So Harley Davidson finally put out the Pan America, their first true ADV bike. And I was sent out to California’s Mojave Desert, to a location called “ZAKAR”, Rawhyde Adventure’s training compound. There, I was introduced to the awesomeness that was Rawhyde Adventures, and to the Pan America.
I had very expectations for this bike and I had joked that if it didn’t live up to them, I’d have to go work for Yamaha. But I’m pleased to report that all expectations were either met or exceeded.
The Pan Am, AKA “Dirt Glide” is a radical departure for The Motor Company. They decided some time ago to delve into the realm of Adventure Touring to take some slices off the pie owned by the BMW GS series, Triumph’s Tiger, Ducati’s Multistrada, and some other worthy models out there. ADV bikes have become the fastest growing segment of motorcycling, with brands putting out more different models all the time. This is for a good reason. ADV Bikes are the ultimate type of motorcycling, fullfilling the promise of motorcycles… Freedom. An ADV bike has no limits. They can go anywhere, and do anything… and generally speaking, they do it very well. They are a Multirole Fighter like an F-18 Super Hornet on two wheels.
Harley’s new ADV bike is truly a home run. The bike weighs about the same as a Sportster 48, yet packs 150 Horses and 125nm of Torgue. And you’ll never have to deal with Valve Adjustments ever again. This is the best engine HDMC has ever produced. It’s so good, a lot of folks out there are just shocked. It’s not the Potato Potato Potato V-twin HD Naysayers like to hack on. This engine is a Rev-Happy Beast. But like a Triumph Tiger 1200, it’s smooth and well-mannered. Exactly what you want for a competent ADV machine.
If this is a failure of a motorcycle, then I wish more bike companies would fail like this. Because this bike is one of the greatest motorcycles ever made. Unfortunately, the bike was a commercial flop and BMW abandoned it long before they finally killed the production. What remains is a bike that should garner a zealot worthy cult following and you should start to see these bikes gaining in value over time. Because they are just that bloody good. Continue reading BMW’s Best Failure: The K1300S→
The Anne Bonnie is my personal bike… People will often see me on a number of different bikes. I have access to the best of the best of all things Two Wheels, and can take home a different bike every night. But the Anne Bonnie is my bike. And there is nothing else out there like her. Continue reading The Anne Bonnie, A Triumph Bonneville→
Normally, I don’t dig big bikes. And this one is absolutely a big bike. BMW’s K1600 series of bikes, the GT and the GTL, are dominating Alpha Dogs in the world of Touring Motorcycles. They are power… very powerful… and they are very comfortable. And believe it or not, they actually have a lot of performance. But Touring bikes are not my thing. And not the thing for a lot of other people too… Enter the world of the Bagger. A Bagger is a chopped down touring bike. Typically, when you say Bagger, you’re thinking something from HD.
A few years ago, Honda shocked a lot of people when they took the Gold Wing and made a Bagger out of it. The slope rear end treatment gives the bike a low mean look. Continue reading BMW K1600B→
One of my favorite bikes in the world is the Triumph Scrambler. I love the classic good looks and rugged nature. And I love the way it fits me. I love the way I feel on one. It just works… Very well. Now, I’m talking about the Scrambler that’s based on the T100 Bonneville, with that 865cc Oil-Aircooled engine. Such a great machine!
Unfortunately, Triumph killed it in 2016. After Eons of service, the Scrambler is dead… Long live the Scrambler. Triumph also killed everything with that 865cc engine. (Small violins playing)
The reason for that is the Euro 4 Emissions standards which took effect Jan 4th 2017. So Triumph had to empty the pipeline. This also meant the death of the Speedmaster through 2017. Continue reading Triumph Street Scrambler→
I’ve had many an argument with internet Real Bikers who insist on saying “Loud Pipes Save Lives”. But let’s look at this realistically… Do they? Let’s get something out of the way right from the start. These Loud Pipe Live Savers are usually the guys that are riding certain American made V-Twin bikes with pipes that are seemingly designed to amplify the noise the engine makes so that everyone within a three mile radius hears them start up their bike and rev it for a quarter tank’s worth of fuel. Continue reading Loud Pipes Save Lives?→
Some time ago I was sitting with my father on the back patio at The Farm. I had ridden there on the Ducati Multistrada Enduro, a big 1200cc Warhorse of an Adventure Bike.
He made a statement that has been on my mind ever since. “I don’t like big bikes.” He said, half disapprovingly and half off the cuff.
My knee-jerk reaction was to say, “I don’t either.” And then I jumped on the Enduro and took off back home… thinking the whole time, “Do I really dislike big bikes?” Continue reading “I don’t like big bikes”→
Talk about “Two Peas in a Pod”. No two motorcycles are as similar, yet as different as these two. On one hand, we have the classic Harley Davidson 1200cc V-Twin Sporter Forty-Eight. Simple. Burly. Cool. It’s been around for ages.
On the other hand is the new Triumph Bobber which came out in March of 2017. It’s a 1200cc Parallel Twin that looks simple, burly and cool… yet hides a lot of technology inside. Where the Harley has electric turn signals and fuel injection, the Triumph has a Ride by Wire throttle, Traction Control, switchable ride modes, and ABS. It’s an actual modern motorcycle and not any ancient agricultural hold-over from the days of horse-drawn plowing. Continue reading Harley Sportster or Triumph Bobber?→
Bar none, the Triumph Thruxton R is my favorite Sport Bike on the planet. First off, let’s talk about the Looks. This bike is drop dead gorgeous. It looks like what a motorcycle should look like. This is the modern quintessential Cafe Racer, from the company that pretty much invented the Cafe Racer. This is a two-wheeled Audrey Hepburn… always good looking, never goes out of style, and will still be good looking 200 years from now. But under that classic good looking exterior, this bike is truly a modern machine.