PHOTOS: Joe Gresh
Running the high road out of Estes Park, Colorado through Rocky Mountain National Park a motorcyclist has to stay alert. On each scenic turn the pavement is squirming with hundreds of human jaws recently detached from their awestruck owner’s grisly temporomandibular joints. The scenery is that spectacular Big Daddy and I’m going back for a second look just as soon as I get finished typing this blog.
Our Victory motorcycle sponsored, Strip-to-Chip gang is one man shy as Greg Drevenstedt had to fly out of Denver to go do some real work. You scorecard should now read: John Flores (Rider), Rusty Creed (Allstate), Manny Pandya (Victory) and me.
Greg, John and Manny are good riders: the only reason I glued my big, Victory Cross Country mega-cruiser onto their tails was to uphold Motorcyclist magazine’s canyon-carving honor (there’s a lot of pressure having a Henning on staff). Greg was our most violent rider so the pace has slowed to a less break-neck speed. Call it crick-in-the-neck velocity.
We also had a quick game of musical motorcycles and when the music stopped I landed on the bright yellow Cory Ness Special. This bike (number 003) has loads of Ness-Tique: tribal graphics, custom milled-looking wheels, scalloped shifter and brake nubbins and blacked out chrome bits for a busy housewife’s no-iron, mop-n-glow lifestyle. For audiophiles, higher quality speakers grace the front faring and for assiophiles, a suede covered custom seat hides the rear frame rails.
The begotten son of Arlen, Cory giveth and Cory taketh away. In this case you lose the heated rubber handgrips for non-heated scalloped aluminum which is kind of bad and several inches off the windshield height, which is kind of good (if you’re short). Taken in totality, as if Victory would let me part the thing out, I liked the Cory Special best.
I didn’t get to keep the CS long though, as I failed the musical motorcycles blood doping tests and was relegated to the metallic blue Cross Country. Truthfully, there’s not much functional difference between the bikes.
The heat rose and the highways straightened in Nebraska. Rolling into Sturgis was a right pain. Thousands of motorcycles jammed the roads from every direction and I was relieved when we finally pulled into Victory’s owners-only parking area on Lazelle. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go have a look around.