The 200,000-mile Ninja

Hang around online motorcycle forums any time at all and soon enough you’ll see someone post a request for advice that reads something like this: “I’m thinking of buying this sportbike. It looks clean and the owner seems like he takes care of his stuff, but it has 20,000 miles on it. Is it used up? Should I be worried about the high mileage?”

Only in America is 20,000 miles on a modern, liquid-cooled, high-quality motorcycle considered “high mileage.” So it was with great pleasure that I wrote this story about Willard Huedepohl and his 200,000-mile Kawasaki ZX-9R. Instead of explaining that a well cared for 20,000-mile sportbike is closer to “not broken in” than “used up,” I can just tell them to click here.

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Motorcycle 101

motorcycle campingAlong with the touring stories, personal profiles and articles about one-of-a-kind customs, some of the stories I’ve written for Accelerate magazine have been practical, how-to pieces. Though I’m no master mechanic, I have learned some helpful tips during a lifetime of riding, from how to prep your bike to how to pack for a long tour on the road.

Here are some of those how-to stories:

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Thanks for the sunshine, November

A November motorcycle rideNovember in Ohio can bring absolutely anything, in terms of weather. One year, I watched my wife’s nieces and nephew play in the piles of leaves in our backyard on a sunny, 70-degree Thanksgiving Day. I’ve seen snow on Thanksgiving, too.

So when November throws us one of those good days, I take advantage. Continue reading Thanks for the sunshine, November →

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The most beautiful rides of the year

West Virginia Route 16

West Virginia Route 16.

On those crystal days of autumn, when the air is just the right temperature to comfortably wear the gear and the leaves are hitting their peak, there is no better time to ride, just for the sake of breathing a deep gulp of nature’s beauty and celebrating the feeling of being alive.

And to relive the feelings of those few and fleeting days of fall, once they’re gone and the harsh slog of winter is upon me, I make sure to take photos. Just for the fun of it, here are a few photos from this fall’s rides. Continue reading The most beautiful rides of the year →

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90k

In the grand scheme of motorcycling, it wasn’t really that big an accomplishment. But still, when my 1997 Triumph Speed Triple rolled over 90,000 miles yesterday, I stopped to take a photo. Continue reading 90k →

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The ride continues

These are the very first words in my book, The Ride So Far, in the preface:

Odds are, if you’ve picked up this book, then you’re just a little excessively interested in motorcycles, like me. You might say that I had no choice but to write it, because after spending such an inordinate share of my finite time on this earth thinking about, talking about and writing about motorcycle stuff, I had to do something with all those words.

on the road

The ride continues. See you on the road.

A few people who enjoyed my book asked when I’d be writing the next one. I answered, truthfully, that I’d used up all my good motorcycling material in the first one.

But as I also said, at the end of that preface, I titled the book The Ride So Far because “I’m not done yet.” I knew there would be more rides, more things to talk about. Maybe not worthy of a book, but more to say, for sure.

So now, a year after the book hit the market, I’ve created this space to share a few tales and photos and discuss some of the things that matter to those of us who love to ride, and mystify the other, more normal members of our society. Because I’m not done yet and the ride, I’m happy to say, continues.

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