The sixties were drawing to a close when promoter Edison Dye trespassed on American Hare Scrambles with a form of off-road racing he imported from Europe. Dye had convinced a number of European riders to cross the pond and compete in an exhibition series to introduce the sport to America. The sport was called Motocross and dirt biking would never again be the same Stateside. (Click image to enlarge)
We were riding across the Golden Gate Bridge, the sun setting pale orange through the rolling fog bank. It was cold and my hands were well past numb. I was 19 and had just ridden my Honda Scrambler 160 up the coast from Los Angeles. Each time a semi-truck passed, the wind swelled, sending us sliding sideways toward the railing that separated us from the churning sea 300 feet below. It didn't matter. With each passing juggernaut of the road, her arms encircling my waist gripped tighter.
In 1953 the Kronreif, Trunkenpolz, Mattighofen Motorcycle Company entered their first racing activities, the fifth running of the Gaisberg competition, and finished with first, second and third place honors. Fifty years later, KTM—as the manufacturer is now known—has emerged as a modern builder of high-quality, reliable, exceptionally well-engineered motocross, enduro and supermoto machines. They are also the motorcycle of choice by the majority of the two-wheeled field in the Paris/Dakar Rally, taking top honors the last few years in the world's ultimate endurance race.
If the old racing adage, “what wins on Sunday sells on Monday,” carries any truth, there must have been a lot of foot traffic in Honda dealers this year. Riding the CRF450R, Honda rider Ricky Carmichael did the unthinkable, winning every race of the 2004 AMA National Motocross Championship—a perfect season. Anyone who knows the level of talent and the caliber of machines that line up at the starting gate each weekend at those races understands the statement Honda has made with their race-bred 450cc 4-stroke.
Looking to spend a couple of days playing in the dirt? Well, look no further than MotoVentures. Located just 30 minutes from Temecula, Calif., owner Gary La Plante has 300 acres of private land for you to indulge in everything from Trials to Motocross, as well as taking an extended tour on the dual-sport motorcycle of your choice.
Need to get away? The off-road tour of breathtaking Baja California, Mexico is the kind of ride that will continue to create amazing memories for years to come. Book a 4-day, 5-day or 7-day tour with the Chris Haines Motorcycle Adventure Company, and your trip comes wrapped up and ready to go.
Louis Vuitton—as a purveyor of custom luggage and expensive bags, and owner of elite subsidiaries such as Donna Karan, Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon, Hennessey, Givenchy, and Tag Heuer—is one of Europe's most profitable groups, yet is not too proud to maintain links with the concours and retro-rally scene.
As I was riding down Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, which joins the central California's El Camino Real (aka US 101) with the Cabrillo Highway (aka California State Route 1), I suddenly realized I had forgotten I was on a motorcycle.
While rightly much has been made of Ricky Carmichael's recent triumphs on the Supercross and motocross tracks of America, it is always wise to remember our past heroes, even when they are not that far in the past. Live Nation commissioned artist Steve Posson to craft a bronze statue of Jeremy "Showtime" McGrath, the winningest racer in AMA Supercross premier class history, with 72 wins and seven championships at the close of the 20th century.
Francesco Quinn proves the apple does not fall far from the tree, as the son of screen legend Anthony Quinn brings his unique intensity to the forthcoming Quentin Tarantino-produced biker flick, "Hell Ride". Something of a hellion himself, Francesco races motocross and street bikes, is a spokesman for the Motorcycle Industry Council, travels the world making movies, and puts in over 300 miles weekly on his road and mountain bicycles. He shared his thoughts on the demon steed he commands in the film.
Astride the metal horse conferred upon me by my hosts, I looked down from my vantage point into the valley formed by the crater of a dormant volcano. But a few hours ride from the medieval city of Kumamoto in Southern Japan, I was certain the ghosts within the walls of the city's fortress had followed us here.