Refinement becomes a legend. Anyone who has experienced Michelangelo's Pieta immediately recognizes the will of extraordinary talent to refine its potential and achieve the ultimate result. In the presence of legends, one needs do little except marvel, and learn with delight and humility. When the legends are motorcycling's greatest racers and their warhorses, one understands how they transcend time.
In the Middle Ages, the alchemist's goal was to turn a base metal into gold. If there is a modern day equivalent of a base metal in the motorcycle world, it is quite possibly the Harley-Davidson powerplant. Designed for appearance over performance, the big V-twins from Milwaukee surely excel at their jobs as successfully as a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 powerplant. But then, there are the alchemists. The men who strive to defy physics.
In the right/wrong circumstances, a motorcycle helmet can be the gift of life. No matter what kind of motorcycle riding you prefer, we believe a helmet is an indispensable piece of your riding ensemble.
Low speed riding can be used by cruisers to justify a less-protective helmet that focuses on a lifestyle appearance. The minimalist Bell Drifter retains its DOT approval, and has detail features we appreciate—a rear goggle strap stay, optional ear pads for cold weather riding, and great styling.
With Street Glide inspiration, details on this otherwise Full Dresser were changed to create an elegant bagger that belies its heft. Most obviously, the rear Tour Pak and plush Touring seat have been replaced by only a slim Badlander perch. The windshield is a minimized smoked affair, and whitewall tires are mounted on Harley-Davidson wire spoke wheels. Screamin' Eagle pipes are throaty, without being obnoxious, and help the engine breathe more freely.
In the motorcyclist's constant quest to find the ultimate road, the riches are many in the land of Tennessee. The annual Honda Hoot, now 13 years old, offers a feast where some 15,000 attendees—not all on Hondas—frolic on routes that initiate the newcomer and challenge the experienced. Of note is the infamous Deal's Gap, Highway 129's two-lane Tail of the Dragon, which holds 318 curves, many of the hairpin variety, in just 11 miles. The Honda Hoot is capped by the Knoxville edition of Ride For Kids, supporting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
Triumph's Tiger 955i may present a conundrum for the categorically obsessed. Though tall, narrow and seemingly trail-ready, it is not a dirt bike. The Tiger may be built for comfort, but it is far from a cruiser. And, while minimally terrain flexible, it will never be confused with a dual sport. The Tiger, according to the current zeitgeist of marketing buzzwords, is classified as an adventure touring bike.
Yamaha-Star devotees are no doubt familiar with Jeff Palhegyi's (pronounced pol-uh-jee) prolific imagination. Working with Yamaha's product development team, Palhegyi was instrumental in the development of the Road Star, Warrior, Roadliner and Stratoliner motorcycles. In addition to his work crafting Star production bikes, Palhegyi builds customs, concept bikes, and is responsible for hundreds of the parts found in the Yamaha accessory catalog.