The Virgin

The Virgin

I suppose just about everyone remembers their first time on a motorcycle - I'm certainly no exception. It was the late 1970's and I was a kid visiting my relatives in Connecticut. There were some other kids in the neighborhood and during my stay I became friendly with a boy my age who lived a few doors down. One day while playing together he looked … [Read more...]

The (Other) Boys of Summer

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Major league players are often referred to as the boys of summer by avid baseball fans, or at least that guy from The Eagles who wrote a song with the same title. Personally, I find watching millionaires toss a ball around on TV to be a quick cure for insomnia. When I think of the boys of summer I tend to think of motocross racers - who launch over … [Read more...]

For Love or Money

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I've never understood the vilification of Walmart. Yes, it can be argued that there's been collateral damage to small local businesses that resulted in the loss of jobs during the mega-store's encroachment into lesser markets. But I believe that's offset by the large number of people that Walmart employs, many of which seem physically and/or … [Read more...]

Moto Speak: An Idiot’s Guide to the Language and Lingo of Suspension and Engine Performance

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There are over 6000 different languages spoken in the world today. This statistic may or may not include obscure regional dialects and the dork jargon spoken so prevalently by Minecraft and World of Warcraft enthusiasts. Either way there's an obvious, universal truth about language: if you can't speak it, there's bound to be a lack of … [Read more...]

Figuring the Fun Factor

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Marketing executives are a sadistic bunch. Their sole existence is to convince people that they need something, even if they lack the discretionary income required to purchase it. Down on your luck and short of cash? Behind on your mortgage? Struggling with a shopping addiction? Who cares, you need this. And when people are already passionate about … [Read more...]

Attack of the Wheelie Monster

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During the mid 80s the cold war was in full effect, with geopolitical instability fueling an arms race between opposing global super powers. At this time there was another arms race of sorts going on in the motorcycle world - the leading Japanese manufacturers were vying to produce an off-road 2 stroke bike with the most horsepower. This wasn't … [Read more...]

Dual Sport Anthropology

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Someone smarter than me once pointed out that just because people are passionate about motorcycles, it doesn't necessarily mean they have anything else in common. I always assumed that if someone is as passionate about motorcycles as I am, it was the basis of a great friendship. Turns out I was wrong. However, riding a Dual Sport can offer a safe … [Read more...]

The SP500

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It's seen some action, he explained. Well of course, I replied, gripping the phone a bit tighter, It's almost twenty years old. But it runs good! He quickly added. It was 1999 and I was talking to the owner of a 1981 Suzuki SP500 while squinting at a blurry one inch square black and white picture in his Cycle Trader ad. Other than being … [Read more...]

Understanding the Motorcycle Engine Oil Argument

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When in polite company, etiquette dictates there are two things you should never discuss: politics and religion. When mingling with motorcycle enthusiasts I believe there are two other things you should never discuss: tires and engine oil. Nothing racks up forum pages quicker than someone claiming to use the best tire or the best oil - debates … [Read more...]

Evil Incarnate

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Ok, so evil incarnate might be a bit of a stretch, particularly because most dictionaries define the word incarnate as the human embodiment of something. But make no mistake, nothing can be more horrifying than finding a family of mice has built a tenement in your motorcycle over the winter months. Sedentary motorcycles can be an alluring … [Read more...]