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gaz Ma our le T cyc tor Mo

JUNE

2013 Volume 19 No. 6

ine

Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure

Exploring San Diego on the

Star Bolt

BMW MOA Magical History Tour Triumph’s Tiger 800 • Travels with Charlie Monthly Columns • Product Reviews and MORE


W H A T ’ S MON THLY COLUMN S

I N S I D E FEAT URES

FREE WHEELIN’.................................................................................4

BACKROADS’ MYSTERY RIDE II.................................................32

WHATCHATHINKIN’..........................................................................5

BMW MOA MAGICAL HISTORY TOUR ....................................34

ON THE MARK ..................................................................................6

SHIRA’S ICE CREAM RUN ...........................................................40

POSTCARDS FROM THE HEDGE .................................................7 BACKLASH .........................................................................................9

EXPLORING SAN DIEGO ON THE STAR BOLT .......................42 TRAVELS WITH CHARLIE .............................................................57 LAND OF GREEN GABLES...........................................................60

INDUSTRY INFOBITES...................................................................12 BIG CITY GETAWAY........................................................................14

M OTORCYCL E REVIEWS TRIUMPH TIGER 800 ....................................................................28

GREAT ALL AMERICAN DINER RUN.........................................18 WE’RE OUTTA HERE .....................................................................20 MYSTERIOUS AMERICA...............................................................22

PRODUCT REVIEW S LEAT STX ROAD NECK BRACE ..................................................25 SIDI ARMADA GORE-TEX BOOTS..............................................26

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE .......................................................46

BIG FOOT IN THE NEW JERSEY ‘BURBS ................................48

UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR ..............................................49

BUTLER MAPS ................................................................................54

MOTORCYCLE MARKETPLACE...................................................52

GIVI AIRFLOW WINDSCREEN.....................................................55

Brian Rathjen • Shira Kamil ~ Publishers Contributors: Ken Aiken, Ralph L Angelo Jr, Jeff Bahr, Neale Bayly, Michael Bellantone, Mark Byers, Bill Heald, Judy Macaluso, Dr. Seymour O’Life Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure

BACKROADS • POB 317, Branchville NJ 07826 Phone 973.948.4176 • Fax 973.948.0823 • email editor@backroadsusa.com • web www.backroadsusa.com

For Advertising Sales Information: 973-948-4176 BACKROADS (ISSN 1087-2088) is published monthly by BACKROADS™, Inc. 2013. 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.


BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

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JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

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FREE WHEELIN’ BRIAN RATHJEN Oh Deer! Is there fInally an answer tO the DeaDly Deer threat? It’s dark and you are riding through a rural region of New York State. Your eyes are doing their best to adjust to the conditions and your speed is far less than during the daytime. You are wary and alert for you know there is a beast out there that will take you down and hurt you, maybe kill you, in a flash of a second. Odocoileus virginianus, commonly called the white-tailed deer, is a skittish animal that tends to stay in the forests and pastures during the day and move toward the roadway in the evening and night. Ride along any rural roadway at night in the northeast and you will undoubtedly spot more than one along your way. Deer can weigh between 150 to 300 pounds and stand some 3 ½ feet tall at the shoulder. Having one bound in front of you on the road is never good. Each year there are over one million deer-vehicle collisions, but while only 2% of deer-car collisions end with human fatalities the numbers for we riders are far more dire with some 85% deer-motorcycle collisions ending with a rider fatality. There are a few things we can do to lessen the chances of become one of these statistics. Slow your speed down at night, be alert and get the best gear you can afford or simply don’t ride at night. My GS has a device called the Hornet, which I have used for years and I do think it helps deter

the deer, but with no real scientific facts to give you on this and since no deer have told me how annoying it is, it is an electric rabbit’s foot at best. I rarely ride after dark as I often come out in the evening and find deer foraging near the barn where I keep the bikes. Over the years in Europe and the United States different systems have been tried to dissuade deer from crossing the roads. Reflectors, scents, decoys and other attempts have been made but none really have had that much success. But, this answer might finally be here. The DeerDeter, brought to the United States by Jafa Technologies, of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, is a piece of equipment that could possibly save hundreds of lives and prevent thousands of injuries each year. This innovative new device is designed to reduce, with the ultimate goal of eliminating, deer-vehicle collisions as a result of night-time road crossings. Installed at intervals of 50 to 100 yards, activation occurs when headlights approach the unit during the time period from dusk to dawn when the vast majority of animal-vehicle collisions occur. When activated, the unit emits a sound that is meant to simulate that of a predator or a cry of fear. The sound is supplemented by a small strobe type light that is meant to represent reflection of movement from the predator’s eyes. Activated only at night when headlights are present, this device allows animals to cross roadways at times when they do not present a danger; thereby, permitting access to preferred feeding and bedding areas along traditional migration routes. The unit is incased in a weather resistant Plexiglas enclosure that can be (Continued on page 16)


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W H ATC H AT H I N K I N ’ SHIRA KAMIL scOOtIn’ arOunD On a sunny Day Yes, sunny day - finally. With the passing of Mother’s Day, I guess Mother Nature decided we had passed another test of time and we were deserved of some real Spring this year. We’ve been out and about, enjoying this wonderful time of year and I’ve been taking advantage of the extra set of wheels parked in Backroads Central’s garage. Right before the snow started to fly last year, BMW dropped of one snazzy ride - a C 600 Sport Scooter. I’m sure you’ve already seen plenty, whether in 2 or 3D, and have read the various writeups, here and in the other magazines. Well, it took me some time to actually get the thing out on the road, with the abysmal condition of our driveway up until recently. But out it finally came and, let me tell you, I am one happy camper. Grinning ear to ear, I am having one good ‘ol time. My first date with the little German was a short ride around the neighborhood, just to get the feel of the controls. No matter how much I reminded myself that there was no clutch, I continued to reach for it at stopping. Once or twice I nearly tossed myself over the handlebars. Damn, that bike has some good brakes!

In subsequent rides, I kind of had to force myself to take my other bikes. I would always look towards the scooter and say “I can fit what I have to take under the seat” or “I just look so cool on this!” Not to mention the grin factor while riding. Almost giddy, I tell ya. Scooting by small towns, meandering along country lanes or throttling through the twisties (don’t let the scooter name fool you, this 600 has some balls), I found myself looking at the cars around me and laughing out loud. Even passing other two-wheeled travellers had me grinning. I felt like I was on some European vacation with the advantage of sleeping in my own bed. I look forward to every ride I can take on my new-found friend. I only hope that BMW forgets that we have it hidden in the wilds of New Jersey. 18 years ago, in the very first Backroads, we made a dedication to my grandfather who pushed us to set goals and then reach for them. I’d like to now dedicate this issue and what I am today to my father. As hard as I try to put my feelings into words, I think that my nephew Danny might have said it best: Today I have to say goodbye to one of my all time greatest role models. A man who was open-minded, loving, and accepting of everyone long before the ideas of acceptance and tolerance were the pop culture flavor of the week. One of the only men I've ever met who could tell the same joke 3000 times and STILL have the room laughing (maybe amongst a few eye rolls as well). A caring man who always put his family as his #1 priority. A worldly, world traveler who saw everything on EVERYONE's bucket list, not to mention his own. I aspire to live life just as he did; with an open mind, an open heart. And a constant smile ear to ear. As he would have said... "Wonderful!" My father passed along his great wanderlust and passion for life to me and I only hope that I do half the things that he accomplished in his time with us. I have a whole lot of pins to place in my travel map to catch up with him - I hope to do so.

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ON THE MARK MARK BYERS

aDvIce The problem with advice is that it is far more abundant than valuable. Nowhere is this maxim more valid than motorcycling, where everyone who has thrown a leg over a moped or more will have something to say about life on two wheels. The array of subjects is endless, from gear to tires to bike types to brand names to roads, ad infinitum. If you want to start an instant flame war online, just ask what the “best” something is and sit back with popcorn while the (largely unsubstantiated) opinions fly! Of all the dangerous products in the world, advice is the one that most needs warning labels, but unfortunately, there’s no place to stick them. Advice isn’t offered with a brand name, so it’s hard to know if what you’re getting has a good pedigree. Last time I looked, there wasn’t an “Advicefax” or an “advice” section of the “Consumer’s Reports Buyer’s Guide.” You can’t “Yelp” advice. That’s a problem, because getting good advice on which to base decisions can be crucial to one very important part of the motorcycling community: new riders. One group most vulnerable to sketchy advice is women who’ve been coaxed into riding by a significant other. Recently, I heard a new rider being given some well-intentioned, but very bad “coaching” by her man. It put me in a dilemma: if I call him out on it, I will alienate both of them. On the other hand, I’m afraid if she follows his lead, she may not survive. I think this is true in a lot of cases; consequently, any woman who enters the occupassion of motorcycling should take the MSF course – in complete absence of her paramour. Frequently, some of the worst sources of advice are, regrettably, those with whom we live. In coaching new female shooters, I’ve found that neophyte women are typically far better

at fundamentals than men. This is frequently true in motorcycling too. Another source of hazardous advice is a retailer. Be wary of advice given by someone with a vested interest in your money. I recently had to leave a gun shop when a dealer was talking a woman into a totally unsuitable hand howitzer because that was what he had. Rationalization, thy name is “retail.” In Greek mythology, Procrustes had an iron bed on which he would lay travelers and, should they not fit, he’d stretch them or hack off pieces to MAKE them fit. There are many fine retailers, but a few of them are out to fit you to their bed. If you ever find a motorcycle retailer who says, “I don’t have what you need, but I know who does,” treasure that person. Then, there are “experts.” In engineering, we define an “expert” as someone who is more than 100 miles from home. If he’s more than 200 miles from home and costs a lot of money, he’s called a “consultant.” If anyone ever defines himself as an expert motorcyclist and proceeds to give you advice, it may or may not be valuable, but I strongly urge you to check his pedigree. In fact, the most astute people I know in the motorcycle world are the least likely to bill themselves as anything other than merely competent. One of the finest offroad riders I know calls himself a “product of a misspent youth.” These are the people from whom you should seek advice – the soft-spoken riders who are somewhat slow to offer guidance and who include verbal warning labels on their advice. I include the paid trainers in this category: if anyone assures you that his (or her) way is the way of the true cross, shop around. Another way to guard against bad advice is to seek multiple sources and compare notes on them. If the preponderance of evidence from a variety of seemingly reputable sources agrees, then there’s a good chance the information is valuable. If the information is contradictory, then step carefully. Many times, particularly for new female riders, advice isn’t a onesize-fits-all garment. When it comes to nuances in technique, what works for one may not work for all. Or, sometimes the concept is right, but the way the person needs to assimilate it is different. A good teacher will search for a way to make it meaningful to you. (Continued on Page 16)


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P O S TC A R D S FROM THE HEDGE BILL HEALD naIls, hOOps anD MeteOrItes When preparing for a trip that will entail a fair number of days on the road, one of the chores involves planning for any mechanical problems that might crop up in the middle of nowhere. True, some people might point out that if you’re nowhere, it might be difficult to pinpoint the middle of it. Point well taken, but I think we get the basic gist of the concept (i.e. you’re far from quick assistance). You need to be prepared, although in terms of access to resources things have certainly improved over the last decade or so. The cell phone has become indispensable for most of us, and now that the infrastructure is catching up to deployment it’s becoming increasingly rare to not get a signal. As a result, auto clubs (many of which will now pick up a motorcycles) as well as motorcycle-specific services are but a text/email/phone call away. This is great, but it really doesn’t completely change things because like a lot of you I like to keep going on my own if possible by fixing whatever has sidelined me in the first place. Naturally the best defense is preventative maintenance, and being ready for any eventuality can also pay dividends in these situations. Some things are unavoidable of course, like road hazards, meteorites and other bits of evil. Wait: did I say meteorites? This threat can be thwarted, using Heald’s Propeller Beanie Meteorite Helmet (patent violently refused). Money back guarantee, if a meteorite gets you. Sorry about that. Ads are everywhere these days, aren’t they? It’s like you can’t escape them. Anyway, while there is a universe of things that can go

wrong on mechanical devices many maladies are treatable on-site so you can at least get to the day’s destination. I’ll wager that the most common trip interrupter (next to running out of gas) is tire failure, and as such it’s something you should be ready for especially if you’re going to be riding in remote areas. This means carrying a suitable flat repair kit, which as a breed are typically compact, easy to use and reliable. These things can be a Godsend in cases when you’ve been lucky enough to have picked up just a nail or other foul pointy thing that has rendered your tire airless but not shredded. This has been the way of dealing with compromised motorcycle tires for hundreds, nay, thousands of years and it was the repair strategy of choice when Sir Edmund Hillary suffered a puncture when riding his Ariel to the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. OK, I may have received poor marks in history and the above account may be less than accurate (or completely imaginary), but the lengthy tenure of tire repair kits begs the question, where’s the tech? I mean, we live at a time when you can hold up what damn near looks like a tea tray and see the current Doppler radar in your area, or even make a visual phone call to Milan. Given the available advancements, where’s the magic, self-healing tires that Polonius might have called “Hoops of Steel” in Hamlet? You no doubt know there are a variety of pre-flat treatments you can use (that resemble all manner of nauseating goos) that will, according to their manufacturers, seal any punctures and let you proceed without even knowing you had an incident. Some of these even work, but most if not all tire manufacturers discourage their use. No one can stop you from using them of course, but consider the importance of knowing when a nail or other object has compromised your tire. You need to know if you’ve been subjected to tire damage, because your rubber may have been breached by something that looks like it ran somebody through in Game of Thrones and then broke off. Tire sealants that you apply before the fact may in fact seal the tire, but ultimately camouflage the injury. Besides, such gels, goos and tinctures are very (Continued on page 16)

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THROT TLE BLIPS JEFF BAHR I sIng the MOtOrcycle electrIc The Oxford English Dictionary defines blasphemy as “the action or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things.” Accordingly, a blasphemer is one who strays from accepted dogma in a church, organization or like-minded group. How does this tie in with motorcycling? Our sport has a church of sorts. It has been with us since that pivotal moment when Gottlieb Daimler mated a gas motor with a set of wheels and called it a motorcycle. It is the church of internal combustion (Church of I.C.) and millions of motorcyclists roll up to its power-pulse alter. I’m a disciple but with the “current” march of technology that may be changing. In case you haven’t noticed there’s a would-be messiah quietly pacing the asphalt – one ready, willing and surprisingly able to topple the Church of I.C. and snare its zealously-loyal followers. The electric motorcycle is no longer some abstract prototype putting about slowly on the periphery. Soon, if things go to plan, it will be the preferred and perhaps only way to roll on two wheels. Time will tell. The evolution of this technology has been far from seamless, however, and my reluctance to accept it equally conflicted. But my opinion changed drastically last summer when I attended a picnic sponsored by a major metropolitan police department. As is customary, this city brought much of its equipment for revelers to check out. From S.W.A.T gear to mobile labs, battering rams to police bikes the department was well represented. Parked beside a quartet of Harley FLHTP Police Specials I spotted something different – a newfangled electric bike done up in police livery. I chatted

with the motor cop standing proudly beside the machine and what he said proved eye-opening. Turns out he too had been skeptical about the capabilities of electric motorcycles. Then he mounted up and twisted the throttle. That was all it took. “Wow!” he thought. “I patrol on a humongous V-Twin known for its pull and this lightweight bike could give it fits!” Fact is such insane torque is the chief calling card of electric motorcycles. Power bands are mostly nonexistent in this brave new world of amperage, charge-cycles and whisper-quiet stealth. You get power right now whenever you ask for it. Vroom! But downsides still exist. One issue that might be hard to overcome is the sound that electric bikes produce - or more specifically the sound that they don’t. Take the KillaCycle for example. This purpose-built 500 H.P. drag bike holds the ¼ -mile world record in the electric motorcycle division with a blistering 7.82-second, 168-MPH pass. Judging by its noise output, however, you’d swear it isn’t going over 55. It runs that quiet. Progress? Without question. But we riders know that variables other than strict engineering advances factor into our moto-lust and sound has traditionally been one of them. Then there’s the range issue. Absolute distance continues to improve but 100 miles seems to be the current per-charge average for city/highway riding. This number will have to rise before touring riders take notice, but ever-decreasing charge times and storage battery breakthroughs promise to slay this most prevalent chink in the technology’s armor. Time will tell. Another electric bike “feature” that traditionalists seem slow to warm to is the absence of shifting. But at least one savvy manufacturer is doing something about it. The Brammo Empulse offers a six-speed transmission and (Continued on page 16)

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BACKLASH Dear Shira & Brian, Thank you for writing about the Inn at Mountain View Farm in your magazine. I am glad you had a good time exploring the natural beauty of this fabled Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. I certainly enjoyed talking with you and showing you around our historic farm estate. I hope you come back soon and enjoy it with us again. And please bring your friends! All the best, Marilyn Pastore Put another picture, like you did in the latest issue (May 2013) on page 37, of the dead coyotes on the fence, and you can feel free to CANCEL my subscription immediately and send me a refund for the remainder of the unused subscription. I am an adventure rider not a killer..........what a bonehead bullshit stupid ass moronistic picture.... I dumped RoadRunner rag because I got sick and tired of seeing the editors picture on every single page of YES WE KNOW ALREADY it’s your rag....so I have no problem dumping your rag if I have to look at further dead animals in it. I want to read about motorcycles and see scenery of living things ...if I want to see dead things I will watch CNN...there is plenty of death and destruction right there on CNN Mike Klementovich Mike, We understand your point. We were amazed at this scene, but it is sometimes part of traveling. Whether we liked it or not it was part of what we saw in Texas. We hope the more positive pictures and aspects of Backroads would over ride the sad truth that some rancher felt the need to do this. Still, it was part of the story. Sorry you were offended.

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Letters to the Editor Hi folks, I just met Kimberly Harvey when we rode the Nutmeg 400 and wound up in the same hotel. She recommended contacting you regarding rides. I live in NYC but there are several of us who ride out to Sussex, Warren and Hunterdon more than once per month. We’ve done Old Mine Road, the South Hunterdon/Delaware thing, and many others so much, we’d like some new rides. I am an old Voorhees HS grad, Lebanon Twsp resident/rider from the 70’s so we’ve also been up Point Mountain rocks for viewing, the reservoirs outside Clinton, etc. Anyway, I see Cooperstown is pretty sold out but maybe we can ride before your PA rally. Thanks, David Krivit David, Backroads is a monthly riding publication and although we do a few rallies each year we’re not a riding club per se. But you can find great suggestions in every issue. You can find previous issues on-line right here; http://issuu.com/backroadsmagazine as well as GPS routes for many of our rides on our website www.backroadsusa.com/gpsdownloads.html Hey Backroads, Amen to your reply to Greg Cancel about his query of where to ride in Virginia and West Virginia, in particular your comment about Virginia being a bit more lawish. Last summer we were on a ride down to the Carolinas and we had planned a stop at BMW of Roanoke. We had just crossed into Virginia on US220 passing thru the town of Iron Gate, (population of about 100 ) when in my side mirror I noticed the dreaded red and blue strobes, mounted on a very menacing looking Black Dodge Charger police special. Mind you, I learned a long time ago, not to speed thru small towns, and I was not, so I had to wonder why the traffic stop. We stayed seated on the bike as I got my

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Page 10 documents out and he approached us on the left. He very politely informed me that he was the CHIEF of POLICE of said hamlet and his R.D.D. (radar detector detector) put the finger on us. He was all of about 25 years old and wearing a t-shirt. Yes I was running radar, knew it was illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but forgot to turn it off. Man, you would think we had just commited a felony. Yes, we received a citation, and when I asked if we could get a senior discount I thought he was going to book us into the local lockup. My kidney still hurts from where my wife punched me. Expensive lesson, $100.00. Yes, Virginia is LAWISH. On a more positive note to Greg Cancel, in my humble opinion there are NO bad roads in West Virginia, just that some are better than others. We spend a lot of time in West Virginia every summer and really enjoy the state. In all fairness Virginia also has lots of great roads, but you need to be aware of your riding and the laws. Have a safe ride Greg. Great article, “Deep in the Heart of”, as we have been to many of those places. Every year we try to visit Texas in the spring or fall, sometimes both. We usually make Kerrville or Fredricksburg our base for 2-3 days and ride the many Hill country roads. Coopers Bar-B-Que is always a must. Another stop we always make is the Apple House in Medina, which is at the terminus of Rte. 337, one of the Three Sisters. The Apple House has every type of apple fare you could imagine and then some – pie, ice cream, cookies, cake, fritters and so much more – all made from their own apples. Their resident cat, Miss Callie, always gets a sample of ice cream, courtesy of my wife, when we visit. When time, money and the weather permit we then ride down to Alpine, TX and spend another 2-3 days. Big Bend National park and Fort Davis are the attractions in that area. Texas is really a great state for motorcyclists if you know where the good roads are. Another little known secret is that Fredricksburg is the state’s Peach capital. At the right time of year, June, you can enjoy a peach as big as a softball, so juicy you should stand over a bucket as you consume it. Another delight worth mentioning about the Hill country are the spring wildflowers. Fields of Blue Bonnets and Painted Daisies are beyond what words can express.

JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS I could go on about Texas, so many roads, places to eat and benues to visit but you and Shira now know ‘cause you’ve been. Philip Eramo Columbus, Ohio


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IND USTRY INFOBITES NEALE BAYLY RIDES: PERU TAKES VIEWERS ON ‘ADVENTURE WITH PURPOSE’ Renowned motorcycle journalist and philanthropic adventure rider, Neale Bayly, has explored much of the world on two wheels, riding across 45 countries in 35 years, many of them at the helm of adventure-seeking expeditions. But this ride will be different. Leading an eclectic band of travelers aboard BMW GS-800s and GS-1200s, the unshaven, mophaired Brit headlines Midgett Productions’ NEALE BAYLY RIDES: PERU, a three-part series airing on SPEED Sundays at 9pm EST, starting June 9th. Produced by Emmy winner Linda Midgett, NEALE BAYLY RIDES: PERU spends nine days following a group of average riders with varying degrees of experience on the trip of a lifetime to Peru. They face unbelievable challenges through the deserts and mountains...but find it’s all worth it when their journey leads them to an orphanage. The cast includes: James Johnson (a minister fondly known as “the Whiskey Priest”), Troy Rice (IT entrepreneur), Dr. Laura Ellis (surgeon), and Brandon McDearis (chef and nutritionist). “You can’t go through something like this and come out the other side the same way,” says Bayly, who founded Wellspring International Outreach, to support the orphanage in Peru. “The way we sort of compress time and add so much adventure, excitement, adrenaline, hopes, fears … it really digs into them emotionally.” “Spend five minutes with Neale as he expresses his passion for this project and you, too, will be ready to drop what you are doing and join him on this

JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

News from the Inside odyssey that is so much more than the sum of its parts,” said SPEED’s VP of Programming and Executive Producer Robert Ecker. “The ride to Peru is every bit as much about the journey as the destination. He really is this socially conscious two-wheel adventurer who wants to impact people’s lives and make the world a better place. His enthusiasm and passion are genuine and contagious.” Reality TV with Heart. Adventure. Travel. Adrenaline. Storytelling. All on motorcycles. BMWs, at that. NEALE BAYLY RIDES: PERU airs on SPEED Sundays 9PM Eastern—June 9, 16, and 23. Follow the journey on Facebook www.facebook.com/NealeBaylyRides and Twitter @NealeBaylyRides.

AMERICADE DEMOS GET READY TO ROLL This year’s Americade in Lake George will offer demo rides from more manufacturers than any other event in North America. Who will be there? According to www.americade.com demo fleets will be provided by: BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Kymco, Motor Trike, Roadsmith, Spyder, Star, Suzuki, Thoroughbred Motorsports, Yamaha, and Victory! Americade will also have displays from Hannigan Motorsports and Indian! Why so many? “The manufacturers like doing demos here for a variety of reasons including good location, good riding roads, and a track record of Americaders buying bikes which they demo. We continue to do our best to keep it that way! We’re happy to welcome Suzuki back after an absence of several years” said Christian Dutcher Americade’s General Manager. He continued: “even though our TourExpo tradeshow will open earlier than ever, on Saturday June 1, the demo rides continue the tradition of starting on Tuesday (June 4) and running through Saturday (June 8.) They are all located in the vicinity of our headquarters, the Fort William Henry Resort.” A full list of activities and demo providers can be seen at www.americade.com. Registration is available online through May 1, and via post entry at the Lake George’s Holiday Inn.


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MONDAY, JUNE 17TH IS MOTORCYCLE AND SCOOTER RIDE TO WORK DAY You’ll notice a few more motorcycles on the road this year on June 17th because it’s the 22nd annual ‘Ride to Work Day’. World-wide, more than an estimated million riders become two-wheeled commuters to demonstrate riding as a fun and practical form of utility transportation. “Motorcycles and scooters take up less space in parking areas and on roads. And there’s a lower footprint. Riders seek recognition for this form of personal mobility, and government and public awareness of the many benefits,” states Andy Goldfine, an event organizer. Over 100 American cities formally recognize Ride to Work Day by proclamation, and rider’s clubs around the world encourage their members to participate in this annual demonstration. According to the Ride to Work non-profit organization, for hundreds of thousands of US workers, riding is a socially beneficial form of transportation which provides a broad range of other public benefits. According to the United States Census Bureau and the Department of Transportation, over eighty million cars and light trucks are used every day for commuting, and only about 200,000 motorcycles and scooters are a regular part of this mix. On June 17 the practical side of motorcycling and scootering becomes more visible as a higher percentage THE 2013 of America’s 8,000,000 cycles and scooters replace automobiles.

WEIRD NJ INSTAGRAM GOES LIVE The Mikes – better known as WeirdNJ – just started an official Weird NJ Instagram feed and they’d like to invite all of you Instagramers out there to follow their photostream at WEIRDNJINSTA. They’ll be sharing photos from their travels all around the great Garden State of their favorite roadside oddities, abandoned sites, tombstones, weirdoes, haunted locations and more! You can share your own weird photos by hashtagging us #weirdnjinsta.

million acres of Utah public land as Wilderness. Once land is designated as Wilderness, no vehicles, including motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles or bicycles, are allowed on that land. Included in the 9.1 million acres are existing OHV riding areas around Moab, the San Rafael Swell and Chimney Rock. These popular OHV areas represent some of the most important remaining (Continued on page 17)

Slow-smoked chicken, Dry Rub Spareribs, Pulled Pork or Beef Brisket and four of our sides.* $

37.50

(Feed 4 and two trips to the fridge after midnight) “There’s not a bird back in town that approaches Big W’s Slow Chicken” –New York Times March ‘07

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MOTORCYCLE ONLY CHECKPOINT BILL TO BE DROPPED The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) reports, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner from Wisconsin, announced Monday, April 15th that he will file a bill to prohibit the federal funding of motorcycle only roadside checkpoints. Sensenbrenner had this to say in a “Dear Colleague” that is circulating in the House of Representatives. “In the 112th Congress, I introduced H.R. 904, a bill to prohibit the Department of Transportation (DOT) from providing funds to state and local authorities for the purpose of creating motorcycle only checkpoints. Section 1 of the Stop Motorcycle Checkpoint Funding Act contains the same language as H.R. 904. However, this bill also contains language to force the DOT to focus motorcycle safety efforts on crash prevention programs, not national helmet mandates.”The bill was officially introduced on May 6.

LEGISLATION WOULD CLOSE 9 MILLION ACRES OF UTAH PUBLIC LAND TO RIDING Bills that would close 9.1 million acres of Utah public land to off-highway vehicles have been introduced in Congress, the American Motorcyclist Association reports. U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) introduced H.R. 1630, and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced S. 769, on April 18. Both bills are called America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act and would designate more than 9

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JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

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BIG CI T Y G ETAWAY

daytrip ideas to get out of the daily grind south of the village of Dorset. Officially called the NorcrossWest Quarry it is the oldest in the United States. You can’t miss it as you ride by, with its large marble blocks strewn around its perimeter.

DOrset Marble Quarry Or the OlDest swIMMIng hOle In the usa? rOute 30 just sOuth Of DOrset, verMOnt Vermont just might be the Marble capital of the United States. So much great stone is quarried in this state, but it all started in the tiny village of Dorset. In fact the oldest marble quarry was started here back in 1785. Just ride around this part of Vermont and you will see marble used everywhere; from ordinary homes to grand monuments. In fact, at one time no less than a half dozen marble quarries could be found in and around Dorset alone. The oldest can easily be found on Route 30 north of Manchester and just Not far from it you’ll find the oldest marble house in the U.S. How do you think that came about? I visited the quarry in early June, still far too chilly for what it is used for these days, and that is the prettiest, and oldest, swimming hole in the United States! Rolling up to the quarry I spied the large Historical Marker to the right. Yep, that ‘bout said it all, but it was the sheer beauty that really caught my eye. The dark green of the trees and foliage reflected in the water, The stark cut stones, just begging to be stretched out on a hot and sunny summer’s day. So that’s what this Big City Getaway is all about. “Goin’ swimmin’ down at the swimmin’ hole!” On a hot day the quarry will have

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BACKROADS • JUNE 2013 dozens of swimmers enjoying a little bit of nature. Walking around the quarry I spied a number of names carved into the rocks from years past. This place has been popular with the locals for more than 100 years! The quarry is about an hour’s ride from Backroads base of operations when holding our Summer Squeeze – The Gray Ghost Inn, in West Dover and for this we’ll have an easy ride to Manchester – actually two; one along some great gravel roads that cross the pass through the Green Mountains and an easy paved loop that gets you there a bit faster and smoother. Either way, you can grab lunch in Manchester, where there are plenty of restaurants, or the upscale Dorset Inn (a bit pricey, but the oldest inn in the

Page 15 state and very nice), before or after your swim, but we do know that you will be blown away by this old fashioned swimmin’ hole and a little piece of Americana.

Rip & Ride® • DORSET MARBLE QUARRY • ROUTE 30 JUST SOUTH OF DORSET, VERMONT START: WEST DOVER, VT • NORTH ON RTE. 100 DIRT: LEFT ONTO STRATTTON ARLINGTON ROAD RIGHT AT NORTH ROAD RIGHT AT RTE. 7 NORTH LEFT AT RTE. 30 TOWARDS DORSET

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JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

Page 16 (Continued from Page 6) On the Mark And who am I to give advice? I have a column in a fine magazine, but that doesn’t make me an oracle. Your significant other may be a perfectly wonderful advisor and your dealer may be the salt of the earth. Your resident expert may in fact be just that. It behooves you to treat your advisors with a healthy dose of skepticism, however, and act as if your life depends on their information. Because it does.

To our thinking deploying a device such as the DeerDeter along roads where there have been a high number of deer strikes is really a no brainer and we hope our local and state governments take notice.

(Continued from page 7) pOstcarDs frOM the heDge primitive solutions. Isn’t there something better out there for the long distance traveler, to get said Road Warrior to a safe haven to have his/her tire replaced? One might think the obvious solution would be run-flat tires, but there are so many compromises to traction and overall performance that we’re not free wheelIn’ (Continued from page 4) there yet with motorcycle applications (and manufacturers like Michelin have powered by solar cells, batteries, or a combination of both. The final proplans to build them for motorcycles right now). This is unless you’re a no duction configuration weighs less than a pound and can be mounted on trees California Highway Patrol Motor Cop, where they are required by regulations or small poles. The unit is mounted such that the sound and strobe emitter to use them so Dunlop makes them. There is a dramatically different tire conface the direction from which the animal will approach. struction involved, and these hoops are riddled with altered engineering so The units already deployed in Europe indicate that collisions have been that they can go a small distance upon being punctured at the expense of reduced by as much as 90%. Along a roadway near Fort Dix, a heavily deer everything else. Even if you find the idea of a run-flat attractive, be advised populated region in New Jersey 38 units were installed on a stretch of road the cardinal rule of motorcycle tires echoed by Metzeler/Pirelli Technical of that has nearly 80 deer strikes each year. According to local police there were Manager Jeff Johnstone: once a street tire is punctured you must replace it. no deer collisions over the time they were tested and strikes remained low This is not to just sell more tires, you skeptical skeptic. Tire repair kits are to for the 6 months suggesting the deer in the area may have actually learned get you out of a tight situation so you can get to a dealer and get the comproto associate oncoming cars with danger after being exposed to the system for mised item replaced with a new one, not to fix your tire so you can ride ansome time. other 5,000 miles. You shouldn’t let your trusty local motorcycle shop mend The units now cost some $150, but Jafa hopes to cut that price in half with your tire, either, and most won’t even try. their next generation making this system affordable as needed in heavily deer “We are very clear and concise about what we say,” explains Johnston. populated areas. “We don’t like tires being repaired, period, because you never know how bad the internal damage to the tire is. You could put a plug in a tire and the tire could literally fail 2-3 months down 1269 DOLSONTOWN RD the road because of the damage from the nail or the MIDDLETOWN NY 10940 screw could cause a separation inside the tire, and the plug doesn’t fix such a separation.” 845-343-2552 • WWW.CYCLEMOTIONINC.COM Even if we do have some new run-flat tires that offer reasonable performance down the road, remember it’s Cycle Motion is your provider of motorcycles, ATVs, scooters, just a temporary fix to get you to safety. No technology snowmobiles, and utility vehicles by Kawasaki, Suzuki, Polaris, is going to change that fact anytime soon, either. So use Yamaha and Can Am. With a large parts department, qualified what you choose to get you to a proper vendor, and then service technicians and a full shop full of parts and accessories, replace the tire. This will be the rule for now and for the we're here to meet all your power sport needs. near future, and remember: your precious hide is counting on you to keep your tires healthy no matter where For every rider - on or off road, whether they like doing it your next ride takes you. in the dirt, carving the twisties, or cruising the backroads, we have their weapon of choice.

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(Continued from page 8) thrOttle blIps contemporary styling reminiscent of the hottest street fighter/ naked bikes currently on the market. Can you say sexy? Pricing of electric bikes is steep but as the technology progresses that should change. With these tantalizing lures in mind I may eventually join the electric bike flock. Religious conversions are never easy but neither is clinging to machinery that’s damned to go the way of the Do-Do. The internal combustion motorcycle was once omnipotent but its days are clearly numbered. Time will tell if electric bikes assume its mantle. If that day comes to pass you’ll find this blasphemer pulling silent wheelies in tribute to my new deity. “Sorry, Church of I.C.,” I’ll say with the feigned concern of a fabulously fickle fellow. “I once loved ye but now I love thee. Amen!”


BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

Page 17

InDustry InfObItes (Continued from page 13) OHV recreation areas in Utah, and are some of the most popular with responsible OHV riders. The targeted areas also include existing roads and developments. Passage of the legislation would have a significant, negative effect on local economies already struggling to recover from the recession. “It is outrageous that Rep. Holt of New Jersey and Sen. Durbin of Illinois would attempt to bypass the Utah congressional delegation to shut down 9 million acres in Utah to just about everyone but hikers,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “This legislation is also puzzling because much of the land in question doesn’t come close to meeting the definition of Wilderness that’s spelled out in federal law. According to the Wilderness Act of 1964, Wilderness can only apply to land ‘retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation.’” On April 18, the Republican members of Utah’s congressional delegation sent a letter to their congressional colleagues asking them to withhold their support for the legislation. The lawmakers, Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, and Reps. Rob Bishop, Chris Stewart and Jason Chaffetz, wrote: “In fact, Utah elected officials, including the governor, state legislative leadership, rural county commissioners and Utah’s Republican and Democratic members of Congress have unanimously opposed this bill.” “The Utah delegation is not opposed to preserving wilderness-quality lands,” they wrote. “In fact, several members of the Utah delegation are working on a Utah lands bill based on input from state and local government officials, conservation groups and other stakeholders. This will be a balanced bill that provides for both conservation and development opportunities in a locally driven, transparent process.” Allard, a former U.S. senator representing Colorado, added: “The Utah congressional delegation is doing this properly by making it a bottom up process with input from affected citizens and communities instead of a top down process from Washington. The Wilderness area the New Jersey member is attempting to force onto the people of Utah is almost twice the size of his state with no public input from the people of Utah.” The AMA is calling on all motorcyclists and OHV enthusiasts to help stop H.R. 1630 and S. 769. The fastest way to reach your U.S. representative or senators is a telephone call. You can find contact informa-

tion for your elected officials by entering your zip code at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/rights/issueslegislation. A pre-written email is also available there to send to your representative or senators by following the “Take Action” option after entering your information at the above website.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON FIRST-QUARTER EARNINGS RISE SHARPLY Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) first-quarter 2013 diluted earnings per share increased 33.8% on higher motorcycle shipments and continued improvement in operating efficiencies, compared to the year-ago period. First-quarter net income was $224.1 million on consolidated revenue of $1.57 billion, compared to net income of $172.0 million in the year-ago period on consolidated revenue of $1.43 billion. First-quarter 2013 diluted earnings per share were $0.99, compared $0.74 in the year-ago quarter. “With our focus on continuous improvement throughout our operations and providing outstanding products and customer experiences, we have continued to deliver gains in Harley-Davidson’s financial and competitive performance,” said Keith Wandell, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. “The successful launch of seasonal surge production at our York assembly operations in the first quarter is the latest example of our efforts to drive greater efficiency and be even more responsive to the market. “Thanks to the outstanding efforts of our employees, dealers and suppliers, we believe Harley-Davidson is well positioned to deliver on all the ways we serve our customers, generate strong results for investors and build a successful business for the long term,” Wandell said.

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JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

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Hanover Powersports Presents

GRE AT ALL AMER IC AN D INE R R UN rIversIDe café & lODge 16624 cOunty hIghway 17 (OlD rte. 17) • rOscOe, ny 12776 607-498-5305 We said it once and we will probably say it a whole bunch more. Location! This month’s stop on the Great All American Diner Run can be found on the older backroads. Years before the highway we now call Route 17 or “The Quickway” was created folks headed west along the tier of New York on the “Old Route 17.” That road is still there, but has dropped down to County Highway status. And, even though the bigger road has garnered success as a scenic byway, we think the older road has more character. Along its way you can even run across some of the old mile markers that still stand today. We often get asked where we find some of the places we feature in Backroads each month? Sometimes it is a recommendation or some place we look for with an idea in mind. Often we just luck out and then pass it along to you like we knew about it all the time. Such is the case with the Riverside Café & Lodge. We discovered the Riverside while putting a quick Backroads Mystery Ride together in the early spring. Our Plan A restaurant did not pan out and Shira scrambled to find a place that could handle our group and have an awesomeness about it. She surely found it at the Riverside. Owned and operated by Tammy and Daniel Eliezer, the place lies along a

tasty places to take your bike

tributary of the Delaware called the Beaverkill; which is trout fishing heaven for those so inclined. There are a number of hotel rooms and riverside cabins available as well, but we came for the food. We were especially excited when word came to us that Tammy was a Culinary Institute grad and that every review we found simply gushed about how wonderful the fare was. Our group would not be disappointed. The Riverside Café is a fairly large restaurant and they have a delightful atrium room with glass walls allowing for a good view of the river and Mother Nature. We were the first ones there that day but that did not deter Tammy and crew from getting things started and to us in quick fashion. The lunch menu was simple and just what we needed after the somewhat chilly ride north. Even though it was just lunch Tammy’s culinary expertise was quickly apparent when the soups were placed in front of us. You know you have a winner when a loud riding crowd gets suddenly quiet when the food begins to arrive. The Riverside Café serves up superb burgers, all home made and a BLT that also looked delicious. The chicken sandwiches, both grilled and fried, were thoroughly enjoyed, but I took mine in Tammy’s fried chicken salad that had her own dressing that I would dearly pay for. We have also heard that her hot wings can stand up to anybody else’s in the Catskills. We do not doubt this.

Rip & Ride® • RIVERSIDE CAFÉ & LODGE • 16624 CTY HWY 17 (OLD RTE. 17), ROSCOE, NY 12776 • 607-498-5305 START: CHATTERBOX DRIVE-IN, AUGUSTA, NJ RTE. 206 NORTH LEFT AT CR 560 TOWARDS DINGMANS BRIDGE STRAIGHT ON RTE. 739 LEFT AT SR 2001 - MILFORD RD. LEFT AT RAYMONDSKILL RD. LEFT AT US 6 BEAR RIGHT AT TWIN LAKES RD. RIGHT AT RTE. 434 CROSS BRIDGE INTO NY LEFT AT RTE. 97 BEAR RIGHT ONTO CR 21 LEFT AT CR 22 RIGHT AT CR 26 LEFT AT RTE. 55 BEAR LEFT AT DR. DUGAN

LEFT AT RTE. 17B RIGHT AT HURD RD – WOODSTOCK SITE LEFT AT CR 144 BEAR LEFT AT RTE. 52 RIGHT AT MAPLE AVE. STRAIGHT AT FAUBEL RD. LEFT AT HURT RD. RIGHT AT CR 122/ 123 BEAR LEFT AT DUTCH HILL RD. LEFT AT CR 92 RIGHT AT CR 124 LEFT AT RTE. 206 LEFT AT BLINKING LIGHT CR 179A RIVERSIDE CAFÉ & LODGE A FEW MILES ON LEFT 210 Route 10 West, East Hanover, NJ

973-428-1735 www.HanoverPowersports.com NOW OPEN MONDAYS 9am-5pm

follow us on


BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

Page 19 and served over baby spinach, feta cheese and sunflowers and crab cakesdone in Tammys own style quickly got my attention. The entrees list was eye catching as well. Grilled pork tenderloin, weiner schnitzel and stuffed pork chops. Yum. Chicken and rack of lamb, New York strip steaks and surf & turf – this place needs a late day return visit for sure. And, I am sure we will. The Riverside Café & Lodge has so much of what we look for in a GAADR. A superb location, incredible food, great service and its surrounded by magical scenery and pavement. What else could we ask for?

If you feel the need to carbo-load for the ride back home the riverside also has both a chicken and shrimp penne. After coffees and dessert we took a quick walk around the property and with the cabins, hotel and restaurant the Riverside Café & Lodge would make an excellent base camp for a group of riders looking to do a few days riding in both the Catskills and northeastern Pennsylvania, as the place borders them both. After such an impressive lunch I made a point of asking to see Tammy’s dinner offerings. Appetizers of sautéed mushrooms – finished with balsamic vinegar

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WE INVENTED SUPERSPORT TOURING. 2013 NOW WE’VE PERFECTED IT. FJR 1300™A • Powerfull 1298cc, fuel-injected engine and YCC-T™ (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle) • Upper cowl is redesigned while the under-cowl has a new shape for increased wind protection • New adjustable windscreen and fork design • Redesigned throttle body • New Yamaha DMode system offers riders a choice of “T-Mode” touring and “S-Mode” sportier performance • New electronic cruise control and traction control system • New dash, instrument panel and handlebar switches offer modern styling

Honda 2013 CB1100 Bike of the New Century. For many riders, a motorcycle with a timeless look retains its own special place in the sport—and that’s what the CB1100 is all about. Better yet, with this bike it’s not just about sleek lines and a purist approach: check out the powerful 1140cc aircooled DOHC engine that harks back to so many classic high-performance Hondas. Modern highlights complement the CB1100’s timeless style to create a fresh category of motorcycle that’s just right for the times.

210 Route 10 West East Hanover, NJ 973-428-1735

www.HanoverPowersports.com OPEN MONDAYS: 9AM-5PM 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. Specifications subject to change without notice. Professional rider depicted on a closed course. ©2012 Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. All rights reserved. • yamaha-motor.com

210 Route 10 West East Hanover, NJ 973-428-1735

www.HanoverPowersports.com OPEN MONDAYS: 9AM-5PM

honda.com 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. Gold Wing® is a registered trademark of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (03/13)


JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

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Bergen County Harley-Davidson Presents

WE’R E OUTTA HE RE the nature Inn at balD eagle state park 201 warbler way, hOwarD, pa 16841 814-625-2879 • http://natureInnatbalDeagle.cOM This month we’d like to give you something a bit different for We’re Outta Here! Deep in the Pennsylvania mountains there is a park called Bald Eagle. Some 6,000 acres it is situated between two distinct geologic features. The Allegheny Plateau is to the north and the Ridge and Valley area of Pennsylvania is to the south. In the middle of all this is Joseph Foster Sayers Reservoir, formed by damming Bald Eagle Creek and other smaller streams and covering 1,730 acre. The lake is named for Foster Joseph Sayers, a World War II hero. Sayers grew up in Marsh Creek. He received the Medal of Honor for acts of bravery on November 12, 1944 near Thionville, France. He was 19 years old. The park itself is named for the Lenape chief Woapalanne, meaning bald eagle. Chief Woapalanne lived in the area for a brief period of time during the mid-18th century in a village that was on Bald Eagle Creek Path, part of the much more extensive Great Indian Warpath that stretched from New York into the Carolinas. This path was used by the Iroquois to conduct raids on the Cherokee in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. Pennsylvania Route 150 follows this path in some areas near Bald Eagle State Park. Just open for a few years is The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle, a very green and eco-friendly lodge that combines clean and comfortable rooms, an incredible location and is one of the top birding destinations in Pennsylvania.

a weekend destination keeping you on the backroads We took a spin out to Bald Eagle in mid-April and found it to be an excellent getaway for couples or small groups. First off everything in and around the Inn was designed with our environment in mind, and so it all blends right in. To help you interpret what you do see while you’re here, they’ve placed small signs, little messages and other informative features all around. As we said the Nature Inn is special and throughout the Inn, one theme resonates above all others – way above. From the bird tracks leading you to the front lobby, to the Audubon and Ned Smith prints in each room, to the personal bird scope waiting on the deck, you’ll discover that the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park is truly a place for the birds. And they are especially proud of their nesting pair of bald eagles just across the lake from the Inn. If you’re a birder, you’ve found the perfect place. If you aren’t a birder (yet), we think you’ll find it’s still quite perfect there. While there we took a hike along one of the trails spotting a number of birds, finding some robin eggs in one of the many nesting boxes throughout the property and even spotted a flying squirrel– sorry, no moose. The Inn had a large and very powerful spotting scope zip-tied

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BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

down so somebody not thinking wouldn’t move it. It was zeroed on the large Bald Eagle nest we told you of and we watched the female guarding her eaglets. Looking back we were shocked to see the female now gone and a magnificent male Bald Eagle on sentry. How a large bird could fly up and sneak in was amazing. In the Inn itself we found a birding library and while there the local astronomy club had a gentleman from Penn State come in to talk about galaxies, which we sat in on. To tell you the truth I thought myself savvy with space, but now I know how Penny feels on the Big Bang Theory. Back to the “green” side of things The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park catches and uses all the rain water that hits the roofs and uses an on-site renewable energy; solar-thermal hot water system. Even their parking lot is specially constructed to prevent oil, gas and chemicals from running off and into the lake. All very cool technology. There is no on-site restaurant so we rode into nearby Bellefonte and the very nice Gamble Inn for dinner. They do have a very well-appointed patio with many tables and chairs and grills for your use. An after-dinner fire pit will warm the body while enjoying the surroundings.

Page 21

The room was very comfortable and the beds fresh and new. They do have large 40-inch high-def televisions here too but we were never able to get it working right. Maybe we should have had the smart guy from Penn State there to help us. In the morning they served us up a great and filling breakfast, just what we needed to start a long and hard day riding through the wondrous Allegheny Mountains. The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park is a real winner and a place we can see ourselves returning to again and again. If you plan to go out in the warmer weather and weekends make sure to book early, as they tend to fill up quickly. You can find all the information you’ll need to book your stay on their website. Room rates vary through the seasons, starting at $95/night for a single room on winter weekdays, up to $275/night for a large suite during the summer months. There are 16 rooms, made up of singles to large suites. Please check website for availability. You can find out more on this very neat lodge and the park itself on their website. Enjoy your ride, the lodge and the eagles… ‘cause We’re Outta Here!


JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

Page 22

Morton’s BMW Motorcycles Presents Dr. Seymour O’Life’s MYS TE RIOUS MysterIOus aMerIcaDe I have changed the title of my monthly column just a bit to encompass what it will all be about this month and that is finding some odd things in and around Americade – not that some of the attendees do not qualify…. kidding, I go every year. Before we make you take off on the bikes to parts unknown let’s start with something simple and something, if you have been an Americade regular, you might have passed by a dozen times - the Lake George Mystery Spot. Right near the corners of Canada Street and Beach Road, on the lakeside of Beach Road you will find a small circle with a map of Lake George inlaid in its middle. Here is an acoustical mystery. This relief map of Lake George has the oddest reverberance when you stand directly in the center of the map where north, south, east and west cross and simply speak. Odd and fun, it totally took Fred and Cherrie Rau by surprise when I showed it to them last year. It’s right there in town and well worth walking over to when you are strolling Canada Street watching the Americade crowds go by.

AMERICA The next bit of Mysterious Americade you will have to get on your bike for and ride with us to the small border town of Whitehall, New York. Even though it is hundreds of miles from the sea this is the birth place of the United States Navy and it is here that you will find the remains of one of our first warships and the very first to bear the name Ticonderoga – named for the famous fort. Built back in the early 1800’s as a simple lake steamer it was converted into a warship in 1914 and sunk in Lake Champlain during the Battle of Plattsburgh. They raised what remained of her in 1958 and today you can see the first Ticonderoga (there were many such named warships and even Star Fleet will have one) outside the Skenesborough Museum alongside the


JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS Champlain Canal. The museum is quite excellent too and well worth wandering around a bit. From here our route will bring us over the canal and into Vermont where we will head north – relax on some of the gravel roads – they are well maintained and not so bad at all. Eventually a little ferry ride will bring us back to the Adirondacks and onto our next stop in our journey through Mysterious Americade. We’ll travel some great little backroads north through New Russia and into Elizabethville and the local museum – found in the old high school. The Adirondack museum has some very interesting displays but none nearly as interesting as the skull and noose of a murderer who killed a number of his wives and was the last man hung in this part of New York. This guy was a real scoundrel and had murdered a number of women until somebody caught onto what he was really doing. Henry Debosnys, at the center of this true historical crime book, was a visitor to the North Country, arriving by yacht into Essex in the spring of 1882. The mysterious foreigner, of French origin,

Page 23 quickly convinced a widowed mother of four named Elizabeth “Betsey” Wells to marry him. Only two months after they wed she was found dead, shot twice and her throat slashed. Debosnys was arrested for the murder, of which he was almost certainly guilty, and was sentenced to hang. The entire story is covered in an interesting book called Adirondack Enigma by Cheri L. Farnsworth. The most compelling parts of “Adirondack Enigma” describes what followed the strange and twisted story of a genius, who could speak six different languages and was a master cryptographer, revealing himself to the public through poetry, sketches and a short biography, all written from his jail cell before his hanging. According to Farnsworth, the tale and mystery of Debosnys is not well known in the area, although at the time it was covered with astonishing detail by local and national newspapers. Like Don Henley sang – “Get the widow on the set – give us dirty laundry!” I bet you didn’t know this sort of thing was happening up in the peaceful Adirondacks of the past? Our route will lead us south now and right back to the party in Lake George. Thanks for following along and we hope you enjoyed this little excursion into Mysterious Americade. O’Life Out!

Come in today for your Winter fun and cleanup vehicles. ©2012 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. ®, ™ and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. In the U.S.A., products are distributed by BRP US Inc. BRP reserves the right, at any time, to discontinue or change specifications, prices, designs, features, models or equipment without incurring obligation. Some models depicted may include optional equipment. BRP highly recommends that all ATV drivers take a training course. For safety and training information, see your dealer or call the ATV Safety Institute at 1-800-887-2887. ATVs can be hazardous to operate. For your safety: always wear a helmet, eye protection, and other protective clothing. Never carry passengers on any ATV not specifically designed by the manufacturer for such use. All adult model Can Am ATVs are Category G ATVs (General Use Models) intended for recreational and/or utility use by an operator age 16 or older. For side-by-side vehicles (SxS): Read the BRP side-by-side Operator’s Guide and watch the Safety DVD before driving. For your safety: wear a helmet, eye protection and other protective gear. Fasten lateral net and seat belt at all times. Operator must be at least 16 years old. Passenger must be at least 12 years old and able to hold handgrips and plant feet while seated against the backrest. ATVs and SxS are for off-road use only; never ride on paved surfaces or public roads. Always remember that riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. Never engage in stunt driving. Avoid excessive speed and be particularly careful on difficult terrain. Ride responsibly.

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Page 24

Rip & Ride® • MYSTERIOUS AMERICADE VILLAGE SOUTH ON RTE. 9 LEFT AT BEACH ROAD LEFT AT RTE. 91 RIGHT AT LOCHART MOUNTAIN RD. RIGHT AT BAY RD. LEFT AT PICKLE HILL RD. RIGHT AT RTE. 91 LEFT AT RTE. 149 LEFT AT RTE. 4 RIGHT THE LEFT AT SKENEBOROUGH DR. TICONDEROGA ON RIGHT RIGHT AND CROSS RIVER INTO VT ON SAUNDERS ST. LEFT AT NORTH WILLIAMS ST. LEFT AT CR 10

JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

STAY ON CR 10 BECOMES PARK HILL RIGHT AT LAKE RD. LEFT AT STAGE RD. BEAR RIGHT AT MT. INDEPENDENCE RD. LEFT AT CR 73 LEFT AT OLD FOUNDRY RD. LEFT AT CR 73 LEFT AT RTE. 74 FERRY BACK TO NYS OCEAN VOYAGE WITH A PLESIOSAUR JUST BELOW! RIGHT AT RTE. 22 RIGHT AT RTE. 9 BEAR LEFT AT CR 7 LEFT AT SIMONDS HILL RIGHT AT RTE. 9 - ELIZABETHTOWN RIGHT AT RTE. 9N BACK TO LAKE GEORGE


BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

PRODUCT REVIEW

Page 25

LEATT STX ROAD NECK BRACE

The family of Leatt neck braces were born out of a tragedy. While teaching his son to ride in 2001, Dr. Leatt witnessed a fellow rider succumb to neck injuries. Since that day, Dr, Leatt has designed, developed and manufactured neck braces for virtually every manner of two and three wheeled sports. First arriving in motocross and Enduro competition, the device has no doubt saved lives and prevented severe neck injuries for thousands of riders. According to the Leatt website, 11% of severe motorcycle injuries were spinal injuries. Of those 27% were Cervical injuries and 60% of those resulted in death. There are two types of equipment specifically designed to help save a rider’s life in severe crashes - a helmet and a neck brace. The concept is fairly simply, limit neck movement and compression thereby minimizing or avoiding cervical injuries. The brace is designed to limit neck movement by using alternative load path technology. In other words limit neck movement in the event of a crash but don’t impede movement when riding normally. Leatt’s STX neck brace seamlessly integrates comfort, function and freedom of movement. Designed to work over any type of riding gear the STX provides maximum protection and is comfortable. The brace is fitted to sit squarely on the shoulders and contains head and neck movement in the event of a crash. The STX Road neck brace is made for all types of street riding and comes with various fittings to allow adjustment for various sized riders. Fitting it is easy with the included instructions. I tried the device over a vented summer weight jacket, a water proof jacket with shoulder armor and a heavily lined and padded leather jacket. The unit has “stays” that keep the unit from rotating and help spread the load in the case of an impact. Features of the Leatt STX include optimization for over the riding gear, no-tool size adjustment, unique rear scapula wings designed to accommodate back armor or aerodynamic hump, folding rear scapula wings allowing for easy carrying/storage, integrated padding accommodating movement for over-theshoulder views, rubber-coated front tip helps prevent motorcycle body scratches, jacket zipper relief, comes with optional strap system, replacement

parts available, has adjustable sizing to fit most riders, is available in size #S/M, #L/XL and #XXL and weighs only 740 grams/26 ounces. After a few easy adjustments I opted to use the adjustable straps and quick release buckles. After a few miles it absolutely disappears from the stand point and you forget it’s there. Designed to work with a full face helmet it does not restrict your movement other than the most extreme head turn and that will depend on the helmet you wear. Looking over your shoulder before lane changes was not impeded at all. After a several hour ride on a chilly spring day with multiple layers, there was no discomfort from the presence of the device. On the contrary, it actually provided a secure feeling. Having seen motocross and off road riders use these for years, I am convinced this product does what it was designed to do having seen it first hand at AMA Pro National Motocross events. For the adventure rider that likes to explore the challenge of an unpaved road or any touring, sport or cruiser rider, I highly recommend the device as part of your regular safety equipment. It may just save your life. You can find more on the Leatt Neck Brace here: www.leatt-brace.com ~ Tony Lisanti


JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

Page 26

PRODUCT REVIEW

SIDI ARMADA GORE-TEX BOOTS

Robert Palmer sang about the “Best of Both Worlds.” With the new Sidi Armada Gore-Tex Boots you get just that. These boots offer street comfort with off-road toughness. Created with top-grain leather the boots have a Gore-Tex membrane to make them totally waterproof. This membrane breathed more easily than others allowing for a cooler foot as well. The Armada boots have a secure Velcro over a full-length zipper entry/closure system with dual position zipper closure points to adapt to any calf size; a problem for many portly riders. For additional comfort the boot has honeycomb elastic panels above the arch and external and internal anti twist ankle protection – something I could have used in Colombia! The Armada Boots utilize a Cambrelle lining. So? The bi-component fibers in Cambrelle mean the lining constantly adapts to the motion of the foot and the footwear, while providing the highest level of abrasion resistance. This in turn produces countless microscopic air pockets that allow air to circulate and add to the cushioning effect to create a constant, comfortable micro-climate around the foot. See? We learn something. They come with reflective points above the heel and a great bonded non-slip lug type sole.

But, what we really like about these boots is that they are two boots in one! The Armada wrap around ankle support beams can be removed to transform the Armada from an adventure boot to a touring boot. On the road the Armada felt great, although unlike other Sidi boots we have used these took a few rides to break in well. Once that was done they were quite comfortable both on the bike and walking around town. In downpours the promise of total water-proofness was confirmed and they always offered a comfortable ride and allowed for good feel of the brake and shifter. They are available in sizes EU 41-48 or US 7.5-13. Unfortunately in men sizes only. While Sidi does offer other models for women, we’d love to see these as well. The Sidi Armada Gore-Tex Boots are not the least expensive boots on the market –retailing for $400 – but, as we said, they are a superb combination of street comfort and off-road toughness and if you are a dual sport or ADV rider these boots just might be perfect for you. You can find them at a Sidi dealer near you or log onto www.motonation.com for more info. ~ Brian Rathjen


A

JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

Page 28

t 6,578 feet above sea level on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the wooden sign at the summit of Mount Mitchell lets you know there is no higher vantage point on the Eastern Seaboard. As I paused for a time to marvel at the lazy ridgelines melting away into the hazy horizon, a procession of billowing white clouds rolling through began to mingle with my thoughts. Traveling with my friend, David Peach, who was visiting from Australia, I realized it was more than 25 years since we fell out of a taxi together in San Francisco after eight or nine too many adult beverages. Bonding as friends for life, at that time we were making our way around the world in separate directions, and these memories turned on my personal version of the Travel Channel between my ears.

Kicked back in the saddle of the new Triumph Tiger 800, I found myself mentally back in time climbing the twisting road that leads to Crater Lake in Oregon. Soaking in the beauty of the snow-capped mountain peaks, and the sweet smell of the dense pine forests, I was then in the saddle of a 2000 Tiger 855. These images led my memory to a plethora of travel adventures I’ve embarked on in the decade that’s followed while mounted on the various versions of Triumph’s three-cylinder adventure-touring motorcycles. Reviewing these in chronological order, I ended up here in the Smokey Mountains on the new Tiger 800. I’ve enjoyed each and every one, for all their different strengths and attributes, as I’ve explored America, and I am excited to say the new Tiger is the freshest, sharpest rendition yet of all of them for those with three-cylinder wanderlust. Launched in the summer of 2011 along with the more off-road-biased Tiger XC, I missed the introduction due to scheduling conflicts. This actually turned into an advantage, as I was able to secure one earlier this year for a longer test. This allowed me more seat time and a better chance to learn about the new bike in a wider variety of situations. When the Tiger was first introduced, we hadn’t seen its bigger brother the Tiger Explorer 1251 yet, and I wondered at Triumph’s decision to make a smaller-displacement adventure bike especially as engine capacity had grown steadily over the years from 855cc to 1050cc. The previous Tiger had lost a lot of its off-road claws, though, so I was pleased to see Triumph offering a more serious off-road-capable version with the XC as well as this more road-focused model.

FIRST RIDE

Triumph Tiger 800 Neale Bayly


BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

Page 29

Check on the basic architecture of the new bike and you will find a steeltrellis chassis, which clearly can trace its roots back to the 1997 T595. The swingarm is a conventional aluminum twin-sided unit, holding a seventeeninch, wire-spoked rear wheel with an aluminum rim and a single Showa shock mounted in the normal way. This has 6.7 inches of travel and is adjustable for pre-load only. Up front, an inverted Showa 43mm fork features 7.1 inches of travel, holds a nineteen-inch wheel (also wire-spoked with aluminum rim) and has no adjustability. For the majority of road surfaces the suspension does a great job and there is no alarming dive under braking from the front either. It’s certainly on the softer side, as you would expect, and, with more travel than a conventional road bike, manic late braking maneuvers should probably be avoided. Use a little thought, though, and the new Tiger can be seriously hustled on tight, twisty roads thanks to the strong brakes and competent chassis combination. The front brake system is actually a combination of 308 mm rotors and Nissin two-piston calipers. Initial feeling, when compared to a modern sportbike, is a little wooden. They are very progressive though, and the perfect balance for the suspension, giving plenty of useable stopping power when you give the adjustable lever a good, healthy squeeze. In the rear a Nissin caliper grabs a 255mm rotor and is a very useful addition to the process of removing speed quickly and safely. The heart of the matter is an inline, three-cylinder, water-cooled engine displacing 799cc. Basically, it’s a long-stroke Daytona 675 engine, with softer compression and cam timing aimed toward mid-range, not top-end power. This displacement increase lengthens the stroke from 52.3mm to 61.9mm, while the same 74mm pistons now run an 11.1:1 compression ratio, down from 12.7:1. This set up gives the Tiger plenty of pull from fairly low in the rpm range, but you really need to be north of 4,000 rpm for serious acceleration. Once spinning past this point, the inline-triple will howl quickly to 10,000 rpm. Peak torque is at 7,700 rpm, so it’s no surprise that the real meat of the grunt starts around 6,000 rpm, although 90 percent of the Tiger’s 51.2 lb-ft of torque is available as low as 3,700 rpm. Keep the bike at 4-6,000

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Page 30 rpm and expect to run 60-80mph on the highway with enough passing power not to require a downshift. Peak power is somewhere around 80 horsepower at the rear wheel, so while the Tiger is no powerhouse, propelling 460 pounds on fairly low gearing, means acceleration is always brisk and immediate. One of the many things Triumph has done really well for years is fuel injection, and the new Tiger is no exception. Silky smooth and faultless in any situation, especially at altitude, it makes clicking through the slick gearbox on country roads pure joy as you listen to the music from the single silencer out back. Arrow makes a superb range of aftermarket products that remove weight and don’t damage your eardrums, and this would be the only way to improve the Tiger for me. The multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection system has been lifted from the 675, so Triumph hasn’t had to re-invent the wheel with the new Tiger and, as you will pick up from my glowing testimony, it shows. Ride position is upright and allday comfortable, which allows you to take full advantage of the generous five-gallon gas tank. Foot pegs are nicely set not putting too much bend in your knees. They have removable rubber insets for when the going gets more serious off road and you need more grip. Over a long weekend in the saddle with Dave, we had an Aprilia Dorsoduro along for the ride. Put 100 miles on the Aprilia and you’ll be ready to fight to get back on the Triumph, your arse will be so sore. The two-piece Triumph saddle is not only comfortable, but it’s also adjustable for height. The standard position is 31.9 inches from terra firma. Put it on the high setting and you will add an additional 0.8 inches, which will suit those with longer legs. One nitpick with the Triumph for me was the windscreen’s giving a fair amount of buffeting at highway speeds I must admit after about 30 minutes or so I got used to it, but if I were going to be keeping the bike, it would have to be either higher or lower for me. I’m just under six feet tall with a 30-inch inseam, which means my upper body is fairly long, so it won’t be like this for everyone. It actually does a good job of keeping the wind off the rest of you at 75mph, with most of the breeze hitting just the top of your shoulders and helmet. The switchgear is all neat and clean and the mirrors are excellent, giving

nearly perfect visibility and no vibration. A simple instrument cluster uses an analog tachometer, with digital speedometer and information panel. This houses the standard trip meters, fuel gage, temperature gauge, and regular warning lights with no surprises. It’s nicely minimalistic, with all the basic information you need covered without a lot of clutter. Out back, there is a nice, sturdy rack with good fastening points, and if you take a wander around your local Triumph dealership, you’ll find a large assortment of accessories for the Tiger to make traveling a breeze. Unfortunately, after a few weeks someone at Triumph realized their bike was missing and took it back. I had done a couple of long trips, a bunch of city driving, and a number of trips along my favorite country roads. My passenger of choice gave the rear accommodation two thumbs up, and the styling gets full marks from yours truly. I didn’t do a lot of off-road riding on the Tiger, as I think the XC would be more suited. For rolling along lightly graded roads though, or small dirt-trails like the ones we found leading to our cabin out in the woods, it was perfect. The wide bars, great balance, long-travel suspension, and spot-on fueling make light work of these sorts of surfaces. Retailing for a penny under eleven thousand dollars, the bike allows you to choose ABS for an additional $800. This makes the Triumph very competitive in price and a really great value for a motorcycle that can do a little of everything and most of it extremely well. I’m delighted to say the new Tiger is the best yet, and I’m excited to see what sort of adventures I can get up to within the coming years.

RIDER’S IMPRESSION A few days after we got the Triumph Tiger 800 here at Backroads Central we got the first of a number of winter storms, but were still able to get the little cat out for a few good day trips. The first comparison you would make with this machine would be to the BMW F 650/800 GS. We have one of our own and my thought was the Tiger ate the GS up in many ways. The three-cylinder engine screams like, well like a tiger, and except for a slightly light suspension, there was nothing not to like about the Tiger 800. It’s up right riding position, excellent brakes and adequate saddle makes it a week-long player. Yes, the Tiger 800 does pick off BMW’s ADV styling, but it is an awesome machine and one well worth considering if you are in this market. ~ Brian Rathjen


BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

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THOUGHTS FROM A TRIUMPH TIGER 800 OWNER Having owned BWM opposable twins for close to 20 years starting with my blue 1987 R80RT I was having a hell of a hard time deciding what would replace my current primary ride; a 2000 R1100SA after 11 years and 65K miles. I think I lost a couple of riding friends along the way as I hemmed and hawed for months or perhaps even a full year badgering them with inane questions and opinion seeking. The 1200GS was too big for my needs (and my inseam) and the R1200R Roadster was just a tad mundane for my taste on the looks front. Outside of those two, all bets were off. I wasn’t looking for a big bike; the occurrences of 5 and 8 day two up riding were in the past for the moment, so I was looking for something a bit lighter. Wanting to stay with the BMW marque (in retrospect, I don’t know why), the GS800 was too tall and too off road capable for the bulk of my riding and the F800 GS needed another grabby thing up front. Plus, I wanted an opposed twin; it’s what I’ve know and have been comfortable with for years. That summer I test road no less than 5 different bikes some of them long term. Nothing fit me ergonomically or my tastes enough to be my daily / big tour ride. Then someone, I believe our esteemed editor, recommended the Tiger 800. I pushed back, thinking that although Triumph was coming out with some pretty cool bikes these days I didn’t want to stray too far off from my comfort zone. A phone call or two later and the next thing I knew, I’m bopping down some backroads in western New Jersey test riding a nice, beautiful and I think it’s called “Venom Yellow” Tiger 800! Not what I expected. I’ve read all the reviews and heard the grumblings about the suspension being a bit harsh but I found it extremely compliant on washboard roads and incredibly adept on technical twisties. Seating position is very neutral and upright which is exactly the reason why I was looking for a different bike than my R1100S. I was also worried about

the three cylinders. I never could get used to the power band of typical inline four of a Japanese bike and on my drive to the dealer that was a worry for me. That concern soon vanished when I realized how much grunt the triple had in the lower rev range or for that matter any range. The power was incredibly linear. Whenever I asked for more, it gave it; no matter where the throttle was. Technologically, the Tiger has all the accoutrements that you expect of a modern bike. Full trip computer, tire pressure monitor, heated grips, adjustable seat height, two auxiliary power sources and anti lock brakes. Maintenance wise, the Tiger has it made. Unlike my Oilhead, with separate transmission, engine and shaft fluids, there’s only one liquid to be changed, which is oil. I don’t count the coolant as that’s only an every two year proposition which gets trashed with the brake fluid. Getting used to cleaning a chain again would be another thing; but even chain technology has come so far that it’s a non-issue. Needless to say, in November of 2011, I rode home with my new white Triumph Tiger 800 “Roadie” (as opposed to the XC which is their more off road oriented Tiger 800). If there were anything I would have Triumph change on this bike, should they be so inclined, are to make the computer information accessible instead of having to reach with my stubby arms to the buttons on the dash from the handlebars and do a nice flash software update for the dash so you can see your odometer while you’re riding! (your odometer automatically switches to one of two trip meters when underway). Change is good. I’m glad that I have an open mind and made a personal leap to Triumph and their new Tiger; it is THE new ultimate all around bike. ~ Michael Bellantone

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Backroads’ Mystery Ride II Back in March we did a ‘Mystery Ride’ heading up into the lower Catskills and a fine riverside lunch along the Beaverkill. That day the early spring temperatures were more like late winter. One month later we saw the weather would be just about perfect for a mid-week run and a post was put up to the Backroads’ FaceBook page for Mystery Ride II. Being this was a Wednesday we didn’t expect a large turn out but we did get a ROMEO group of 7 for this jaunt. ROMEO meaning Retired Older Motorcyclists Entertaining Ourselves. Meeting at the convenient for us Chatterbox at mid-morning we followed Shira, who was scooterin’ it this day, and her route down through the forests and farmland in the general direction of Nazareth, Pennsylvania. We took lunch in the Victorian town of Belvidere at one of our favorite haunts – Thisilldous. As always Mike and crew served up some excellent food and for those who had never been to Thisilldous we had a few believers by the time lunch was done. We rode into PA over the Free Bridge and then followed along some of the more interesting roads that litter this part of Pennsylvania. If you have never explored this region it is well worth it as the ridges that

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Central, but only one small Martin Backpacker. Someday maybe a fullsize Martin will call our home its? I better start saving now. The guitar factory gave a superb tour and for the guitarists amongst us it was a real treat. For the non-players it was a real eye-opener as we all learned why Martin guitars are

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Page 33 so sought after and cost so much. The workmanship and attention to detail is extraordinary; and I think all were impressed with what they saw and learned this day. Leaving the Martin Guitar Factory we headed north on a route that I had created. Unlike many such rides our return romp was twice as long as it took to get there in the first place, but the day was perfect (for once this early season) and we had nothing to do but ride up and down the ridges, valleys and roads of northeastern PA. We stopped in Water Gap for coffee and ice cream and, thinking of later that night, snuck a few small fruit pies home in the saddlebags. Our route eventually brought us back over the river at Dingmans Bridge and right about there our group of ROMEOs disbanded, with riders heading in different directions towards home. This was the second Mystery Ride and, as this year moves on we hope to fill some days up with other great Mystery Ride destinations. We hope you join us!

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Page 34 e’ve been called foolish many times, but not stupid. Firing up the Powerbook and logging on to the net from our room in The Nature Inn - the Über Green lodge in Bald Eagle Park, Pennsylvania - I found a wide swatch of green and yellow and red, a thousand mile cold front, heading from Canada to Mexico, on the US weather map, running north to south and barreling east at a good clip. It was the late side of 6am and the sun was just beginning to clear the mountains to spill the early days light across the valley and Sayer’s lake. Shira stirred and I told her our plans for a leisurely breakfast and mid morning start on our jaunt to Gettysburg and the MOA Weekend rally were being moved up a few hours.

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She took a look and did the math and agreed – after a quick pack and quicker cup of coffee and English muffin we were on the road in a race to see who could get to Gettysburg first – us or the storm. In our typical fashion we took advantage of the BMW MOA’s Weekend Rally called the Magical History Tour, in southern Pennsylvania, to make a trip out towards the Alleghenies to do a little recon for some future features; the famed Creamery at Penn State and the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle, outside Howard. This day we had a circuitous 180 mile route heading southeast towards the Susquehanna River and Gettysburg. We could have cut the ride short and made a beeline to the historic Civil War town, but what fun would that be and besides, it’s not like we have never gotten wet before. Still, the race was on. Our route brought us along some old and new roads for us – one great one being Route 445, outside of Nittany, which snaked up and over the mountains and is a must do if riding in this part of the Keystone State. Along the way we rode by a small school ball field with both Mennonite girls and boys playing in modest dresses and

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Page 36 trouser, shirts and hats. I slowed down to take in a pitch and they all turned and looked at me. Soon a few of the boys rushed to the road. I really didn’t want to intrude on their game so I waved, they waved back and I lifted the front wheel just a tad as I accelerated away, which caused a happy uproar. Being early Spring, we were treated to the abundant fields of fruit trees. Along one stretch, it seemed that, as far as you could see, acres upon acres of cherry trees were in bright pink bloom, making the hillside swim in beauty. Heading along we picked up Route 74, a familiar piece of asphalt, which brought us up and over Waggoner’s Gap and down into Carlisle. From here it could have been a straight run but we would have none of that so we vectored back west and through Michaux State Forest, considered the “Cradle of Forestry” in Pennsylvania, along tiny park roads. Here we crossed the Appalachian Trail, with a sign pointing to both Georgia and Maine. By lunch time we rolled past the venerable battlefields of Gettysburg and into the town square where we ran into our favorite Mayor and Artist Rick and Gail Gray, our friends from Lancaster, who were down for a mayor conference. We also ran into a wonderful Seward Johnson statue of President Abraham Lincoln standing in front of

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the Wills House, where he stayed and finished his Gettysburg Address. Alongside him is another of Johnson’s pieces, who many refer to as Perry Como - quite a pair. We walked around the town a bit, found a superb lunch and then did a short ride through the Gettysburg Battlefield. This July will be the 150th anniversary of this sorrowful battle and one can never ride through its grounds without feeling the weight of history on your shoulders. We have been here many times but it is always a humbling experience with the knowledge how bloody and awful those days were. No wonder there are so many ‘Ghost Tours’ in Gettysbrg. The BMW Rally was being held at the Eisenhower Inn, just outside of


BACKROADS • JUNE 2013 town and we made it there with a few hours to spare on the tempest approaching from the west. Strolling around the grounds we kept running into people walking little Corgis. Ahhh, a Corgi Dog Show was happening! That being the case Shira and I ditched the motorcycle gear and wandered into the middle of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Dog Show, which was a lot of fun and different. Please read aloud in your best Westminster Dog Show announcers voice…The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Welsh for “dwarf dog” is a herding dog breed, which originated in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It is one of two breeds known as Welsh Corgi: the other is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is the younger of the two Corgi breeds and is a separate and distinct breed from the Cardigan. The corgi is one of the smallest dogs in the Herding Group. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are famed for being the preferred breed of Queen Elizabeth II, who has owned more than 30 during her reign. These dogs have been favored by British royalty for more than seventy years. We seem to fit right in and acted as if we belonged there. Cookies, coffee, cake. I wish they had some sandwiches…. What? Hey, who doesn’t enjoy a great pooch and a show? There were a number of rides that were put together by MOA member Sam Booth, featuring not only great roads, but a deep feel of Civil War and Battle of Gettysburg history. We chose one that looked good to us for the next day, which promised to be sunny, crisp and cool.

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Page 37 Through the afternoon the riders continue to roll in, all trying to get to home base before the cold front and the wind, wet and wackiness; which according to my radar was right over the mountain and coming quickly. By late afternoon we heard that there were tornado warnings up across the eastern half of the state so we just felt it best to hunker down and enjoy the cocktail party that the MOA had put together for that evening. When the rains did come they came with a vengeance and along with it a hard-pressed wind that made the rain into white caps across the parking lots. The bikes got a great soaking this night. For once we stayed dry. At the MOA gathering that night introductions were made and various riders hooked up with each other for the next day. All day Saturday, for those not riding or making it a short day, the MOA made available the Smart Trainer. This riding simulator offers the chance to test your urban riding skills. Made available through the BMW MOA Foundation, the Smart Trainer can be hired for BMW Club events. Please contact Ted Moyer for details. A good overnight breeze dried the bikes up fairly well and after a light bite to eat and the required cup of really god-awful coffee we took off on our ride


JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

Page 38

that we had Garminized the night before, adding a bit more Backroads spice to it. The Army of Northern Virginia Ride, as it was called, was now a tad under 200 miles, leading south into Maryland and then back north before circling around west and back down the spine of the Alleghenies. Our small TRG (Tactical Riding Group) was on the road early, and soon

scooting along some of the tinier roads that link the various farms to the main roads and markets. Amish folk clip clopped along the side of the roads and, heading south, we passed into Maryland on a road so worn it only had an old stone marker to let us know we had crossed the Mason-Dixon Line and left Pennsylvania. Looping east we once again crossed the M & D Line and followed along smallish routes, now heading towards the river. Cresting one hill along the western shore of the Susquehanna we could see the cooling towers of Three Mile Island. On March 28, 1979, America experienced its worst nuclear accident - a partial meltdown of the reactor core at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Middletown, Pennsylvania. During the tension-packed week that followed, sketchy reports and conflicting information led to panic, and more than one hundred thousand residents, mostly children and pregnant women, fled the area. Today, the TMI-2 reactor is permanently shut down and defueled, with the reactor coolant system drained, the radioactive water decontaminated and evaporated, radioactive waste shipped off-site to an appropriate disposal site, reactor fuel and core debris shipped off-site to a Department of Energy facility, and the remainder of the site being monitored. The owner says it will keep the facility in long-term, monitored storage until the operating license for the TMI-1 plant expires on April 1, 2014, at which time both plants will be decommissioned. No foolin’. The town of Red Lion became a bit of a bear, but we were soon clear of the Saturday morning congestion and none too soon we were sitting down at a local diner for a long overdo lunch.

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Carrying on we sped west, once again ditching the main roads for the Amish backroads. Just outside Shippensburg we ran across Tiny World. The creation of Ernest Helm, it is a small village made up of a Town Hall, Firehouse, Church and everything else that comes along with a town and all are meticulously hand-crafted by Helm. A little bit of Mysterious America; maybe we should tell O’Life about this place? All was going well until the last 25 or so miles when, right on schedule, our well-created web of roads began to unravel.


BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

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First there was the 6 miles of gravel, a bit slick in places from the previous day’s storms, up and over the mountain. On the GSs it was a blast, for the others on a couple of RTs and an LT it was not as much fun as the previous 175 miles; but we persevered and rode back onto paved roads only to be stopped and detoured by a house fire along our route. We ad-libbed a few miles till I spotted a tiny sign for Gettysburg and we soon found ourselves back on the forest and farm roads that make southern Pennsylvania so much fun to ride. From here I just let the Zumo bring us in for the last few miles only to ignore a ‘Road Closed’ sign. How closed could it really be? Pretty closed it seems - as we got turned back from a shut down bridge just a mile from the hotel, only to have to backtrack another 10 that would bring us into the battlefield itself. As it turned out the road in this part of Gettysburg was dedicated to the Army of Northern Virginia – the very brigade that our ride was named after and whose march we rode along with. We made a quick stop in the town for ice cream – Shira ever vigilant for another ice cream run - and then it was back to the Eisenhower for a shower and a 20-minute power nap. The evening ‘Master of Ceremonies’ and the man behind this rally Marc Soulier - spoke a bit about the rally itself

and what is new in the MOA, along with Ted Moyer who spoke a bit about the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America Foundation which is dedicated to improving rider safety, and supporting motorcycling and its rich heritage. Door prizes were given out, Civil War trivia questions were asked and a great meal with 50 or so friends old and new could not be beat. As with so many events like these you seem to meet the finest people. The cool weather that had punched its way in Friday had stuck around and we never really saw the good side of 50 until nearly back home. In the mean time we were gone very early with a route that meandered northeast and along the ridges that I-81 bisects. We have ridden through here a number of times and wanted something new pavement-wise so we did our best to hit some roads that were new to us and our route came through with a number of new miles (well, to us) that will filter down into Rip & Rides, routes and destinations. We like to think of this as “Trickle Down Geographics.” By mid-afternoon we rode back to the secluded estate called Backroads Central, rolled the bikes into the barn and called it a day. Another great weekend road trip and our first in our home turf of the year done. Where to next?

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Page 40 berkey creaMery at penn state unIversIty fOOD scIence buIlDIng unIversIty park pa 16802 814-865-7535 • www.creaMery.psu.eDu

Ice Cream R s ’ a r un S hi

For the past five years I have brought you to some very fine purveyors and producers of my favorite summertime (and winter, for that matter) treat – ice cream. Most of these featured homemade, fresh and all natural selections in a rainbow of flavors. This month’s stop on the creamery trail is the mother of them all, the cherry on top of the mound of whipped cream. Berkey Creamery at Penn State University not only produces some of the FINEST ice cream in the country, it’s been doing it for a REALLY long time. Since 1896 to be specific. Here’s a little history lesson for you…

In 1865, the Creamery was established in the ‘College Barns’ located behind present-day Old Main. The College Barns housed the Creamery, a blacksmith shop and a hayloft. In 1889 the Creamery was given its own one-story building which contained a cold-storage room, cream-ripening room, workroom and office space. Penn State’s Dairy Short Courses, one of which was for Ice Cream, were so popular that the herds could not keep up with the demand and local farmers lined up each morning to make deliveries. The

JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

Creamery started selling its ice cream in 1896, much to the pleasure of the football crowds. It is the oldest continuing education course in the country, beginning in 1892 and offered since 1925 continuously, with such celebrities and Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, better known as Ben & Jerry, learning their trade here in 1978. It is also the largest university creamery in the nation. Each year, approximately 4 million pounds of milk pass through the Creamery’s stainless steel holding tanks. About half comes from the 225-cow herd at the University, with the rest still being purchased from independent milk producers. Over the years the Creamery has occupied several different buildings but you’ll find it on the first floor of the beautiful new Food Sci-

ence building, named the Berkey Creamery after Earl and Jeanne Berkey, owners of a local milk company and who helped many Penn Staters gain a foothold in the dairy industry. The store is 2.5 times the size of the old creamery so seating both inside and out is not a problem. Okay enough history, let’s talk ice cream. Stowing the bikes safely in the parking lot adjacent to the Creamery (parking is available in the East Deck Parking Garage on Bigler Road directly behind the Creamery – first 30 minutes is free), we first took a peak at the machinery behind the making of our soon-to-be-eaten ice cream. There is no tour of the plant, but if you come on a production day, you’ll be able to see the process in action. Besides what is produced at the Creamery facility, the store sells a large variety of products made right on campus. Products like donuts, muffins, cookies, mushrooms, eggs, meats, sandwiches, and salads are received daily from other departments throughout the University. But today we were only interested in one thing… Starting out at the menu board, we perused the offered flavors of the day. • Great base camp with four Vermont Gaps just minutes from the door • Garage Parking

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BACKROADS • JUNE 2013 Alphabetically, we had to choose from such things as Alumni Swirl (vanilla with swiss mocha chips and blueberry swirl), Berkey Brickle (vanilla with peanut brittle and caramel swirl), Black Cow (vanilla with root beer sherbet swirl), Keeney Beany Chocolate (chocolate with chocolate ships and vanilla bean), Peachy Paterno (peach ice cream with peach slices) and WPSU Coffee Break (coffee ice cream with chocolate chips). Of course there were the basics – Butter Pecan, Chocolate, Cookies-N-Cream (Brian’s litmus test flavor) and Vanilla as well as sugar free and yogurt. With all these flavors, how does one make a decision? Well, you’d better do your best, as there is NO MIXING of flavors in your cup or cone. That’s right, folks, one flavor per mountainous scoop. In fact, only U.S. President Bill Clinton has been allowed to mix different flavors of Creamery ice cream. The flavors President Clinton requested were Cherry Quist and Peachy Paterno. However, when Clinton returned after his tenure as the President, Creamery workers would no longer serve him mixed flavors.

Page 41

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Brian broke with tradition and went for the Alumni Swirl, while I could not resist the Berkey Brickle. Both were super rich and creamy, but I do believe mine won the flavor of the day. As an added bonus, we got to treat our neice’s boyfriend, Nick, to a birthday scoop, as he is graduating this year and met us between classes. There is plenty of memorabilia and history to be seen in the shop so take your time (you don’t want to get brain freeze while eating your ice cream) and enjoy this month’s stop on Shira’s Ice Cream Run. If you find that you must have this amazing treat at your home, they do make overnight deliveries but be prepared to pay the price. The Creamery is open Monday-Thursday 7am-10pm, Friday 7am-11pm, Saturday 8am-11pm and Sunday 9am-10pm. We will have a run from Williamsport, PA during our Fall Fiesta rally and it should be done on Friday, Sept. 20 nOt saturDay, sept. 21 during the Nittany Lion’s game against Kent State.

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Page 42

hen the engineers at Star Motorcycles went to design their newest cruiser they looked both into the past and future for their impetus. Their goal was to develop a mid-size performance cruiser that would appeal to riders who knew their motorcycle history as well as newer riders that were looking for something different; but with a bit of attitude as well. They wanted to reach the aging Baby Boomers along with both Gen X and Y with this new machine. Thus the Star Bolt was created.

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I got a chance to spend a day exploring the lovely coastal city of San Diego and its environs back in April with the Bolt and must say that Star really hit the mark with this machine. Looking much like the ‘bobbers’ of old, the Bolt runs an air-cooled 942cc, 60 degree, V-Twin SOHC engine - solidly mounted to an old-style, yet effective double-cradle frame. The bike is driven by a 5-speed transmission and provides power to the rear wheel via a narrow, just 21mm, Kevlar belt drive. The solo saddle (there is a warning sticker against passengers) rides back a bit from the 3.2 gallon tear drop fuel tank and sits just 27.2 inches from the ground. At a compact 61.8 inches long, along with the 540 pound weight, the Bolt is useable and easy to ride for just about any reasonably sized rider. Riding out of the hotel’s underground parking lot and into morning traffic near Petco Park, where the Padres call home, the Bolt instantly felt like a ma-

chine that one can ride easily. Unlike some other bikes in this class the Bolt is extremely well balanced and the engine expels an unobtrusive amount of vibration. Being air-cooled it did prefer the fresh Pacific air as we rolled up the coast a bit, as it quickly got toasty in stopped morning traffic. One of my first stops was the famed aircraft carrier - the Midway. The Midway was commissioned a week after the end of World War II and was the largest ship in the world until 1955. It is now anchored here in San Diego, this old gal has become a floating museum with over 60 exhibits and 29 restored aircraft, it is well worth the visit. Keeping in the flair of World War II, San Diego has erected a giant statue of an event that happened thousands of miles to the east in Times Square at the end of the war – the famed Kiss between the sailor and nurse. Stopping for a digital moment the Bolt instantly drew a few tourists who commented on the sexy bare-bones look of the machine with its flat grey paint scheme, lack of chrome, and 12-spoke aluminum wheels, running a 19-inch up front and a 16 in the rear. Braking is handled by a single wave floating rotor and dual piston caliper up front and the same sized rotor with a single piston caliper in the rear. This bike came with Bridgestone Excedra tires, which gave me a sure-footed feel all day long, whether on urban streets, along the freeways or the sandy beach roads. Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre urban cultural park in San Diego, California. In addition to open space areas, natural plants and shrubs, gardens and walking paths; it contains museums, several theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. The park can be found just a quick ride north of downtown and it took me just minutes to roll on up there. Flying in the previous day my jet flew directly over the Air & Space Museum - so that was the destination for me.

Exploring San Diego on the Star Bolt The Rise of the Urban Performance Bobber Words by Brian Rathjen – images by Tom Riles, Brian Nelson and author


BACKROADS • JUNE 2013 You gotta love a place that has a replica of an SR-71 Blackbird sitting out front to greet you. Parked outside the museum I could see the incoming flights that seemed to almost graze the building as they thundered by on there inbound way to Lindbergh Field, literally breaking up the otherwise bucolic park’s peaceful atmosphere. With some time to kill before lunch I headed up through the artsy North Park region, and spent an all too quick cup of coffee with my son who is a chef here in Southern California (I couldn’t miss that, could I?), before heading west to the beaches along the southern California Freeways. The Bolt is the perfect local ride, but is no slouch on the big roads either, with crisp acceleration and a very comfortable riding position, even at speeds that CHiPs would have been concerned with - although I would have preferred one more gear on the highway. Still, the 5-speed transmission was very smooth and slick and never missed a gear all day long. I made my way back down south towards Coronado for a planned lunch with other journalists and the people from Star at a harbor side restaurant where the food was good, but the views of SEAL Teams running drills, dolphins splashing, and people on the water was even better. It is hard not to love this city. After lunch I took a quick romp through Coronado - certainly one of those towns that I could live in - then rode down along the coast and past the Navy’s Amphibious Base – Home of the US SEAL teams. Most of the beach here is Navy property and trespassing would be down right silly, but I did manage some beach time at Silver Strand, a sandy isth-

Page 43 mus that runs some 7 miles south of Coronado. I still had plenty of time left in my day so I scooted back north to the Old Town section of San Diego. It was here that the Spanish, led by Juan Cabrillo, came in 1542 claiming all the land for Spain. It was here that California was born. What was once the old section is now a touristy place of shops and restaurants, but still has a fun flavor and is worth the walk around. Above the town, high on the hill you will find a twisty road, overgrown with purple flowers and olive trees, that leads to the Presidio. This was the first base of government in the region and has a majestic Spanish Colonial look to it. True to form the Bolt handled easily and deftly along the tight turns leading up and down along the Presidio - far better than you would think - looking


JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

Page 44 at the bike’s classic bobber-styling. Even though it’s low to the ground the machine has ample ground clearance and it never touched down in the twisties, and the closed fuel injection was fairly spot on and allowed for great throttle control as well. Star likes to call the Bolt an “Urban Performance Bobber.” That works for me.

mote to cycle through the digital modes and tripmeters. I usual rile against louder machines but the engineers at Star did a fine job with the 2 into 1exhaust, with the rear pipe wrapping forward, allowing for a much shorter pipe that has a deep, but never obnoxious final note. The Bolt will also have a number of accessories available to it including small saddlebags and an even lower saddle that bring the rider an inch closer to the tank. After riding around the Old Town and Presidio, I headed back west to the Cabrillo National Monument, located at the south-

As stated the Bolt comes with a solo-saddle, which only started to get bothersome by late in the afternoon. For day-to-day short hops the Bolt’s saddle, in addition to the short dirt-style handlebars and natural riding position, are a great combination of style and comfort. The Bolt will come in two editions, a standard and “R-Spec” version. The differences being subtle cosmetic changes and anodized reservoir rear shocks. For the few hundred more I would go for the upgraded version. My real complaint was the gauge. It was very hard to see in the bright sunshine and digitally read out only the speed and had no tach. With the Bolt having such a neat retro-styling an analog speedometer and tach would have been a better choice; although I liked the right handed re-

ern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula; a beautiful part of California’s southernmost city and made more so by the stately white gravestones at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and majestic statue of Cabrillo himself. By this point it was nearing day’s end and my “Performance Urban Bobber” earned that name doing battle with San Diego’s late afternoon traffic as I made my way down town. Ahh, to lane-split legally.

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Page 45

A short time later and regretfully, I turned off the Bolt and handed the keys back to the guys from Star. The basic Bolt will come in both black, with no graphics, and white with the Bolt logo and will sell for $7990. The upgraded R-Spec will come in a flat green and the dark grey with painted graphics and will list for $8290. Star set out with a definitive plan when creating the Bolt and came through with a machine that can appeal to young and old, experienced rider and new motorcyclists just entering our world. It is light, nimble and sexy and very easy to ride. Both machines are at your Star dealer now.

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Page 46

Welcome to the Jungle - The Art of Learning to Ride Skillfully A column dedicated to your riding survival

Let’s give you a ‘What if?’ scenario to mull over. A car is stopped in its tracks directly ahead of you on a one lane road for whatever reason. It could be a funeral procession blocking a side road entrance the car in front of you wants to make a left turn into. It could be an accident ahead of him that he is stopped behind; it could be a downed tree. Bottom line is a car is stopped in your lane ahead of you. What do you do?

steadily in a “Get out of my way” manner) to let the stopped driver know he was there and then cautiously passing the stopped car riding by on the thin edge of the paved shoulder and continuing on. Remember, it’s always better to continue moving than allowing yourself to become a target. Speaking of targets, we all know what ‘target fixation’ is correct? (And if you don’t you should!) Well auto drivers get it too. So think about that the next time you are sitting under an overpass on a rainy afternoon as traffic zips by you at 70 MPH. There have been plenty of times a stressed out driver

I’ll tell you what not to do, and that is stop behind him. The reason? The vehicle coming up behind you may not realize that either of you is stopped and could slam into you, crushing you and your motorcycle between the two. Don’t think it could happen? I just saw a video this morning showing just this, though the rider had pulled over onto the shoulder and did NOT get hit by the out of control pickup truck who was obviously distracted and never saw the car ahead of him stopped. But pulling over and stopping was not a great idea either, though in this case it saved this young man’s life. Why wasn’t it a great idea you ask? There was little to no shoulder where he pulled off. Basically there was just a thin strip of tar and downward sloping grass. In other words, he had no margin of safety. Had the pickup realized the car was stopped ahead of him a second or two earlier he might have swerved to the right and run over the parked motorcycle, which is MUCH tougher to see then the back of a car, due to width of the vehicle and lighting. So though the rider in question made a good decision to get out of the way of traffic behind him, he could have done better by slowing down considerably, gently tooting his horn (not blowing it

has fixated on something sitting on the side of the road and slammed into it. That is why there are new laws in effect for Police and emergency vehicles ordering you to pull over one lane when you see one stopped on the right shoulder. Many Police officers have been run over by those who target fixated on them on the right shoulder. The same thing has happened before for stopped motorcyclists. In the case of finding shelter from a rain storm I would recommend pulling off the highway at the first exit and finding a gas station overhang to hide out under or just a coffee shop or diner to wait out the storm in if you do not have rain gear. Even putting on your rain gear should be done in a safe spot and not the shoulder of a rain swept and darkened highway. But getting off the highway if you can’t ride out the storm and would rather wait it out in a dry area is a good idea. Ralph L. Angelo Jr. has written a motorcycle safety ‘How To’ book entitled “Help! They’re All Out to Get Me! The Motorcyclists Guide to Surviving the Everyday World” available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and fine retailers everywhere as well as on his personal website RLAngeloJr.com.

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BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

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JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

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BOOK REVIEW • BIG

FOOT IN THE NEW JERSEY ‘BURBS • Reviewed by Dr. Seymour O’Life PHD

I am constantly on the search for the weird, wild and mysterious, especially when I can find it right outside the very door of Backroads Central. So, when a book like ‘Big Foot in the New Jersey ‘Burbs’ crosses my radar screen it is hard for me to resist. Now, let’s get this straight… I personally live in New York City, Greenwich Village to be exact in a home left to me by my Uncle Stephen Strange, but this wonderful rag you have in your hand is produced and created way up in northwestern Jersey… deep in heart of Jersey. And, when I find that some of the things Shira and Brian (I believe her, do not believe him, who would?) have told me of what goes on late at night in these deep woods, well…it almost makes one’s skin crawl. So here comes William Taylor with a short read on Big Foot in NJ…Okay, I have a day, I can read this. And I did. What struck me from the beginning is Taylor’s enjoyment of the subject. I was never sure if he was a believer, like myself, Larry Mosca, Deni Boyer and Loren Coleman, or just having fun with the read. Let us get something right before we go on… just to show some credibility. At the end of this book Taylor alludes that evidence is light at best and that there is no ancestral history of any sort of creature in New Jersey or the surrounding area. For that I strongly disagree…. Let us look back at the September 2011 issue of Backroads… Big Red Eye. Big Red Eye is New Jersey’s Sasquatch. And, William Taylor might have missed one small detail – but it’s a huge one! For centuries before Europeans came to the banks of the northern Delaware river the Lenape natives revered and stayed away from a large wild man, with red eyes…. The Messing. I was very clear on that in this article. Much like the Yeti of Asia, the Skunk Monster of Florida, the Sasquatch of the Northwest, the Messing has been here for centuries, we just call it Big Red Eye these days. Another important thing to know is that a big resource for Taylor’s is Weird NJ. There is no doubting our respect for this publication. One of the highest concentrations of Big Foot sightings in New Jersey is literally behind Backroads Central. Seriously…right outside Shira and Brian’s door. Calling into Washington, a retired Air Force official, Thomas “Guns to the Wall” McAuley claimed that official Federal opinion is this hoopla might have something to do with the infamous Monkey With A Gun Bar, Bar and Grill. But, I think not. We have dealt with his type before.... Reports of Big Foot sightings have been pouring in from all over the state but, just in the northwest of New Jersey alone, you have High Point Park, Stokes State Forest and the entire Walpack Valley region adding up to well over 70,000 acres of undeveloped land in friggin’ New Jersey! Undeveloped…. Except for a few county roads. We are talking a lot of land here. I know for a fact that the state officials say there are no big cats in this region, but yet did not Shira and her friend Diane (from Chicago, confident and unshakeable) see a cougar right outside the office. They did indeed. So, what is really going on here? William Taylor’s book is a fun and quick read and if you ever find yourself riding along Clinton Road… at night…alone, you might take a little extra care. Big Foot… Big Red Eye lives! You can find ‘Big Foot in the New Jersey ‘Burbs’ at Amazon.com and like them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/bigfootburbs

Cross Country Cycle has a great selection of Klim Technical Riding Gear. Klim makes some of the most innovative, smart and useful enduro gear on the market. It prides itself on top materials, design and craftsmanship. They focus on waterproof breathability, so whether you’re heading out of the city or into another country, you’ll be protected from all weather conditions. For over a decade, Klim has made top-notch riding gear so their riders can be confident that Klim gear will withstand the test of any level of ferocious conditions.

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Visit us at Americade June 4-8 Lake George Forum at the Klim booth


BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

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UPCOMIN G EV ENTS CAL EN DAR

What’s Happening EVERY MONTH - WEATHER PERMITTING Every Sunday • Eastern Suffolk ABATE Breakfast Run. Crossroads Diner - Calverton NY. 10:30am. Eat and Ride After • 631-369-2221 Every Tuesday • The Ear - Spring St, NYC. Come meet some fellow riders and do some benchracing or whatever. 8pm-ish Third Tuesday • 7:30pm ABATE of the Garden State, North Jersey chapter. Black River Barn, 1178 Rt. 10 West, Randolph, NJ. 7:30pm. New members and all mc brands welcome. Help fight for rights as a motorcyclist in NJ! Alex Martinez 973-390-1918 Every Wednesday • Chelseas Restaurant/Pub, 1051 Rte. 22 East, Lebanon, NJ 6-9pm, weather permitting all summer • www.chelseasrestaurantpub.com Second Wednesday • Harley-Davidson of Long Branch Restore the Shore Dinner Rides. Meet at HDLB, 671 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ @ 6pm with full tank • leave @ 6:15pm • www.hdlongbranch.com • Ride-Restore-Rebuild

2 • Fort Lee Art and Music Festival Ride-In Bike Show sponsored by Bergen County HD/BMW. Registration is FREE and starts at 11am. Municipal Parking Lot. Bikes in by 12:30 • Awards by 3:30. Enjoy food, music and more. 201-843-6930 ext. 133 2 * Born to Be Wild MC Run to benefit Nyack Hospital Maternity Dept. Hudson Valley Harley Riders. Sign in/Endsite: 9-11am with coffee/donuts) Nyack Hospital, 160 Midland Ave, Nyack, NY • $20/rider; $15/pass incl. lunch, live music, 50/50 and door prizes. • 60 mile ride through Rockland County. www.events.org/wildtobebornatnyackhospital 2 • 20th Annual Bikers Against Breast Cancer to benefit Sharing & Caring of Breast Cancer Support Svc. Sign in: H-D NYC, 42-11 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 9:30-11:30am. $25/rider; $15 pass. 30 mile police escorted ride ends at Forest Park Bandshell. Food, vendors, live entertainment, biker games with awards and trophies • 718-707-9300 1-8 • Americade • www.americade.com • World’s largest motorcycle touring rally. Join with thousands of motorcyclist for a week of riding, fun, seminars and commaraderie.

Every Thursday • Bike Night at the Chatterbox Drive-In, Rtes. 15/206, Augusta, NJ. Tire kicking, good food and friends • www.chatterboxdrivein.com

1-9 • Warrensburg Bike Rally • 8am-6pm • Located on Schroon River Rd at the Warrensburg Fairgrounds. Free Admission and plenty of free parking. Vendors of all sorts including food and indoor restrooms • www.warrensburgbikerally.com • 518-791-8728

Every Saturday • Stop by the dealership at 9am for coffee and bagels. Ride departs at 10am. Return to the dealership for FREE food and music. Proper attire MUST be worn! No shorts or sneakers. • Bergen Harley-Davidson/BMW Motorcycle, 124 Essex St, Rochelle Park, NJ • 201-843-6930 • www.bergenbmwmotorcycles.com

8 • Bob’s BMW Special Women’s Day Tech Seminar • 11am-Noon • The female riding community grows more and more every year so, in suport to all of the lady riders out there, join Bob’s BMW for a special women’s Tech Seminar and more surprises •

Last Saturday • Ride to Eat. Meet at Morton’s BMW Motorcycles, Fredericksburg, VA at 4pm. Scenic ride followed by dinner. www.mortonsbmw.com • 540-891-9844

MAY 2013 May-November • Saratoga Automotive Museum exhibition "BMW - The Ultimate Driving Machine". The exhibition, which will feature a retrospective of BMW cars and motorcycles, will run from May 6-November 3, 2013. The exhibition will also celebrate 90 years of BMW motorcycles. The Saratoga Automobile Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY • open 7 days a week after Memorial Day from 10am-5pm • www.saratogaautomuseum.org 25 • Morton’s BMW Motorcycles, Fredericksburg, VA • 4:00 pm • Ride To Eat with the Morton's crew! Meet us at 4:00 pm for a nice ride through the countryside to an interesting restaurant each month. Details at www.mortonsbmw.com or 540-891-9844. 26 • Vermont Thunder, Sharon, VT • www.VT-Thunder.org 30-31 • CLASS at Virginia International Raceway. Join Brian and Shira from Backroads Magazine for two days with Reg Pridmore and the crew from CLASS. Learn smoothness and cornering amongst friends. For more information visit www.CLASSrides.com 28-June 1 • Tennessee HOG Rally. Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson, 1820 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Maryville, TN • www.tnstatehogrally.com • 615-255-3442 30 • Nassau County Fireriders X-Mas in June to benefit the children of St. ChristophersOttilie. Sign in: 9am-12pm Applebee's, 938 S. Broadway/Rt 107, Hicksville, NY. Breakfast served - BBQ to follow. $10 and unwrapped toy per person donation. NO STUFFED ANIMALS. For more information visit www.fireridersnc.com

JUNE 2013 1 • Ride for the Pride Poker Run. $20/rider. Sign in: Knowlton Lions Club Pavillion, Delaware, NJ 9:30-11am. 80 mile scenic ride in PA and NJ. Endsite: Warren Cty. Fairgrounds, Harmony, NJ. Food and live music included ª 908-475-2500

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8 • Off-Road Training @ Morton’s BMW Motorcycles, Fredericksburg, VA. $75 covers instruction by our team of four MSF-certified teachers, lunch and all the fluids you’ll need to stay hydrated. Info/Reg at www.tinyurl.com/mortons-offroad-2013 • 540-891-9844 8 • Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team NJ Tour 2013. Yogi Berra Stadium, One Hall Dr, Little Falls, NJ. Double-Header - game one 1:30pm vs. Comedy Central; game two 4pm vs. CBS Sports. Tickets $10 available at Bergen County HD/BMW, 124 Essex St, Rochelle Park, NJ • 201-843-6930 Meet and Greet at Bergen County HD/BMW 9:30-11am with WWAST. 8 • 3rd Annual Carney Vetrano Bowling Benefit - proceeds to Ronald McDonald Camp for Kids with Cancer sponsored by H-D Long Branch and Jersey Shore HOG. Shore Lanes, 701 Rte. 35 North, Neptune, NJ. Poker Run Start Time: 10am. Ride-In BIke Show/Car Show: 1-4pm. Bowling: 1-6pm. Gifts/Awards: 4pm. $20 donation incl. 2 games & shoes for 1 adult & 1 child; 1 door prize ticket • 732-775-6050 13-17 • The Moving Wall Veitnam Veterans Memorial, Mt. Snow’s Howe Farm Field, Wilmington, VT • www.visitvermont.com • 802-464-8092 15 • BACKROADS 250+ • It’s a Jersey Thing. Have a great day riding 250+ miles ALL IN NEW JERSEY. Sign in: Chatterbox Drive-In, Augusta, NJ 8:30-9:30am • $10 charity donation. Printed and GPS routes available. Info? 973-948-4176.


JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

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UPCOM IN G EVENTS CAL ENDAR

What’s Happening

8-16 • 90th Anniversay Laconia Bike Week • www.laconiamcweek.com • Join thousands of bikers for a week of music, parties and great events • RSVP: hanna.creekmore@bobsbmw.com • 10720 Guilford Rd, Jessup, MD • 301-497-8949

13 • Christmas in July to benefit David’s Touch (www.davidstouch.org). Sign in Indian Motorcycle, 2365 W/B Route 22, Union, NJ 9-11:30am • Noon Run Time. $10 with toy; $20 without.

17 • Ride to Work Day • www.RideToWork.org

13-14 • 37th running of the Ramapo 500 - 500 mile weekend motorcycle tour. LIMITED TO FIRST 400 REGISTRANTS. Sign in: Veterans Memorial Assoc., 65 Lake Rd East, Congers, NY 7-9am, July 13 • Pre-registration NOW for $35/Day of event if available $48 CASH ONLY. Includes: 500 miles of gorgeous scenery and backroads, camping with river swimming, fantastic Saturday night dinner and entertainment, awards and prizes, Sunday breakfast, starter pin/finisher's patch. Garmin GPS route upload service will be available at sign-in for an additional fee. Campground located in Chaplin, CT - lodging available nearby • www.ramapomc.org • 845-300-1247

19 • 26th Annual Gooch’s Garlic Run. Sign In: Rockaway Townsquare, Exit 35 Rte. 80, Rockaway, NJ 4:30pm. RIDE LEAVES 6:30PM SHARP. $15/pp pre-reg; $20 day of event. Ride to Newark Ironbound District • www.bnjix.org • 973-729-4072 20-23 • Thunder in the Valley Motorcycle Rally, Johnstown, PA • www.JohnstownThunder.com 20-22 • North American GTS Rally celebrating 20th Anniversary of the introduction of the Yamaha GTS 1000. The Inn at Snowshoe, Snowshoe, WV. For more information contact Jason Kaplitz, via email at Cog62@Kaplitz.com • 814-535-8669 • Rally Website 23 • 5th Annual Baer’s MS Poker Run to benefit Multiple Sclerosis. Two sign in starts: Baer’s Sports Center, 330 Grandview Ave, Honesdale, PA or Harmony Lodge #8, 519 Rte. 206, Andover Twnshp, NJ. $20/pp incl. pin or patch, poker hand, raffles, 50/50, live music by Big Boss Sausage, vendors and more. Endsite: Airport Park, Matamoras, PA • 570-253-2000 • 570-686-2917 • 570-228-1896 • www.WRVR.net 24 • Bob’s BMW Track Day at Summit Point • Learn how to be the better rider you always wanted to be in a safe environment. Jeremy Cook, Bob’s BMW S1000RR racer and champion, will be there to provide advice. Lunch, snacks, beverages, on-site techs available for mechanical convenience and more included. To sign up or for more information please contact: hanna.creekmore@bobsbmw.com • 301-497-8949 29 • Closing the Loop fundraising ride for fallen Marine CPL Ian Muller. On 3/11/11 Marine CPL Ian Muller was killed during combat operations in Helmand, Afghanistan. During the past 2 years, the Muller family has helped marines from their son’s unit make the trip to Vermont to visit the grave. Proceeds will help continue their efforts. Sign in/Endsite: Marty’s First Stop, 421 US Rte. 2, Danville, VT • 9-10am • KSU 10:15am • $25/bike. 30 • Nassau Cty FireRiders X-Mas in June to benefit the children of St. Christophers-Ottilie. Sign in: 9am-12pm Applebee’s, 938 S. Broadway, Hicksville, NY. $10 and unwrapped toy incl. breakfast and bbq to follow ride. • www.fireridersnc.com 30 • Rollin’ Fast Cycle Sports Opne House and Victory Demo Truck Event. Free demo rides, great specials and fun for all. 104 Main St, Lebanon, NJ • www.rollinfast.com

18-21 • 41st BMW MOA Inernational Rally. Salem, Oregon - BMW Motorcycle Owners of America. Held at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. Great riding, seminars, workshops, vendors, live music and friends - the list is endless. www.BMWMOA.org for full details and updates • 636-394-7277 19-20 • Crossroads Motorcycle Rally 2013, Farre’s Field, Waterbury, VT • www.crossroadsmotorcyclerally.com 21 • 23rd Annual Charity Poker Run/BBQ to benefit Big Brothers/Big Ssiters Org. of Orange County sponsored by OCNYHOG. Sign in Moroney’s HD, 833 Rte. 300, New Windsor, NY 9am. $20/rider;$15/pass. incl. scenic ride, BBQ, door prizes, ride-in bike show/games, trophies, vendors, music and more. Pre-register via PayPal at www.ocnyhog.com. Questions? email director@ocnyhog-offers.net

AUGUST 2013 23-25 • Kingdom Thunder Rally, Burke, VT • www.kingdomthunder.org 25 • 1st Annual Poker Run to benefit the Harmony Lodge Foundation • Sign in: Harmony Lodge #8, 519 Rte. 206, Andover, NJ 9am-12Noon • Endsite: Franklin Fireman’s Pavilion, 137 Buckwheat Rd, Franklin, NJ. $20/pp incl. food and drink, top 3 poker hand prizes, 50/50, raffles, vendors, live music by Morning Door and more • For more info visit www.harmony8nj.com 29-Sept. 1 • Killington Classic Motorcycle Rally, Killington, VT • Rides, demos, vendors, contests, parade, music, dinners, fireworks and SO MUCH MORE! Registration opens May 15 - DON’T BE SHUT OUT OF YOUR FIRST CHOICES. 518-798-7888 • www.killingtonclassic.com

JULY 2013

SEPTEMBER 2013

9 • Women’s Track Day - New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, NJ • Sponsored by Tony’s Track Days. Join Shira from Backroads Magazine and a host of other women and learn to be smooth on your motorcycle while perfecting your cornering skills. For more information please visit www.TonysTrackDays.com

8 • 7th Annual Rice-O-Rama Vintage & Custom Japanese Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet • Singletary Rod and Gun Club, 300 Sutton Ave, Oxford, MA • 10am-5pm rain or shine. Bikes that you just don’t see anywhere else, from 2-strokes to turbos, singles to sixes, scramblers and scooters. Trophies in over 20 vintage and custom classes. Huge Swap Meet with tons of hard to find parts • 508-344-4202 • www.rice-o-rama.com 18-21 • New York Motomarathon • Hosted by the Celtic Motorcycle Club • Bronx-Lake George-Ongunquit, ME. For more information and specific hotel and date information, visit www.motomarathon.com or call Caty Metzger at 303-621-5356

26th Annual ™

GOOCH’S GARLIC RUN

presented by Blue Knights® NJ IX

Wednesday, June 19 Rain date June 26

Destination Newark’s Ironbound District

Music Vendors Great Food

Motorcycle Event that Benefits Local Children’s Charities Start: Rockaway Townsquare Mall I-80 Exit 35/Mt. Hope Ave, Rockaway, NJ Sign in starts 4:30pm • Run leaves 6:30pm SHARP! Pre-Registration: $15/motorcycle by June 12 • $20 day of event

PRE-REGISTRATION STRONGLY RECOMMENDED For more information and pre-registration form visit:

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19-22 • BACKROADS 15th Annual Fall Fiesta. Host hotel: Genetti Hotel, Williamsport, PA. We’ll continue the baseball theme this year with a visit to the home of Little League Baseball. To book your room, please call 800-321-1388 and ask for the BACKROADS Group Booking. Rooms start at $115.95/night incl. breakfast and secure parking. 21 • Bob’s BMW Oktoberfest and Fall Open House • 9a-4p • Seasons change but there’s always fun at Bob’s BMW Oktoberfest and Open House. Food, vendors, product reps, door prizes and great one-day only specials • 10720 Guilford Rd, Jessup, MD • 301-4978949 • www.bobsbmw.com

DECEMBER 2013 21 • Bob's BMW annual customer appreciated day! Get into the holiday spirit at Bob's while we say THANKS to our amazing customers for what we know is going to be another great year. Food, great company, door prizes and special holiday savings • 10720 Guilford Rd, Jessup, MD • 301-497-8949 • www.bobsbmw.com


BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

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JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

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MOTORCYCLE MARKETPLACE

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Travel along the scenic backroads of the Delaware river. Meet the Markopoulos family and taste chef George’s Greek American cooking. Best bar menu, lunch or dinner. Fresh poppers, perogies, calamari, clams and crispy wings with 8 different sauces.

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As featured in June ‘10 Backroads’ BBQs


BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

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MOTORCYCLE MARKETPLACE

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MOTORCYCLE TRAILERS DAYTONA, BIKETOBERFEST, STURGIS AND BEYOND

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Page 54

JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

P RODUCT S POTLIGHT MANUALLY ACQUIRED POSITIONING SYSTEMS BUTLER MAPS….THE BEST KEEPS GETTING BETTER I admit I have become dependent on a drug of sorts. Slowly but surely my Garmin GPS has linked itself to my DNA and the master sometimes seems the servant. But, sometimes we need to get back to basics and the “gateway drug” to my maniacal directional plotting was always a simple good map. Still, now even the maps have gotten so much better. Not like the maps we looked at when we were young bucks. No, these maps – from the Butler Company of Eagle, Colorado – have taken this mapping addiction to another level. Their ever-expanding series of maps are far beyond anything else on the market. And, they are created just for us. – Motorcyclists. First off they are tough. Really tough. Waterproof and tear resistant they pack easily as each Butler Map folds to 4.25” x 9” to easily fit in tank and tail bags. We recently got hold of Butler’s Master Collection, which includes latest editions of CO, UT, ID, WY, MT, Ozarks, Texas Hill Country, Southern California, Northern California and Rocky Mountain Planner, all together in a Wolfman Map Case. We were glad to see that we did fairly well while exploring the Texas Hill Country. But, we wished we’d have had a Butler Map ahead of time. Butler offers maps from around the nation and you can see them all at www.butlermaps.com. We recommend that you watch this company as they will soon have a map right in your own backyard.


BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

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P RODUCT S POTLIGHT GIVI AIRFLOW WINDSCREEN FOR THE TRIUMPH TIGER 800 While recently testing the Triumph Tiger the obvious need for a better screen became apparent. The stock screen provided little, if any, real wind and weather protection and an upgrade was sorely needed. With that in mind we turned to the folks at Givi. We have had one of the Airflow screens on a BMW GS for a few years and found it to be far superior in every way to others on the market. This two-piece screen is incredibly versatile. In just a few seconds it adjusts to the height of the rider or to the current climate conditions, thanks to its spoiler, with adjustable height in an easy and fast way. This particular element, made in transparent polycarbonate, represents the moving part of the windscreen: it glides on two tracks long of 12 cm. Two terminals in plastic firmly fits the spoiler to the point chosen by the rider. The special shape of the fixed and mobile parts that make up the Airflow create an aerodynamic effect that can eliminate all the turbulence, allowing for maximum protection from wind, another important feature to highlight is the AIRFLOW ability to increase the safety when driving in rain: the opportunity to lower the whole spoiler to avoid the drop effect on the screen (enhanced by the visor of the helmet), which distorts the images, very annoying after dusk. As with our BMW this shield made a world of difference on longer trips and days when the weather was less than friendly. These screens are available for a number of machines and models and you can see them in action at http://www.giviusa.com/Screens—spoilers/AIRFLOW/. You can buy your Airflow Windscreen from your local dealer or Givi themselves with prices ranging from $265 depending on make and model.

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BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

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Travels with Charlie Judy Macaluso I’m free-wheeling out of control down a washed out jeep trail, a yard behind a small dog’s rear end and gaining very fast. My feelings are 2 parts fear—for me, not the dog— and one part, “Here I go again.” If you learn to ride a motorcycle when you’re over sixty, there are some ambitions you may never achieve. I passionately want to tour developing countries by bike. The Question is whether I’ll get too old or too banged up to do it before I get good enough to do it. Which brings me to the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee, home of the small dog who’s about to be run over. I stumbled on the TTC with an internet search before I knew what a “trials” bike is. It’s a stripped down skeleton built for precision and trick riding on challenging natural terrain. The difficult terrain forces the rider to stand, so the trials bike can’t be bothered with a seat! The bike can’t be bothered with nearly anything else either, except for foot pegs, handlebars, two wheels, and an engine, brake, and clutch. Incredibly light and responsive, it’s a great tool for a dual sporter to learn off-road techniques — and the TTC is a great place to learn. Set on 680 acres in the foothills of the Sequatchie Mountains, the TTC has rustic cabins mercifully close to toilet and shower houses, a well supplied motorcycle shop, and enough terrain for every kind of training and riding challenge. My plan is to spend a day on the trials bike working on technique and then leave the TTC and spend three days riding dirt and gravel in the Tennessee mountains. There is only one problem. I can’t ride this stuff.

Coach Charlie That’s where Charlie Roberts comes in. He is a fulltime trials pro. He helps run the TTC, coaches, and sets courses for local, national, and international championships. Even though he’s trials royalty, he seems to get as much pleasure from coaching a woman past a certain age as he does an international champion. He enthusiastically agreed to coach me through a day on the trials bike and three days of mountain riding on dual sports.

Technique Day My little Gas-Gas My bright yellow GasGas 125 is a hoot to ride and, at 200 pounds (dry), is ideal for technique training. With the bike stationary on the shop’s concrete patio, Charlie guides me through this kick-starting, low-geared bike’s oddities, and helps me understand the physics of balancing and turning. As Charlie holds the bike steady, I assume the basic riding stance for straight-ahead riding. The balls of the feet rest against the foot pegs, with the stance slightly widened so the pegs’ inside edge is visible. Slight as it is, this wider stance significantly increases stability. The legs are comfortably upright and relaxed at the knees. A bend at the waist brings the hands down to the clutch and throttle. Seen from the back, my body has a centered, rectangular stance. The feet turn the bike, and that too is first practiced standing still. To turn left, I eyeball the complete arc of the turn and weight the left foot peg by releasing the weight from the right peg. This slaps the bike against my left calf. The handlebars follow the turn, with my left elbow relaxed, but straight. To counterweight on this light bike, all I have to do is bend my right knee to the side and bring my right elbow back and up, almost as though I’m shooting


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JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS an arrow. The head and neck are relatively still and centered between the shoulders. Leaning through the turn, my rectangular stance is now a parallelogram, punctured slightly by a bent knee and bent elbow on the outside of the turn. The fun begins when I ride the GasGas off the patio, down the gravel road, and onto the practice field. This expansive grassy area is by turns flat, sloped, and rutted, providing plenty of variety for the turns, cone drills, and walk-the-plank challenges Charlie sends my way. An hour and a half of one-on-one coaching is enough to make me comfortable with the basics. Lunch is part of the entertainment, and Charlie switches me to a red and white Honda CRF 230 dual sport for the 6-mile asphalt ride to the relative metropolis of Jasper. The seat on the CRF has as much give as a plank of wood, but nature and gastronomy have endowed me with padding, and the bike and I seem to get along. It lacks mirrors, speedometer, turn signals, and a horn, but it’s street-legal in Tennessee, which forgives anything within 5 miles of a trail. To give the bike its due, it’s stable and lively, and I’m happy to keep it as my off-road bike for the rest of the trip. Jasper, with a mere 3,279 souls, is still large enough for a good Mexican restaurant, Las Margaritas. I ate a lot more chicken, beans, and rice than my easy morning justified, but it turned out that I’d need the extra energy when Charlie led me through a very challenging afternoon. After lunch he took us down a paved, one-lane road that was suddenly interrupted by 50 yards of rushing creek before resuming its asphalt existence on the other side. It was a tremendously tempting challenge, but on Charlie’s test ride he was yanked and wobbled by swiftly moving water and unseen rocks. For him, it was an adrenaline rush, but for me it was too tough to try, and I retreated. Returning to the TTC, Charlie led me up and down the mountain that is the TTC’s back yard. I was challenged by gullied, gravel-and-rock strewn Jeep “roads,” and the skills I’d practiced in the morning came fully to use. Charlie advised me to put the bike in second gear and keep my speed up to maintain stability over the rough terrain. The exception was on especially steep pitches, when he kept me in low gear both climbing and descending. It was scary fun, and I felt fortunate to put the bike down only twice. The afternoon’s final challenge involves a steep, offcamber, sharp right turn into loose rocks and rutted double track – plus that small dog. Charlie owns three rescue dogs, and they follow him all over the TTC. With the dogs seemingly out of the way, I choose the left wheel track, the wide way around this steep turn. I look through the turn, weight the right peg, lean the bike, bow my left knee, and realize as I shoot though the turn that I’m free-wheeling in neutral instead of riding in low gear. At that precise moment, in front of me darts L’il Bob, a 10-inch-high mite of a dog. Savvy to cycles, L’il Bob dashes into the rut to my right. But since my bike is riding me, not vice versa, I slide into his track right behind him. The little guy is on his own. I’m target-fixating down the trail to keep my balance, and whether he gets run over is entirely up to him. Startled by the sound of my bike, L’il Bob turns and sees me less than a foot back. His jaw literally drops and he explodes to safety like he has a firecracker up his butt – which he almost did.

Prentice Cooper State Forest The next day I arrived at the shop for a 9 a.m. departure and found my bike considerately endowed with a mirror and $20 seat pad from Walmart. The mirror was purpose-made for off-road, with a flexible stem and metallic surface. Attached, as it had to be, inside the clutch assembly, it was totally useless, reflecting no more than the left side of my jacket no matter how I jiggled it. The $20 Walmart pad had a strap that could be pulled snug under the front of the seat and was amazingly effective. I rode on a padded plank of wood for the next two days with no complaints. Charlie put himself on a bright yellow Suzuki DR200, and we set off for the off-road trails of Prentice Cooper State Forest in the Cumberland Mountains. As usual, getting there was half the fun. It’s twisty asphalt all the way, with Mullens Cove/River Canyon Road as the star attraction. Also memorable for both its name and twisties is Suck Creek Mountain Road. (A “suck” is a whirlpool, not a Yelp rating.) Miles of gravel roads greeted us at Prentice Cooper, and although my heavier bike required more counterweighting, yesterday’s lessons and the confidence I built made it seem quite easy. I followed Charlie’s advice to increase stability by increasing speed. During the squirrely patches, I managed to keep my hands soft, and the bike righted itself as I knew it wanted to. A couple of miles in, we switched back and forth from gravel to dirt and rocks, wide to narrow, and flat to steep. There was tremendous variety and tremendous challenge. The advantage of having a coach as experienced as Charlie is his understanding of what I’ll get through and what it’s best to avoid. I figured, “If he put me on this road he knows I can do it,” and that improved my riding enormously.

Pirate’s view from Snooper’s Rock The highlight of our day was Snooper’s Rock. A rough trail leads to this large, flat landmark topping a cliff that drops hundreds of feet to the Tennessee River Gorge. This gorge is the fourth largest in the U.S., and the Tennessee is treacherous here. “Snoopers” used this beautiful overlook to scan for ships that foundered during storms and to signal thieves that the coast was clear for plundering. It was a full morning, and we didn’t leave Prentice Cooper until after 1 p.m. We rode Route 27 a few miles to Shuford’s Smokehouse, a destination Bar-B-Q joint on the outskirts of Chattanooga. I got a 6-rib rack that was too big to eat and too good not to. Shuford’s is a shrine to Alabama football, which I found shocking since we were in Tennessee. Chattanooga is right by the Alabama border, though, so there are no boycotts.


BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

Page 59 competitor in the country), Geoffrey has mapped over 230 miles of off-road rides in the Polk County mountains, and George is a former enduro racer who’s comfortable bringing an R1200R to a mountain trail ride. We ranged from newbie to super expert, with bikes that included a Honda, Kawasaki, two Suzukis, and two Beemers (an F650GS, along with the R). The youngest of us was in our 50s, though, so we had age and a love of riding in common.

Two Germans and four Japanese in the Cherokee Nat’l Forest After lunch, it was twisting asphalt to Whitwell, where we gassed up, then a handful of miles to a bridge closed for repairs. I knew Charlie would scoff-law me over it, and he didn’t disappoint. We turned right for the TTC and ended a day I had dreamed of when I decided to come here — off-road biking in the Tennessee mountains.

Cherokee National Forest Today’s skill-building adventure took us to Cherokee National Forest in the Smokies. Charlie’s decade-long “significant other,” Catherine, joined us on her beloved Kawasaki 250 Super Sherpa, painted camo green. I bonded with her instantly, not only for her warmth but because she first rode a bike when she was almost 50 and could read my mind with respect to all things dirt and gravel. We truck/trailered past Chattanooga and then another 30 miles to Okoee, an area famous for its white water kayaking. At a Route 64 gas station, we met up with riding buddies Papa Joe, Geoffrey, and George. In thumbnail, Papa Joe is a 78-year-old competitive enduro racer (literally the oldest enduro

Off we set for a pre-lunch jaunt on 55 miles of gravel, dirt, and rock. I had more turns than I can count to build muscle memory. With proper technique, most of the turns were safely done seated. We were the only ones on the road, and it was idyllic riding. All went well until, at a rare break, Charlie complimented my riding. When we resume, it doesn’t take 2 minutes before we reach a downhill, right-hand turn on dirt and gravel with a ditch on the left. Feeling inappropriately competent, I take the turn too fast, ride into the ditch, and wipe out trying to ride up to the road. The usual scrum ensues of buddies picking my bike up, picking me up, and making sure I’m in one piece physically and mentally, which happily I am. Charlie instructs me to ride a ditch to its exit point, rather than trying to power out of it, or brake to a stop if necessary while in the ditch. I agree either of those would have been an excellent plan. The ride down the rest of the mountain is uneventful, but lunch at the Copper Kettle certainly is not. The assembled motorcycle dignitaries tell short and tall tales for two hours over a lunch featuring the kind of Southern food that shortens lives, including fried Oreo a la mode for dessert. The fried Oreo is not a stunt, but is a staple of roadside restaurants and Tennessee county fairs. It’s also a low-cal choice when compared to the fried caramel cheesecake and fried butter the others have sampled. Well, folks I could go on for too long, but out of consideration for the patient reader I will omit my phenomenal ride with Charlie and Catherine on the Cherohala Skyway and Tail of the Dragon – where Charlie considerately gave me the bike with the mirror. The point I really want to make is that it is a huge amount of fun and builds dual-sport skills to spend a few days at the TTC. I plan to go again next October, on a date timed for Birmingham Alabama’s Barber Vintage Festival. What’s that, you ask? Well, that’s a whole ‘nuther story. (But call me if you’re tempted to go!)

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T

Land of Green Gables Ken Aiken

he bridge stretches into the distance, a long grayish thread of concrete pillared across deep blue water to the island beyond. This one is the longest in Canada and, at 12.9 kilometers (8 miles) in length, it’s also the sixth longest in North America. The bridge was completed in May of 1997, and although it’s only a couple of days ride from home it nevertheless took me over a decade to reach it. The aptly named Gateway Village lies at the foot of the bridge in Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island. It’s an ideal place to grab a cup of coffee and some maps and glossy propaganda from the information center. This is the smallest province in Canada and everything seems close by. In fact, the two extreme tips of the island, North Cape and East Point, are only 124 kilometers (77 miles) and 172 km (106 mi) away. With everything being so close a base camp can be established almost anywhere regardless of whether you are camping or looking for more luxurious accommodations. After a 40-minute ride on the “T-Can” (TransCanada Route 1) I’m parking in front of The Rodd Charlottetown, a four-star hotel in the heart of the city’s historic downtown. With a population of only 32,000 Charlottetown feels more like a small town than a provincial capital and all its promoted sights and attractions are within easy walking distance of the hotel. This is a charming little city, but its promoters seem to suffer from provincial naiveté when comparing its features to other metropolitan areas. One true oasis turns out to be Gahan House, the only microbrewery on the island. Beyond the historic town center the sprawling newer city seems indistinguishable from many small college towns in the U.S. except for being so much cleaner.

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BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

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In the morning I set out for the Green Gables Shore. Route 6 is part of the scenic Central Coastal Drive and meanders across the northern portion of central PEI. One can’t help but notice what appears to be swimming lanes that are laid out in the bays using white buoys, so I stop to ask about them. They turn out to be the suspension “lines” used in the commercial farming of the famous PEI blue mussels and Malpeque oysters, which are considered to be the world’s tastiest. Lobsters are so plentiful that 80% of the catch gets shipped to the U.S. Needless to say, restaurants in PEI serve some of the best seafood imaginable and at very affordable prices. The area around Cavendish was made famous in the classic children’s novel “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery so it should come as no surprise to discover the existence of the Anne of Green Gables Museum, the L.M. Montgomery Birthplace, the Lucy Maud Montgomery Heritage Museum, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s home, and even the original Green Gables farm. However, the main attraction is miles of beautiful sand beach in the PEI National Park.

Any of the roads that crisscross the rolling landscape that lies between Routes 6 and 2 are simply a delight to travel. Lupines grow wild along the highways and farms dominate the landscape. Someone once explained PEI as being “like Vermont, but with an ocean” and this must have been the region they referred to. With stops and detours it has taken me most of the day to reach Kensington, but the straight east on Route 2 to Charlottetown is covered in just a bit over 30 minutes. Time and distance seem to bear little relationship to each other on this island. Two of the most popular motorcycle-touring destinations are the extreme tips of the island, North Cape and East Point, a mere 273 kilometers (170 miles) apart by way of Route 2 through Charlottetown. I opt for Routes 235 and 1A to reach Summerside, the second-largest city in the province with a population of 14,000. The scenic highway is called the North Cape Coastal Drive and includes Routes 11, 12, 14, and a short segment of Route 2. I follow the meandering Route 12 north, sometimes on good pavement and sometimes not. At one point a neatly painted sign

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proclaims one stretch of Route 12 to be “Ragged Ass Rd.” The official nickname for PEI is “The Gentle Island.” This refers to its people or the topography, not the weather. North Cape has more than 80 commercial electric-generating wind turbines and the provincial government has a goal of become energy independent by 2015. This means wind. Dependably frequent wind powerful enough to spin giant propeller blades like a child’s pinwheel; the kind of wind that plays with a rider like a cat with a mouse. Lots of short stops – historic Green Park shipyard in Port Hill, the Shellfish Museum in Bideford, and the First Nation (Native American) Reserve on Lennox Island – and hours of travel bring me to my destination. North Cape with its red cliffs and the infinite expanse of the largest estuary on earth is

JUNE 2013 • BACKROADS

dramatic, but the best view is from behind glass in the interpretive center restaurant where, out of the wind and with a cup of hot coffee, I can fully appreciate the windswept beauty of this spot. Route 14 follows the western shore, which is quite different from Route 12 on the eastern side. Ocean to my right, potato fields to the left, and the occasional stand of trees that somewhat breaks the wind. South around West Point, northeast across the potato fields near O’Leary, detouring around the vast estuary wetlands of the Percival River, then south on Route 11 to finally escape the wind as I pass Cap-Egmont. This is the Acadian Shore at the western end of the Northumberland Strait and somehow it reminds me of portions of inner Cape Cod, despite being more rural and having much less traffic. Having covered 300 kilometers (186 miles) since leaving Summerside, I still have another 75 km (46 mi) to travel to reach Charlottetown and chose the fastest road: Route 2. There are no four-lane highways in this province and this primary east-west route is a scenic rollercoaster ride. With the wind


BACKROADS • JUNE 2013

Page 63 at my back I cover the distance in 40 minutes, but still arrive after dark. A quick glance at a map shows PEI divided by topography into three roughly equal sections: North Cape, central PEI, and Points East. Route 2 divides central PEI into two tourist regions: Green Gables Shore north and Red Sands Shore south. Each of these four regions has their own unique characteristics and atmosphere and it takes at least five days to adequately tour this small province. I’m leaving today and it’s going to cost me. Regardless of whether you arrive by the bridge or the Northumberland Ferry it’s free, but you have to pay to return to the mainland. The bridge has a $15 toll for motorcyclists, the ferry is $79. I’m taking neither. The Points East Coastal Drive follows the coast of this region on a 475 km (295 mi) loop from Charlottetown. East Point is the other extreme end of the island and its lighthouse is a noted touring destination. I head east, following the scenic route in a counter-clockwise direction, passing the ferry terminal at Wood Islands to reach Cape Bear. Even in the age of GPS navigation lighthouses are essential to mark the points and capes of the island. The lighthouse at Cape Bear once included the Marconi station that was the first to receive the distress call from the sinking Titanic. The station is gone, but the lighthouse contains the Marconi museum. Encroaching sea erosion of the red sandstone cliffs will require the lighthouse to be moved in the near future, as the Wood Island lighthouse was moved in 2009. The scenic drive loops around deep bays and estuary inlets and runs through small fishing villages. It’s a wonderful lazy-summer-day cruising road, but when time is an issue there are many direct shortcuts to be had. My destination is Souris, which offers me a backdoor off the island. The CMTA ferry leaves the dock once a day for the five-hour trip to the Madeleine Archipelago. From there I’ll put the motorcycle on the ferry transport for the three-day sail up the St. Lawrence River to Montreal. It seems that my island adventures are not yet over.

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For more details and bookings please contact: Fred Rau • 951-672-0239 • Fred@FredRau.com Visit Te Waipounamu Website for information

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BACKROADS 2013 UPCOMING EVENTS Backroads is happy to announce the location of

our 15th Fall Fiesta ~

WILLIAMSPORT, PENNSYLVANIA

September 19-22, 2013 We will be staying at the historic Genetti Hotel in downtown Williamsport, home of Little League Baseball and gateway to the Allegheny mountains. There are miles and miles of great roads, paved and dirt, to explore during our visit and Williamsport offers a variety of activities for after the bikes are parked. Conveniently, the Genetti is across the street from the Bullfrog Brewery, as well as next door to the Community Arts Center.

To book your room (which you should do RIGHT NOW), please call 800-321-1388 and ask for the BACKROADS GROUP BOOKING. Rooms start at $11595/night (plus tax) which includes a great breakfast every day and secured off-street parking.

SATURDAY

JUNE 15

raindate: Saturday, June 22

$

10

charity donation

JOIN US ON THE ONE AND ONLY BACKROADS 250+ A motorcycle road tour exploring the best and sometimes hidden backroads of New Jersey. This entire event will be run within the state boundaries of Jersey with plenty of sights, stops, points of interest along the way and some surprises as well. Lodging available in the area • GPS route available by email. Printed route at sign-in.

Start: Chatterbox Drive-In, Rtes. 15/206, Augusta, NJ • Sign-in: 8:30am-9:30am End: Down to the Bone BBQ, 172 Lackawanna Dr, Stanhope, NJ • 973-347-2663


June 2013  

First ride on the all-new Star Bolt BMW MOA Magical History Tour Triumph Tiger Impressions Travels with Charlie Off-road Our Monthly Columns...

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