COVER

The Honda CRF250L Rally and Kawasaki Ver­sys-x 300 at camp high above Cal­i­for­nia’s Pa­cific Coast High­way.

Motorcyclist - - Contents - —Ari Henning

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.

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