The Paris-Dakar rally, a true test of endurance, the ultimate adventure. I’m referring to, of course, the Paris-Dakar of old, when it ran from France to the west African capital of Senegal, Dakar. It was a time when men were men and women were women and the rally itself was more of an adventure, where “winning” was simply finishing. The rally has changed a lot since its inception in 1978. Now, the incredibly competitive teams are hell-bent on racing through the South American Dakar rally stages at break-neck speeds to ensure their spot in Dakar history whilst backed by chase vehicles full of sponsorship money.
After riding 5,000 miles through the Western States on CSC’s RX3 mini ADV motorcycle I figured the gig was up for me: Motorcycle manufacturers are usually left unsatisfied and hollow feeling whenever I butcher a motorcycle review. On that ride the RX3s ran fine and had nothing else to prove. So who’d be crazy enough to foot the bill for another long distance 250cc ride?
From the moment that the 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour was only a product of the rumor mill, we knew that it was going to be a big deal. After all, how many manufacturers can claim to have a model in continuous production for 43 years? This also means that there was tremendous pressure on Honda to make sure that the newest Wing had the proper acknowledgement of the model’s storied past while still being a radical enough update to carry the bike into the future. We here at Motorcycle.com think that Honda succeeded.
When I first saw Indian’s photos of the updated Chieftain line, I immediately thought of the presentation during the 2015 Indian Scout introduction. During his speech, Gary Gray, Indian Motorcycle Product Director, said that with Indian’s initial models under Polaris ownership, “we needed to earn the right to change the brand. So, how do you earn the right? You pay the deepest respects you can for the brand, and you pay honor to the people that came before you, and you build a bike that people clearly will see as an Indian.” All of the Indian models prior to the Scout were classically styled in a way that harkened back to the company’s early history, the nod to the past that Gray referred to.
In addition to the new FXDR 114, three Custom Vehicle Operations models and updates to its touring models, Harley-Davidson announced some significant updates to its trike lineup. In fact, apart from the FXDR which is brand new, the 2019 Harley-Davidson Tri-Glide Ultra and Freewheeler received the most updates of the company’s offerings for the coming year.
On a humid and hazy southern California morning our cast of misfits began to stir to life from all stretches of the LA basin. Showers were had (by some), coffee was made and consumed, gear was donned. We seven fortunate souls set out on what would be our first true challenge of the next 72 hours, the first gauntlet that our machines would be subjected to, weekday traffic in Los Angeles with a destination of none other than Starbucks. The unofficial meeting place of adventure riders the world over, yet, for so many, the journey’s end before it ever even begins.
The Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations line continues to showcase the most exclusive and advanced motorcycles the Motor Company can offer, with higher end finishes, paint and technology. Getting the CVO treatment for 2019 are the Limited, Street Glide and Road Glide.
This week you might notice Motorcycle.com being a little quieter than usual. The reason is because most of the MO staff are out riding in our Sorta Annual Big Adventure Bike Shootout. For 2018, we’ve gathered seven of the biggest and baddest adventure machines out there. The plan? To put them through their paces on both the pavement and the dirt. To prove we’re serious about the dirt part, each of the contenders here comes to us with wire wheels, except for one, which we’ll get to in a moment.
Few other images of motorcycling have captured the psyche of riders and non-riders alike as much as that of a resolute motorcyclist hitting the open road for parts unknown. For Americans, it appeals to the lore of the rugged individuals that conquered the American West. Touring on a motorcycle is about as good as it gets – no matter what type of machinery you ride. Spending days out of the cities on remote rural highways is something every motorcyclist has dreamed about.
As long as there’ve been motorcycles, there’ve been lusty moto-savages setting out not just across the country but around the world, beginning at a time when paved roads were almost as rare as free Wifi hotspots, when cruise control consisted of knowing your shipping timetables, when Gore Tex was what charging cape buffalo did to your buddy from Dallas. When heated grips meant your exhaust was too close to your leather saddlebags, when… you get the picture. Here are ten such lusty brave adventurers (11 actually, and one mom), in no particular order and completely subjective, with apologies to guys like Helge Pedersen and Andy Goldfine (who are already household names), and even Louis and Temple Abernathy (lead image) because they preferred to travel by horse.
About the time you’re sophisticated enough as a rider to bungee on a milk crate and hit the road for a day or three, it’s time to start thinking about what to bring along – that fine line between overpacking and wishing you’d brought your dang ____________. Here’s a quick list of the things we hate to be stuck without when the fickle finger of fate pokes us in the eyeball.