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ThrottleLife.com | 2011 Year-In-Review – 1 ThrottleLife.com


Twist On It is time for a media outlet that not only provides coverage on custom sport bikes, cruisers and choppers but also brings you test rides, events, M/Cs, female riders and models. We’re also going to bring you what’s happening on the track as well as special celebrity features. Simply put, it’s time for a media outlet that captures the essence of the lifestyle we live, love and breath... the Throttle Life! In this Year-In-Review edition we proudly bring you some of the events we’ve covered in 2011 starting with our Throttle’istas section with Myrtle West’s Debra Kinsey. Gracing our Clutch Girlz section is drag race sensation Crystal Dickerson. Lets not forget about the M/C scene as we take you to the ZooRyders Sexy Stilettos anniversary party and DC Sportbike Riders. We also help to answer that age-old question from a real riders point of view, which fatty would you choose? And much much more. 2011 was a fantastic year. We established a dynamic web site, produced network quality video coverage, created a pocket sized magazine and a 2012 Throttle Angels calendar. If its in His will, 2012 will be a continuation of what you’ve allowed us to do and that is to share in this life we live and breath. Check us out on ThrottleLife.com, facebook, twitter and youtube at /ThrottleLife for updates, videos and more. ‘till then, kick back, relax and come take a ride with us! - Morpheus aka L-Train

Throttle Life! Reaching an audience of more than 200,000 with print and digital media!

Founder and Publisher S. Brittain Editor In Chief Q. Storm Copy Editor B. Lowe of Word-Perfect Advisory Board Daryle Sykes, E3 Motorsports David Dumas Jabari Foster Affiliates Soul Rydah Bike Paparazzi Sport Bikes Inc. Automotive Rhythms DynastySeries.com Photography and Publication Design & Layout LegacyDesignStudios.com

© Copyright 2009 Throttle Life All Rights Reserved. Throttle Life and it’s affiliated properties (Throttle Angels, Throttle Vision, Throttle Heat) are registered trademarks of Quiet Storm Media. All materials within and our affiliated properties including but not limited to written content, images, downloads, and video clips (“Material”) are protected by copyrights owned and/or controlled by Quiet Storm Media LLC. For reproduction permission contact Throttle Life at: info@ThrottleLife.com ThrottleLife.com


Throttle’istas - Debra Kinsey – 10

16 – ZooRyders

DC Sportbike Riders – 20

Big Tigger’s HIV/AIDS Ride for Life – 28

Rickey Gadson’s Charity Ride for Pediatric Diabetes – 34 Clutch Girlz - Crystal Dickerson – 42

Atlantic Beah Bike Fest – 62

2011 MIROCK Recap – 76

Brothers of a Bike................................................ 8 Gear and Devices.............................................. 38 Kawasaki 2011 Vaquero.................................... 48

Bikers Choice Awards – 82

Kawasaki 2011 Vaquero - the REmix................ 52 Ticket2Ride........................................................ 56

East Coast Biker Rally – 93

Which Phatty is for You?.................................... 68 Brooklyn Rhapsody........................................... 88

Paint the 1/4 Pink– 98

National Bikers Roundup................................. 104 Manufacturers Cup Finals............................... 110 2011 Mazda SPEED3...................................... 116

Throttle Angel / Miss C – 93

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee............................ 120


contributors Kim Wilkinson Media Journalist

David Dumas Soul Rydah, Publisher

Francis / Bullet MSR M/C Divine Photos

Lloyd Hardy / K-os Organized K-OS Riders Photography

Samuel Still Buffalo Soldiers, Journalist / Photographer

JMD Phophecy M/C MyEasyPhoto.com

George the Camera-Man! Photography

Crystal Dickerson Drag Race Expert

Lady Kim Double Lyte Possee Photography

Alpatrick ‘Panama’ Golphin / President Adrenaline Brands, Inc.

Meekail Shaheed Photographer, MS Fotographer

Johnny Nunez Celebrity Photographer

Leon Brittain Journalist / Photographer

Kevin Myers Journalist LAGRANT Communications

Johnny Map, Photography Bike Paprizzi, Grudge Race Expert

4 – PREVIEW | ThrottleLife.com


For our Fallen Riders As we closed out another year of events, races, anniversary partieis, charity rides, open houses, and bike shows lets take a moment to remember our fallen riders. Before the season kicked into high gear, far too many of us had already been to the hospital to visit our fellow brother and sisters and more sadly have been a part of laying our brother and sister riders to rest. Unfortunately, that didn’t change througout the year. We all know the dangers we face everytime we mount up, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with losing a fallen rider. On behalf of our staff, contributors, supporters and advertisers lets continue to ride safe, ride smart and ride for those that are no longer here with us so that they may continue to ride and live on through our memories as we embrace a new year.

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Harley-Davidson (H-D) and RIDES magazine along with Dan Tibbs, owner of NEXX UNLIMITED Leathers, celebrated Black History month by hosting “Brothers of a Bike”, a one-time exhibit held at Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club in NYC. The exhibit highlighted the many contributions AfricanAmericans have made within the motorcycling community from the drag strip, the moto-cross scene and the streets. In addition to several clubs and independent riders attending, hip hop legends DMC, Grand Master Flash and DJ Clue were out to show love and support. On display were vintage photos of Bessie Stringfield, the first African-American female to ride solo cross-country on a Harley-Davidson; William B. Johnson, the first African-American Haley-Davidson dealer; Rickey Gadson World Champion drag racer and James “Buba” Stewart, Supercross and Motocross champion as well as images that provide a glimpse into the rich history of the African-American motorcycling

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community. So what’s a party celebrating bikers without the bikes? Well, they had that covered also with a 2011 H-D Softail Deluxe along with three of NY’s own hardcore customs. H-D, RIDES and NEXX UNLIMITED took this opportunity to show their “Brother’s of the Bike, the African-American Motorcycle Experience” video throughout the club. This video speaks to the essence of what the African-American bike community is and represents with true testimonies from notables such as Rare Breed, L.A. Defiant Ones, East Bay Dragons, Dan Tibbs, owner of NEXX Unlimited clothing and Transit Wheelers. “We want to capture the spirit of the AfricanAmerican rider by telling their stories” says John Comissiong, head of H-D’s African-American Market Outreach. Look for more to come from H-D’s “Iron Elite.”

words: Alpatrick ‘Panama’ Golphin, e President , Adrenalin Brands, Inc.

pix: Johnny Nunez, er Celebrity Photograph [image 1]


1

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De r b

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How long have you been riding? 7 years What sparked your interest in riding? It all started when I attended Black Bike Week in 2004. It seemed as if every female in Myrtle Beach was riding her own bike. At that point, I said, “I can do that.” After arriving back home, I was determined to learn how to ride. I registered for the Motorcycle Safety Course and with my husband’s support, he purchased a used Honda 250. After passing the Motorcycle Safety Course I stepped up to a Kawasaki Ninja ZX7. Once I mastered riding the ZX7, I was upgraded to the 2004 Kawasaki Ninja ZX10. That was the beginning to a new and transformed Debra!

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What do you ride? I ride a Custom 2004 Kawasaki ZX10. My bike has a custom paint job, Myrtle West Cycle 300 wide tire kit +10 inches over, custom powdercoated arm with matching wheel arc’s on the end, Immortal 3D wheels (MWC Exclusive), Chrome Pegs, Chrome Frame Sliders, Nitrous, Air FX Air Ride, LED Light Kit with Remote, Chrome upper tree, levers, master cylinder cover and, a host of other custom goodies. Your most memorable ride(s): Although I haven’t taken any long distance rides I enjoy attending the various motorcycle events, i.e., Black Bike Week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Biketoberfest in Daytona, Florida. Attending these events allows me to explore the highways and by-ways in that city/state, showcase my bike and enjoy the sights and sounds of all the event’s festivities. Background/Occupation/Hobbies: I’m a Washington, DC native where I’m employed as a Grants Program Specialist. When I’m not riding I Jazzercise twice a week, spend time with family and friends and continued >

pix: Lb Brittain


d traveling to the enjoy comedies an all, I begin and end Caribbean. Most of r ‌thanking GOD fo my day with prayer his many blessings. w riders? If you Any advice for ne e a motorcycle, I have a desire to rid you register for the strongly recommend ourse. Always ride Motorcycle Safety C ar and respect the in your motorcycle ge tter safe than sorry! laws of the road. Be hip with Myrtle West What is your relations and staff of Myrtle Cycle? The owner y extended family. West Customs are m n and staff a few I met Ms. Marion, Jo my husband, Darryl. years ago through with open arms and They welcomed me right from the start. treated me as family unbreakable bond. We have formed an other is genuine. I Our loyalty to each a part of the Myrtle am blessed to be . Love you guys! West Customs family

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s r e d y R Zoo v

i n n A h t 4 s o t e l l i t S n I y x e S We started our club in July 2006 and before we even thought about throwing our own party we wanted to show luv and respect to all the Clubs that started before we did. So that’s what we did for the first two years hitting every bike party, bike wash, blessing, etc. to give back and show that we’re for real and that we loved to ride. By our second year a lot of folk in the MC Community started asking when we were going to have our first party. So once we felt we were getting the support of the MC Community we decided to have our 1st Annual ZooRyders Party April 19, 2008.

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The theme for our party “Sexy in Stilettos” came from the thought if we give ladies the opportunity to showcase their style in a sexy, classy, tasteful manner......they would do just that and of course being an all male club we knew the fellas would follow (laughing!). The second year is when we decided if we’re going to do this we have to take it to the next level, that’s when we gave the winner a crown, a Miss “Sexy In Stilettos” banner and a cash prize of $500. We also decided to bring in the “Throttle Angels” (introduced at our 3rd annual party) to assist with juding because


versary Party they represent the same sexy classy style as our Sexy in Stilettos contest, which is perfect for our event! This year’s event we had approx 600+ attend and we are grateful for that especially considering the torrential down-pours our attendees endured to make it out. We try our best to make our party an experience, where we really want people to have fun! ZooRyders work hard and just like everyone else, we too, deal with the day to day issues and challenges that life brings both personally and professionally, (those obstacles). We

just decide to Zealously Overcome Obstacles. So when we play, we play and ride HARD!!...NO MATTER WHERE WE ARE. Always showing and giving respect while taking care of our own. Since we “Get it in” at other club events we always invite folks to “Get it in” with us. So for the last 4 years we’ve been fortunate that our event has gotten bigger and better each year and from the feedback we’ve been getting folks can’t wait to party with the Zoo and see the ladies “Sexy in Stilettos” at our party. I’m not sure what our 5th Annual party will bring. But……..Uh ooohhhh uh uh ooohhh……..WE WANT EVERBODY to be ready to have a good time!

zooryders.com

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n its ing clubs bega nn ru st e ng lo nd n. In DMV’s oldest a der Norm Jackso un (DCSR), one of Fo nd a nt e der der then Presid ther “Ljazz” Win Lu y b legacy in 1999 un d le h” irt ed, erienced a “re-b a stronger, focus s a g 2001, DCSR exp in rg e m e nd from 2001-2006) within and beyo b lu c (DCSR President le yc rc to o m has award winning ast coast. DCSR e e respected and th ut ho ug both community thro rs with a mix of e b m the motorcycle e m 30 n a safety include more th oal of promoting g since grown to n o m m o c a unity le riders having ing to the comm ut rib male and fema nt o c le hi w > sportbike riding rtunate. continued fo ss and entertaining le se o th r fo sitive difference by making a po

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e for nda Scott aka Rogu la Yo ’s SR DC ith w We caught up ately e DCSR for approxim th ith w en be ve “I’ eat her thoughts. says Rogue. “It’s a gr ” ub cl is th ve lo d eight years an riding a common style of ve ha e w e us ca t fit for me be with a mutual respec sts re te in r ila sim d e preferences an SR was the club for m DC d de ci de I . es nc for any differe for a haven’t regretted it d an ch ar se re e m after doing so inued. minute” Rogue cont

s a Cotton Candie ha ak g un Yo ri Te y, ar DCSR’s Secret ly M/C his is my one and on “T s. ar ye 9 r fo r be been a mem mon e have a lot in com “W . ys sa e sh ” ith w I will ever be unity. back to the comm g vin gi in ve lie be and strongly arity ds in December” ch an us ho “T r ou r fo cal For example, nizations such as lo ga or 10 to 00 $5 we provided ask to elters. You couldn’t sh s es el m ho d an orphanages ” she . DCSR 4 Life for me! le op pe of p ou gr r know a bette tically. continued enthusas

Party, t, David Young aka en id es Pr nt rre cu ’s d Under DCSR n their reputation an he gt en str to d ue in they’ve cont and includes education so al ch hi w rts fo charitable ef their year DCSR celebrated is Th s. ive dr s es el m Feed the Ho continued >

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N’ Greet, ch included a Meet hi w ry rsa ve ni An ar 12th ye in M/Cs party that brought ry rsa ve ni an d an t cookou who took ing Indy’s 317 Ryders ud cl in s te sta l ra ve from se d. Furthest Club Travele home the trophy for en one part of DCSR has be g in be y sa y stl ne ho “I can who has of my life” says Party es nc rie pe ex st be of the s been part its inception and ha ce sin SR DC ith w been n years. “I for more than seve d ar bo ive ut ec Ex of the pray the embers’ family and m ub cl r ou of l al er consid continued >

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r charitable efforts” club can continue to grow in ou rsonally thank every he continues. I also want to pe that have supported organization, club and all riders us throughout the years. bsite, “DCSR strives As taken directly from their we rtbike riders in the to promote unity amongst spo a while enhancing Washington Metropolitan Are rs nationally.” The relationships with sportbike ride a true testament to success of the last 12 years is le Life are sure there this statement and we at Thrott and things to come are many more great years from DC Sportbike Riders!

m

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s s e n e r a w A S D I A / ! V I e f H i L r 4th o f e Rid

Big Tigger’s 4th Ride for Life once again raised the bar for his Street Corner Foundation’s efforts in raising awareness for HIV/AIDS. How? For starters how about giving away a new 2011 Suzuki Haybasua, M109 or GSXR-1000 courtesy of American Suzuki. Not bad, huh? Well, it didn’t stop there. Notable local politicians also came out to show their support. Prince Georges County Executive Rushern Baker was on hand supporting an on-site HIV/ Aids testing opportunity. “We’re honored to be part of such an event and opportunity to help get people tested”, said County Executive Baker. continued >

2011 Year-In-Review | ThrottleLife.com – 29


Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray gave a passionate insightful speech on the importance of getting tested, knowing your status and what the District of Columbia and neighboring Prince Georges County are doing in support of HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. There was also a surprise for Tigger by way of a new 2011 Air Jordan themed Suzuki Hayabusa presented by Kreig Robinson, Business Manager for Michael Jordan Motorsport, another sponsor of this year’s ride. “Tigger has been a brand ambassador for the Jordan Brand for a number of years, so we’re happy to support his efforts and see it as a winning situation for both parties” said Kreig. What also made this year unique is the ride began in Prince Georges County at the Baysox Stadium in Bowie, MD and ended at the Unit-

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ed Medical Center in Washington D.C. for one of the longest and again well organized rides to date. Although rain clouds loomed over earlier that morning which undoubtedly keep some riders from coming out, still more than 800 registered riders made it out to show their support. During the actual ride, what felt like the equivalent of a tropical storm hit… and it hit hard. However, patience, safety and dedication prevailed as the pack of bikes arrived at the United Medical Center where vendors, on-site testing, music, food and entertainment as well as clear blue skies awaited our arrival. “The United Medical Center and their staff played a huge role in supporting this year’s ride, something we’re very grateful for” said Tigger.


Helping Tigger to MC and host the activities at the United Medical Center was his partner in crime from the days of 106th and Park, the spirited and effervescent Free. Additionally, to show his appreciation to the bike community for their support, this year’s Ride for Life included trophies for the best custom sport bike, best custom cruiser, most represented and furthest traveled. The trophy for the most represented female club went to the dynamic, cheerful, assiduous and charity driven Speed Divas of Washington D.C. Rain or shine, they know how to have fun! continued > ThrottleLife.com | 2011 Year-In-Review – 31


Unfortunately, the rain returned bringing an earlier than expected end to the day’s activities. However, once again we proved our ability and resolve to work together in support of helping to make our communities and the lives of others better, one ride and event at a time... Big Tigger style.

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check out our video coverage on

/ThrottleLife ThrottleLife.com | 2011 Year-In-Review – 33


e r o C e h t o inja t Diab

“Nty Ride for Pediatric

Chari

After receiving a phone call concerning the recent weight gain of his son (a sign of pediatric diabetes) Rickey was rightfully worried. This was particularly distressing because in 1992 he lost his mentor in the racing world, his older brother at the age of 37 due to complications from diabetes. This was the beginning of what was to be a huge undertaking, but a very worthwhile cause to raise money and awareness for pediatric diabetes. Being a rider, of course a charity ride came to mind. But what kind of ride would raise attention, awareness and most of all money for our chosen charity, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (C.H.O.P.) Diabetes Center for Children (DCC), the largest pediatric diabetes research and treatment center in the country. “At first, riding my Kawasaki Vaquero to Myrtle Beach for the Atlantic Beach Bike Fest seemed the way to go” Rickey says. But where’s the challenge riding a cruiser for this distance? So the next natural choice was to take the 600 mile ride to Myrtle on my sport bike, a Ninja 1000” he continued. After months of planning and with my wife Kiana’s lead and Brian Lawson (aka Seven) and his wife’s support, we set up a web page for donations and thus the beginning of my Charity Ride for Pediatric Diabetes was created. The trip consisted of four stops; Free State Cycle (Capitol Heights, MD), Commonwealth Power Sports (Prince George, VA), Team Powesports (Smithfield, VA) and Redline Powersports in Myrtle Beach. Each stop allowed riders to join or split off as they desired. However, with each stop our pack of riders steadily grew. continued > 34 – 2011 Year-In-Review | ThrottleLife.com


e”tes

be

pix: Lady Kim, sse Double Lyte Po

pix: Samuel Still,y RK Photograph ThrottleLife.com | 2011 Year-In-Review – 35


One of the most interesting stories from those that joined the ride was that of IZ, PRO of Extreme Limitz M/C who was tricked by his brother Daniel Blessing aka Pitbull Sgt at Arms of Extreme Limitz M/C. IZ decided to take the ride without knowing exactly the end destination, but knew he needed to get back home to his family and was down for the cause. Well, once they arrived at Free State Cycles he found out the ride was going all the way to Myrtle Beach. Having started the journey, what was IZ to do? “Keep riding of course” he said. “Do you know how many people with diabetes wish they could be out riding, rain or not, so it’s an honor to ride for them” Pitbull concluded. With the help and support of hundreds of riders consisting of independent riders and motorcycle clubs such as the Double Lyte Posse, Ruff Ryders, DC Sportbike Riders, Carolinas Finest, Showdown M/C and the soldiers from Ft. Bragg as well as corporate sponsors Kawasaki Monster Energy, Joe Rocket, Help Me Ride and Speed and Strength, Rickey’s charity ride raised $10,000 for Philadelphia’s (C.H.O.P.) Diabetes Center for Children. Job well done!

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DROID XYBOARD tablets Lighter than a paperback book and thinner than an AAA battery, the DROID XYBOARD tablets feature Android™ 3.2 Honeycomb, the blazing speeds of Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network, enterprisegrade security and the power of dual-core 1.2 GHz processors. DROID XYBOARD 10.1 and 8.2 are equipped with MotoCast™ for remote access to non DRM-protected music, pictures, videos and documents stored on work or home computers’ hard drives and offer customers blazing download speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps within 4G LTE Mobile Broadband coverage areas. verizonwireless.com

Harley-Davidson Womens Tiara Boot With 4” heels for long-legged style this premium boot features full-grain leather tumbled for extra-rich softness, a rubber outsole and 4” composite heel, side zipper for easy on/off and a little flair with a soft breathable leather lining that will have you stepping in style.

Tissot T-RACE Nicky Hayden Limited Edtion The Tissot T-Race Nicky Hayden Limited Edition integrates Nicky’s colours and race number into a stunning GMT chronograph. Racetrack and bike inspired elements express themselves in high-tech, top quality materials, in a timepiece driven by a dynamic Swiss movement. tissot.ch


iPod nano iPod nano now features larger icons for even easier navigation of its intuitive Multi-Touch™ user interface, and you can choose from 16 new digital clock faces. iPod nano now tracks your runs and walks right out of the box making it even easier to get your fitness program up and running. The new iPod nano also includes over 200 new features including iMessage™, Game Center, Notifications and Wi-Fi Syncing to iTunes. apple.com

beats by dr. dre - studio Artists and producers spend countless hours finetuning and mixing music to get it exactly how they want their fans to hear it. With precisionengineered, advanced speaker design, powered amplification, and powered noise cancellation, you hear music the way today’s top artists and producers want you to hear. beatsbydre.com

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Galaxy Nexus runs Android™ 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, bringing customers a redesigned user experience. Galaxy Nexus features an ultrathin 9.47mm design with a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED™ Contour Display to watch movies, view pictures and play games that come to life in 720p (1280x720) resolution. Other new features include cloud services and Face Unlock, stateof-the-art facial recognition to unlock Galaxy Nexus. Far too many features to list here! verizonwireless.com


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Crystal dickerson

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It all began at the tender age of three when Crystal’s Dad ignited her passion for motorcycles with her first dirt bike. And it’s been a love affair ever since. Also aiding in her passion for bikes (particularly for drag racing) is the fact this is a family affair. Crystal’s parents have been involved in drag racing since 1980 and her brother Ashon, who won Pinks’ Arm Drop competition in 2008 at Maryland International Raceway is also an avid racer. Together this family affair makes up D-Tech Racing which is a story all of its own, however our focus here is on the Queen of D-Tech Racing, Crystal Dickerson.

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“My dad gave me my first bike for drag racing in 2002, which was a ‘02 Kawasaki ZX-900R. Interestingly enough, I wasn’t old enough to compete in drag racing yet, so I had to wait a year. Talk about torture” she said laughingly looking back. Fast forwarding to 2006, we find Crystal wining the Fastest Female on a Sport Bike competition at Atco Prostar with a 9.01 ET on a ‘03 GSX-R1000. In 2007 she repeats this feat winning Del’s Fry Quickest Female at Englishtown Raceway in NJ with an 8.80 ET. Other accomplishments include wins in the MIROCK series, NHRA, NDRA NOPI Drag Racing and list goes on and on. continued >


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MIROCK

In 2008 Crystal shifted priorities to focus on becoming a mom to her seond son. However, she knew her racing career was not over. By September of 2008, just a few short months after the birth of her son she was ready to get back on the track. To her surprise, she did so in a big way by winning the fast female title at Maple Grove Raceway in PA. “I knew I was going to get back out on the track after having my son, I just didn’t expect my first time back to win the Fastest Female title” she says humbly. Although she’s had many accomplishments, Crystal has also had some freighting moments. One of those moments was being straight up/12 o’clock on a ZX14. Fortunately, she had plenty of experience to handle the situation and bike to finish the run safely... and quickly. Some of that experience came into play from lessons learned from attending Rickey Gadson’s drag racing school. “Rickey’s class really helped me to improve my mental skills as well as physical skills, helping me to become a well-rounded racer” Crystal said graciously. Looking forward, Crystal plans to continue her career, she is currently in school studying to be an RN and being a full time mom. Racing is in my genes and it’s what I do. My dad jokingly threatens to retire every year, but keeps coming back and has always supported us. “I just want to return that support and appreciation to continue to make my dad proud”, she said fondly. With such a motivated spirit and impressive track record I’m sure she’s already accomplished that and has much more in store for her friends family and fans. For more info, keep up with Crystal on FB/ CrystalDickersonRacing, twitter @Queen_Of_DTech or crystaldickerson.com

NHRA

NOPI


NDRA


Vaquero: Spanish, meaning cowboy. For some, the image of a brawny hardworking cow-hand unafraid of a hard-day’s work may come to mind. For others, it may be a Zorro’esque character with a sense of old-world charm, finesse and spirit that conjures up visions of a time when your horse meant as much to you as your own familia. Mi amigos, bienvenido the 2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero. A bike that combines the swagger of the aforementioned characteristics into one bold bad bagger. continued >

words: LB Brittain

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All new for 2011, the Vulcan Vaquero 1700 (MSRP $16,499) rocks a low profile with frame mounted fairings and an old school custom look raw’ness combined with a bevy of modern technologies. For instance, it incorporates Kawasaki’s next-generation fuel injection based on the same system found on the Ninja 650R and Vulcan 900 series. This system uses one sensor rather than three for reduced weight and complexity. You will also find an onboard diagnostic systems display for its various electronics wizardry which helps to identify areas of attention before they become problems. The audio system rocks out with AM/FM/weather frequencies from twin speakers and is compatible with iPods, XM tuner or CB radio units. All of which are easily operated via controls on the left handlebar.

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For a big V-Twin, handling this bagger was a breeze. With its relatively short wheelbase of 65.6 inches, this compact design contributes significantly for easy handling at low-speeds, cornering and maneuvering within small spaces. But don’t let this graceful handling mislead you because this lean heavy-weight (coming in at 835.7lbs) ain’t no wall flower. The 1700cc four-stroke, liquidcooled SOHC, 8-valve, 52-degree V-Twin cranks out 108lb of torque at 2,750 rpm. Link this power up to a 6-speed transmission with 5th and 6th overdrive gears for increased highway fuel economy and you’ve got the formula for one smooth ride. Equally as impressive is the powerful breaking


system via dual 300mm front disc brakes with four-piston calipers and two-piston rear disc brakes available on both the ABS and non-ABS models. The saddle-bags were a bit smaller than others I’ve experienced in this class. I was also looking for a little more from the tunes produced by the exhaust. However, once I saddled-up and cranked up Bruno Mar’s from my test bike’s XM equipped system those concerns were quickly drowned out as I

entered into a zen like state of being. For on that day with my borrowed ebony iron el caballo, I became a vaquero. Still not convinced this is one bag bagger? Don’t take my word for it. Check out Kawasaki’s touring Ticket2Ride demo event for an opportunity to demo any of their bikes from their Ninja 1000 to the Vulcan 1700 Vaquero. Judge for yourself. You won’t be disappointed. For more details and info: kawasaki.com

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2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero

What do you get when you give the newest Japanese cruiser on the market, a 2011 Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero 1700 to a professional custom builder whose company is infamous for creating ground-breaking custom sportbikes? Answer: a truly ground-breaking custom bagger. The 2011 Vaquero was so new, aftermarket parts were non-existent and to make this build more challenging, the new bike needed to be ready within a mere two weeks to be unveiled at Daytona Bike Week. Sounds like a recipe for trouble, right? Well, not for Rob Fisher and his team at Roaring Toyz. This is just the type of challenge they thrive on and was looking forward to with the launch of their new entity, Roaring Twinz. continued > 52 – 2011 Year-In-Review | ThrottleLife.com


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Rob is more than familiar with unleashing his talents on Japanese sport bikes, but why tackle a bagger? “Although taking on a bagger was new territory for us, it was also an opportunity to expand our brand and our talents” says Rob. “We’ve been in the (bike) game for awhile and we’re all growing up. Baggers are a natural progression, are becoming increasingly popular and provide a new set of challenges for creativity. This is definitely a market we’re looking to having an impact on” he continued with a sinister grin. The team at Performance Machine (PM) came through with a set of new Paramount Platinum Cut 21” front wheels and matching front brake rotors. A custom handlebar set-up was in need so a set of Burly Brand 13” Bagger Bars were added. In order to get them to fit properly handlebar risers were needed. Luckily they found a really slick handlebar riser from Roland Sands Design (RSD) to complete the look. Progressive Suspension provided a front fork lowering kit and an Air Dragger rear suspension kit for its nasty

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menacing look combined with the set of modified black anodized floor boards from PM. What’s the point of having a custom show bike bagger if you can’t move the crowd? No worries, the final build features a set of 8” three way speakers installed in the rear bags along with a 400 watt JL Audio marine amplifier and a set of JL Audio 5.25” speakers on the dash. A custom installed iPod feeds the system all of which is controlled through a Kawasaki accessory switch mounted on the left handlebar. In other words, it has a system that truly lives up to Rakim’s lyrics. Given they were working with a Kawasaki, a custom coat of Candy Lime Green accented with black and gray highlights was a natural color palette to work with. The final bike and effort is nothing short of amazing. No doubt this is one remix, even Diddy would be proud of. For more details and info: RoaringTwinz.com


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Kawasaki rolled into the Bowie Town Center in Bowie, MD as part of their nationwide Ticket2Ride demo tour allowing licensed riders the opportunity to truly demo their bikes. Although I’ve had the fortune to attend some of Kawasaki’s press-only trips, there was no way I was going to miss an opportunity to take out one or two or three of their bikes while in my own backyard. So I threw my gear into my borrowed long-term Mazda SPEED3 courtesy of Automotive Rhythms and jetted to the town center for a day of riding. Unlike some local demo opportunities where only a few select models are available, Kawasaki brought out a full compliment of bikes including their supersport line-up of Ninja’s to their array of cruisers including my new all-time favorite, Kawasaki’s ultra slick bad-to-the-bone Vulcan 1700 Vacquero. All in all, there were 16 models to choose from to tickle your riding fancy. Not sure which model is your riding style? Demo rider Jeanette Vaughn had the answer. She simply took out as many different bikes as she could. “I’m glad Kawasaki is providing this

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opportunity. I’m ready for a bike, but not sure what type or style yet.” Jennifer say. “This will help narrow down if I want a cruiser, sportbike or dirtbike” she continued. Jessica Lysessika of Lorton, VA was in a similar situation. “I have a Ninja 250 and looking to upgrade to a Ninja 600” said Jessica. This was a great chance to demo the [Ninja] 600 to make sure I’m ready for the upgrade. After today’s ride, I know I’m ready” she said confidently. Donny Campbell of Washington DC became a fixture in the demo tent having gone out on at least four different bikes. “I’m in the market for a new bike and opportunities like these are usually reserved for large bike events such as Daytona Bike Week, so how could I pass this up?” Donny said. Bike owners of different brands were also out to see if they were ready to make the switch to Kawasaki green. Prior to each demo ride, safety riders conducted a brief rider’s safety meeting to go over the do’s and dont’s along a predetermined route. Each ride was then closely guided with professional safety riders leading and following the pack. The lead rider guided the way while another safety rider followed the pack to ensure no one was lost or left behind in the event of any unforeseen problem. Kawasiki’s Ticket2Ride event brought out both male and female riders throughout the DMV (DC, MD, VA for those outside the area) for a truly unique opportunity to take Kawasaki’s line-up out for a spin. I’ve been doing this (bike journalism) for a minute and can honestly say, when the Ticket2Ride comes anywhere near your city, take advantage of it and as their slogan says, Let the Good Times Roll.

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We’ve attended and covered the Atlantic Beach Bike Fest (ABBF), aka Black Bike Week, for the past 15 years. Although our timeframe pales in comparison to ABBF’s rich history of 31 years of being in existence, we can confidently say we have history with the event. From its humble beginnings in 1980 by the Carolina Knight Riders the ABBF is now one of the largest bike events on the east coast. For a

number of years, the ABBF attracted the African-American (hence its moniker Black Bike Week) sport bike crowd. However, during the past few years more baggers and choppers have made their way to the beach. In previous years, the action was scattered throughout the Myrtle Beach area. The festivities spanned from the Convention Center to the good-time continued >

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vibes on Atlantic Beach to the Colonial Mall, which housed Harley-Davidson’s demo rides, a bike wash and a live performance by hip-hop pioneer and Harley rider DMC. This year, corporate first timers Yamaha, Star Motorcycles and Suzuki set up demo rides in Atlantic Beach while ICON Motorsports took center stage with their tastefully sexy and entertaining stunt fashion show, the LIMITER Live. Also making their first appearance was musician/actor T.I.’s AKOO clothing brand with their urban makeovers featuring AKOO gear and fresh cuts. “T.I. has a history with bike week” says AKOO Brand Manager Jeff Belizaire. “Given our partnership with Yamaha via the custom AKOO R1, it was a logical step

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to be involved with the ABBF while simultaneously contributing to the community. We’re already looking forward to working with the officials of Atlantic Beach for 2012’s ABBF because it’s a great opportunity to be directly involved” Belizaire continued. Atlantic Beach was also the place to check out the latest creations from professional and amateur custom builders competing in Yamaha’s custom bike show. Winners included Sesto Custom Cycles, TOCE Performance and MSP Motorsports Performance who showed off their insane color changing dropped R1. Nationally recognized pro builders included hometown favorite Myrtle West Customs along with TOCC, VooDoo Industries and Rob


Fisher of Roaring Toyz and their newest spin-off Roaring Twinz. During ABBF, Fisher flexed his custom bagger and cruisers skills by showcasing his custom 2011 Kawasaki Vacquero. Speaking of custom baggers, as mentioned earlier more cruisers, choppers and baggers made their way onto the set. This was especially evident with ATL’s Iron Bred as they rolled deep with some of the sickest choppers and baggers on the streets.

Even with the previous road blocks placed in its path, ABBF reached another milestone with one thing remaining true and constant - bike week is all about the bikers. It’s cool to see companies such as Harley-Davidson, AKOO and ICON contributing to the Atlantic Beach community where it all started and I for one am happy see the bikes coming back to the beach! continued >

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On a side note, we can’t end this without giving a shout to our fam, the WiseGuys M/C MD chapter for showing me love. Without them, this year’s trip may not have been possible. One!

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This is the age old question that guys have pondered for years. It could be the choice of which beer to buy, the fastest car to get, the fastest bike or which honey with the lil’ cute phatty. Well, with the creation of the Phat tire in the world of bikes, this poses an entirely new conundrum, which phatty would YOU choose? The fatty or the phatty? For some, this would be an easy choice if you’re looking for style and performance, but for others the quest to have the biggest, baddest bike with the fattest rear may take first place even over that lil’ curvy cuite. Look at this a few different ways, (1) both can get you instant props from the fellas, (2) get a whole lot of props from the fellas if you have both of them together at once or (3) go out and buy a 360400mm tire! It’s a no lose situation no matter how you spin it. I challenge you, to chime in and let a brotha know which one would you choose and why. This may cause some heated debates in your inner circle, but no worries just think of that phatty sittin’ in your garage, next to you, or in your dreams. Depending on your style, each rider will sacrifice some performance with the application of a fat tire kit. Lets take a look some of the real-world differences. continued >

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words/Gill | pix/Hot Shotx 2011 Year-In-Review | ThrottleLife.com – 69


us e infamo h t , ll a it ted it, some hat star k t l e e n v o le e h try with t e s the en a d n it’s tim We begin e e h w w ie v t u n B e ll. Oft atty at a isties or h 240mm. w p t a d s a a o r k of it and back ormer. g f r in e don’t thin v p r a e c is rom canyon no comp a res and is u for some t 0 c 4 a 2 f u e n h ma ing, t g style. ent tire r in all out rid e id f r if r d u yo ut the uited for s t s Check o e b ne that is choose o

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d m differs in profile an 0m 30 e th , m 0m 33 e Similar to th t because of price ki is th se oo ch t os M t contour of the tire. bucks in most cases, bu d re nd hu w fe a is ch hi difference, w t it, go get it. who’s counting - if you go

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300mm


the go getter. ly e it in f e d is 30mm with The popular 3 tty, however a h p a f o k o lo You have the g capabilities n ri e rn o C . s t c aspe r you performance re a true ride a u o y if t u b d ion. are still limite o in any situat d it t a h w o d can make it

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ow rictly sh t s is e ir t is t mance a r 0mm. Th o 6 f 3 r e e p h t ring nd here is no corne s r ly comma e Lastly, t f d f e o t b t I u . o o nd tle g tys will u s. t a with a lit h p f o the fella g s in a k ll is e h w t s sa all, but the ladie m o r f n attentio

m m 0 6 3 r it, riding Take my word foice! phat is n me! / GILL Keep it 100, ya heard

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Marie Starr

For more pix of our lovely models and bikes, check out ThrottleLife.com


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e m i T k c a r T K I B R E P U S K C O R I M

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s e i r E e K s Train | words / L.

l xter Powel tShotx & De photos: Ho

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This years MIROCK Super Bike Series provided more excitement and fast paced action than we could ever have wished for. The season was full of surprises and record breaking times with Jeremy Teasley owning the D.M.E Real Street class and Ron Procopio dominating in the Mickey Thompson Pro Mod class. While this year provided exhilarating competition, we also suffered the loss of several of our drag race colleagues including John “Big John” Leviner, track announcer and event management at the Rock. Each of you will ride on with us always! The 2012 season already looks to be as exciting if not more so than 2011. See you at the track!

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Five years ago Nicey Williams aka Icey had a vision of creating something unique for the motorcycle community. Something that would highlight, recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of those within this very unique and diverse community. It didn’t matter if you were an independent or club rider, into sport bikes or baggers, stunting or cruising, male or female, newbies to the bike world or an experienced rider with more time on the seat than Black Bike Week or the Roundup in existence. Regardless of what or where you rode, this “something” would be for you. Enter, the Bikers Choice Awards (BCA), a culmination of awards from the Best Overall Motorcycle Event to the Most Charitable Club to the Honorary Lifetime Achievement award. continued > 82 – 2011 Year-In-Review |ThrottleLife.com


The 2011 BCA weekend kicked off in Raleigh, NC on Friday evening with a meet and greet and pre-BCA party hosted by K97.5’s Shena J. Saturday began with a Unity Ride to Team Powersports for a Community Day cookout and Fashion Show with some of the sexiest female motorcycle clothing attire on display from ICON, Joe Rocket and others. No doubt, some of the baddast ‘Busas were out from Coach ‘Busa and Dallas Cowboys from S!CM’ B!KZ, to Eddie Garrison’s burgundy and white MayBach inspired ‘Busa. As the sun began to fade into the night, it was time. Time for the 4th Annual BCAs to set it off. Hosted by Punisher of Missing Linx MC and Mary J, President of 4U2NV MC. This dynamic duo didn’t waste any time shifting the show into high gear with their alter egos. Mary J was killing it with her fitted black leather dominatrix

corset while Punisher’s permed-out Pimp Slap-a-ho’s antics kept the crowd guessing what in the world was he going to do next. Also continuing with supporting and hosting was K97.5’s Shena J. This year’s big winner was K9 MC who walked away with more than eight awards including one of BCA’s distinguished awards, the Humanitarian Award. This year K9 made it their mission to give away $8k a month to their various selected charities. The BCA’s distinguished Honorary Award went to Down N’ Dirty for an astounding 30 years in the game. Beginning in the Spring of 1981 in Washington DC, down N’ Dirty has grown into multiple chapters throughout the United States clearly living up to their moto “Colors never die, they just multiply.” continued >

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Sharing K9’s sense of community outreach, Missing Linx MC won the award for the Most Charitable Co-Ed Motorcycle Club who earned this in part by serving their communities by providing meals on Thanksgiving Day amongst their other charitable and outreach efforts. Smokin’ Curves out of Fredericksburg, VA took home Rookie Club of the Year award while Big Red of Precious Metals Bike Club won the PRO/Event Informer of the Year category. Hottest Custom Cruiser of the year went to Cheekz of Ladyz on Khrome and Best Sportbike award went to K-os of Organized Chaos Ryderz with his single-sided swingarm 360mm rear rocking Tikki themed Hayabusa with the 14kt gold metallic flake laced paint job. The ever active Lady Kim of Double Lyte Posse won Best Web Designer of the Year, Queen Isis of the Ruff Ryders won Track Racer of the Year with lyMElyte of N-2 Deep Sistas winning Best Overall MC Event Emcee/Host of the Year while representing N-2 Deep Sistas for Most Outgoing Female Motorcycle Club of the Year. The Best Overall Motorcycle Event of the Year went to the Black Tigers’ legendary Pajama Jam while Star Scream of K9 MC took the Best Overall MC Event DJ.

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During the program, a s with all b a momen ike events t of silence was observ member o ed to reur fallen b rothers an However, d sisters. this observ a n c e ferent. Im was a bit mediately diffo ll o ment of si wing the lence, wa mos a heart-f dance pa e lt poetic ssionately performed own V-Boo b y BCA’s gie honori ng the live brothers a s of our nd sisters that ride w our hearts it h us in and memo ries. continued

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The BCA organizers closed this year’s show with already looking ahead to 2012 while strongly encouraging those in attendance to nominate and vote vote vote for next year’s winners. Needless to say, an enormous amount of work goes on behind the scenes months in advance to orchestrate such an event. On behalf of the Throttle Life staff, I’d like to thank Icey, Precious, V-Boogie, and the entire BCA staff for their commitment and tireless efforts with such an event for our community. For a complete list of winners check out Shifin Gearz Magazine at: shifingearzmag.com

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words / pix Photography Samuel Still, RK Rhapsody lyn ok Bro k: or tw ar

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On Brooklyn’s Bergen Street between Flatbush and 5th Avenue, a not so typical Block Party occurred. This Block Party featured a custom bike show. Hosting the party were men’s designer clothing company, Private Stock and Darius Vick Photography’s documentary series Denim & Chrome: The Evolution of Black Bikers. Some of the city’s best custom motorcycle designers placed entries; for example, Chaos Cycles, Iacona Custom Cycles, M&D Performance and several others. Live music, food vendors and stylish clothing shops lined the block. And a good time was definitely had by all.

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The East Coast Bikers Rally was created to offer bikers along the east coast a multiday family-friendly event to attract and welcome a variety of riders from sport bike riders to those on Gold Wings. While this may sound like a spin-off of the National Bikers Roundup, the Rally differs in that it will not change its yearly location. Instead, it is set for the next few years at Rockingham Dragway aka “The Rock” in Rockingham, N.C. With temperatures peaking a blazing 96 degrees on Saturday, things got off to a quiet start. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances promoted features such as the stunt show, children’s moon bounce area and wheelie machine weren’t permitted. However, this by no way discouraged things from moving forward as the camp ground full of independent riders and motorcycle clubs kept it moving with enjoying the Rally. Once the sun began to set, the action kicked in with a custom bike contest showcasing some of the hottest bikes on the east – several of which will definitely set new trends such as Rackz’ nasty burundy and white GSXR and Tyrone

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Harrison’s raked-out gold Bagger with the 26” front (expect to see more on both from Throttle Life). The action on the track also began to blaze during sunset with Gloria Mitchell aka “Wonder Woman” running her drag bike and ‘69 Nova. Also, on point was eight time drag race World Champ Rickey Gadson showing how it’s done. The Rally also had a very charitable side. More than 300lbs of food was collected, resulting in 259 meals for those in need in Central and Eastern NC as well as countless donations made by several local and national business’ and corporations for local education and children charities. These charitable contributions by far outweighed any unintentional set-backs. Given the Rally’s successful charity drives and attendance numbers, event organizers along with members of the East Coast Bikers Association which consists of PROs from several M/Cs are already planning for next year’s Rally to build an even bigger and stronger Rally for 2012. One thing is for sure, we’ll be there!


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for more photos check out:

ThrottleLife ThrottleLife.com | 2011 Year-In-Review – 97


/ 1 e h Paint t

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! k n i P /4 words: Crystal Dickerson

pix: LB Brittain


It was an extremely hot summer day on July 23, 2011 during the biggest racing event the MIROCK Series had to offer, the Summer Bike Fest at Maryland International Raceway. Ten wonderful and fast female drag racers came from GA, FL, VA, NC, DE, NJ and MD to support the fight for Breast Cancer Awareness in Paint the ¼ Pink. The ladies competing included Whitney Grant, Jalessa Minor, Crystal Dickerson, Erika Allison, Kelly Clontz, Monica Snead-Brooks, Edythe Decker, Petey Vee, Dystany Spurlock, and Lea Martinez. The one who drove the furthest with unwavering commitment was Lea Martinez, a Breast Cancer Survivor. Lea didn’t have a bike to ride for the race and was understandably devastated. I did everything in my power to make sure she made this race, so my team and I made arrangements to have a bike for her. At the last minute Lea received a call from Bubba Hohen Berger of Basic Bike Shop in GA generously offering his Bubblicious bike for Lea. This race wasn’t about who was the fastest or who was better than the female in other lane. This race was

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about us females getting together for a great cause. I wasn’t 100% sure I would make the race considering I gave birth to my son a mere five weeks prior to the race. As they say, where there’s a will there’s a way and I found a way to make it happen, even with a borrowed race suite from my brother. By the time Round 1 began we were falling over our bikes because of the excessive 110+ track temperature. After the first round, only three of us came back. Unfortunately, the others were having problems with their bikes and more unfortunately, Petey Vee suffered from heat exhaustion. Jalessa Minor had the bye-run, while Whitney and I lined up. In the end, Dystany Spurlock was the #1 qualifier with Whitney Grant taking home the win with painting that ¼ mile pink! To learn more about how to support Breast Cancer Awareness please visit: http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/ Also please support our fellow drag racing sister Lea Martinez www.leamartinezracing.com www.leamartinezfoundation.org

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s that ie d la e h t ll a r o “I’m thankful f Breast Cancer Research came out. Thethe real winner today” Foundation is ryle Sykes, Event Organizer, - Da

out e b l il t s ’d I d n 0º a “It could be 20 g this race!” here supportinurlock, D Spurlock Ra - Dystany Sp

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“There’s n this with aever been a race qu support su ll of the ladies com ite like ing out to ch a great - Erika Alli cause” son, Veloc it-E Racing

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l a n o i t a N l a u n n hA p u d n u o R s r e words: Kevin Myers

pix: David Dumas Soul Rhydah

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The recent 34th annual National Bikers Roundup in Las Vegas was more than an event. It was an experience like no other for this passionate motorcycle enthusiast. I rode to the event from Los Angeles on the latest model Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider for the ultimate biker’s experience. The “Roundup” was held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, just 15 minutes from the Las Vegas strip. In addition to the hundreds of cruisers and road glides present, the event included Harley-Davidson demo rides, drag races, and live entertainment. The female models weren’t bad to look at either. I arrived in the evening dead tired, but my excitement for the Roundup kept me tossing and turning in bed all night. By 3a.m., I gave up on sleep and took my bike out for a ride on the strip. It was relaxing and rejuvenating to watch the sunrise on my Harley. After a quick nap, I headed out to the Speedway for the festivities.

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Upon my arrival, I noticed there were less people than I expected. After checking the temperature, I quickly understood why. By noon, the temperature was 108° and still rising. To cool off, I took a demo ride on the Harley-Davidson 2011 Street Bob around the back roads of Vegas. When I returned, I enjoyed the live entertainment and visited the food vendors in an attempt to dodge the heat. When the sun finally set, the real action began to take place. Motorcycle clubs like The Flaming Knights, Soul Brothers, 1st Ladeez, and Regulators were on the scene in their colors, leather jackets, and decked-out bikes. Devious Designs also showed off their wild themed motorcycles, which were the most photographed bikes of the evening. One bike in particular looked like it came straight from The Green Hornet movie set. Its glowing green lights, airbrushed body and matching helmet with extending horns drew in a nice sized crowd.


Attending the 34th annual National Bikers Roundup Rally is the first of many more riding adventures for me. Spending two days with other motorcycle riders is something every bike enthusiast should experience once in their life. I had such an amazing experience that I’ve already begun planning my route for the 2012 National Bikers Round-Up in Texas. See you there!

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words: Kisha Wilkinson

pix: Johnny Mapp ThrottleLife.com | 2011 Year-In-Review – 111


Motorcycle drag racing; a sport that requires bravery, precision and skill. Some say great racers come from training, others say a person is born to race with speed in their blood. No matter how a racer came about, all racers share a common goal - to be the fastest. The Manufacturers Cup held in Valdosta, GA gave those looking for speed that chance. Over 700 racers, hundreds of spectators, and vendors came from as far as Japan to see who would be the fastest. There were 11 classes of races each offering unique styles and levels of skill. Headlining the races was the Top Fuel. Larry “Spiderman” McBride heated the strip at speeds of 237.09 in the first round of Top Fuel. He continued winning speeds defeating Tommy Grimes in the final. Nearly 90 racers qualified for the Pro ET class, but in the end, it was Frank Linders that took the win over Chad Isley. A total of 71 racers went head to head for the Street ET class, but Mitchan defeated Mike Mocny in the final round. After five rounds in the Crazy 8’s, Quinn Orand defeated Doug Gall.

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Ron Procopio deafeats Keith Lynn in the Pro Comp class.Bud Yoder led the path for speed in the pro street category. He had the fastest times in round one and kept the momentum throughout the race defeating Ryne Schnitz in the final round. Other race winners include John Vickers defeating Dale Niles in the Pro Dragster, Kenny Schwartz wins over Joseph Lemons in the Top Gas, Jeremy Teasley defeating Dalton Markham in the Super Comp, but Teasley lost against Johnny Dobrin in the Real Street race and Dr. Joe Shaffer defeats Steve Foster in the Street Fighter class. If you missed out on these amazing races and want to get your dose of speed, the Manufacturers Spring Cup is just a few short months away, April 13-15, 2012 in Valdosta, GA.


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for more photos check out:

Johnny Mapp ThrottleLife.com | 2011 Year-In-Review – 115


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I must admit, I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy when it was my turn to get behind the wheel of Automotive Rhythms’ latest long-term, a velocity red 2011 MAZDASPEED3. Surely there were other vehicles more deserving of my time such as our 2011 Infiniti QX which could be used for hauling my Yamaha R1 (one of the top sport bikes on the market) to upcoming events. It baffled me why Publisher Kimatni Rawlins was so persistent on me (the resident bike expert) taking this vehicle out. Well, after a few weeks I can say with all certainty his insight was right on point. This was the vehicle for me. continued >

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Given the SPEED3’s sporty little size combined with a potent 263 horsepower, turbocharged 4-cylinder, I was zipping and dipping around town as if were on my R1 – in a safe manner of course. Regardless of what gear I was in, this little speed demon was easily able to summon the power of the turbo to rocket away from any situation just as quick as female drag race sensation Dystany Spurlock does on her BMW S 1000 RR. Don’t know who she is? Trust me, you will. And talk about its handling skills. I’ve been behind the wheel of some of the fastest production cars created and would be hard pressed to recall driving anything as nimble and responsive as AR’s newest rocket, especially with an MSRP price point of $23,700. So how did I spend my time with this new acquisition? By checking out bike events

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of course. Firsst up was the ZooRyders 4th Anniversary party where the SPEED3’s wet weather handling skills were put to the test during a monsoon like downpour. Next, it was off to Kawasaki’s nationwide Ticket-toRide Demo event where the SPEEDemon attracted almost as much attention as the bikes. We (SPEED and I) also paid a visit to Free State Cycles in support of Rickey Gadson’s Philly to Myrtle Beach Charity Ride in support of Childhood Diabetes. Lastly, we packed up and hit 95 south for the east coast’s largest bike event, the Atlantic Beach Bike Fest in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The ride was firm, yet smooth and comfortable and the Sirius/XM satellite radio allowed me to enjoy my favorite stations and tunes from departure to destination. The fuel economy was great with each fill-up coming in at approximately $48 with a range of approximately 380 miles.


This year’s Atlantic Beach Fest included ICON Motorsports and T.I.’s AKOO clothing line. This was an unprecedented addition considering the Bike Fest is in its 36th year and now attracting top brands to their venue. Additionally, the manufacturers are finally recognizing the significance of this event which has annually attracted crowds of up to 500,000. “We’re very happy to have AKOO, ICON Motorsports and the others as part of our event,” said Assistant Town Manager and CFO Linda Moye Cheatham. “We have a rich history here and have always opened our doors to the bike community,” she continued. “It’s our honor to participate in the Bike Fest,” said AKOO Director of Marketing Jeff Belizaire. “This allows us to connect directly with community by offering our street team before and after AKOO makeovers. We’re looking forward to where things can grow

from here.” From a spectator’s point of view, it was encouraging to see the Bike Fest, which is so near and dear to thousands as they reach out to hit another level of growth. Speaking of reaching out, I want to give the WiseGuy’s MD Chapter a huge shout of appreciation. Without their hospitality, my trip down south may not have happened. Last up with our travels was the first ever East Coast Bikers Rally, held in Rockingham, N.C. better known as the Rock! As the sun began to set on my time with SPEED, I realized I found a higher level of appreciation and respect for economical speed and agility. Zoom Zoom!

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There are some test vehicles that we drive that are harder to part with than others. Our long-term Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit edition is one of those vehicles for me. Having owned two earlier model Jeep Grand Cherokees, I was familiar with this brand’s overall style, capabilities and amenities, which is why Jeep failed to win me over for a third purchase as their vehicles began to fall short of their competition. That view has now changed. Enter the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit Edition.

Inside, you’re comforted by the subtle ruggedness of finely stitched leather, superbly complemented by brushed nickel trim and accents. The eight way driver and passenger seats makes finding an optimal seating position a breeze. Independent driver and passenger climate controls aid in creating that “just right” temperature. The large panoramic CommandView, two-way sun/ moon roof brings in more outdoor feel, while rear passengers can keep their keisters warm and toasty in the heated rear reclining seats.

Given the Grand Cherokee’s roomy interior, our “long-termer” quickly became my family’s go-to vehicle, easily accommodating three kids in the second row with its split seating. I took advantage of the abundant 35.1 cubic feet of rear cargo space from stocking up on groceries to loading up with soccer equipment, and lugging around my camera equipment for on-location photo shoots.

Just as with its stable-mate, the Jeep Wrangler, the Grand Cherokee’s off-road abilities are nothing short of excellent. Granted, you may never find yourself conquering the rugged outdoors of the Oregon trails or the adventurous Rubicon trial as I have on previous Jeep experiences. Rest assured however, the Grand Cherokee is more than capable and ready to take you safely and securely from the concrete jungle to

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your favorite off-road playground without skipping a beat, thanks in part to its SelectTerrain system which allows you to choose from five specific traction modes: Auto, Snow, Sport, Rock and Sand/Mud. We’ve all seen those frightening car commercials where a sudden accident is about to occur, when the given vehicle’s safety measures kick-in avoiding an unwelcome outcome. Well, I had the misfortune of experiencing one of those situations. While in route to the Bikers Choice Awards, an object unexpectedly fell from a vehicle in front me, forcing me to take immediate evasive action to avoid a dangerous scenario. Thanks to the Grand Cherokees’ Electronic Stability Control system, I was able to safely manoeuvre out of harm’s way without encountering excessive body roll or sway - it was as if I were in a sophisticated sports car with the finesse and moves of Kobe Bryant. But I wasn’t, I was in a 4,850 pound SUV, fully loaded with gear and equipment.

Not being one to let an opportunity to drive escape me, I made it a point to log as much road time with our Grand Cherokee as possible. From Raleigh, NC for the Bikers Choice Awards to Lexington NC for a quick visit to Garwood’s Custom Cycles to hanging out with the East Coast Busas and Black Tigers M/C to Richmond, VA, Pittsburgh, PA and Capitol Raceway for various photo shoots turned out to be a piece of cake. You might think all this driving would result in a ridiculous bill at the pump. On the contrary, with a respectable EPA estimated 13-mpg city and 19 mpg highway combined with a 24.6-gallon fuel tank, you’re ready to hit the open road with reasonable ranges per tank. Long road trips are also great for charging all of one’s electronic devices, with multiple outlets, allowing you stay connected with those indispensable devices that everyone can no longer live without, including those that require an AC outlet which is located in the rear cabin area. continued >

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The biggest problem I found is with the touch screen GPS/navigation system. In an age where technology is meant to simplify our lives, this system truly misses the mark. The user interface is poorly designed beyond belief. For instance, directly opposite the “input street name” prompt you will find the State in which you’re searching. Directly under that option you will find “input city name” prompt and again you will find the State following. Lastly, at the bottom of this window, the State option appears again. Redundancy can be a good thing, but in this case, it truly complicates matters. Fortunately, this issue has been addressed in newer Chrysler/Jeep vehicles that have Uconnect featuring the Garmin GPS navigation.

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Our long-term Grand Cheroke e came equip Customer Prefe ped with the o rred Package ptional , consisting of minum wheels 20-inch polishe , adaptive spe d alued control, blin ward collision d spot monito warning, the Su ring, formmit Edition g smooth 5.7 lite roup and a po r V8, all of wh tent yet ich came to a Certainly not a g ra n d to tal of $48,770. drop in the bu cket, but whe full size SUVs, th n c o m p e inherent valu ared to larger e with the outs mance and lu tanding utility, xury of the Gra perfornd Cherokee O is hard to igno verland Summ re. GPS/Navig it Edition ation system a may have just side, the folks won back a o at Jeep nce loyal custo mer.

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Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity. Make a mistake, learn from it and move on. I thank God for my family and the opportunities I’ve been blessed with.

gels, check For more of our Throtle An ls calendar out the 2012 Throttle Ange @ ThrottleLife.com 126 – 2011 Year-In-Review | ThrottleLife.com


Paint: Killer Kreations Builder: East Coast Bike Works

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Throttle Life Year In Review