Forgive me for stating the obvious, but one of the best parts of this job is the road trips! As I type this it’s the last day in July and I’m jamming to get this issue finished. I’ve got to get it out to the printer and the next issue started before I leave since I’ll be gone for almost three weeks. When you’re on a four-week production schedule, that’s a lot of time to be on the road! But even though the pressure is on right now, it will definitely be worth it once I hit the highway.
My first stop is Park City, Utah, and the Harley-Davidson 2012 new model launch. H-D is set up at the St. Regis Hotel and is flying in lots of moto-journalists to test its newest offerings. I’ll be meeting Motorcycle Bagger Editor Dain Gingerelli there Tuesday night. I got to say, H-D always throws a great party whenever it does a launch. Of course, that’s also where we’ll be staying for the two nights and one day of the event. I’ll be testing a Nightster while there. Come Thursday, Dain and I will hit the road to Sturgis on different test bikes than what we rode in Utah. He’ll be on a new Dyna Switchback and I’ll be riding a Fat Boy. It’ll take us about three days to get to Sturgis, because we’ll also be shooting a tour story as we go.
Once we hit Sturgis, almost 1,000 miles later, we’ll wash and photograph these bikes for future reviews. The next day, we’ll swap them out for the same bikes we rode at the launch, so we can put a lot more review miles on them. We like to put at least 500 miles on a bike for our reviews. This way, we get to ride them the same way an owner is going to: in around town situations, on short highway trips, and on a long trip.
After covering Sturgis for seven days, it’s time to go home. We’ll swap these test bikes out for different ones, which are the machines we’ll be riding back home. After having them photographed, we’ll pack ’em up the night before, so we can leave early the next morning. Dain will be rolling west to his home in California on an Electra Glide Classic, while I’ll be heading east, back to Connecticut, on one of my favorite Harleys, a Road King. Look for these reviews in upcoming issues of American Iron Magazine and Motorcycle Bagger!
See you on the road, Chris Maida.
Story as published in the November issue of American Iron Magazine