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Cars & Motorcycles
Dirt Rider

Dirt Rider September - October 2018

Get Dirt Rider digital magazine subscription today for dirt bike and off road bike reviews, riding tips and tricks, and the latest racing coverage.

United States
Bonnier Corporation
Read More

In this issue

1 min.
bitten by bears ears

Off-Road Editor Andrew Oldar was reminded of an important lesson while riding a Suzuki DR650SE for our feature “Tender Ground,” on page 34. A former pro trials rider, Oldar’s no stranger to putting on a show, so when photographer Drew Ruiz pointed his lens at the setting sun over Cedar Mesa, Utah, Oldar kicked up some dust and popped the clutch for an easy slide. It’s a move he’s done a thousand times on motocross bikes from every manufacturer, but the DR650 isn’t a motocross bike. It’s a 366-pound dual-sport from the ’90s with road-legal rubber, a fact Oldar remembered about the time Ruiz took this photo.…

1 min.
boundaries found and crossed

WE’RE AT OUR BEST when we push against boundaries. We feel and smell the dirt when we pick ourselves up out of it, like off-road editor Andrew Oldar was obliged to do after he slid across a Utah road, on page 4, and like contributing editor Zach Bowman did as he traced the shifting shape of Bears Ears National Monument, on page 34. Shinji Kazama, the adventurer and explorer featured on page 42, has left tracks through the Sahara, the Arctic, and up Everest. As a youngster, Thad Wolff—featured on our cover and on page 82—wanted to make the swap from dirt bikes to roadracing. He went on to spend the early ’80s racing superbikes, a privateer alongside a generation of legends. It doesn’t take being extraordinary to redefine boundaries, but…

1 min.

AARON RICHARDSON Richardson grew up loving cars but switched allegiances to two wheels in college. A decent rider and a bad mechanic, Richardson penned our story on Shinji Kazama on page 42 as well as an ode to the bonds formed by mechanical entropy on page 98. In the real world, he’s the editor of a daily newspaper in Charlottesville, Virginia. NATHANIEL WILDER A lifelong Alaskan based in Anchorage, Nathaniel specializes in outdoor life-style photography with an emphasis on the Arctic. He’s drawn to wide-open spaces with few people but interesting characters—perfect for our look at MotoQuest’s Anchorage garage on page 65. He can be found crossing his fingers and awaiting a call from the Hells Angels for a promised group photo shoot. RYAN INZANA Illustrator and comic artist Ryan Inzana’s work has been recognized…

1 min.

Sam Hill once said that good roads were more than his hobby—they were his religion. In 1909, he spent four years and $100,000 of his own money to build 10 miles of experimental tarmac in southern Washington, creating the Pacific Northwest’s first asphalt road. Having circumnavigated the globe, ridden the Trans-Siberian Railway, and traveled to Europe no less than 50 times, all before commercial flight, Hill understood the challenges and importance of surface-bound transit. His enthusiasm was contagious. After the governor of Oregon visited Maryhill Loops Road in 1913, the state began construction of the Columbia River Highway, a 3.6-mile thread with 25 curves and eight hairpins that still winds its way through the scenic Columbia River Gorge.…

1 min.
crowd question

“What won’t you do on a motorcycle?” 1. “Ride through an intersection with the assumption that it’s safe, or that other drivers see me coming and will yield. Blaming others for turning in front of you doesn’t accomplish anything if you are dead.”REX DECKER, BARTOW, FLORIDA2. “I avoid taking any type of high-stakes risks beyond what riding a bike brings on its own. Excessive speeds (in relation to a given setting), burnouts, and wheelies are all things I avoid.”ADAM VAN WINKLE, ANTIOCH, CALIFORNIA3. “Ride with out a high-quality, well-fitting helmet. No excuses, and not even ‘just to the end of the block’ during a test ride.”HEATHER MICHELLE, CLAVET, SASKATCHEWAN4. “I won’t ride in a manner to give any of my fellow bikers a bad reputation.” BLAIR MACMILLAN ANDERSON, ENFIELD, NOVA SCOTIA5.…

1 min.
light reading

MY GRANDFATHER HAD a mind for machines. He could tease apart the inner workings of an engine, see them all splayed out in his mind long before pulling the first bolt, their choreography as obvious to him as the words on this page. It was a gift grown from a lifetime of curiosity, intuition, and countless hours spent pulling broken and bent pieces from oily hollows. Of everything he gave me, his gait and his grin and his temper, a quirk of genetics meant I missed that innate understanding. Instead, I’ve relied on a library of service manuals to carry me through the projects that have punctuated my mechanical life. Some I’ve bought. Others have showed up in the boxes of spares that seem to come with every old bike. All…