Touring and Freedom


5 of 3 votes

 Touring and Freedom

After racing MX for 22 years I took a break from motorcycling but in 2007 I got back in the form of road motorcycles. I rode a bunch of street bikes before getting heavily into touring and traveling to see new places and roads. I liken it to flying while still connected to mother earth. Freedom. Wind in my face, collecting the smells and sights that can only be seen on the back of a motorcycle.

Just about any bike can be ridden while touring but the most comfortable are the ones that are made for it. Jarmans has all the bases covered with the V-Star 1300 and 950 touring machines, The FJR 1300 and FJ09, and the Super Tenere. Any of these bikes can take you to the BLue Ridge or the Siera Nevada and back. Comfortable for hours with lockable side cases, these bikes are made for the long haul.

The bikes are important but only after you take the Motorcycle Safety course and have the proper gear. By gear I mean helmet, jacket, gloves, boots and pants. We used to say in MX to "dress for the crash, not for the ride". Motorcycle helmets should be of good quality with another quote in mind,"got a $5. head buy a $5. helmet". Expect to pay $200. and up for a good helmet. Some names to look for are Shoei, Arai, Schuberth, Nolan, and others. A good jacket should include elbow, shoulder, and back armor and be of at least a 600 Denier nylon or leather. Gloves should be comfortable and well fitting with padding in the palm to relieve pressure. Boots should cover the ankle and should be leather. Don't ever ride in athletic shoes.

Ok, we're ready to ride. We'll go into destinations in our next episode. I think of riding like freedom and always think of the line from the movie Braveheart when in a dream sequence William's father tells him "your heart is free, have the strength to follow it".

Let's go!

Jarmans 1978 to today


5 of 1 votes

I first met the Jarmans in 1978 while racing motocross at White Oak MX. I had broken a handlebar perch and someone suggested I go to the trailer that the Jarmans had at the track selling gear, parts and accessories. Sure enough they had what I needed and I was able to race the next moto. Connie helped me out while Jimmie was running around doing 5 things at once. I remember James was riding in the 100 class. I'll never forget how nice Connie was. So, the next year I bought a new Yamaha YZ 400 from them and I also bought my 4 year old son's first bike, a 1979 JR 50 Suzuki. (more on that later)

Through the years a lot has happened and many things have changed but what has not changed is how nice and accomodating the Jarmans are. I've gotten older and no longer ride in the dirt but have really enjoyed riding on the road and the adventures of touring and seeing the country. I love riding the Blue Ridge Parkway and traveling down to Carolina and the Great Smokies. I've ridden the Dragon many times as well as the Back of the Dragon, the Snake, and Cheralhola Skyway. Ann and I have ridden to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and the Bear Tooth Highway. I honestly think once riding a motorcycle is in your blood you never shake it.

It's so great to have people like Connie, Jimmie, and James to share these experiences with. An oh yeah, that 79 JR 50 is being restored, as we speak, to be given as a gift to my son's 40th birthday. I hope he will be surprised. Maybe he will pass it on to his own son and keep the tradition going. It's a gift that will always bring a smile and keep spirits high. If I can ride until I leave this Earth it will truely be a great life. AC Bruce

Next week: How to pack for touring. 



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