Saturday, 27 May 2017

Motorcyclist's Bridge to Nowhere

I'm enjoying the new format of Motorcyclist magazine.  It's one of the few US bike magazines I make a point of getting.  They write smart and with a Californian perspective that is very positive and engaging.  Their new graphics format is like nothing else out there.  They also take risks with their stories.  In many other magazines you feel like you're reading the same reviews and comparisons over and over again.  Motorcyclist is like Bike UK and what Cycle Canada used to be in that you know you're reading something unique.  I think that has a lot to do with them focusing on getting the best writers rather than the most industry connected people they can find.

In the last issue they had a bit on towing a dirt bike into the desert using another motorcycle.  It was a bit silly, kind of like a bridge to no where, but I could appreciate it from a more bikes is good perspective.  Having said that, I have to question the logic of trying to go car-less this way.  Towing a trailer means you've lost all the benefits of splitting lanes (try to imagine you're somewhere sensible like California) and, you know, riding a motorcycle.  They said at the end of the article that chucking the dirt bikes in the back of a truck instead of trailering them and towing them with two touring bikes would have been easier, but I think there is an even better way to make that all motorcycle ride into the desert.

Things you don't see anywhere else. It's a story of excess, exhaustion and a lot of motorcycles.

The KTM 690 Enduro weighs only a couple of dozen kilos more than the 250 dirt bikes used in the story.  You get great wind on it while on the highway, unlike the hot and sweaty touring bikes used, and best of all the KTM costs about $27,000 Canadian less than a CRF-250X and a Goldwing.  I bet it would take you across the sand and up the mountain they went to in the article as well.

It'll take your camping gear and you don't need to slavishly fulfill two motorcycle style requirements, so you can leave your ever so fashionable heavy leather touring gear behind.

That's a long, hot slog through the desert - two ways.

If the point of the exercise is to get out there and back on two wheels, something like the KTM would have done the business, though it might have been a bit less dramatic doing it.  The highways would have been full of wind blast and the nimbleness of two wheels rather than two towing two more.  The off road riding would have been mighty close to what the 250 dirt bikes could do, and you'd be doing it all cheaper and more enjoyably.

Having said all that, what a great thing it is to see an article so uniquely silly and full of excess.  I'm glad the editor let it happen.

The Swiss Army Knife KTM 690 Enduro.
... and the new ones are in!  If I had fifteen grand free I'd pop up to Ottawa and ride one back.