavia pass, the Mendel Pass, the passes of the Sella Ronda and the Timmelsjoch have to be on the list. Edelweiss goes electric – come ride with us! Pricing starts at $3,230US which includes motorcycle, lodging, breakfasts and dinners and so much more. To find out more and book your Alpine Zero Emission Tour visit the Edelweiss website at www.edelweissbike.com
TRIUMPH LAUNCHES 24/7 CUSTOMER SUPPORT Triumph, the fastest growing import motorcycle brand in North America, launched the industry’s first 24/7 customer support initiative. Triumph’s new customer support covers the U.S. and Canada and provides tech support, motorcycle advice and can facilitate roadside assistance. The service will operate 365 days a year, incuding all holidays, and can be reached at 888-284-6288 or via a Live Chat button on shop.triumphmotorcycles.com. “Like us, Triumph owners are passionate about the brand and the motorcycle lifestyle,” said Greg Heichelbech, CEO of Triumph North America. “Our dealers and Triumph owners think about motorcycles when they’re awake and dream about them when they’re asleep. We want to be there to support them at any time, even when they can’t sleep because they have a burning question.” Heichelbech noted that Triumph wants to lead the industry in customer support and better serve its rapidly growing U.S. and Canada customer base.
TASK FORCE TO ADVISE STATES ENACT MANDATORY HELMET LAWS
A federal task force is poised to recommend that all states have mandatory helmet laws for all motorcyclists, which the task force says would reduce injuries and deaths as well as result in economic benefits, the American Motorcyclist Association reports. The AMA has repeatedly expressed its belief that motorcyclists would be best served if regulators and legislators focus on programs to prevent motorcycle crashes from occurring in the first place. The AMA also said that any economic benefits would be insignificant since health care costs related to motorcycle crashes are miniscule in the context of total health care costs nationwide. “The AMA continues to strongly encourage the use of personal protective equipment, including gloves, sturdy footwear and a properly fitted motorcycle helmet certified by its manufacturer to meet federal safety standards,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations, on Nov. 7. “But we also believe that adults should have the right to voluntarily choose to wear a helmet.”
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BACKROADS • JANUARY 2014 The Community Preventive Services Task Force, whose 15 members are appointed by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, makes recommendations to the CDC and reports to the U.S. Congress about community preventive services, programs and policies to improve health. The task force is preparing to recommend that all states have universal helmet laws, which means that all riders, regardless of age, would be required to wear helmets. The task force is ready to make the recommendation based on its belief that a universal helmet mandate would reduce motorcyclist deaths and injuries, and that mandating riders to wear helmets would result in economic benefits. The task force believes health care costs for injured helmeted riders wouldn’t be as high as those of injured un-helmeted riders, and also that universal helmet laws would result in fewer missed days of work for injured riders.
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Serving New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania • ATV • Jet Ski • Snowmobile The American Motorcyclist Association is seeking a meeting with the head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find out whether the agency is trying to reduce motorcycle ridership by pursuing a 1269 DOLSONTOWN RD federal mandatory motorcycle helmet law. MIDDLETOWN NY 10940 The meeting request, made by AMA Vice President for Government Relations Wayne Allard in a Nov. 22 845-343-2552 • WWW.CYCLEMOTIONINC.COM letter to CDC Director Tom Frieden, was made a day after U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) sent a letter to Cycle Motion is your provider of motorcycles, ATVs, scooters, Frieden expressing concerns over the same issue. Walsnowmobiles, and utility vehicles by Kawasaki, Suzuki, Polaris, berg’s Nov. 21 letter questions the work of a CDC adYamaha and Can Am. With a large parts department, qualified visory group called the Community Preventative service technicians and a full shop full of parts and accessories, Services Task Force and refers to a presentation at a task we're here to meet all your power sport needs. force meeting in October 2013. In his letter, Allard repeated a question asked by WalFor every rider - on or off road, whether they like doing it berg: “Is it the goal or strategy of the CDC to reduce the in the dirt, carving the twisties, or cruising the backroads, use of motorcycle - a legal mode of transportation - by we have their weapon of choice. recommending and pursuing a federal helmet law? “With the safety of motorcyclists the utmost priority of the AMA, we are willing to work with all stakeholders, including the CDC, to promote rider education and training, as well as motorist awareness programs. These are effective strategies to reduce motorcycle crashes from ever occurring. Whereas, universal motorcycle helmet laws do nothing to prevent crashes,” Allard wrote. The CDC, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is headquartered in Atlanta. Backroads and the AMA strongly advocate helmet use but believes that adult riders, not governments, should make the choice whether or not to wear a helmet. Mandatory helmet laws do nothing to prevent crashes. The AMA supports actions that help riders avoid a crash from occurring, including voluntary rider education, improved licensing and testing, and expanded motorist awareness programs. Just fill out the simple form and mail it along with payment to: (gotta pay the Postman) Like Rep. Walberg, the AMA questions what expertise and authority the CDC and its task force have in the traffic safety arena. Motorcycling is not Backroads, PO Box 317, Branchville, NJ 07826 a disease to be cured. It is a legitimate means of transportation and recreation First Class Postage $40/12 issues • Comes in a protective envelope enjoyed by an estimated 11 million Americans. We accept checks, VISA, MasterCard or Discover. Please indicate which card is used. The AMA has prepared an FAQ on the issue to provide the motorcycling community with the most current information. To view it, please click here: NAME ________________________________________________________________ www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/Resources/CDCMotorcycleUseADDRESS________________________________________________________________ FAQ.aspx.
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Morton’s BMW Motorcycles Presents Dr. Seymour O’Life’s MYSTERIOUS AMERICA Big, Bad, BouLders Madison BouLder naturaL area & indian rock If you look at the trends for some of the cruising machines out on the roads today you might have been noticing a direction over the last few years. Bigger is not only better – it is an absolute must. Personally I disagree, preferring lighter and more nimble rides, but still the bikes seem to keep getting bigger. On the other hand, when it comes to other things size does matter and especially when we are talking boulders. Big, badass rocks. Actually the scientific name for the boulders we are talking about here are glacial erratic. A glacial erratic is a piece of rock that differs from the size and type of rock native to the area in which it rests. “Erratics” take their name from the Latin word “errare” which means to wander or to roam, and were carried by glacial ice, often over distances of hundreds of miles. Erratics can range in size from pebbles to large boulders such as our subjects of the month – the Madison Boulder, in New Hampshire and Indian Rock, found in the hamlet of Montebello, New York.
the Madison Boulder 43°55′52″n 71°10′04″w Not far from Route 113 in Maine, in the town of Madison, you will find a seriously big rock. Madison Boulder is the largest known erratic in New England, and among the largest in the world. Madison Boulder is a huge granite rock measuring 83 feet in length, 23 feet in height above the ground, and 37 feet in width. It weighs upwards of 12 million pounds! A part of this roughly rectangular block is buried, probably to a depth of ten to twelve feet.
That’s a dozen feet deeper than you can see from the picture. The 17-acre site was acquired by the state of N.H. in 1946. In 1970 Madison Boulder was designated a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior because the enormous erratic, “is an outstanding illustration of the power of an ice sheet to pluck out very large blocks of fractured bedrock and move them substantial distances.” To get to the Madison Boulder you will have to either park your machine or giddey-up down the somewhat beat up gravel road/trail. But the peaceful clearing it is found in and the sheer size of this massive rock are well worth the effort. In fact this part of New Hampshire has some of the finest forests in the northeast and the home of the Madison Boulder is the polar opposite of our next big rock; but we’ll get to that in a next.
indian rock - Montobello, new york Closer to Backroads Central you will find the sleepy little town of Montebello, and in the middle of this town, at the intersection of Lafayette and Washington, across from the CVS Drug Store you will find Indian Rock. Yes, a major part of New York’s geological history is surrounded by a chain drugstore. I have said it before that the strip mall is a big part of the Americanization of this once stunning land and this is a perfect example. Another would be how they have built a condo complex in central New Jersey that surrounds Elsie the Cows Grave… no respect at all I tell ya! Well, at least it is still there. Indian Rock is a large glacial erratic boulder of granite gneiss, formed in
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Page 15 the Proterozoic or Precambrian era, some 500 million years ago. This rock is estimated to weigh 17,300 tons. The original source area for the boulder was nearby in the Ramapo Mountains -Hudson Highlands; it is difficult to know for certain exactly where it was picked up by the glacier, but most likely not more than 10 to 20 miles from its current location. The boulder rests upon glacial outwash, which in turn lies atop Triassic sedimentary red beds, basically the sandstone and shale of the Newark Basin (circa 145 million years old). The rock was carried to its current location by the internal flow of the continental ice sheet during the Ice Age some 21,000 years ago. The base of the continental glacier scoured the bedrock terrain across which it moved, thus plucking large and small blocks of rock from their position in the Ramapo Mountains and Hudson Highlands. Indian Rock got as far as Rockland County before being liberated by the ice and deposited along with gravels shifted by glacial melt water.
As soon as possible they built, yet another, strip mall around it… snort! Although Indian Rock may appear to be several rocks piled together, it actually originated as a single boulder 18 feet by 9 feet by 15 feet. Weaknesses within the rock caused by foliation and naturally occurring fractures serve as avenues for moisture infiltration. With repeated freeze-thaw cycles, this moisture expands to exert forces up to 20,000 lbs/inch 2 along the planes of weakness, thus wedging the rock apart. Glacial polish, striations and grooves commonly found on erratics of this size have for the most part been effaced by the normal process of decomposition called weathering. Thus, some rocks and erratics have different looks depending upon the current geography. I just think they are cool however they look. Whether it be up in the mountains and forests of New Hampshire or the green Ramapo Hills, Glacial Erratics tell of the planet’s distant and frozen past, a history that may someday visit our world again. And, they are big and that is why we think they are a big part of this Mysterious America. O’Life out!
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Hanover Powersports Presents
BIG CITY GETAWAY dar VanBunschooten MuseuM 1097 sr 23, sussex, nJ 07461 • 973-875-7634 In the past we have talked about history in our own backyard. Like many of us, we will sometimes ride by a place for years and just never get a chance or urge to stop and explore it. This was the case with us and, I dare say, many riders in northwestern New Jersey who frequent Route 23 up around High Point State Park. Just north of the bustling little town they call Sussex, along said Route 23 the road quickly becomes more country than town and while riding north, on the right side, you might easily scoot by a small white building called the DAR VanBunschooten Museum. We had been this way hundreds of times but, in truth, most times – even when we wanted to stop – it seemed the museum was closed. Things tend to work in funny ways sometimes and one Friday I mentioned to Shira about the VanBunschooten Museum. She gave me a quizzical look and I reminded her of the small place on Route 23. “Ahh, the place that is always closed?” Yep, and I said if it is ever open when we go by we should check it out. Don’t you know the next day we were just meandering. Meandering differs from riding to a destination, as meandering just lets you enjoy what is around the next bend. This day it was the VanBunschooten Museum. I love saying VanBunschooten. It somehow conjures a tough Dutch settler pegging a raiding native in his butt with a muzzleloader.
daytrip ideas to get out of the daily grind This house was originally built in 1787 as the home of the Reverend Elias Van Bunschooten, a Dutch Reformed Minister. He was a farmer, mill operator, and large landowner. The farm was part of a 1000-acre plantation. The Dutch Colonial house is post and beam construction. Out buildings include a Wagon House, Ice House, and a Privy. The home was given to the Chinkchewunska Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution by Mr. & Mrs. Clifford Ramsey in 1971 and the house, property and out buildings were listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and Places in 1974. Approaching the stately building you will see their Historic Marker. This marker was placed in the year 2006. This marker signifies the historical value of the Daughters of the American Revolution and their commitment to the Van Bunschooten Museum. If you search American history you will see that the Daughters of the American Revolution have done so much to preserve our history and heritage. The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote patriotism, preserve American history, and support better education for our nation’s children. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. We parked our bikes and approached the museum. The folks there were, I think, taken back by two fully geared riders knocking at the door, thinking maybe we were lost but soon they knew we were genuinely interested in the museum and its story. We were invited to join a small tour group that had just begun.
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BACKROADS • JANUARY 2014 The house is a humble one, but it is well preserved and offers a great look back into this region’s history. Little things like ‘bricks of tea’ – something I did not know - were handed to us. Back then some tea didn’t come in leaves, rather it was compressed and shipped as bricks making it easier to handle and store. Even today, as I rubbed a fingernail over the brick I could smell this tea from hundreds of years ago. Shira was amazed at some of the women’s dresses and at how diminutive they seemed - especially a wedding gown that look like it could fit a 12 year old girl. Folks were smaller back then and they did marry younger. The beds too – even the ‘matrimonially bed’ was about the size of a small twin these days. The out buildings – the barn and privy were equally interesting and worth the extra look. We spent about a half an hour along with the tour and it was well worth the small donation that the DAR asks. It is small museums like the Van Bunschooten Museum that can give both locals and travelers a peek into the real past. They are usually staffed by volunteers and these folks, along with a deep and ready history, will always make museums like this worth the stop. We would give a call before traveling up just for the museum, but you will usually find the doors open on weekend afternoons. As usual we will provide you with a great ride into this little bit of history, starting at the State Line Lookout, off the Palisades Parkway.
Rip & Ride® • DAR VANBUNSCHOOTEN MUSEUM 1097 STATE ROUTE 23 , SUSSEX, NJ 07461 • 973-875-7634
PALISADE INTERSTATE PARKWAY NORTH BEAR LEFT ONTO LAKE TIORATI ROAD GO 1/2 WAY THROUGH TRAFFIC CIRCLE BEAR RIGHT UP ARDEN VALLEY ROAD LEFT AT RTE. 17 BEAR RIGHT UP HILL TO RTE. 17A LEFT AT RTE. 94 RIGHT AT CR 1A BEAR LEFT AT WATERBURY RD. BEAR RIGHT ON NEW BRIDGE RD. LEFT AT CR 88 RIGHT AT OIL CITY RD. BEAR RIGHT AT RTE. 284 BEAR LEFT IN UNIONVILLE CR 36 BECOME CR 651 IN NJ WATCH FOR 15 MPH TURNS!!!! RIGHT AT GORGE RD. RIGHT AT RTE. 23 TO MUSEUM ON RIGHT
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JANUARY 2014 • BACKROADS
GREAT ALL AMER ICAN DINER RUN
tasty places to take your bike
ForkViLLe generaL store @ the coVered Bridge, ForksViLLe, Pa 570-924-4982 • www.ForksViLLestore.coM We love to say to fellow riders… “We know this place…” But, we know this place - that is in the middle of some of the finest riding in the Allegheny Mountains, deep in the forests at the base of a picturesque covered bridge on the Loyalsock Creek. Part store, part restaurant, part a piece of relocated South Philadelphia the Forkville General Store will surely please you and your riding buddies. We got the heads up on this place when planning our Fall Fiesta Rally this past year and seeing it was smack in the middle of a few routes, we included it into their lunch stops. We love a place that has a history and the Forksville General Store certainly has that. Forksville, Pennsylvania is one of the two oldest towns in Sullivan County. From 1810 to 1816 Forksville flourished, but the flood of 1816 almost wiped out the settlement. Forksville was also the birth place of legendary football player, Red Grange; a.k.a “The Galloping Ghost”. Standing in the same spot since the mid1800s the building was built by Sadler Rogers, a year after he built the Forksville Covered Bridge. It was originally an upholstery store, but has seen many incarnations over the years such as a barber shop, bakery, ice house, car garage, gas station and today a general store and restaurant where locals, tourists and riders alike can enjoy its rustic charm. Outside, along the banks of the Loyalsock, they have a number of picnic tables to enjoy a good meal al fresco’ and even a fire pit if it is a chilly day.
Inside the front of the store is just that and heading to the back you will run into the deli counter and then the restaurant itself, which can easily handle a good size riding group. There is also a stage, as on Saturday nights Mike and MaryAnn, the folks that have brought new life into the historic building, serve up “Great Food! Great Sax!” as they have dinner and a show – we understand Mike and his band really make the place rock. But, chances are you will pull up to the Forksville on a sunny morning or afternoon and with that in mind let us tell you the food is scrumptious. They serve up the Standard American Breakfast with eggs; choice of meat: slab bacon, smoked sausage links, sausage patties, scrapple, pork roll, or honey glazed ham. Four different choices of omelets including their Bada
FOR WORK OR PLAY POLARIS HAS THE ATV & UTV FOR YOUR NEEDS. Warning: The Polaris RANGER® is not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license to operate. Passengers must be at least 12 years old and tall enough to grasp the hand holds and plant feet firmly on the floor. All SxS drivers should take a safety training course. Contact ROHVA at www.rohva.org or (949) 255-2560 for additional information. Drivers and passengers should always wear helmets, eye protection, protective clothing, and seat belts. Always use cab nets or doors (as equipped). Be particularly careful on difficult terrain. Never drive on public roads or paved surfaces. Never engage in stunt driving, and avoid excessive speeds and sharp turns. Riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. Check local laws before riding on trails. ©2013 Polaris Industries Inc. Warning: ATVs can be hazardous to operate. Polaris adult models are for riders age 16 and older. For your safety, always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing, and be sure to take a safety training course. For safety and training information in the U.S., call the SVIA at (800) 887-2887. You may also contact your Polaris dealer or call Polaris at (800) 342-3764. For safety training in Canada, contact your local Polaris dealer. ©2013 Polaris Industries Inc.
911 Middlesex Ave, Metuchen, NJ (732) 491-2900
911 Middlesex Ave, Metuchen, NJ (732) 491-2900
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Bing, which is 3 grade-A extra large eggs whisked with Genoa salami, bell peppers, & onions topped with provolone cheese. The home-style biscuits and sausage gravy were simply delicious as was the The F.R.X. SLAMMER: 2 eggs (any style) served with smoked sausage links, slab bacon, and a side order of 2 buttermilk biscuits smothered with sausage gravy.
When lunch time rolls around the Forksville General Store has us all covered with a filling menu. This is a Philly-based restaurant so you know that Big Mike’s Cheesesteaks are going to rule and he has the ‘Original’, the ‘Cheesesteak Hoagie’, two chicken and both ‘The Godfather’ and ‘The Godfather Part II.’ In addition to the ‘Cheesesteak Hoagie’ Mike and MaryAnn serve up six other hoagies – Italian, tuna, three-cheese veggie, turkey, roast beef and ‘The Paisan’ proscuitto, capicola, sharp provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, roasted red bell peppers in garlic & olive oil.
If you are Club Member you will find the classic turkey as well as a roast beef and ham club. Seven different burgers fill the menu from the ‘Endless Mountain’ to the ‘Italian Stallion Burger.’ You
Page 19 might notice the big Philly flair in all these offerings. It seems anything Philly and Italian can be used. With all the Philly memorabilia around the place we were surprised that the baseball’s Philly Phanatic was not featured, nor Eastern State Penitentiary as so many Italian – umm - businessmen spent time there as well. ‘The Mountain Monster Burger’ seemed really impressive with its 2 1/2 pounds stacked high with lettuce, tomato, onion, slab bacon & American cheese! They offer pizza and you can build your own or go for their Veggie version. But, why do you skinny and not all that healthy riders want to do that when you can eat the ‘Porky Pie’? Four mighty meats coming together to form this vegetable hating, mountainous pie - smoked sausage, ham, pepperoni, & slab bacon. Where is that defibrillator? We can go on and on to tell you of the seafood, the wraps and the salads, but we think you get the picture. The Forksville General Store might look like a typical roadside PA place, but we assure you it is far from that. Between the food, the music, the ambiance, and location you have a wonderful stop on this month’s ride along the Great All American Diner Run!
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Bergen County Harley-Davidson Presents
WE’RE OUT TA HERE wiLLiaMsPort, PennsyLVania where the kids oF BaseBaLL Meet the oLd Men oF the Mountains Over the last number of years we have returned again and again to the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania. This region of the Keystone state has a wonderful combination of old towns, historic museums, covered bridges, well-paved roads, hard–packed gravel routes and even some seriously tough trails with that wonderful (?) combination of dirt, sand, muck and mud. It’s your choice. You can always turn around. For years we considered bringing one of our rallies up into these ‘Endless Mountains’ and finally got it done this last September when we held our Fall Fiesta Rally in the town of Williamsport. For our home base we chose the famed Genetti Hotel. Located at 200 W 4th St, right in the downtown section of Williamsport, the Genetti offered us everything we could need and then some for our rally. Great restaurant, super bar and plenty of parking. One thing that Williamsport, Pennsylvania is famous for is that it is the home of Little League Baseball and the Little League World Series. The Little League Baseball World Series is a baseball tournament for children aged 11 to 13 years old. It was originally called the National Little League Tournament and was later renamed for the World Series in Major League Baseball. It was first held in 1947 and is held every August. Initially, only teams from the US competed
a weekend destination keeping you on the backroads in the “World Series” but it has since become a worldwide tournament. The tournament has gained popular renown, especially in the United States, where games from the Series and even from regional tournaments are broadcast on ESPN. We know we watch it each August as these kids have more heart than many MLB players. You will find the World of Little League: Peter J. McGovern Museum just outside Williamsport on Route 15. Recently refurbished the museum has now shifted from simply telling the story of Little League’s past to a more dynamic presentation of how Little League has intertwined with U.S. and world history, and even help to shape it. The museum tells the reasons Little League has become the world’s largest and most respected youth sports program. The ball field they have there is second to none, and is a joy to see with the knowledge that many of your favorite professional ball players have played on this field when they were young. The town itself has a number of great restaurants, the finest perhaps being the Peter Herdic House. Situated on Williamsport’s Millionaires Row, this beautifully restored Victorian mansion offers dining at its finest. On the other end of the spectrum, if you like your places smaller and more local the Olive Tree was fantastic. Sure, the one-woman act the day we were there was a bit swamped, but the food was delicious and one of the best meals we had in the town. The Bull Frog Brewery serves up some great local beers and has a decent menu as well, and it’s a good place to wind down after a long day’s riding even if the place gets a bit crowded and the fellow seating us that day needed
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to know he was working in the ‘service industry’. Later in the night, if you are still raring to go bar hopping, Williamsport offers the Cell Block, a nightclub in a 19th century Quaker prison and Club Z, the area’s hip new gay bar. Surrounding Williamsport there are hundreds of miles of the Alleghenies beckoning you and your friends to ride into and explore. In the surrounding area you will find Hyner View State Park, with its incredible vista (one of the best in the northeast) and the Piper Aviation Museum, in Lock Haven, celebrating one of the most popular and successful aircraft ever created. To the north you will find the Pine Creek gorge. Often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, the PA Canyon area stretches for over 45 miles with depths of nearly 1500 feet. Its dynamic topography creates many scenic wonders, including steep canyon walls and waterfalls. The PA Grand Canyon is part of the Tioga State Forest, beginning just south of Ansonia, PA, near Wellsboro and is well worth the ride. Another longer journey is to Kinzua Bridge State Park. The Kinzua Bridge was the highest, at 301 feet, and longest, at 2,053 feet, railway bridge in the world, given the distinction of being listed as a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. For a few years it was the largest of its kind on the planet Earth. The Knox and Kane Railroad offered excursion rail trips across the bridge until June, 2002, when it was closed for restoration. At approximately 3:20
p.m., July 21, 2003, a tornado from the east touched down at the park. The storm, classified as F-1 on the Fujita scale, tore down 11 of the 20 structure spans and nearby trees were snapped and uprooted. The failure was caused by badly rusted bolts holding the bases of the towers. The investigation reckoned that the whole structure oscillated laterally 4-5 times before fatigue broke the base bolts. The towers fell intact in sections, and they suffered impact damage with the ground. They have been left as they fell, and it is intended to make the ruins a visitor attraction to show the forces of nature at work. In 2011, the engineering masterpiece was reinvented as the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk, a new pedestrian walkway where visitors can stroll 600 feet out on the remaining support towers, peer miles out into the Kinzua Gorge as well as peer down into the partial glass platform at the end of the walkway. More riders commented on how cool this one destination was during our Fall Fiesta rally than any other. As you can tell Williamsport, Pennsylvania and the surrounding region of the Alleghenies makes for a superb getaway and someplace to consider the next time you’re heading out for a road trip. Sources: www.genettihotel.com • www.littleleague.org www.herdichouse.com www.williamsport.org • www.pipermuseum.com
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The Best of Backroads 2013
ome years stand out more than others. For many of us here at Backroads it has been, well, interesting! Still, with another year now in the books it was time for the crew that creates this magazine each month to convene at that Fortress of Solitude known as Monkey with a Gun for the annual meeting of the minds, bashing of the brains, clashing of the craniums and the world championship ‘Hook and Darts’ competition. Oh yeah…. and to decide who lands where in this year’s Best of Backroads! Always a fun thing. Surprisingly this year no law enforcement had to visit and things were almost civilized - although the final ‘hook’ game between Byers and Happy did get a bit touchy. The Navy hates to lose. So, even though it might be winter, strap on your helmets, zip up your jackets and make some vroom-vroom noises ‘cause it is time for the Best of Backroads 2013!
Great All American Diner Run Food is good. So is riding. Twenty years ago we knew that the Great All American Diner Run would be a favorite column and we were right. Each year we do our best to feature some of the better and more interesting eateries that we have found along the backroads of this nation. Here are our top three for 2013…
2nd Runner Up • the southern Market 9576 s congress st, new Market, Va 22844 • 540- 740-3514 Our entire world could revolve around fried chicken and The Southern Market has some of the best in the nation. They also have a bunch more to offer. But if you are on some sort of crazy ‘non-fried food’ diet, you’d best point your bike in another direction, as we are in the south, and the south owns the license on deep fried anything. Their peanut soup has no equal on the planet and the entire menu is all about, what we have learned to call, ‘comfort food.’ If you’re willing to be a bit daring, you can go for the fried green tomatoes or fried mushrooms, but if you’re going all out you must order the fried chicken livers - appetizer only as a full plate would put you in cardiac arrest. On Sundays there is breakfast after 11am - this is a church community. When you have a place this good and the fact that it is surrounded by some of the best riding in the Commonwealth of Virginia then you easily have the makings of the Best of Backroads.
1st Runner Up • Billy Joe’s ribworks 26 Front st , newburgh, ny 12550 845- 565-1560 • www.ribworks.com Docked right on the banks of the Hudson River, in the town of Newburgh, Billy Joe’s has it all. Great scenery, superb roads heading into the city and some of the best barbeque along the Hudson Valley – a place known for some serious chow! Taking a table outside on a nice sunny afternoon…. Well, things can’t get much better. And, with as deep a menu as they offer at Billy Joe’s you will be in very good hands. Just look at these food pictures; how can you possibly resist getting on your bike and heading there right now! Their ribs are fall-of-the-bone good, their sauces are terrific, the wings will keep you licking your fingers and we won’t even get into how cheesy good their various mac & cheese plates are. We are fairly sure you will be happy campers when you ride away from the superb barbeque on the river. It has it all and made it an easy choice for this issue.
1st Place Great All American Diner Run 2013 rat’s restaurant at the grounds for sculpture 16 Fairgrounds rd, hamilton township, nJ 08619 609- 584-7800 • www.groundsforsculpture.org/ratsrestaurant Our day ride here was a ‘Mystery Ride’ that we do for each other at Backroads every now and again. We have to keep ourselves on our toes, right? It being Brian’s turn he surprised Shira with a journey to the Grounds for Sculpture, the 2012 #1 for Big City Getaway. Along with one of the greatest sculpture gardens in the United States they also have a delicious restaurant in the most serene of settings – Rat’s. Why the name Rat's? In Kenneth Grahame's classic, The Wind in the Willows, one of Seward Johnson's, favorite books, the character Ratty represented everything a host should be. As founder of Rat's and Grounds For Sculpture, Johnson likens himself to Ratty who threw the best parties with the best wine. Likewise, the two share delightful imaginations and far-reaching dreams. Here you will dine in a combination of wonderful art and scrumptious food. With a decidely Impressionist bent, their lunch menu is as creative as the artwork surrounding you during your meal. For a special Sunday ride, they offer a brunch that can’t be beat. With all this, Rat’s Restaurant is an easy choice for the #1 spot on the 2013 Best of Backroads.
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Big City Getaway Sometimes you just want to get out for a quick ride, but this column – Big City Getaway – was created to give us all ideas, suggestions and places to ride to. For sure the ride is all-important, but something cool and interesting at its end make each mile all the more special.
2nd Runner Up • saratoga automobile Museum 110 avenue of the Pines, saratoga springs, ny 12866 • 518-587-193 • saratogaautomuseum.org Let’s face it…. We’re all motor heads and the Saratoga Automobile Museum is a fine example of a museum dedicated to cars, bikes and all things big-time horse powered. When we visited this last year they had an entire floor dedicated to BMW motorcycles. You know we were very interested in this. And, they did an exemplary job. From the early history of the German marquee to the latest and greatest machines they offered an excellent showing. But, even though they offer different exhibits throughout the year, the Saratoga Automobile Museum has a wonderful grasp of local and regional race history. We happily bought an interview with Chris Economaki, who was kind enough to let the first few issue of Backroads be created in his office. Yep, we almost have gravitas! Thank you Chris. The museum is just a short ride from Americade and well worth visiting any time of the year.
1st Runner Up • the wild center 45 Museum dr, tupper Lake, ny 12986 • 518- 359-7800 • www.wildcenter.org The Adirondacks takes up a huge part of New York State. For those of you who have never traveled this way, now is the time. This region is truly a wonderful look at how the nation was way before Columbus’s men said “Land Ho!” In the last few years one of the most fascinating museums and centers has sprung up deep in the heart of these old mountains. Once again, this is just a good day’s ride from the Americade Rally and well worth the trip. We made it a point to visit last June and were totally impressed by all The Wild Center had to offer. What we thought would be a quick tour turned out to be an afternoon affair, with no regrets. The wildlife, the demonstrations and ambiance make the Adirondacks Wild Center just that…wild, and a place well worth visiting if you are in the region of America’s oldest mountains.
1st Place Big City Getaway 2013 • Martin guitar Factory 510 sycamore st, nazareth, Pa 18064 • 800-633-2060 • www.martinguitar.com We will admit it. We love guitars, and have quite the collection here at Backroads Central. We may not be worthy of them, but we have them nonetheless. Just a short ride for us, in Nazareth, Pennsylvania (home of Shira’s buddy Mario) you will find the Martin Guitar Factory, Ground Zero for some of the greatest guitars on this planet we call Earth. Once again this was a destination on a Mystery Run, one that all were invited to, and nobody was disappointed in learning how one of the finest instruments in the world is designed and created. The in-depth tour, from the history of the company to the process one of these instruments makes before ending up in the hands of the owner, is well-presented, fun and impressive. We particularly were happy with the room allowing those guitarists who actually have a grasp of how magnificent these machines are to play guitars costing thousands of dollars. Sorry, don’t really have too many of these around at Monkey with a Gun. The Martin Guitar Factory is in a most excellent region and the roads around, to and from are nothing short of spectacular so reach for your inner Rock & Roller, take a ride to Martin Guitar Factory and see why it easily made our #1 pick for Big City Getaway 2013.
We’re Outta Here! Aren’t there always some days when you have just had enough. The need to escape and ride away with someone special or a group of buds almost becomes overwhelming. This is exactly why We’re Outta Here was created. And, over the years, we have discovered and brought you kids to some very cool places indeed, but maybe not as cool as this year, where we visited so many wonderful B &Bs, hotels and inns. It was tough, but here are our top three for 2103.
2nd Runner Up hilda crockett’s chesapeake house Bed & Breakfast 16243 Main street, tangier island, Virginia 23440 757-891-2331 • www.chesapeakehousetangier.com It is called We’re Outta Here, right? Well, you can’t get further away from the day to day than a small speck of land in the middle of the largest bay in the United States – the Chesapeake. Tangier Island is just a short boat ride, but a world away from everything else.
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Page 24 Hilda Crockett’s Chesapeake House is not the Ritz. But, it is the most comfortable and homey place we have found in years. DO NOT MISS ANY MEALS!!! What you will find are the world’s best crab cakes and all the rest they deliciously serve up. Wait, did we just really make that statement. Yes, we did and we stand by it. The best crab cakes. Tangier Island is a very special place – not much to do, but a few days, a good book and some excellent friends will give you a wonderful renewal of energy and some excellent memories.
1st Runner Up • inn at Mountain View 3383 darling hill rd, east Burke, Vt 05832 802-626-9924 • www.innmtnview.com Few places in the northeast are as alluring to motorcyclists as the Northeast Kingdom and while traveling in this region you can do no better than our second runner up for this year’s Best of Backroads – the Inn at Mountain View. A wonderful old place that has been recreated into a phenomenal destination, the Inn at Mountain View offers its guests all the modern amenities with a wonderful touch of Vermont’s storied past. From the main house to the restored barns the Inn at Mountain View is a true pleasure to stay at and the surrounding area is fantastic to ride as well. It is easy to see why the Inn at Mountain View is part of the Best of Backroads this time around.
1st Place We’re Outta Here 2013 • Bass & Basket B & B 1117 dogwood rd., Lake ozark, Mo 65049 573-964-5028 • www.bassandbaskets.com When it became time to award this particular spot, we decided it came down to where we would like to be right here, right now. It was easy to think back to the Bass & Basket, on the stunning Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. Yep, a bit of a ride from Backroads Central and our usual haunts, but there is no denying how wonderful Bass & Basket was. The ambiance, the lake (with the dock, swimming and all that goes with it) and the region was so much fun. The Ozarks are a motorcycling jewel and if you get the chance you must ride this mountainous region located in our United States’ mid-west. Ed and Deb Franko are most congenial hosts
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and if you like fishing then Ed is your man. Nobody knows this lake better. One of things we love about Backroads is the opportunity to find places like Bass & Basket and then share it with you. Visit here and you will see why it swiftly made its way to the #1 spot in this year’s Best of Backroads.
Mysterious America Although the old guy is getting up there in years Doctor Seymour O’Life still amazes us each month with his odd findings, discoveries and revelations. Having him around is like having Ancient Aliens, Mysteries at the Museum and the X-Files right in our offices. This year was no different as he and his cronies did yeoman’s work on finding what is really odd, weird and bizarre in this Mysterious America.
2nd Runner Up • Bread & Puppet 753 heights rd, glover, Vt 05839 802-525-303 • breadandpuppet.org One thing I have to hand the far left is that they can be incredibly creative, flamboyant and fun to watch. This point is made at Bread & Puppet, in Vermont. The Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side. Besides rod-puppet and hand puppet shows for children, the concerns of the first productions were rents, rats, police, and other problems of the neighborhood. These days Peter has escaped NYC for the beautiful mountains of Vermont; but Bread & Puppet has just gotten better and better and, maybe even more mysterious. On our visit we were… stunned? We could do our best to try to explain what this is all about, but we think you need to explore this on your own, so make plans this year to visit Bread & Puppet – we promise you will not be disappointed.
1st Runner Up • Mysterious americade This was a little trip Seymour created for us while at Americade. It brought us into Vermont and then back into the Empire state. Along the way we saw ancient battleships, more than a few miles of dirt, a ferry ride and a stop at a museum that held the story of one of the most mysterious murders in the region’s history. All, once again, a day’s ride while at Americade. That’s three - Bill Dutcher keep note. Follow along and you will have an excellent day’s ride and you will scoot into that odd place we call Mysterious America.
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1st Place Mysterious America 2013 • Barney smith’s toilet seat art Museum 239 abiso ave, san antonio, tx 78209 • 210- 824-7791 • www.roadsideamerica.com/story/6166 Seymour would love to take credit for this, but the truth is Shira found Barney and his musuem of…. Toilet Seat Art. Yes, Toilet Seat Art. In truth we were totally blown away by both Barney and his collection of bowl beautification. He had hundreds of incredible wild art works, all done in and about where you park your ass a few times each day. If this isn’t what Mysterious America is about then we give up! On top of that Barney Smith is one of the nicest gentlemen we have met in a long time. We were so glad to meet him and his collection. So the Alamo is fine, but…. when in San Antonio the place to see is Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum, a true destination in this Mysterious America and easily the oddest thing we found in 2013!
Best of Shira’s 2013 Ice Cream Runs wemple and edick’s 453 ny 334, Johnstown ny 12095 • 518-762-4319 Brian is always telling me that my Ice Cream Run column has taken the top spot in the favorites of this magazine. He is trying to convince me to market ‘Shira’s Ice Cream Run’ t-shirts and that we’d be able to retire on the profits. Well, I’m a bit skeptical on that one, but I do know that I enjoy bringing these cool destinations to you, almost as much as I like eating their wares. 2013 saw some fine examples of dairy distinction, but none combined the goodness of cream, twisties and comfort like Wemple and Edick’s in Johnstown, NY. I’d like to take credit for discovering this jewel, but truth is it was brought to my attention by our good friend Scott Agnew as a stop on our Spring Break while in Cooperstown in May. Pulling up to Wemple & Edick’s you will find a building that exudes warmth and comfort. An old fashioned grocery/candy store that will bring back tons of memories, if you are of that age, and start new ones if you’re just a youngun. Of course their ice cream is homemade and their flavors are multitudinous, but their baked goods are just as tempting. All in all, a dieter’s nightmare and a sweet-tooth’s dream. This place is also a nice day ride from Lake George, as well as good riding while in the Finger Lakes region. It is seasonal, so check before making the trip and enjoy your treats at this year’s Best of Shira’s Ice Cream Run.
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Ring out the Old, Ring in the New Some of the Rides the Industry has Introduced for 2014 TIGER 800XC SE At first glance, the Tiger 800XC SE’s Volcanic Black paint looks like a simple black finish. But when sunlight catches it, red metallic highlights burst through and further complement the fiery red main frame, black exhaust heat shields and black pillion grab rails. The Tiger 800XC SE’s unique characteristics are rounded out with black finished handlebars and matte-finished Diablo Red cockpit infills for a more performance oriented feeling. This special edition maintains the same running gear as the standard Tiger 800XC, powered by Triumph’s 799cc inline triple engine. With a flat torque curve and refined power delivery that’s earned accolades worldwide, the Tiger 800XC is a pleasure to ride in the most demanding on-road and off-road conditions. A sophisticated antilock braking system is standard and can be deactivated for off-road riding. Additional standard features include adjustable handle bar position and seat height, a coded-key immobilizer, and rear rack with generous pillion grab handles. The tough steel chassis is equipped with long-travel 45mm upside down front forks and rear suspension unit, plus a 21” spoked front wheel for maximum ground clearance on rough trails. With a high-level front mudguard and sturdy hand guards, the 800XC has been developed to cope with demanding conditions. The Tiger 800XC SE will be available in March 2014 with an MSRP of $12,499 (USD). As with all new Triumph motorcycles, these new models come with Triumph’s two-year, unlimited mileage factory warranty and an extensive range of Triumph Genuine Accessories so riders can tailor their bikes to meet their individual tastes and riding needs
HARLEY-DAVIDSONS AIMED AT NEW RIDERS Harley-Davidson is continuing its monumental ride, which began with the introduction of Project RUSHMORE in August, by revealing two new Dark Custom™ motorcycles designed for young urban riders around the world. The Harley-Davidson Street™ 750 and Street™ 500 motorcycles – the first all-new platform from Harley-Davidson in 13 years – are built for urban environments with all-new liquid-cooled Revolution X™ powertrains, nimble agility and the sound and look that lets everyone know they are genuine Harley-Davidson. “These are the newest motorcycles to join our Dark Custom lineup, which helped make us the number-one selling brand to young adults in the U.S. for the past five years,” said Matt Levatich, President and Chief Operating Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “Both the Street 750 and Street 500 were designed with thousands of hours of input from young adults in cities around the world. This input guided both the attitude and capabilities of these motorcycles. They are proof that being customer-led continues to be a core driver of our product development process.” The Street 750 and Street 500 from Harley-Davidson are built for an urban environment. Each motorcycle features the new Revolution X engine, designed to match the demands of stop-and-go traffic with nimble agility, while delivering instant throttle response to escape city gridlock. The Revolution X engine will be housed in a new, narrow and lean chassis built for agility, with a super-low seat height, new suspension and broad handlebar sweep that provides confidence and maneuverability when managing tight turns and fast moves. Both signature Dark Custom motorcycles feature a premium, minimalist style that serves as a blank canvas for riders to customize. “These new bikes are leaner, yet still have a mean streak – they’re the real deal, made of real steel.” said Mark-Hans Richer, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “They’re designed to handle the abuses of urban environments and provide authentic opportunities to customize.” More information is available at www.h-d.com/street
LONGER DISTANCE ZERO MOTORCYCLES Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in the electric motorcycle industry, announced its 2014 model line which features a new Z-Force® Power Tank accessory that allows riders to travel up to 171 miles in the city or 88 miles on the highway. Providing customers with the unique ability to increase energy storage capacity during or after purchase, the Power Tank can be added to any 2014 Zero S or Zero DS model. The company also announced a new “R” configuration of their award winning Zero S model that offers riders 56% higher torque and 24% more power. Available in a new deep red color, the Zero SR offers riders 106 ft-lbs of torque through a wide power band and does 0-60mph in 3.3 seconds using Zero’s highly efficient direct drive system. The Zero SR, as well as the entire lineup, includes improved suspension, well-integrated new design elements and a sleek new dash. “For 2014 we focused on evolving the features that customers appreciate most while also providing more
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value. The results include impressive options for increased range and improved performance at more competitive price points than ever before,” said Richard Walker, CEO of Zero Motorcycles. “Additionally we are excited to announce five year standard power pack warranties for every new model that cover up to 100,000 miles. As always, we invite consumers to discover the thrill of riding a Zero by contacting an authorized dealer to sign up for a test ride or to place an order. The new lineup arrives in January.” A signal that the technology has matured, the latest California built electric motorcycle line represents an evolution of an already cutting edge product line and uses the same core Z-Force® technology as last year’s models. The new features of the 2014 model line largely revolve around refining general motorcycle componentry and design. The suspension of every model has been upgraded with more robust 43mm front forks and a completely reworked rear shock. The front forks of each motorcycle are now connected with wider triple clamps that are seamlessly integrated into the bodywork and front headlights. Facing the rider, an entirely new dash with a high contrast and cool- blue backlit LCD screen lists out useful riding information and motorcycle statistics. The display also indicates to the rider whether they are in the “eco,” “sport,” or the new “custom” riding mode. Using new right hand switch gear, riders can toggle between the different performance profiles. They can also set the custom performance profile using the Zero Motorcycles app, which now supports English, German, French, Spanish and Dutch. After conducting market research and listening to customers, Zero has chosen to refine the consumer product line to three core models: the Zero S, Zero DS and Zero FX. The intent of this approach is to put more time and effort into perfecting the motorcycle experience that customers value most, while also providing even more value in each model. Riders will see and feel some of the difference this makes immediately with newly designed bodywork elements, neatly integrated componentry, improved braking and better handling on account of increased torsional rigidity in the chassis. As a result of the refined model offerings, the price of the Zero S and Zero DS models have actually come down by around $1,000 as compared against the 2013 lineup. There are a number of new design elements on each model that range from large and eye-catching to merely refined and subtle. The Zero S and Zero DS now feature an aerodynamic chin fairing that funnels air into the powertrain to provide additional air-cooling. Projector beam headlights illuminate the road for the Zero FX and are housed in aggressive black bodywork that beautifully ties into Zero’s new dash. The Zero FX also features a new seat that provides a passenger area and owners can purchase passenger pegs as an aftermarket accessory. Overall, every component is designed with purpose and to create the riding experience of a premium electric motorcycle that is designed to thrill.
BMW’S DRESS-DOWN SPORT Superbike riding dynamics and powerful, emotive roadster styling - these are the hallmarks of the new BMW S 1000 R. The new naked bike from BMW Motorrad is directly derived from the S 1000 RR superbike and uses the same innovative technology. The close
family resemblance to the RR is instantly obvious. The simplified appearance of the n S 1000R exudes an aggressive, dynamic energy. A well-thought-out overall concept, the 160 hp maximum power and a weight of 456 lbs, as well as Race ABS, ASC and a choice of two riding modes as standard makes the BMW S 1000 R as dynamic sports roadster.
BMW’S DRESSED-UP LUXURY The BMW K 1600 GTL Exclusive takes two-wheeled travel to a whole new level with a 118 kW (160 hp) inline six-cylinder engine that melds superlative power, stylish design and superb standards of equipment and comfort. Leading the BMW Motorrad tourer range, the “Ex-
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clusive” model already lays claim to class-beating specifications as standard equipment – central locking with anti-theft alarm system and ESA II (electronic suspension adjustment) for an optimum spring/damper setup regardless of load. The Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) enhances safety when accelerating, while the innovative new Hill Start Control feature takes all the hard work out of pulling away uphill, even when carrying a passenger and full luggage. Plus, like all BMW motorcycles, the K 1600 GTL Exclusive comes equipped with BMW Motorrad ABS as standard. The film antenna for the radio that is embedded in the topcase lid is a world first and ensures the best possible reception quality without sacrificing the bike’s appearance. Long-distance travel comfort for the pillion passenger is taken to greater heights by a new seat, a heated backrest and comfortable armrests. Also found on the list of standard equipment: LED auxiliary headlights, adaptive xenon headlight, Tire Pressure Monitor, additional brake light, engine protection bar, floor lighting, as well as LED daytime running light and, for the first time on a BMW motorcycle, Keyless Ride. The styling of the “Exclusive” model also spells pure luxury – from the fuel tank’s aluminum molding and fully chromed exhaust system to the new-look instrumentation. The color scheme for the new K 1600 GTL Exclusive adds to the sense of elegance and aesthetic appeal. The bodywork’s four-coat paint finish in Mineral white metallic high gloss complements the striking chrome surfaces, contrasting shade of Magnesium metallic matt and the Glacier silver metallic radiator. The color-coordinated seat cushion upholstery, backrest and pillion passenger armrests add the perfect finishing touch. Price to be announced and the machine will be limited in availability.
BMW’s WET HEAD GOES TOURING Following last year’s successful introduction of the new water-Boxer engine powered R 1200 GS, BMW has now released the new R 1200 RT. Derived from the boxer engine on the BMW R 1200 GS, the new engine produces a peak output of 92 kW (125 hp) at 7,750 rpm and its maximum torque of 125 Nm (92 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm. On the new R 1200 RT, the centrifugal masses of both the crankshaft and the alternator were increased, resulting in an even smoother engine. Riding comfort has been improved by using a longer secondary transmission ratio to keep the engine rpm lower. For optimum adaptation to the rider’s individual needs, the new R 1200 RT is equipped as standard with two riding modes along with Automatic Stability Control (ASC). The two riding modes, “Rain” and “Road”, allow the R 1200 RT to be adapted to most road conditions. The optional extra Riding mode Pro, meanwhile, includes the additional riding mode “Dynamic” plus the Hill Start Control function. The sporty nature of the R 1200 RT can be experienced to the full in “Dynamic” mode, while Hill Start Control helps to make light work of stopping and starting on an uphill slope.
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The BMW Gear Shift Assistant Pro, available as a factory option, represents a world first for production motorcycle manufacture. It enables upshifts and downshifts to be made without operation of the clutch or throttle valve in the proper load and rpm speed ranges while riding. The new R 1200 RT features a new, continuous main frame to give it even greater directional stability. And, when equipped with the optionally available semi-active suspension, BMW Motorrad Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment), the new R 1200 RT can offer an excellent level of riding safety, performance and comfort, with the damping automatically adapted to the prevailing conditions to suit individual riding situations and maneuvers. Seating comfort and ergonomics have also been enhanced for rider and passenger alike. The ergonomic triangle formed by the handlebars, seat and footrests has been lowered by 20 millimeters (0.8 inches) to make it even easier to reach the ground, something that all riders and passengers will appreciate when maneuvering in tight spots or getting on and off the bike. Thanks to their outstanding comfort and effective wind and weather protection, BMW RT models have always been renowned for their excellent long-distance capabilities, now further improved by the addition of an optimized windshield. The front headlight assembly lends the new R 1200 RT a highly dynamic appearance and the optional LED Corona Ring feature gives the new RT an even more appealing appearance that is distinctively BMW. The instrument cluster has undergone a complete makeover, with the new R 1200 RT now featuring a large 5.7-inch TFT color display to provide the rider with an even greater wealth of data. This is where the extensive information from the standard equipped BMW Motorrad Pro onboard computer can also be selected. The display is supplemented by the analogue speedometer and tachometer dials. And for the ultimate in touring comfort, the list of available factory installed options includes an audio system with innovative operation via the multi-controller. The RT’s dynamic appearance is enhanced as a result of three new color compositions: Quartz Blue Metallic, Callisto Grey Metallic Matt and Ebony Metallic.
HONDA’S STRIPPED DOWN MUSCLE At a sneak preview at the Petersen Automotive Museum, near Los Angels’ trendy Beverly Hills, Honda gave the press a look at its latest model, the 2014 Valkyrie. The new Valkyrie, like the old Valkyrie (1996 – 2003) is basically a stripped down Gold Wing, but whereas the original Valkyrie consisted of a different frame, and minimal bodywork; front and rear fenders, sidepanels and a fuel tank, with the engine hanging in the breeze, the new model is wrapped fore to aft with fiberglass, and only the valve covers of the 1832 cc, flat-six , fuel-injected engine are visible. Honda Powersport Press Manager, described the styling as a “raging bull,” and noted that the radiators were side mounted and that the frontal bodywork, did offer some degree of wind protection. Honda didn’t release any hard specifications regarding the engine, other than to note it was the same engine as in the current Gold Wing and its brother, the F6B. It was mentioned that the amount of torque produced at 4,000 RPM was significant, but there was no answer to the question, “how much?” The original Valkyrie engine, the 1520cc, flat-six, had a 28mm carb for each cylinder, versus two total for the Wing, and a more radical camshaft and ignition timing making it a hotter engine than standard. While much of the increased performance of the new bike versus the Gold Wing is attributed to a 150 lb weight
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Page 31 loss, the Valkyrie claiming a 750 lb curb weight, it’s suspected that there may be some engine enhancements as well. The new model has a twin-spar frame, and a single-sided Pro-arm® swing arm, with a Pro-link® “suspension system tuned for serious riders.” Front suspension is a 45mm conventional cartridge fork with antidive. There was no information regarding travel for either the front or rear, but foot controls are slightly higher than the Gold Wing’s, and the bike offers better lean angles for more aggressive riding. The transmission is a five-speed, connected to Honda’s shaft-drive system. The wheels are cast alloy, tenspoke wrapped in a 130/60R-19 tire in front and a 180/55R-17 rear. Dual 310mm discs provide stopping power up front and a single 316mm disc does the job in the rear. Seat height is a comfy, feet on the ground 28.8 inches, which should be appealing to a lot of riders. Wheelbase is about an inch longer than the Gold Wing at 67.2 inches, and fuel capacity is a half-gallon less. The bike is equipped with LED headlight, taillight and turn signals. The instrumentation is digital, and provides information re speed, distance, engine revs, trip, and all the standard information found on modern motorcycles. The passenger seat is removable and a body-colored panel snaps in place to hide the fixing
holes. ABS is available as an option. One of the keys to success in this segment are bolt-on accessories, however no accessories were displayed, but when asked, we were told that there would be bolt-ons available, though no specifics were offered. Honda has targeted this bike to Boomers, some of their customers looking to move to a cruiser-type motorcycle, and other metric cruiser riders looking to step-up. The bike will be available in three colors, Black, Dark Red Metallic, and Blue Metallic. Price has not yet been determined, but it was estimated to be somewhere north of $16,000. It’s expected in dealerships in April. ~ Mike Vaughan
YAMAHA’S TRIPLE EXCITEMENT Introducing an all-new 847cc liquid-cooled, in-line 3-cylinder, DOHC, 12-valve engine with fuel injection. This engine combines advanced high tech components including YCC-T® and Yamaha D-Mode, with a crossplane concept crankshaft to deliver an exciting, torquey and quick-revving engine character. This 3-cylinder engine features Yamaha’s “Crossplane Crankshaft Concept” that provides linear torque development in response to the rider’s throttle input. Among the advantages of the in-line 3-cylinder engine are: (1) linear torque development, (2) even firing intervals that provide smooth torque characteristics and a good feeling of power in the low to mid rpm range, (3) a light, slim and compact design, and (4) performance that combines the characteristics of both 2-cylinder and 4-cylinder engines. To reduce vibration and deliver a smoother ride, the engine has a primary coupled-force balancer that revolves in the opposite direction and at the same speed as the crankshaft. A new 6-speed transmission has also been adopted to match the new engine. The transmission has optimized gear ratios that help to deliver engine torque efficiently. The result is a transmission that helps bring
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out more of the low- to mid-speed torque and excellent response characteristics. The ride-by-wire Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) system senses the slightest throttle input by the rider, relays the data to the ECU, which instantaneously calculates the ideal throttle valve opening based on engine rpm and throttle opening, and then sends commands to a servo-motor actuator that moves the throttle valve which actively controls the intake airflow volume. This is a technology contributing to the rider’s feeling of torque and controllability from the new 3-cylinder engine. Electronic fuel injection has been adopted to provide outstanding drivability. 12-hole injectors attached directly to the cylinder head deliver a highly pressurized spray of atomized fuel with droplets as small as a few microns. This enables high-precision injection directed at the valve skirts that contributes to optimum fuel combustion resulting in outstanding drivability and performance. The FZ-09 is equipped with Yamaha D-MODE (or “Drive Mode”) variable throttle control system to allow the rider to choose the optimum engine character for their riding situation. The rider can choose at will from three throttle valve control maps (Standard Mode, “A” Mode, and “B” Mode) for different performance characteristics. Operation is performed by a button on the handlebars. STD Mode is set to accommodate a wide range of riding conditions. In this mode the rider can enjoy the 3-cylinder engine’s linear torque feeling from low speeds all the way up to high speeds. A Mode lets the rider enjoy sharper throttle response in the low-to mid-rpm range than the STD Mode. B Mode lets the rider enjoy milder throttle response than the STD Mode for more relaxed power characteristics.
KTM’S ADVENTURE BEAST The 1190 Adventure R has the heart and soul of the original KTM Adventure - puristic, raw, sportily challenging for rider and machine. Each year KTM makes them better. For 2014 the KTM 1190 Adventure R also comes equipped for the first time with Bosch's new MSC: Motorcycle Stability Control. MSC enhances the existing package consisting of lean-sensitive traction control and ABS featuring a combined braking function with a world first: the first ever lean-sensitive cornering ABS. Together with its sister model, the 1190 Adventure R has been turned into what is currently one of the world's safest motorcycles - yet still with undiluted riding pleasure. This is increased in 2014 by a further optimised chassis with even greater reserves. KTM says its MSC will prevent wheels from slipping when braking while leaned over, avoiding low-side crashes; and minimize the motorcycle’s attempt to right itself when braking during a lean, thus helping decrease turn radius. Hence, the Adventure R is aimed at all those who take the term "adventure" even more literally. The 1190 Adventure R is one serious and great looking machine that looks like it can do it all. We will have a complete ride report in the upcoming months. At KTM dealers now.
SPRING BREAK 2014
Join Team Backroads as we head to the southern Virginia Mountains where we’ll call the General Francis Marion Hotel in Marion, VA home for three nights. This region has some of the most serious motorcycling roads such as the Back of the Dragon and Claw of the Dragon, with hundreds of miles of incredible riding. In addition there’s quaint towns, deep history and phenomenal scenery. We hope you can travel south for what promises to be a superb weekend of riding and a memorable Memorial Day Weekend. Get out your maps and start planning now! Call for a free brochure 877-255-9928 visitwytheville.com/motorcycle-trails.html
Other lodging in the area • Walking Distance to GFM Collins House B&B • 278-781-0250 Lincoln House B&B • 276-781-0804 5 miles • Comfort Inn, 5558 Lee Hwy, Atkins, VA • 276-783-2144
Rooms are extremely limited so BOOK TODAY. Rooms are $84 - $145/night + tax and include continental breakfast. When booking please reference ‘Back of the Dragon Backroads Group’ for discount.
General Francis Marion Hotel • 107 East Main St, Marion, VA • 877-783-4802 • www.gfmhotel.com
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UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR JANUARY 2014
What’s Happening January 26, 2014
THRU Jan. 12 • Pit Langner Wall of Death Rider is BACK. Check website or social media pages for times/dates of performances. Motorcyclpedia Museum, 250 Lake St, Newburgh, NY • 845-560-9065 • www.motorcyclepediamuseum.org
THE EXCHANGE, 160 E. Main St., Rockaway, NJ • 973-627-8488 • www.exchangefood.com
3-5 • North American International SuperShow, International Centre, Toronto Canada. The Big One by the Airport. For full details visit www.motorcyclesupershow.ca or call 888661-7469
THE FRANKLIN HOUSE TAVERN, 101 North Market Street, Schaefferstown, PA • 717 949-2122 • franklinhousetavern.com
10-12 • Motorcyclepedia Museum Swap Meet. Clean out your garage and closets and make some money. Check website or social media pages for times/dates of performances. Motorcyclpedia Museum, 250 Lake St, Newburgh, NY • 845-560-9065 • www.motorcyclepediamuseum.org
February 2, 2014
February 9, 2014 PIC-A-LILLI INN 866 Route 206 Shamong NJ • 609-268-2066 • picalilli.com
February 16, 2014 HOOTERS, 25 Rte 23 South, Wayne, NJ • 973-837-1876 • www.hootersnj.com
25 • Harley-Davidson Long Branch SouperBowl Saturday. Soup Contest - sign up to win prizes and braggin’ rights. Indoor Sidewalk Event - Huge savings off end-of-season merchandise • H-D Long Branch, 671 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ • 732-229-8518 • www.HDLongBranch.com
February 23, 2014
26 • Harley-Davidson Long Branch Bike Glamour Shots. The perfect Valentine’s Day Gift. Our showroom is your closet. Professional make-up touchup available. Call for details and appt. • H-D Long Branch, 671 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ • 732-229-8518 • www.HDLongBranch.com
FIREHOUSE EATERY, 455 Saint Georges Ave. Rahway, NJ • 732-382-9500 • www.firehouseeatery.com
FEBRUARY 2014 8 • Bergen County Harley-Davidson Health Awareness Day. 10am-3pm. Free screenings for oral cancer, cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes. Donate Blood. Tons of great info. ALL FREE! Free raffle and giveaways to first 200 participants. Bergen County Harley-Davidson, 124 Essex St, Rochelle Park, NJ • 201-843-6930 • www.bergenharleydavidson.com 15/16 • 96TH ANNUAL CROTONA MIDNIGHT RUN. Start/Finish: Nathan’s Parking Lot, Central Ave/Rte. 100, Yonkers, NY - Overnight parking available. $20/entry fee • Sign-in: 10:30pm • Key time: 12:00 Midnight. Longest running motorcycle event in the USA. NOT A RACE - Timed event with maximum schedule of 30mph. Total distance - 120 miles with mid-point layover to refresh yourself and socialze with fellow contestants. Trophies awarded. All qualifed finishers receive Crotona Midnight RUn Medallion.Computers/GPS NOT PERMITTED. District 34 point event.Dick Roberts 201-767-3594 • www.ramapomc.org
MARCH 2014 7-16 • Daytona Bike Week • www.officialbikeweek.com
MAY 2014 May 23-26 • Backroads Spring Break • Marion, Virginia. Info on page 32 16-18 • Morton’s BMW 2014 Spring Fling Rally. A weekend of great roads, good food, interesting seminars, and terrific company, all at historic and scenic Natural Bridge, VA. $45 rally fee incl. vendors, seminars, route sheets/GPS data, scavenger hunt, door prizes, Sat. dinner and presentation. Optional Friday nite Brats & Brew dinner $20. Visit website for complete details • Morton’s BMW Motorcycles, 5099A Jefferson DAvis Hwy, Fredericksburg, VA • 540-891-9844 • www.mortonsbmw.com 4 • International Female Ride Day • www.motoress.com 4 • Ramapo MC Spring Run. Most unique Poker Run combining marksmanship, hand/eye coordination, intuition or just dumb luck. $15/entry • Sign in: 9am. Rhodes Tavern North, Route 17N, Sloatsburg, NY. Charity benefits Helen Hayes Hospital. Info Dick Roberts • 201-767-3594
BAHRS LANDING, 2 Bay Ave., Highlands, NJ • 732-872-1245 • www.bahrs.com
March 2, 2014
March 9, 2014 LONG VALLEY PUB & BREWERY, 1 Fairmount Rd., Long Valley, NJ • 908-876-1122 • www.restaurantvillageatlongvalley.com
March 16, 2014 THE CHATTERBOX, #1 Rte 15 South, Augusta, NJ • 973-300-2300 • www.chatterboxdrivein.com
March 23, 2014 BRIAN'S HARLEY-DAVIDSON, 600 S. Flowers Mill Rd., Langhorne PA • 215 752-9400 • www.brianshd.com
March 30, 2014 THE HICKORY BBQ SMOKEHOUSE, 743 Route 28, Kingston, NY • 845-338-2424 • www.hickoryrestaurant.com
April 13, 2014 CAPE MAY V.F.W. post #386, N .J. 419 Congress St., Cape May, NJ • 609-884-7961
GET YOUR FREE EVENT LISTING HERE. Email your information as soon it’s scheduled to • firstname.lastname@example.org Print form from website www.backroadsusa.com/events.html and mail to: POB 317, Branchville, NJ 07826 • Fax: 973-948-0823
RiSiNg WOLF gARAgE NYC EXCLUSIVE MOTORCYCLE PARKING FACILITY We p r o v i d e a f r i e n d l y, c l e a n a n d s e c u r e environment for the motorcycle enthusiast
JUNE 2014 Service Area
2-7 • World’s Largest Touring Rally Returns. Americade, Lake George NY. For all the details and registration information visit www.americade.com
14-22 • 7 • 90th Anniversary of the original riding rally- Laconia Bike Week. Weirs Beach, Laconia, NH. www.LaconiaBikeWeek.com • 603-366-2000
16 • RIDE TO WORK • www.RideToWork.org
19-21 • Mid-Atlantic Women’s M/C Rally. Gettysburg, PA • www.MAWMR.org
JULY 2014 2-5 • Wing Ding - Madison, WI • www.GWRRA.org 18-20 • AMA Vintage Motorcycle Rally. Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course - Lexington, OH • www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com
SEPT. 2014 5-7 • Women’s Sportbike Rally VIII - Deals Gap, NC • www.WomensSportbikeRally.com
POLAR BEAR GRAND TOUR SCHEDULE January 5, 2014 De THOMASI's EAST 5 POINTS INN, 580 Tuckahoe Rd/Landis Ave., Vineland, NJ • 856-691-6080 • www.fivepointsinn.com
January 12, 2014 WEARHOUSE GRILL, 161 Rte. 181, Lake Hopatcong, NJ • 973-663-2222 • www.wearhousegrille.com
January 19, 2014 SIR JOHN'S, 230 Washington Place, North Brunswick TWP, NJ • 732 297-3803 • sirjohnsinc.com
Monthly Parking Long & Short Term 24 Hour Access Video Surveillance
By Appointment Only East Village NYC Ph: 212 475 5858 • Fx: 212 505 5205
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TWO FROM THE ROAD A DUO OF BOOKS FOR WINTERTIME READING We get a lot of books here at Backroads and every now and again we sit here and say… Damn…we wish we did that. Now that winter is here we have two excellent books that deserve to be read and digested – if just to keep your mind in riding-mode as the snow flies here in the northeast. CYCLE WORLD’S THE TOTAL MOTORCYCLING MANUAL • 291 ESSENTIAL SKILLS A big mug of hot chocolate and fire at Backroads Central made for a perfect night of reading and reminding us how great motorcycling is and how we have to stay on top of our skills. Mark Lindemann and crew have done an excellent job at putting the world of riding into a very easy to read and enjoyable book. Packed with nearly 300 pages of great photography and graphics and tons of really useful or entertaining information, this is an excellent read for these dark winter nights. Stir your motorcycle soul while you stir your chocolate and enjoy Cycle World’s The Total Motorcycling Manual 291 Essential Skills, which you can find for around $24 on amazon.com. THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO MOTORCYCLE TRAVEL BY DALE CONYER This is the second edition of this book and we loved the first. The new version adds much more to a superb book full of the tips, ideas and information on ‘Planning, Outfitting, and Accessorizing’ yourself and your machine if you plan on doing some serious riding and touring. Which, as you are reading Backroads, you most likely plan to do in the upcoming months. With years of experience traveling and touring on two-wheels, Dale offers up his miles and experience to readers, like us, who are looking to plan their own tours, accessorize their machines, outfit themselves and their passengers and deal with the day-to-day issues that come up while enjoying the roads of this planet the best way you can – on motorcycle. Dale’s straightforward style teaches the right way to handle all the things that make up intelligent, safe and fun touring. There is never a need to learn from your own mistakes when you have a concise and well-written guide such as this. Modern concerns for today’s riders are covered as well, with information on GPS, Bluetooth and action cameras all in the guide. Dale Conyer’s The Essential Guide to Motorcycle Travel is just that – essential. If you learn just one thing from this book on riding, preparing or accessorizing then it is well worth the investment. The Essential Guide to Motorcycle Travel sells for $27.95. You can find The Essential Guide to Motorcycle Travel and many other informative motorcycle books at whitehorsepress.com. Whether you are a seasoned rider or new to the sport these are two books you would want to read this time of the year and go back to again and again as good riding information and tips never get old or tired. What to do while the snow is flying and the bike is stuck in the barn? Plan your 2014 riding season, that’s what. Get out the maps and the travel books. Start with Backroads’ Spring Break • Memorial Day Weekend 2014 • Marion, VA - details on page 32
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BACKROADS • JANUARY 2014
SIDI ARMADA GORE BOOTS • LONG-TERM REVIEW ~ BRIAN RATHJEN
Over the last half-decade or so I have tested and ridden in a number of boots and for me boots need to accomplish many things. First they need to be comfortable, not only while riding but while off the bike as well. If you cringe and wince with each step then the boots are worthless. Secondly they must offer real and serious protection. Boots that do not adequately guard your feet, ankles and shin bones have no real place in your gear closet. And, lastly, they must be waterproof. Not water resistant. Waterproof. I have a tee shirt that says rain happens, and it does. In the summer of 2013 I started wearing a pair of Sidi’s Armada Gore Boots. I have had a few pair of Sidi riding boots in the past and always found them a good solid piece of footwear – with the Armada Gore Boots Sidi raises the bar on themselves. The Armada Gore Boots are one of the best boots I have ridden with in years. Looking to capture both the adventure and touring crowd with one pair of boots Sidi has designed serious footwear that is really two boots in one. Featuring a wrap-around and padded upper shin plate with ankle support beams can be easily removed to transform the Armada from an adventure boot to a touring boot. If you feel the need for a slightly lighter, if not more comfortable boot, the padded shin wrap can be easily removed. Just pop off the covers, remove the Phillips screws and take off the wrap. Then install the small ankle protectors that come with the Armada Boots and straight away, you have a more conventional touring boot that are slightly easier on your feet. Personally I will take the extra protection all the time. Using the Velcro over full-length zipper the boot opens wide and are a breeze to put on. A quick zip and wrap around the shin and you are ready to go. Unlike other Sidi boots I have worn, I did find the Armada Boots a bit stiff at first and that they needed a day or two break-in before they became really comfortable. But, once broken in, they were extremely comfortable – whether on the bike or hiking up Mount Etna in Sicily. What you want with a great riding boot is the ability to allow moisture to escape, while keeping rain out. The Armada is equipped with a Gore Tex membrane to add a waterproof yet highly breathable barrier between the elements and the rider’s feet, thus the rider’s feet will stay cooler in warm weather. The Armada is lined throughout with a lightweight, perforated, Teflon-treated fabric to allow moisture to “breath.” This moisture is quickly transferred to the top grain leather outer, which causes it to dry quickly with no mold build up. As you know I have the ability to attract rain and through the deepest storms the Armada Boots have done a stellar job of keeping my feet warm and dry in the cold and wet and cool and dry in warm and humid conditions. Not a drop of water has gotten through with these boots. The Armada Boots offer a good deal on ankle and shin protection and have reflective points above the heel, offering a bit of nighttime conspicuity. The boots themselves are constructed from top grain and split grain leather that is double stitched and utilize honeycomb elastic panels above the arch for a more comfortable fit. Inside the Armada Boots come with internal toe protection and both external and internal anti-twist protection. I wish I had these in Colombia. The heeled, lugged sole give the Armada great traction, even in loose gravely surfaces, although they took some getting used to with shifting and braking. At a price of $400 the Sidi Armada Gore Boots are not the company’s least expensive boot, but they could be their best. Available in men’s sizes 7.5 to 13 these boots offer a superb combination of protection, toughness, waterproofness and comfortablity and I know I will be using the Armada boots for a long time. Log onto www.motonation.com for info and to find a Sidi dealer near you.
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JANUARY 2014 • BACKROADS
ALL THAT GOOD STUFF
The Riverton Hotel & Restaurant From Wings and Quesadillas to Seafood and Steaks and Everything in between. Full Bar • Bar Menu All Day Everyday Try John’s Double Bloody Mary or Fresh Frozen Creations
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Excellent Country Location
The Markopoulos Family John, Christina, chef George and Eoanna welcome you and your friends.
The Riverton Hotel and Restaurant
At Belvidere-Riverton Free Bridge, Riverton, PA
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POLAR BEAR RUN
Worth the ride from anywhere!
Sharing your passion for good food since 1983
SUNDAY, MARCH 16
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The Boat House Restaurant Join us for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner overlooking Swartswood Lake
Excellent Ride Destination Tuesday ~ Sunday 11am-9pm Brunch 10am-2pm • Closed Mondays Call for Seasonal Hours 1040 Cty Rd 521 • Swartswood, NJ 973-300-0016
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BACKROADS • JANUARY 2014
ALL THAT GOOD STUFF
MOTORCYCLE TRAILERS DAYTONA, BIKETOBERFEST, STURGIS AND BEYOND
SALES 718-426-7039 • www.barntruckrental.com RENTALS 57-05 BROADWAY • WOODSIDE NY 11377 (OFF THE BQE & LIE)
Sussex Hills Ltd. Now stocking a full line of heated gear Make your riding season last all year.
Specializing in Motorcycle Repair, Parts & Supplies • Cycle Tires Mounted & Balanced • Batteries & Hard Parts • Dynojet 250 Dyno available for testing
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If you didn’t like cool stuff, you wouldn’t be reading this magazine. Here’s something you’re going to love.
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JANUARY 2014 • BACKROADS
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS TWO FROM AEROSTICH.COM HELPING TO KEEP YOU LUMINOUS This time of year riding in the dark is a likely inevitability, but with these wearable and highly adaptable weather-resistant LEDs you’ll be a lot more easily seen. Both lights feature a bendable 18” rubberized gear tie allowing it to be twisted, looped or worn to position the light where needed most. Attach it to a handlebar or tank bag to illuminate a map for nighttime navigation or to more easily find your stuff, or wrap one around your arm for enhanced nighttime safety, or attach to the bike to shine light for a twilight roadside repair. The glowing MoonLit functions as an ambient area light to brighten your surroundings for up to 20 hours, or push the easy to activate button to switch to flash mode for safety and visibility. Includes two 3V lithium batteries. 5.2”×3.1”×.86”. 1 oz. The four function WrapLit throws a bright white focused beam (6 Lumens – high, 1 Lumen – low) with an effective range of 50 feet and up-to one-mile visibility, with selectable high, low, strobe and signal modes. Powered by two included 3V lithium batteries to shine light where needed for up to 22 hours. 5.5”×3.1”×.50”. .85oz. MoonLit LED Area Light lists for $10.00 and the WrapLit LED Utility Light sell for just $12.00. Find them at aerostich.com.
CREDIT CARD FOLDING KNIFE MORE THAN MONEY IN YOUR BILLFOLD Stealth, function and cool-factor abound in this ingenious folding knife design. The super light polypropylene body features an integrated protective sheath, the size of a credit card, that quickly and easily transforms into a useful-sized pocketknife with just three ingenious folding operations. Locking mechanisms ensure safe operation when open and keep blade securely docked when in the closed position. High quality, rust free 2.55” stainless steel blade and sheath are waterproof are machine washable. Safely store in a wallet, tank bag or pocket for quick access to this practical everyday tool. 3.3”x2.1”x2.2mm stored. Yours for $12.
Your Toy Store at the Shore
YAMA-HOTLINE • 732-776-5514
1207 Rte 35 South • Neptune, NJ • www.Stumpys.com
50 YEARS AND GOING STRONG! STRONGER THAN A STORM
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LDCOMFORT COOL SLEEVE Going on two seasons now, I have been wearing my LDComfort riding pants to keep my bum comfortable on any ride, long or short. At this year’s BMW Rally in Oregon, I ran into Mario at the LDComfort booth. He was showing off something that made all the sense in the world for hot weather riding – the LDComfort Cool Sleeve. For years and years, riders have been looking for ways to keep cool in hot temperatures while still wearing all the proper gear. Sure, there’s mesh jackets and pants for warm weather, but when the thermometer soars past comfort levels, all you’re really getting through that mesh is hot air. LDComfort Cool Sleeve will bring a bit of air conditioning to your riding. Simply wet the sleeves completely and slip them on under your non-mesh jacket. Make sure your vents are closed but the Velcro around your wrists allow for some air to be pushed up into your jacket. You can ride in this bubble of cold air for many miles before re-wetting the sleeves, keeping your core body temperature way down. Couple this with a CamelBak filled with ice water and you should be good to go across Death Valley (okay, maybe not in August, but you get my meaning). I keep these sleeves with me all the time as they make a good extra layer when the weather cools off as well. You can order your LDComfort Cool Sleeve by phone: 888642-7091 or from their website: www.LDComfort.com for $17.25/pair in black or orange and sizes small to X-large.
HELMET HOOK • KEEPING THINGS SIMPLE When eXtuff creator George Penev’s helmet fell off his bike for the umpteenth time he knew it was time to do something about it. Over the years we have seen some serious helmet holding devices, but Penev wanted to keep it simple and he did this with his The Helmet Hook. Unlike one hook we have that bolts to the license plate holder (weighing 3 tons), The Helmet Hook weighs next to nothing and is small enough to fit in your hand. As you can see… it is a hook - plain and simple. Made out of a tough and durable plastic, with a steel washer/grommet built in, it simply attaches to your machine and when you need a place to safely and securely hang your helmet - well, there it is. eXtuff created The Helmet Hook to attach to the bar-weights on your handlebars, we think you can attach it wherever you find convenient. With adventure machines, with so many opportune points, you can use you bags, top case – just about anywhere you can securely mount The Helmet Hook. They are now shipping with a small locking hole drilled into them. Once you have it mounted find the appropriate lock with a long shackle and your helmet will be a tad bit more secure – although not theft-proof, but what is? We think this is a neat product and one that makes a lot of sense these days – especially if you like your helmet. The Helmet Hook sells for $18.95 and can be found at www.extuff.biz.
American • Metric • Sport
Your Toy Store at the Shore
HVMOTORCYCLES.COM OSSINING, NY 914-762-2772
Full Line of Kawasaki Motorcycles, Parts and Accessories
YAMA-HOTLINE • 732-776-5514
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50 YEARS AND GOING STRONG! STRONGER THAN A STORM
See the full line of Yamaha and Star Motorcycles
• Parts & Accessories • Award-winning Service • Performance Work • Dyno Tuning • S&S Pro Tuning Center • Power Commander Tuning Center
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247 W. Westfield Ave, Rosell Park, NJ
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words and drawing • Mike McCann The following story is true. Certain names and locations have been changed or deleted to protect this author from future abuse or subsequent small town justice. Please keep in mind, as you read this woeful tale that, just as these occurrences happened to me, they can just as easily happen to YOU! It was a truly spectacular day in June. There were clear blue skies with temperatures in the seventies. I was attending a large Northeastern touring rally and had spent most of the last three hours gobbling up mile after mile of scenic roadway, along the course of a self-guided tour. I was guidiing my weighty rig through the final segment of the ride. My directions were suggesting a straight run back to the lovely village of Lake George. Inasmuch as it was only two in the afternoon and there were many fine hours of riding time left in the day, I decided to lean my dresser into an alternate meandering pathway. It was a route that had caught my eye earlier in the day. After all, isn’t the exploration of interesting roadways a mainstay of two-wheeled adventuring? Much to my delight, the road that I chose proved to be a continuous stretch of dips, twists and cut-backs, which alternately passed through tracts of hardwoods and lush open farmland. It was a perfect road for motorcycling and I remember thinking out loud that, ‘life doesn’t get much better than this.’ And that’s when the Gods of Cycledom presented me with an abrupt reality check. I was leaning into a tight righthand sweeper, at a speed just over 50mph, when my bike and I came face-toface with a sizeable brown cow, standing idle in the middle of our travel lane. The cow seemed quite composed, despite the impending collision. (Perhaps wondering why there was no grass to graze on) I, however, was wideeyed with concern and I immediately experienced that back-end puckering which seems to accompany all neardeath experiences. Yet, in the very midst of this strife, a strange thing happened. I INSTANTLY recalled the details of a Lee Park’s riding seminar that I had attended the night before. Utilizing a wealth of newfound knowledge, I shifted my weight to the left side of the saddle, applied added force to the left foot peg, proceeded to counter steer like a banshee and, thereby, willed my 850 pound touring rig around the dimwitted bovine and into the oncoming lane. I had done it! Neither the beast nor I had ruffled a whisker. I was SAFE! Or, was I……? As I straightened up my rig in my new lane of travel, I quickly came to see that the road I was riding had a second surprise in store for me. An eighth of a mile beyond my location, the road abruptly ended at a T-shaped intersection with a larger state maintained highway. And, just as my mind was calculating the actions I would take to safely change lanes and arrest my momentum, a mid-sized sedan came barreling off of that highway and into my lane of travel! We were closing the limited distance between us so rapidly that I could already see the confusion in they eyes of the approaching driver. She was wondering why a sizeable motorcycle was quickly bearing down upon her from a lane where it didn’t belong! I realized it was time for CPR#2 (CPR stands for ‘controlled panic response’) And believe you me, if my response wasn’t fast enough, or quite controlled enough, the #2 would stand for something OTHER than my second attempt to avoid a disaster that day. And so, with a deep short breath, I quickly proceeded to reverse my previous maneuvers. I shifted my weight to the right, I applied heavy pressure to the right foot peg and I counter steered fervently once again! The only difference this time was that I squeezed in a brief, though pointed, prayer. Thankfully, that prayer and that surge of frantic efforts were rewarded. My agile rig responded admirably and I crossed back into the proper lane of travel with a comfortable foot, or two, between the approaching Nissan and myself. I also judged that I had just enough blacktop remaining to make a harsh, though controlled, stop just before the intersection. Finally, I was safe. What could possibly happen in the next 300 feet?
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BACKROADS • JANUARY 2014 The next detail of this troublesome chronicle is solely based upon conjecture. But, in my mind the facts would indicate that, in the hours before my arrival, an open bed pickup truck, driven by a ‘Sanford and Son’ wannabe, had accelerated from the stop sign and deposited a small pile of metallic debris precisely where I had hoped to arrest my forward motion. Once again, it seemed, the Gods of two-wheeled travel were sharing a hearty guffaw at my expense. I never did see the pipes and wire that lay piled in my pathway. I only know that, as I was applying both brakes forcefully, just before the stop sign, my rear wheel suddenly lost traction and my rig dropped violently onto its left side. With the sickening sound of grinding metal and fiberglass piercing my eardrums, I slid into and across that busy intersection. Thankfully, no other vehicle struck me as I passed through the crossing, BUT a sturdy rusted guardrail waited to serve its intended purpose along the shoulder just ahead. The last thought that passed through my mind was, ‘This is gonna hurt!’ Sometime later, and I really don’t know how much time had passed, I regained consciousness. I was lying on my back amid tall weeds and discarded highway trash. Apparently, I had catapulted over the guardrail and down a forty-foot hillside. As I took in the gnats and the stained paper coffee cups, I decided that that I wasn’t in Heaven or Hell. So therefore, I must be alive. Accessing my condition, I realized that the left side of my ribs were aching rather painfully. My entire lower back was throbbing and swollen. I felt as if I were lying upon a half-inflated football. I had a goodly assortment of cuts and abrasions on my hands, knees and chin. And, most disquieting of all, I discovered that my helmet was cracked some four full inches up from its back edge. (A noteworthy point for helmetless riders) Yet, all things considered, I knew that I was lucky to still be breathing. ‘Hey down there!’ It came from above. I turned my head toward the sound. Squinting through the sunshine, I spied two uniformed figures, leaning on the guardrail, looking down at my predicament. EMS was on site. Help had arrived. My worries were over! Except that…man…did they look old. ‘Hey fella’, the younger of the duo bellowed (and, by younger, I would still surmise that he’d been on Medicare for at least a year or two). ‘You look like a STURDY chap. We don’t think we can haul you up from there. Do you think you can make your way back up to the guardrail on your own?’ I winced as I eased up onto my elbows. ‘I don’t know guys. My lower back is really swollen and it hurts like hell. Do you think that’s a good idea?’ The two attendants huddled together and whispered briefly. They then turned their attentions back to me. ‘We really don’t see no other way. Why don’t you give it a try? We’ll even move the gurney right up close to the railing for you. That’s about the best we can do.’
Page 41 And so, with great misgivings, I began the slow and painful process of climbing up the hillside. I grabbed at shrubs and saplings to assist my ascent, while purposely trying to avoid the occasional poison ivy vine. When I finally reached the crest of the hill, I eased my damaged frame over the dented guardrail and flopped onto the stretcher that had been professionally rolled ‘right up close to the railing.’ As the stretch was carefully moved to the ambulance, from the corner of my eye, I could see my shattered motorcycle. It was on its side along the shoulder of the roadway. Bits of chrome, glass and jagged fiberglass littered the highway. My ride seemed to be wondering where I was going without it. The scene was, perhaps, the most painful moment of the day. The emergency vehicle raced off towards the closest hospital with its sirens blaring loudly. ‘So, what happened back there?’ one of the attendants asked. With newfound alarm, I suddenly realized that I couldn’t recall a thing. ‘I don’t know what I was doing, or even where I am. But…from what I saw back there…I crashed in a real scenic region.’ My rescuers smiled weakly and tried to reassure me. ‘Don’t you worry son. It’ll all come back to you soon enough.’ The EMTs were right. By the time we reached the hospital, details of that day and the rest of my life were rapidly returning. ‘A good sign’ I was told. I was then rushed into an examination room. Various braces were applied and a number of x-rays and scans were done. I was soon informed that I had broken one rib, sustained a concussion and fractured one vertebra. Most of the damage would be treated with wraps, support and rehab. No surgery would be required. I breathed a sigh of relief, realizing that I had unquestionably dodged a bullet. The day’s mishaps were finally over. From that point on, things HAD to improve. And at that very moment, the State Police Trooper entered the room. ‘Mr. McCann,’ he began politely, ‘I’m officer SMITH (THIS is one of the names I thought it wise to change). I’m the officer who worked your crash site.’ I carefully turned my head to look at my guest. The neck brace limited my movement. ‘Nice to meet you Officer,’ I offered cautiously. The neatly uniformed trooper then placed a fistful of rusted pipes on the tabletop beside my bed. ‘I wanted to show you these,’ he continued. ‘The woman who nearly crushed you with her car said she saw these spinning in the roadway as you went down. So, I have to conclude that this debris contributed to your crash.’ I studied the scrap metal and then replied, ‘Well, thank you so much, Officer. At least I know that it wasn’t ALL due to my stupidity.’ We both laughed briefly at the comment. next page
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ROWE ELECTRONICS PDM60 - POWER DISTRIBUTION MODULE - FUSE BLOCK REPLACEMENT We have been accused of two many gadgets on our machines. GPS, radar, radio communication systems are all what we consider standard equipment. But, all these things take power and sometimes even the best workmanship can come undone. All it takes is one wire and your day and ride can go up in smoke. Years ago I gained infamy when a product short-circuited and caused a bit of a fire on my Concours, the pictures of this has been used, too many times, by Fred Rau.
These days I avoid any of this by using a fuse block. There are many on the market these days but just recently we became aware of something new, modern and - we think – far superior. The future of power management is here – and we like it. The PDM60 from Rowe Electronics replaces outdated fuse blocks on your motorcycle, without interfering with the CANBUS system of modern bikes. Easily add lights, power outlets, or any other electrical accessories. The PDM60 is built with components selected for superior power management capability and extended service life. It’s designed to provide years of superior, hassle-free performance. The unit is fully encapsulated to protect against rain, dust, and humidity. Whether you ride off the beaten path, or cross-country via interstate, these units are built to last under the harshest of conditions. This is key!
‘However,’ Officer SMITH continued ominously, ‘I still have to issue you your ticket.’ ‘TICKET!’ I echoed. ‘A ticket for WHAT?’ The trooper didn’t look up to reply, as his hands and his eyes were busy writing my summons. ‘Well,’ he offered with a bit of amusement in his voice, ‘You did slide right through the stop sign without a full and complete stop.’ Quickly I peered around the room, looking for the hidden camera that I knew just wasn’t there. And then, I offered up a defense in as polite a tone as I could muster. ‘But…you, yourself, just admitted that one major reason why I slid past the stop sign was because the streets of this town weren’t cleaned properly.’ ‘Right you are,’ the officer offered warmly. ‘And that’s why I’m giving you a break. Instead of citing you for running the stop sign, I’m just going to indicate that you purposely avoided a traffic control device. There’ll be no points on your license, just a small fine.’ Exhausted and in pain, I signed for my ticket and even thanked him for ‘the break’. (Although, in subsequent weeks, I received that ‘small fine’. I totaled $200 PLUS a town processing fee of $80 more) And, as if to add in-
sult to injury, my nurse re-entered the room and presented me with additional surprising news. ‘You’re being released,’ she announced, in a sing-song tone. ‘But,’ I stammered, somewhat confused, ‘don’t you usually keep a concussion patient overnight, for observation?’ ‘Yes,’ she replied, as she gathered up my torn clothing and handed it to me. ‘But your health insurance is not, shall we say, top notch. We’re more likely to be paid for all your treatment if we don’t admit you today.’ ‘But…’ I murmured, ‘how will I…’ ‘We’ve already called you a cab.’ Minutes later, as I gimped toward the taxi, pain pills in my pocket, holding my lower back with one hand and my cracked helmet with the other, I knew that my Perfect Storm of motorcycle hazards had FINALLY blown over. I carefully eased my broken body into the back seat of the cab. ‘So,’ the driver droned nonchalantly, apparently oblivious to my awkward entry, ‘how was your day, Chief?’ ‘Oh, it could have been worse,’ I answered softly. ‘But, at least I got to do some riding, so it wasn’t ALL bad.’
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The unit connects directly to your motorcycle battery - efficiently dispersing and monitoring power to your electrical applications. It provides six separate circuits, totaling 60 amps, of load-handling capability. Each circuit on the unit has an adjustable output capacity (maximum 15 amp load rating), adjustable timing settings, and the ability to work with an external switch. It is also reprogrammable with your computer. Okay, we stole that from their website, but it gets the job done better than I could have said it. Since my machines have taken it on the chin ‘electrically’ we thought, or I thought… let’s play with Shira’s bike. Her F650GS had a fuse block in it since day one, but – to be truthful - it lacked. Stuffed under her tank plastic we were beginning to have issues…. leaves, dust, dirt…. the usual crap that piles up on this wide-open gizmo. Something better was needed and it was the PDM60 from Rowe Electronics.
block we also swapped out Shira’s stock BMW battery for a far lighter and easier to deal with Shorai unit. Might as well do it all at the same time. Shira strolled into the barn to see her bike wide open and guts hanging out. She walked back out – ahh - always the faithful. With everything open and laid out installation was very easy. Rowe does provide good electrical connections with the kit, but I went for “Smokey” - my old and trusted soldering gun to splice the connections together and then used shrink tubing to clean it all up and protect the connections. We could have stashed the small PDM60 under the seat, but chose to install it under her tank, near where the fender attaches. This allowed us to keep an eye on the unit and its glowing LED lights, which came on, as they said, in about 7 seconds, instantly powering up all Shira’s gizmos. GPS…check. Sound system and radio… check. Power for the iPhone… check. The bike still starts? Check! All was good in the world once again. If you’re in search of a solid state cutting edge power supply for your machine then we would recommend you invest in the Rowe Electronics PDM60 - Power Distribution Module - Fuse Block Replacement. It is available from altriders.com, a site well worth exploring on its own, for $199, which we think is money well spent.
ROLLIN’ FAST Cycle Sports
A small sealed unit is what is called for and that is exactly what The PDM60 from Rowe Electronics is. Still, it meant a strip down and rebuild of Shira’s BMW. Was I excited? Not in the least. The T-25 Torx is a BMW owners best friend, and, with it happily in hand we began to strip off the plastic panels from Shira’s GS. What did she have ‘gadget-wise?’ Garmin. Autocom. Radio. iPhone. Easy peasy, right? It was. The PDM60 from Rowe Electronics, available from Alt Riders, made this transition a breeze. Removing the old block found it to be corroded, dirty and full of bugs and debris. The shiny new PDM60 was a tad smaller and allowed for a cleaner and more convenient placement. Coincidentally, at the same time we replaced the fuse
is your tri-state Victory motorcycle and Polaris dealer in New Jersey. We are a performance-oriented shop that specializes in all Victory motorcycles and Polaris side x sides and ATVs. We are the best-stocked dealer in the tri-state area. Whether you are looking for a Victory or Polaris vehicle, parts, or accessories we have it. We offer all dealer programs including financing, extended warranties, and vehicle insurance. Our knowledge of Victory motorcycles and Polaris vehicles far exceeds our competitors. We stock just about every Victory and Polaris accessory in the catalog plus many more aftermarket accessories for Victory.
ROLLIN’ FAST Cycle Sports 104 Main Street, Lebanon, NJ
908-236-9000 • www.rollinfast.com Here to serve you Monday-Friday 9a-6p • Thursday 9a-7p • Saturday 9a-5p • Gone Riding Sunday Victory and Victory Motorcycles® are registered trademarks of Polaris Industries Inc. Always wear a helmet, eye protection, and protective clothing and obey the speed limit. Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Warning: The Polaris RANGER® and RZR® are not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license to operate. Passengers must be at least 12 years old and tall enough to grasp the hand holds and plant feet fi rmly on the fl oor. All SxS drivers should take a safety training course. Contact ROHVA at www.rohva.org or (949) 255-2560 for additional information. Drivers and passengers should always wear helmets, eye protection, protective clothing, and seat belts. Always use cab nets or doors (as equipped). Be particularly careful on difficult terrain. Never drive on public roads or paved surfaces. Never engage in stunt driving, and avoid excessive speeds and sharp turns. Riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. Check local laws before riding on trails. ATVs can be hazardous to operate. Polaris adult models are for riders 16 and older. For your safety, always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing, and be sure to take a safety training course. For safety and training information in the U.S., call the SVIA at (800) 887-2887. You may also contact your Polaris dealer or call Polaris at (800) 342-3764. ©2013 Polaris Industries Inc.
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JANUARY 2014 • BACKROADS
North to Alaska Greg Bagen I put a big check mark on my bucket list in June. I rode my 2000 Honda ST1100ABS/TC from Denver to Anchorage. The trip covered 3,200 miles over 8 days. When I left Denver, after flying in from NY that morning, and picking up my bike from Bill at Colorado Tourbikes, who stores and prepares the bike for my visits, it was 425 miles to Sheridan, WY, my first stop. In the mid-90 degree temperatures in which I started, this 66 year old body was sending “bit off more than you can chew?” messages all afternoon. I arrived in Sheridan about 7 PM, tired, sweaty, hungry, thirsty and a little discouraged. To add insult to injury, the “historic” Mill Inn in downtown Sheridan had no bar or restaurant, nor were there any nearby. I do my best to have food and beer in walking distance from anywhere I stay. Once the bike is parked, it’s parked. Usually, historic downtown hotels in decent size towns have everything nearby. I walked to Arby’s for dinner and picked up some little airline size bottles of Pendleton’s Canadian Whiskey for a night cap. The hotel did have a good breakfast. The second day was 550 miles of super-slab to Lethbridge, AB. Hot, boring and flat in the Eastern Montana plains. It was the kind of day that made me appreciate my Russell seat, Heli Bars, MRA Vario Windshield, highway bars and XM radio. After having had a good night’s sleep, it was not really a challenging day. The third day, I met my riding partner to Anchorage, Ron Evans, at his home in Calgary. He would be riding his 1996
BMW R1100RT. We connected on BMWST.com, where I had posted about my plans. After a stop at a local bike shop for gloves, we were off for an hour’s ride to Banff on a blue highway chosen by Ron. I had forgotten that I had tossed my mid-weight gloves during my last trip, when the lining pulled inside out one time too many. Then, my 10 year old Winter weights showed signs of seams splitting on my pre-ride inspection. 2 new pairs of Rev-Its with Gore Tex, and we were outta there. In Banff, a beautiful village in the Canadian Rockies, we had lunch and began the real ride. The first part going north from Banff is a part of the Trans-Canada Highway, which has high fences along both sides to keep wildlife off the road. To accommodate the animal migrations, they built bridges with trees, shrubbery and grass, like parks, to cross the highway. However, as the prey are funneled onto the bridges, the predators are presented with a smorgasbord. After a few miles of the TransCanada, we were treated to 3 hours of the Icefields Parkway, a National Park road through valleys, along streams, glaciers and lakes and abundant with wildlife. We saw bears, one brown and a few black, moose, elk, deer, a fisher and lots of birds. We arrived in Jasper to the
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BACKROADS • JANUARY 2014 Marmot Lodge after a great riding day. The Lodge had nice rooms and a good restaurant. The next day took us north to Dawson Creek, BC, where the Alaska Highway begins. It was built in 1942 as the ALCAN Highway to provide an overland route for supplies to Alaska. The Japanese had invaded the Aleutian Island chain in Southwest Alaska, and it was feared that they would be working their way up to the mainland. As an engineering feat, building that road in a year was astounding. It runs for about 1,500 miles, from Dawson Creek to Fairbanks, through forest and over tundra, crossing innumerable streams and rivers. We were to take it about 1,300 miles to Tok, AK, where we would turn southwest on the Tok Cut-Off towards Anchorage. Before we checked into the Best Western, a good choice for rooms, food and micro-brews on tap, we went to the center of town and took the traditional pics at the flagpole marking “Milepost “0” Alaska Highway”. We left Dawson Creek early the next morning, passing several police cars investigating an accident just north of town. We did not see another police car until we were in Anchorage. That day, we had our first glitch. Ron ran out of gas. We had planned to start looking for gas at about 150 miles. At that point, I saw a sign for a town 25 miles further. 175 miles was just fine, so off we went. We never saw a town. At about 180 miles, I checked the GPS, and it told us that there was a Shell station
Page 45 about mile 230. That was well within our ranges. My 7.4 gallon tank is good for about 300 miles, if I keep it under 75 MPH. Ron thought that he had a similar range. The Shell station was out of business, as were many roadside businesses we passed as we proceeded north. Not only closed, but apparently someone else was more upset about it than were we. The pumps looked like someone had taken a baseball bat to them. The GPS now said that Fort Nelson, with several stations, was 56 miles ahead. We both expected to just make it. I did, with 0.3 gallons to spare. In my 47 years of riding, 286 miles is the farthest that I have ever gone on a bike between fill ups. Ron fell 16 miles short. He had dropped back behind me after the Shell incident, I assumed to conserve fuel, so I waited for his arrival at the station. If he did not show up in a little while, I was going to buy a gas can and go back for him. Instead, another rider, from Hawaii, with whom we had chatted at a construction delay, pulled up on his Suzuki Wee-strom and told me where Ron was located. This guy had the means to bring Ron gas. He had a siphon hose and a liner bag from Starbucks, the kind that they use to sell a box of coffee with a tap for groups. He filled up, we rode back to Ron, he filled the bag and poured it into Ron’s tank. Then, the three of us went back to Fort Nelson for lunch. After lunch, we went on to Toad River and the Toad River Lodge. There are no toads. The Army crew who “towed” their gear across the river in 1942 were not into spelling. Along the way we saw lots of wildlife again, including a black bear sow with three cubs. The Lodge was my great embarrassment in trip planning. NO BEER!!! I could not imagine that a lodge literally in the middle
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JANUARY 2014 • BACKROADS
of nowhere with a restaurant, gas station, airport (?) and store would not have a liquor license. Thank goodness for those little bottles of Pendleton’s. The lodge was a bunch of cabins wrapped in Typar House Wrap, with “temporary” steps, all of which looked like they had been that way for some time,
and no one had any plans to finish the job. The food was lame, too. The next day was a long one, taking us into the Yukon, back into BC, and finishing in Whitehorse, Yukon. It contained my most exciting moment of the trip. There are two kinds of animals that we saw along the way, those that run away before you could stop to take a pic, and those that you wish would run away if you need to stop. The latter category is basically confined to grizzly bears and bison. Even moose scoot away. After getting a pic of a couple of bison, which were a safe distant from me, I rode up into a fog bank. Shortly thereafter, I was faced with a 2,000-pound bull bison standing in the middle of the road facing me. I stopped quickly, at about 150 yards, and waited to see what he would do. I was not only in fear of his reaction, but of being rear-ended in the fog. I pumped my already flashing LED brake lights. After a few seconds, which seemed much longer, the bull apparently decided that I knew that it was his turf, and that I was not a threat, and he ambled off. We next rode from Whitehorse to Tok, AK. The scenery was great, but the roads in the Yukon were the worst of the trip. There were long construction sections with alternating groups taking turns following guide vehicles through dust storms or slippery mud made by spraying the dust down. Those were the good parts. In between, especially the last 200 miles from Haines Junction to the US border, the frost heaves made for intense concentration and were physically exhausting as well. I spent as much time up on the pegs like a motocrosser as in my seat. As careful as I was to look for the bumps, I sometimes did not see them in time, and had the breath knocked out of me. Maybe I should have slowed down? Nah. We also stopped in Watson Lake, the first town in the Yukon, to see the Sign Post Forest. The pictures of it that I had seen gave me no concept of how big it is. It must be well over an acre. The Yukon road conditions contributed to Ron’s next “bump in the road”. We arrived in Beaver Creek, Yukon, the last town before crossing into AK, to find him missing a side case. Whether it was not on right to start, or broke off, we’ll never know. As we ate lunch and discussed options, how far back it might be, if we could find it all, what was in it, etcetera, a young couple in a pickup truck pulled up with his case. They had seen it fall off and bounce down the road, some 60 miles back, and had been looking for us ever since. One of the hooks that hold it on was gone, so Ron strapped it on and we were off again. When we were coming out of Beaver Creek (and no, it is not like the one in CO), there was a back up for a construction zone consisting of about 50 RVs. As was the custom, usually with asking permission first, I swung around them all and got in front. I had just enough time, as the light had just changed. I pretended not to notice the light, got on the end of the slightly smaller group pulling out. I then managed to get in front of all of them before they had picked up any speed, and I moved in right behind the
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BACKROADS • JANUARY 2014
guide truck. That really moderated the dust storm that Ron had to endure. We arrived in Tok in 86 degree weather. Every day that I was in Alaska set a record for heat. The 60s and maybe 70 that I expected did not happen this June. It was 83 in Anchorage the next day. ATGATT became a test of endurance. I arrived in Anchorage on June 18. My wife, Carol, flew up on the 20th to meet me and spend 2 weeks together in AK and on the ferries down to Vancouver. On the 19th, I got the bike serviced, washed it, got a haircut and awaited her arrival. We have been vacationing on a bike for over 40 years, setting aside the child rearing years. In 1972, we rode my Honda CB750K1 8,000 miles from NY to CA and back. During our stay in Anchorage, we took flightseeing trips on float planes to see bears catch salmon and to see Denali National Park. We landed on lakes for each experience. We were treated to seeing a sow Alaska Brown Bear with a cub catch several salmon, including two salmon in one plunge, and share the feast with her cub. Flying over the glaciers in Denali was awe-inspiring. The return trip, with its adventures, awaits another essay.
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ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET, EYE PROTECTION AND PROTECTIVE CLOTHING. NEVER RIDE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS OR ALCOHOL, AND NEVER USE THE STREET AS A RACETRACK. OBEY THE LAW AND READ THE OWNER’S MANUAL THOROUGHLY. For rider training information or to locate a rider training course near you, call the Motorcycle Safety Foundation at 800-446-9227. CTX™ and Gold Wing® are registered trademarks of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (07/13)
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*Fuel economy estimates are based on US EPA exhaust emission certification data obtained by Yamaha. Your actual mileage will vary depending on road conditions, how you ride and maintain your vehicle, accessories, cargo, and operator/passenger weight. Dress properly for your ride with a helmet, eye protection, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves and boots. Do not drink and ride. It is illegal and dangerous. Yamaha and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation encourage you to ride safely and respect the environment. For further information regarding the MSF course, please call 1-800-446-9227. Professional rider depicted on a closed course. ©2013 Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. All rights reserved. • YamahaMotorsports.com
THE BEST OF BACKROADS 2013 We recap all the best destinations visited this past year including Great All American Diner Run, We're Outta Her...
Published on Jan 24, 2014
THE BEST OF BACKROADS 2013 We recap all the best destinations visited this past year including Great All American Diner Run, We're Outta Her...