Best of the Rest

Welcome to Best of the Rest, an idea we’re trying out at CMG. We strive to bring you good stories here at CMG, but we can’t cover everything. But thanks to the wonders of the Internet, we have the ability to share some of the good stories we find elsewhere.

So, we’re testing a format we’ve seen successfully implemented in other media, a weekly round-up of the best stories and columns from other sites.  We’re not shifting towards becoming content curators; the plan is to still provide original content from the worlds of racing, adventure riding and general motorcycling news, like we always have. We just figured our readers might enjoy reading the same stories we enjoy reading, so we’re experimenting with the idea of a once-a-week collection of stories from other publications, with the sole aim of sharing the fun.

Check out the links, read the articles, and let us know if this format works, or could be tweaked.

Bikewriter: The small matter of life and death in motorcycle racing

Mark Gardiner shares his thoughts after two Spanish riders died at Laguna Seca.
Mark Gardiner shares his thoughts after two Spanish riders died at Laguna Seca.

Mark Gardiner, playwright/motojournalist/marketeer/former Isle of Man racer, has a great piece on his blog following Laguna Seca’s two fatalities last weekend. The crux of his piece is that “risk is what gives the decision to race motorcycles meaning.” He talks about his envy of mountaineers (“they don’t seem to face the same resistance from society when it comes to justifying or explaining their obsession“), and his own good luck omens that calm him while riding. Read his piece here.

Gardiner also published a couple stories this month on Motorcycle-USA about drama he watched unfold in the Bol d’Or endurance race a little over 10 years ago. The two-part story (Part 1 here, Part 2 here) deserves to be a classic of race journalism, telling the lengths men will go to in order to race. Check it out: a story of a street sweeper who spent his life getting his son to the races, and the help they lend to a star-studded team from the USA.

Bike EXIF: The Spirit of ’71: Hageman’s XL1200C Scrambler

That's a very tidy scramblerized Sportster!
That’s a very tidy scramblerized Sportster!

Custom bike profiler Bike EXIF has plenty of variety: Sometimes you get fenderless cafe racers that are only good for smooth, dry rides down to your local coffee shop. Other times, you get machines like this customized ’99 Harley-Davidson Sportster, turned into a scrambler. Head over there to check out the pix and text; it’s a very clean-looking build, and with a few tweaks to fenders and seat, looks like it could be a factory motorcycle from the MoCo. Are you listening, Milwaukee? Build this machine, keep the price low, and you’ll have a motorcycle to challenge Ducati’s hit bike. Trizzle’s TakeSportbikes Are Terrible

Troy Siahaan says sportbikes don't work well on the street.
Troy Siahaan says sportbikes don’t work well on the street.’s Troy Siahaan talks about why he recently chose to ride a Suzuki Boulevard M50 to work instead of a Ducati Panigale. Maybe he’s just getting old? He argues that sportbike ergos are just too extreme for sensible street use, and instead advises looking into a streetfighter if you want a high-performance street bike. Read more here.

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