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Blog Posts by: Tim Carrithers  

  1. 439 pounds of pure German attitude

    After 175 cold, soggy miles on BMW’s (relatively) affordable demi-sport, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions. It’s a bit small you aren’t. And if you’re over six feet tall, the optional tall seat really isn’t an option. To be fair, shorter gearing in the top three cogs and a ...    Read more

  2. 2012 Yamaha Super Ténéré

    Even for those of us who aren’t buying into energy vortices, harmonic convergences or getting wrapped in spirulina algae for 75 minutes and pounded like cheap flank steak by somebody named Moon Flower, Sedona is a stunning little chunk of Arizona. If you’re more interested in bashing around on a ...    Read more

  3. 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 1000

    We just had quick 160-mile go on Kawasaki’s 2011 Ninja 1000, and anybody who’s been around long enough to remember the first overweight, under-sprung Ninja 1000 from 1986 can officially forget it. This one is completely different. If you’re looking for something more agile than a ZX-14R with more humane ...    Read more

  4. The Albion Inn

    Pub culture. It's an oxymoron in the States and an institution in the United Kingdom, albeit an increasingly endangered one. After a fair amount of wandering around the walled city of Chester on my first visit to England, I stumbled into at least one obstinately authentic example. No T.G.I. McFriday’s ...    Read more

  5. I am not a Luddite.

    I am not now, nor have I ever been a Luddite. There’s nothing wrong with old and simple. Take me for instance, or my 75 Yamaha RD350B. But fresh technology is a beautiful thing when it works. There’s a 46-inch flat-screen television bolted to my living room wall, where a ...    Read more

  6. 2010 Honda VFR1200F Update

    Those who read Motorcyclist on any quasi-regular basis probably remember how much our Aaron P. Frank loved the automatic dual-clutch transmission version of Honda’s steamy, 1237cc V-4 in Japan. But the basic manual-shift six-speed didn’t exactly hit one out of the old road test ballpark a few months later. Extra ...    Read more

  7. Bigger vs. better

    If the prospective adventure tourist’s first question is which bike do I buy, question number two usually comes down to which BMW GS. If you’re asking me, the next question is standard 1200GS or Adventure? Judged strictly by the numbers or a quick visual once over, the more heavily armored ...    Read more

  8. BMW’s 2010 R1200GS

    BMW’s brochure copy is 99% right. Neither rain nor sleet nor snow, rocks, ruts, mud or a deranged hillbilly/rancher could stop the 2010 R1200GS at its North American press debut this week. Only the California Highway Patrol brought us to a standstill. When the CHP says the road is closed, ...    Read more

  9. Stilo means Pen

    After surviving four days and 1000-odd kilometers in Morocco on a BMW R1200GS, I learned a few things. Some I expected. Don’t drink the water for instance. Others, like never leave your native land while an Icelandic volcano with a name nobody can spell is pumping 750 tons of ash ...    Read more

  10. Ducks and pigs and chickens call, animal carpet wall to wall

    I’m flying to Marrakesh this morning. The Red City: former imperial capital of Morocco and home to about 1,070,838 storytellers, water sellers, dancers, musicians and just plain folks there at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. I could tell you why, but that would assume I knew myself. The truth ...    Read more

  11. Little things that make all the difference

    It’s a small thing, really: a thin, stubby blade cast into the tip of the BMW S1000RR key, and every new BMW motorcycle key I’ve seen lately. But if you’re ever tried adding two clicks of rebound damping with a dime – not quite thin enough – because the tool ...    Read more

  12. Marty Smith flashbacks? Crack a cold Coors and call me Monday morning

    For those of us who misspent the mid-70s campaigning a procession of 125 Yamahas, the only thing more loathsome that Marty Smith was Marty Smith’s Honda RC125. Being roosted by a rapid procession of CR125-mounted dilettantes every weekend was bad enough. But watching that Smith guy take the National MX ...    Read more

  13. Finding what was never lost

    It’s the sort of tool you never think about until till you need it, then nothing else will do. I had to pull muffler off my BMW GS to finish one of those 15-minute projects that burns up an entire Saturday morning. The only thing holding me up are two ...    Read more

  14. Yamaha’s 2009 MotoGP Champion on 2010 and beyond

    Maybe you’ve always wanted to know how #46 gets ready for a fresh season of MotoGP, how he feels about the new engine rules or the changes he figures the 2010 M1 needs to stay on top? What keeps his pilot light lit after 14 years of racing? Despite the ...    Read more

  15. Honda’s 2010 VFR1200F vs. The Pump

    Few people have had a look around inside the Palatial Motorcyclist Dyno Room, mostly because it's not much to look at. The guys in the shop where it lives don't have time for guided tours even if it was. We like the loyal Superflow. It gets the job done, ...    Read more

  16. Two wheels, no engine.

    Everyone should own at least one perfect thing, especially these days when the rest of life can be so far from it. I still can’t quite swing the Ducati 1098R or a 4500 square-foot mansionette adjacent to Laguna Seca to park it in, but that’s okay. I ride motorcycles for ...    Read more

  17. Riders for Health Yamaha YZF-R1

    Looking to own a new 09 Yamaha R1 with one-off graphics transcribed from one of Valentino Rossi’s most famous helmets by Aldo Drudi himself? Perhaps you’d like top-drawer Öhlins suspension at both ends, Roland Sands designer wheels shod with ultra-sticky Bridgestone track day tires, an Akrapovic exhaust system along wtih ...    Read more

  18. What manner of evil lurks under all that filth?

    I treat any motorcycle like it’s my own, regardless of who’s name is actually on the pink slip. But having taken temporary custody of the boss’s XR1200 long-term bike, I find myself being a little more careful than usual. The fact that I actually washed it has nothing to do ...    Read more

  19. Lessons from a modest Monster

    On this, the final day of the oughts, I’ll be seeing off a decade I won’t rewind with any particular fondness. Looking back too long is dangerous anyway. You might hit something. Besides, the only moment I can do anything about is this one. Here’s hoping the decade we’re uncorking ...    Read more

  20. I get what I knead

    The obligatory buildup that started shortly after Halloween is winding down. Fewer ads pushing the Scooby Doo Chia Pet. Less mass hysteria in every mall parking lot. We’ve seen all the Christmas Specials, from Charlie Brown to Rudolph, Frosty and the Grinch. Aim your dish just right and some say ...    Read more

  21. Satellite based peace of mind when you’re going solo

    Except for the 2009 motorcycle in the foreground, it could be 1909 out here. The landscape carries a few more scars now, but modern amenities are still few and far between. I left the pavement maybe 20 miles back and aside from that ancient Coors can a few dozen corners ...    Read more

  22. Sliding around the Santa Lucias on Kawasaki’s 2010 Z1000

    To those familiar with the premium motorcycle pavement draped over the mountains of California’s central coast, two roads always seem to be near the top or the bottom of the list, depending on skill and general point of view: Nacimento-Fergusson and Santa Rosa Creek. Rough, narrow, dirty and genuinely twisted ...    Read more

  23. Give me a simple shed and a 660 Ténéré

    For reasons the evening news always seems to reinforce, Henry David Thoreau’s words keep bouncing around inside my skull. “Our life is frittered away by detail,” he said “Simplify, simplify, simplify!” I’m starting small by his standards, just trying to figure out what sort of motorcycle would fit best into ...    Read more

  24. I have seen the enemy and he is nuts.

    I hate this time of year. Not because of the looming holiday gauntlet I’ll be running for the next six weeks. It’s not so much because I get endure another discontented winter watching my beloved 49ers circle the drain. It’s a seasonal affective disorder though, triggered by shorter days, longer, ...    Read more

  25. Ducati’s 09 Streetfighter

    By the time an actual 09 Ducati Streetfighter showed up in our garage, I’d already decided not to like the thing. Pictures really didn’t do it for me. And the whole idea of a de-fanged, undressed 1098 sounded like sawing off a Caesar Guerini shotgun: tragically inappropriate and potentially dangerous. ...    Read more

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