In This Issue
ADVENTURE HAS always been an integral part of motorcycling. Long before extralarge dual-sports appropriated the word, a sense of adventure permeated the fabric of this two-wheeled world. It’s been a muse and an accomplice since that first prototype engine was bolted to wooden wheels and a saddle, and adventure, in its many forms, continues to be a driving force in motorcycling.
As this issue was coming together, I was impressed by the scope of the experiences that motorcycles have put in motion—recuperative ones, like the day Zack Courts and I spent plying the inclines of Palomar Mountain aboard Triumph’s new Street Triple RS and Yamaha’s FZ-09 for this issue’s feature comparison, to epic outings like our trip to Utah to ride sand dunes. Throttling motocross bikes across the desert was certainly an adventure but so was getting there, considering we opted to tow our off-road bikes behind touring rigs rather than load them into the back of a truck like normal people. That’s an ordeal that was catalyzed by a spirit of adventure, pure and simple, and it’s an escapade that Zack recounts starting on page 52.
Motorcycles have always spurred adventures in speed, as pursued by Mark Bjorklund and his 200-mph, twin-engine “Double Duck” Bonneville racer, depicted in all its salt-crusted glory beginning on page 23. In this issue’s feature exploring The Race of Gentlemen, we learn that motorsports even inspire adventures in time travel.
Many engineering and business pursuits have been motivated by an ambition that seems to be a fundamental element of the two-wheeled world. Greg Hatcher, the business owner profiled in Wrench Room, turned his back on a secure career to build a scooter-parts empire, and he’s having the time of his life. Elsewhere in this issue Motorcyclist’s expert historian, Mitch Boehm, traces the origin and impact of a brief period in the ’80s when a turbocharging fad led Japan’s Big Four to build some truly outlandish machines.
As Mitch’s story reveals, not all adventures are successes, but that willingness to give it a go, regardless of the challenges or risks, is always worth celebrating. We hope that the stories presented in these pages inspire you and stoke your sense of adventure, whatever form it takes. —Ari Henning
Sand Canyon’s soaring heights and grand sights were classic adventure. But, in this case, the journey is what defined the trip.