Every motorcycling parent dreams of their child expressing interest in the sport. For me it started with a request to be taken for rides on the back of my bike, but then one magnificent day, she asked, “Can I learn to ride?” I’ve always wanted my kids to be interested in riding, but I was not going to pressure them. I’ve supported them in their interests (from ballet for my oldest to competitive gymnastics for my youngest) and tried to avoid pushing them into mine. So, when my 13 year old asked me, I sprung into action. What I didn’t know is that I would end up learning almost as much about myself and my daughter as she did about riding motorcycles.
The team and I have been grounded longer than usual this year. It’s not all bad. Some of us actually enjoy being with our family, and it’s given us time to complete those long-standing projects around the house while simultaneously creating new ones. That said, it’s only a matter of time before the antsy feeling of wanderlust starts to creep in. Nothing quite satiates a much-needed break from the day-to-day (especially the day-to-day of 2020) like a lil’ camping and a lil’ motorcycle riding.
Remember back in the good ol’ days of 2019 when we were gathering en masse, kissin’ hands and shakin’ babies? I do. Well, way back in September of last year MO had the opportunity to test three new Kawasaki motorcycles: the street-legal KLX230, and the off-road only KLX230R and KLX300R. Shortly after, as is usually the case, my reviews went live on Motorcycle.com to tell you all about the KLX230 and KLX230R. Why wasn’t the KLX300R included? Because I was only able to spend a third of one day riding it and honestly, I believed it deserved a more thorough test because it really is a compelling motorcycle for what I think could be a large audience, and at the low price of $5,499, it becomes even moreso.
My first crash on a motorcycle was a highside. I knew not as to why I had flung over the handlebars like a circus acrobat. I had never ridden a bike before, so my skills on one were very subpar. That was until I went to Coach2Ride, the school that gave me my first step into exercising my passion to become a proficient motorcyclist.
Is it just me or are you glad the MotoGP season finale at Valencia is over? Finally we can stop talking about the Rossi/Marquez/Lorenzo drama (or can we?), congratulate Jorge on winning the championship (even if I do wish Valentino won the whole thing, personally), and start thinking about what 2016 has in store.
The proliferation of modern four-strokes has changed the dirtbike world in a profound yet very subtle fashion. We take today’s high-winding four-stroke MX and off-road engines for granted simply because they have been in the mainstream for nearly 15 years. Today’s thumpers are amazing examples of modern engineering. Technology has made them cleaner, more powerful and easier to ride than the two-stroke machines that dominated the marketplace from the mid-1960s to the end of the millennium.
It’s always interesting to see how cutting-edge technology is incorporated into new motorcycles. Having written about bikes for the better part of two decades, I’ve seen the introduction of aluminum frames, inverted forks, electronic fuel injection, antilock brakes, a proliferation of exotic materials (titanium, magnesium, carbon fiber) and, more recently, semi-active suspensions and traction controls.