It’s not every day we get to ride at a storied moto-track like Red Bud Track ‘n’ Trail in Buchanan, Michigan. Home to a long-running AMA Motocross National each July 4th weekend (this year’s will be the 38th annual), the venue recently hosted the press intro for the 2012 Kawasaki KX450F, and our resident Vet-class motocrosser Brian Catterson attended along with contributor Karel Kramer. In two days of riding Cat eventually cleared all of Red Bud’s massive tabletop jumps (though seldom on the same lap), but he balked at the 120-foot LaRocco’s Leap. That’s Jeff “Four-Time” Emig doing the honors in the accompanying motor-drive sequence. Emig acknowledges that local hero Mike LaRocco was the first to clear the massive step-up on a 125, but claims that only he did it during the races! Check out the video on www.motorcyclistonline.com to see what that much airtime looks like from the saddle.
Building Milwaukee, One CB160 At A Time
Aaron Frank folds into the Port Washington Pirates’ Honda CB160 he raced at Road America’s Vintage Motorcycle Classic in June. The gorgeous machine was one of five built by local high-school students participating in BUILD Milwaukee, a mechanical mentorship program. Frank finished fourth in a field of 25 fast and well-developed AHRMA lightweight racers—an impressive debut for a machine tuned by 15-year-olds! Look forward to a full story in an upcoming issue.
Ah, the glamorous life of a moto-journalist: riding exotic motorcycles, taking tips from professional Superbike racers like Geoff May, meeting world-famous motorcycle designers … then adjusting their collars. In addition to testing Erik Buell Racing’s 1190RS for this issue, Aaron Frank also played stylist during the photo shoot—after he finished detailing the bike, which was doused in an early-morning thunderstorm. It’s a small price to pay for the privilege.
Mini-Trails To You
Honda has Motegi Collection Hall, George Barber has a little museum you may have heard of and Tim Carrithers has a rapidly decaying metal shed, from which hath emerged a significantly less decrepit 1972 Honda CT-70K1. Inspired by Joe Gresh and the shimmering hope of a more substantial Tuff Shed in which to work—no room in the garage—Motorcyclist’s Antelope Valley Desk is electric with mouse-clicks and phone calls of the resurrection process. With security and sporadic moral support from Cadbury T. Dog, initial inspections reveal the need for at least two fresh decals, one carburetor rebuild kit and a fresh battery. Progress will be steady if not swift. We’ll keep you posted...
Our favorite drummer/lyricist Neil Peart has released a new book, Far And Away, a collection of blogs from his personal website (www.neilpeart.net). Motorcyclist Editor Brian Catterson is mentioned a couple of times in the tome, having tagged along as Peart rode from show to show on the last few Rush tours. Cat even got credit for his photo of Neil parked in a Colorado blizzard (in July!), though the one photo he appears in he’s largely obscured by Neil’s oversized noggin. Friggin’ rock stars…
Managing Editor Andreanna Ditton doesn’t get out of the office much, so when an opportunity to attend the press preview for the Petersen Automotive Museum’s “Scooters: Size Doesn’t Always Matter Exhibit” came up, she jumped at the chance. Scooters may not get you anyplace quickly, but they do get you there in style, and this exhibit shows why these step-throughs are favorites all over the world. Featuring some 90 examples, the exhibit covers their inception as utilitarian transpo’ through being dropped with paratroopers in wartime to their current status as retro-fabulous fashion accessories. The blue-and-white Lambretta at left is a classic example from an era when Mods rocked, and rode on two (very small) wheels.
Look closely at the cover of the 2011 Aerostich/RiderWearHouse catalog and you’ll see photos of not one, but two Motorcyclist staffers. Editor Catterson is pictured astride a BMW R1100S parked next to the legendary black mailbox of Area 51 UFO lore (at the time repainted white), while just below him Art Director Joe Neric strikes the classic astronaut pose with helmet under arm. Guess Andy Goldfine thought they had “the right stuff”!
Coming Next Month
It was the 47th time they’d had the conversation: “Is that the new BMW six-cylinder? How do you like it?” Jamie Elvidge and Brent Ross (yes, that Brent Ross) were in the middle of a four-day, high-mileage tour-test, comparing the latest in Bavarian luxury-touring iron against the iconic, freshly updated Honda Gold Wing. Their route was a squiggly doodle across Tennessee, the Carolinas and Georgia—an area so thick with motorcycle enthusiasts they could hardly ride for fielding questions. “You’ll have to read the October issue of Motorcyclist to find out,” they’d tell the wide-eyed lot. “The results may surprise you.”