Gary Ilminen Contributes 600 Articles to Ultimate Motorcycling
It kind of crept up on me as reality often does when you’re having a great time. The realization that I recently had the privilege of having article number 600 for Ultimate Motorcycling posted on the site was humbling and gratifying.
It also made me realize that taking time to say an emphatic “thanks” to the remarkable people that make an enterprise such as this not only happen but thrive is in order.
As near as I can tell my very first article for Ultimate Motorcycling was a review of the Icon Overlord Prime riding jacket back in November, 2012.
In the more than six years since, I had the opportunity to not only do a range of product reviews including covering the roll-out of the new Triumph Thunderbirds in 2014, but to tackle technical topics like:
- Strange noises your motorcycle makes—and what they may mean
- Things you need to know about motorcycle tires
- Motorcycle batteries
- Drive chains
- Spark plugs
- Maintenance & repair
- Why maintenance is more when than Zen
- How to rebuild one of those hydraulic clutch activators
- Technical aspects of gear like helmets and the standards that apply to them
- How well the U.S. DOT standard works
There has been the unique opportunity to take a look at less-often covered aspects of motorcycling such as a look at the top five rare motorcycles and the top 10 strangest and most innovative motorcycles of all time and what hot dogs, Hydra-Glides and Willie G. have in common.
This aspect of my writing opportunity with Ultimate Motorcycling has led to insights into some of the great “what-ifs” in motorcycle history, such as Harley-Davidson’s jaw-dropping Nova bikes of the 1970s and the nearly-produced BSA Fury and Triumph Bandit DOHC 350 twins.
There has been the chance to take a look at some of motorcycling’s land-mark makes and models like the Vincent big twins, the Ducati V-twins, the early Honda V-4s, the Henderson fours, the Rickman-Enfield 750 Interceptor, BMW’s R90S, Honda’s CB750, the 1947 Indian Chief, the Norton Commando, Harley-Davidson’s Sportster and others.
Writing for Ultimate Motorcycling has afforded me the opportunity to meet and/or interview some of the great and interesting personalities in the motorcycle domain. Folks like Roger Donaldson the writer, director and co-producer of the hit film about Burt Munro, “The World’s Fastest Indian,” and Burt Munro’s son, John were kind enough to share their thoughts.
Land-speed record holder and co-founder of Motus Motorcycles, Lee Conn did the same for me back in 2014 after I had the opportunity to meet him at the Bonneville Salt Flats. And only this past summer I got to meet two remarkable flat track racing champions Jared Mees and Michelle DiSalvo at the S&S Cycle 60th Anniversary Rumble at the Ranch! I even got to share the stage with one of motorcycling’s true literary luminaries, Peter Egan.
True to the spirit of motorcycling as an adventure, a lifestyle and the source of ultimate fun, the editorial leadership of Ultimate Motorcycling has let me loose on some flights of fancy and a let me take on topics with a little tongue-in-cheek angle. We expounded on what might make the dream helmet, what makes the best motorcycle model name—and the worst, and the top 120 non-profane motorcycle terms you need to know.
We even got down to shack-happy motorcycle syndromes and their cure in our piece on the Blue Plate Blues and Chrysler Marine’s ancient cryotherapy for mid-winter motorcyclists in the form of a Sno-Runner restoration and how to end the season in the saddle, even when there’s deep snow.
The great crew at Ultimate Motorcycling has been supportive and encouraging in my successful run for a motorcycle land speed record at Bonneville in 2014 and helped me tell the story as a new record-holder. The story of all the record attempts grew into a book in 2017 and Ultimate Motorcycling’s President, Arthur Coldwells was terrific in writing a Foreword for the book. Our Online Editor, Ron Lieback wrote a great review of the book.
Ultimate Motorcycling also gave me the chance to do something that I don’t believe has an equal anywhere in the world of motorcycle publications be they online or in print, that has been christened Rider’s Library.
In Rider’s Library, we give readers reviews of both the latest in motorcycle literature as well as retro reviews of classic motorcycle books, many of which are rare and out of print. I’ve had the privilege of writing many of those reviews and for that unique opportunity, I thank Ultimate Motorcycling for giving that feature a chance.
Check out the reviews at: https://ultimatemotorcycling.com/community/riders-library/
To have a look at the collected articles for Ultimate Motorcycling that comprise that 600 total, see: https://ultimatemotorcycling.com/author/gary-ilminen/
Writing articles about motorcycles, events, history, products and the people who ride is a dream come true for me. Being able to do it with these folks, the best friends I’ve never met, makes it even greater.
So, to Arthur Coldwells, Don Williams—who helped get this whole thing started for me by patiently perusing my earliest pieces, good or bad—Ron Lieback the versatile, skilled Online Editor I get to work with on an on-going basis and all the other great people who make Ultimate Motorcycling the very best on two wheels—thanks. And most of all, to everyone who reads all the great content on the Ultimate Motorcycling site, whether you ride or not; thanks to you all!