Motorcyclist Highlights from the July/August 2017 Issue

Framed: A Motorcycle Photo Diary

The best shots of the issue Framed and highlighted for you. A tribute to the 2006 MotoGP world champion and American roadracing hero, Nick Hayden. Big powerful photos that capture the spirit and inspire you to ride, race or set out on your next motorcycle adventure. Save them for your desktop or mobile phone.

Motorcycling lost an icon this past May.

Nick Hayden: 1981 - 2017Andrew Wheeler

Motorcycling lost an icon this past May when Nicky Hayden, 2006 MotoGP world champion and American roadracing hero, succumbed to injuries sustained in a bicycling accident in Italy. Hayden was a man of humble beginnings. He started racing as a boy and rose to the highest station by way of unwavering determination and focus. His bold riding style and palpable spirit made him one of the most relatable and beloved riders in the sport. Fans cheered for and admired Hayden, competitors respected and feared him, and everyone will miss him. Godspeed, Nicky.

Trained desire: Road Atlanta 1993

Nicky Hayden (69) demonstrates the same focus as a preteen that ultimately led to a MotoGP world title. Back then, Hayden and older brother Tommy (9) were backed by Houston-based Southwest Motorsports. “When I look at that photo, the first thing I think about is Nicky putting it to Tommy,” ex-racer Danny Walker says. “Nicky set the bar for determination at a very young age.”Bob Hartman

In His Element: Laguna’s Turn One

"When I first shot MotoGP at Laguna Seca back in 2005 and 2006," says career photog Andrew Wheeler, "I noticed how Nicky attacked turn one." When Wheeler attended round nine of the World Superbike Championship at Laguna in 2016, he had it in his mind from the beginning to shoot photos that would be difficult to get but worth it. So he headed to Nicky's stomping grounds, the 160-mph brow just after start/finish.
"I went to the inside of turn one and simply watched the path of the motorcycles as they'd suddenly appear—and disappear just as fast," he remembers. "And even though the success rate was low, I was finally able to capture a shot of Nicky riding the crest of one of the corners he always appeared to be a master of."
Andrew Wheeler

World's Best Motorcycle Roads: Needles Highway, South Dakota

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally attendees looking for a picturesque day ride often head south to Black Hills National Forest, where Needles Highway takes them through Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park. An official National Scenic Byway, the 14-mile section of Route 87 is notable for its sinuous turns, low tunnels, and eponymous granite spires. It's a striking combination that inspires gratitude for engineers who ignored critics declaring the road impossible right up until its completion in 1922—one year before the South Dakota Historical Society's Doane Robinson proposed the carving of four presidents' faces into nearby Mount Rushmore.South Dakota Tourism