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Volume 18 No. 11
Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure
Escape the cold with a trip to Joshua Tree National Park
Spring Break 2013 Announced Event Recaps and our monthly columns and upcoming events
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W H A T ’ S
I N S I D E FEAT URES
M ONT HLY COLUM N S FREE WHEELIN’.................................................................................4
ASK DR. KNOWITALL ......................................................................9
CHA CHA HUT BBQ RUN.............................................................14
POSTCARDS FROM THE HEDGE .................................................6
SUMMER SQUEEZE 2012 ............................................................28
ON THE MARK ..................................................................................7
CHAMPION OF THE GRILL ..........................................................32
THROTTLE BLIPS ..............................................................................8
JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK ...............................................44
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD ...................................................10
PRODUCT REVIEW S
GREAT ALL AMERICAN DINER RUN.........................................18 WE’RE OUTTA HERE .....................................................................20 BIG CITY GETAWAY .......................................................................23 INDUSTRY INFOBITES ..................................................................33 WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE .......................................................37 UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR ..............................................38 Brian Rathjen • Shira Kamil ~ Publishers Contributors: Jeff Bahr, Mark Byers, Lt. Jim Halvorsen, Bill Heald, T. Kessel, Steven Smith
BACKROADS • POB 317, Branchville NJ 07826 Phone 973.948.4176 • Fax 973.948.0823 • email email@example.com • web www.backroadsusa.com Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure
For Advertising Sales Information: 973-948-4176
BACKROADS (ISSN 1087-2088) is published monthly by BACKROADS™, Inc. 2012. All rights reserved. BACKROADS™ may not be reproduced in any manner without specific written consent from the publisher. BACKROADS™ welcomes and encourages submissions (text and photos) and suggestions. Include phone number with submissions. BACKROADS™ will only return material with enclosed sufficient postage. The written articles and opinions printed in BACKROADS™ are not necessarily those of the publisher and should not be considered an endorsement. The Rip & Rides® published are ridden on the sole responsibilty of the rider. BACKROADS™ is not responsible for the conditions of the public roadways traversed. Please respect the environment, read your owner’s manual and wear proper protective gear and helmet. Ride within your limits, not over them.
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©2012 BMW Motorrad USA, a division of BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name and logo are registered trademarks. Always ride safely and wear proper protective gear.
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NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
This tribe simply considers themselves Bikers, and it’s pretty easy to spot them on the road. For the most part they prefer their clothes black and their BRIAN RATHJEN rides from Milwaukee. They know who they are and have a great pride about it. Even if they have never met each other they can recognize a member of their own in a crowd. Tribes That is not to say that the Bikers are the only tribe when it comes to riding A few weeks back I was listening to XM while around these days. making miles heading south on 1-81. I do believe Look at the BMW crowd. Now here is a quirky lot; and I can say the “Qit was one of those mid-afternoon shows on NPR Word” for I am one of them. - yes, my progressive friends I listen to NPR too They range in all ages and sizes and for some strange reason they seem to – who doesn’t like Car Talk? enjoy sleeping in tents on soggy ground… sometimes within sight of perThis day the interviewer was talking with author Seth Godin. fectly good hotels. They even have sub groups in this tribe with air heads Godin has penned a number of books but this day they were specifically being around a lot longer than oil heads and the new multi cylinder group talking about Tribes. hanging on the side trying to eventually feel like a classic. They have also The basic tenant of this book is that all of spawned minor sub-groups - one called the ADV hey know who they are and Rider. These riders usually ride GS machines or us have an opportunity for greatness, yet we also think of ourselves in individual ways and have a great pride about it. Even something like it. They enjoy stickers from far off states of being. It is human nature to want to if they have never met each destinations and actually enjoy having their bikes as belong to something; some sort of Tribe. other they can recognize a dirty as possible. I guess I might be in this group as During the interview the radio audience member of their own in a crowd. I have been told that my bike is perpetually dirty. was asked to call and tell who they thought Another subculture you will find is the Long Disthey were – what tribe did they belong to? tance Riders. They are certainly a tribe that rides to their own beat. I don’t The phone calls came right in. I am a teacher, said one. I am a Jew, stated get them at all, as riding interstates for an entire day is one of my least faanother. I am a musician came a third and so on. vorite things to do – thus me listening to NPR to kill the miles that day. People tend to believe who they are by what they do. Then we have the Gold Wing and Touring crowd. There can be a little tribe Me? I ride motorcycles. Don’t we all? crossover here as some of the Bikers enjoy touring as well, but they usually That got me to thinking of how many tribes there are in our own little world do it on reasonable quiet machines; which for some reason irks some of their of motorcycles. fellow Milwaukee tribesmen. Please join me here with not trying to judge one tribe against another – Some of the Gold Wing folks have, on occasion, taken to wearing the oddthat is not my point, although, there are some amusing things that do stick est outfits and sometimes look as if they have swapped out their living room out on a few groups here so let us not lose our sense of humor either. couch for a Honda. Truth is we, as fellow riders, are more able to discern our own differences Early on nice mornings the tribe called Sport Bike Riders take to the road. than the non-riding public who have no clue between tribes, riders, lifestyle Known for their bright colored leathers and fast riding styles they are both or types of motorcycles. admired and reviled by the rest of the riding tribes. Let’s start at the largest tribe – at least in the United States. (Continued on Page 9)
BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
W H ATC H AT H I N K I N ’ SHIRA KAMIL The beginning and The end One of the most asked questions we get, other than what do we do when it rains, is how did you two get Backroads started. That is a longer story than I want to tell, but there is a part of it that is very pertinent right now. If you have lived on this Earth at least 40 years, and even had the most remote involvement in any type of motorsports, the name Chris Economaki should ring a bell. His very distinct voice could be heard on Wide World of Sports starting back in 1961 and his weekly magazine, National Speed Sport News, was considered ‘America’s Weekly Motorsports Authority’. This is where I met Chris and his daughter Corinne. Back in the early ‘90s I began working for National Speed Sport News in Ridgewood, NJ. I had no publishing experience but did have an art background. They had me doing layout and ad work. Right after I started, they decided to give this new system called Macintosh a whirl. They sent me for some training and let me fly with it. I knew nothing of auto racing, but I did enjoy learning and especially loved listening to Chris’ tales. He was the quintessential storyteller, having been involved with so many iconic personalities such as Carroll Shelby, Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty and Mario Andretti. We would work tirelessly on Mondays, after the races on Sunday, getting the news in and the pages laid out, in the basement of the building. Chris would pop down every once in a while to see how things were turning out. I do believe, until the very end, he used his manual typewriter for his weekly ‘Editor’s Notebook’ column, which was then transferred to computer. Brian called one afternoon and asked what was going on. I said ‘I just had lunch with Chris. Guess who I met?’ There was a pause and he said, ‘I don’t know, Mario Andretti?’ How did he guess? Some time later, while manning the NSSN booth at a trade show in Ohio, the crowds parted in the busy aisle and up walked none other than Mario himself. He looked at me and smiled. Brian, a little dumbfounded, introduced himself. Mario looked him over, nodded and proceeded to give me a big hug. Brian and I were having a little gathering at our home one summer. It was a beautiful afternoon, all our friends were hanging out in the backyard enjoying the day and our one friend, Marty, came up to Brian and said, ‘You know, that guy over there looks and sounds a lot like Chris Economaki.’ Brian said, ‘That’s because it is Chris.’ Marty retorted, ‘Why would Chris Economaki be in your backyard?’ Brian answered, ‘Don’t you know who Shira works for?’ Brian brought Chris over, introduced him to Marty, an avid motorsports fan, and in that twangy-nasaly voice of his, Chris said ‘How ya doing Marty, I’m Chris Economaki.’ One time Brian and I went to our first dirt race. We arrived a little late and, looking for seats, saw a whole section empty. We looked at each other and headed over. As the cars came around the track we kind of noticed the other folks smiling and pointing at us and, as the cars passed and peppered us with rubber and dirt, we realized our faux pas. Taking on that cat demeanor of ‘I meant to do that’ we got up, brushed ourselves off and
Page 5 made for higher ground. A few years later, once I had gotten the hang of the Apple technology, Brian and I had the notion of taking our club’s newsletter and making it a commercial venture. I mentioned this to Corinne one day and asked if it would be possible to use the office after work hours to start. She thought it a good idea, as it would help in my layout abilities. So, for the first four or five issues of the magazine you hold in your hands, we would be up until the wee hours learning how to become publishers ourselves. This was the beginning of a wonderful life. Brian and I have had tremendous opportunities to meet so many terrific people, travel to so many places that I never thought I’d see and, hopefully, bring you some great ideas for your own adventures. All these memorable experiences would never have taken place if I hadn’t had the good fortune to answer that help wanted ad one day and make the acquaintance of one Chris Economaki. On September 28, Chris Economaki passed away at the age of 91. He was considered the ‘Dean of American Motorsports’ and probably forgot more about it than most people ever knew. All I can say is thank you, Chris, you changed my life. Godspeed.
NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
P O S TC A R D S FROM THE HEDGE BILL HEALD You musT be seen, buT firsT You musT see Of all the senses we use when riding, our ability to see the world around us is the most critical. The ability for others to see us is also a potential lifesaver, obviously, but as I have learned from decades of riding in all kinds of environments one of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming other motorized devices (as well as deer and other pedestrians) see you when you’re on the road. More on that in a minute (and believe me, I still think you should make yourself as conspicuous as possible-just don’t count on it working), but what I want to address now is keeping your own visual resources tuned up, because it all starts with your personal visual capacity. Allow me to share one of the sillier things I’ve done lately, and in this case this is a silliness that has been going on for WAY too long. As time has marched on and decided to age my faculties with a well-focused vengeance, I have gone from a person who did not require glasses, then required reading
glasses, and is now charging headlong into the “needs glasses almost all the damn time” category. I have been resisting, which is stupid, yet day-by-day I have finally started seeing glasses as a friend rather than a pain. A major breakthrough in this journey involved my last trip to the optometrist, where I was given a new eyeglass prescription and therefore got some new frames as well (contact lenses and I are not simpatico, in case you were wondering). You see (and now so do I), one of the final holdouts where I decided to not wear my glasses had been on the motorcycle. Why? Good question. I’m not sure, other than I just don’t like dealing with glasses and a full-face helmet. The glasses I had had thick, durable frames that worked well except when trying to use them with the helmet, where they were decidedly uncomfortable. Or, it might have had something to do that my optical deficiencies revolving around deteriorating close vision (as is the case for many of us as we age), and therefore my distant vision was still reasonably good. So, once on the bike I really didn’t feel compromised enough for it to be any problem, as I was usually looking down the road and things were sharp. Early on, with bikes like my Triumph and VFR the clocks (Sorry. Instruments) were far enough away, perched over the headlight that they, too, were suitably in focus. Many test bikes instrument cowls were likewise sufficiently distant, excepting serious sport bikes (like Ducati’s liter plus superbikes) where the seriously racy riding position is in close proximity to the instrumentation. But recently the “close” vision has become one big blurred visor, and this time when I procured my new, expensive (yet brilliant) progressive glasses I made sure the frames I picked would be more compatible with fullface lids. In case you’re not into opti-speak, progressive lenses are basically line-free bifocals that make both near and far beautifully sharp (like a split diopter for camera types). Now, I can not only see traffic, charging elephants, etc. that may be down the road out in front of me, I can also glance down at the instrument cluster and actually read even the Triumph’s too-tiny trip odometer which is of course my surrogate gas gauge. Not only is it great to have clear all-around vision again, it makes me wonder why I waited so long. The new frames work perfectly, and while I took too long to improve my vision I sure appreciate it now. Learn from my experience, friends and neighbors. Get your eyes checked regularly and often, and go for the specs when it’s time. Oh yeah, and then wear the dang things! As I also mentioned earlier, you can never trust motorists to see you even if you’re on fire and carrying a naked supermodel on the pillion, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing everything you feel comfortable doing to make yourself as conspicuous as possible. I recently came across this interesting bit of nighttime illumination, Lunasee (www.lunasee.com), and it’s the kind of thing I think is effective as it is pretty unusual and visually striking. These are LED light strips that are applied in your wheel rims, and use little power but make the bike really noticeable, especially from the side which is brilliant because as you know it’s the least illuminated part of the machine’s visual profile. I haven’t tested these things myself, but I think they are worth a look if for no other reason that they make sense. Like always making sure your eyes are given the help they need (especially as they age) to help you see with the maximum degrees of sharpness available, so to does it makes sense to light up your rig as much as you feel works for you. Just remember: no amount of high-tech lighting nor brilliant eyesight will help keep you from harm’s way if you don’t use these tools to interpret what’s going on around you and therefore be prepared for what stupid things motorists might try next.
BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
ON THE MARK MARK BYERS bandwagon Trends are strange. It’s hard to predict what will become the rage, whether it be fashion, toys, electronics, or motorcycles. Like most engineers, fashion eludes me, although I consider sports bras and yoga pants works of genius. I’ve never been able to guess which toy would bring throngs of rabid parents to duke it out in the Toys-R-Us parking lot at 2 AM. Razor scooters lay abandoned in basements like “Sweatin’ With the Oldies” videos and Atari cartridges. The lady down the street with a basement full of Cabbage Patch Kids is now officially considered “crazy.” How about that iPhone? It’s got a half-life of about fifteen seconds, but I have an LG that Fred Flintstone used. And then, there are motorcycle trends. You know you’re old when the bike that was hot when you were a kid is now considered a “classic.” The other way you know is when you hear a Zeppelin tune in a Cadillac commercial or “Crazy Train” being sung by a family in an SUV ad, but I digress. The trendy bike of my youth, and hence the one I could not have, was the Honda CB-750. In a world of middleweight twins, the inline four became king. For a while, during the twelve-year bubonic plague of AMF ownership, “Harley Davidson” was nearly supplanted by “Honda 750” in the American lexicon as a synonym for “motorcycle.” Ever late to the party, it took me 41 years to get a 750, but even as a classic, it too is now passé. Why? Because…it’s…not…a…”café racer.” Bitter? Yes, yes I am. I’m bitter as Carrie right before she set fire to the prom. Not because I refuse to sacrifice my 750 in homage to the gods of fashion; if my example was less pretty, I’d be down in the basement right now with a cutoff saw and a manic look, torching the house with sparks from amputated fender mounts. I just can’t bring myself to do it, even if it means never joining the ranks of the hipsters with pegged pants and mirrors on the end of their clubman handlebars. I’ll never pull up to the American franchise equivalent of the Ace Café, or even a “Quaker Steak and Lube,” clad in a
Page 7 machine-distressed “Rockers” jacket and a Hailwood replica helmet. Once again, I’m a “Mod,” sitting here in my nylon anorak on a scooter festooned with bicycle doo-dads. OK, the anorak is a Darien and the scooter is a BMW, but it’s just a pricier brand of humiliation. Even though café racers have been around for a half century to their real devotees, within the past couple years they came back to the limelight in a big way, fueled by the same possession that causes rational people to club each other over “Hello Kitty” crap. What really pisses me off is this: I saw it coming. I fell in love with café racer style years ago and didn’t act. Meanwhile, some mechanic with chutzpah and vision fired up a torch and a cutoff wheel, eviscerated a classic bike that was never going to see the light of restoration, and pushed us over the tipping point of a trend. The other really annoying thing is that my inspiration didn’t come from some expatriate Brit in a grungy garage. My lust for the café racer was born from sighting a production motorcycle in 2003, and even then it was already 14 years old. I speak, of course, of the Honda GB-500. Honda made them to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their first entry in the Isle of Man TT. They were a good approximation of British style, replete with gold pinstripes, a “Tourist Trophy” logo, a humped solo seat, and a single megaphone pipe. They were only offered in 1989 and 1990 and Honda sold…about three of them. Apparently the American market of the time was comprised of powermad, size-obsessed Neanderthals who had yet to see the sparse elegance of café racer style. All I know is that I fell in love the first time I saw a GB-500 sitting in the dappled shade of a Virginia airfield, but I worshipped from afar. I never consummated the relationship. Now here I sit, in a world where café racers are made on every street corner. Some Chinese manufacturer is doubtlessly hastening to produce one to be sold in True Value stores to sate the voracious appetite of our trendy marketplace. No, I’m not bitter. Neither me, nor the equally geeky Honda engineer who brought a GB-500 that no one would buy to this market 23 years ago. I can take some comfort in the fact that this, like all trends, will quickly pass and I’ll be able to pick up a middleweight café bike at a garage sale. If I’m lucky, they’ll throw in some classic Atari cartridges.
NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
THROT TLE BLIPS JEFF BAHR i goT This Thing While tracing the Delaware River south toward New Hope, PA, I fell in behind another rider. The bike I was following was hard to identify, although I could tell by its meaty rear skin that it leaned more toward the sporting end of the riding equation. Naturally, I watched its progress with greater interest than I would, say, a Chevy. As I did, I couldn’t help but notice an incongruity in the rider’s garb. The man, perhaps in his thirties, was dressed passably if not ideally in jeans and work boots. His upper body was protected by a stylish textile jacket replete with extra padding in the most crash-sensitive areas, but mysteriously this is where his safety concerns came to a halt. Topside on his dome – the most important lump of flesh found on any rider’s body – he wore a Nazi-style half-helmet which offered about as much protection as a plastic salad bowl. Go figure. As the miles ticked by we fell into a rhythm. I was pacing my new friend at a safe distance, riding the stagger, and he in turn had fallen in behind a car. I noticed a few more things as our impromptu convoy progressed. For some inexplicable reason this guy liked to hang his body off one side of the machine, even on straight-aways. He also had a tendency to follow the car ahead of him a bit too closely. Both of these cocky behaviors would prove problematic in just a few minutes. But for now, the late September sun was beaming, the air was warm, and life was good. As we neared New Hope the road turned squiggly. Taken at speed, the turns we were negotiating might be considered technical, but we were barely moving at the limit – a snail-like pace dictated to us by the slow moving fourwheeler up ahead. And then it happened. In the middle of a bend, the motorcyclist’s front wheel found a recessed sewer grate. Startled by the sudden dip and the car that had just braked
abruptly before him the rider apparently grabbed a handful of front brake. This caused his front wheel to tuck into the hole and pitch his unbalanced body off of the machine. From my vantage the rider appeared to do a perfect end-over-end pirouette before coming to rest on his rump in a dirt driveway. I immediately pulled over to help. Luckily, another motorist pulled in behind us and assisted in directing traffic. A sense of relief swept over me when I noticed that the downed rider was walking under his own power. Thank goodness! Minor road rash, a badly bruised shoulder and an equally bruised ego would be the rider’s souvenirs from this very avoidable mishap. He was damn lucky and he knew it. He told me that he had been riding motorcycles since 1994 and had never been down. I told him to cheer up, that it happens to the best of us. His spiffy new Suzuki Hayabusa (so that’s what it was!) had fared pretty well, too. Aside from some cosmetic damage, it was good to go. The rider wore a quizzical look on his face. He simply couldn’t believe that he had crashed. Many years before I too sat beside a road with this postcrash look on my kisser. “I’m too skilled for this,” I thought to myself back then as I watched my hip swell to twice its normal size. “I have this riding thing completely figured out! Hell, I’ve always been the best rider in my group. So why did I crash?” Both incidents brought to mind an axiom that I’d heard some years before when I bought my first street bike. It was told to me by a weathered old cuss - a man so ancient he probably rode a Vincent when it was new. “Kid” he said, “Just when you think ‘I got this thing’ your bike will bite you in the ass and show you who the real boss is!” Since I was barely twenty at the time, I paid as much attention to the old goat’s stab at alarmism as I did the national speed limit. How much could this codger really know about motorcycling? Plenty, as it turns out. Here’s why: Whenever we believe that we’ve reached the zenith in something – anything at all really – this triumphant attitude, by its very nature, will stifle further progress and learning. Even worse, such an outlook breeds arrogance and creates a false feeling of omnipotence. It happened to “super-skilled” (Continued on Next Page)
BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
A S K D O C TO R K N O W I TA L L reviTalizing Your zumo 550 Dear Dr. Knowitall, I have enjoyed using my Garmin Zumo 550 for years and especially like being able to download the Rip & Rides from Backroads and loading them onto the 550. Having voice prompts telling me where the tiny backroads are makes a good day’s ride even better. But, lately my Zumo 550 has been acting strangely. It started turning off two or three times a day and now has basically died, unless I have it plugged into the PC. What’s up with this? I love this device and hate to have to go for the big bucks to upgrade to a 660. Sincerely, Lost on the Backroads Dear Lost, We also have a few Garmin GPSs here in the office and our trusty Zumo 550 has recently developed the same symptoms; turning off occasionally and then refusing to start back up unless mounted on the Mac.
The answer is very simple and easily fixed. You need a new battery that is easily found from various places on the internet for around $40. Amazon it. To remove the standard battery, a lithium-ion battery that is specifically designed for use with the Zumo 550, you simply use a small hex wrench to unscrew the center of the rear case – which the battery is part of – and then replace it with the new battery case. Then simply plug it into your computer or the Zumo charger for a few hours – or better yet - go for a long ride with it attached to a powered cradle on your machine and you are back in business. See, easy…. feel free to ask Dr. Knowitall any of your riding or farkle questions.
(Continued from Page 3)
Again we have a sub group here as some Sporties don’t have any real equipment and ride around in flip flops and shorts, usually with the one piece of safety equipment they had to have - a $500+ helmet. As you can tell there are as many tribes as there are riders and styles of riding. Many of these different tribes will hold rallies and reunions around the nation. Occasionally these groups meet up at the same places year after year and actually get along just fine. How about that? These destinations become almost like pilgrimages for the individual tribes. It’s all good to get everybody out on the roads. No matter what tribe you call your own. ThroTTle blips me; it happened to the “crashing-is-for-other-people” dude on the ‘busa – frankly, it can happen to any of us if we allow it to. Is there a moral to this? I believe there is. The motogods granted me more days to enjoy this wonderful gift that we call motorcycling. To repay them, I have promised to never, ever again take it for granted. Riding is an art and a science and its skills are everevolving. “I got this thing!” should never be part of a rider’s psyche or vernacular. Its very utterance is akin to tempting the gods. Besides, it makes for a rather ironic proclamation on one’s epitaph, don’t you think?
Long Island Kawasaki 67 North Broadway • Route 107 • Hicksville, NY
www.LIKawasaki.com • 516-935-6969
NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
TH OUGHTS FROM THE ROAD TheY are noT ouT To geT You If you’ve ever gotten a traffic ticket you have probably driven away after the incident mumbling under your breathe about how badly the government must need the money or this was just another way for a municipality to pad their budget. Perhaps this may be true for some parking tickets at the local level but for the officers writing traffic tickets…let’s just say, “And now, the rest of the story.” I have been in law enforcement for 30 years and recently retired from the New York State Police as a lieutenant and detail commander of the Motor(cycle) Unit. In 2006, I had earned my masters degree in criminal justice at SUNY – Albany and applied some of the knowledge directly to the traffic programs for which I had direct responsibility. One of those was our highly controversial Motorcycle Safety Program which included motorcycle-only checkpoints. As the creator and architect of this program, I saw the need to address the rising numbers of injuries and fatalities among motorcyclists in New York State. At a time when highway deaths were on a steady decline and reaching all-time lows, motorcycle fatalities were steadily rising. To not address this trend as someone in law enforcement specifically charged with traffic safety would be tantamount to a dereliction of duty. As an avid motorcycle enthusiast and regular rider, there was no more incentive needed to come up with a plan. There was never an order that came across my desk stating we needed to write more tickets to motorcyclists (or any motorist for that matter). The primary reason for traffic tickets is to make highways safer. Never was there an offer for an extra day off or additional pay for writing traffic tickets. As many officers like to say, “I don’t get a free toaster at the end of the month.” Our program had many facets; training motorcycle groups and police, free courtesy inspections of motorcycles at large-scale events, stepped-up enforcement and yes, motorcycle-only checkpoints. As a highway user, you should know that a great deal of funding is devoted to “targeted enforcement” to tackle traffic safety issues. The seatbelt compliance rate is now up over 90%. Due entirely to a high visibility campaign called, “Click It or Ticket”.
Lt. Jim Halvorsen Law enforcement addresses alcohol offenses the same way with high-visibility checkpoints, ad campaigns and strict routine enforcement. Millions of dollars are spent. As a motorcyclist the question could easily be posed, “Well maybe if they spent some of those millions concentrating on motorcycle safety our injuries and fatalities would go down too!” Funding was made available through the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) and the same tactics were applied. When motorists were briefly detained at seatbelt checkpoints, there was no uproar about treading upon constitutional rights by stopping cars without probable cause. The law allows this under strict adherence to specific guidelines. When sobriety checkpoints were instituted, the civil rights activist’s voices were silent. Trucks are stopped at checkpoints routinely simply because they are trucks. Boats are checked for safety reasons as well as snowmobiles. But, stop motorcycles in a motorcycle-only checkpoint and suddenly this tactic is constitutionally challenged. Outrage flares within the motorcycle community. I actually applaud this. The spotlight would have never been cast so brightly for so long without the vocal motorcycle groups’ protests. The safety issue has been covered better than ever before. Now in retirement, I thought I would set the record straight. As a motorcyclist who rides between 10-15,000 miles annually, I sought to decrease motorcyclists’ injuries and fatalities in a novel approach using well-documented approaches with known successes. In 30 years of being involved in traffic enforcement with four different police agencies in two different states, traffic tickets have never been about benefits to anyone other than the users of the highway. I never did get any additional days off, a better parking spot or even extra pay. However, as a retirement gift, my secretary, Kim Leitch did finally give me my free toaster! Editor’s Note: Lt. Jim Halvorsen retired from the New York State Police in April, 2012 as the Detail Commander of the NYSP Motor Unit. He is a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Rider Coach and adjunct professor at SUNY – Albany, School of Criminal Justice.
SUSSEXMOTORSPORTS 446 Route 23 • Sussex, NJ • Located across from the A&P Shopping Plaza
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BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
Letters to the Editor
From our friends at Friends Lake Dear Brian & Shira, Wow! Thank you so much for your beautiful write up in Backroads! We received a few emails from previous guests telling us about it as well. We are so glad you enjoyed your lunch at Friends Lake Inn – we hope you will return in the not too distant future – maybe Americade 2013? Thank you again so very much and we are sharing your magazine throughout the Inn so hopefully you’ll get many new subscribers… Thank you, John & Trudy Friends Lake Inn Hey Backroads, You cannot imagine our excitement seeing the feature on Friends Lake Inn. We have been going there for Americade for 10 years along with birthdays, our anniversary, LG Winter Carnival, snowmobiling, Adirondack Nationals and best of all, leaf peeping on the bike, along with any other reason to go there. Did you guess it is our favorite place? Every year Americaders show up for 1 or 2 nights on the weekend (we go Sunday through Fri so miss the few that do come). Being that the Inn is away from the hoopla of Lake George Village probably explains why it doesn’t draw the crowds, which is why we love it so much! For those that enjoy a quiet, romantic evening with a glass of wine in the Jacuzzi after a 200-mile plus ride, then the best dinner you will ever have makes it the best place to be. The staff takes the time to talk to you, and over the years have shared with us some of the best roads for a great day of riding. I am glad you liked it as much as we do, I hope your readers will give it a try as the Inn is remarkable! Heading up for leaves in a few weeks, maybe we will give your Rip & Ride a try instead of Catskills and RT 30! MEMBER All the best, Craig and Denise Haenschen
other rider out there. Now if I kept pulling the “girly card” I would certainly be treated differently. What constitutes being held down in our hobby? My favorite one is “not being able to find gear”. Ha! I don’t know where you’re looking because every manufacturer offers gear for women of (almost) all shapes and sizes, and thankfully it’s not all pink. Actually, I find that there’s less pink from the companies where women riders are also decision makers. Where guys are in charge, everything is pink and purple because “that’s what girls want, no?” Well, maybe some girls, but not any woman I know. Not being able to find bikes? Except for the shortest people out there, you can find quite a few bikes that fit a short person (I know what I am talking about) and if it’s a little tall or big, there are ways to make it fit better, whatever your ride. Of course, you won’t ride the tallest GS or the biggest cruiser, so what? You don’t lift the biggest weights at the gym either, right? You would look quite funny complaining that some weights are just too big and that’s what’s holding you down! Do your research, don’t get all wrapped up in the “bigger is better”, quit hoping to impress someone with your too-big-for-you bike, ride what you can and be happy! As far as a women-only event, it is a negotiable thing. I am a proud member of the Motor Maids and I enjoy my time with the ladies: the Motor Maids’ yearly convention is a blast (the husbands are welcome), but then Motor
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Stop the Presses – Brian gets “Love Mail”…Seriously? Hey Brian, I received my October issue of Backroads. I typically don’t take the time to write feedback on articles I’ve read but this one caught my attention this morning as I read the section Free Wheelin’. I just wanted to say, you are spot on and I couldn’t have agreed more! Thanks for a great magazine, and I hope to see you on the road again soon. Kimber Iwaniec Santorella Brian, Ok, so I read one paragraph and I start typing. Just started your Free Wheelin’ and my blood pressure just went up through the roof. Amazingly not against you…I read “women are held down in the industry”. WHAT???? Who is the dumbass to utter such a sentence? Someone from our industry? Who is holding you down? Please explain that to me. I am a woman and I work in this industry and spend my life with riders, and guess what? I don’t feel held down. I work as hard as the next guy and I am as knowledgeable as the next guy in my field. There are plenty of women in our industry and they are doing very well for themselves! Do I ride as well as the next guy? Well, I would say not worse than a lot of them! I am a woman and I happen to do my best when it comes to riding a motorcycle, and no, I don’t feel special. I don’t advertise my “inside reproductive organs” by wearing pink or letting my hair fly, or wearing fingerless gloves to show my pretty fingernails, etc. I guess because I look like any other rider out there, I get the same treatment as any
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NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
Page 12 Maids fall in my category of Real Riders. Nobody is allowed to trailer to the convention, for example, except for the ladies that have spent 50 years in the club or more. Many Motor Maids ride so much that they don’t have the need to act girly to feel “special”: there’s an award every year for the highest mileage, and it usually goes to a woman who rode over 50,000 that year. Some years, there are several in that range. There are plenty of women riding clubs and they might or might not be open to the male mates of their members but if a woman feels better riding with other women, there are plenty of options and there’s nothing wrong with that. And, if the AMA wants to hold a Women’s Conference, why not? But I am with you Brian, I don’t understand why there is not a yearly AMA Rally to regroup all their members, present their association, their agenda, offer training and conferences, etc. They would certainly retain more members if they had such an event. Is the success of the Women’s Conference due to the fact that there’s no other Women Rally/Conference out there, and therefore they get all the women attendees who want to attend such an event? Guys must not feel the need for a Men’s Conference because quite often, they ride mostly with guys. As far as women in advertising, I decide on the ads for the brands I work for. Even though I think pretty girls make the world a better place for all, you will never see anyone close to naked in one of our ads. Not because I am a woman, not because I find it offensive, but because we (men and women in our company) think that we have more to offer to our customers or potential customers, than a naked girl. We offer good products and that’s what we show. Actually I believe that if you put a naked girl, well… that’s what people will look at, not at the product associated with it. I believe that this still goes on in our industry because a large number of women riders suddenly dress like hookers when they come close to a motorcycle (don’t say no if you’ve never attended some rallies that I will not name, but had the displeasure of attending for work). The rest of the week, I am quite sure that they follow a middle of the road dress-code, but on Saturday (just as the guys suddenly turn into their imagined version of a Hell’s Angel – no offense to their members) the wives don their leather bras and streetwalker boots and display their anatomy in ways that would have made Pretty Woman blush. I don’t judge them, but I don’t associate with them either. Their mates must feel so proud that they certainly look at the naked girls in
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the ads, and say “See Honey, you look just like her!” and think that it is soooo cool! Big hug to both, Catherine Brian, I agree with your decry of exploiting women in advertising. However, I wouldn’t want to put all of them out of work. Case in point, top of page four in the October Backroads - A red head and a Norton! What could be hotter than that? Seriously though you shouldn’t be surprised that some women want to separate themselves from others. Like-minded humans have banded together since they started walking up-right. Evolution has changed some things, most of us can now get a full face helmet on our head, though others can only manage a skull cap. Don’t take it personally, that’s life. It is what it is. Dwight Williams - Pine Bush, NY
Fall Fiesta 2012 Mark and I had a wonderful weekend of riding, relaxing, and visiting with all our Backroads friends. Thanks for helping me celebrate another birthday! It was great! We love you guys. Betsy Byers
BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
Hi guys, Brian, first I’m very glad to see you’ve recovered from the mishap that set you back several months ago. Never shed the Superman costume and you’ll always be fine. I see I’ve missed a lot of good times. I had a wonderful time reuniting with good friends, new faces and places. I liked the lodging (except for that sleepy nuisance elevator that some in our group may still be waiting on :) and of course the several food options beyond the very good Lancaster Hotel cuisine, all within walking distance, and meeting the mayor of Lancaster, a gracious gentleman and fellow rider. I look forward to the next trip with the intent of breaking my old attendance record of 20+ consecutive Spring and Fall Backroads trips from 1997 to 2006 with a stop or two at the Gray Ghost and your next magazine anniversary tour. John Petrocelli (forgive me John!) and I will probably be roommates with very senior discounts by then as we lift, not swing a leg over the seat. It’s nice to know there’s always an old or new friend from the Backroads group that offers a place to rest my head. There’s no better combination when you mix pleasant Fall weather, friends and country roads to transport one’s self through space and vacation time on two wheels. Beem(er) me up Scotty! Chuck Potzer Backroads, Great weekend as always! It is always fun to see all the Backroaders and catch up. Fantastic routes and the weather was good as well. Michael & Lisa Hoffman
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NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
CHA CHA HUT BBQ RUN
Waking up on the first Saturday in the Fall I did not see something I had seen for the last two weeks… the sun. Looking at the northeast radar all I saw was a heavy, thick and nasty band of green, reds and yellows heading in from western Pennsylvania. Frack me! We had planned this run to the Cha Cha Hut Barbeque for a few months and now Mother Nature was being a bitch. Sorely I posted on the Backroads’ Facebook page that we would reschedule this jaunt for another day. Still, you never know who might show so Shira and I geared up and headed over to the meeting spot at the Chatterbox in Augusta, New Jersey. My thought was, with the bad forecast, if anyone showed we would take them for a quick breakfast run.
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BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
Page 15 When 18 machines showed up, especially our great friends from Long Island, we did the run as planned. And, a great run it was. Shira had plotted the route out and did a super job, somehow avoiding the mandatory Shira’s 12 miles of dirt, and giving all 125 miles of superior road. We only had about 5 miles of bad weather and up in Arkville, home to the Cha Cha Hut, all was bright and sunny. I give Frank and Cherrie all the credit as they saw my stupid and errant Facebook post and thought we were not coming; but still handled all with some seriously great Que’! Heck, not only was it the group we led up there, but three other small groups showed up as well. Good for the Cha Cha! We’d like to thank all those who made the ride up, inspite of the hard weather rolling in. We think the ride was great, the crowd awesome and we look forward to doing it again soon. Keep an eye on our Facebook and web pages for impromptu rides to other fun destinations. Let’s hope the winter is as kind to us this year as last.
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NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
Morton’s BMW Motorcycles Presents Dr. Seymour O’Life’s M YST ER IOU S AM ER IC A The haskell free librarY & opera house 93 Caswell avenue, derbY line, vT 05830 • 802- 873-3022 or
1 ChurCh sTreeT, sTansTead, QC J0b 3e2, Canada It has been said many time that the way to free the human soul is through the arts and literature. I believe this to be so and this month I would like to tell you about a small piece of Mysterious America that lies not just in this nation but another as well. Since the days of the French and Indian War and the American invasions of the War of 1812 there has been a steady simmering of tempers between the United States and our aggressive and warlike neighbors to the north - Canada. At times the rhetoric between the two rivals has almost brought us to the brink of annihilation – what with Canada attacking the US with game show hosts, bad actors and hokey folk singers; and the United States retaliating with offering same day MRIs and multiple alternatives to Tim Horton’s. I tell you kids, this border skirmish makes the “Ruskie Cold War” look like a high school rendition of West Side Story. But, there is a small glimmer of hope and it lies in the middle of two small towns – Derby Line, Vermont and Stanstead, Quebec.
Yes, down the middle of these two little burgs the line has literally been drawn. Although when I visited all was peaceful I was told by US Border Patrol not even to think of crossing over the line that is in the middle of Church Street… or is that Rue Church? I have heard of more tense time when angry mobs of hockey players defiantly opposed teams of baseball players to come over and find out just what the penalty box is all about. But here at the Haskell Free Library and Opera House peace and serenity reign. Built back in 1904 the Haskell Free Library and Opera House lies in both nations. The donors were a couple who ironically enough, both came from different sides of the border. Carlos F. Haskell was a local American businessman who owned a number of sawmills, while Martha Stewart Haskell was Canadian. Their dream was that people on both sides of the border would have use of the facility, which is now a designated historic site. The library collection and the opera stage are located in Stanstead, but the door and most opera seats are located in Derby Line. Because of this, the Haskell is sometimes called “the only library in the U.S.A. with no books” and “the only opera house in the U.S.A. with no stage”. Its two addresses are 93 Caswell Avenue, Derby Line, Vermont and 1 Church Street, Stanstead, Quebec. A thick black line runs beneath the seats of the opera house and diagonally
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BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
across the center of the library’s reading room to mark the international boundary. The stage and half of the seats are in Canada, the remainder of the opera hall is in the United States. The library has a collection of more than 20,000 books in French and English, and is open to the public 38 hours a week. The building is recognized as a historic site in both countries. In the United States, it has been registered in the National Reg-
ister of Historic Places since 1976. In Canada, it was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1985 and has been a provincial heritage site since 1977. The Opera House is quite stunning and the theatre holds many events and shows throughout the year, although they have still never had the “Battle of the Bands” between Rush and the Allman Brothers, but there has been talk. Yes, things are quiet now at the US/Canada version of Korea’s DMZ and I for one hope it stays this way. Our friends to the north are really great, and very polite too, and it seems it is always the politicians that seem to cause the trouble. Let Harper and Obama fight it out. Besides, do you really think Canada would take William Shatner back? O’Life Out!
NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
O’Toole’s Harley-Davidson Presents
G REAT ALL AMERICAN DINER RUN waTer wheel Café 150 waTer sTreeT, milford, pa 18337 570-296-2383 www.waTerwheelCafe.Com We are always looking for interesting places; a great restaurant, super location and if we can find a little bit of history, well all the better. In the northeast corner of Pennsylvania you will find the town of Milford. Milford is a town in the middle of a small renaissance with a few new boutique hotels and inns popping up and a place that has some deep history. Right off US 6 you will find Water Street and, nestled in an old mill building, you will find the Water Wheel Café. You will also discover a number of excellent and different shops – antiques, tchotchkas and radio-controlled planes, which certainly brought out the geek in us.
tasty places to take your bike
But, what we really have here is a great deal of superior roads, well until you get into Milford itself, but then this place with some great history will make you forget the little traffic. Tucked along a small stream the Water Wheel Café houses just that, a huge wooden water wheel harkening back to the town’s more agrarian history. The place is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Through the glass walls of the Waterwheel Café and the bar, right next door, you can view this restored 19th century water-powered gristmill with its 24’ working waterwheel. Originally built in the early 1800’s, this lively example of American history is now in action and its doors are open to the public. Water rushes over the three-story high waterwheel, driving a series of shafts, gears, pulleys and belts that power the stones and grain milling equipment. A good idea, before or after your meal, is to take the short self-guided tour which enables you to understand this whole milling process - the grinding of grain by the power of falling water.
Rip & Ride® • WATER WHEEL CAFÉ 150 WATER STREET, MILFORD, PA 18337 570-296-2383 • WWW.WATERWHEELCAFE.COM 115 MILES FROM GWB TO MILFORD, PA DOWNLOAD GPS ROUTE HERE: WWW.SENDSPACE.COM/PRO/DL/FFD1XC
GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE ROUTE 4 WEST ROUTE 208 NORTH EXIT SKYLINE DRIVE AT T MAKE RIGHT CR 511 BEAR LEFT AT CR 696 BEAR LEFT UNION VALLEY ROAD CR 513 RIGHT AT RTE. 23 LEFT AT HOLLAND MOUNTAIN ROAD RIGHT AT RIDGE ROAD RIGHT AT EDISON ROAD LEFT AT CR 517 RIGHT AT RTE. 15 NORTH BEAR LEFT AT RTE. 94 SOUTH RIGHT AT SID TAYLOR ROAD RIGHT AT RTE. 206 LEFT AT CR 626 (FAIRLCLOUGH FUEL FIRST LEFT) STRAIGHT THROUGH CR 519 THROUGH DOUBLE BRIDGES
LEFT AT T CR 626 LEFT AT CR 521 SOUTH RIGHT AT CR 659 SPRING VALLEY ROAD BEAR RIGHT ONTO CR 602 MILLBROOK ROAD BEAR RIGHT TOWARDS NPS 615 BEAR SLIGHTLY LEFT AT INTERSECTION TO WALPACK ROAD LEFT AT CR 650 CROSS DINGMANS BRIDGE ($1 TOLL) STRAIGHT AT SR 739 RIGHT AT RTE. 209 NORTH LEFT AT RAYMONDSKILL RIGHT AT SR 2001 MILFORD ROAD BECOMES WATER ST. IN MILFORD AND CAFÉ IS ON RIGHT
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BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
Page 19 The restaurant bills itself as a bakery, café and bar and the large display case had plenty of desserts on offer. The dining room is a tad tight, but the deck adds to the seating. Although baking is king here, we stopped by for their brunch one sunny Sunday morning, where they served up excellent omelets and pancakes with fresh blueberries. They had a number of specials this day as well. Looking through the lunch menu you could see they had a definite Asian flair with some Vietnamese dishes and a wide selection of ethnic “Specialty Sandwiches” including Cuban, Jewish and Italian offerings. Later in the day the menu moves onward with the ethnic tastes and so we rode up one evening to try a number of dishes with some friends. The Crispy Duckling, done Vietnamese-style was superb as was beef tenderloin skewers. Others loved the filet mignon with tarragon-morel butter and the mango-mint lamb chops. The Water Wheel Café’ seems to reinvent itself for each time of the day, but you can’t go wrong whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner. Remember those great roads we told you about? Well, follow along with this month’s Rip &Ride and we will show you exactly what we mean.
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NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
Bergen County Harley-Davidson Presents
W E’RE OUT TA HERE
a weekend destination keeping you on the backroads
sTarliTe moTel 8722 rouTe 28 , big indian nY 12410 • 845-254-4449 • www.sTarliTe-moTel.Com Decades ago, when what were dirt roads and well worn paths were being bulldozed into submission, becoming the many routes that criss-cross this nation, there began a phenomenon that blossomed along these new roadways. The Motel. Back then they were called Tourist Homes, Cabin Camps or Cottage Homes. Some of these places were fairly elaborate and some offered covered parking right beside your room. These days most folks move along quickly on the interstate; quickly gobbling up the miles and just as quickly missing all they pass. When they are done for the day they quickly get off any exit and quickly grab a room at some chain motel that was quickly constructed along with all its brethren another ten miles down the road. We have nothing against these motel chains, but most times we prefer our riding to be on the tiny backroads that still link this country together and most times, when riding along such old roads, we come across a real motel; individually owned and operated. A real piece of Americana. New York’s Route 28 is a “Mother Road” of sorts. Starting in Kingston and running some 280 miles, first west through the Catskills, and then north into the Adirondacks, finally terminating north of Warrensburg. Along the way there are all sorts of sights and interesting places. Down in the center of the Catskills, in the shadow of Rose Mountain, you will find a true jewel - the Starlite Motel. Unlike some other tiny motels that have started to go to seed, the Starlite is just starting to shine. Built in the late ‘60’s and owned for the last twelve by owner Michelle Odato, the Starlite is constantly refining and upgrading each of their 8 efficiency rooms. In our never-ending search for very cool places we were more than happy we came across the Starlite. Sitting off Route 28, on a couple of acres of land, the Starlite is a throw back to days when auto courts ruled, yet the Starlite has all you want from our modern world with Satellite TV, clean, spacious and very comfortable rooms and, of course, WiFi. When we rolled up to the Starlite, soaking wet and cold, after battling a string of storms that came across the mountains,
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BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
Rip & Ride® • STARLITE MOTEL 8722 ROUTE 28 , BIG INDIAN NY 12410 845-254-4449 • WWW.STARLITE-MOTEL.COM ONE-WAY 135 MILE ROUTE FROM JUMBOLAND, BRANCHVILLE, NJ DOWNLOAD GPS HERE: WWW.SENDSPACE.COM/PRO/DL/2T5YY8 PRINTED ROUTE MAY DIFFER SLIGHTLY FROM GPS
NORTH ON ROUTE 206 LEFT ONTO DINGMAN ROAD/CR 560 GET YOUR $1 OUT FOR DINGMAN BRIDGE STRAIGHT ONTO ROUTE 739 RIGHT ONTO MILFORD ROAD/PA 2001 LEFT ONTO RAYMONDSKILL ROAD LEFT ONTO PA ROUTE 6 RIGHT ONTO TWIN LAKES ROAD RIGHT ONTO ROUTE 434 LEFT ONTO PA ROUTE 97 NORTH BEAR RIGHT ONTO YULAN BARRYVILLE RD/CR 21 LEFT ONTO BEAVERBROOK ROAD/CR 22 RIGHT ONTO LUMBERLAND MT HOPE RD/CR 23 RIGHT ONTO PA ROUTE 97 RIGHT ONTO ECKES ROAD/CR 25 RIGHT ONTO ROUTE 52 RIGHT ONTO CR 115
LEFT ONTO ROUTE 17B RIGHT ONTO ROUTE 52 BEAR LEFT ONTO ROUTE 17B RIGHT ONTO NORTH BRANCH ROAD/CR 121 BEAR LEFT ONTO CR 131 KEEP LEFT ONTO CR 132 RIGHT ONTO ROUTE 97 RIGHT ONTO CR 94 LEFT ONTO HANKINS RD/CR 93 LEFT ONTO STEWART AVE RIGHT ONTO OLD ROUTE 17B/CR 179 IN ROSCOE BUFFALO ZACH’S MAKES A GOOD STOPPING POINT FOR A JOE
LEISURELY LATE BREAKFAST, EARLY LUNCH OR A CUP OF
LEFT ONTO BEAVERKILL ROAD/CR 151 KEEP LEFT ONTO BIG POND ROAD INTO BARKABOOM ROAD RIGHT ONTO BWS 9 ROAD RIGHT ONTO NY ROUTE 28 RIGHT ONTO DRY BROOK ROAD BEAR LEFT ONTO TODD MOUNTAIN ROAD RIGHT ONTO NY ROUTE 28 STARLITE MOTEL ON RIGHT – ENJOY!
Michelle greeted us with a big smile and swiftly ushered us into our warm room. A half hour later we were showered and human again and with the sun now out we did a little exploring around the tiny motel. All the rooms are large and comfortable and they all have modern bathrooms and come with a tiny, but complete, kitchen area. The real surprise came when we opened the back door of the kitchen to find a retreat in the backyard; a sprawling wooded area with picnic tables, charcoal grills for every room, a deck and a screened room for outdoor dining or lounging, as well as a fire pit. Out front, in a small glen, there were more picnic tables and a volleyball net. What else do riders need at the end of a great day’s ride?
NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
For the morning there is a basket filled with enough to get you on your way – an assortment of cereals, muffin and roll, jams and butter and the very necessary coffee; a fresh quart of milk awaits in the fridge. With a prime riding location such as Big Indian, New York, in the middle of the Catskills, the Starlite is the perfect place for a quick overnight while exploring the mountains, or even better, a home base for a group of riders looking for something different and very affordable - rooms run from $85 to $125 depending upon season. With each room having a grill - Webers by the way - a full kitchen and all the relaxing space in the back, a riding group can spend a good part of the day running the Catskills and then head back to the Starlite for a barbeque meal and an evening with friends. If you are more a restaurant person, then the Peekamoose Restaurant and Taproom is a short mile east of the motel and the Pine Hill Arms just a few miles to the west. Both are quite excellent. You could even stop at our friends at the Cha Cha Hut, in Arkville, and ride back with a delicious assortment of ribs, chicken and pork already to eat! Whether you are just passing through or looking for a great base camp for you and your riding buddies, the Starlite has plenty to offer – great rooms, superb location, and an owner that loves to have riders like us stop by any day. Next time you’re riding the world’s oldest mountains make the Starlite part of your trip and say hi to Michelle from us.
BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
BIG CIT Y G ETAWAY u.s. navY submarine forCe librarY and museum one CrYsTal lake road, groTon, ConneCTiCuT 06340 www.ussnauTilus.org Steven Smith It may not be a surprise to anyone that much of our country’s maritime and naval history has roots in New England, including submersibles. David Bushnell conceived and built the first submersible he called Turtle while attending Yale University in the early 1700’s. He envisioned it could be used to plant explo-
daytrip ideas to get out of the daily grind sives on British ships during the Revolutionary War. Since that time Connecticut has become better known for submarines. In fact, the small coastal town of Groton, CT is nicknamed “The Submarine Capitol of the World.” It is here that we find General Dynamics Electric Boat Company, the U.S. Navy Submarine base, and the U.S. Navy Submarine Force Library and Museum. General Dynamics Electric Boat submarine shipyard has been supplying the Navy with submersibles for over 100 years. This shipyard built the USS Holland, the first submarine commissioned into service in the U.S. Navy. They built the first nuclear submarine, USS Nautilus, which was launched in January 1954, and the first ballistic missile submarine, USS George Washington, in 1959, amongst others. Most recently Electric Boat is primarily focused on construction of the Virginia class submarine, but in past years they also constructed Ohio, Los Angeles, and Seawolf class submarines. Another important part of their business is performing overhaul and repair work on fast attack class boats. (Continued on Page 26)
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Polaris Metuchen will have a display at the Annual League of Municipalities Conference Nov. 13-15, 2012 • Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, NJ Vehicles shown with optional accessories. Avoid operating Polaris RANGERs on paved surfaces or public roads. Riders and passengers should always wear helmets, eye protection, protective clothing, and seat belts. Always use cab nets. Drivers of RANGER vehicles must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license. Warning: ATVs can be hazardous to operate. For your safety: Avoid operating Polaris ATVs on paved surfaces or public roads. Riders and passengers should wear helmets, eye protection, protective clothing and seat belts. Polaris adult ATV models are for riders aged 16 and older. Be sure to take a safety training course. For safety training information in the U.S., call the SVIA at (800) 887-2887, see your dealer, or call Polaris at (800) 342-3764. In Canada, see your local dealer. ©2011 Polaris Industries Inc.
MULTI-PURPOSE UTILITY VEHICLES CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO OPERATE. FOR YOUR SAFETY, BE RESPONSIBLE. ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET, EYE PROTECTION AND APPROPRIATE CLOTHING. ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT, AND KEEP THE SIDE NETS AND DOORS CLOSED. AVOID EXCESSIVE SPEEDS, AND BE CAREFUL ON DIFFICULT TERRAIN. ALL MUV DRIVERS SHOULD WATCH THE SAFETY VIDEO “MULTIPURPOSE UTILITY VEHICLES: A GUIDE TO SAFE OPERATION” AND READ THE OWNER’S MANUAL BEFORE OPERATING THE VEHICLE. NEVER DRIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS OR ALCOHOL, ON PUBLIC ROADS OR WITH MORE THAN ONE PASSENGER. BIG RED IS ONLY FOR DRIVERS 16 YEARS AND OLDER. DRIVER AND PASSENGER MUST BE TALL ENOUGH FOR SEAT BELT TO FIT PROPERLY AND TO BRACE THEMSELVES WITH BOTH FEET FIRMLY ON THE FLOOR. PASSENGER MUST BE ABLE TO GRASP THE HAND HOLD WITH THE SEAT BELT ON AND BOTH FEET ON THE FLOOR. RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT WHEN DRIVING. UTILITY ATVs and TRX250X ARE RECOMMENDED ONLY FOR RIDERS 16 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER AND CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO OPERATE. READ THE OWNER’S MANUAL. BE CAREFUL ON DIFFICULT TERRAIN. BE A RESPONSIBLE RIDER. ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET, EYE PROTECTION AND PROTECTIVE CLOTHING, AND PLEASE RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT. OBEY THE LAW AND READ YOUR OWNER’S MANUAL THOROUGHLY. ALL ATV RIDERS SHOULD TAKE A TRAINING COURSE (FREE FOR NEW BUYERS. ASK YOUR DEALER OR CALL ASI AT 800887-2887). NEVER RIDE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS OR ALCOHOL, ON PAVED SURFACES, ON PUBLIC ROADS, WITH PASSENGERS, OR AT EXCESSIVE SPEEDS. NO STUNT RIDING. Big Red®, FourTrax®, Rancher®, TRX® and Foreman® are trademarks of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. ©2012 American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (07/12) 12-1101
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2012 MULE™ 600 KAWASAKI CARES: Always wear protective gear appropriate for the use of this vehicle. Never operate under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The Kawasaki MULE™ side x side vehicle is an off-highway vehicle only, and is not designed, equipped, or manufactured for use on public streets; roads or highways. Specifications subject to change without notice. Availability may be limited. Warning: The Teryx side x side vehicle can be hazardous to operate. For your safety: Always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing. Never ride on public roads or pavement. Avoid high speed turns or abrupt manuevers. Be extra careful on difficult terrain. Protect the environment and obey all laws and regulations that control the use of these vehicles. ©2012 Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.
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©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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NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
Page 26 Just upstream from Electric Boat on the Thames River, not too far inland from the mouth at Long Island Sound, is the U.S. Navy submarine base. All future Navy submariners receive their training at the Naval Submarine School located on this naval base. The base began its existence in 1868 when the State of Connecticut gave 112 acres of land along the Thames River to the Navy to construct a Naval Station. Since then the base has expanded, and became the United States Navy’s primary submarine base and encompasses nearly 700 acres.
The Submarine Force Library and Museum is located just outside the southern base perimeter along the shores of the Thames River. Here you can learn about the Navy’s submarine force, and its history and technology. The museum traces the history of the “Silent Service” from the Turtle to modern
Rip & Ride® • U.S. NAVY SUBMARINE FORCE LIBRARY AND MUSEUM ONE CRYSTAL LAKE ROAD, GROTON, CONNECTICUT 06340 75-MILE RIDE FROM WATERBURY, CT • DOWNLOAD GPS HERE: WWW.SENDSPACE.COM/PRO/DL/F785OE
START: I-84, EXIT 17 / CT-63 / CT-64 HEAD SOUTH ON CT-63 TURN LEFT ONTO CT-68 E/BRIDGE ST CONTINUE TO FOLLOW CT-68 E INTO DURHAM TURN RIGHT ONTO CT-17/MAIN ST SLIGHT LEFT ONTO CT-79 S/MADISON RD TURN LEFT ONTO CT-148 E KILLINGWORTH-DURHAM RD/PEA HILL RD CONTINUE TO FOLLOW CT-148 E ALL THE WAY TO THE CONNECTICUT RIVER FERRY CROSSING AT CHESTER
TAKE THE CT-148 W/FERRY RD TO LYME CONTINUE ONTO CT-82 E/NORWICH-SALEM RD CONTINUE TO FOLLOW CT-82 E TURN RIGHT TO MERGE ONTO I-395 S TAKE EXIT 79A FOR CT-2A E TOWARD PRESTON/LEDYARD MERGE ONTO CONNECTICUT 2A E TURN RIGHT ONTO CT-12 S TURN RIGHT ONTO CRYSTAL LAKE RD CONTINUE STRAIGHT TO SUBMARINE LIBRARY AND MUSEUM
BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
era submarines. It was originally established in 1955 by Electric Boat as “The Submarine Library.” In April 1964, the entire collection was donated to the Navy and relocated to the Naval Submarine Base, New London, Groton, Connecticut. The name “Submarine Force Library and Museum” was officially adopted in 1969. The museum’s collections include more than 33,000 artifacts, 20,000 significant documents and 30,000 photographs. The Submarine Force Library and Museum is well known for its archival and research value. On January 21, 1954 the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched from Groton and in 1958 became the first vessel to pass the North Pole. The Nautilus was retired from service in 1980 and in 1982 was designated a National Historic Landmark. In 2002, Electric Boat conducted preservation work on the USS Nautilus, preparing her for her permanent berth at the U.S. Navy Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, Connecticut, where she now resides moored south of the main gate, attached to the museum as a floating exhibit.
Self-guided tours are available aboard the Nautilus to the public every day the museum is open. Upon boarding you are provided an electronic audio device that will provide information about the Nautilus and crew at specific points along the tour route. During the tour you will see the torpedo room, a few of the six torpedo tubes and a couple of the Mk 14 Torpedoes carried. The officer wardroom and staterooms are where the 11 officers would eat, have meetings, and socialize. Further on the tour are the crew’s mess, attack center, and control room. Visiting the museum could not be easier. It is conveniently located off Route 12, not far from the I-95 exit. There is plenty of free parking and there is no cost for admission. The museum is open every day 9AM-5PM (summer hours), except Tuesdays and certain holidays. During periods of warmer weather it is advisable to arrive in the morning, and to visit the Nautilus first. You may want to leave riding gear with your motorcycle. The boat is not air-conditioned and it can get warm on
the boat. In fact it can get dangerously warm, and when the inside temperature is 88 degrees or more the boat is closed to tours. To tide you over until a ride to the museum is possible, a visit to the museum’s web pages will yield a virtual tour of the museum and Nautilus.
NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
ather e f a of Birds ogether… t flock
S r e Summ
2 1 0 2 e z e e u q
s we rolled up to the wide gravel parking lot of the Gray Ghost there were already a dozen or so machines lined up in front of one of Vermont’s most rider-friendly hotels. As the afternoon wore on more bikes came rolling in, from both the south and north on Route 100, to find a spot in front of the Ghost. It had been a awhile since we had held a Summer Squeeze, little things like a Backroads Tour of the Alps and other travels getting in the way, but this summer we were good to go and Carina and crew were ready for our group. In truth the folks at the Gray Ghost are always ready to handle riding groups large and small.
With a free week happening towards the end of August leading into Labor Day Weekend we booked the Gray Ghost for a Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and put out the invite to our readers to join us; and many did. The idea of the Summer Squeeze is to get up to the little hamlet of West Dover, in southern Vermont and take advantage of the superior riding on the Monday and Tuesday when there is far less traffic and crowds to deal with. We have found that empty roads make for a far more pleasurable riding experience. Unlike some other years when we had been plagued by chancy weather it looked as if the Gods of Weather were on our side, especially when you consider that it was this same week, exactly a year before, that Hurricane Irene came along and basically took apart the Vermont road system. What a difference a trip around the sun can make. The pool, porch and local restaurants were busy this evening and most everybody was up and ready to ride early the next morn.
We had set up some suggested rides to some odd places. A spider-web farm, a unique reservoir spillway that had been terribly misnamed and a number of passes, and gaps with just a few great restaurants tossed in to keep our people well fed. After a good breakfast riders took off in groups large and small to see what they would find. We rode along with Bob LoCicero, webmaster for Motorcycle-Vermont.com and after the typical Backroads u-turns and searching we ended up on a superb 200 mile route that included about 30 miles of hard pack Vermont gravel roads. The fact is that if you are exploring Vermont and going to vector off any of the bigger roads – Route 100, 7 or 12 - you will run into gravel.
NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
Most of it is very rideable, even for bigger touring machines but, occasionally, you might find yourself in over your head – and a hasty retreat may be in order. Our ride this day took us over some peaks and gaps and I have always been particularly fond of Brandon Gap especially when it drops us off just a mile from the Rochester Café with its scrumptious maple milk shakes! From there we headed east and then down along some river roads that still bore scars from the destructive Irene a year before. Along one small town we ran into a number of our own who, after getting a tad lost, had stopped for lunch on their way to Knight’s Spider-Web Farm. By late afternoon folks were heading back to the Gray Ghost, mostly dodging storm bursts on wet pavement. It seems the local Weather Gods did take notice we were in the region and decided to play with us regardless of our offerings. Shira and I had the great pleasure of being joined by my mother, Betty and my Aunt Eileen who had driven up earlier that day. It was a lot of fun watching our riders come up and say hi and I think both women fit into our little soirée just fine. We also had a special treat for the entire group that night after dinner. Mike from the
BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012 Southern Vermont Natural History Museum, in West Marlboro (vermontmuseum.org) came over for a showing and talk of the wildlife found in and around the state of Vermont. He talked for nearly two hours and I think we all learned so much more than we knew before about the lives and habits of moose, snakes, coyotes and various raptors and owls. Mike also brought along a few friendly critters as well and we got to be up close with a few snakes, a toad, a snapping turtle and two stunning birds; an owl and majestic red tail hawk. I do believe that this presentation was a real winner and we’d like to thank Mike from the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum for coming over and Carina for arranging the entire talk for us. The next day we would ride with a bit more knowledge of the creatures and environment that is the stunning state of Vermont. Later that night, as is tradition at the Gray Ghost, we had a small group down at the fire pit with a good blaze going but for the most part it was an early night. Still 4 am found me waking up to a fairly good size rain pounding the region. I hoped the next day would be a bit fairer. Right on schedule the clouds rolled on by and we kept with the raptor flavor of the trip and a few of us rode over to the western side on the mountains and to a ride up Mt. Equinox. At 3848 it is the highest peak in the Taconic Range and the 5.2 mile road is a blast to ride, both going up and coming down. We ran into a bit of low ceiling at the summit but the views at the picnic stops along the way were superb. Heading north towards Manchester we had arranged for my mom and aunt to fly raptors at the British School of Falconry. We had been here a few years back and thought it a wonderful thing to do, actually fly Harris Hawks that are bred and used for hunting, and I knew both Mom and Aunt would be thrilled by it. And they were as were Mark Byers’ wife Betsy and our friend Courtney. Dawn at the school spent a bit of time explaining how this sport, one of the oldest on the planet, works and how delicate yet ferocious these hawks really are. To see the look on the ladies’ faces when the Harris Hawk swooped down to land gracefully and ever so gently on their gloved arm was priceless! While we were flying birds others headed to the American Precision Museum, in Windsor, to see things a bit more technical in nature; while others just went for a nice ride on what turned out to be a wonderful day. A small contingent had left that day for home so our somewhat diminished group made our way over to a fine local restaurant for a final evening meal and from the loud tables and heavy laughter we were pretty sure all were having a great time. Back at the Gray Ghost they had lit another bonfire and after dinner we sat around the blaze with an impromptu concert given by our own Johnny Rocket on the guitar. Good times kids, good times. The next day there were hugs all around and bikes left singularly and in groups towards where home was and we thank Carina and all at the Gray Ghost for hosting yet another fine Summer Squeeze. So, you have read all about these Backroads Rallies and get-togethers; why have you not come along for the ride? The open road and all the fun is calling. Keep your eye on upcoming issues of Backroads for the announcements of our upcoming rides and events.
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Being that this is our own backyard we were honored. This year there were just a few bikes to be judged, but for the first year it was a start. Next year they hope for more entries. It wasn’t hard for us to choose Glenn Keller’s 1996 H-D Fatboy as the winner. A wonderful machine that he has owned for years and that has gone through many recreations. The combination of Glenn’s hard work and his great story of the bike’s history made the choice an easy one. Congrats Glenn! In the car show a stunning 1959 midnight blue MG A coupe won People’s Choice Award easily and was a favorite of ours as well.
A yeArly New Jersey eveNt thAt keeps oN growiNg Now in its 10th year Sussex County New Jersey’s Champion of the Grill is a most excellent destination on a sunny Sunday in September. Nearly 3,000 folks rolled into the Sussex County Fairgrounds, off Route 206 in Augusta on a beautiful Sunday the 16th for the free event. Held by the local Chamber of Commerce, each year the event attracts more barbecue teams, both pro and amateur and, for the last 7 years, they have also held a great car show as well. This year some 45 classic autos participated in the event. Teams from various areas and restaurants were already smokin’ hard by the noon start and the free samples were gobbled up by the hungry crowds. Various awards are given out at the end of the day but everybody gets to help choose the “People’s Choice” by picking their favorite barbecue and then voting. It is a fun and filling day. Most of the smokers are of professional quality but my favorite was the Car-B-Cue, a refurbished 1965 Dodge Dart that is now a smoker on wheels. My mom had a Dodge Dart, I wonder whatever happened to it? Keeping the music rolling was the band Lefty and the Tall Boys who played a hot combination of blues and surf music and kept the party going all afternoon. For 2012 the Chamber added something new - a motorcycle show that the Chamber kindly asked Shira and I to judge.
On the barbeque side of things the competition was hot and tight. In the end it was the Knights of Columbus who won best amateur griller for serving up some tasty wild game and on the pro-side of the grills it was Texas Smoke Barbecue, found on Route 15 in Jefferson, New Jersey who won both the People’s Choice Award and Top Smoker overall. This place is well worth the visit. Although there were just a few machines in this first Bike Show we invite you to enter next year, or simply ride up and enjoy one of the nicest “free” events you will find in the region each fall.
BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
IND USTRY INFOBITES
News from the Inside
RIDE THE LONE STAR STATE THIS WINTER GSMmotoRent, based in the Smoky Mountains of East TN, plans their annual migration to the Big Bend area of Texas this coming winter, offering a full range of dual-sport motorcycles for rental from January 3rd through March 15th. Conveniently located between the Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park, the locals call the area “El Despoblado,” meaning unpopulated country. It also means the perfect place for two-wheel exploration of a unique area alongside the Rio Grande River, featuring high desert countryside with mountains reaching 7,000’. The Terlingua Ghost Town is a must see for the history as well as an opportunity to meet and socialize with the locals. The “winter” weather is also perfect for comfortable riding, with high temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s during the winter, sunny skies, and low chance for rain. Riders with any level of experience can have fun, with roads and trails ranging from mild to wild. There are many options to choose from in the National Park as well as the State Park some 60 miles west of Terlingua. Some videos of the roads in the area are available on the GSMmotorent website: www.gsmmotorent.com Packages including 4 nights lodging, rental bike for 3 days, and rental car for 5 days starting below $700 per person, based on double occupancy. Air travelers should plan on flying into the Midland, TX airport. Beginning January 3rd, 2013 through March 15th bikes will be available
on a first come, first served basis. Riders can reserving through the GSMmotorent website or by calling 865-448-6090. The fleet includes Kawasaki KLR 650’s (two of which have been lowered), Kawasaki KLX250S, Yamaha WR250R, and Suzuki DR200 bikes. Single-day rentals are available, as well as discounts for multi-day rentals. If exploring the Big Bend area on a dual sport bike has been on your wish list then now is the time to take advantage of this opportunity. Give GSMmotorent a call at 865-448-6090 or check them out at www.gsmmotorent.com to reserve your next adventure.
TROUBLE AT THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION’S MOTORCYCLE CRASH CAUSATION STUDY
Dr. Samir Ahmed has resigned from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) motorcycle crash causation study citing “serious reservations about the value of the study”. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation has learned that the chief engineer of the FHWA motorcycle crash causation study has removed himself from the project. In an email sent on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 by Ahmed he announced the following: “I am writing to let you know that I am no longer working on the motorcycle crash causation study. I have serious reservations about the value of study with the existing FHWA involvement. My expectations of the study are very low.” Dr. Samir Ahmed, PhD, PE, was in charge of conduction and then evaluating the Federal motorcycle crash causation study for the FHWA. The study was mandated by Congress in the SAFETEA-LU bill (PL 10959). The study was supposed to collect data from 1200 crashes, however when the cost of the study more than doubled it became necessary to shrink the size of the project now the Feds are estimating that the number of crashes that will be investigated is down to less than 120. Thats just %10 percent of the original number. The mandate directed the FHWA to work with the Oklahoma State University Transportation systems engineering school, a leading research center
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NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
Page 34 for all things transportation. The MRF has had some serious questions about this study since its conception. The MRF did not lobby Congress to have the study mandated. “It is no question that we need more information on why motorcycles crash, but with such limited resources in the motorcycle safety world we should be putting them toward proper motorcycle rider education and motorist awareness to prevent crashes.” Said Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. The full results of the study should be out sometime next year.
NEW WORLD AND NATIONAL RECORDS FOR BMW MOTORCYCLES ANDY SILLS AND ERIN HUNTER PILOT THE BMW S 1000 RR TO NEW HEIGHTS AT BONNEVILLE Legendary landspeed racer Andy Sills claimed another world record riding solo on a 2012 BMW S 1000 RR at the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials on August 29. Sills recorded a flying mile two-way average speed of 204.784 mph, setting a new FIM record in the Partially Streamlined Naturally Aspirated 1000 cc class at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats, west of Salt Lake City, Utah. Sills bested the previous world record set in 2009 by more than four-and-a-half miles per hour. Erin Hunter, also an accomplished landspeed racer and ambassador for women in the sport, set an AMA national record on the same BMW S 1000 RR with a top speed of 207.758 and a two-way average of 205.566 mph (besting the previous record by over six miles per hour) at the Bonneville event. “We’ve had the good fortune to race a number of different bikes throughout our careers, including streamliners,” commented Erin, “and the BMW S 1000 RR is incredibly stable at high speeds. The super stable platform allows us to focus on our racing skills without having to worry about the performance of the bike. You can trust it and go all out.” “Andy and Erin contacted me about a week before the trials and asked if I could provide them with an S 1000 RR for Bonneville,” said Gary Orr, coowner and general manager of San Diego BMW Motorcycles. “We’ve been successfully prepping race bikes for them for the past several years, so we were happy to help them out again.” Orr and his mechanics took the production bike and installed a BMW HP Race Powerkit, a LeoVince SBK exhaust pipe, and race body work. In the meantime, Brock’s Performance shipped Orr a suspension lowering kit. With little time to spare, the race-ready S 1000 RR was delivered to Andy and Erin the day before they left for Bonneville. The couple had FastSkinz race vinyl added to the bike at the BUB event. Andy became known in the BMW community in 2005 for setting the FIM land speed record of approximately 176 mph on the BMW K 1200 S at Bonneville, during BUB’s Speed Trials. The dynamic duo will continue to race the 2012 S 1000 RR this year and next with the goal of setting new speed records. Avid BMW riders, their San Francisco garage also houses an HP2 Sport, an R1200 S and a K 1300 S.
SENTENCING POSTPONED FOR TRUCK DRIVER WHO KILLED MOTORCYCLISTS
An Arizona dump truck driver who killed four motorcyclists and injured five others in a crash at a Phoenix stoplight in 2010 will be sentenced on Nov. 16. The driver, Michael Jakscht, was to be sentenced Sept. 21 but the sentencing was postponed. He was found guilty of four counts of manslaughter, five counts of aggravated assault and four counts of endangerment on Aug. 15 in a retrial of the case. He faces up to 21 years in prison for each of the manslaughter charges and 15 years for each of the aggravated assault charges. The retrial began June 11. Jakscht was on trial on charges related to a
March 25, 2010 crash in Phoenix in which he allegedly was under the influence of methamphetamine when he plowed into a group of motorcyclists stopped at a traffic signal.
ZERO ADDS POWER, NEW MODEL TO LINEUP Zero Motorcycles has introduced its 2013 lineup with an average power increase of 99 percent and a new FX model All 2013 models feature a new Z-Force compact air-cooled motor, which is powerful and highly efficient, according to the company. The bikes now come with Bluetooth capability, allowing riders to see detailed motorcycle information and adjust performance characteristics from their iPhone or Android device. The frame of each model has also been redesigned to improve rider ergonomics and expand compatibility with aftermarket accessories. With an optional accessory, those using CHAdeMO charge stations can charge the new models to 95 percent in an hour or less.
With the new Z-Force motor, the Zero S is now capable of traveling 137 miles on a charge. The S and the DS each have new body work with integrated storage in the “tank” area and two-tier seats. The S ZF8.5, with a 103mile range, is available for $13,995, and the S ZF11.4, with the 137-mile range, will appear in dealerships for $15,995. The DS ZF8.5, with a 95-mile range, has an MSRP of $13,995, while the 126-mile ZF11.4 version will cost $15,995.
NEW SAFETY TRACK COMING TO NEW YORK “Team Pro-Motion is proud to officially announce a new track opening shortly in New York. We’ve clocked the trip from NYC to the location in about 2.5 hours from NYC, making it the closest track to the city and very easy to find. The environment is absolutely stunning, peaceful and inspired by nature, with trees and grass surrounding the course. The place is a true rider’s paradise having all the features of a top notch European racetrack combined with calm NY upstate twisting backroads” said Mr. Bill Sink, Team Pro-Motion’s Site Operations Manager.
BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012 “The most important thing we focus on is safety. Team Pro-Motion provides a phenomenal learning and riding experience for those looking to hone their skills on the track and riding on the road.” said Greg Lubinitsky, NYST Track Manager, and a long-standing member of TPM. Learning and developing skills stemming from years of riding, racing and schooling lap after lap, Glen Goldman, president of Team Pro-Motion Track Riding Club, has been extremely instrumental in the design and layout process to create a track from a rider’s view. “This track will be different in its level of challenge along with holding to strict safety standards that riders deserve. As with any high-performance track, the balance between speed, safety and challenge is key to keeping interest high and for rider development.” Goldman explained. “Team Pro-Motion will not only utilize the New York Safety Track for track events, but through the ART school program, we will bring new riders into the sport with proper training and guidance to establish an advanced skill set when riding on the street. Simultaneously, we have worked and continue to work very closely with training military personnel, and have been awarded the Army Sportbike Safety School certification. Exclusive courses and training sessions will be offered on designated days at NYST”, Goldman concluded. “This track will be the ultimate destination for people in the Northeast and across the US,” said Greg Lubinitsky. “You won’t find a 2.1-mile, 18-turn, 40-foot-wide straight, amenity-filled environment anywhere else in the world. We’ve made it to be the best and we will make sure anyone who attends a day with us will never want to leave.” Challenging the designers may be as much, if not more, as challenging the participants. New York Safety Track will open in May 2013 with TPM being the Official Track Partner offering a very attractive schedule of events. New York Safety Track is the number one supporter and promoter of safe riding, driving and overall control on the road. Team Pro-Motion’s programs have established them to provide that experience to riders and drivers. Check out the site and their early videos here: www.nysafetytrack.com
PEDIATRIC BRAIN TUMOR FOUNDATION NAMES ROBIN BOETTCHER CEO The Board of Directors of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation® (PBTF) has named Robin Boettcher as chief executive officer. She succeeds PBTF co-founder Dianne Traynor, who died last month. Boettcher’s expertise is tailor-made for the PBTF, said board member Chris Hoefflin, who served on the search committee. “Robin has impressed us as someone who has tremendous skills and experience, a wonderfully caring heart and a passionate desire to continue the work Mike and Dianne Traynor began,” Hoefflin said. “She will lead the foundation into a new phase of growth and accomplishment.” “It is an honor and privilege to be chosen to lead the PBTF, continuing the important legacy left by the Traynors,” Boettcher said. “I look forward to working with a strong staff team and dedicated Board of Directors to grow vital funding for children’s brain tumor research and expand support for survivors and their families.” Before beginning her nonprofit management career, Boettcher worked in media and communications, including a decade as an Associated Press reporter. A native of Hamilton, Ohio, she holds a journalism degree from Eastern Kentucky University.
Are you ready for the most comfortable motorcycle saddle? A saddle that fits properly eliminates pressure points that reduce blood flow. It takes a solid understanding of human anatomy and extensive motorcycle experience to make a truly fine motorcycle saddle. Let Rick’s medical expertise as a critical care nurse and extensive riding experience combine to create a truly great saddle hand-made just for you. Prices start at $269.
RiSiNg WOLF gARAgE NYC EXCLUSIVE MOTORCYCLE PARKING FACILITY We p r o v i d e a f r i e n d l y, c l e a n a n d s e c u r e environment for the motorcycle enthusiast Service Area Personal Storage Air Compressor Battery Charging
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NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS WARM N DRY GLOVES BY HELD As the winter riding season is upon us Held introduces its Warm n Dry Gloves. The gloves have a leather palm with a stretch nylon top, leather covered knuckle shell and a double leather layer on the side of hand with Superfabric on critical impact areas. For low light riding conditions the Warm & Dry Gloves have Scotchlite reflectors, and the long, thin cuff fits properly inside jacket sleeves to help cut down pesky cold air entering. Add to it a fleece lining on top of hand and fingers to block windchill and hold in warmth and you will be set for the cold. If it is not only cold, but wet as well, the gloves have a laminated Gore-Tex lining that is waterproof, plus it won’t pull out when removing gloves, always the bane of our existence. The Warm n Dry Gloves retails for $199 and can be bought at Held dealers or from www.heldusa.com.
“RE-USABLE” SPOKE WEIGHTS FROM NO-MAR Keeping your tires in balance is key to safe riding. But, most lead weights used to balance your wheels are just plain butt-ugly. You can have the prettiest of spoked wheels and then have to blemish them with those unsightly weights. Not any more! No-Mar, the experts in home garage tire changing, have come up with a “brilliant” solution! It’s time to go green with new “Re-Usable” spoke weights by No-Mar Enterprises. These weights are Copper, Nickle, and Chrome plated on Steel cores and are American made. Stainless Steel Set screws are pre-inserted with “Loctite” for fastest and simplest installation and removal. Available in economy 14 piece kits for $28, Ten piece Bulk packs, and full Mechanics kits, which are a great value. Use only one or two weights instead of a handful. These weights are not only attractive, but reusable as well, Log onto www.nomartirechanger.com or call 636-326-5999 to order yours.
CHAIN LUBING MADE EASY • GREASENINJA DRIVE CHAIN LUBRICATOR Chains have been powering motorcycles for generations and although modern chains, such as O and X– Ring chains are far superior to chains of the past and require far less maintenance it is still a good idea to lube your chain on a regular basis. Sometimes this can be a bit messy and many times riders lube the wrong part of the chain. We just started using a product that works incredibly well and is just easy. The GreaseNinja enables you to apply the needed lube quickly and properly on most motorcycle chain sizes. The GreaseNinja’s small plastic aiming block has internal porting designed for your drive chain size and places your aerosol lubricant in the correct areas without the mess and waste. Great for those motorcycles with very little exposed chain. Simply put the block on the chain, hook up your aerosol chain lube of choice using the convenient holding hook, which frees a hand and slowly rotate your rear wheel while pressing the button. With the GreaseNinja it is easy to lube your motorcycle chain in one easy step, without overspray or waste of lubricant. The GreaseNinja makes chain maintenance easy and is designed, tested and used by motorcyclists, bicyclists, and professional mechanics. The GreaseNinja Drive Chain Lubricator costs just $15 and can be bought directly from the manufacturer at www.greaseninja.com.
LEAN ON ME • SIDE KICKER ADJUSTABLE SIDE STAND FOR BMWS There are some things I just don’t get. Why do stock saddles bite so much and why do some motorcycles have side stands that lean “way” over? Take any BMW GS, for instance. Both Shira and I have these German bikes and parked on the wrong piece of property they can be a bit problematic to lift off the ground, even if you are a beefy sort of guy. Well, in my case, make that a beefy sort of guy with a questionable at best left ankle and you can see where this is going. Enter the Side Kicker Stand from AKS Engineering. The Side Kicker is the world’s only instantly adjustable kickstand available on the planet. No more risking tipping on sloping surfaces or sinking into soft ground or asphalt. Once installed the Side Kicker works exactly as advertised and allowed me to slide open the side stand to 5 locking positions, standard OE, +1.0”, +1.7”, +2.3” and +3.0”. Wow, BMW can’t do this? Installation was fairly simple and, for once, the directions were easy and concise. How wonderful is that? Yes, the Side Kicker, at $349, is a bit pricey, but the finish and craftsmanship is worth the price…. just to stare at it. Sorry, beefy guys remember… I love well-done machined parts. We had a few contributors over one weekend and all the talk was of the Side Kicker. All gave it a try, and all loved it. To operate simply deploy the side stand as normal and then just click down the stand till you have it where you are comfortable. To release simply give it a snap when putting it back up and it quickly slides into the OEM setting. This is the second product from AKS Engineering we have tested and they seem to really have a grasp on the tiny things that can drive us nuts. Log onto AKSengineering.com to see what they have to offer.
BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
Welcome to the Jungle - The Art of Learning to Ride Skillfully A column dedicated to your riding survival
See and be Seen Conspicuity is the name of the game these days. There is a reason so many traffic and road crews, fire departments and law enforcement are sporting hi-viz lime and bright yellow gear while doing their jobs along the roads of this nation. They are designed to grab the attention of the brain-dead, the lethargic, the teenage texting, the nail polishing, the coffee spilling drivers out there who injure hundreds such workers each year. They kill hundreds of more riders too. So, we know that being conspicuous is a proven way to lessen your chances of getting hurt, and we have touted the effectiveness of such riding gear in these pages many times. But, what about the one part of your gear that stands above the rest? Your helmet. These days helmets… well, real helmets, not those half-baked, half sized half helmets, totally ineffective pudding bowls that some riders wear. I am talking real helmets that are available with so many bright colors and designs that it can make you crazy just trying to decide what look you want. Me, personally, I am not into anything wild, and try to stick with basic colors with the few helmets I own. Right now I have a Nolan N-104 that I have been touring with and it came in a flat black color. This N-104 is a superior helmet, but not exactly as conspicuous as I would have liked. It needed something brighter, preferably retroreflective for the few times I ride at night, but something that would look good and not like I slapped some reflective stickers on with no design plan. It was then I came across Applied Graphics and Sheri Berger. Sheri makes a number of emblem kits for your bland and boring helmets and with minimal artistic talent (believe me I know of this) you can make
your helmet a bit more attractive and add a lot of conspicuity and retro-reflectivity all in under an hour. Looking through her site at www.reflectivedecals.com you will see that she has all sorts of emblem combinations, styles and effects and you might have a hard time choosing the one right for you and your helmet. Basic kits, which you can do plenty with, sell for just $28, which is cheap insurance for a bolder, brighter and more conspicuous look. Something else you can do to increase visibility, especially if you have an adventure machine or a bike with hard saddlebags and top case, is to add some high-viz emblems to the rear of your machine. Traveling down the highway with our friends the Fords, from New Hampshire, who have run such a set-up for years the difference was dramatic. Their bright lime –colored emblems not only accent their adventure bikes with their aluminum bags well they are incredibly noticeable to car and truck drivers. At night they absolutely glow, like strange brightly lit UFOs scooting down the highway. As Richard said to me, “My goal as a motorcyclist is to allow others to see me and by breaking up my profile and bringing attention to others around me of my presence.” Rich has a valid point here. Still, if you aren’t ready to make such a “glowing” statement on your already perfect machine, but still would like the extra nighttime conspicuity you can add black retro-reflective stickers as Shira and I did. Unless you looked closely in the daytime you wouldn’t even know they were applied, but in the headlights at night they glow a bright white allowing the following drivers to distinctly see the motorcycle ahead of them. Although we as responsible riders want to ride bikes that blend in noisewise with other traffic, we need to stick out and be noticed visually. As I said most professionals that work on the streets and roads of America sport very bright garb, knowing the need to be noticed is crucial. We as riders owe it to ourselves to be conspicuous too.
BDCW ADVENTURE FOOTPEGS & EXHAUST GUARD FOR BMW F800GS / F650GS TWIN TWO QUICK ACCESSORIES THAT MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE We were looking for more grip on our F650GS, as the stock pegs were meager at best and slippery whenever mud and wet got involved. It is never fun when your foot slips off the peg while maneuvering on the road or trail. We came across a serious set of pegs from Black Dog Cycle Works out of Idaho while at the BMW Rally in Missouri. They had a wide selection of great ADV equipment and a sweet set of pegs that were exactly what we were looking for. Kurt, the owner was happy to swap the old for the new and in minutes the F650GS has a significant set of foot pegs on her. The pegs, created from tough aircraft quality alloy aluminum are a large 2.5”wide x 4.25” long yet weigh only 8 oz each. Traction cleats run around perimeter of peg insuring complete stability and grip and the enlarged size greatly improves control of bike and offers greater comfort when standing. The BDCW Adventure Footpegs are made in the USA and come complete with new springs, bushings, installation pin and cotter pins. The installation pin is brilliant! Also, for the end of the day’s ride, there is a built in bottle opener on each peg – also brilliant. The BDCW Adventure Footpegs sell for $219.00. While Kurt, the Big Dog at Black Dog, was swapping the pegs we decided to go for another upgrade on the baby GS - The BDCW exhaust guard. This innovative guard replaces the stock plastic “guard” that can easily break off with even light use and also commonly traps rider’s pant leg which either burns their pants or causes a tip over.The BDCW exhaust guard solves both of these issues by creating full coverage of the exhaust pipe. Made of aluminum and powder coated, this subtle piece should be on every F800GS / F650GS Twin on the road. The Guard uses stock hardware and took about 30 seconds to install. For the small price of just $35.00 we thought it was a no-brainer. You can find the BDCW Adventure Footpegs & Exhaust Guard at the Black Dog website blackdogcw.com.
NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
UPCOM IN G EVENTS CAL ENDAR
E V E RY M O N T H - W E AT H E R P E R M I T T I N G
Every Sunday • Eastern Suffolk ABATE Breakfast Run. Crossroads Diner - Calverton NY. 10:30am. Eat and Ride After • 631-369-2221
4-6 • Advanstar’s International Motorcycle Show, Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C
Every Sunday • Biker Breakfast at Tramontin Harley-Davidson, Exit 12 I-80, Hope, NJ (GPS: 485 Hope-Blairstown Rd, Rte. 521) 9-11am • www.tramontinhd.com
18-20 • Advanstar’s International Motorcycle Show at the Jacob Javits Center, NYC. Show features include the MotoGP Experience, American Motor Drome’s Wall of Death, J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show, Progressive Open Road Experience, Pit Stop Challenge presented by GEICO AMA Pro Racing, Suzuki Sweepstakes, Ducati Fashion Show, Strider Adventure Zone, great seminars all day, every day and, of course, the great marketplace and vendors for your motorcycle shopping pleasure. BACKROADS will be there again to greet you with the new issue and the BEST candy at the Javits. Don’t miss us - we’ll try to post our booth number as soon as we know it.
First Sunday of the month • Layton Meet at the Layton Deli, corner of Dingmans/Bevans Rd, CR 560, Layton, NJ. Meet around 8am – breakfast available. Join others for a ride or head out on your own Every Tuesday • The Ear - Spring St, NYC. Come meet some fellow riders and do some benchracing or whatever. 8pm-ish Every Wednesday • Chelseas Restaurant/Pub, 1051 Rte. 22 East, Lebanon, NJ 6-9pm, weather permitting all summer • www.chelseasrestaurantpub.com
OCTOBER 25-28 • COG Fall Foliage Rally, Matamoras, PA. A convenient base will be chosen. Sample rides and group dinner on Saturday evening. Rally fee required. Contace Dave at 484553-1665 fo details or visit www.cog-online.org. 27 • Book signing by rider, enthusiast and author of the Adventurous Motorcyclist's Guide to Alaska Phil Freeman. 10-11:30am and 1:30-2:30pm. Phil will also be presenting an Iceland Seminar: Fire and Ice. Stop in and enter to win a free Alaska Adventure. www.bobsbmw.com
NOVEMBER 3 • 6-10pm • Bob's BMW 30th Year Anniversary Celebration. Tickets will be available months in advance. Expect a private, catered evening among fellow friends with lots of surprises, amazing giveaways, first heard announcements from Bob, plus an official tribute to Bob’s BMW! Visit www.BobsBMW for details. 11 • Long Branch Harley-Davidson Veteran’s Day Run and Celebration in conjunction with Rolling Thunder NJ Chapter 2. Sign-in: 8:30-9:45am Siperstein Plaza, 700 Joline Ave/Hwy 36, Long Branch, NJ. Escorted ride leaves 9:45am. $10 donation requested. Service at NJ Vietnam Veterans Memorial, PNC Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ. Endsite: MJ’s, 3205 Rte. 66, Neptune, NJ - 1 to 5:30pm. Music, door prizes, 50/50, tailgate party and more•www.HDLongBranch.com • www.NJVVMF.org 18 • 14th Annual Toy Run. Sign in: 10-Noon @ Liberty Harley-Davidson. $15 with toy; $20 w/o toy; $15 passenger. Ride to Bristol Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ • 12 W Milton Ave, Rahway, NJ • 732-381-2400 • www.LibertyHarley.com 23 • O’Toole’s Harley-Davidson Black Friday. Great deals all day • 4 Sullivan St, Wurtsboro, NY • 845-888-2425 • www.OToolesHD.com 24 • Cross Country Cycles Annual Open House. 911 Middlesex Ave, Metuchen, NJ • www.crosscountrycycle.com • 732-635-0094 24 • Liberty Harley-Davidson Orange Saturday Party. Serving deep-fried turkey with all the trimmings and great deals all day • 12 W Milton Ave, Rahway, NJ • 732-381-2400 • www.LibertyHarley.com
DECEMBER 15 • Holiday Cheer at Bob's BMW. A day reserved to thank all of Bob's devoted customers. Stop by for fresh pastries and coffee in the morning our infamous soup, snacks, beverages, one-day only specials and more.
19 • Bob's Annual Bus Trip to the International Motorcycle Show. Tickets will include round trip transportation to NYC, entry to the IMS and a snack for the ride home. Space is limited and we sell out every year. Details to come. www.bobsbmw.com
MAY 2013 16-19 • BACKROADS Spring Break 2013. We’ll be heading to Cooperstown, NY, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Farmer’s Museum and some great riding. This rally will feature a complete issue of Backroads’ columns in one weekend - Great All-American Diner Run, Big City Getaway, We’re Outta Here and, of course, Mysterious America. Our home base will be the Lake Front Motel, sitting right on Lake Otsego and walking distance from downtown Cooperstown. All the information for booking can be found on page 48 and, as always, rooms are very limited, with a cutoff reservation date of JANUARY 15, 2013. So call NOW, get your room and we’ll see you in Cooperstown this Spring.
FEBRUARY 2014 Travel to New Zealand with BACKROADS and Te Waipounamu. To celebrate Backroads’ 20th Anniversary we’ll be heading down under for a magnificent two-week riding adventure. Yes, this is a year and a half out, but for a trip of this length and distance we wanted to give you plenty of time to get your plans together. Two-weeks of riding 2000 miles of motorcycling bliss, with your friends from Backroads. We have been here before and, of all our trips, this was one of our favorites. We know it will be yours too. For more details and to book your spot, please call Fred Rau @ 951-672-0239 or email Fred@FredRau.com
Makes a great holiday gift for any rider on your list. Get yours today at www.WhitehorsePress.com You can get an autographed copy directly on Fred’s website www.FredRauMotorcycling.com
Get BACKROADS delivered to your home EVERY MONTH! Just fill out the simple form and mail it along with your check or credit card info (gotta pay the Postman): BACKROADS • POB 317 • BRANCHVILLE NJ 07826 First Class Postage $40/12 issues • Comes safely in an envelope NAME ____________________________________________________
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BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
ALL THAT GOOD STUFF
WASHINGTON CYCLE WORKS We cater to road racers and support all Track Day organizations Check us for Suspension Setups • One-piece Road Race suits in stock
Washington Cycle Works
Junction of Rtes. 57/31 • Washington, NJ 07882
MOTORCYCLE TRAILERS DAYTONA, BIKETOBERFEST, STURGIS AND BEYOND
908-835-0043 Closed Sun-Mon • Open: Tues-Thurs 9:30AM-7PM • Fri 9:30AM-6PM • Sat 9AM-3PM
SALES 718-426-7039 • www.barntruckrental.com RENTALS 57-05 BROADWAY • WOODSIDE NY 11377 (OFF THE BQE & LIE)
If you didn’t like cool stuff, you wouldn’t be reading this magazine.
EAST COAST TRAILERS
Here’s something you’re going to love.
HONESDALE PA • 570-729-8870
TORQ-IT Screwdriver/Speed Wrench/ Palm Ratchet All In One Tool
6’ X 12’ Haulmark Passport
Ramp & Side Door • Lights 72” Headroom • 14” Tires • Stone Guard
Variable Speeds Over 600RPM Low Profile, with an “Ergo” Grip and a Non-Slip Design Accepts All 3/8” and 1/4” Sockets and Extensions
BASIC SET: $19.95 • DELUXE SET: $29.95 • ACCESORY SET: $9.95
TORQ-IT PRODUCTS, INC. 1701 Manor Road • Havertown PA 19083 Tel: 1.888.876.9555 • Visit Our New Website: WWW.TORQ-IT.COM
KAWASAKI • HONDA • YAMAHA • SUZUKI • TRIUMPH • MOTO GUZZI • ETC Raise your handlebars for a more comfortable ride and still retain stock look.
From $59.95 to $139.95 Order Toll Free (877) 471-1515 Info and Fax (505) 743-2243 • www.zianet.com/GenMar
Gen Mar Mfg. Inc. • 110 1st Street • HC1 Box 35 • Arrey, NM 87930
Sussex Hills Ltd. Now stocking a full line of heated gear Get ready for some cool riding.
Specializing in Motorcycle Repair, Parts & Supplies • Cycle Tires Mounted & Balanced • Batteries & Hard Parts • Dynojet 250 Dyno available for testing
973-875-2048 946 Rte. 23 South Sussex NJ 07461
Norman Gross Since 1976 Our Reputation Speaks for Itself
For All Your Harley-Davidson Needs
3 miles north of Sussex Borough
NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
…your personal heaven on earth!
Located in Arden, only 15 minutes from Philippi, on the beautiful Tygart River in West Virginia, our bed & breakfast is the perfect place to call home while exploring the Mountain state. Rates from $70 - $90 per night
www.AngelBandFarm.com Box 696 • North River Road • Philippi, WV 26416 Worth the ride from anywhere!
ALL THAT GOOD STUFF
lley’s Hudson Va ne Riding Number O t Restauran Barbeque W North 1076 Route 9 mery, NY Fort Montgo
oute 9W icturesque R Located on P Perkins Drive minutes from State Park and Harriman Point historic West just south of
845-446-0912 rmerbbq.com www.barnsto
Celebrate the Holidays with some awesome barbeque!
If you go home hungry it’s your own fault
Sharing your passion for good food since 1983
Barbeque Catering Flexible Affordable Ready When You Are Join Us for 1st Friday Celebration 1st Friday of each month from 6 to 9pm Live Music • Dinner Specials 320 Front Street, Belvidere, NJ • 908-475-2274 • www.thisilldous.com
Open Daily for Breakfast and Beyond • 7am to 4pm • Sunday 7am to 1pm Try our Full Throttle Breakfast Special every Saturday + Sunday
‘50s-Style Drive-In Restaurant Full and Varied Menu Room for the Whole Gang Cool Nights, Hot Bikes • Two-Wheels or Four, join us at
THE CHATTERBOX DRIVE-IN GREAT FOOD • GOOD TIMES • EXCELLENT RIDING Located at Ross’ Corners • 1 Route 15 • Augusta NJ • 973-300-2300
FULL TIME SALES HELP WANTED Cross Country Cycle located in Metuchen, NJ is seeking full time salespeople. Experience in the motorcycle/powersports industry and knowledge of the product lines (Honda, Kawasaki, BMW, Ducati, Triumph, Polaris, Victory, Can-Am, Sea Doo, Vespa, Piaggio) is preferred as well as a valid motorcycle license. If you do not have experience in the powersports industry there will be rigorous training sessions required before stepping foot on the sales floor. Must possess strong communication and customer service skills.
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.
Tues. thru Sat. 11am-10pm Sunday: Breakfast 9am-Noon Lunch and Dinner served until 9pm
John, Christina, chef George and Eoanna welcome you and your friends.
The Riverton Hotel and Restaurant
At Belvidere-Riverton Free Bridge, Riverton, PA
610-498-4241 • www.rivertonhotel.com
The Boat House Restaurant Join us for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner overlooking Swartswood Lake
Excellent Ride Destination Tuesday ~ Sunday 11am-9pm
Stop in the dealership to fill out an application or email your resume to:
firstname.lastname@example.org 911 Middlesex Avenue Metuchen, NJ 08840 • (732)491-2900
Brunch 10am-2pm • Closed Mondays Call for Seasonal Hours 1040 Cty Rd 521 • Swartswood, NJ 973-300-0016
BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
Fire Pit • Free WiFi Cooked-to-order Breakfast Heated Pool • BYOB
We welcome everyone from a lone rider to a full chapter
344 Route 100, West Dover, VT www.BigBearsLodge.com 802-464-5591
Touring North Central Virginia? Then ride on over to the NEW Comfort Inn & Suites in Orange
Moto-Inn Approved Tell ‘em Backroads sent you!
The newest motorcycle-friendly Motorcyclist Owned & Operated hotel closest to Skyline Drive… Large indoor heated pool and spa • Free deluxe hot breakfast buffet just 30 miles away! Microwaves and fridges in every room • Large rooms + suites available
15% Discount to all Motorcyclists
Comfort Inn & Suites 334 Caroline St (James Madison Hwy), Orange, VA 22960 540-672-3121 • www.comfortinn.com/hotel-orange-virginia-VA657
NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
Come Ride the Dragon Deals Gap Store • Motel Bar and Grill
Deals Gap 318 Curves in 11 Miles
www.dealsgap.com 800.889.5550 17548 Tapoco Road • Robbinsville, North Carolina 28771
American • Metric • Sport • Parts & Accessories • Award-winning Service • Performance Work • Dyno Tuning • S&S Pro Tuning Center • Power Commander Tuning Center
JDS CYCLE PARTS EST. 1988 247 W. Westfield Ave, Rosell Park, NJ
BACKROADS Specializing in Ducati, BMW, MV Agusta, Triumph and Aprilia Service • Repairs • Suspension upgrades and engine performance Stop by our NEW LOCATION 1581 Route 211 East, Wallkill, NY www.europeancycleservices.com
SPRING BREAK 2013 SEE PAGE 48 FOR COMPLETE DETAILS
AND MAKE YOUR
BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
“I dreamed I saw a desert rose” – U2 Joshua Tree NP sits on a transition zone between the Colorado and Mojave Deserts, and that transition gives the park its extreme palate of land formations, plant life and desert creatures. The park gets its name from the abundance of Joshua trees that provide the “otherworldly” feel to the place. Although often growing to 40 feet, the Joshua is not actually a tree, but rather a species of yucca. Riding through the park, I could not help but think that the Joshua tree looks like something created from the mind of Dr. Seuss. The Joshua tree is certainly not alone in the park. In various areas, you’ll find palm trees, junipers, oaks, and a full compliment of cacti. All of the flora is made more spectacular in the backdrop of grass lands, mountain ranges, sandy undulations, and erosion sculpted rock formations.
Joshua Tree National Park
“I feel the heat of your desert heart”
“Leading me back down the road” – Robert Plant As it turned out, my BMW R1200GS was the perfect mount for what the national park has to offer. The big dual sport opened up adventures both on and off the pavement.
words and images: T. Kessel In the second track of U2’s iconic album The Joshua Tree, front man Bono lamented, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” This is a bit hard to believe since the band spent considerable time in Joshua Tree National Park seeking inspiration for the album. As a lifelong resident of the beautiful Southwest, you would think that I would have visited Joshua Tree National Park long before I did. When you add the fact that two of my favorite artists (Bono and Robert Plant) have been inspired to croon songs about the place, it’s especially strange that it took me half a century to get to the park. It was worth the wait. If, like me, you like to mix motorcycling (street and dirt), hiking, and viewing wildly varied flora and fauna, Joshua Tree is a must do ride in Southern California.
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Ironhorse Motorcycle Lodge is the Smoky Mountains Premier ‘Motorcycle-only’ resort. Located in the heart of the Smoky Mountains and minutes from all the great motorcycling roads like ‘Tail of the Dragon’, Cherohalla Skyway, Blue Ridge Parkway and Moonshiner 28. Amenities include on-premise restaurant for breakfast and dinner with creekside dining, covered bike parking, nightly group campfire, laundry, gift shop and WiFi DSL HotSpot. We have a pavilion with multimedia entertainment, private function meeting room, RV sites as well as rustic luxury cabins cabin rooms, bunkhouse and tent camping. Perfect for singles, couples or group getaways.
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BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
There are over 80 miles of paved roads in Joshua Tree. You would be hard pressed to find more than a mile of straight road at a time in the entire park. I rode all of the paved roads over the course of my two days at Joshua Tree, and can attest that the road riding is amazing. The ride to, and the view from the Keys View lookout is particularly spectacular. Even though I was in the park on a holiday weekend, the roads were surprisingly free of traffic. Most folks drive to a spot and hike, leaving the roads relatively (and pleasantly)
Page 45 barren. One interesting note on the tarmac is that in the 50-mile Pinto Basin Road that runs from the north to the south extremities of the park, there are almost constant variations in the pavement type and color. The road transforms from black, to grey, to a greenish hue in stretches. I don’t know why this is, but it makes the ride even more interesting. As a whole, the pavement is smooth, curvy, and undulating…just the way we like it. A word of warning – watch the sandy drifts. This is a desert after all. If you happen to have a bike capable of some moderate dirt-work (like the GS), Joshua Tree is even more attractive. The park offers at least as many miles of accessible dirt roads as paved. Many of those miles are 4-wheel drive or hardcore dual-sport type roads; however there are miles of graded dirt roads as well. I sampled about 40 of those dirt miles to access some of the more remote areas of the park. With more dirt oriented tires, the park would be an adventure-tourer’s dream. On a true dual-sport, every legally accessible mile of the park could be explored. The majority of the park is now protected as a wilderness area, so beyond the roadway corridors it is vital to know and observe the special rules of a wilderness area.
“I have climbed the highest mountains” –U2 Joshua Tree is a rock climber’s paradise and a hiker’s dream. The park has something to offer most any outdoor enthusiast. Each natural attraction is well marked on both the park map and in the form of road signage. Pack your hiking boots and pack water (no services are available inside the park). The majority of the attractions require some type of hike. There are historic mine and ranch sites that can be explored.
There are also mountain vistas and even desert oases. Helpful guides and maps are available at the two major visitor centers (and park entrances) which are located near the towns of Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms on the north boundary of the park. A 7-day pass for a solo motorcyclist is only $5. Most of the attractions and tourist activity is contained in the northwest quadrant of the park. Those seeking solitude should gravitate to the other areas of the park.
NOVEMBER 2012 • BACKROADS
and has a mix of chain hotels and quirky motels. Twentynine Palms, and a woman that he left there, inspired Robert Plant’s haunting anthem of the same name. The two most interesting motels in town are the Harmony Motel, and the 29 Palms Inn. The band U2 stayed at the Harmony as inspiration for their
“Dream beneath a desert sky” –U2 Joshua Tree offers several picturesque camping areas throughout the park. While I didn’t camp on my stay, I rode through several of the campgrounds. Most are nestled in and around the rock clusters. Even though the spots are relatively close together, there is a feeling of privacy and separation because of the thoughtful campground layout and the natural barriers. For those preferring a bed to a sleeping bag, there are three interesting towns just outside of the park’s north border – Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, and Twentynine Palms. The latter is the most eclectic and most famous, so I opted to rest my head there. Twentynine Palms sports huge murals on many of its buildings
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BACKROADS • NOVEMBER 2012
1987 release (see sidebar). The 29 Palms Inn is clustered around a real desert oasis and boasts the town’s best restaurant. In a truly surreal setting, you can even stay on a boat floating on the inn’s tiny lagoon. Editor’s note: There’s a fine Backroads Moto-Inn Member in Joshua Tree - Spin & Margie’s Desert HideA-Way. You can reach them at 64491 29 Palms Highway Joshua Tree, CA 92252 • 760-366-9124 • www.deserthideaway.com
“A strange infatuation” –Robert Plant Joshua Tree National Park is a truly unique, almost other-worldly motorcycle destination. It is best visited in fall, winter or spring as mid-summer can be downright toasty in the desert. The park’s placement between The Grand Canyon and Yosemite could make for a great three national park tour. No matter when you go, you will not find another place like Joshua Tree.
THE MUSIC OF THE PARK 1939 – Frank Sinatra records the song The Lady from Twentynine Palms 1987 – The band U2 releases the album The Joshua Tree spending considerable time in the area during the project 1993 – Former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant records the iconic song Twentynine Palms
PARK HISTORY President Franklin D. Roosevelt named the area a national monument in 1936 Congress renamed the area Joshua Tree National Park in 1994 The park covers over three-quarters of a million acres and 585,000 acres of the park are designated wilderness
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SPRING BREAK 2013 • MAY 16-19 A very special rally indeed as the rides and routes will be the very best of Backroads itself. We’ll have a We’re Outta Here, Mysterious America, Big City Getaway and Great All-American Diner Run all in one rally. Our Host Hotel will be the Lake Front Hotel on Lake Otsego, walking distance from downtown Cooperstown. As we always say, rooms are limited, which they are, and the cutoff date for reservations is
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Take a trip to Joshua Tree,