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Crowdfunding A Mid-Life Crisis Cross-Country Scooter Trip

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So you’re turning the big Four-Oh, and you’re itching to go on an adventure. Cross country road trips are adventures, right? Minimalist cross country road trips are surely worth double points. What if your road trip takes you from Daytona Beach to Long Beach? How do you get back across the United States? Do the Forest Gump, and turn right back around and head back the way you came. In order to complicate things even further, why not do this whole thing on two wheels? Screw it, step your game up and make it happen on a 125cc Yamaha Zuma scooter. Grab life by the cojones and hit the open road. Show the world that Forty isn’t boring!

This is exactly the plan that Mr. Thomas Heath has in mind. To make matters even better, he’s planning to document the whole trip in beautiful high-definition photography and literary prose, planning to publish a book on the trip as soon as he gets back. That’s where you come in, dear reader. Mr. Heath can’t make this massive undertaking on his own, so he is asking anyone who can to provide funding, resources, or support for the cause. If you check out his Indiegogo page, you’ll see there are a number of perks included in exchange for your support. Buy the guy lunch, give him a place to stay, or pay for some fuel costs, and you could grab yourself a copy of that book as soon as it is published. Heath is planning to get this road on the show as early as October, and assuming funding comes through, he says his book will be ready to publish as early as January of next year. That’s a pretty quick turnaround, and I’m sure interested in the outcome!

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Bikes You Should Know: 1976 Kawasaki KZ900 LTD

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Bikes You Should Know appears weekly as part of Two Wheel Tuesdays. Since Hooniverse primarily caters to automotive enthusiasts, this column focuses on historically or culturally significant motorcycles that are likely to interest a non-riding audience.


For a period of time, “factory customs” took over the motorcycle industry. Honda called theirs Customs. Yamaha had Specials (and later, Maxims). Suzuki had their Low Slingers. And Kawasaki had LTDs. They were to bikes what disco was to music: a lowbrow pop phenomenon that was short on substance, big on glitz, and hugely appealing to the masses despite being roundly derided by “experts.” And, also like disco, when the public turned on factory customs they did so with a vengeance. Seemingly overnight, what had been the “in thing” was suddenly silly and uncool to the point of mockery.

But how and why did this outrageous and quizzical trend ever take hold? The genesis of the factory custom trend and most of the cruisers that followed is this bike: The 1976 KZ900 LTD.

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Bikes You Should Know: Honda Trail 90

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Bikes You Should Know appears weekly as part of Two Wheel Tuesdays. Since Hooniverse primarily caters to automotive enthusiasts, this column focuses on historically or culturally significant motorcycles that are likely to interest a non-riding audience.


Many image-conscious people are attracted to motorcycles that make a statement about their grandiosity, machismo and fearlessness, or at least their audaciousness. The Honda CT90 “Trail 90″ (and it’s later iteration, the CT110) is the polar opposite: there’s nothing bad-ass about it. The Honda Trail was simple and non-threatening to ride, struggled to reach 55 MPH, and looked a bit gooney with its under-seat fuel tank and bright, primary colors. It was a whole lot more Hugh Beaumont than Chuck Norris, or even Chuck Conners. But what it lacked in style, it made up in practicality and utility. Albeit slowly, a Trail 90 could traverse nearly any terrain. From putt-putting down to the showers at an RV park to striking out from a remote deer camp, the Trail 90 was all about outdoor exploration.

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Two Wheel Tuesday – Get your GSX-R on Route 66’r

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A good friend, Mikko, decided before this summer that what he needed in his life, along with American cars in various states of functionality, was a fast bike. He proceeced to acquire a 2004 Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K4 without hesitating, and he’s had a great summer riding around the country on the yellow menace. But now, he believes it might be for the greater good to get rid of it. Can you believe?

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Weekend at Beaulieu:- The Museum. Pt 2:- Bikes

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A visit to England’s National Motoring Museum is something that, until last weekend, I’m ashamed to say I’ve never got around to doing. So when I visited the annual International Autojumble hosted there, I made sure I devoted the entire weekend to taking the place in properly.

On Thursday you joined me for a whistle-stop photo-tour of some of the more comment-worthy cars to be found among this immense collection. Today we bring the wheel-count down a notch or two and explore some of Beaulieu’s beautiful bikes.

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Bikes You Should Know: Harley-Davidson Livewire

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My first eleven installments of Bikes You Should Know featured motorcycles introduced at least twenty years ago. But it’s not my intention for this column to focus exclusively on classic bikes. This is a spectacular age for production motorcycles, and there are plenty of new and notable motorcycles a self-proclaimed gear-head should be familiar with. And they don’t come any newer or more notable than Harley-Davidson’s new electric motorcycle, the Livewire.

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Bikes You Should Know: Honda CBX

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Bikes You Should Know appears weekly as part of Two Wheel Tuesdays. Since Hooniverse primarily caters to automotive enthusiasts, this column focuses on historically or culturally significant motorcycles that are likely to interest a non-riding audience.


A couple of Two-Wheel Tuesdays ago, BYSK profiled Honda’s six-cylinder race bikes of the 1960s. As with many racing successes, the technology and style of those Grand Prix bikes was parlayed into a production machine. In this case, the journey took more than a decade, and the bike that showed up in European Honda dealers’ showroom floors in the Spring of 1978 (and in the USA the following October) was a very different machine in design, intent and scale than the racers of yore. The CBX was not the first six-cylinder street bike, and initially it was not a sales success. But but it did capture the riding public’s imagination in a special way that continues today.
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Bikes You Should Know: Ducati Monster M900

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Bikes You Should Know appears weekly as part of Two Wheel Tuesdays. Since Hooniverse primarily caters to automotive enthusiasts, this column focuses on historically or culturally significant motorcycles that are likely to interest a non-riding audience.


Ducati motorcycles were always known as uncompromising roadracing motorcycles that just happened to be street legal. They were widely considered be expensive, fussy thoroughbreds that were wonderfully adept at going fast around corners but had few other positive attributes. That reputation was both a strength and a weakness. When Ducati did try to break out of that mold, the attempts mostly failed. (The Ducati Indiana is definitely a Bike You Should NOT Know. Eye bleach is only so strong.)

Well, this was the case up until 1993, when an iconoclastic new Ducati showed up that remixed mostly familiar Ducati components in a new way. Il Mostro (The Monster) managed to give up very little of Ducati’s legendary handling prowess while being more accessible, comfortable, versatile. Its unique style attracted a new demographic to Ducati and in the process brought Ducati the mass-market sales success that had eluded them previously. Oh, and it totally changed the motorcycle scene as well.

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Three-Wheel Thursday: New 2015 Can-Am Spyder F3

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Back around the middle of the month, some camo’d spy shots showed up on the Internet, showing what appeared to be a new Sypder model from Can-Am. Then on the 18th, some crisp, non-camouflaged photos surfaced that clearly showed Can-Am and Spyder logos on the bodywork. Two days later, (assuredly because of the news leaks), Can-Am hastily announced that the new machine is, indeed, headed to production as the Spyder F3, and should show up in dealers around October as a 2015 model. Other than releasing a single official photo (the lede image above) with the tagline “New muscular design. Our boldest ride yet,” Can-Am is otherwise still holding their cards close to the chest. While details on the new machine are still sketchy, we do know it will have the same 3-cylinder inline engine and six-speed transmission that debuted in the 2014 Spyder RT.

The new machine is definitely a different direction for Can-Am.

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Bike [Accessories] You Should Know: Vetter Windjammer

A Vetter Windjammer fairing on a Moto Guzzi

Bikes You Should Know appears weekly as part of Two Wheel Tuesdays. Since Hooniverse primarily caters to automotive enthusiasts, this column focuses on historically or culturally significant motorcycles that are likely to interest a non-riding audience.


For roughly a ten-year period, from the early seventies through the early 1980s, if you wanted a touring motorcycle, the formula was very straightforward. You: 1) bought a motorcycle, and 2) installed a Vetter Windjammer fairing on it. It was as simple as that. Never has a single accessory so defined the motorcycle market. This bolt-on part was a more powerful influence in the evolution of the motorcycle than any number of motorcycle models.
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