In This Is­sue

Motorcyclist - - Contents - —Chris Can­tle

we’re at our best when we push against bound­aries. We feel and smell the dirt when we pick our­selves up out of it, like off-road ed­i­tor An­drew Ol­dar was obliged to do af­ter he slid across a Utah road, on page 4, and like con­tribut­ing ed­i­tor Zach Bow­man did as he traced the shift­ing shape of Bears Ears Na­tional Mon­u­ment, on page 34.

Shinji Kazama, the ad­ven­turer and ex­plorer fea­tured on page 42, has left tracks through the Sa­hara, the Arc­tic, and up Ever­est. As a young­ster, Thad Wolff— fea­tured on our cover and on page 82—wanted to make the swap from dirt bikes to road­rac­ing. He went on to spend the early ’80s rac­ing su­per­bikes, a pri­va­teer along­side a gen­er­a­tion of leg­ends. It doesn’t take be­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary to re­de­fine bound­aries, but it helps.

Some­times the lim­its we face are as sim­ple as the lan­guages we speak. And, as con­trib­u­tor Aaron Richard­son dis­cov­ered on page 98, rid­ing and wrench­ing can wash them away faster than any trans­la­tion.

Bound­ary cross­ing comes nat­u­rally to us be­cause mo­tor­cy­cling is an act of re­bel­lion. In choos­ing two wheels, we thumb our bug-spat­tered noses at lux­u­ries like air con­di­tion­ing. Or doors. Cars are more con­ve­nient. Air­planes are faster. Al­most every­thing is sta­tis­ti­cally safer. It begs the ques­tion: why?

We’re con­fronted with the an­swer ev­ery time there’s a leap in tech­nol­ogy, or we ride in a new place. We are el­e­vated by our ma­chines, by these com­plex yet ephemeral ob­jects, their el­e­men­tal met­als on loan from the Earth and des­tined to re­turn to it (page 50). The bonds we have with our mo­tor­cy­cles are tied up in that con­spir­acy: That when it comes to push­ing bound­aries, there’s noth­ing bet­ter.

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