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Hayley Bell | Ep. 39 Rider Magazine Insider Podcast

Ep 39: Rider Magazine Insider Podcast Hayley Bell
Hayley Bell gets ready to pass the baton during the Women Riders World Relay in 2019.

Our guest for Episode 39 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is Hayley Bell, Founder and President of Global Business Development for Women Riders World Relay. The mission of Women Riders World Relay is to bring fun, experience, confidence, and a sense of unity to female riders globally. Between February 2019 and February 2020, more than 3,500 women from 79 countries on six continents circumnavigated the globe on two wheels, passing a baton from woman to woman and logging 63,000 miles.

For her efforts with WRWR, Bell was named 2019 Motorcyclist of the Year by the American Motorcyclist Association. We talk to Bell about how she started WRWR, how the movement grew exponentially within a matter of weeks, and how hundreds of women around the world volunteered their time and effort to plan, organize, and complete the global relay. We also talk about the impact WRWR is having on the motorcycle industry, and her role as a spokesperson and advocate.

LINKS: WRWR Facebook Group@WomenRidersWorldRelay on Instagram

You can listen to Episode 39 on iTunesSpotify, and SoundCloud, or via the Rider Magazine Insider webpage. Please subscribe, leave us a 5-star rating, and tell your friends! Scroll down for a list of previous episodes.

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

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Minnesota Lakes Loop | Favorite Ride

Minnesota Lakes Loop
Skyline Parkway Scenic Byway provides stunning views of downtown Duluth and Lake Superior. Photo by Alyssa Hei.

Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, is ranked 12th among U.S. states in terms of land area but 9th in terms of water within its borders. This favorite ride visits the largest – Lake Superior – and others in a 200-mile loop that starts and ends in Duluth and has Ely at its northernmost point.

This simple day ride has evolved. I’ve ridden it at least once a summer for more than 30 years, starting with a 1978 BMW R100, then a 1981 BMW R80GS, and currently a 2007 BMWR1200R. Just as those bikes have changed, so has the road.

Minnesota Lakes Loop

Scan QR code above to view route on REVER, or click here

It’s not my favorite ride, either. I don’t have a favorite ride, other than the next one. This is because every time I ride, I feel noticeably better. For me, there is nothing like the calming, clarifying effect of self-directed motion, and riding a motorcycle might be the richest delivery system for obtaining this benefit ever devised. So, commute riding to work, or around this loop, it’s all the same. Every ride is my favorite ride.

Check out more of Rider‘s Favorite Rides

Minnesota Lakes Loop
Located at Two Harbors, Split Rock Lighthouse opened in 1909 and sits on a 130-foot cliff overlooking Lake Superior. Photo by Paul Vincent.

Starting from Duluth, at Canal Park, proceed along the North Shore of Lake Superior on State Route 61 to Two Harbors. Turn left and start riding due north on County Road 2. (Alternatively, you can ride farther up the shore, and a few miles past Silver Bay you’ll come to Illgen City, which isn’t actually a city, or even a town or village. It’s just a T-intersection where State Route 1 begins. There you turn left.)

Minnesota Lakes Loop
The largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior covers nearly 32,000 square miles. Riding along its North Shore is a highlight of this route.

The ride is fairly flat along the North Shore, but it climbs as it heads inland, and soon you are surrounded by a second-generation forest of Norway pine, white birch, alder, and spruce. It’s as remote and empty-feeling a forest landscape as you’ll find anywhere in Alaska, Canada, or Siberia.

After heading north for 46 miles, County Road 2 dead-ends at Route 1. Hang a left toward Ely. Wildlife you might encounter includes white-tailed deer, moose, timber wolves, black bears, beavers, racoons, squirrels, loons, blackbirds, bald eagles, and a variety of ducks, geese, grouse, and partridge. Human encounters will be loggers driving big trucks, fishermen carrying rooftop canoes, occasional lumbering motorhomes, and a few Subaru-driving campers and hikers. There’s also a thin smattering of settlers and a couple little roadhouse bars.

Minnesota Lakes Loop
After turning north at Two Harbors, this route enters a vast, empty part of northeastern Minnesota, passing by a few of the state’s 10,000 lakes. County Road 2 is mostly straight, but State Route 1 winds its way gracefully through dense forest that’s home to plenty of wildlife but few people. Keep your wits about you and be prepared for emergencies, because it’s a remote area without many services.
Minnesota Lakes Loop

This old Route 1 has evolved. Back in the 1980s, its asphalt surface was shoulderless, rough, narrow, and already worn out, with plenty of tight 15-25 mph banked and closely linked corners which were fun to try at 30-45 mph. It was like a bumpier, frost-damaged version of the Tail of the Dragon, with enough kinks, tight corners, and expansion heaves to make any hard-ridden bike’s shocks and tires a little warm. Back then, this road was so tight, and for such long stretches, it was a great training area for young riders wanting to improve their skills. The mature forest whizzed by only a few feet from your elbows and knees, greatly adding to the sensation of speed. Boy, was it ever fun. No time to lollygag by looking into narrow clearings flashing by, or across the numerous small lakes, streams, and ponds, hoping to spot exotic wildlife. Nope, I’ve never seen a single moose up there, or a wolf, yet that is where a bunch of them are known to live. Eyes on the road.

Minnesota Lakes Loop
Photo by Alyssa Hei

Not much of that fun old stretch of highway remains today. Most of it has been improved and widened to modern standards for the convenience and safety of loggers, fisherman, tourists, and locals. It’s still all scenic and curvy, but now it’s dozens of smoothly linked, higher-speed sweepers, and most of the sides include nice shoulders with decent runoffs. Those unyielding rocks and trees of the primordial forest are now at least 10 to 12 feet away from your elbows. Thanks, MnDOT. Well done. You’ve transformed a hillbilly hooligan-rider’s haven into a delightful sport-touring and touring rider’s experience.

Minnesota Lakes Loop
Throughout downtown Ely are 19 different murals, including “The End of An Era,” which celebrates the town’s mining history.

The apogee of this loop is the city of Ely, famous partly for mining but mostly as a jump-off point for canoe trippers wanting to paddle the endless lakes and rivers of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and explore Voyageurs National Park. With a little portaging here and there, you can just about paddle all the way to the Rockies, and in the 1700s lots of hard men did just that to trade with the natives for beaver pelts, which were in great fashion-demand across Europe then.

Minnesota Lakes Loop
Ely is a charming little town on the edge of Minnesota’s vast Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

You can purchase locally handmade moose-hide mukluks, choppers, custom canoe paddles, and all kinds of gallery artwork and camping gear in Ely, so allow some walkabout time. There’s also a park, a theater, camping, motels, and cottages if you are inclined to linger overnight. Delicious sit-down meals are offered at several nice joints. You can choose from two brands of gasoline and even buy the no-ethanol premium most older bikes like best. The vibe is Western ski town without mountains, just an endless, roadless wilderness of lakes and forests as far as you can dream. Or paddle.

Minnesota Lakes Loop
Built in the early 1900s, the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge connects the city of Duluth with Minnesota Point on the southern shore of Lake Superior. Photo by Alyssa Hei.

To get back to Duluth, ride west through Ely on Route 1, turn left (south) on S. Central Avenue (County Road 21), and ride about 30 miles to the town of Embarrass. Just to the west, turn south again on State Route 135. Follow signs for Aurora via CSAH (County State Aid Highway) 100, and continue to County Road 4, known as the Vermilion Trail, which was first cut as an overland pack-horse wagon trail into this canoe country. At intervals are several worn little iron-mining towns, a scattering of hardscrabble survival settlers, and a few more always-welcoming taverns. Before you know it, you’re back in the mini metropolis of Duluth.

The post Minnesota Lakes Loop | Favorite Ride first appeared on Rider Magazine.
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Riding the Motorcycle Century

Riding the Motorcycle Century
Child of the ’60s meets Bud Ekins’ 1915 Harley-Davidson in 1978. (Photo by Robin Riggs)

Looking through a file folder named “Cars & Bikes” on my computer the other day, I noticed that in 50 years of riding, I’ve experienced nearly the entirety of motorcycle history. From 1915 Indian board-track racers to a 2022 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo, that’s 108 model years’ worth. And in between were tests, rides, or races on more machines from every decade. Hardly planned, this all resulted from simply loving to ride, being curious, and, most of all, saying yes at every chance. Here are some of my favorite moto memories, one apiece covering 12 decades.

1915 Harley-Davidson Model 11-F

In 1978, Cycle magazine gave me an assignment after I joined the staff: Write a feature about anything I wanted. Interested in the history of our sport, I replied that I’d like to ride a really old bike. “Call this guy,” the editor said, handing me the number of Bud Ekins, an ISDT gold medalist and the stuntman in the epic The Great Escape jump scene.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
More than a century after its manufacture, this modified 1915 Harley-Davidson 11-F completed the cross-country Motorcycle Cannonball. (Photo by SFO Museum)

In his enormous shop, Ekins reviewed the starting drill for his 1915 Harley-Davidson Model 11-F: Flood the carb, set the timing and compression release, crack the throttle, and then swing the bicycle-style pedals hard to get the V-Twin’s big crankshaft spinning. When it lit off, working the throttle, foot clutch, and tank-mounted shifter – and steering via the long tiller handlebar – were foreign to a rider used to contemporary bikes. But coordination gradually built, and after making our way to the old Grapevine north of Los Angeles, I found the 998cc engine willing and friendly, with lots of flywheel effect and ample low-rpm torque to accelerate the machine to a satisfying cruising speed of about 45 mph. And its rider to another time and place.

RELATED: Early American Motorcycles at SFO Museum

1927 Norton Model 18 TT Replica

On a lucky trip to New Zealand, McIntosh Racing founder Ken McIntosh let me race his special Norton Model 18 in the Pukekohe Classic Festival. Unlike the exotic Norton CS1 overhead-camshaft model that likewise debuted in 1927 – a big advancement at the time – the Model 18 TT Replica used a tuned version of the company’s existing 490cc pushrod Single engine. Its name was derived, fittingly, from the sterling Model 18 racebike’s multiple Isle of Man TT wins. As such, the production TT Replica had as much racing provenance as you could buy at the time.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
The author aboard New Zealander Ken McIntosh’s 1927 Norton Model 18 TT Replica, which reached 80 mph on track. (Photo by Geoff Osborne)

I found it surprisingly capable, delivering a blend of strong power (a digital bicycle speedometer showed a top track speed of80 mph) and predictable, confident handling – despite the girder-style fork and hardtail frame. However, lacking gear stops in its selector mechanism, the 3-speed gearbox required careful indexing to catch the correct gear. But once I got the process down, the bike was steady, swift, and utterly magical, like the Millennium Falcon of Singles in its time.

RELATED: Retrospective: 1974 Norton Commando 850 John Player Replica

1936 Nimbus Type C

When a friend handed me his 4-cylinder Nimbus, it had big problems. The engine was locked solid, and my buddy wanted to get it running and saleable. Built in Denmark, the Nimbus is unique for several reasons. One is its 746cc inline-Four engine. Rather than being mounted transversely like modern multis, it was positioned longitudinally in the frame, with power flowing rearward via shaft drive. Interestingly, the rocker-arm ends and valve stems were exposed and, when the engine was running, danced a jig like eight jolly leprechauns. The frame was equally curious, comprised of flat steel bars instead of tubing, and riveted together. With a hacksaw, hammer, and some steel, you could practically duplicate a Nimbus frame under the apple tree on a Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
Bob Sinclair, former CEO of Saab Cars USA, loved motorcycles. He’s riding a Nimbus Type C sidecar rig with a furry friend as co-pilot. (Sinclair Family Archives)

Anyway, the seized engine refused to budge – until I attempted a fabled fix by pouring boiling olive oil through the spark-plug holes to expand the cylinder walls and free up the rings. Additionally, I judiciously added heat from a propane torch to the iron block. Eventually, the engine unstuck and, with tuning, ran well. But the infusion of olive oil created a hot mist that emanated from the exposed valvetrain, covering my gear and leaving behind an olfactory wake like baking Italian bread.

1949 Vincent Black Shadow

One blissful time, years before Black Shadows cost six figures, I was lucky enough to ride one. Seemingly all engine, the Black Shadow was long and low, with its black stove-enamel cases glistening menacingly, and its sweeping exhaust headers adding a sensual element to an otherwise purely mechanical look.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
Unquestionably the superbike of its day, Vincent’s 998cc Black Shadow was simultaneously elegant and menacing, and a big 150-mph speedometer let the rider know it. This is a 1952 model. (Photo by Clement Salvadori)

Thanks to the big, heavy flywheels and twin 499cc cylinders, starting the Vincent took forethought and commitment. And once the beast was running, so did riding it. A rude surprise came as I selected 1st gear and slipped the clutch near the busy Los Angeles International Airport. Unexpectedly, the clutch grabbed hard, sending the Shadow lurching ahead. The rest of the controls seemed heavy and slow compared to the Japanese and Italian bikes I knew at the time – especially the dual front brakes. The bike was clearly fast, but glancing at the famous 150-mph speedometer, I was chagrined to find that I’d only scratched the surface of the Black Shadow’s performance at 38 mph.

1955 Matchless G80CS

Despite not being a Brit-bike fan in particular, I’ve owned five Matchlesses, including three G80CSs. Known as a “competition scrambler,” in reality the CS denotes it as a “competition” (scrambles) version of the “sprung” (rear-suspension equipped) streetbike. Power comes from a 498cc long-stroke 4-stroke pushrod Single of the approximate dimensions of a giant garden gnome. Starting a G80CS requires knowing “the drill” – retarding the ignition, pushing the big piston to top-dead-center on compression, and giving the kickstart lever a strong, smooth kick all the way through. This gets the crank turning some 540 degrees before the piston begins the compression stroke again.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
A true garage find, this 1955 Matchless G80CS hadn’t been used since 1966. Now resurrected, the long-stroke 498cc pushrod Single shoves the desert sled ahead like the rapid-fire blasts of a big tommy gun. (Photo by John L. Stein)

Once going, the engine fires the G80CS down the road with unhurried explosions. Then at 50 mph or so, the Matchless feels delightfully relaxed; vibration is low-frequency and quite tolerable, and the note emanating from the muffler is a pleasant bark –powerful but not threatening. It is here, at speeds just right for country roads, that the G80CS feels most in its element as a friendly, agreeable companion. With such a steady countenance, it’s no wonder that G80CS engines powered tons of desert sleds. I just wouldn’t want to be stuck in a sand wash on a 100-degree day with one that required more than three kicks to start.

RELATED: Retrospective: 1958-1966 Matchless G12/CS/CSR 650

1961 Ducati Diana 250

During Ducati’s infancy, the Italian firm concocted a249cc overhead-cam roadster named the Diana. Featuring a precision-built unit-construction engine like Japanese bikes, it offered an essential difference: being Italian. And that meant all sorts of wonderful learning, as I discovered when, as a teen, I bought a “basket-case” Diana. The term isn’t used much anymore, but it means something has been disassembled so thoroughly that its parts can be literally dumped into a basket. In the case of this poor ex-racer, literally everything that could be unscrewed or pried apart was. The engine was in pieces, the wheels were unspoked, the frame and fork were separated, and many parts were missing.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
The author aboard his basket-case 1961 Ducati Diana. (John L. Stein archives)

Its distress repelled my friends but inspired me. Upon acquiring it, a year of trial-and-error work included rebuilding the scattered engine, designing and welding brackets onto the frame for a centerstand and footpegs, assembling the steering, fabricating a wiring harness, and ultimately tuning and sorting. This basket-case Ducati literally taught me the fundamentals of motorcycle mechanics, by necessity. And due to the racy rear-set controls I’d crafted, the machine had no kickstarter, necessitating bump-starting everywhere, every time.

The bike was never gloriously fast, but it carried me through my first roadrace at the Ontario Motor Speedway. After selling it, I never saw it again. Rest in peace, fair Diana. And by the way, the California blue plate was 4C3670. Write if you’ve seen it!

1971 Kawasaki Mach III

Stepping from an 8-hp Honda 90 onto a friend’s Mach III, which was rated at 60 hp when new, was the biggest shock of my young motorcycling life. I knew enough to be careful, not only because of the 410-lb heft of the Kawasaki compared to the Honda’s feathery 202 lb, but because the Mach III had a reputation as a barn-burner. It was true. Turning the throttle grip induced the moaning wail from three dramatic 2-stroke cylinders, and propelled the Kawasaki ahead with a ferocity I’d never come close to feeling before.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
Rated at 60 horsepower, the Kawasaki Mach III (officially known as the H1) was the quickest-accelerating production motorcycle of its time. (Photo by John L. Stein)

In those first moments of augmented g-forces, I distinctly felt that the acceleration was trying to dislocate my hips. In reality, it was probably just taxing the gluteus muscles. But regardless, I remember thinking, “I’ll never be able to ride one of these.” That clearly wasn’t true, but the memory of the Mach III’s savage acceleration and whooping sound remains indelible. Additionally, the engine vibration was incessant – there was simply no escaping it – and in those pre-hydraulic disc days for Kawasaki, the drum brakes seemed heavy and reluctant, even to a big-bike novice. Glad I found out early that the Mach III’s mad-dog reputation was real.

1985 KTM 500 MXC

If Paul Bunyan designed a motorcycle, this KTM 2-stroke would be it. For its day, the 500 MXC was extraordinary at everything, such as extraordinarily hard to start; the kickstart shaft was a mile high and the lever arm even higher. At over6 feet tall in MX boots, I still needed a curb, boulder, or log handy to effectively use the left-side kickstarter. The motor had so much compression (12.0:1) that this Austrian Ditch Witch practically needed a starter engine to fire the main one. Once, I was stuck on a desert trail with the MXC’s engine reluctant to re-fire. Not so brilliantly, I attached a tow line to my friend’s Kawasaki KX250 and he pulled me to perhaps 25 mph on a nearby two-lane road. Before I could release the line and drop the clutch, my buddy slowed for unknown reasons. Instantly the rope drooped, caught on the KTM’s front knobby, and locked the wheel, slamming the bike and its idiot rider onto the asphalt. The crash should have broken my wrist, but an afternoon spent icing it in the cooler put things right.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
A beast to start and a blast to ride, this 1985 KTM 500 MXC 2-stroke was also comically and maddeningly tall. So was the desk-high kickstart arm. But, oh my, how the Austrian Ditch Witch could fly. (Photo by John L. Stein.)

When running, though, the MXC was spectacular. Capable of interstate speeds down sand washes and across open terrain, the liquid-cooled 485cc engine was a maniacal off-road overlord. The suspension included a WP inverted fork and linked monoshock with an insane 13.5 inches of travel out back. I bought the 500 MXC used for $500, and I had to practically give it away later. But now, I wish I had kept it, because it was fully street-plated – ideal for Grom hunting in the hills today.

1998 Yamaha YZF-R1

On a deserted, bucolic section of Pacific coastal backroads, I loosened the new Yamaha R1’s reins, kicked it in the ribs, and let it gallop. And gallop it did, at a breathtaking rate up to and beyond 130 mph. That’s not all that fast in the overall world of high performance, but on a little two-lane road edged by prickly cattle fences and thick oaks, it ignited all my senses. What had been a mild-mannered tomcat moments before turned into a marlin on meth, but it wasn’t the velocity that was alarming.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
Superbike tech leapt ahead with Yamaha’s YZF-R1. Its performance rang every alarm bell in the author’s head. (Photos by Yamaha)

No, the point seared into my amygdala was how hard the R1 was still accelerating at 130 mph. Rocketing past this speed with a ratio or two still remaining in the 6-speed gearbox sounded every alarm bell in my head, so I backed down. Simply, the R1 rearranged my understanding of performance. But simultaneously, it made every superbike of the 1970s, including the King Kong 1973 Kawasaki Z1 – the elite on the street in its era – seem lame by comparison.

2008 Yamaha YZ250F

After 25 years away from motocross, in 2008 I bought a new YZ250F and went to the track. Oh, my word. The dream bikes of my competitive youth – Huskys, Maicos, Ossas, and their ilk – faded to complete irrelevance after one lap at Pala Raceway on the modern 4-stroke. Naturally it was light, fast, and responsive, but the party drug was its fully tunable suspension. By comparison, everything else I’d ridden in the dirt seemed like a pogo stick. Together, the awesome suspension and aluminum perimeter frame turned motocross into an entirely different sport, and I loved it anew.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
Contemporary technology turned riding motocross from torture in the sport’s early years to the best workout – like simultaneously using every machine in the gym at maximum effort. Training and racing this 2008 Yamaha YZ250F produced heartrates just shy of running a 10k race. (John L. Stein Archives)

In retrospect, the glorious old MX bikes were dodgy because real skill was required to keep them from bucking their riders into the ditch. But, surprisingly, I found motocross aboard this new machine still merited hazard pay, for two reasons: 1) Thanks to the bike’s excellent manners, I found myself going much faster; and 2) Tracks had evolved to include lots of jumps, sometimes big ones. Doubles, step-ups, table-tops – I later paced one off at Milestone MX and realized the YZ was soaring more than 70 feet through the air.

2017 Yamaha TW200

There’s something about flying low and slow that’s just innately fun. Just ask the Super Cub pilots, lowrider guys, or Honda Monkey owners. After a day in the Mojave, plowing through sand, sliding on dry lake beds, and dodging rocks and creosote bushes, Yamaha’s TW200 proved equally enamoring. Yes, it’s molasses-slow, inhaling hard through the airbox for enough oxygen to power it along. And it’s built to a price, with an old-school carburetor and middling suspension and brakes.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
For flying low and slow on a dry lake bed, the fat-tire Yamaha TW200 is righteous. Learn to dirt-track early in life, and the skills last forever. (Photo by Bill Masho)

Nonetheless, its fat, high-profile tires somehow make it way more than alright, kind of like riding a marshmallow soaked in Red Bull. Curbs? Loading docks? Roots, ruts, and bumps? Scarcely matters at 16 mph when you’re laughing your head off. Top speed noted that day was a bit over 70 mph – good enough for freeway work, but just barely. So, actually, no. But throttling the TW all over the desert and on city streets reminded me just how joyous being on two wheels is.

RELATED: Small Bikes Rule! Honda CRF250L Rally, Suzuki GSX250R and Yamaha TW200 Reviews

2020 Kawasaki Z H2

Building from its supercharged Ninja H2 hyperbike, Kawasaki launched the naked Z H2 for 2020. Lucky to attend the press launch for the bike that year, I got to experience this 197-hp missile on a road course, freeways, backroads, and even a banked NASCAR oval. The latter was, despite its daunting concrete walls, an apropos vessel to exploit the bike’s reported power. Weighing 527 lbs wet, the Z H2 has a 2.7:1 power-to-weight ratio – nearly twice as potent as the 2023 Corvette Z06.

Riding the Motorcycle Century
Exploiting Kawasaki’s 197-horsepower Z H2 definitely required a racetrack. (Photo by Kawasaki)

Supercharged engines are known for their low-end grunt, and the Z H2 motor was happy to pull at any rpm and in any gear. But it fully awakened above 8,000 rpm, as the aerospace-grade supercharger began delivering useful boost. From here on, the job description read: Hang on and steer. Free to pin it on the road course and oval, I did. And not for bravado’s sake – I really wanted to discover the payoff of having so much power. As it turns out, a supercharged liter bike dramatically shrinks time and space, making it a total blast on the track – and absolute overkill on the road. Watch where you aim this one.

Based in Southern California, John L. Stein is an internationally known automotive and motorcycle journalist. He was a charter editor of Automobile Magazine, Road Test Editor at Cycle, and served as the Editor of Corvette Quarterly. He has written for Autoweek, Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Cycle World, Motorcyclist, Outside, and other publications in the U.S. and abroad.

The post Riding the Motorcycle Century first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Eric Trow Ep. 38 Rider Magazine Insider Podcast

Ep. 38 Eric Trow Rider Magazine Insider Podcast
Eric Trow, Rider Magazine Contributing Editor and Stayin’ Safe principal, on his late grandfather’s 1953 Indian Chief.

Our guest on Episode 38 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is Eric Trow, a life-long motorcyclist, a renowned motorcycling proficiency expert, and a recipient of the AMA Outstanding Road Rider Award. Trow is a Contributing Editor at Rider Magazine, where he writes the popular “Riding Well” column as well as special features. Trow developed the modern Stayin’ Safe method of advanced rider training, and Stayin’ Safe Training Tours are available through MotoMark1. In this episode, we talk with Trow about his background in motorcycle skills training and how he got involved with Rider Magazine. We get the backstory on two of Trow’s popular features published in Rider, “Chasing Gene and Washie” (Feb. 2022 issue) and “Parker Discovers America” (Aug. 2021 issue). And we learn what motorcycles Trow has in his garage, from his grandfather’s 1953 Indian Chief (one of the last ones built) to his newly acquired Honda Trail 90.

You can listen to Episode 38 on iTunesSpotify, and SoundCloud, or via the Rider Magazine Insider webpage. Please subscribe, leave us a 5-star rating, and tell your friends! Scroll down for a list of previous episodes.

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

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

Join Rider on the IMTBike Southern Spain Andalusia Tour, October 15-23

IMTBike Southern Spain Andalusia Tour
Join us on the IMTBike Southern Spain Andalusia Tour, October 15-23, 2022, for fantastic riding, delicious food and wine, and luxurious accommodations.

Scott Moreno, the American-born owner of IMTBike, the motorcycle tour and rental company based in Spain, has one of the most infectious personalities of the many people I’ve met over the years in the motorcycle industry.

Born in New York City and raised in northern New Jersey, Moreno studied abroad in Spain. After getting his MBA, he made a good living as a currency trader, but he was miserable. When a friend asked him what he loved to do, he said “ride motorcycles and have adventures.” So, in 1997, Scott bought eight BMW motorcycles and started Iberian Moto Tours (IMTBike’s former name) from his apartment in Madrid.

IMTBike Southern Spain Andalusia Tour
All smiles on the IMTBike Southern Spain Andalusia Tour. Scott Moreno is second from left in the front row.

Click here to listen to our podcast interview with Scott Moreno

This year, IMTBike is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Through the hard work of Moreno and his team, the company has grown to include more than two dozen staff members, office locations in Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Málaga, and Lisbon, and the world’s largest fleet of BMW motorcycles – 200 at last count (IMTBike is an Official Partner of BMW Motorrad). In 2021, IMTBike earned a coveted TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice “Best of the Best” award.

IMTBike specializes in tours of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), but it also offers tours in France, Italy, the Alps, and Morocco, as well as MotoGP tours (Catalunya, Jerez, and Valencia) and tours in Turkey, Thailand, Japan, and New Zealand.

To help IMTBike celebrate its “25 Years of Magic,” Rider’s Editor-in-Chief Greg Drevenstedt and his wife Carrie will be joining Moreno on the Southern Spain Andalusia Tour this fall, October 15-23. The tour starts and ends in Málaga, on Spain’s famous Costa del Sol (“Sun Coast”) on the Mediterranean Sea.

IMTBike Southern Spain Andalusia Tour
Route for the IMTBike Southern Spain Andalusia Tour

The 9-day tour includes seven riding days, one rest day (in Seville), and travel days on either end. Here’s the itinerary:

  • Day 1: Arrival in Málaga
  • Day 2: Málaga – Costa del Sol – Sierra Nevada – Granada
  • Day 3: Granada – Córdoba
  • Day 4: Córdoba – Seville
  • Day 5: Seville – rest day
  • Day 6: Seville – White Towns
  • Day 7: White Towns – Ronda
  • Day 8: Ronda – Serranía de Ronda – Málaga
  • Day 9: Flight home

We recommend arriving a couple of days early to get acclimated to the time zone and explore Málaga, one of the oldest cities in Europe, which is full of history, culture, and vitality. Walk the city streets and tour the Alcazaba, a Moorish palatial fortress built in the 11th century.

IMTBike Southern Spain Andalusia Tour
The tour route includes some of Spain’s best motorcycling roads in the Grazalema and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges.

The region of Andalusia is home to some of Spain’s most famous cities, including Seville, Córdoba, and Granada, all three of which contain UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Stay in Spain’s famous Paradors – castles, monasteries, fortresses, and other historic buildings converted into luxury hotels. The Parador in Ronda stands on the edge of a cliff and is next to the Plaza de Toros (bullfighting ring), and the town is surrounded by the Sierra de las Nieves National Park.

On this tour you’ll visit Spain’s iconic “White Towns,” villages full of white-washed houses, and you’ll enjoy Andalusian cuisine, famous for its jamón Ibérico pata negra (black-footed Iberian ham) and delicious tapas. You’ll also get your fill of curves and twisties in the Grazalema and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges.

IMTBike Southern Spain Andalusia Tour
Andalusia’s “White Towns”
IMTBike Southern Spain Andalusia Tour
Jamón Ibérico pata negra (black-footed Iberian ham)

You don’t want to miss this tour. Pricing starts at just 3,225 euros (about $3,450), and includes transfer to/from the airport, motorcycle rental (BMW G 310 R), lodging, eight breakfasts, and seven dinners. Choosing a larger motorcycle, adding a passenger, and a single-occupancy room adds to the price.

Click HERE for more details and to book the tour. Sign up soon because this tour will fill up fast!

The post Join Rider on the IMTBike Southern Spain Andalusia Tour, October 15-23 first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Bill Dragoo: Ep. 37 Rider Magazine Insider Podcast

Ep. 37 Bill Dragoo Rider Magazine Insider Podcast

Our guest on Episode 37 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is Bill Dragoo of Dragoo Adventure Rider Training (DART). Bill has led an interesting and varied life as a pilot, a sky diver, a scuba diver, and as a competitor on dirtbikes, adventure bikes, mountain bikes, and sailboats. He has been a winner or podium finisher in three RawHyde Adventure Challenges, and he was a member of the BMW GS Trophy team that represented the U.S. in South Africa in 2010. Bill is a certified BMW factory-trained off-road instructor, and a certified Motorcycle Safety Foundation Rider Coach. Through Dragoo Adventure Rider Training (DART), he trains motorcyclists of all ages to ride adventure bikes with more confidence. We talk about how Bill got into riding and racing motorcycles, his challenges and successes in competition, and his philosophy for training riders how to handle big adventure bikes. Visit the DART website for Bill’s upcoming training and immersion tour schedule as well as links to DART tips, publications, podcasts, videos, and more.

You can listen to Episode 37 on iTunesSpotify, and SoundCloud, or via the Rider Magazine Insider webpage. Please subscribe, leave us a 5-star rating, and tell your friends! Scroll down for a list of previous episodes.

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

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Wrench

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Wrench Riding Around
The author happily wrenching in her 10-x 16-foot shop space in Vallejo, California. Photo by Paul Smith Jr.

“There is no perfectly shaped part of the motorcycle and never will be, but when you come as close as these instruments take you, remarkable things happen, and you go flying across the countryside under a power that would be called magic if it were not so completely rational in every way.” – Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Motorcycle mechanics. An unquestionably intimidating subject. As a 21-year-old college student, I never fathomed I’d become completely fascinated by the sensation of turning a wrench. I didn’t think I was “mechanically minded.” Whenever issues arose with the old vehicles I drove, my first instinct was to call my dad, see if he could guess how bad the issue really was, and help me figure out if I could keep driving on borrowed time, or if a trip to the hole-in-the-wall mechanic shop was necessary.

That was the case until I was forced into the realm of wrenching on my own machines during the early days of the pandemic. I had purchased a 1986 Kawasaki 600 Eliminator for $850. It was the first streetbike I’d ever owned, and certainly the most raw power I’d ever experienced. I loved that bike. It was shiny, loud, and fast enough to rip on I-80 through the Bay Area.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Wrench Riding Around
The author and her 1986 Kawasaki 600 Eliminator, the bike that started her mechanical journey. Photo by Christine Busby.

So, what was the cause of the Eliminator’s sad demise? A boy’s advice, of course. This friend of mine was under the impression that Sea Foam motor treatment could not be overdone. That’s how a full quart of it ended up in my half-full 3-gallon tank. I knew nothing of the impending consequences.

Pretty soon, coolant started leaking out of the water-pump drain, white smoke was blowing from the tailpipe, and eventually, the bike quit altogether. I felt backed into a corner. I had no idea where to begin, and I was afraid of making the problem worse. After two weeks of countless phone calls to friends, seeking help on social media, reading Xeroxed manuals, and digging through forums, I concluded that I could not fix the problem myself. In the interim, I changed the plugs, tried to clean the carbs, and drained and cleaned the fuel tank. But the blown head gasket was way beyond my skill set. At the time.

During those heart-breaking struggles, I came to realize three important things about wrenching on older bikes: 1) Everything you need to know about how to fix, replace, or tune up just about anything is available to you online. 2) The few tools you need to get started are cheap and easy to acquire. 3) You don’t need a background in wrenching to become proficient at it. Your family didn’t have to raise you doing this activity every Sunday afternoon. Anyone can fix up an old bike as long as you’re willing to face – head on – the mental challenges that come with it.

Why had no one told me this before? Why was I always so intimidated by the notion of mechanics? Why is there such an intense gatekeeping attitude surrounding these skills? Well, if a broke college student like me can take a basket-case 1971 Honda CL350 from completely disassembled to a running head-turner in just eight months, then anyone can. If wrenching has always been something you’ve shied away from for fear that you’re not competent enough, or you might do more harm than good, then take heart.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Wrench Riding Around
The author turned a basket-case 1971 Honda CL350 into this fetching cafe racer in just eight months. Photo by Sophie Scopazzi.

What does it take to begin the journey of wrenching on an old bike? Start with a set of basic mechanic’s tools and a clean work area. Hopefully your bike has a centerstand, and if not, you can buy an inexpensive jack or lift from Harbor Freight. Have plenty of WD-40, Windex, grease, and clean rags at the ready. Invest in the factory service manual for your bike, as well as a Clymer or Haynes manual. (There is a tangible quality difference between older Clymer manuals and freshly written ones. The closer the publication date gets to the birth year of the motorcycle, the better.) Accept the fact that you’ll make mistakes and bust a few knuckles. The learning process is rarely linear.

The most burning question I had when I started my journey was, “How difficult is this really going to be?” The honest truth, which few people are willing to share, is that it’s not difficult. Not really. Most of it comes down to lefty loosey, righty tighty. Even the more complicated stuff, such as rewiring your bike, comes down to following a diagram that’s no more complicated than the instructions to put together an Ikea bookcase.

Motorcycles, especially old ones, are put together in a way that is meant to make sense. The physical aspect of motorcycle mechanics is not difficult to grasp. The difficult part is confronting your own mindset and staying calm when the machine makes you feel like the world is against you. You need to have enough commitment to yourself and your learning journey to finish what you started.

Like many before me, Robert M. Pirsig’s masterpiece Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has had a direct and lasting impact on the way I approach wrenching. As he wrote, “It’s so hard when contemplated in advance, and so easy when you do it.” Keep that in mind. Simply trying is the most powerful move you can make.

Get started on your mechanical journey with simple, hard-to-mess-up routine maintenance tasks, such as an oil change and changing the spark plugs. They’re cheap, and both can be done in about an hour or two by someone who’s never held a wrench before. They’ll require you to do a little research and make at least one trip to the parts store. Get comfortable speaking with the humans working behind the counter and asking for what you need. Get into the groove of following instructions, whether that’s from a shop manual, a YouTube video, or a friend. Savor the satisfaction of knowing you’re making an effort to take care of the machine that takes care of you.

When I asked Armon Ebrahimian, the founder of Save Classic Cars (saveclassiccars.net), a website “dedicated to keeping classics alive” that also lists vintage cars and motorcycles for sale, what advice he would give an aspiring backyard mechanic, he said: “One project at a time. It’s tempting to blow apart an entire bike or car, but this is how people get in over their heads. Start small. Take something small apart and put it back together. Don’t take something else apart until you’ve successfully put that first project back together.”

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Wrench Riding Around
Armon Ebrahimian and the 1969 Honda CL450 that he rebuilt and restored. His advice to newbie mechanics is to start small. Photo by Curtis Boudinot.

What happens when your bike breaks down? Pause. Breathe. Think about what you know and what you don’t know. Then get curious about what you don’t know. Use the tools of observation you learned in middle school: Take note of what you see, hear, smell, and feel. (Please don’t taste any part of your motorcycle.) Use those observations to make a hypothesis, and then search for answers in your manuals, in online forums, and on YouTube. Whatever issue you’re having, it has already been diagnosed, fixed, and written or talked about by someone somewhere, so keep digging. Go through this process even if you end up deciding to take your bike to a mechanic’s shop. At least you’ll know more about what went wrong and why, and you’ll be better prepared the next time a similar issue occurs.

It’s helpful to eliminate time limits. If your motorcycle is your primary means of transportation, then a timely fix is important. But if not, removing the pressure of time reduces stress, which frees up mental bandwidth and helps keep things moving forward. Then an extra trip to the parts store becomes just another step in the process rather than a frustration. Just don’t confuse a lack of time pressure with procrastination.

Once, a sharp part of the frame on my 1998 Honda Shadow ACE 1100 wore through the insulation of one of the battery cables, which grounded out and caught fire. My bike sat for two weeks before I mustered the courage to deal with it. When I finally took the seat off, it took about five minutes for me to diagnose the problem and another five for me to solve it. I could have been riding that whole time, but instead I wallowed in my anxiety about the issue.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Wrench Riding Around
Worn insulation on the battery cable of the author’s Honda Shadow ACE 1100. She avoided dealing with it for two weeks, but it was easy to diagnose and fix.

This experience taught me two things. One, effort is essential, and any amount of it will be fruitful in some way. Two, effort becomes knowledge. Every time I pick up a wrench, I learn something new, and the process becomes more familiar and less daunting.

Pirsig nailed it: “I’ve heard it said that the only real learning results from hang-ups, where instead of expanding branches of what you already know, you have to stop and drift laterally for a while until you come across something that allows you to expand the roots of what you always know.”

When gathering clues and deducing what the issue may be with your motorcycle, sometimes the answer won’t come easily. These things can be very stubborn. You just have to be a little more stubborn. Relating a story by Pirsig, Matthew B. Crawford writes in his book, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work, “This is the Truth, and it is the same for everyone. But finding this truth requires a certain disposition in the individual: attentiveness, enlivened by a sense of responsibility to the motorcycle. He [She] has to internalize the well working of the motorcycle as an object of passionate concern. The truth does not reveal itself to idle spectators.”

When I asked Mike Dubnicki, co-founder of Mazi Moto (mazimoto.com), a restoration shop in San Francisco, what advice he would give an aspiring backyard mechanic, his response was similar to Armon’s: Start small and keep it simple. He also said, “have fun and be safe.” Take that to heart. We’re here – in the garage or on the sidewalk, with tools out and fingers greasy – because it challenges us. Because it fills us with a certain wholeness that’s all too rare in today’s world.

So, go ahead. Pick up a wrench, dive in, and enjoy getting a little dirt under your fingernails.

Hannah Hill is a student at California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo. She aims to create a community space someday where riders of all types have a place to wrench and connect with other like-minded humans. You can find her on Instagram: @rollinghillmotos.

The post How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Wrench first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Favorite Ride: Vermont Border Run

Vermont Border Run
The landscape around Lake Willoughby is stunning.

A few years ago, Rider published my article about riding Vermont Route 100 from south to north, ending at the Haskell Free Library and Opera House, which straddles the U.S./Canada border. Someone wrote a letter to the editor asking how I got back. U.S. Route 5 runs along the east side of Vermont, and it happens to be another one of my favorite rides. It has all the elements of a great motorcycle road: beautiful scenery, fine curves, light traffic, and nice places to stop along the way. For this ride, I am again starting at the Massachusetts border and heading north, but it can also be run in reverse.

Vermont Border Run

Scan QR code above to view route on REVER, or click here

I cross from Massachusetts into Vermont just south of Guilford, and the road almost immediately plunges into the woods, curling back and forth around the trees, a preview of what’s to come. First, I pass through Brattleboro. With 12,000 residents, it’s the largest town I’ll encounter today. Downtown consists of about three blocks of century-old brick buildings. It’s a little congested, but as soon as I clear the roundabout at the junction with State Route 9, everything eases up and I’m into rural Vermont in search of coffee.

Vermont Border Run
Just one of the many wonderful curves on U.S. Route 5.

Check out more of Rider‘s Favorite Rides

Putney General Store bills itself as Vermont’s oldest general store. It has creaky floors, good food, and – most importantly – good coffee. Properly caffeinated, I’m on my way, and U.S. 5 reveals its true character: rising, falling, and curving through the landscape. I lose myself in its rhythm.

Vermont Border Run
These petroglyphs are believed to have been carved by the Abenaki hundreds of years ago.

In Bellows Falls, the falls don’t bellow anymore. The river was dammed in 1802 to aid with upstream navigation. Down near the river, a mysterious row of faces is carved into the rocks. The petroglyphs are believed to have been carved by the Abenaki hundreds of years ago. Curiously, a couple of the faces appear to have antennae. Evidence of an extraterrestrial visit? I ponder the question as I head out of town.

Vermont Border Run
The Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge is the longest two-span covered bridge in the world.

U.S. 5 resumes its swooping, twisting, and turning as it tunnels through the trees. Nothing is too tight or unexpected, just a wonderful ride, and I drink it all in. There is a zig and a zag in Springfield before the enjoyment continues to the American Precision Museum in Windsor. It’s housed in the Robbins and Lawrence Armory, where they developed the concept of interchangeable parts in the 1840s. One display in the museum is a belt-driven machine that turns gunstocks. As the blank for the stock spins, the cutters gracefully move in and out. The accompanying video is mesmerizing. In addition to many machine tools, they also have Bridgeport milling machine serial number 001 – if you’re a gearhead, you’ll understand its significance.

Vermont Border Run
The American Precision Museum houses tools from the birthplace of modern manufacturing.

Past Windsor, the road resumes its rhythm as it carves up around a golf course. All along the way, I pass small farms with their quintessential red barns. Some have stands selling fresh veggies, and I pick up some tomatoes and sweet corn.

White River Junction, where the White River joins the Connecticut, has long been a transportation hub. The arrival of the railroad in the 19th century cemented its status. Today, it’s at the junction of Interstates 89 and 91 as well as U.S. Routes 4 and 5. All the amenities are near the highway interchange, and it’s easy to miss downtown, but with several restaurants to choose from, it’s a great spot for lunch.

Vermont Border Run
One of the many small farms along U.S. 5.

A sign in the window at Dan & Whit’s General Store in Norwich declares, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it!” Whether you are looking for an alarm clock or beer pong supplies, they have it. The paint department? It’s in a room behind the deli. Keep going and you’ll find a huge hardware section. The variety of stuff crammed into the space is remarkable, and it’s easy to get lost among the hams and hammers and hammocks.

Leaving Norwich, there is a change. The hurry is gone, and I glide effortlessly around the curves, passing by narrow valley farms and through the villages of Thetford, Fairlee, Bradford, Newbury, and Wells River. In Barnet, there is another perceptible change as U.S. 5 parts ways with the Connecticut River and starts following the smaller Passumpsic River. The curves are tighter, the hills are closer, and at one point, U.S. 5 slips between the northbound and southbound lanes of I-91 for a bit.

Vermont Border Run
There is a “North Country” feel here close to the border.

In St. Johnsbury, State Route 5A splits off as it passes the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum and the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium. Both 19th-century edifices were built by the Fairbanks family. Their Fairbanks Scales Company changed how commerce was done, and the family spent much of their fortune locally. Fine Victorian architecture lines both sides of the road here.

After Lyndonville, U.S. 5 cuts through the landscape to West Burke, where I follow State Route 5A toward Lake Willoughby. The lake is the crown jewel of this ride. Nestled between Mount Pisgah and Mount Hor, it resembles a Norwegian fjord. The road runs up the east side, perched precariously between lake and ledge.

Vermont Border Run
With the border just ahead, it’s time to turn around.

Past Lake Willoughby, there is a “North Country” feel. The rivers flow north toward the St. Lawrence River, the landscape is more open, and the trees seem shorter. Route 5A reconnects with U.S. 5 in Derby Center and heads for the Canadian border at Derby Line. There, within sight of the Haskell Free Library and Opera House, not far from the border, is a sign that declares “End 5.” Just beyond is Quebec and a large sign that says “Bonjour.” It’s time to head back. Maybe I’ll take Route 100.

The post Favorite Ride: Vermont Border Run first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit

Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit
The Aerostich factory on 18th Avenue West was originally a candy factory.Today the sweet stuff is created solely for motorcyclists.

To tell the story of the legendary Aerostich riding suit is to tell a story about America. The dream of it, but also the tenacity required to navigate its possibilities. Because running a successful small business in America these days demands more than a clear vision and hard work. It requires staying power.

RELATED: Aerostich R-3 One-Piece Suit | Gear Review

Native Duluthian Andy Goldfine was committed to the dream of creating a small business long before he knew what product or service he might offer. Separately, the concept of a lightweight, armored, easy-to-use coverall to wear over clothes as one commuted to and from their job was born from a personal wish to own such an item. These two ambitions merged when Goldfine conjured the first Roadcrafter one-piece riding suit back in 1983.

Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit
Andy Goldfine’s intention to supply motorcyclists with high-quality, handcrafted apparel and useful kit has never wavered.

What Schott is to leather and Belstaff is to waxed cotton, Aerostich is to synthetic-fiber textiles used to create durable, high-performance motorcycle gear. The world is overflowing with it now, but back in the early ’80s, people weren’t talking about things like breathability or tensile strength or viscoelastic foam armor. Cordura and Gore-Tex were still exotic. And so, without any kind of roadmap, Goldfine created a totally new type of riding gear, and boy, did that suit show us what our leather gear was missing.

Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit
The Aerostich building in Duluth is no factory, instead feeling more like an artist’s enclave where the skilled craftspeople combine forces to create exceptionally high-quality riding gear. It’s cool to see, and all visitors who happen by are welcome to a tour. For me, it made my connection to my latest Roadcrafter suit so much more significant, having watched in person the craftspeople who handwrite their signatures inside each suit.

I (literally) stepped into my first Roadcrafter back in 1986 when Goldfine was visiting the Rider offices in California, and I have been living in these suits ever since. Like so many motojournalists of that era, I found the Roadcrafter wasn’t just the gold standard for commuting, it was also magic for sportbike riding and touring. Newer designs (R-3 Darien and AD1) from the Aerostich factory in Duluth might be just as popular these days, but when I last visited the shop I was hunting for a new Roadcrafter Classic two-piece to fit my now middle-aged bod.

Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit
The original Roadcrafter Classic, handcrafted in Duluth, has been refined over the years, yet remains totally recognizable.

It was my first time in Goldfine’s very Minnesotan three-story brick building – a former candy factory – and it was obvious right away this is a cool place for bikers to chill. After I was fitted for my new suit, I got a tour of the different floors and stations where skilled craftsmen and craftswomen, a fair number of riders among them, cut and assemble the various fabric into “kits,” which are then handed over to expert sewers and finally seam-taping machine operators before each garment is inspected and prepared to meet its new owner.

RELATED: Andy Goldfine: Ep. 14 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast

The handcrafting of the suits is enjoyable to watch, especially since everyone working here – some who have been with Goldfine for decades – seems to enjoy their craft.

Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit

But one of the things I leave most impressed by is how fiercely this operation works to remain “Made in the USA.” For example, Goldfine explains that, due to current trade policies, the tariff on bringing in fabric from Asia is about twice as high as the tariff for bringing in completed riding gear. “It’s as if the USA doesn’t want commercial/industrial sewing activity done in this country,” he told me.

Supply chain issues caused by Covid have only deepened the challenge. Yet Goldfine remains true to his standards, a rare example of an apparel manufacturer uneasy with the lure of inexpensive offshore production, even as many consumers take the bait, sometimes unwittingly trading quality for low prices on everyday goods.

Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit

While the riding suits remain the pillar of Aerostich offerings, Goldfine has created and collected a dangerously desirable array of complementary apparel items, accessories, and equipment to make riding “easier, safer, and more comfortable.” It might be a heated mid-layer, a unique tool, perfect-fitting earplugs, stink-resistant socks, or a new tent you didn’t know you needed until you saw it on the website or in that cherished catalog that occasionally shows up in the mail.

Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit

And while he finds satisfaction in his artful curation of products and the affirmation of Aerostich loyalists, Goldfine’s core intention isn’t driven by being fashionable or even making money. His deeper motivation is about promoting the physical, psychological, and societal benefits of riding motorcycles every day. It’s why he created Ride to Work Day, to remind us of the Rx effect of being on the motorcycle, even for a short “useful” ride each day. He believes riding makes us “better-functioning, calmer, clearer” people and also brings economic, environmental, and congestion-lessening benefits to our communities.

It’s with these big thoughts in mind that I step into my fresh Roadcrafter a week later. How the heck can a riding suit feel like home? This one does. No matter what newfangled riding apparel comes into my life to be tested, it’s the all-American Aerostich that endures.

For more information, visit aerostich.com.

The post Aerostich: The Great American Motorcycle Suit first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Gordon McCall: Ep. 36 Rider Magazine Insider Podcast

Ep 36 Gordon McCall Rider Magazine Insider Podcast
Gordon McCall is CEO of McCall Events and Director of Motorsports at Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel Valley, California.

Our guest on Episode 36 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is Gordon McCall, who is CEO of McCall Events and Director of Motorsports at Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel Valley, California. The 12th annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering presented by GEICO takes place Saturday, May 14. The sold-out Quail Ride, a 100-mile ride for 100 motorcycles that includes parade laps at Laguna Seca Raceway and a gala dinner, is on Friday, May 13. The Quail Motorcycle Gathering features more than 350 motorcycles displayed on the golf course at the Quail Lodge. Traditional classes include American, British, Italian, Other European, Japanese, Competition On Road, Competition Off Road, Antique, Custom/Modified, Choppers, and Extraordinary Bicycles and Scooters Class. Featured classes at the 2022 Quail include Harley-Davidson XR750, BMW /5 Series, Two-Stroke “Braaaps,” and mini bikes | BIG FUN. This year’s Legend of the Sport Guest is Roland Sands.

We talk with Gordon about the history of the Quail, what makes the Monterey Peninsula such as special place for motorcycle and car events, and what attendees can expect. The Quail was on hiatus for two years due to the pandemic, so Gordon and The Quail team are excited to welcome motorcycle enthusiasts back this year. Tickets for The Quail Motorcycle Gathering are available online or at the gate.

You can listen to Episode 36 on iTunesSpotify, and SoundCloud, or via the Rider Magazine Insider webpage. Please subscribe, leave us a 5-star rating, and tell your friends! Scroll down for a list of previous episodes.

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

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