Alan & Debbie Smith

Alan & Debbie SmithHometown/State? Cincinnati, Ohio

What was your first motorcycle?
Debbie: My first motorcycle was a 1970 Honda CB175.
Alan: My first motorcycle was  a 1964 Honda Sport 50.

Current motorcycle(s)?
Debbie: I own a 1993 Honda VFR750, 1997 Honda VFR750, 2003 Honda Super Blackbird and 2009 Triumph Street Triple R.
Alan: I own a 1999 BMW K1200LT, 2000 Honda VFR800, 2010 Honda ST1300, 2012 Triumph Tiger 800 and have ordered a 2014 BMW R1200RT.

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STAR 2014 from the West

Catching a glimpse of Mt. Rushmore through the tunnel
Catching a glimpse of Mt. Rushmore through the tunnel

By Doug Weir | Idaho

As usual, I was fired up to attend the STAR 2014 in Rapid City, SD. However, due to the earlier than usual date, I decided to take on a “Candy Ass” 900, and join the MS Trailering Association. The fun roads (Yellowstone N.P., US 212 (The Beartooth), and US 14 (Big Horn Mountain Highway)) from North Idaho to the site are usually still closed for snow. Droning on I-90 on my V-Strom didn’t expect to be much fun. Hence the trailer.

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Doug Westly | Safety Editor

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Ultimately, the safety of motorcycle riders and their passengers is their own responsibility. Nothing presented in the column supersedes, negates or relieves a motorcyclist and/or passenger from assumption of personal responsibility for their actions and safety.

TRACTION! We talk about it all the time. You’ve probably groaned before over the number of times I’ve referred to it in these articles. But…have you ever stopped to think what it really is, what it means to you as a motorcyclist, and how to go about maximizing it under different riding conditions?

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Around the MSTA – 3308

North Central Region

Illinois Indiana Iowa Kentucky Manitoba Michigan Minnesota Missouri Nebraska North Dakota Ohio Ontario Saskatchewan South Dakota Wisconsin


Bob Komjathy shared his ride of the Michigan Upper Peninsula with the rest of the Michigan squadron. He wanted to get most of the Upper Peninsula 14 corners checkpoints ticked off on his checklist. It was a long weekend ride, 53 hours total with 26 hours in the seat and 1524 planned miles. Weather looked good and Bob planned on riding during the daylight hours. Bob shared his trip on the Michigan Facebook page and fellow member Steve Saunders joined in. Steve met Bob at his home in Brighton, MI and they were off at 5:30pm on a Friday.

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2009 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R

Tony Suarez | Nevada

I’d been wanting to buy my own motorcycle and had a pretty good idea of what I thought I would like to purchase. After gathering information about motorcycles and talking with Nick Zarras, who proved to be a good source of information, and Nick repeating the phrase, “First things first, take an MSF training course,” I signed up for the Basic Rider Course. I passed the BRC two years ago, last month.

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