April 2014 — Bike Review — Four Motorcycles That Deserve A Closer Look

Photo by B. P. Goebel

The 1997 Suzuki Bandit GSF-1200. The do-all bike.

1997 Suzuki Bandit
GSF-1200

By B.P. Goebel

Since the middle 1980s, we have enjoyed the development of motorcycle technology in specific niches: cruisers, adventure bikes, sport bikes, touring bikes, etc. Because consumers wanted bikes for specific focused tasks, this is how things have evolved. But what if you want a bike to do many things – like those do-all standards of yore?

If that’s the case, check out the Suzuki Bandit GSF 1200 (B-12), a very widely focused bike that really does everything – highway riding, loaded touring, sport touring, track days, curves, commuting, gravel roads, two-up riding, etc. The best part is that it does it all really well. Well enough that if you are exceeding its capabilities in any arena, you’re likely already considering a niche-engineered motorcycle anyway. The magic in the Bandit, thought, is that if you need it to be better, it can easily be modified specifically for the riding you do most.

April 2014 — Special Section — Sport Bikes

Photo courtesy of Brainerd International Raceway

Photo courtesy of Honda PowersportsSport Bikes …Taking ‘Em To The Track

“Take it to the track.” It’s a statement that may commonly be heard by sport bike enthusiasts.

So how do you transfer from street to track? That depends on the discipline you want to pursue.

 

DRAG RACING

Think your bike is quick? The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) have been attempting to cater to motorcyclists through professional, semi-professional, and local level racing opportunities at Brainerd International Raceway (BIR), Grove Creek Raceway in Grove City, Minn., and Rock Falls Raceway in Elk Mound, Wis. 

April 2014 — Geezer With A Grudge — I Hate Racing

by Thomas Day
thomas@mnmotorcycle.com

That title got your attention, didn’t it? Let me be more specific: I hate (as in can’t watch) a specific sort of motorcycle racing. I love motorcycle racing, except when kids are doing it.

When a stadium motocross is broken up (too often literally) with a bunch of 8-year-olds plodding around a motocross track, smashing into each other and the track obstacles, I have to be somewhere else. I can’t watch. Likewise, I can’t watch movie torture scenes, horror movies of any sort, much of anything by Disney or Lucasfilm, and romantic or sex scenes that last longer than a handshake. I’m a lightweight, I admit it.

This isn’t a new thing for me. I have never liked any of the big three of what we call “organized sports” for little kids: Pop Warner football, Little League baseball, or youth hockey. Motorcycle racing for little kids combines everything that is dangerous and useless in all of those sports into one injury-plagued, little-league-Dad-hyped, emergency-room-filling sport.

April 2014 — Tales From The Road — Arms Race

By Mark DesCartes

I have always been envious of people who exhibit certainty. Some riders find a style of bike and are solid in riding that the rest of their days. Not me. At last count, I have owned 22 different machines from eight different manufacturers.

By the time I met Chet, I had abandoned lumbering V-twins for stodgy, European touring twins. I still like the power delivery of big Vees, but my old group did more stopping and BSing than riding. I was on my second BMW when Chet and I were introduced. We circled each other for a few weeks, like two roosters in the barnyard, until we both felt we could try a ride together.

April 2014 — Road Rash

155_RoadRash

April 2014 — From The Hip

155_HipIt has been a long tough winter. I know I’m not alone in this. It has been declared “the worst winter in 30 years”. Record snow, record cold, blah, blah, blah. I would like to blame all my challenges in the past seven months on the weather but that would just be whining.

April 2014 — Reader Story — My Dad’s Bucket List

Photo provided by Dustin Butler

By Dustin Butler

Last year my dad asked me to ride to Sturgis with him. He was diagnosed with a rare incurable cancer in June of 2012. With aggressive chemo, he’s now in remission and created a bucket list. Riding to the rally with his son was one of those buckets.

I had only ridden about a dozen times in the past. Typically, I would get my permit knowing that I’d only ride a few times a year and the distance wasn’t far.

April 2014 — Motorcycling In Minnesota — North Shore Border Run

Scenery Photo by Guido Ebert

Work your way toward Canada along Minnesota’s spectacular North Shore of Lake Superior, past numerous rivers and waterfalls, beaches, state parks, historical waysides, restaurants and resorts. Take in spectacular vistas of the lake to the southeast and the foothills of the Sawtooth Range to the northwest. Omitted from this list are descriptions of Gooseberry, Split Rock Lighthouse, Tettegouche, Temperance River, Cascade River and Grand Portage State Parks.

April 2014 — Movie Review — Why We Ride (2013)

155_WhyWeRideWhy We Ride (2013)
Documentary
The passion of the riders and the soul of their machines.
Director: Bryan H. Carroll 

By Cat Ely

A guy I used to date asked me repeatedly, “Why do you ride a motorcycle?”

I’m baffled by the question. It seems simple. For anyone who rides, our reasons are probably very much the same and the answer is both universal and profoundly personal. The clichéd “if I have to explain it, you wouldn’t understand,” or the standard summary of freedom, independence, and camaraderie, while true, don’t really cover it.

Director and writer Bryan H. Carroll has taken on the enviable task of attempting to explain. Why We Ride adds another layer to that conversation started by On Any Sunday and Dust to Glory.

April 2014 — Random Scootering

155_RS2By Guido Ebert
guido@mnmotorcycle.com

KYMCO Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Kwang Yang Motor Co. Ltd., the Taiwanese manufacturer of KYMCO brand powersports vehicles, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014.

Founded in Kaohsiung in 1964, KYMCO spent the first half of its 50-year existence as a manufacturer for Honda. The company then developed its own research and development, production and testing campuses, and started marketing its own brand product in 1992.

KYMCO today manufactures scooters, motorcycles, ATVs and UXV side-by-side vehicles at five ISO-9001 quality accredited plants in Asia, has enjoyed the No. 1 position in Taiwan’s domestic scooter market for 13 consecutive years, and serves consumers and OEM clients – BMW, for instance – in 89 countries.