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Archive for the ‘Motorcycle History’ Category

Motorcycle – Jumping the Grand Canyon

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“Because it’s there” could be the only reason that anyone would attempt a stunt like “jumping the Grand Canyon.” Of course, it all started out when we were kids, betting who could jump the furthest over the puddle, the campfire, or the creek. Most grow out of it, while others, like movie stuntmen and people like Evel Knievel, just kept going bigger. Wearing the stars and stripes and a cape, Knievel was as much a superhero as any, because he was real flesh and blood, but even he recognized that he wasn’t Superman, and spilled blood and broke bones just like any man.… Read the rest

Famous Female Motorcyclists

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Girls need Men to take them places. Women can get there all on their own. – Unknown

We have no idea who said that first, but we think that female motorcycle riders are rockin’, and they’ve been rollin’ pretty much as long as motorcycles have been motorcycles, perhaps even before. The sad fact is that our male-dominated society has repressed female rights, including the right not to be judged for riding, for decades, but times are changing. Still, don’t call them “Biker Chicks,” because lady riders are not outcast rebels or deviants of society, but professionals and capable human beings and stunning riders in their own right – they just happen to be women.… Read the rest

American vs Japanese Motorcycles

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If you’ve ever seen how our rider-friends across the sea handle two-wheels, you’ll probably conclude that they’re riding very different bikes. Indeed, they are, because Japanese motorcycles are not American motorcycles, but why? First, as much as there is a vast ocean between the West Coast and Japan, there’s practically a 5,500-mile gap between the way that Americans and the Japanese think about motorcycles, not only what or when to ride, but also how to build them.

Cultural Differences

In the United States, there are very few people who view the motorcycle as a legitimate form of transportation. Instead, Americans buy motorcycles for recreation or for the image.… Read the rest

Is There Life After Thirty? Yamaha VMAX’s Thundering Yes

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Not everything is built to last, usually outmoded or killed within a very short time. Automobiles reinvent themselves every few years to keep from falling behind the competition, and the exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 killed itself after just 70 days! Some things just never seem to go out of style, though, so why mess with a good thing? Yamaha VMAX is just one of those, basically an engine with a seat strapped to it, originally released in 1985 and still going strong some three decades later.

Yamaha V-Max – 1985 to 2007

Released in 1985, the Yamaha V-Max could best be described as a muscle-car on two wheels, the 1,197 cc DOHC V4 generating 114 hp in a 630-lb package.… Read the rest

Kawasaki KLR650 – Going on 30

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In the biking world, type distinction can be stark. No one would ever mistake a cruiser for a trail bike or a street bike for a scooter. On the other hand, there are bikes that blur the lines, dual-sport bikes that are designed for on-road comfort and off-road capability. Among these, the Kawasaki KLR650 stands out with an exceptionally long history. Introduced in 1987, the KLR650 is going on thirty years of age!

Perhaps the secret to the KLR650’s longevity and popularity is not messing with a good thing every year, that is, not adding a new feature to every new model year when it comes out.… Read the rest

BMW Motorcycles – The Early Years (1917 – 1969)

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Most people are familiar with the iconic blue and white checker logo of BMW, or Bavarian Motor Works, at least when it comes to four-wheeled iterations. After all, it was founded exactly a century ago and remains one of the world’s best-selling luxury automobiles. On two-wheels, BMW aficionados see no distinction, and BMW Motorrad is one of the world’s best-known luxury motorcycle manufacturers, producing some of the most high-tech motorcycles in the world.

Each BMW motorcycle is so well-adapted to its task, whether it be touring, cruising, or adventuring, that one would think that it was born for it. Indeed, such results are only possible because of the spirit of innovation that has driven BMW Motorrad since the beginning, some 90 years ago.… Read the rest

Malcolm Smith – A Life of Adventure

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Off-road motorcycle racing is one of the fastest expressions of art that any human eye will ever get to see or experience. The fast paced competition of screaming two-wheelers down a designated off-road race track, is a dirt canvas few have tread on. The ability to control these motorcycles with precision and grace, is a skill not very many people have, and only a handful have mastered. A person that has proven himself time and again to actually be an “artist” of the off-road motorcycle racing and has made a lasting mark upon the motorcycle scene is Malcolm Smith. What accomplishments did this legendary racer achieve?… Read the rest

Evel Knievel – His Legacy Lives On

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Superhero comics and movies are at an all-time high, but they aren’t really anything new. The first superheroes appeared in the 1930s, then a slew of superhero movies in the 1950s, then again in the 1980s and today. While they are fantasy, superheroes strike a chord in the heart of boys and girls and men and women everywhere. They do things we can’t do, things we might never do, because it’s too expensive (Bruce Wayne / Batman) or too dangerous (Clark Kent / Superman or any superhero, really), and yet we still want to be like them.

Then there are real superheroes, like Evel Knievel, a motorcycle stuntman whose alter ego is none other than Evel Knievel, that is, he was an ordinary man, just like everyone who knew him.… Read the rest