Category Archives: Rallies and Events

IMS Show not coming to Washington, D.C!

IMS_home_logoThat’s right, you read that correctly. The Progressive International Motorcycle Show is not making a stop in our nation’s capital this year. The closest shows will be in New York City, N.Y. and Cleveland, Ohio. There will be only 10 shows this year for the “world’s largest motorcycle tour show”.  Other cities dropped this year were San Mateo, CA and Seattle, WA. Portland, OR. takes the place of Seattle, all other cities are the same as last year. It seems like a trimming down of the schedule the past few years. In 2013-14 there were 12 shows, 2014-15 there were 11 shows, and this year just 10 shows.

This comes as a shock to me. This is the first time in my motorcycle memory that the IMS has not made a stop in, or close to, D.C. Needless to say I’m very bummed out by this news. I look forward to going to the show, getting to see the new bikes, and usually hanging out with a few friends for the day. Not this year.

I know that NY and Ohio are certainly close enough that I could make the trip, but I’m sure it’s not as cheap as a Metro ride. I will now need to find some other mid-winter distraction for my motorcycle fantasies.

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Posted by on October 20, 2015 in Motorcycling, Rallies and Events


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Smoke Chasing Grand Tour 2013

Smoke Chasing Grand Tour 2013

Smoke Chasing Grand Tour 2013 (SCGT13) is proud to be a sanctioned AMA National Grand Tour and a featured Team Strange Airheads™ GT once again.

Smoke Chasing is a self-paced BBQ/”Smoke” nationwide Grand Tour that combines your love of motorcycling and great food.

This GT can be completed in any state or states at the discretion of the rider and the GT concept is simple. A rider simply documents 20 or more visits to BBQ and Smoke restaurants, streets and cities taking photos featuring their motorcycle cycle, GT Flag and signs.

SCGT13 is a perfect complement to your day trips, weekend rides, team rides, club rider events, and can easily be part of your long distance adventures and rallies. SCGT13 is open to all makes and models of motorcycle and all types of riders.

Registration opens on February 15th and riders can register through June 30th. The GT runs from March 1st to November 30th 2013.

Your $27 entry fee includes a “rally flag” to document your ride. All finishers will receive a certificate and a chance to win prizes.

Visit for more information.

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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Rallies and Events


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RoadRUNNER Touring Weekend 2013

RoadRUNNER Touring Weekend 2013

RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring and Travel magazine are holding their annual touring “weekend” in Maggie Valley, NC again this year. The event will take place from July 11 – July 14.

I attended the weekend last year and had a great time. You can read about how much fun I had here.

If you’d like to attend a more intimate rally (~300-500 riders) full of riders with a focus on touring, making friends and riding great roads this is the rally for you. To get more information about the rally go to the RoadRUNNER website’s page about the touring weekend.

I’ll be there, I hope to see you there too. If you are coming let me know so we can meet up.


Posted by on March 10, 2013 in Rallies and Events


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International Motorcycle Show – Washington D.C.

This past Sunday I attended the IMS in Washington D.C. It was fairly typical as far as the IMS goes with a few standouts for me. It was nice to see BMW return to D.C. after a few years being absent. Zero motorcycles made their first appearance that I’m aware of but Moto Guzzi and URAL where absent. All in all I was able to see most of the bikes that I had an interest in and was pleasantly surprised by a few.

2013 Triumph Trophy SEMy first stop was Triumph. I have read more than a few articles about the new Trophy and really wanted to see it in person. My thought was how much more compact the bike was then I thought it would be. Obviously aimed directly at the BMW R1200RT, the Trophy has a footprint that more matches the old R1150RT than the newer R1200RT which in my mind is the right direction for Triumph to go in. The BMW has become a larger bike over the years but I’m not sure that’s translated into a better bike. The Trophy is comparable feature for feature with the RT but maintains a more compact and sport touring feel making the BMW look massive. The Trophy feels good too. Even though it looks smaller than I expected it fit my 6′ 2″ frame well. The price however puts this on my have-to-raid-the-college-fund list instead of on my next-ex-bike list.

BMW F800GT 2013I was pleasantly surprised by the BMW F800GT. This is the 2013 version of the F800ST which it replaces in the BMW lineup. I was always a fan of the ST for its size and engine but never really keen on its looks or storage options. The GT has a vastly improved set of hard bags and less severely angled fairing. I think if the GT had existed before I bought my Concours I would have snatched it up in a heartbeat. It’s light, powerful, has decent luggage and is about half the weight of my Concours. The new fairing design is sleek and streamlined. Seat height, comfort and reach to the handlebars was perfect for me and everything I remembered loving about the ST. The big attraction is the size of this bike for me. Having ridden the Connie for close to two years now it is a do everything bike but its weight gets in the way at times. That weight makes it a great touring bike for the open road but is a hindrance in tight switchbacks. The GT seems, to me, a great alternative to the larger displacement sport touring bikes on the market today.

2013 FJR1300ASpeaking of larger sport touring bikes I was able to throw a leg over the redesigned Yamaha FJR. The earlier incarnation of the FJR was on my short list when I was looking for a new mount. Unfortunately this generation, as with the last, just does not fit me very well. The pegs are a little too high forcing my knees to bend at an angle that’s just too tight for my long legs. I do think that the new fender and switch gear freshen up the look of the bike and bring it more up to date with other similar bikes. The second gen FJR was starting to look a little dated. I’m glad Yamaha have continued to invest in this bike. It’s worth it. Maybe this will push Honda into an update of the ST1300?

I was truly disappointing to not see Moto Guzzi at the show. I really wanted to get a better look at the Stelvio 1200 NTX, Norge GT 8V and the California 1400 touring. Alas they where not there so I’ll just have to wait until I see one at a rally or another show.

2013 Honda Gold Wing F6BI took a few moments to look over the new Honda Gold Wing F6B cruiser thing. I remember the first time I saw the Victory Vision. It’s not really my kind of bike, but I can see where it will appeal to a small group of people looking for something unique. Personally I think this will be another miss for Honda like the Rune, Pacific, and the DN01 to name a few. I will say that at least Honda is taking risks. Sometimes those pay off like with the NC700X, and then there are times when they don’t (see the Honda V45 Magna).

It’s always a treat to spend a Sunday looking at bikes. I look forward to the IMS every year. It’s a great way to get my motorcycle fix when the temperatures and weather outside keep me in my car.


Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Rallies and Events


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RoadRUNNER Touring Weekend 2012

Tuesday July 10th I set my Navigon GPS app to the Scenic Roads setting and left the office at noon headed for Maggie Valley, NC. My destination was the RoadRUNNER Touring Weekend for 4 days (weekend?) of riding and fun. The RoadRUNNER Touring weekend was to be my first motorcycle rally. I was anxious and a little worried about what I would find there. I chose this rally because I anticipated it would be attended by riders who shared my love of touring, motorcycles, and riding. I was hoping to find a congregation of like minded people. These hopes where based solely on the content of the magazine. It’s a testament to RoadRUNNER Magazine that I was not disappointed, even with the wet weather.

As I motored along the 500+ miles to the rally I began thinking about when I left home to go to college. My car all packed up, I headed across the country to a place where I would know no one and wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve been on overnight and week long motorcycle trips before, but always with a group of riders I knew. This was my first solo adventure. Like my trip to college that double punch of excitement and anxiety you get when the roller coaster is just cresting the top of the hill was with me the whole ride. In this case however that could just have been the mountain roads I choose to ride.

My GPS found roads that kept me off the highway but still moving at a good clip. Passing through small towns and hugging river valleys I arrived in Wyethville, VA around 5:00 pm and booked myself into a hotel for the night. So far I’d avoided the rain but looking at the weather for the next few days I suspected I would be getting soggy. 80% chance of showers all day and continuing through Saturday. My only solace was that temperatures would be in the high 70’s to low 80’s. “Well, at least it’s not hot” would become a mantra for several of us at the rally for the next damp four days.

Wednesday dawned dark and cloudy as expected. I slid into my gear and one piece Revit! rain suit prepared for a wet 200+ miles to Maggie Valley. Almost immediately the rain started in and kept up off and on for the rest of day. Even with the wet it was a memorable ride. The GPS picked a route that was a preview of the guided tours setup by the RoadRUNNER staff for Friday and Saturday. Having ridden to the Smokey Mountains a few times now I think you have to look pretty hard to find bad motorcycling roads, even when they’re wet.

The following days at the rally where spent in a cycle of ride, eat, repeat. We centrally gathered under the “circus” tent for any and all events. This provided for plenty of opportunities to meet fellow riders and magazine staff members. Whether we were preparing for a ride, eating dinner, listening to seminars or just hanging out there were always friendly people to talk to and good stories to be heard. A few times the laughing and story telling lasted well into the night accompanied by live bluegrass and rock and roll.

Photo by John Flores

Friday saw my first group ride leave under cloudy skies and rain. I joined up with a leisure touring group lead by John Flores (contributor and blogger for RoadRUNNER Magazine). One look at my 10,000 kW Hi-Viz rain suite and John declared, “I’ll be able to see you in another state” and designated me his sweeper for the ride. The pace was a little slow at first. Once I settled in, however,  the slower speed allowed me to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Smokey Mountains as we looped along twisty tree covered back roads. At Lunch I was fortunate to be able to have a conversation with John and pick his brain about the magazine, writing, blogging and photography (one of his passions). It was very informative. John is terrifically nice guy and so easy to talk to that it was a real treat. After lunch the skies cleared up and we were able to appreciate the roads and the ride with out distraction.

Saturday I switched to a sport touring group lead by Florian Neuhauser. Once we were all sorted out into the right place in the group we flew through the first mostly sunny day of riding all week. I’m actually glad that I was able ride with the leisure group the day before and enjoy the scenery. Most of what I saw on this sporty ride was the yellow divider line and the taillight of the bike in front of me. Florian set a pretty spirited pace. It was nice to be able to let the connie stretch her legs a bit. I found myself at Florian’s table at lunch and, like the day before with John, had the opportunity for some Q and A about writing and riding for the magazine.

Saturday evening we were lavished with a meal of steak, potatoes, salad and drinks. Dinner was to commemorate the late Christian Neuhauser, who’s family started RoadRUNNER Magazine in 2001 just 2 years after moving to the US from Austria. Christian passed away in 2004 but he and his “family’s undaunted enthusiasm for motorcycle touring” live on through their commitment to riding and the magazine they started together. As the evening wore on goodbyes where said, email addresses exchanged, and promises to “See you next year” where made. I have a feeling that many of those promises will be kept.


Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Rallies and Events, Ride Reports


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Smoke Chasing Grand Tour 2012

AMA 2012 Grand ToursSmoke Chasing Grand Tour 2012Team Strange

Smoke Chasing Grand Tour 2012 (SCGT12) is proud to be a sanctioned AMA National Grand Tour and a featured Team Strange Airheads™ GT once again.

This is a self-paced BBQ/”Smoke” Grand Tour that combines your love of motorcycling and great food. SCGT12 is a perfect complement to your day trips, weekend rides, team rides, club rider events, and can easily be part of your long distance adventures and rallies. SCGT12 is open to all makes and models of motorcycle and all types of riders.

Proceeds from this event will once again benefit Eddie’s Road, a charitable foundation dedicated to changing the lives of abused and neglected children.

Riders will receive five points for every state or province with a documented visit and one point for each BBQ/”Smoke” restaurant visited. Riders can also earn points by completing “Side Dishes.”

I’ve signed up for the tour and am rider #127. You can see the pics of the places I’ve visited in the Ride Reports section of this blog.

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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Rallies and Events


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