Motorcyclist - - In This Issue - —Chris Can­tle

“DIBS ON BIKE.” Those were con­tribut­ing editor Zach Bow­man’s words af­ter learn­ing we’d be rac­ing a pair of su­per­charged Kawasaki su­per-tour­ers across land and wa­ter for this is­sue. With fron­tiers of tech­nol­ogy and per­for­mance to ex­plore, and the stun­ning red-rock canyons of south­ern Utah laid out as in­cen­tive, Bow­man—a grown-ass man—ef­fec­tively licked his weapon of choice like a kid lay­ing claim to a cookie. And I get it. There’s some­thing about this hobby that re­wards re­duc­tive think­ing. A trust that, at its core, mo­tor­cy­cling it­self is the right an­swer. That even de­void of tech­nol­ogy, there’s al­ways good­ness to be had in a ride. Zack Courts ar­gues that case well in this is­sue as he takes a lap in the moun­tains astride three tried-and-true dual-sport ma­chines, all of which hit the mar­ket be­fore the in­ven­tion of the mod­ern in­ter­net. Imag­ine the 1987 Ford Mus­tang or the 1993 Honda Pre­lude gleam­ing brand-new un­der deal­er­ship lights. It says a lot about mo­tor­cy­cling, and our val­ues, that these bril­liant old dual-sports are still avail­able for sale to­day.

Re­gard­less of your mo­tor­cy­cling tribe, those val­ues are universal. We all live for a hand­ful of throt­tle, for feel­ing the bike trem­ble right at the edge of ad­he­sion. From the mo­tor­cy­cling women of Babes in the Dirt, ob­ses­sively pho­tographed by Ye­lena Sophia on page 15, to the lu­natics at Biltwell who took on Baja with an ob­ses­sively pre­pared Sport­ster on page 86, to the ra­zor pre­ci­sion of rac­ing great John Sur­tees’ AJS racer on page 42, the feel­ing is the same: On a mo­tor­cy­cle, we are es­sen­tial.

That’s why “dibs on bike” is never the wrong call.

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