Best of the Rest

Welcome to Best of the Rest, an idea we’re trying out at CMG.

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.

Motorcyclist – Roots: Honda’s Z50 Mini Trail

Happier times, for sure.
Happier times, for sure.

In a world of ever-increasing horsepower, suspension that makes you float, and cornering ABS, it’s easy to forget that many riders started on much simpler machines — machines like the Z50 Mini Trail.

Mitch Boehm’s piece on the Mini Trail is an appropriate ode to the minibike that started so many riders, and in many garages around the world, is still training new riders, decades after introduction. The Z50 was hard to kill, and many of them are still out there hauling kids across front lawns and woodlots. Too bad we don’t see more of them out there, and fewer Playstations.

By the way, if this inspires you to get your old Z50 running again, you can probably find the needed parts here. – Motoflation

Are new motorcycles really that expensive? Tom Roderick doesn't think so.
Are new motorcycles really that expensive? Tom Roderick doesn’t think so.

We hear it all the time: Motorcycles have become too expensive. But have they really?

Tom Roderick took a look at the math behind the statement, and figures bikes really aren’t as costly as everyone claims, but that people are instead spending their money on a lot of other stuff besides motorcycles — stuff that wasn’t available back in the 1970s, when motorcycles sold very well compared to today. The price of gas and insurance hasn’t helped a lot either, he figures.

After reading the article, take a cruise through the comments section. The added opinion of the readers focuses both the problem, and possible solutions, even further. Plus, this piece really meshes nicely when you think about the Z50 article above: Those bikes used to be everywhere, but kids don’t buy as many minibikes anymore. Why?

Bike EXIF – Yamaha TT500 Tracker

Nicely done! There's quite a bit of custom work involved in this, but it still looks polished, not cobbled-together.
Nicely done! There’s quite a bit of custom work involved in this, but it still looks polished, not cobbled-together.

Between Pipeburn and Bike EXIF and all their knockoff copycat competitors, the Internet is awash with photos of custom motorcycles these days. But, how many of them are improvements over the original in both looks are functionality? This one looks like it is.

Sure,when builder Paul Miller (he’s Canadian!)  put this together, he deleted the front fender, but since it’s a flat-track styled custom, we can forgive that. The rest of the bike looks as good, or better, than stock, and frankly, that’s not often seen in a world where a bag of pipe wrap and a brat-style seat are often considered “customization.” The coolest thing about this bike, besides the beautiful aesthetics? It’s actually street-legal too, with functioning lights, and it was built out of a basket case. Head over to Bike EXIF to check out more photos and details. See more of Miller’s work here on Instagram.

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