The Honda CRF250L Rally and Kawasaki Versys-x 300 at camp high above California’s Pacific Coast Highway.
in pulling together stories, photos, and other content for each issue of Motorcyclist, the staff is often guided by a theme. In this issue, that theme is summarized by the idea of “frontiers.” A frontier can be a physical boundary, or it can represent the highest achievement in a given discipline.
Advancing achievement is a mainstay of competition and serves as the motivation for the racers shown in the opening pages of this issue. Deeper in the book we dedicate 10 pages to this year’s Isle of Man TT, an event that sees top riders lapping the 37.7-mile road course at an average speed of 130 mph. The TT is viewed by many as the most demanding, dangerous, and prestigious motorcycle race in the world. A frontier indeed.
Geographic boundaries—the most traditional interpretation of a frontier—played into our two feature stories, first along California’s central coast where ocean and mountains bound in the Pacific Coast Highway, which this summer is closed to through traffic due to road damage. Exploring an alternative route aboard Honda’s CRF250L Rally and Kawasaki’s Versys-x 300, Zack Courts and I experienced a new landscape of fire roads and truck trails. Following that dual-sport comparison is the harrowing story of Carmen Gentile and Nish Nalbandian’s efforts to extricate a battered Ural sidecar from the war-ravaged city of Mosul. In Iraq, boundaries are everything; they determine whether you are safe or in danger, whether citizens live under a subjugating caliphate or a free democracy.
All of us face limitations of some sort or another, but Paul Pelland’s has a name: multiple sclerosis. Paul is featured in this issue’s Me & My Bike column, and his story will make you question the constraints of diagnoses and question the need to maintain modern Yamahas. In our last-page Megaphone column, we hear one person’s point of view on the subject of limiting our own recreational frontiers.
In some way or another, every story and photo we’ve included in the magazine you now hold in your hands represents the idea of “frontiers.” After all, motorcycling is all about exploring, pushing limits, and crossing boundaries.
At the Isle of Man, racers push themselves and their machines to the absolute limit. Here, Englishman Martin Jessopp rides on the boundary of control and chaos.