Dunlop Geomax MX33 First Ride Impression

There comes a point in every motorcyclist’s life when they reach a certain level and realize that tires aren’t all created equal. I’ve owned and ridden on just about every major manufacturer’s off-road offerings, but I never really gave too much thought to tire selection beyond condition type and price point. I always figured, if the knobbies still had a decent edge, I was getting about as much traction as I could get. I just chalked the faster guys up to being better, more skilled riders – which is true of course – but I didn’t realize how much of a difference a particular tire could make until one of my riding buddies, an ex-Factory Honda rider from the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, told me to check out the Dunlop Geomax MX3S.

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Dunlop Sportmax Q4 Review

By definition, designing a motorcycle tire is an exercise in compromise. The perfect tire would have ultimate grip in every scenario and would never wear. Whoever can invent this unicorn tire capable of setting lap records and transcontinental travel simultaneously will cash in handsomely. Until then, however, we all have to live with compromise. Here in the real world, tire companies constantly battle with the challenge of balancing grip for longevity, and when it comes to track-worthy – and street legal – tires, the challenge becomes even greater; the tire should definitely provide enough grip to confidently hustle a motorcycle around a track but should also be robust enough to survive the everyday grind.

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Things Could Be Worse: You Could Be in Australia

Jeff Corbett, writing in Australia’s Newcastle Herald, sounds like a reasonable if typically angry old white guy most of the time, but has he crossed the line in this piece Evans Brasscannons dredged up from the interwebs this morning? In which he suggests motorcycles should be banned from all “high-risk roads.” 

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Missing Link Friday: DB Customs `82 Carbon Katana

Darren Begg, our favorite Canadian customizer/resto-modder, finished this `82 Suzuki up last fall for a customer in Arizona, complete with a 1260cc engine that puts out 173 hp at the countershaft (150 or so at the contact patch, at a mere 9200 rpm). Carbon fiber accents, including a custom fuel tank cover, enhance the alien spacecraft look, and Brembo brakes, Oz Racing wheels, Öhlins suspension, and a JayGUI Racing exhaust complete the predatory package. Old motorcycles like this one actually look kind of scary compared to newer ones, or is that just me? It looks like it wants to eat your babies.

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Higdon in South America! Part XII

March 6, 2018
Upsallata Argentina

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Skidmarks: On Bonding

Spring is good.

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Now It's an Adventure!

It’s all going well according to plan until all of a sudden it isn’t going to plan at all. There’s a reason why God gave us traction control, people.

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AHRMA Comes to Willow Springs: A Photographic Smattering…

Unfortunately MO did not make it to the fastest road in the Mohave on the 27 and 28th of April for AHRMA’s rounds 7 and 8, but our friend Mike Worshum did, and sent us a few photos of motorcycles that grabbed his attention (while he was busy working), of which there are about a bazillion at every American Historical Racing Motorcycle event. That’s Yoshi Kosaka in the lead photo, owner of the Garage Company in Los Angeles, and sponsor of the annual Corsa Motoclassica bike competition, which happens in conjunction with the AHRMA event.

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Church of MO: 2001 BMW K1200LT Vs Honda Gold Wing

And on the seventh day, I was riding a shiny new black BMW and another bike up to Calistoga and back, which is the next best thing to resting, and so here is this Sabbath’s apropos CoMO without further ado. Everyone behave yourselves, alright? Be nice to others and get some walking in.

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Eight Great Moto-Camping Rigs and Setups at Babes in the Dirt

Camping with your motorcycle, whether it be on- or off-road, is one of our favorite pastimes. Depending on where you live, some have the luxury of doing it nearby or right in their backyard, while others have to travel a little further. Depending on where you’re going or what you’re doing and how long you’ll be gone, your setup will be different. Some prefer to travel light, while others bring everything they need including big-screen TVs and even the kitchen sink. This past weekend we hit the road with our dirtbikes to attend the fourth annual Babes in the Dirt, an all-girls off-road campout, which you can read all about by clicking the link just below.

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Trailblazers Hall of Famer 2018: Scott Autrey

Southern California golden boy turned Speedway World Champion, Scott Autrey was also a successful dirt tracker and road racer before taking his act to England, where he raced Speedway professionally for a decade. In 1982, that culminated in his leading the American team – including Bruce Penhall and Bobby Boogaloo Schwartz – to the Speedway World Championship. That hasn’t happened before or since. A great guy as well as a great motorcycle rider, Scott’s induction into the Trailblazers HOF drew a crowd, many from England and Scotland. Good on ya, laddie.

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Babes in the Dirt IV: A Ladies-Only Off-Road Campout

I think we can all agree, motorcycles are one of the coolest things ever invented. If you don’t ride in any way, shape or form, you’re missing out. Seriously. They provide you the closest sensation to what it’d feel like if we could fly, without ever leaving the ground. On top of that, they bring like-minded people together. If you’re able, or have ever been interested, do yourself a favor, and give it a shot. That’s exactly what hundreds of girls did this past weekend at Babes in the Dirt, a girls-only off-road campout here in Southern California.

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Whatever: The Persistence of No Time

Well, what shall I write about this month? I am kind of a left-wing liberal, so naturally I want the free and/or easy stuff, the low-hanging fruit… you know what was freer and easier when I got to California in 1988? Time. There was lots more of it then. It was kind of a settled matter that the magazine I worked for would come out monthly, so you knew what you had to do and you did it and the pages got filled. Looking back upon it from today’s 24/7 (ok, it’s more 24/5 or /6 here at MO), it was a remarkably stress-free and pleasantly paced existence most of the time, though we of course complained constantly how overworked and underpaid we were. Come to think of it, there were more than a few late nights when we were on deadline – a thing that really doesn’t happen anymore now that every day is a deadline – but not really a hard deadline since there are no longer any actual presses to stop.

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Higdon in South America: Part 11

March 2, 2018

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Head Shake - Vulcan's Disciples

Humankind has been preoccupied with fire and metal throughout recorded history. The Greeks had Hephaestus; the Norse – for simplicity’s sake – had Logi, though their table of organization for all things fire and metal related is about as cumbersome as General Motors before their reorganization, and the Romans? The Romans had Vulcan, often depicted with a large hammer, their god of fire and metalworking, the master of the forge.

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Watch and Learn: Facebook Friend Allen Millyard Builds a Classic Six-Cylinder Honda

A lot of my old friends refuse to go on the Facebook for the same reason African tribesmen in the old days would not be photographed – fear of having their identity stolen. I suppose it’s a legitimate concern. I suppose Zuckerberg does have a lot of information on me, but I try to keep it to a minimum by not playing “Barnyard Animals” or “Words with Friends,” or whatever all that stuff was I ignored while arguing politics and chatting with guys like Graeme Crosby on the other side of the world. (I wrote to let him know I was a big fan of his autobiography.) It’s a shame, because there are some amazing places to go on FB, including to the home page (in his case the garage page) of a certain Englishman named Allen Millyard.

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Petersen Automotive Museum Presents, The "Custom Revolution" Motorcycle Exhibit

The Petersen Automotive Museum is one of the world’s premier car enthusiast destinations. Located in Los Angeles, the museum showcases automotive culture from around the world while celebrating Southern California’s rich history of automotive innovation, competition and design. The Petersen features exhibits primarily revolving around four-wheeled vehicles, but due to popular inquisition and demand, in addition to the vision and wealth of knowledge from the exhibit’s guest curator and motorcycle historian, Paul d’Orleans, the “Custom Revolution” exhibit was born.

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2018 Trailblazers Hall of Fame Video: Kel Carruthers

Australian and later multi-time world roadracing champion; second only to Rod Laver in Australia’s 1969 Sportsman of the Year competition; mentor, tuner and team manager for Kenny Roberts and Yamaha; and later for Sea-Doo Watercraft, then Chaparral Yamaha’s supercross and roadracing teams – Kel Carruthers has done it all since 1938 but still isn’t done. Congratulations, Mr. C. Let `er rip, Dave Despain.

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FEEL: A Dinner With Freddie Spencer

What makes pro riders pros, is their talent, their fearlessness, and perhaps more than anything else, their ability to feel. That skill applies to Freddie Spencer in more ways than one. A legend on two wheels, he had the magic touch, but he also had a feeling that led him to take a chance on Honda. And now he’s telling his story in his aptly named bio,  Feel.

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10 Great Motorcycle Gloves For Under $100

Yeah, we know that we constantly say that you should buy the best gear you can afford. We think it’s time to show you some  glove bargains. So, we’re gonna pull back a little and show you how nice gloves that cost less than a C-note can be. In fact, some of these motorcycle gloves are almost inexpensive enough to buy two pair without breaking our self-imposed ceiling. Our reason for undertaking this exercise is to illustrate the breadth of gear available to riders who maybe just spent all their scratch on a new motorcycle and don’t have much left for gear.

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2018 Trailblazers Hall of Fame Inductee: Dennis Kanegae Action Video!

If I had known Dennis was this famous when he was my boss at Yamaha’s ad agency, I would’ve shown him even less respect. Infinitely wise in the ways of motorcycles and the motorcycle industry, with a Rolodex like a hydro-electric generator and more stories than the Empire State Building (and master of the Rule of Three), Dennis is one of six moto luminaries inducted into the Trailblazers Hall of Fame April 7. Congratulations, Dennis! Fire up the foghorn, Dave Despain!

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Higdon in South America: Part 10

February 27, 2018
Potosí, Bolivia

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2018 KTM 390 Duke Revisited

Almost exactly one year ago, former EiC Kevin Duke penned (typed?) his review of the 2017 KTM 390 Duke. It came as no surprise to the MO staff when Kevin arrived home from Italy raving about the refreshed and revamped 390. The crew had already tested previous models and had found themselves smitten with the small orange machine, giving it the honor of Best Lightweight/Entry-Level Motorcycle of 2015 and 2016. It would then come as no surprise that the refreshed 2017 model would clench the threepeat with the Best Lightweight/Entry-Level Motorcycle Of 2017, and at $5,299, it would also snatch up our  Best Value Motorcycle Of 2017.

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Trailblazers Hall of Fame 2018 Inductee: Debbie Evans-Leavitt Cool Video

Well we missed the annual Trailblazers Banquet again, dammit, but that’s okay because they released a bunch of cool video short bios showcasing each of the six inductees for 2018. In no particular order but why not Ladies First, here’s Debbie Evans-Leavitt, “Queen of Trials” who began riding at six and has over 600 film credits on her very impressive resume. Take it away, Dave DeSpain…

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Cal Crutchlow Leads MotoGP Heading Into Texas

Cal Crutchlow may or may not be your favorite MotoGP rider, Bruce Allen, but the outspoken 32-year old scrapper – following a highly professional win two weeks ago in Argentina – is the first Brit to lead the premier world championship since Barry Sheene 40 years ago. Next on the schedule is this weekend’s US MotoGP at Circuit of the Americas in Texas, a gruelling 20 laps around a bumpy 3.4-mile circuit loaded with long straights ending in heavy braking zones into slow, switchback corners. Fastest speed last year: Jorge Lorenzo’s Ducati, 214.7 mph.

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Honda CB1000R Spec Chart Speculation

One of the big stars of EICMA 2017 that we still haven’t quite managed to get our grubby little hands on is Honda’s Neo Sports Cafe E Pluribus CB1000R – which was ridden onto the stage in Milan by none other than Mick Doohan. Our friends at American Honda assure us that a US launch draws ever nearer, but the bike’s already out in Europe, so why not have a look at what details Honda’s UK website can share with us?

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A Great Moto-Hauler That Won't Break The Bank - Part 2

In Part I of this 2-part series, we reviewed a base Ford Transit T-250 and its suitability as a moto-hauler. In Part II, we’ll look at ways to get it ready for hauling motos, cutting interior noise levels for more pleasant driving, and towing.

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Higdon in South America: Part 9

February 25, 2018
Uyuni salt flats, Bolivia

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Icon Releases Its Moto Vlogger Takedown Challenge

Icon has become known for producing over-the-top videos highlighting super-human stunt riders and equally impressive custom motorcycles. The newest addition to its video line-up is the Moto Vlogger Takedown Challenge. A video which parodies the current social media landscape and vloggersphere trending on YouTube and across other social media channels.

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Skidmarks: The Inevitable Triumph of Awesome

This has been an eventful fortnight. It started with the catastrophic death of my old car and ended with me purchasing a new car, having second thoughts, and then third thoughts, and then saying what the hell and keeping it. And then hitting snags with my clutch-slave replacement project on my EBR, which has made me question my whole relationship with possessions. More ups and downs than a pogo-stick tournament. Anyway, I bought a new car, which is always fun for me.

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Along Came A Spyder…

Cristina has been around powersports her entire life. Motorcycles, four-wheelers, UTVs, etc. She grew up in a family where she watched her father and his brothers grow their motorcycle business from a small shop shipping Harley-Davidsons overseas, to three multi-line dealerships and a parts distribution business that supplies over 3,000 independent shops with OEM parts.

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A Great Moto-Hauler That Won't Break the Bank - Part 1

Looking for a new moto-hauler but don’t like the idea of shelling-out $35-50 large? There’s a great option out there as long as you’re not hell-bent on having a brand-new vehicle. Ford has been selling the new-style Transit Van in Europe and other markets for a while now, but it only came to the U.S. in 2015. To be clear, we’re talking about the full-size Transit Van, not the Transit Connect. The Connect is the mini-van style and not really suitable as a moto-hauler.

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Higdon in South America, Part 8: O2 Joy

February 22, 2018

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Eight Interesting Things At The Harley-Davidson Museum

Are you an American? Are you a motorcyclist? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you absolutely owe it to yourself to go and visit the Harley-Davidson Museum. You could also be neither, and I would still encourage you to check it out. You will not be disappointed, I promise you that. By now, if you’ve read any of my articles, you already know I’m a big H-D fan. I grew up on and around Harleys and their chopper variants my whole life – it’s in my blood – so visiting the Harley-Davidson museum has been on my bucket list since forever, and I’m glad to have finally crossed it off.

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What to Do With Those Old Valve Covers

You know, the cool aluminum small-block Chevy ones you’ve had on the shelf since the `90s. When Steven Brown needed a gas tank for his custom, ahh, something or other, in Doncaster, UK, hew knew just what to do with them.

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Whatever! - How Hard Could It Be?

A big part of it’s probably the fault of all the movies, especially the rags-to-riches ones, so Americanly popular, where the underdog comes from nowhere to lead the pack here at Augusta, a real Cinderella story. If you only watched people play golf on TV, you’d think it would be a simple matter to go out there and break 80. Sometimes Cinderella works hard and gets a little training, but usually natural talent, a little persistence and a lucky break are the only requirements to make it to the top in the movies. Seldom is there any actual study or much practice involved. (Of course, if you’d read the book instead of just watching the movie, you’d know better.)

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Higdon in South America: Part Next

If you were wondering what had happened to our intrepid South American correspondent, you weren’t alone. After hearing of the problem with his right eye reoccurring in the  sixth installment on February 20, I feared the worst – that Bob had caught a flight back to the US and his trip had come to a disappointing end. My emails to him went unanswered. Then, last night as I was checking for something else in my Junk file, guess what? How does that work, you’ve been corresponding with a person for years, and all of a sudden gmail decides they are Junk? Anyway, with no further ado, Part VII.

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MO Safety Video: Do NOT Go to Panic City!

In which California Highway Patrol heroes Ponch and John rescue a guy in the days before Xanax. Man, TV was good in the good old days when you could rent a freeway full of Pintos and Beetles! Thanks for sharing, Gabe.

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It's Ducati Monster Quiz Time!

When the first Monster rolled off the assembly line, Bill Clinton was POTUS, the Brady Bill was signed into law, the Branch Davidians were getting a taste of tough love in Waco… other Texans were faring better: Doug Polen was kicking butt on a Fast by Ferracci Ducati in WSBK and the AMA, while Kevin Schwantz was winning the 500cc championship on a two-stroke Suzuki. Beanie Babies were hot, as were Phil Collins, Nirvana, Snoop Dogg, Boris Yeltsin and my ex-wife. So long ago… but we’re talking Ducati Monsters right now. Eyes on your own paper, everyone. Does anybody have to go to the bathroom before we start?

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5 Motorcycle Brands With Soaring Sales

You know what they say, “Bad news travels fast,” and a few months ago, it seemed like the motorcycle industry was full of it. Every day felt like there was a new report painting a gloomy portrait and claiming the motorcycle industry was doomed if we didn’t do something about it. How could something so awesome as motorcycling be destined for failure?

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Head Shake - 23.7

Road racers live in a world of numbers. It is all about the numbers; split times, lap times, finishing positions, championship points, tech violations by a fraction of an inch, and classes delineated by years. It is also my birthday next week. Well, one of my birthdays anyway. It all boils down to the numbers.

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Readers' Picks: Face Wear for the Open Road

This week, we take a look at what our readers are wearing to shield their faces while on the road. From full face helmets to riding glasses, there’s something here for all conditions. What sort of gear do you sport for a typical ride? Let us know in the comments.

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Cycle World Gets ReDrawn and Quartered

Now what used to bill itself as “The World’s Biggest Motorcycle Magazine” has been  redesigned, and goes from a monthly to a four-times-a-year coffee table book – with a single issue price of $11.99 (though it looks like you can subscribe for a year for just $9.75).

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New Rider: 5 Tips For Riding In The Rain

Maybe I’m not your typical motorcyclist because I absolutely love riding in the rain. I find that it heightens all my senses and can turn a mundane ride into one that becomes an intensely-focused experience. Perhaps my love of rain riding comes from the fact that, the very first time I commuted on a motorcycle, it rained – and I was prepared. (I was also terrified, but I’d only been riding for a few days.)

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Readers' Picks: Top Motorcycle Gear on Amazon

For this new series, we’re taking a peek into the Amazon shopping carts of our readers. By exploring what you’re buying, we’ll get a better idea of the brands you trust and what products you deem essential. Here are some of the most popular bike accessories with the Motorcycle.com community.

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Trizzle's Take – Did You Miss Me?

John Burns sure has impeccable timing, doesn’t he? Just as he was penning his piece about the revolving door that is the moto industry, I was penning my deal to make my return to Motorcycle.com. Of course, it was far too soon to be announcing anything to my MO compatriots (or anyone else, for that matter), but as I read JB’s Whatever column I couldn’t help but let out a little chuckle. “If only he knew…” I thought.

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2018 Alta Motors Redshift MX and MXR Video Review

Two weeks ago we got the opportunity to ride the all-new Alta Motors 2018 Redshift MXR, as well as the Redshift MX for comparison. It was my first time riding an Alta, and an electric dirtbike for that matter, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. How easy would it be to ride and how would it compare to a regular gas-powered dirtbike?

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The Harley-Davidson Sportster Brewtown Throwdown

No motorcycle in Harley-Davidson’s 115-year history has been as successful or versatile as the Sportster. The Sportster line has been in production now for over 60 years and has left its mark on just about every genre of motorcycling you could possibly imagine. From dirt tracking to road racing, hill climbing to commuting, chopping to touring and everywhere in between – there is very little the Sportster can’t do.

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Skidmarks: No Beige Bikes

Ah, beige. Like the apocryphal story about Eskimos having 18 different words for snow, so do car companies have many, many words for beige. There’s Stone; Bisque; Ash; Caramel; Camel; Smoke; Champagne; Linen; Almond; Shale; Sepia; Buff; Sorrel; Harvest; Sky Cool Gray and one for the fellas: Alloy. Those are just the interior colors. For the hard candy shell, Lexus sports Truffle Mica, Audi has a Beluga Brown, Porsche offers Cognac Metallic and Toyota, without irony, shows off its Toasted Walnut minivan.

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How Does It Work: 2019 Yamaha Niken + Videos

Hopefully, you watched the video above to get you in the mood to learn more about the 2019 Yamaha Niken. Back in October 2017, we got our first look at Yamaha’s three-wheeler via the Tokyo Motor Show.

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BMW R1200RT With New Boxer Engine Spied

Spy photographers have spotted a new BMW R1200RT undergoing testing with what looks like a new Boxer engine and other minor changes from the current model.

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2018 Yamaha MT-07 First Ride Review

As the rain made its way between my mismatched waterproof motorcycle gear and we climbed in elevation through southern Spain’s pristine backroads, I thought to myself, there still isn’t anywhere I would rather be at this moment than atop the 2018 Yamaha MT-07 in the Spanish countryside.

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MO Wrenching: Bleeding Brakes After Long-Term Storage

Modern technology is great and all, but there was once a time when you couldn’t just Google something or watch a ‘How to’ video on YouTube demonstrating the proper technique to do whatever it was you were trying to do. There were books back then, and these places called libraries were full of them. Fortunately, printed, hard-copy books are still around, and there’s a certain variety of them called manuals that any motorcycle, or vehicle owner for that matter, must own to accompany whatever type of bike they have.

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Five Things You Need to Know About Motorcycle Insurance

What’s the least fun thing to spend money on? Insurance. It costs a bunch of money, and then you don’t really get anything for it… until you need it. But then, you really need it. So yes, it’s no fun, but you should have it anyway. Here are some basics if you are new to this very-not-fun, yet very-necessary product.

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American Chopper's Paul Teutul Sr. Files For Bankruptcy Days Before Show's Revival

Remember the days when stretching a custom-built chopper as far as the eye could see while arguing with your kid could land you a sweet TV deal that would span more than 10 years? The Teutuls do. American Chopper debuted in 2002 and at its high, was bringing in 3.4 million viewers an episode. Times were good for the motorcycle industry, you could be building choppers, stretching swingarms, or simply selling motorcycles to anyone and everyone.

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2018 Alta Motors Redshift MX and MXR First Ride Review

We’ve all heard about them, talked about them, and maybe even looked them up on Google, but in the end, most of us probably figured a full-size electric dirtbike is an expensive and impractical novelty motorcycle only those with deep pockets could afford to add to their toy collection… until now. Alta Motors has just released an upgraded 2018 Redshift MX model as well as its all-new Redshift MXR, and we finally got to throw a leg over both, not only to see if they lived up to the hype, but how they stack up to their gas burning rivals.

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Whatever: It's a Small World After All

Hello. Is it safe to stick my head up out here yet? Yes, it’s true. Big Dirty Sean Alexander and Kevin Duke have Left the Building (not that MO actually has a building) – also our compadre Scott Rousseau from sistership Dirtbikes.com. As the wise man once told me on my way out the door, don’t think of this as a door closing, but as another one opening. Ahh… why not? The bad news is we don’t get to work with those guys anymore. The good news is they’ll be fine; Duke’s already slogging away making videos for a large marketing company with oceanfront offices – his strong suit, really. The other good news is that my direct deposit is still depositing. C’mon, that’s a joke. I’m gonna miss those big lugs.

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6D Helmets Introduces Its Revolutionary ATR-2 Off-Road Helmet

Just like anything else, motorcycles are continually evolving and getting lighter, faster and more powerful with each passing year. Despite improvements to how well bikes handle and perform these days, having an accident and crashing is always a looming threat that can never be eliminated, only mitigated. Fortunately for us riders, there are engineers working hard to keep our heads and bodies as safe as possible so we can continue to enjoy riding motorcycles both on- and off-road with confidence in knowing that we have the best chance in decreasing the amount of damage a potential crash can cause.

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Tyler Channels Evel Knievel, Fails

Surely there’s some kind of online calculator that can tell you how far apart to place the take-off and landing ramps when you’re attempting to jump an ’87 Harley-Davidson FXR? If so, our hero failed to consult it: Who knew a thing that big could fly so high and far off of a ramp that didn’t look like it would stand up to the launch in the first place? Our hero really did stick the landing, but walked away in spite of it, and lives to fly another day.

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Top 10 Features of the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400

When Kawasaki redesigned its smallest Ninja for 2018, the engineers went back to the drawing board and while the motorcycle on your screen may look like a revision in styling, the Ninja 400 has, quite literally, undergone changes from the ground up.

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