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Showing posts from March, 2017

What it's Like to Crash a Motorcycle

“Damn it. John Burns thinks I’m a dick.”
That was one of the predominant thoughts going through my head as I slid down a Florida highway at 60 mph back in March.
It’s weird how the mind works. Time slows in a crash. Every tiny image burns into memory, so your brain can replay it over and over and over at night for the next who knows how many weeks.
In the moments before I crashed, I was riding the Harley-Davidson Street Rod along County Road 34 in central Florida. I’m not sure which county. The accident report simply records it as “County Code 61,” but the internet can’t agree on which county that is. Maybe I was in Indian River County; maybe I was in Suwannee County; maybe I was in Flagler County; I don’t know. I guess it doesn’t matter; I was somewhere. The road passing through that somewhere was long and straight – not the sort of place where one usually crashes – and the weather was perfect.

“My God, I am so happy,” I was thinking. “I am so incredibly lucky to be here – to live t…

Review: 2016 Triumph Street Triple

NOTE: This is a review of the previous-generation (675cc) Street Triple. I will be test riding the new generation at some point this spring.
Before recently throwing a leg over the 2016 Triumph Street Triple I had never before harbored a desire to do so, despite the accolades it’s received over the years.
The bike is revered in its native Britain. First introduced in 2007 as a little-brother version to the streetfighter-styled Speed Triple, it spent the next almost-decade being a big seller in Blighty and has earned a fair few fans elsewhere. The unabashedly 1990s styling of both the Street Triple and Speed Triple is polarizing, though, and I’m one of those folks who falls on the side of thinking it is ugly as sin. But a motorcycle is a motorcycle and all motorcycles are good. So, when an opportunity came up to spend some time with the 675cc inline triple I definitely wasn’t going to turn it down.

Fortnight With a Triumph
I ended up getting to spend two weeks with the Street Triple, r…

Review: 2017 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited

Back in autumn Harley-Davidson chose Washington state as the backdrop for the unveiling of its overhauled touring line-up (Read my reviews of the Road Glide and the Street Glide), but the company had considered holding the event a little closer to Milwaukee headquarters: in the St. Croix Valley, on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. Had they done such a thing it would have been daring and appropriate.
If you’re not up on your U.S. moto geography, that’s Polaris turf. When Indian Motorcycle employees or dealers from around the world visit Polaris HQ in Medina, Minnesota, they are often treated to the the gentle curves and forested vistas of the St. Croix Valley. So, as I say, a Harley press launch there would have been ballsy. But it would have made sense, too, because the new four-valve-per-cylinder Milwaukee Eight puts Harley on equal footing with Indian when it comes to the battle of which big V-twin is best. Nowhere is this more true than with the 2017 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited, w…