Every summer, just before our Motorcycle of the Year issue hits newsstands, it comes time to present the winners with their trophies. The trick is setting up these meetings in a way that doesn’t give away the results. This year, Editor-in-Chief Brian Catterson duped the Kawasaki peeps into giving him a tour of their new museum (open to the public, BTW), while Editor-at-Large Aaron Frank told Erik Buell he had “something cool to give him from the magazine.” Replied Buell: “It had better be a $5000 sponsorship check, so our team can afford to buy tires for the rest of the season!” Turns out it was something even more valuable. Suffice it to say that Buell and Kawasaki President Takeshi Teranishi were pleasantly surprised, and the awards are now proudly displayed in each manufacturer’s trophy case.
As one feckless moto-journalist after another pounded a perfectly innocent Triumph Tiger 800 XC into the San Diego County dirt in a saga of bike butchery to make the angels weep, our man Jack Lewis wondered: “Why had anyone worried about the campout, when obviously the main challenge was simply getting to the campsite beer coolers with bikes and limbs intact?” Jack failed the test, and will now have six weeks to learn how to hold a beer can on crutches.
One Picture = 12,660 Frequent-Flyer Miles
You’ve probably wondered how we come up with tricky tracking shots like this one of Tim Carrithers on the 2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650. It’s got nothing to do with smoke, mirrors, dodgeball or Joe Neric’s black belt in Photoshop. First, fly to Croatia. Then, cram one fearless photo-grapher into the trunk of a Suzuki Kizashi, along with a fluffy hotel towel to prevent painful body damage. Roll down a picturesque two-lane alongside the Krka River and snuggle up to the car’s bumper as your shooter assumes various painful-looking positions whist framing up the perfect shot. Easy? Nope. Safe? Not for you. Is one shot really worth all that? Absolutely.
Translation, please? “We are all Eric Cartman.” If Croatian graffiti is a universal language, the 227,456 residents of Split are embodied in a short, fat, egotistical, racist, sexist fourth-grader from South Park, Colorado. As Cartman himself says, “This sucks, I’m going home…”
Nothing in Reserve
As Jack Lewis relates in his column this month, he squandered the winter writing a book. Nothing in Reserve: True Stories, Not War Stories is based on his experiences as a soldier in the Iraq War. We’d give you a thumbnail sketch, but our review copy apparently got lost in the mail. To get the lowdown, visit www.jaxworx.com.
Hey, isn’t that the editor-in-cheese on the red carpet? Except, um, it’s blue. Yup, thanks to Harley-Davidson providing motorcycles for the new Captain America: The First Avenger movie, Cat got to play paparazzi during the premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. Harley donated a white V-Rod that was autographed by the various celebrities in attendance including Robert Downey Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson, which will be auctioned off to benefit Disabled American Veterans. Those are co-stars Chris Evans and Hayley Atwell plus Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee in the accompanying photos. Fun flick: Critics are calling it the best comic-book superhero movie since Spiderman, and who are we to disagree?
Summer of Love
It’s been a hot, busy summer at Motorcyclist’s Key West Desk. First, British Petroleum’s blown offshore oil well flooded the Keys’ fishing industry with hush money. Oil? Love it. Then, Chinese fishmongers swept in and bought up every live lobster that ever crawled into a trap. Wholesale prices shot from $3 to $12 per lb. in a year the lobstermen are calling “Hell Yeah!” What’s this got to do with motorcycles, you ask? Simple trickledown economics: Environmental disaster + The $Yuan Dynasty awash in U.S. dollars = Joe Gresh earning gas money for a trip to New Mexico! Albuquerque, hide your wives and daughters...
Road Test Editor Ari Henning’s annual summer trip to his hometown in Massachusetts means seeing the family, visiting friends—and riding his 1982 Honda MB5. The little 50cc two-stroke was recently restored in California, transported east in the trunk of a friend’s car and now serves as Ari’s primary transportation during his visits home. The little MB5’s five-speed transmission and 50-mph top speed make it a perfect match for the winding backroads of Cape Cod, while also preventing Ari from getting speeding tickets on both coasts.
Going… going… gone!
Whoever said photo modeling looks easy has never been told to slide a shiny, new BMW G650GS sideways in silty sand. Though the bike fared remarkably well, it took Ari Henning a while to get all the sand out of his shorts and Joe Neric learned a valuable lesson about nailing the shot on the first pass.