Top 10 Touring Motorcycles

Ever since man bolted a motor to a bicycle, touring has been one of the true joys of motorcycling. Sure, bouncing around town from errand to errand is easy, and commuting to work is practical – but travel by motorcycle expands the mind, relaxes the spirit and enriches the soul. There’s nothing quite like it.

Experiencing a place you’ve never been by breathing its air deeply and engaging its characters freely is a sensation you just don’t get in a car. But if you’re reading this, you likely already knew that.

Submitted for your approval: The Top 10 Touring Motorcycles.

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Top 10 Celebrity Vespa Riders

Is there a cooler two-wheeled ride than a Vespa? Doubtful. Clearly, we’re just like celebrities, because the bold and the beautiful agree – as evidenced in the following gallery.

Google “Celebrity Vespa,” and you’ll find seemingly thousands of pictures of famous people aboard the classic Italian scooters. In an effort to keep our Top 10 within reasonable limits – and to keep you, Gentle Reader, from falling fast asleep – we’ve tried to focus, with few exceptions, strictly on images of celebrities actually riding their Vespas.

Presented for your amusement: The Top 10 Celebrity Vespa Riders. Who did we miss?

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Top 10 States for Motorcycle Theft

Where you live is one of the most important factors insurance companies use in determining your premium. Why? As with age, experience, the type of bike you ride and every other factor considered in computing your rate, where you live comes into the equation for one simple reason: risk.

Statistics show that some areas have higher crime rates than others. So if a higher crime rate equals a higher risk of damage to or loss of your property, it will cost you more to insure anything you own. And that includes your motorcycle. If your motorcycle resides in a location where statistics prove it’s at a greater risk for damage or theft, insurance companies are going to want you to pay a higher premium for coverage.

Overall, 2011 saw 46,667 motorcycle thefts in the US (including Puerto Rico and Washington D.C.), according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). Interestingly, that number is down 6% from the prior year – welcome news, as the Motorcycle Industry Council says total motorcycle sales are on the rise, albeit slightly (0.3%).

The list below shows the Top 10 states with the highest rate of motorcycle theft in 2011 (Total number of thefts and most targeted brand in parentheses). Worth noting: these 10 states accounted for 25,983 thefts in 2011 – fully 56% of the total. If you’re trying to insure a bike in one of these states, expect to pay more. Still, experts say things like keeping your motorcycle garaged and hooking up a recovery system such as LoJack will have a positive effect on your premium.

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Top 10 Ways to Save on Motorcycle Insurance

Gas prices are soaring. Rent and home prices are through the roof. Doctor bills are enough to give you a heart attack. There’s no doubt, the cost of living is going up. Belt-tightening is a must for all of us, so if you can save money on motorcycle insurance, you should.

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Top 10 Hipster Motorcycles

Caution: Swarming Hipsters

From Silver Lake to Wicker Park, from Williamsburg to the Mission District, from Portlandia to Austin and on the industrial outskirts of every college town in between, these annoying hipsters are everywhere you turn. You stand by and sigh as they slouch and smirk in their skinny jeans and perfectly tousled hair, grilling the barista on whether or not their $4.50 coffee is Certified Fair Trade (meanwhile, they have no problem paying $5 for a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon).

You can’t escape their entitled whines: guys with scarves and designer sneakers grumble about the infrequency of their unemployment checks as they tap furiously on $2,000 MacBook Pros; girls with shaved temples and tattooed sleeves loudly mock their boss’ fashion sense in one breath and wail that no one takes them seriously in the next. Their haughty blogs clutter the internet, their bumptious mugs crop up on TV.

And now the gnats have infested our passion.

On pre-fab café racers they zip around, oblivious and/or indifferent. They race through parking lots, pass on the right, split lanes perilously and make rights on reds without envisioning a stop, all the while checking themselves out in rearview mirrors and storefront windows. Taunting their parents’ insurance deductibles is sport to these insufferable imps. It used to be that biker gangs gave motorcyclists a bad name. These days, it’s all we can do to keep from swatting at the maddening horde.

The hipsters’ rides of choice are an eclectic mix, as it’s almost impossible to be cool if you’re on the same bike as thousands of other riders. Our informal polling brought up dozens of bikes appreciated by hipsters, and we’ve distilled them down to an easy-to-digest 10 choices. Plus a bonus pick, as we can’t be hip if we just stick to the rules.

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