In This Issue
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.