Head Shake – Guns and Moto, Part Deux

MO’s regular Wednesday contributor’s columns are intended as an alternative to our usual straight motorcycle reviews and discussions. There is always a motorcycle connection to them, however tenuous, but they are first and foremost intended to be free-range editorial space. Last week we presented John Burns’ take on a current hot-button issue, and his “Guns And Moto” column touched off a blaze of controversy resulting in more than 130 reader comments. It also struck columnist Chris…

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Head Shake – California Dreamin’

Head Shake – California Dreamin’

All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray –The Mamas & the Papas Thanksgiving is this week, and I have a confession to make, a thankful confession. I think it is time to be honest and forthright about this secret I have kept for decades despite the grief this will cause me from some quarters. Beginning shortly, in approximately a week or so, and continuing without respite until sometime in late March, I…

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Head Shake – The Long Haul

Head Shake – The Long Haul

I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. —Robert Frost There comes a point where you just do not feel like stopping, where getting off the bike feels unnatural. It doesn’t start that way, it ends that way. Presumably you probably have a destination you want to get…

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Head Shake The Age of Flight

Head Shake The Age of Flight

We live in an age of specialization and performance. A few words written by one of MO’s finest the other day drove this home to me. He had muttered those magic words: “200 miles per hour.” That is a very impressive number indeed. There was a time when topping a “Ton” (100 mph) was the magic number to the porridge pot helmet crowd on their British cafe racers, today we can kick around the notion…

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Head Shake – Yesterday’s Fast

Head Shake – Yesterday’s Fast

There has been a quiet evolution taking place that I believe is making roadracing opportunities more broadly available to a wider audience. This is good for both aspiring novice racers who seek to acquire their license and some seat time, as well as veteran go-fast guys who have a bike loitering around in the garage all safety-wired up with number plates getting dusty. A quick glance at the WERA rulebook, Chapter 11, Vintage Rules, would…

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Head Shake – Play Stupid Games

Head Shake – Play Stupid Games

Recently we have had a spate of rather serious columns about tedious but fun-loving affairs like horsepower limits, helmet laws, novelty helmets, and ethanol fuel. That’s all well and fine, but I’d like to change things up a bit here in the interest of you, the reader (because that is why we are here in the first place), and share with you a small glimpse into a lifetime of moto-stupid. I’d like to think in…

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Head Shake – Flags of Our Fathers

Head Shake – Flags of Our Fathers

The asphalt and tar strips are baking. When they throw the red flag on the first lap, you can guess what happened. Somebody screwed up and made a bloody mess out of things and you have to trundle back to the hot pit. If it was a three-wave start, it’s chaos – you are baking in your leathers, and now you have to start thinking. A rational human being would be thinking about what poor…

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Head Shake – Federal Falderal

Head Shake – Federal Falderal

Shortly before our clan chieftain grabbed his Samsonite carry-on bag and blasted out the door for LAX, he took a moment to drop a line to myself and my esteemed colleague, J. Burns, the content of which caused a chorus of, “Oh no, not this again.” It concerned a proposed rule by our beloved National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concerning their current regulation, FMVSS No. 218, the regulation addressing U. S. Department of Transportation…

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Head Shake – For Our Own Good?

Head Shake – For Our Own Good?

How much is enough? When does a rational person look at what is available in motorcycle showrooms and say, “Okay, that’s enough for me.” Or even more paternalistically, that’s enough for you, too. What is too much? Is there too much? There are bikes that are too dangerous to ride. I know this to be true. We had a long-term loaner Buell once, an S2-T, it cracked one of the welds that comprised its right…

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