I found The Zen Motorcyclist blog today. I was not aware that Bud Miller was the same as the guy in RoadRunner Magazine.
Anyway, he has posted a version of the article he had in Roadrunner back in July 2016. It is about the lessons one learns in riding motorcycles and how to share them with others new to bikes.
There were a couple of great quotes and I recommend reading the whole thing, but below was my favorite
I’d tell him that the confidence he gains from riding will reach into other parts of his life and that things which have always scared him no longer will. He’ll grow to fear no situation, person, or circumstance; he’ll come to realize that the obstacle is the path. “Motorcycles will make you formidable,” I’d say.
I wholeheartedly agree. When I am out on my bike, especially in bad weather, looking for a historical point of interest that no GPS is going to guide me to, I feel strong and formidable. I have more gumption, more discipline, and more drive than in any other part of my life. The bike is my steed and I am a traveler that needs no excuse, no introduction, no reason to exist. I just am and that makes me happy. I think that exploring historical battlefields helps with this feeling. I can imagine what life was like at that time. I can imagine the conditions. I can get the feeling of being part of history, not just reading about it.
This would be a fun trip. I’d like it even more if it had a Ho Chi Minh trail element to it.
Image Credit: See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
This is why I love my Suzuki V-Strom 650. This point from Motorcyclist reader Dean Zatkowsky/ Ojai, CA is exactly the way I feel,
Since it has proven to be the perfect motorcycle for the boring rider I really am (as opposed to who I imagine I am while ogling your magazine)
I bought the bike based on a lot of articles like this. The V-Strom 650 is a light and care-free bike that needs little to keep it going. It handles a passenger well when someone wants a ride and that same capability lets it haul a lot of camping gear in line without huge panniers hanging off the side.
I got rid of my big adventure bikes and move to this 650 for the road and light off road travel and a Honda CRF 250 L for my off road riding. Both of them bought new cost less than one of the big adventure bikes.
As you can tell, I’m very happy with mine.
On my recent trip to follow the Nez Perce Trail, I rode the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway. The route from Oxbow Dam to Joseph, Oregon along National Forest Road 39 (USNF-39) was especially cool. Don’t miss the short turn off to go up to the Hells Canyon Overlook for a panoramic view over the canyon. If you ever find yourself in the area, take a day and ride / drive the whole thing. You will not be disappointed.
The image above is one I took from a high point overlooking Hells Canyon National Recreation Area not far from the Hells Canyon Dam.
Here is an interesting article on the emissions problem of big 650 singles and their decline. I like what Chris Scott said.
“I am definitely over 650 singles as they are now,” Scott says. “On the dirt, the big single power pulses make nadgery sections awkward where the CB-X twin rolled through smoothly. A single of 450 or less or a twin up to 650 will do me nicely. I can see myself flitting between the two in the coming years.”
That is pretty much where I have landed with my 650 V-Strom and CRF 250L. However, if this article is correct, it will be sad to see the cool old thumpers go away.
I’m wondering if we have reached maximum trendiness on Adventure bikes? (note I say “trendiness,” not usefulness) The LA Times talks a little about this in this article. I wouldn’t mind it if it meant the prices would go down a little.
I know they are right when they talk about guys who buy these bikes to farkle them up and show them off the same way guys do with 4X4s. However, I have always liked to buy a good solid bike that needed very little to conquer the limited amount of off-road riding I do. The main reason I have always liked adventure bikes is how much fun they are to ride. They ride high generally and the pegs are well off the ground so you can get some good sway in the twisties. When riding in England, you could pass the sports bikes on roundabouts while knocking helmets almost. They can handle a little dirt and gravel and they are generally built very well with good access to the stuff that needs to be maintained. They look good dirty, so I don’t have to clean them very often.
I kind of view mine like an old pick up truck and I pack it like the Beverley Hillbillies.
Lots of great rides on this 2006 KTM 950 Adventure from 2008 to 2012. 2006 was the last of the carbureted KTM Adventures. France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Spain, the Pyrenees, and all over the United Kingdom. I had to sell it before moving to the USA, but, boy do I miss that bike. Probably the best I ever owned.