Category Archives: Touring

Winter Paradise

How Becky Brown escapes winter

Story and photos by Becky Brown

There are three things that I really do hate. Slow people in the fast lane, spicy food, and winter! I can usually maneuver around the slow drivers and refuse to eat the poisonous dishes but it is really hard to avoid winter in Ohio. I raised my daughter here in Ohio, and now she and my grandsons live quite near me, so it just wouldn’t be right for me to bail out on them and move south.

People who live in southern states where winters are rideable and reasonable say they know how miserable winter can be, but I doubt they really do. So, I travel as much as I can in the dark months and the direction is always south. I did manage to hit seven countries this past winter that sit somewhere between Key West and the equator. Some of the third world countries leave me with little desire to explore on two wheels by myself. But a few I would and one I did: Aruba. It was my first trip there and all I was told by my friends who had been there was to expect Arizona with a beach. Advantages were that they accept US Dollars everywhere and the daily weather is perfect. The only real negatives were high prices and high winds.

Once I arrived and got situated, Lucienne picked me up. The ride to the shop gave me plenty of time to ask questions. I learned that she must be one of the busiest women on the island. She not only plays taxi driver, bookkeeper and scheduler for the business she and her husband own but she also works as a server at a friend’s restaurant, plays on a beach volleyball team and is raising two daughters. Being fluent in five languages must come in handy owning a business where such a large percentage of the customers crawl off cruise ships.

Aruba Motorcycle Rentals & Tours had six bikes on hand, from a Sportster to Road Kings. My choice was the Heritage Softail and it ran as well as the one I have at home and sounded even better. I also chose the guided tour so I could see as much of the island as possible and get to know other riders. I was originally told I would be riding with a couple from Germany but they had changed their plans. My guide was Al and he has the perfect job riding the island everyday with his chrome spiked helmet. He leads people from one end of the island to the other with a smile on his face. I was very impressed with Al and soon realized how much of a serious rider he actually is. How else could you rack up over 55,000 miles on a bike living on an island that is only twenty miles long by six miles wide?

I’m sure that some of the places Al took me are on the tourism list of don’t miss destinations and I’m also sure some are not. Our first stop was Alto Vista Chapel which was originally built on the same spot in 1750. It is a very quaint chapel with stone benches on the outside surrounded by both Kadushi and Yatu cactus. California Light House was the busiest of all the stops with a restaurant and food trucks lined along the parking lot. Luckily we stopped on the shady side of an abandoned water tower with colorful graffiti and awesome views. We spent a bit of time climbing over Casibari Rock during the hottest part of the day and I correctly expected it to be a miniature version of Ayers Rock from Australia. Last stop was my favorite, Baby Beach.   On our way there we passed the rugged east side of the island with high surf and a barren rocky coastline. We briefly stopped at a park on the very southern tip of the island where on a clear day you can spot the coast of Venezuela just 9 miles to the south.

I was in Aruba another 6 days after I did the motorcycle tour and many times I heard the rumbling of an approaching Harley. But on at least two of those occasions it was Al cruising by in his chrome spiked helmet racking up even more island miles!

Bittersweet Days: Before the Snow Flies

IMG_2020Riding in the late fall can be unpredictable. But that’s exactly what makes it interesting! The presence of unpredictability challenges your preparedness skills – and tests your mettle, too.

By chance, I ended up riding between Harrisburg, PA and Philadelphia, near Reading, actually. It had been a while since I’d been to this part of the country, and I forgot how pretty the rolling Pennsylvania countryside could be. There was still vibrant color in some of the hard wood trees that line the country two-laners, along with fields filled with straw-toned corn stalks. But by mid-November here, things can change like the wind (literally) and with a dusting of snow the vistas will quickly take on a nostalgic, Christmas-card-like quality.

One particularly pleasant stretch in the area is PA562 running east out of Reading. This thin strip of pavement hugs the ridge and rolls into the valleys heading toward Boyertown. Signs for corn mazes and country farm stores beckon you to pull over and kick around a bit. Houses and barns built from fieldstone are IMG_1947common and look like they were put there just for the scenic value. Who can resist pulling over to take a picture of the Stonersville Inn? (Not me, apparently!) And don’t be surprised if you encounter an Amish horse and buggy on some of the two-laners around here.

There’s plenty of history as signs for the Daniel Boone Homestead prove, and nearby is the town of Oley, where the Antique Motorcycle Club of America holds a much-touted annual meet.

Once in Boyertown, visit the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles, featuring cars, trucks, bicycles and, yes, motorcycles, too. For a good meal, we’d recommend Union Jack’s Inn On The Manatawny. It’s open late, has great food in a relaxing atmosphere, plus dozens of different beers, ales and ciders. The Twin Turret Inn provides a quaint and comfortable overnight stop.

You can follow PA73 out of Boyertown to Harleysville, just so you can say you’ve been there. If the weather holds, French Creek State Park is just to the south east of Reading.

But whatever way you go back, expect the unexpected: including unexpected beauty and unexpected pleasure. And make sure you store up enough memory nuggets to see you through those long winter days ahead.

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Riding the Distance With Purpose. Kiwi Mike and Greg go round the world

Kiwi Mike and Greg go round the world

It’s billed as the ultimate riding adventure—two men riding Round The World (RTW). In 2012, Kiwi Mike Tomas and Greg Johnson rode from California to the east coast on vintage Indians, and it was such a great adventure they’ve decided to continue it.

“Riding is what fuels my innovativeness. All my engineering is done behind those handlebars,” said Kiwi Mike Tomas (right) with his RTW buddy Greg Johnson.
“Riding is what fuels my innovativeness. All my engineering is done behind those handlebars,” said Kiwi Mike Tomas (right) with his RTW buddy Greg Johnson.

“This thing was born when we did the Ride to the Wall with the Coast Guard bike in 2012,” said Mike. That was the year Kiwi built one of five armed services tribute bikes that convened at Rolling Thunder’s 25th anniversary in Washington D.C. Mike was the only builder of the five who rode his bike to the event from his home in Riverside, CA, to the east coast. His buddy Greg decided to ride along then on his 1936 Indian to handle trip logistics. “We had so much fun that we had this brain fart to keep it going,” said Kiwi. “That’s where our RTW adventure came from.”

Their RTW trip is configured as a perpetual event—there’s a beginning but no end. They’ll take four to six weeks at a time riding in locations all over the globe. Both men have met with challenges in their own lives and their goal is to inspire people to live life to the fullest.

After a trial run into Mexico this November, they’ll kick off the RTW event in January of 2015 in New Zealand, Mike’s native country. “I know the people and the lay of the land,” he said. The gas is just like in America and the water is clean.” Mike built two Indian Chiefs for the journey from the frame up. “The frames were stripped and straightened, every single nut, washer, and bushing, has been replaced,” he said. They were intentionally built identically so their parts are interchangeable.

The ballistic saddlebags are made by Al Jesse from Phoenix, who makes these bags for other intrepid world adventurers. Greg and Mike learned about them through Horizons Unlimited, a group for people that want to, are, or have ridden around the world. They’ve met riders from the group and have gone to meetings to gather input and advice.

After New Zealand, the plan is to head to South America. “We want to do it properly, be immersed in the culture, eat the food, meet the people,” said Mike. Added Greg, “That’s our vision; to challenge ourselves in a new country, get to know the people, learn the history, ride the most dangerous roads. We have a magnificent synergy when we travel.”

And a good partnership is vital; Mike is the mechanical guy and Greg handles logistics. Explained Mike, “I shoot from the hip and he says: we gotta figure out how to do this!”

Mike said he is motivated by something a friend told him. “It was 1989 when I started my business full time. I’d look at my buddy Rocky who had a parts business and he’d close up for two weeks and go to Daytona. I’d think, how can you do that and stay in business?” said Mike. “Rocky told me, ‘I got in the motorcycle business to ride motorcycles.’ And that always stuck with me!”

Both admit that in the end, it’s about the adventure, that’s really what’s behind this. “People have to have a game in life and the game is to get up in the morning and do something,” said Mike. “You gotta dream about something. How many people retire and kick the bucket? That’s because they don’t have a game anymore.”

So Mike and Greg have put a game in place for themselves and it’s only going to end when they decide to end it. “That’s the point,” said Greg. “We’re not gonna quit until we can’t do it anymore.”

Top 10 Things To Do At Sturgis

Yes we know that Sturgis is far in the rear view mirror for this year, but people have been looking ahead to next year’s rally for a long time. After-all it’s one of those ‘milestone’ years as 2015 will be the 75th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Now know there will be lots of rally rookies heading to the Black Hills for that. So here’s a heads up to them and maybe for a few other people who have put next year’s rally on their ‘bucket list’. Click here to see a list of 10 must see/do things while you’re at the rally: yhoo.it/1tomBFi

Source: Yahoo
Image: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Marilyn Stemp
Posted by Sam Kanish

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2015 HARLEY-DAVIDSON ROAD GLIDE ROARS BACK

Two All-New Models Flaunt Massive Bad Attitude and Mile-Devouring Function
MILWAUKEE (August 1, 2014) – Harley-Davidson® (NYSE:HOG) has more rush in the tank. Spy photos, gossip and wild speculation are flooding the Internet as Harley-Davidson fans around the globe anticipate the return of the Road Glide® motorcycle. The wait is over and the Road Glide is back.
Weeks before the announcement of its complete 2015 model line-up, Harley-Davidson is previewing the Road Glide and Road Glide Special, two of its new 2015 motorcycles. Infused with DNA of the customer-led product development effort Project RUSHMORE, the two sleek, shark-nose Touring models are being revealed today during special events at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, S.D., and at the National Bikers Roundup (NBR) in Tulsa, Okla.
“Road Glide has always had an incredibly passionate following, which is why its return to the model line-up is exciting for our customers and our company,” said Matt Levatich, President and Chief Operating Officer of Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “With Project Rushmore technology, intuitive features and great new styling, we’re delivering an improved ride for the Road Glide faithful and the many others looking for more cool Project Rushmore motorcycle options.”
One look at the new contour of the famous Road Glide fairing is all it takes to see past form and convention were put aside and a new rebellious design emerged. The Road Glide motorcycle earned its status satisfying the hard core and now it is back. From the wicked new Dual Reflector Daymaker™ LED headlights to the combination stop/turn/taillights, the Road Glide motorcycles set out to make the ultimate statement in custom, high-mile aggression and back it up with all the function riders demand.
“The Road Glide has always been a bike for a rider who’s cut from a different cloth, a person who wants to make a statement as they chase the freedom of the road,” said Michael Goche, Product Planning Manager. “This new model respects that spirit while offering a significant improvement in aerodynamic and ergonomic comfort, LED lighting and the full suite of Project RUSHMORE features that have been such a huge hit with touring riders around the world.”
Road Glide
Shaped by countless hours of wind tunnel testing, the new frame-mounted Road Glide motorcycle fairing features a triple splitstream vent that significantly reduces head buffeting while still providing  comfortable airflow around the rider. The brilliant white beams of the Dual Daymaker Reflector LED headlamp blasts through the murkiest of nights. Centered in the inner fairing is the color screen of a Boom! ™ Box 4.3 infotainment system controlled by twin joysticks located on a new swept-back handlebar that puts the rider in a commanding, comfortable position. A High Output Twin Cam 103™ V-Twin engine burbles through two chrome mufflers, its abundant torque always on tap with just a twist of the throttle. Touring features include One-Touch hard saddlebags, cruise control, easy-to-read gauges, adjustable air-ride rear suspension and new ergonomic hand controls with intuitive design and improved tactile feel.
Road Glide Special
Select premium features elevate the performance and style of the Road Glide Special from the base model. These enhancements include the premium Boom! Box 6.5GT infotainment system with touch screen and GPS navigation, Reflex™ Linked Brakes with ABS and hand-adjustable low-profile rear suspension. An exclusive painted inner fairing and hand-applied pinstriping move the styling up a notch.
The public will have an opportunity to see and test-ride the new 2015 Road Glide and Road Glide Special models at Harley-Davidson locations in Sturgis Aug. 2-9 and in Tulsa on Aug. 2. They then start arriving at authorized Harley-Davidson dealerships on August 26, 2014. Visit www.h-d.com/roadglide for more information.
About Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s website at www.h-d.com.
2015 Road Glide Special2015 Road Glide Special Action