category_outlined / Cars & Motorcycles

Motorcyclist November - December 2018

Each issue of Motorcyclist combines the excitement and color of today's cruisers, sportbikes, naked bikes and touring machines with credible information on road tests, riding gear, safety issues, riding skills and new products.

United States
Bonnier Corporation
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10 Issues


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american roads

(YVE ASSAD)WE ARE A PEOPLE united by roads. For those of us riding in the Lower 48, we’ll never find ourselves farther than 20 miles from a road, no matter how remote our exploration. Never mind tender patriotism. That fractal network of arteries, highways, and forgotten two-track binds Americans together. Each length is a thread that stretches from us, typing at our kitchen table, to you, reading at yours. They are far more than conveyances for people and goods. Roads are the veins through which our culture flows. The very arteries of Americana.Riders know that better than most. The view from behind a set of handlebars is that of a world opened wide in front of you. It’s the seductive American idea: every possibility real and within your grasp, if…

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KATY MANCHFirst-time contributor Katy Manch lives in Salt Lake City and enjoys exploring Utah and the surrounding states on her Yamaha Bolt. While she wrote about riding in Yellowstone in this issue, Manch isn’t done yet. She dreams of taking a few months to experience the Pacific Coast Highway by motorcycle.ROBYN “ROKO” KOCIENSKILong-distance and international touring enthusiast turned professional moto-vacation enabler, Robyn Kocienski works for tour and rental operator MotoQuest. Kocienski added her expertise to our celebration of riding in our national parks, on page 38.STACI WILTMotorcyclist, marketing consultant, and photojournalist Staci Wilt has ridden over 160,000 miles since first getting on a motorcycle in 2011. With that kind of grit, it’s no surprise she felt right at home shooting the inked-up riders of Sturgis, on page 17.PAUL HARPERFirst-time author…

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the scars we choose

Biker culture grew around loose networks of veterans, outlaws, and former inmates in the late ’40s. Their ink followed them into the saddle, a mark of their place somewhere outside of society. As motorcycles became more mainstream, so did their tattoos.Tattoo work has advanced well beyond the shaky needle and blue ink of prison. Bailey Collins’ vibrant legwork pulls from multiple schools for a striking piece that sprawls from knee to hip.There are as many reasons for having a tattoo as there are for riding a motorcycle, and many of them are the same. Tradition, family, art, passion, and yes, even a little pain. Alex Heighton’s entire right arm is devoted to his love of Hot Rod culture.Sturgis is Main Street for more than motorcycles.Tattoos of every design and theme…

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crowd question

“What tools do you bring on a ride?”1. “Two sizes of standard and Phillips-head screw-drivers, metric socket set with extensions, metric wrenches, tire plug kit, 12V compressor, emergency flasher, flashlight, spare tire and four-way lug wrench for our trailer, spare spark plugs, spare starter solenoid, spare bulbs and fuses, one quart Rotella 15W-40, one pint DOT4 brake fluid, spare throttle cables, and a can of WD-40. Last but not least, I have my AMA and GWRRA memberships and Rescue Plus Roadside Service.”STEVE SCHILLING, MARTINSVILLE, INDIANA2. “For trips around town and to work, I use the factory-supplied kit. On long rides, I throw a few in the saddle - bags: a fuel siphon, Allen wrench set, assorted metric sockets and driver, tire patch kit with three bottles of compressed air, crescent…

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bonneville 1969

Savvy eyes looking out over Bonneville’s salt in 1969 would have seen change in the shimmering air. An era of titans was on the horizon. Don Vesco was there with Big Red, nudging the clock tantalizingly close to 250 mph. The next decade would see records fall time and time again—and a spectacular duel between Harley-Davidson-mounted roadracing legend Cal Rayborn and Vesco’s Yamahas. But in 1969, the old guard was still putting up a fight.Detroit Triumph dealer Bob Leppan, defending the 1966 two-wheel speed record with his twin-engine Gyronaut X-1, was still very much in the hunt. And representing the hardscrabble post-war tinkerers that made Bonneville so special, there was Burt Munro. At 70 years old and riding a machine that was not much younger, Munro was the very personification…

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aural armor

RIDERS SUFFER DISPROPORTIONATELY from hearing loss and tinnitus—that annoying ringing in the ears. As speeds increase, so do the decibel levels inside your lid. Never mind the roar of your engine, wind-tunnel testing has measured the racket of wind noise alone at over 100 decibels, well past damaging levels.While the benefits of ear protection are obvious, their legality remains an issue, with some states and municipalities legislating—and actively enforcing—codes that prohibit earplugs and headphones while driving. It’s a maddeningly moving target for a safety product we consider essential.We want to hear the intake racket of our machines well into old age, so our earplugs do thousands of miles every year. Naturally, we’ve settled on a few favorites.The most expensive are $20 custom moldable Decibullz (1), which are soaked in hot…