- Training Schools
- American Supercamp
- Arizona Highway Patrol – Motor Officer Training
- Atlanta Motorcycle Schools
- Donnie Hansen Motocross School
- Ed Bargy Racing School
- Fastrack Riders
- FASTTRAX Racetrack Training
- Frank Kinsey Racing School
- Gary Bailey MX School
- Gary Semics MX School
- Jim Gibson Motocross Training
- Jimmy Lewis Off-Road Riding School
- Keith Code’s California Superbike School
- Kevin Schwantz Suzuki School
- Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic
- Motorcycle Riding Concepts
- Motorcycle Safety Foundation
- Northwest Motorcycle School
- Penguin Road Racing School
- Phoenix Police – Motor Officer Training School
- Puget Sound Safety – Advanced Street Skills
- RawHyde Adventures
- Red Shift
- Reg Pridmore’s CLASS Motorcycle School
- Rich Lafferty Racing Riding Schools
- Ride Like a Pro
- STAR School – Jason Pridmore
- Stayin’ Safe Motorcycle Training
- Team Hammer Advanced Riding School and Track Rides
- Tony DiStefano’s Motocross School
- World of BMW
I wasn’t surprised to see Dave at MCN publish several Letters to the Editor about JIS screwdrivers, as I’d gotten half a dozen emails from people about the article as well. Here are the two that were published. Letters to Editor about JIS Screwdrivers.
I WAS surprised to see that Dave loved the idea of JIS screwdrivers that he went out and bought about a $100 worth of them and wrote an article about the ones he found. Hilarious! Dave’s follow-up review on JIS Screwdrivers
You should enjoy both of these, especially if you’re the geek-type mechanical type.
No article I’ve written in the past year was as fun as this one. Stu Oltman provided the inspiration and I soon realized in talking with several other mechanic types that most did not know of JIS Screwdrivers. I’ve counted at least a dozen people that have ordered these screw drivers after I told them about them. Hope you enoy it. You can read it here.
This month Motorcycle Consumer News published my article on visiting the Ducati factory in this month’s issue. I loved this very large poster hanging between two areas of the factory. The literal translation is: “You are in doubt? Ask”
MCN – August 2012 – Ducati
My feature story on the Dakar Rally in Argentina and Chile appears in the current issue of The Overland Journal. Some diligent friends have found the magazine at Barnes & Noble and at airport news stands. But many have told me they can’t find it anywhere. Not unexpected, this is a super high quality publication that tends to disappear quickly.
But, I don’t want you to miss it for any reason, so here it is!
Overland Journal – Summer 2012 – Dakar Story.
Well, it’s finally arrived – the summer 2012 issue of the Overland Journal. One of its feature articles is my story on the Dakar Rally in Argentina and Chile. In theory it should be on newsstands and Barnes & Nobles and Books-a-million, but I’ve not had any luck finding it. If you want to see it, best to order it.
Besides my article, I found Johan Nilson’s Pole2Pole story and photos amazing! The travel camera comparison article has the best advice on buying a small, light, durable, high-quality camera I’ve ever read. I especially liked that they only tested six “cream of the crop” cameras priced from $400 – $900, and explained the detailed tradeoffs of each.
Andy Norrie, a Staff Sergeant with the Toronto Police Service in Toronto, Canada recently wrote an article on motor officer training. He lists the six R’s of training as keys to reducing risk to officers: Recent, Relevant, Repetition, Realism, Review and Responsibility. You can read the full article here.
What I liked about his article best was his strong argument for officers to do some off-road training. Ever since Gary LaPlante convinced me that street riders who carve out some time to ride in the dirt, become much better street riders – I’ve been spreading that word!
Dirt riders ride with heads and bodies over the handle bars, gripping the tank with their knees with just a light grip on the handlebars. Dirt riders learn to be comfortable sliding the motorcycle around with control. Feeling tires sliding under you is a unique feeling and riding off-road lets you experience that safely under both acceleration and braking. This sensation, learned in a controlled environment, is directly relevant to the street. Dirt riders also constantly read the terrain, scanning ahead and looking where they want to go – another principle perfect for the street.
Read the whole article and then find a good off-road riding school and give it a shot. You won’t regret it. Here’s a link to a PDF of the article you can download. And of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention my article on Gary LaPlante’s off road riding school – which he can especially gear for street riders.
Andy is contemplating a MC ride in this area in the fall. Yesterday I checked it out. West out of Treviso to Trento, then north to Revo. West over passo del Tonale, then Colico at far north end of Lake Como, then down the east shoreline, bypass Milan, through Verona and back home to Treviso. More pictures on my Facebook page.
Maybe this year (2012) I will do a better job at keeping my blog updated. I sure hope so. Looking back and seeing that my last post was on the Dakar trip, I’m overwhelmed with what all has happened since. In short I completed the Dakar article and it will be coming out this summer. When it does, I’ll point to it here, of course.
On the home front, in the attempt to get more garage space I eventually determined I needed to buy a new house with a larger garage. So, in April, we moved to a 2 bedroom house with 5 garages. This 2.5 ratio of garages/bedrooms seems ideal to me and I’m happier than I’ve ever been with my new garage space.
Circumstances allowed for an extended visit to northern Italy this winter. Although a bit cold here (temp is typically between 37 – 41 degrees), it provides the opportunity to visit several of the more noteworthy motorcycle factories here in northern Italy without fighting crowds and standing in lines.
Dakar conclusion: I’ve just arrived back in Cordoba, Argentina for a couple of days of rest and a Malbec fueled recovery, before flying to Santiago on Monday afternoon, then overnight to Dallas and then on to Phoenix on Tuesday morning. It has been an amazing 13 days!
The trip was difficult but exceptionally rewarding. I came into this knowing little about the Dakar race and have come out amazed at the skill, conditioning and nerve of the riders and drivers who compete – they are true athletes. Think Ironman competition, which is a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride followed by a 26.2 mile marathon, all without a break. Now, do it every day for 13 days, often surviving on 4-5 hours of sleep per night, sometimes less, and you have the Dakar Rally.
- Rear motorcycle tires are replaced after every day, because they are shot. Fronts every other day.
- Roughly half of competitors finish. For most entrants, finishing is the goal.
- The same production company that does the Tour de France, does the Dakar.
- The Bivouac area, set up at the end of each days race, is a traveling city of 2,500 people.
- In following the Dakar race, our group frequently shared the road with those competing in the race – the motorcyclists, quads, cars and the trucks. This produced some of the most harrowing parts of this trip, as well as some of the most rewarding. The local population cheered us as we rode though towns as though we were competitors and mobbed us at gas stations asking for autographs and to have their pictures taken with us or on our bikes.
Following the Dakar race, like we did, demands some fraction of the skill and stamina of those that compete. Not all in our group were up to the task, although every one gave it all they had. Each one on the team exhibited courage, stamina and the will to keep going when every part of them screamed to stop and rest. The odometer on my rented BMW 1200GS showed 4,762 kilometers in 9 riding days (we had days off in Iquique and Copiapo), for an average of 530 km/330 miles a day. Several in our group registered well over 5,000 kilometers. Our longest days were when we went over the Andes, the first time on day 2 was east to west, Tucuman to Purmamarca, and it was 456 miles. The second was coming back across the Andes on Day 10 from Copiapo to Chilecito.
Videos that will provide a flavor for the roads can be found on the official Dakar website. Go to the various race segments and then watch a video summary for each category of competitor – motorcycle, quad, cars or trucks. It is probably the best way to get a taste of the sort of terrain being navigated. They’ve also the benefits of half a dozen helicopters equipped with the latest and best camera technology.
Jim Hyde of RawHyde Adventures pulled this trip together. His blog and some excellent photos can be found here.
Will Travis and Adam Sold were the only ones in our group who managed to keep a near daily update on blogs of each day’s event. You can find Will’s blog here. You can find Adam Sold’s blog here. I encourage to take a look at them and post a comment if you have one. I don’t know what I’m more impressed with: Adam and Will’s skill in handling their motorcycles or the energy and stamina required to keep their family and friends updated on such a regular basis?
After a 340 mi first day and a 471 second day, things are starting to heat up. I’m trying out the SPOT Satellite tracker. I’ve created a page (click here) so allow you to see where I am at any moment in time. From the page, you can view the terrain or go to Google maps and see an overlay of my route and waypoints there. I’m hoping it works and looks cool.
Tomorrow we go over the Andes.
If the above did not work, try putting this into your address bar: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0MDE6bPzYBnQmeQuGTDXxhnekUovLAGZ4