Crash Of 2011?
Boys will be boys, and toys will be broken! This issue’s “Class of 2011” sportbike comparison saw a couple of our test riders hit the deck. First, Road Test Editor Ari Henning clipped a curb on the new Kawasaki ZX-10R and lost the front end, fortunately doing mostly cosmetic damage. It didn’t help that he did it right in front of the boss. Then, guest tester Matt Samples got spit off the Ducati 1198SP under braking, damaging the formerly pretty, red machine beyond repair. Ironically, his good buddy Aaron Frank was first on the scene. Thankfully, neither rider was injured—credit their fitness and the quality gear they were wearing.
“Don’t feel bad, I crashed a Ducati in ’07. Oh wait, you crashed one in ’09, too…”
“Too bad that thing doesn’t have traction control on the front tire, huh?”
When Kawasaki granted Motorcyclist an “exclusive opportunity” to attend the making of its latest TV commercial, we had to wonder if that was because we were the only ones who said yes. It’s always interesting to go “behind the scenes” on a big-scale production, particularly when the spot showcases a Pro racer doing unbelievable things on a motorcycle. But this time the setting was a faux wedding reception, during which the best man—wearing a lime-green tuxedo—got up to give a toast, spouted something about “Kawasaki’s Good Times Sales Event,” then donned a helmet and crashed through a table full of champagne glasses. Oh well, at least they fed us…
That's Not a Pillow!
Jamie Elvidge loves to travel, making Honda’s “Planes, Trains and Motorcycles” themed introduction of the 2012 Gold Wing a perfect assignment. After flying into Orlando, Florida, the journalists and their testbikes were loaded onto Amtrak’s Auto Train for a 17.5-hour trundle up to the Washington, DC area (www.amtrak.com/autotrain), followed by a three-day backroad tour of Virginia, the Carolinas and Tennessee. The event was seasoned with tourist attractions, including a behind-the-scenes look into the world of Disney, a private tour of the extravagant Biltmore Estate in Ashville and a run up the infamous Tail of the Dragon on the North Carolina/Tennessee state line. As if that wasn’t enough traveling, Jamie hung around a few more days to compare the Wing to the new BMW K1600GTL. Look for her full report in an upcoming issue.
Three-up in the Third World: Aaron Frank almost looks like a local scooting to the beach with his daughters Kiva and Ruby during a recent family trip to Goa, India. Wife Emily was left behind—four-up travel requires a motorcycle, so one kid can ride on the tank.
Change of Plans
What do you do when a pivotal part of your Multistrada snaps at 7:14 a.m. Saturday morning, exactly 35,728 yards short of a heavily anticipated breakfast at the Green Valley Café? Mrs. Carrithers channels her frustration into the family American Express Card with a trip to Home Depot. Tim channels his into the desiccated remains of a Carolina Laurel Cherry tree that’s been uglifying the yard since it froze to death last winter. Ninety minutes later the couple has one more hanging plant, one less dead tree, two trash cans full of kindling and a shifter pivot bolt en route from Ducati. It’s not exactly hot coffee and huevos rancheros, but there’s always next Saturday...
Sands Of Party Time
Sacre bleu! Is that a Ducati Desmosedici dirt-tracker? Yup, and where else would you spy that but at the grand opening of Roland Sands’ new design center in Los Alamitos, California? With his father Perry’s company Performance Machine having been sold to the MAG Group, Roland needed to find some new digs for his burgeoning business. And where better than a 6000 square-foot, two-story building that previously housed a Designer Hardware outlet? Look for big things from the former AMA 250cc Grand Prix Champion, including new parts and apparel lines. And look for that Desmo at the Indy Mile...
Shortly after winning a race at April’s Corsa MotoClassica at Willow Springs, Motorcyclist contributor Ed Milich debuted his new book of short stories and prose, Fueled (www.fueledbook.com). He then embarked on a West Coast book tour, reading his stories of “crusty men, rusted motorcycles and a $600 Moto Guzzi that won Daytona” to curious audiences in Long Beach, Portland and Seattle. Motorcyclist columnist Jack Lewis joined the tour in Seattle and read from his new book, Nothing in Reserve. A note to the tour hosts: Some degreaser and a brush should take care of the oil stains…
Coming Next Month
Check out the September issue of Motorcyclist for our annual Motorcycle of the Year awards. What will it be: Aprilia’s World Superbike Championship-winning RSV4 APRC with launch, traction and wheelie control? BMW’s high-tech K1600GTL with its six-cylinder engine and self-adjusting headlights? Ducati’s game-changing Diavel power-cruiser? Kawasaki’s budget superbike, the $10,999 Ninja 1000? Or something else entirely? Tune in next month…