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TOURING

The First Sturgis

Rediscovering the ride Cross country on a ’38 Chief Imagine if you had the chance to buy a ’38 Indian Chief that had been ridden to the first Sturgis Black Hills Rally and Races. And what if there were an entire portfolio of black-and-white photos to document that ride? You’d probably be eager to check out that bike, wouldn’t you? ...

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Arizona Highways, Flyways, and Byways

Road trip! Volcanoes, cacti, snakes & Wyatt Earp Scottsdale, Ariz., Apr. 27—You’re probably sitting there with a hot cuppa joe or a cold frosty libation and all set to do some exciting armchair Arizona highway traveling. You’ve seen the pictures of the blissed-out riders barreling through the red rock and cactus-choked landscape. Looks like motorcycle heaven, you might be thinking. ...

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Laconia touring alternatives

The roads less traveled Routes you should know about (but probably don’t) New Hampshire—It should come as no surprise that more people are spending Laconia Motorcycle Week riding the roads of New Hampshire than partying at the Weirs. During this week, specific routes are transformed into biker expressways—complete with traffic jams—while others remain practically deserted. It was a motorcycle traffic ...

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The other Indians

More than just motorcycles Hendeeville history is hiding in the archives Springfield, Mass.—The Hendee Manufacturing Company was formed in 1898 to manufacture bicycles. Its Indian brand became world-famous, then legendary, but in the process it has often been forgotten that the company made more than motorcycles. I realized that in the name Indian we had a winner for bicycles. When ...

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Touring to and through Boundary Dam

Power trip Views, wildlife and great roads For my family, summers in the ’60s involved a crew of scrawny kids piled into the rear of a 1958 Ford Country Squire traveling from Seattle to Oklahoma and back again. Our route took in National Monuments, a few dusty ghost towns, and dams; lots of dams. I still recall sound echoing off ...

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Cooking on two wheels

Gourmet road fare— the old school way Have pan, will travel Roasting marshmallows and hot dogs over an open fire. Munching on a bag of trail mix while sipping a hot cup of herbal tea. This might be your concept of a camp meal, but at my next campsite, I’ll be whipping up Potato-Pasta Paradiso or risotto with wild mushrooms ...

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Motorcycle Cannonball endurance run

The Rain Man of vintage bikes Lonnie Isam had an idea Have you heard about the Motorcycle Cannonball scheduled to take place in September? A bunch of nuts—I mean vintage motorcycle devotees—are set to ride their pre-1916 scooters from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to Santa Monica, California. Anyone who scoffs at the idea of this ancient iron making the coast-to-coast ...

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Gloria Tramontin Struck

Still ridin’ after all these years Inspiration on—or off—two wheel It should be easy to grab your attention by starting this article about Gloria Tramontin Struck with the startling fact that she’s an 84-year-old churchgoing grandmother who lives to ride long-distance on her ’04 Heritage Softail Classic. And while that’s all true, after speaking extensively with Gloria, I’d be a ...

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A two-wheeled history tour

Bicycles to motorbikes—and back 140 years of shared legacy The convergence of two separate developing technologies gave birth to the motorcycle at the beginning of the 20th century. One “parent” of the motorcycle has been written about in previous issues of Thunder Press (“The History of the Internal Combustion Engine,” Jan. 2009 and “The Benzine Motorcycle,” Dec. 2008, both available ...

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When motorcycle companies took to the skies

Radials and rotaries Aircraft engines push the motorcycle envelope Jesse James built a custom chopper with a transverse-mounted, modified seven-cylinder, 110-hp Rotec R2800 radial aircraft engine; JRL Cycles in South Dakota used the same type of engine, but mounted it in-line. (I can only imagine the sideways torque on the former and the cooling problems on the latter, but neither ...

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