Join Rider EIC Greg Drevenstedt on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
Ride this road in the Atlas Mountains on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour.

Ready to visit the exotic bazaars of Fez and Marrakech? Ride a camel on the dunes of the Sahara Desert? Ride the best roads in Morocco, including the Atlas and Rif mountains? Join Rider Editor-in-Chief Greg Drevenstedt and his brother, Paul, on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour, October 12-21, 2024.

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
Rider Editor-in-Chief Greg Drevenstedt (right) and his brother, Paul, will be on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour. Paul’s son, Felix, hopes his dad brings him home a fez from Fez!

This 10-day tour includes all the sights you always dreamed of visiting in Morocco. This route is for seasoned riders who want to enjoy rolling green hills, the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, and the mysterious sand dunes of the Sahara Desert all on well-maintained paved roads. You’ll explore casbahs, see oases, and have opportunities to buy hand-made rugs, drink mint tea, and ride a camel! In the evenings you’ll dine on delicious Moroccan cuisine like couscous and tagine.

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
Make friends with locals on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour.

The tour starts and ends in Málaga, Spain, where you’ll spend nights to kick off and conclude the tour. To get to Morocco, you’ll ride along the southern coast of Spain and take a ferry across the Mediterranean Sea.

The IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour is an authentic experience that will leave a lasting impression on you. There is limited space on this tour, so sign up now!

Register for the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
The IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour route covers 1,400 miles on well-maintained paved roads. Rest days are in Fez and Erfoud.

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour Facts

  • Start / End: Málaga, Spain
  • Total Distance: 1,432 miles / 2,306 km
  • Daily Mileage: 160-220 miles / 250-350 km
  • Riding Season: Autumn
  • Total Time: 10 days
  • Riding Days: 9 days
  • Rest Days: 2 (Erfoud, Fez)
  • Breakfast: 9 included breakfasts
  • Dinners: 7 included dinners
  • Hotel Overnights: 9 nights
  • Highlights: Marrakech Djemaa el Fna Square, riding a camel in the Sahara Desert sand dunes, Fez medina tour, Atlas Mountains
  • Accommodations: First-class 4- and 5-star hotels plus some Moroccan riads (palace homes converted into exotic boutique hotels). All IMTBike lodgings are hand-picked for their quality of service, local charm, and strategic locations.
IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
You’ll enjoy exotic north African scenery on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour.

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour Daily Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival at Málaga
  • Day 2: Malaga – Rabat
  • Day 3: Rabat – Marrakech
  • Day 4: Marrakech – Ouarzazate
  • Day 5: Ouarzazate – Todra Canyon – Erfoud
  • Day 6: Erfoud rest day
  • Day 7: Erfoud – Fez
  • Day 8: Fez rest day
  • Day 9: Fez – Ceuta
  • Day 10: Ceuta – Málaga / Flight home

Read detailed daily itinerary for the Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
You’ll enjoy a Fez medina tour on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour.

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour Pricing

Base Price: €3,910 (approx. $USD 4,242)

The base price of every tour is calculated for a single rider on a BMW G 310 R and sharing a double room. Passengers, single-room occupancy, and other BMW models incur additional charges.

Related: IMTBike Southern Spain Andalusia Tour Review

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
You’ll ride through the high-walled Todra Canyon on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour.

Included in Tour:

  • Airport pickup on the first day of the tour
  • Overnight accommodations in carefully selected 4- and 5-star hotels and boutique riads
  • A delicious evening meal featuring Moroccan specialties
  • Complete buffet breakfast every morning
  • New model BMW motorcycle fully equipped with three BMW cases
  • Tour handbook (normally about 70 pages – very comprehensive) and highlighted map
  • Expert multilingual guide on a motorcycle
  • Multilingual guide in support vehicle which will carry your luggage, any oversized purchases you make, or even a passenger or two
  • Tour souvenirs

Related: IMTBike Essence of Northern Spain Tour Review

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
One of the rest days on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour is in Erfoud, the gateway to the Sahara Desert and the staging location for many desert rally race teams.

Not Included in Tour:

  • Air ticket
  • Lunches
  • Gasoline
  • Drinks
  • Tolls
  • Personal spending
  • Tips

Ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Come ride with and get to know Rider Editor-in-Chief Greg Drevenstedt and his brother, Paul, who will be on the tour from beginning to end! Space is limited, so click on the link below to sign up for the tour.

Register for the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour

IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
This could be you on the Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour!
IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
Choose from a wide range of BMW motorcycles on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour. The entire 1,400-mile route is on well-maintained paved roads.
IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour
Ride a camel over the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour.

The post Join Rider EIC Greg Drevenstedt on the IMTBike Morocco Adventure Motorcycle Tour appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Americade and Bring It Bike Show | Ep. 71 Rider Magazine Insider Podcast

Americade and Bring It Bike Show
Episode 71 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is sponsored by Fly Racing. We talk about Americade and the Bring It Bike Show.

On Episode 71 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast, which is sponsored by Fly Racing, we talk about the Americade rally, which takes place May 29 to June 1 in Lake George, New York. The world’s largest all-brand rally has scenic rides, demo rides, entertainment, and events. Rider and American Rider sponsor the Bring It Bike Show, with daily winners in multiple categories and a people’s choice Best of Show. Bring your motorcycle and show it off! 

LINKS: Americade, Bring It Bike Show registration, FLY Racing@flyracingUSA on Instagram

Related: 2023 Americade Bring It Bike Show Winners

Americade Lake George Rider Magazine Insider Podcast
Views of Lake George and riding in the Adirondacks are highlights of the Americaderally.

You can check out Episode 71 on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPodbean, and YouTube or via the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast webpage. Please subscribe, leave us a 5-star rating, and tell your friends! Scroll down for a list of previous episodes.

Americade Canada Street
There’s always a wide selection of bikes parked on Canada Street during Americade.

Visit the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast webpage to check out previous episodes:

The post Americade and Bring It Bike Show | Ep. 71 Rider Magazine Insider Podcast appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Gerloff feels positive following Cremona test: “I know we can be faster”

Friday saw the second and final day of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s test at Cremona, Italy. Among several standout performances was that of Bonovo Action BMW’s Garrett Gerloff, who finished the combined standings on Friday in a highly respectable seventh place.

Friday morning saw Gerloff push for a best time of 1’30.459s, a result that left him in twelfth place heading into the break. In the afternoon, however, Gerloff found over a second of extra pace, pushing his time to an impressive 1’29.325s. This leapfrogged Gerloff five places in the combined standings, ultimately finishing in seventh place by the end of Friday’s test, racking up 59 completed laps in the process.

Discussing what the team can take forward from the test, Gerloff said: “I really like the track; it’s got a cool flow to it. I didn’t feel bad at all. We’re just doing circles a little bit. It’s been confusing why something that should work doesn’t, and why something that probably shouldn’t work does. I don’t know what, this year, has been going on. We’re making progress. It’s just we expect to be higher than we are. We’re doing our best to regain everything we need to get back to where we should be. We went back to a setup that we used at the beginning of the year that worked really well at Jerez but didn’t work at all at Portimao or in Australia; that was pretty terrifying, I thought it was me! We went back to it and at this track it feels good. We used it all day today. We’ve been scratching our heads a bit, but I feel good here so that’s a positive.”

After showing strong pace, Gerloff was asked if this track suited the natural strengths of the M 1000 RR. Teammate Scott Redding also displayed progression and improvement over the course of the two day test, improving from 1’30.389 to 1’29.215 by the end of the afternoon.

 Discussing this, Gerloff stated: “I don’t know, it really depends on how the next few rounds go and what we learn from that and what we show up with here. We might show up with the same setup or something completely different. As far as it goes about whether it’s a BMW track, I think it could be. At least for Toprak for sure, he can ride anything! It’s a stop and go track, at least in the beginning and the first sector, so I think that’ll suit him pretty well. I don’t feel bad, we just need to keep making improvements because I know we can be faster than we are.”

Make sure to follow all the action in 2024 with the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

REPORT: Gardner fastest on Friday ahead of Locatelli as Cremona test concludes

Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was the fastest man on a Friday test which saw several red flags at Cremona. The Australian rocketed to the top of the combined times in the afternoon session, ultimately proving to be only one of two riders to break into the 1’28s, alongside fellow Yamaha rider Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha). Ducati riders Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing), Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) and rider Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW) made up the rest of the top five.

YAMAHA SHOW SPEED AT CREMONA: Gardner P1, Locatelli P2; Rea continues to adapt

Yamaha enjoyed a very successful Friday at Cremona, with three of their four riders occupying spots in the top eight. Gardner was a lowly 15th place in the morning test session but rebounded back in a big way to clock a time of 1’28.860s, claiming top spot. His teammate, Dominique Aegerter, rounded out the top eight with a strong time of 1’29.506s.

On the other side of the Japanese manufacturer, Locatelli enjoyed a very consistent Friday. In the morning session, Locatelli secured sixth place with a time of 1’30.076s. He ended the afternoon session on Friday with a vastly improved time of 1’28.919s, enough to secure second place behind Gardner. Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) suffered a technical issue in the morning session which forced him off track but managed to secure seventh place. In the afternoon session, Rea continued his search for consistency in the afternoon, ultimately managing a best time of 1’30.027s.

DUCATI SETS THE PACE: Rinaldi fastest for Bologna bullets, Bulega and Bautista not far behind

Rinaldi had been one of the top performers throughout the entirety of the past two days at Cremona. Friday saw the #21 finish fourth overall in the morning session, setting a time of 1’29.663s. He then smashed his own time in the afternoon session, clocking a time of 1’29.047s to claim third overall. Elsewhere within the Bologna manufacturer, Lowes set the pace during Friday morning, topping out the session (after 63 laps) of 1’29.137s. Lowes did not reappear for the afternoon session of testing, with the Marc VDS Ducati squad opting to leave with what they have already. Like the other Ducati members, the priority of the Lowes camp was track familiarity and track time as opposed to testing of new parts.

Ducati continues to enjoy testing success at Cremona, with Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Nicolo Bulega and Alvaro Bautista being consistently strong on Friday, their only day of testing at Cremona. Both Bulega and Bautista set very impressive times, coming in at 1’29.501s and 1’29.518s. Throughout the two-day test, the emphasis has been centered around both riders getting to grips with the track, as well as having as much track time as possible.

REDDING AND GERLOFF EVENLY MATCHED: lots of data for BMW at Cremona

Bonovo Action BMW’s Scott Redding and Garrett Gerloff have been BMW’s sole riders at Cremona, given the absence of ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team’s Toprak Razgatlioglu and Michael van der Mark. Both Redding and Gerloff have been very similar in terms of pace, with the riders clocking in times of 1’30.389s and 1’30.459s respectively in the morning. In the afternoon, both Redding and Gerloff improved on their times, clocking 1’29.215s and 1’29.325s respectively. Redding suffered a mechanical issue early in Friday’s session, with Redding potentially testing a couple of items today but focusing on the setup of his M 1000 RR.

RABAT IMPRESSES AT CREMONA: busiest rider, consistently towards the top

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s Tito Rabat has been one of the standout performers during the Cremona test, repeatedly coming in towards the top of the timesheets during testing. Rabat clocked a time of 1’29.663s on Friday morning, enough for a top five place. He has also been one of the most active riders on track, completing 121 laps on Day 1, whilst completing 112 on Day 2; a total of 233 laps across both days. Rabat ended the day with an improved time of 1’29.543s. Rabat and Puccetti Kawasaki were working on new configurations and setup from the Japanese manufacturer, and they were the only Kawasaki representatives on track.

HONDA LOOK FOR GAINS: Lecuona and Vierge make subtle improvements

Honda entered Friday’s Cremona test seeking to test different swingarms, as well as to gain familiarity with the track. In the morning session, Iker Lecouna (Team HRC) clocked a time of 1’30.229s, enough for eighth place. In the afternoon session, his time improved to 1’29.787s. It was a similar story for teammate Xavi Vierge, who clocked a time of 1’30.293s in the morning but managed to improve his time in the afternoon to 1’30.135s.

On the other side of the Honda setup, PETRONAS MIE Racing’s Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin had a good day. Mackenzie enjoyed a strong start in the morning session, clocking a time of 1’30.646s, but he could not improve that time in the afternoon, recording a best time of 1’31.165s. Norrodin, on the other hand, managed the opposite, improving from a 1’32.846s in the morning to a time of 1’31.591s in the afternoon.

HUERTAS LEADS WORLDSSP FIELD AT CREMONA

For the second day in a row, Adrian Huertas (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) was the fastest of the WorldSSP riders on display during the Cremona test. The Aruba.it rider showed some good pace over the course of Friday’s test. Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) claimed second with Khairul Idham Bin Pawi (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda) in third. His teammate, Kaito Toba, was fourth with Ivan Goi (QJMOTOR Factory Racing) rounding out the field WorldSSP field.

The top six from Friday at Cremona, find the full results from Friday’s test at Cremona here:

1 Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 1’28.860s, 112 laps

2. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha), +0.059s, 72 laps

3. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing), +0.187s, 70 laps

4. Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing), +0.277s, 63 laps

5. Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW), +0.355s, 73 laps

6. Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), +0.363s, 94 laps

Follow all the action from the 2024 season using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

BMW R20 Concept Unveiled 

BMW R20 Concept
BMW R20 Concept

BMW Motorrad unveiled the BMW R20 concept bike at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este show in Italy. The R20 features a classic roadster design paired with sophisticated components and a minimalist style, showcasing the air/oil-cooled Big Boxer engine as its centerpiece. 

BMW R20 Concept

The BMW R20 is an eye-catching motorcycle, with a “hotter than pink” pop of color on the aluminum tank. The bike has been designed to highlight the 2,000cc boxer engine, with its massive cylinders jutting out horizontally, and new components – cylinder head covers, belt cover, and oil cooler – were developed for this concept. 

Related: Paul Yaffe Creates Custom BMW R 18 One Eight “C” 

BMW R20 Concept

The bike’s double-loop main frame is made of chromoly steel tubes, and the R20 features a new dual-sided variant of BMW’s Paralever system. In this new variant, the swingarm is made of chromoly steel, and the strut is aluminum. The exposed driveshaft adopted from the R 18 has been shortened, and the bike rides on 17-inch wheels, with a spoked wheel up front and a black disc wheel in the rear. 

Related: BMW R 18 Roctane Review 

BMW R20 Concept

Suspension components are provided by Öhlins, the rake is 27.5 degrees, and the wheelbase is 61 inches. Radial-mounted ISR brakes feature a pair of 6-piston front calipers and a single 4-piston rear caliper. 

BMW R20 Concept

Adding to the R20’s sophisticated look, the taillight is integrated into the single seat upholstered with quilted black Alcantara and fine-grain leather, and the rear has a compact, uncluttered appearance. The LED headlight is surrounded by an aluminum ring with integrated daytime running light, with the main headlight appearing the float within the ring. 

BMW R20 Concept

“The R20 concept is a bold interpretation of the BMW Motorrad DNA,” says Alexander Buckan, head of design for BMW Motorrad. “It combines modern technical elements with a classic roadster design. Its oversized proportions and minimalistic aesthetic make it an unmistakable character.” 

BMW R20 Concept

Find more information about the R20 and other BMW models at the BMW Motorrad website

Check out more new bikes in Rider’s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide  

The post BMW R20 Concept Unveiled  appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Gardner jubilant after Day 2 at Cremona: “Very happy with the day… in the afternoon, I was fast and felt better!”

Despite missing the opening day of action at the Cremona Circuit, Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) topped the times on Day 2 by just 0.059s ahead of fellow Yamaha rider Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha). The Australian was the first rider to break into the 1’28s barrier at the Italian venue as he showed his and the R1’s potential at a circuit set to make its MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship race debut later this year.

Like Locatelli, Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) and teammate Dominique Aegerter, the #87 sat out of Thursday’s action which was disrupted by heavy rain but made the most of Friday’s action. He completed 49 laps in the afternoon as he set the fastest lap of the test with a 1’28.860s while he also completed 61 laps in the morning to rack up more than 100 across the eight hours of testing on the final day.

The one-time podium finisher used Pirelli’s SCQ tyre to full advantage to set his lap time, although he had a run-off on the same compound shortly after. However, he was able to ride his bike back to the pits. He returned to the track later on although he didn’t improve his lap time, but it was good enough to secure top spot at a circuit he hadn’t been to before.

Discussing his test, Gardner said: “As we only had one day, I didn’t even know where the track went! I knew the first corner went left so I went out and started riding this morning. It felt okay but I definitely struggled a bit more this morning to get on the pace and the rhythm. I was struggling to set up the gearing because it’s new for everybody, but this afternoon we went back out with the gearing that works well. Straight away, I was fast and felt better. We found a lot of improvements on the bike and I’m happy with the day.”

Despite his strong performance, Gardner did have an eventful day. He had a run-off in the afternoon at Turn 2 which cost him valuable track time. He also revealed he made a save at Turn 7 in the morning after losing the front when the test wasn’t going as well as it did in the afternoon. The off-track excursion and the morning save didn’t seem to impact him as he set the best time of the test, and he was also the first rider to break into the 1’28s barrier.

Talking about his two big moments, Gardner said: “I saved one at Turn 7 this morning. I was pushing when things weren’t working too well, but I saved it on the elbow which was good. This afternoon, on the SCQ, I was doing a long run and just got the bike a bit unsettled on the braking marker into Turn 2 and ran off into the dirt. I just managed to stop it before the wall. I ended up in the grass and tried to re-join the track, but 30 metres in front of the grass, it turned into flat track mud, and I slipped on the mud. Unfortunately, I got dirty, and the bike got dirty!”

Follow all the action from WorldSBK in 2024 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

Veterans Charity Ride and Indian Motorcycle to Host Memorial Day Reunion

Veterans Charity Ride Memorial Day Reunion

To commemorate their 10th year of partnership, Veterans Charity Ride and Indian Motorcycle are hosting a Memorial Day reunion to welcome returning VCR vets. The reunion takes place May 24-27 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Veterans Charity Ride was founded by veteran Army Paratrooper Dave Frey and is a veteran-led, non-profit organization that provides motorcycle therapy to combat wounded veterans. VCR’s goal is to support vets as they transition to civilian life by offering camaraderie, motorcycle adventures, and other initiatives.

Related: Steed Rides Again for Veteran Suicide – This Time with a Crew

“It’s incredible to be entering our 10th year of motorcycle therapy, and undoubtedly we could not have achieved so much without the loyal support from our friends at Indian Motorcycle,” said Dave Frey, founder of Veterans Charity Ride. “While we celebrate 10 years with a Memorial Day reunion alongside our brothers and sisters who have joined us throughout our program, we are equally excited to stay on the throttle and welcome new veterans into the program and help in their rehabilitation just as we have so many already.”

Related: Veteran Hugh Smith Jr. and his ‘Milwaukee Packout’ Bike

Throughout Memorial Day weekend, participating vets will enjoy adventure activities supported by the National Ability Center in Park City. Vets will also go on motorcycle therapy rides and participate in team-building exercises.

Another VCR event is scheduled for June 8-16 in Moab, Utah, in celebration of Veteran Motorcycle Therapy Month. During this event, VCR will host a group of new and returning veterans with therapy rides, adventure activities, and small-group therapy sessions. They will also participate in the Indian-sponsored Durango Rendezvous event in Durango, Colordo.

“Over the past decade, Veterans Charity Ride has improved the lives of countless veterans, many of whom wouldn’t leave their house after their release from active duty,” said Aaron Jax, vice president for Indian Motorcycle. “Through its therapy program, which utilizes the freedom of the open road, the roar of the engine, and the connection between veterans, VCR has been incredibly successful in helping these vets find life after service, and we are honored to play a role in supporting such a great cause.”

To learn more or to donate to Veterans Charity Ride, visit the VCR website.

The post Veterans Charity Ride and Indian Motorcycle to Host Memorial Day Reunion appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

GoEleven’s Sacchetti on Iannone’s future: “It doesn’t depend on us, but him and Ducati and maybe other manufacturers…”

The future of Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) is one of the hot topics in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship despite being just three rounds into his comeback season. The #29 has been impressive so far after fighting for podiums and leading races despite being away from competition for four years. It’s led to plenty of speculation about where he might end up in WorldSBK, with Team GoEleven’s Team Manager, Denis Sacchetti, commenting about his future at the Cremona test.

Iannone linked up with the Independent Ducati squad for 2024 after missing four years of competitive riding, but it’s looked like he hasn’t been away with his performances so far. He took a debut podium in Race 1 at Phillip Island with third and was second in the Tissot Superpole Race in Barcelona after being involved in a thrilling final-lap showdown with Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team).

With his performances so far turning heads, his future has become a topic of discussion, and his team manager spoke on Friday at Cremona about the subject. Sacchetti talked about the option in his GoEleven Ducati contract for 2025 but also about how the Italian’s future doesn’t depend on the team given his performances on their Independent Panigale V4 R.

Discussing where Iannone could end up in 2025, Sacchetti said: “I think he’s a top rider. Andrea is a really talented rider and I think he deserves to stay in WorldSBK with an official package and deserves also to ride in MotoGP™. I think, at the moment, he has to decide what he wants for his career. There’s an option to stay in the team. It’s a one-year contract with an option for a second year. He has to decide whether to accept the option or not. It depends on what he wants to do. If he wants to stay with us, we’d be really happy, because I think we can fight for really good results even if we’re a private team; we’re a private team with good support from Ducati. I think we are competitive enough to fight for the podium at every race. I don’t know. His future doesn’t depend on us but on him and Ducati and maybe other manufacturers that have much more power than us!”

There have been rumours about a potential return to MotoGP™ for Iannone, which the one-time MotoGP™ race winner responded to at Assen and now Sacchetti has answered as well. When asked whether it could be an option for the 34-year-old, Sacchetti said: “I think he can also have options in MotoGP™.”

Iannone was asked on Thursday at Cremona about his future, and he said: “Every day, we have something new because every day something changes. It’s normal and not only for me. I want to focus on the Championship. After Misano, I’ll start to decide my future. First of all, it’s important to decide whether I remain in WorldSBK or not.”

Follow all the action from WorldSBK throughout 2024 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero: Hugh Smith, Jr. and his ‘Milwaukee Packout’ Bike

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
Hugh Smith, Jr. (right) with Brandon Hamblin, owner of Twitchy’s Speed Shop in Chestertown, New York, who helped Smith build the 2006 Yamaha Road Star “Milwaukee Packout” bike, at the 2023 Americade Bring It Bike Show. (Photo by Matt Gustafson, @gustophotos)

As we gear up to head to Lake George, New York, for the 41st Americade rally (May 29-June 1), we are excited to host the second annual Bring It Bike Show alongside our sibling publication American Rider. Like the Americade rally itself, last year the inaugural show brought out all sorts of bikes. The one ridden by Hugh Smith Jr. definitely made an impression – so much so that we chose it the lead image for the online story we published featuring the winners of the 2023 Bring it Bike Show.

Related: Join Rider Magazine at Americade 2024

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
The “Milwaukee Packout” bike has Milwaukee Packout toolboxes as side cases, a custom passenger seat, and a Milwaukee battery-powered miter saw on the back. (Photo by Matt Gustafson, @gustophotos)

Dubbed “Milwaukee Packout,” it’s an eye-catching bike, a 2006 Yamaha Road Star outfitted with Milwaukee Packout toolboxes as side cases and a Milwaukee battery-powered miter saw on the back. However, it wasn’t just the bike that caught our attention; it was Smith’s story. He is a Marine Corps veteran who uses his motorcycle as a work vehicle to help build housing for female veterans with children.

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
Hugh Smith Jr. (near the back with cowboy hat) and his Milwaukee Packout bike with other 2023 Americade Bring It Bike Show winners at the Industry Meet & Mingle party. (Photo by Matt Gustafson, @gustophotos)

Last year’s Best of Show bike was selected by popular vote during Americade’s Industry Meet & Mingle party. Nearly 100 votes were tabulated, and Keith Youngblood’s 1969 Triumph TR6R hardtail bobber, which won the Best European category on Day 2 of the Bring It Bike Show, earned the grand prize. Smith’s bike came in second place, but his story pulled so many heartstrings at the party that Americade’s executive director, Christian Dutcher, graciously dug into his pocket to gift Smith with $200 for a special award.

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
Hugh Smith Jr. (center, with cowboy hat) was all smiles when he was presented with a special award at the 2023 Americade Industry Meet & Mingle party, where is Milwaukee Packout bike got the 2nd-highest number of Best of Show votes but won the most hearts and minds.(Photo by Matt Gustafson, @gustophotos)

After the 2023 show ended, we reached out to Smith to get to know a little more about the man and the mission.

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero: Who are you, wearing my eagle, globe, and anchor?’

Hugh Smith Sr. was a U.S. diplomat, and as a result, the younger Smith grew up at embassies around the world surrounded by Marine security guards. Before his days as a diplomat, Smith’s father was an MVP soccer player at New York University, which was impressive for a young Black immigrant in the 1960s. Smith said as part of the “Jr. thing,” he was always trying to live up to his father’s accomplishments. For him, it was training to be an all-star wrestler, a goal he worked toward while moving around.

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
Have tools, will travel. (Photo by Greg Drevenstedt)

“It was something I could train for and do independently,” he said. “I spent most of my time around the Marine security guards, lifting weights.”

He said that as a teenager stationed in Italy, he and the Marines would run the Spanish Steps, a steep, 95-foot slope comprising 138 steps.

Smith saw his goal accomplished a few years later at Wesleyan University, becoming the school’s first all-American wrestler in about a dozen years. However, with this mission realized, college “didn’t make sense.”

“I love to read. I love to travel. I love to learn from people in the environment. If we’re going to build a house, let’s go build a house. Let’s not read a book about it,” he said, adding that when it came to getting a degree, there was “nothing on paper that I could say, ‘Yes, that’s me.’”

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
What’s in your saddlebag? (Photo by Greg Drevenstedt)

After this realization, he decided he wanted to learn more about living off the grid and took an interest in wilderness education, which led him to Outward Bound. It was here that he discovered how much he enjoyed working with kids, especially the at-risk population.

“I saw the hope and excitement as their eyes lit up, especially the truant youths, when someone finally listed or they were able to open up,” he said.

In 1999, Smith enlisted in the Marine Corps, joining the Infantry. It was here that he got his first taste of motorcycles when a guy in his unit taught him to ride a Suzuki Katana. While out riding one day and pushing the limits, he experienced a speed wobble, but instead of feeling scared, it exhilarated Smith.

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
Smith on the Hudson River at the first Fleet Week after 9/11. Standing next to him is Jeanpierre Boucher, the first wrestler Smith coached before going into the service. Boucher ended up going into the service as well, and he started Grunt Works Design with Smith. (Photo courtesy Hugh Smith Jr.)

“It shook me,” he said. “It was the first time I felt exposed and vulnerable, and I remember thinking, ‘I better pay attention. I’ve got to be in control.’ I fell in love with it. And then the freedom to be able to just take off and be open like that was amazing.” 

Smith served six years and two deployments in the Marines; however, once again he wasn’t getting the experience he had hoped for.

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
Sticker on the front of Hugh Smith, Jr.’s Milwaukee Packout bike. (Photo by Greg Drevenstedt)

“I loved my time in the Corps,” he said. “I never thought I would leave. I tried to qualify and do as much as I could, but unfortunately, my contract kept me with my unit. I was trapped. As much as I had been promoted, I felt stifled.”

Smith decided to leave the Corps when his contract was finished. He ended up in upstate New York, but he felt lost. He fell back on construction, primarily framing, and went through a rough patch, alternating between drinking heavily and trying unsuccessfully to quit.

At one point, he made the decision to move out of upstate New York, selling his van and buying a Honda Shadow 1100 Sabre.

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
The Honda Shadow 1100 Sabre customized by Brandon Hamblin, owner of Twitchy’s Speed Shop in Chestertown, New York, who won the Old School category on Day 3 of the 2023 Bring It Bike Show. (Photo courtesy Hugh Smith Jr.)

Smith was out and about in town when he saw a group of people wearing the Marine Corps insignia.

“I tapped one of them on the shoulder and said, ‘Who are you, wearing my eagle, globe, and anchor?’” he said, adding that because he hadn’t grown up in the U.S. and was still relatively new to the motorcycling world, he didn’t know about motorcycle clubs.

Turns out he had met the Lake George chapter of the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club, whose members are active and veteran Marines, a group that Smith said literally saved his life.

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
Smith riding “Milwaukee Packout” to Sturgis in 2021 with a Leatherneck club member. (Photo courtesy Hugh Smith Jr.)

“They were a group of really good people who took the time to get to know me,” he said. “They took care of me. No one else could put up with me.”

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero: ‘Something with the riding’

Even with these new associations, it wasn’t an overnight transition for Smith. He continued to struggle for several years until finally, around four years ago, he built “Milwaukee Packout” with the help of Brandon Hamblin, owner of Twitchy’s Speed Shop, and decided to put it to good use. Even during the bad times, he had always tried to give back, through coaching, charity work, and donating – “some of the only times I would be sober” – but in January 2021, he quit drinking and decided to turn his life around.

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
Work to ride, ride to work. (Photo by Greg Drevenstedt)

“So many better veterans than I am have quit or given up – or committed suicide or are still out there drinking and lost because they didn’t have a Marine who was willing to put up with them,” he said. “The VA couldn’t put up with me, not friends, my folks, family. Nobody could, but there was something there with the Leathernecks. Especially something with the riding; we were together but still off on our own.”

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
Safety first. (Photo by Greg Drevenstedt)

Disappointed in seeing larger charitable drives like Toys for Tots distributing donations to other areas, Smith and other Leathernecks started grassroots efforts to keep the donations and the support for veterans in their own community. What started as simply giving food, toys, and other donations to local veteran families expanded when Smith learned about the Foreverly House, which was going to be built next to the Guardian House, the latter of which was already well-known for being the only VA-funded transitional housing for female veterans in New York and only 1 of 7 such residences in the country at the time.

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
Milwaukee Packout parked in front of the in-progress Foreverly House. (Photo courtesy Hugh Smith Jr.)

The Foreverly House would be unique in that it would be the first of its kind for veteran mothers and their dependents. Smith wanted to be a part of it.

“Literally 10 years earlier, I was a homeless vet at the VA in their 30-day in-patient program with a bed waiting for me, and now I was able to be the guy who owned a company that had five guys putting the roof on top of Foreverly House.”

Smith said he was able to get half of the materials donated, and he further donated 90% of the labor.

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
Not your typically passenger seat. (Photo by Greg Drevenstedt)

His next steps include continuing to grow his business, Grunt Works Design, which connects veterans – especially homeless veterans – with local businesses willing to offer training. There are a wide variety of possibilities, but recognizing the importance of the trades in developing self-sufficiency, this is largely where he is focusing for now. 

“I want to bring together other veterans who the system has given up on. I want them to keep going and to give them a useful talent,” he said. “I want to bring them into building the houses – not a donation, but give me the tools, teach me how to do for myself, let me work with others who speak the way I do, and let me see the fruits of my labor at the end of the day.”

Given the design of “Milwaukee Packout,” Smith has reached out to the tool company and made contact with a local representative, a relationship he hopes to grow.

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
Hugh Smith, Jr. and his 2006 Yamaha Road Star “Milwaukee Packout” won the Best Japanese category on Day 3 of the 2023 Americade Bring It Bike Show. (Photo by Matt Gustafson, @gustophotos)

He has also gone back to school and is currently about halfway through the New York State Code Enforcement program, so he’ll have qualifications beyond carpentry and can help certify some of these building projects. He wants to see – and be a part of – more projects like the Foreverly House.

He said that while it’s the only one of its kind currently, “it can’t always be the only one of its kind.”

“You see one, do one, and teach one,” he said. “The Foreverly House is something that should be taught. It should be laid out as a blueprint and duplicated and not just championed as ‘Yes, we’ve done a wonderful thing.’” 

Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero Hugh Smith, Jr. and His Milwaukee Packout Bike
2006 Yamaha Road Star “Milwaukee Packout” (Photo by Greg Drevenstedt)

These plans won’t be easy. Smith admits his story is still developing, and he was a little hesitant to tell that story when we reached out. He still struggles with self-confidence and says he often feels like a “second-class citizen.” He has had a hard time finding a place where he feels like he belongs, largely because he was told by so many during his recovery that he didn’t fit in. But he circled back to the support and camaraderie of the Leathernecks.

“Those gentlemen kept me around long enough until something clicked, and then something else clicked, and then something else. I don’t know if it’s all clicked yet, but I did give a little. And hopefully it will help.”

Smith wants to accomplish more, but we are already impressed with what he’s done and wish him the best of luck with the next chapter in his story.

The post Americade Bring It Bike Show Hero: Hugh Smith, Jr. and his ‘Milwaukee Packout’ Bike appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

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