Whether taking a motorcycle road trip in North America, or to sparsely populated areas around the world, it will be made easier with good planning and forethought. The items included in this packing list are ones that my husband and I have found to come in handy if traveling through even rural and lesser populated areas. [Read more…] about Essential Items to Pack for a Motorcycle Road Trip
I’ve had several loves in my life but few to equal my 2004 Triumph Bonneville; Emma Peel Out. Named after the fabulous female super spy from The Avengers Emma and I started hanging out in the fall of 2004.
How My Crush Started
Ever since watching Steve McQueen in the Great Escape ride a TR6, jumping and crashing border fences between Nazi Germany and Switzerland, I’ve dreamed of owning British Iron. I’m surely not alone here and this scene probably inspired millions of kids to start riding. Speaking of kids, these days, riding a Bonneville is a great way to meet guys in the 57 to 70 year old age bracket. [Read more…] about My Love Affair With a Motorcycle: Triumph Bonneville
With oddly named motorcycles like the Dirt Squirt, Combat Wombat, and the Road Toad, Hodaka managed to create a good looking dirt-bike with a cult-like following. Hodaka only manufactured motorcycles for about 10 years as a joint venture between a Japanese and U.S. Company. Even in that small amount of time, they left behind a recognizable legacy.
The Beginning of Hodaka
In the early 60’s, Pacific Basin Trading Company (PABATCO), a subsidiary of Farm Chemicals located in Athena, Oregon was looking to export its products outside of the U.S. At the same time, Yamaguchi Motorcycles was looking to follow on the success of Honda and begin importing motorcycles into the U.S. market. [Read more…] about History of Hodaka Motorcycles
Norton is an iconic brand of the classic café racer styled motorcycles made famous in the 50s and 60s. Like many British companies that were big around that time, they were hit hard in the U.S. market by the Japanese manufactures and bad management, eventually having to close their doors. Yet thanks to individuals who refused to let the brand die, Norton has made a comeback and is now finding a new generation of fans and followers for its classic motorcycles as well as lovers of a new generation of Nortons.
The Early Years
Originally founded in 1898 by James Lansdowne Norton, the Norton Manufacturing Company produced bicycle parts. Yet, with a level of engineering savvy, James quickly moved into the motorcycle market. In 1902 Norton began manufacturing motorcycles. The first motorcycles used an aftermarket engine made in France and Switzerland. Then in 1908 they began using an engine of their own, and Norton was on its way. [Read more…] about History of Norton Motorcycles
The Italian motorcycle manufacturer, Moto Guzzi, built their first prototypes in 1920, with production starting in 1921. Since then, every type and style of two-wheeled transport has been made, including mopeds, scooters, commuters, cruisers, tourers and sports bikes.
Although the company has changed hands a number of times, the original factory at Mandello del Lario continues to produce iconic machines, focusing on large capacity models with V-twin engines fitted across the frame.
Ducati, Harley Davidson and many others make V-twins, but these are in-line models, where one cylinder sits behind the other. In recent history only Honda, in the late ’70’s, copied Guzzi with their transverse engined CX500 and CX650 bikes. [Read more…] about Classic Moto Guzzi Le Mans Motorcycles
As explained in Classic Moto Guzzi Le Mans Motorcycles, the the Le Mans 1000 series ran from 1984 to 1993. They are not talked of with the same reverence attached to some other motorcycles of the era such as the Ducati 900SS. But, if you are looking for something affordable, practical and a bit different, the Le Mans is worth considering as an alternative to British bikes of the 1960s.
Unlike them, the Guzzi foot pedals follow the modern convention of gearchange on the left, brake on the right, so riding is easier for motorcyclists used to today’s machines. New, genuine spares are available via distributors in Britain, the Continent and North America. Fasteners are to the metric standard, so in Britain and mainland Europe they and the tools to fit them are in abundance. Another plus point for those on a budget – thieves tend to pass these bikes by in search of more fashionable pickings, resulting in lower insurance premiums. [Read more…] about Owning a Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000