The tweet says it all: #summerisgone Part 2

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Nicky Hayden to World Superbikes — two years too late?

Nicky Hayden at Indianapolis

Nicky Hayden signs an autograph for a young fan at the 2015 Indianapolis Red Bull Grand Prix, which turned out to be the last MotoGP race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hayden’s last MotoGP race in the United States.

Nicky Hayden is leaving MotoGP and going to the Superbike World Championship for 2016 and sounds about as happy about it as a little kid sent to his early bed time while his older siblings get to stay up late and continue the birthday party. Continue reading Nicky Hayden to World Superbikes — two years too late? →

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The tweet says it all: #summerisgone

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Lunch ride to the old warehouse down by the big ditch

The Warehouse restaurant

The Warehouse in Roscoe Village.

One of my favorite lunch rides, especially this time of year, is to the old warehouse down by the big ditch.

Really, it’s a lot better than that description sounds.

The Warehouse Steak N’ Stein gets its name honest. The 1830 building really was a warehouse in its early days, and the Steak N’ Stein part of the name it inherited from another roadhouse restaurant the owners ran for years outside of Zanesville, Ohio. Today, the building offers a cozy and casual atmosphere, in addition to the burgers, chicken baskets, salads, flatbread pizzas and other menu items, including the signature onion rings that made the move from the old Steak N’ Stein.

Aside from good food, two other key elements make The Warehouse worthy of a lunch ride: Fun motorcycling roads lead there, and it’s part of an interesting, picturesque and even educational destination.  Continue reading Lunch ride to the old warehouse down by the big ditch →

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The Versys finally lets me down

As I wrote in my post Four years on a Kawasaki Versys (and the previous Two years on a Kawasaki Versys), this inexpensive bike has been a reliable ride.

I guess it had to end sooner or later. There’s one common problem I know of with this model of motorcycle, and it finally bit me, a little over five years and 53,450 miles into the journey.  Continue reading The Versys finally lets me down →

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The Indian Scout is a Sportster killer

When I first saw the Indian Scout on paper, I expected it would be a Sportster killer.

Indian Scout

The Indian Scout brings some modern performance to the classic looks of an American-made cruiser.

After riding it for an afternoon in a variety of conditions, I still believe it will be a Sportster killer. I also found out that it has the potential to kill my lower back and butt, if I were to ride it the way I ride, which includes long days on the road. There’s a lot to like about the Scout, and a few things not to like. I almost feel like the weak points aren’t really the bike’s fault, but rather compromises the engineers had to make to fit the conformist and rigid styling demands of the cruiser world. So let’s take a look at this important new model for Indian, which is now under Polaris ownership, and sort out the good and bad. Continue reading The Indian Scout is a Sportster killer →

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How to make tires last forever

track day

The Daytona 675, dressed for the track.

OK, if I really knew how to make motorcycle tires last forever, I could earn motorcycle sainthood. For those of us who ride a lot, especially on high-performance bikes, tires are our biggest expense.

I admit: I can’t make tires last forever.

But, after riding a track day at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this week, I’m pretty sure I left with more rubber on my tires than when I arrived. That’s not necessarily a good thing, but here’s how it happened. Continue reading How to make tires last forever →

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A fine vintage, but not what it once was

1947 Indian Chief

A beautiful 1947 Indian Chief poses in the bike show at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days 2015.

Back around 2006, when people were sure that real estate prices were going to go up 20 percent a year minimum, forever, and therefore lots of people thought it was a brilliant idea to take out a HELOC to buy an extreme, $40,000 chopper that was almost impossible to ride and was so uncomfortable you couldn’t stand to go further than the nearest bar, I remember seeing an epic traffic jam at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.

I worked at the AMA at the time and I remember the PR guy telling me that traffic was backed up all the way from the entrance to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course into the nearby village of Lexington, Ohio. All those people were trying to get into our event. It was a good problem to have.

Of course it wasn’t much later that things changed. Continue reading A fine vintage, but not what it once was →

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