While my experience pales in comparison to some of the guys who have been in the motorcycle writing business full-time for decades, I have had the chance, thanks to my work in the industry, to ride a lot of different motorcycles. I’ve lost count of exactly how many. But I am pretty sure the number of motorcycle brands I’ve ridden is 14. I’ve ridden singles, twins, triples, fours and a six. Chain, belt and shaft drives. American, Japanese, British, Italian, German and Indian. Gas and electric.
Riding is one thing. Buying, however, is another. Perhaps because I’ve had the chance to borrow many bikes, I’ve bought fewer than some people who have been riding as long as I have. I’ve only owned 10 motorcycles and almost all of them were purchased used.
You can learn a lot about a rider by seeing which bikes he or she is willing to plunk down money for, but I think it’s equally telling to consider the ones we almost bought but didn’t. I have some very specific memories of motorcycles that got away. Continue reading The ones that got away: Motorcycles I didn’t buy →
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency thinks motorcycles raced in the MotoAmerica series, the top professional motorcycle racing series in the United States, are illegal. Superbikes, Superstock bikes, Supersport race bikes — all of ’em, illegal.
The EPA says Roger Hayden’s Suzuki GSX-R1000-based superbike is illegal, just like all the other bikes raced in the MotoAmerica series.
Same goes for that modified Mazda Miata your friend races in SCCA, by the way.
If you have a track-only bike you take to track days and you’ve modified the exhaust, airbox or reflashed the ECU, the EPA says that’s illegal, too, even if it never rolls a tire onto a public street or highway.
All those companies like Dynojet and Bazzaz selling fuel-mapping hardware or companies selling full “race” exhaust systems? They might as well shut down. Selling that stuff is illegal, too.
What’s this all about? Deeply buried in documents released months ago by the EPA are provisions that explicitly contradict a decades-old understanding: that emissions regulations don’t apply to motor vehicles that are not operated on the public roads. Now, the EPA says that was never the case. All along it has been illegal to modify an emissions-certified car or motorcycle for competition use. And by the way, the fine is $37,500.
Continue reading The EPA thinks most professional motorcycle racing in the U.S. is illegal →