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Stories from the April edition

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  • Canada to Mexico Continental Divide ride, last leg was Colorado Canada to Mexico Continental Divide ride, last leg was Colorado After starting the tour from our home base in Whitefish, Mont., in July 2012, I found out that Buddy and Big Al not only wanted to ride along Montana’s Continental Divide, they ultimately intended to ride the entire Divide from Canada to Mexico.
  • Airhawk seat pad an improvement, maybe not the ultimate answer Airhawk seat pad an improvement, maybe not the ultimate answer Anyone who rides 250, 400, 650 or more miles in a day certainly understands the importance of a quality seat.
  • Is a 1983 BMW R65 a 'classic'? Is a 1983 BMW R65 a 'classic'? Classic motorcycles add a new dimension to owning a bike because they can also tell a story. Classic motorcycles speak for a period of history.
  • Accident aftermath Accident aftermath We were spread out a little so from my position at the rear I sensed nothing wrong until I saw Rider Number-2's brake light come on exiting the second turn of the "S"...and stay on, as that rider veered for the shoulder.
  • Shady Products has 'bikini' covers for riders Shady Products has 'bikini' covers for riders So, what's the answer for the touring rider who wants to pack a cover?; who wants to keep dust, moisture and bright sunlight off the bike when it's parked, but may be willing.
  • Manufacturers locking owners out of troubleshooting diagnostics Manufacturers locking owners out of troubleshooting diagnostics We all wish engineering, technology and manufacturing were flawless but we know better. When something goes wrong with these exceedingly complex machines, owner
  • Manufacturers, dealers now catering to women: About time! Manufacturers, dealers now catering to women: About time! I finally found someone to help me and when I asked to test-ride a used Sportster they had on the floor, the guy looked me in the eye and said, “Girls don’t ride Harleys!”

 

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Riding the fine White Pine Scenic Byway of Idaho's PanhandleRiding the fine White Pine Scenic Byway of Idaho's Panhandle

By Cole Boehler

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo) When touring the White Pine Scenic Byway area, expect miles of roads and mixed riding like this, between Harrison and St. Maries, Idaho.

 

I did a few solo tours of some distance back in the early and mid-1980s: all over the Pacific Northwest, out to the west coast, of course Yellowstone and Glacier Parks, the Beartooth Highway...

But it was in 1990 when we actually did our first group tour: Brother Scott, his very first tour on his first bike, a little 550 Suzuki; sister Mary and her at-the-time husband Pat on their H-D Springer – probably their...

Full Story button for Riding the fine White Pine Scenic Byway of Idaho's Panhandle

dotted horizontal barNRR Standing/Regular features:

  • Best route reviews
  • Rider profiles
  • Business profiles
  • Formal opinion editorial
  • Staff personal columns
  • Letters-to-the-editor
  • Passenger perspective
  • Calendar of events
  • Product reviews
  • Tech talk
  • Safety/technique article

dotted horizontal barComing soon

  • Route Review: Kaslo, B.C., to Newport, Wash.
  • 2014 KTM 1190 Adventure ridden and rated
  • Business profile: Dobeck Performance (Mark Dobeck founded Dynojet)
  • Patented new Dobeck Performance products, including a new-gen dyno
  • Tech Talk: How to maximize Dobeck performance products
  • Rider Profile: Ode to a brother rider, Kirby J. Messer, Moses Lake, Wash.
  • Moto Maids Wyoming event
  • Tech Talk: Telescopic forks need regular servicing
  • NRR rides the new H-D Street 500 & 750 (July)
  • Business Profile: Beartooth Harley-Davidson, Billings, Mont.
  • Route Review: The Grandfather - Beartooth Highway
  • Casper MC Show and Swap wrap-up
  • Wyoming Sweeties on Wheelies rally (July)
  • Alpinestars leather pants
  • Custom leather shop in Laramie, Wyo.
  • Axmaker on safety and technique
  • Publisher column: 'Excessive noise' complaints creating citizen backlash
  • Product Review: Symtec Heat Demons grip heater - next fall
  • Track Day at Miller Motorsports Park (October)
  • Christmas Gift Guide (Nov./Dec.)
  • And who knows what else we'll come up with before deadline!

dotted horizontal barStories from March

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  • Suzuki's SV 650 exemplifies versatility and won't break your bank Suzuki's SV 650 exemplifies versatility and won't break your bank If you are in the hunt for a good used middleweight street bike that is sporty, economical, reliable, durable, lightweight, easy to manage, I suggest you give the Suzuki SV650 a look.
  • Be patient, cautious when it comes to the season's 'first ride' Be patient, cautious when it comes to the season's 'first ride' Worst case, a Northern Rockies motorcycle lay-up can last six months. Here in Montana's Rockies, four or five months is probably closer to average. Best case is three months. Whoa, my motorcycle skills have atrophied!
  • A crash creates very vivid memories ... and learning opportunities A crash creates very vivid memories ... and learning opportunities In about 100 feet, from perhaps 20 miles-per-hour, we were violently slammed to the ground and found ourselves sliding along the dirt and gravel, dust and particulate spraying through my open face shield. There was a lot of noise.
  • Prepare to avoid the mad scramble and holding up the ride Prepare to avoid the mad scramble and holding up the ride There are several logistical components that need attention a few days in advance of the first ride of the season. The idea is to be organized so as not to hold up the ride or be scrambling madly the night before.

 

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International Seattle Motorcycle Show leaves many impressionsInternational Seattle Motorcycle Show leaves many impressions

By Ben Getz
For NR Rider

The concourse at the Seattle Convention Center made that first impression that is so important.

It had been six years since I last ventured "over The Hump" to see the bigger of Wahington's two main motorcycle shows. I was glad to have made the trip this year, and really, how bad can it be surrounded by motorcycles and motorcyclists for hours on end?

The show offers some very exclusive opportunities for motorcycle enthusiasts.

On day one, the sun came out in spectacular fashion. Some of the machines can be totally transformed by some good natural lighting that reflects the finer details of their design and manufacture.

It is notable that some major players in the brand wars were absent: Moto Guzzi, Aprilia, MV, Ural and Hyosung. Even an Eric Buell Racing machine would have been icing on the cake.

Still, by far the majority of the brands had impressive displays with bikes available to be sat upon, and friendly, knowledgeable staff ready and willing to assist.

I also noted a diminished amount of "cheesecake" – the scantily clad ladies modeling products.

Tires, batteries, helmets, communications, luggage, power management and pipes...they all had a presence in the vendor area, but nothing was as pervasive as the products aimed at rider relief and comfort. Back support, shoe inserts, electronic massage units, hyper, hypo, hydro therapy hawkers and Zen Masters abounded with ways to make riders feel great. Is this indicative of an aging demographic?

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ButlerMaps seeing phenomenal growth in business, products ButlerMaps seeing phenomenal growth in business, products

By Cole Boehler

Butler motorcycle maps?

Oh, sure, you've seen or heard of them. They've been around forever, right?

Well, not nearly as long as you

The ButlerMaps partners on the Colorado River Scenic Byway near Moab, Utah, left to right: Justin Bradshaw, Court Butler, Fred Butler and Scott Calhoun.

might think, especially given the company's extensive and growing product array, and continued product development, now even ramping up a new Internet riders' social site.

The ButlerMaps, Inc. seed germinated in only 2007 in the mind of 27-year-old-at-the-time Court Butler.

He was working drudge jobs – selling flooring, driving truck ­– to pay off student loans. He'd already been badly bitten by the bike bug so while on a tour in the Moab, Utah, area with future partner, Scott Calhoun, he put his mind to work devising a way he could make a living riding motorcycles.

Right: get paid for having fun, just what everyone dreams of... But Court Butler actually pulled it off, not that he doesn't actually work hard, too.

He told Northern Rockies Rider he was familiar with other motorcycle maps that tended to suggest loops, then would offer a single rating for the entire loop. However, Butler said a rider would find, for example, a 200-mile loop with one section that was superb while the rest was blasé. The picture presented just wasn't entirely accurate; not nearly detailed enough in his opinion.

Rather, Butler said, riders would benefit more from a map where each section of each road was given its own rating, based on a very rigorous, always consistent, set of criteria.

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