Taking her for a spin · 4069 days ago

Once I finally got the new BMW [courtesy of BMW of North America] I decided to take her for a spin. Riding to Arches National Park and Monument Valley was a long time dream of mine so I started out thinking of hitting Utah’s Moab area, as it is glorified in some of my riding guide books, drive through Monument Valley and some how drive back trough New Mexico.

Seeing as how I started the ride after a night shift I didn’t have a real solid plan but trusting my GPS I thought I should be able to pull it somehow. [Garmin, take me home….]

The trip took me 8 days and covered some 3500 miles. I totally loved it. The Beamer was awesome on and off the rode and I got more and more use to it. [It is still a challenging bike for me, this is a big bike!]

I rode through some thunderstorms and when I got to Grand Canyon I got caught in a Hail Storm. Never the less Grand Canyon was defiantly the highlight of the trip. I waited the storm at the northern rim lodge, boy this place was awesome, I will try to stay there next time.

Visit the trip Galery

Click for the ride map

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Spoon feeding · 4253 days ago

Got a love it, the other day Nick Spooner, the manager of Café Racer took me up for a mano a mano on Middle America Motorplex race track.

Dancing the curves in the narrow space between elation and panic was an awesome experience.

No I am not yet exactly inside the bubble, my knees were far from scraping the pavement, but learning to move my butt and hung out with every turn was the biggest breakthrough I had on the race track so far.

So grazie molto Nicola and Rossi, Rossi you better watch out…

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One Fifty Nine · 4274 days ago

It actually makes sense, sort of. Given my re immersion in sport riding I decided to get a dedicated race bike.

The bikes I ride are designed on and for the race track. My Ducati 999 wins consistently the World Superbike Championships, taking it out on the public roads presents me with some challenges like:

  • What exactly does the 55 road sign mean?
  • Given that I get to 80 MPH on first gear what should I do with the other 5?
  • Can the police radar really catch the Ducati silhouette if I tuck all the way in?
  • Where can I find twisty roads in Kansas???

Since I moved to Kansas City I was greatly assisted by Greg Williams of Café Racer. Following his recommendations I decided to get a Suzuki SV650 race bike as my training bike. On Friday I drove to Little Rock Arkansas and by Saturday I was on the track.

So how fast did I go? Ah… well, my new race bike does not have a speedometer, Duh…

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Larz Anderson Classic - European Motorcycle Day · 4449 days ago

This morning all I really wanted was a bagel, a bagel with cream cheese.

Living in an Irish neighborhood I had to cross the bridge and my stomach lead me eventually into Brookline. On my way to bagel heaven I noted an unusual number of motorcycles driving around, unusual especially given the grayish drizzle.

So after satisfying my craving for Lox, I followed up a group of cyclists and ended up at the Larz Anderson Park where the Larz Anderson Classic – European Motorcycle Day was in full progress.

Click here to check it out

Little did I know setting up for the bagel chase…

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A Yiddisha Cowboy, chasing VT Route 100 · 4459 days ago

Yesterday the weather looked just perfect so I decide to take the Road Star for a ride. Initially I didn’t have a real plan, just figured I would go up to New Hamphsire and wander into Vermont somehow.

Starting on the highway to get into the smaller twisters I took I-93 to I-89. Around Warner NH the highway was blocked off for road work. Consulting with the guarding policeman I took Route 103 to Sunapee lake and had lunch at the Appleseed restaurant by the lake

Then continued up to Vermont taking route 4 to Quechee State Park and Woodstock. Route 4 connects with Route 100 VT, Route 100 holds a special place here as one of the best, most fun roads in the country for two wheelers. the exciting state site for VT Route 100

The ride was spectacular I later crossed east on Route 125, an awesome road in its own rights. 125 was mostly freshly paved twisting its way as it climbs Sugarbush mountain and continue north along the Mad River.

By the time I pointed the handlebar south the sun was going down. The whole way from Vermont to Manchester NH I was literally shaking. Although I started the day at some 70^o^F. the leather over a tee shirt was far from sufficient.

Literally shaking my way south my frozen brain was pondering, should I go faster to end it sooner or slower to reduce the chill? Somehow I made it to Manchester and defrosted at a Duncan Donuts. Seeing me shaking, the kid at the counter said chilly night huh, where did you come from?
Montpelier. Vermont.
Wow!
that’s OK I am almost done.
Where are you going too?
Boston.
Boston?!? that’s another 45 minutes
Yep, It was…

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Size? ... you bet it does! · 4469 days ago

Last weekend Sheryl and Moi drove up to New York City to pick up the new addition to the fleet, a 1999 Yamaha 1600cc Road Star. I wanted a big cruiser for a while and the right opportunity turned up last weekend.

Driving it out of the city was a BIT scary; negotiating the city traffic, bridges and bypasses was not for the faint of heart. I guess wrestling with Boston drivers for a while now had prepared me some for the experience.

The Road Star is a hoot. It is heavy, powerful and cushy; sort of a gentle giant. We are riding it around New England now, taking advantage of the autumn before the mighty winter comes in.

My plans are to spice it up some, throwing in some chrome, opening the intake with Baron BAK and opening the back end with a pair of BUB Big Willey exhaust pipes. I am taking it up to NH tomorrow for the full TLC treatment at the dealership and will reshoe it with a pair of Metzler Marathon tires.

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My Triple 9 · 4526 days ago

In my motorcycles days there was one bike, an Italian bike, that seemed to always come up – the Duc. The mavens were huddling over it, oohing and aahing. Myself, I couldn’t manage to squeeze its stiff clutch lever let alone squeeze my bank account enough to own one.

As my motorcycle buzz resurfaced I looked it up. I learned that it is still being oohed and aahed and that there is a revered dealership up in Laconia dedicated to it.

3 years ago I went up there, if you would have given me a few spins I could have easily mistaken it to be in northern Italy. When I told Bruce, the owner, of my interest in a Duc he handed me the keys “why don’t you take it for a spin around the lake?”

By the end of the ride I knew I will get one and I knew I will get it there. It took me a while but last week the Ductruk brought my crate.

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Champlain Islands Vermont · 4528 days ago

So, where do you usually like to ride?

We were sitting on the rug at Second Wind shooting the breeze while my first born was getting its initial 600 miles service. Here I am the new owner of a 1200 GS, the go anywhere do anything bike, some footage is starting to play in my head; Tierra del Fuego, Alaska…

Soon after getting the bike I Amazonned the Long Way Round two guys that rode their GS’s from their home in London to NY, on land – the long way. I couldn’t put this book down, devouring their adventures and thinking where I would take mine.

“…I like the Champlain Islands, you can just stay on the highway the whole way up their, it’s a great ride”

The next day I was up on I-93. By the time I crossed to Vermont I had a new appreciation for the state’s rest stops.

All in all the ride took some 600 miles, it was an awesome ride but as I crawled to the shower at the end of day I developed a new perspective on endurance motorcycle rallies .

I guess Tierra del Fuego will have to wait for now.

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Back on the saddle · 4529 days ago

Somehow I discovered motorcycling in my 20’s. Winding narrow roads become a playground, the more the better. Throwing in some mountains would definitely make my day. When I came to the US, seeing the highways, the number of cars and the velocity I decided to stay away from exposed riding.

In the last few years I started having this buzz in my ears, the motorcycle buzz. I would look at some, look at the magazines, and a few times I even crossed the threshold of a dealership…

Last month I bought my first a go-anywhere do-everything BMW 1200GS This week I am buying the second, a Ducati 999

I am back in the playground and I have a lot of catching up to do….

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