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San Francisco, CA
United States was created to share my continuing adventure and love addiction to all things involving motorcycles. 

Ridin Posts

Dunlop MX 32: Initial Impressions

Bryan Burnett

  So begins "that time of year", droplets falling from the skies, green shoots poking betwixt the earth and grey sky, bringing that sweet sliding magic that makes the 5 year old kid inside me giggle madly out loud. MUD! With the arrival of water this season, it was time for me to toss out the old rubber, and bring my rims up to 2014 technology. The Dunlop MX32. What's the first visual impression? Good looking rubber, the pattern and depth of the knobs hint at of the amount of grip these tires can dish out. Much to my pleasure the knobs have knobs inside them.

I've only been able to do 2 quick trail rides, equating to about 4 hours of ride time thus far. The terrain varied from super slick deep creek mud, too slightly harder jeep trails, with a lot of grassy fields in between. My immediate impression riding on these tires was a very descriptive, and well thought out "DAAAYYYYYmmmm!".  When tipping the bike over into a turn, the front felt so planted I could pivot over a dime. In comparison the rear felt really good, but where it shined was under acceleration. Hard or soft on the throttle,  slide to wrist response was telepathic, goose it a little out of a muddy turn and I was immediately rewarded with a smooth predictable slide making me feel like a hero. Hill climbing out of a really muddy creek was tackled with authority, not only was I sliding sideways at the time, the rear found enough traction to allow my 125 two stroke to wheelie out and over like a scalded hamster. 

Having ridden the same trails hundreds of times, I've come to expect a certain amount of sliding for a given amount of speed into a turn. Which at this point I call Dunlop out for unfair business practices, the amount of magic dust they sprinkled on these tires is appalling. After every successive turn, I felt more and more confident, to the point where I needed to take a break. I was darting in and out of corners with speed I didn't know I possessed, every slide felt predictable like a metronome, and I had to remind myself to take it down a notch, or suffer a spill into a creek where no one would find me. 

Towards the end of the second day, the MX 32's helped me reach that "zone" moment that comes with ultimate focus. I wasn't worried about what my tires might do, I KNEW what they would do, I had total control, the moment may have only lasted 2, 5, 10 minutes tops, but it was amazing. It's the sort of thing you don't realize until you come to the end of your run, the fatigue in your arms suddenly appears, the sound of the motor reverberates underneath, and the smell of two stroke smoke in the air brings you back to reality. Again I become aware of the world, not just the trail, the bike, and the next turn. When you think back on the moment, it's just a smooth stream of corners, instead of a jumble of actions.

So for the very fact that I had the confidence to throw the bike around with the authority I wanted is a testament to these tires. The key factors I'll be looking closely at from this point forward is, how well will these tires hold up over time, and how they'll do through the dry hard dirt season. These are classified as soft to intermediate tires, so only time will tell. 

The only con that came to mind would be cost, these tires aren't terribly expensive in comparison to competitors, but when you factor in new tubes, and having someone put the tires on, I was looking at around a $300 cost. I'm trying to support my local Motorsport shop, even if it hurts 10-15% more on my wallet.

I look forward to getting muddy and doing my very best testing out these tires. Stay happy, stay muddy. 

Summer Ridin - KX125 & KTM125

Bryan Burnett

Summer is in full swing and what better way is there to take advantage of the sun, then to fill the air with a little two stroke smoke? That's just what I did over the weekend, using a couple of GoPro's I put together a quick edit of the highlights of the days ride. Overall it was a great ride, lots of sliding, wheelies, and out right shenanigans. No injuries so that's always a plus, but I was a little sore the next day, might be time to hit the gym... 

As the weather has been SUPER dry it didn't take much throttle to spin up the rear wheel, which is both fun and frightening. But this will probably be the last ride for at least a month or two, as deer season just started. It might be time for me to check out the local track. 

When doing a video it's always nice to have a tune to edit to, that's why I chose "I need a dollar" from Aloe Blacc, the instrumental version of course, I find lyrics to be more distracting when watching a video. It's also hard to strike a balance between music and camera audio. The hard cores want just the bike audio, but that can get old when you hear the camera "pops" when the GoPro case gets tapped. Also without a beat it's hard for me to hit edit points. 

Harley Davidson Announces an all Electric Motorcycle

Bryan Burnett

Harley Davidson Livewire

Harley Davidson Livewire

Harley Davidson is widely known for it’s loud, heavy, cruiser style motorcycles, even the name for the stock ticker is “HOG". First founded in 1903 the Milwaukee company recently announced it’s ambitious (ambitious for Harley Davidson anyways) plan to release a fully electric motorcycle called the “Livewire”. Judging from the photos the Livewire could be quite the looker, as well as being the lightest bike in the Harley lineup. With the recent news of Tesla releasing it’s patents for all, the ever growing support for electric vehicles has hit full tilt. HD has constantly been criticized, for being very “conservative” with it’s design and evolution. Or praised depending on which "Wild Hog" you talk to, but as far as specs the Livewire looks to be on par with competitors. A three-phase induction motor with 55kW of power, which equals just under 74hp, and 52 lbs-ft of torque is packing more outright force then both the Brammo Empulse at 54 hp and the Zero SR 67hp. If that’s the good, what’s the bad? Battery capacity, judging by the early numbers the Livewire will have a just over a 50 mile range of mixed city and highway riding. If the announcement of an electric motorcycle from a traditionally “image” focused company like HD wasn’t impressive enough, HD will be looking for customer feedback and setting up demo rides for loyal enthusiast. 

As HD dips its toes in the preverbal water, it gives hope that Americas nostalgia factory is looking ahead and not waiting to die off with an aging generation. For this machine to be successful it will need to at least deliver 100 miles on one charge, a price point under $20,000, and a little more power couldn’t hurt either. 

Here’s a video that HD released.

It was also parodied by this, which is what i would imagine previous Harley owners  would do in attempt of “reliving” that Harley lifestyle.

MX - The Ride

Bryan Burnett

Part of the reason I wanted to get into Motocross more is how  different the experience is from street riding. On a dirt bike you typically don’t have to worry about a car t-boning you or someone on their cell phone crossing into your lane. Also there’s more of a sense of raw wildness, ripping through the mud, popping wheelies, running up creeks, jumping over obstacles. If I were to use a metaphor street riding is more "surgical"  and all about precision,  dirt bike riding is more raw and wild, especially on a two stroke. Another reason was to become a better rider in general, the majority of the greatest racers in the world got their start sliding around in the dirt.  

After riding in the dirt I noticed being much smoother street riding, easier traditions between downshifts and getting on the throttle. That fine line between your wrist and the rear wheel comes into play much more on a dirt bike, give it some gas and feel the rear lose traction. You can do this on a street bike, but unless you’re pro it could result in a nasty high side.

Controlling a two stroke is a little tricky, as the power doesn’t exactly “kick in” but it does have a less then liner power band. A four stroke will provide more toque down low, where as a two stroke makes it’s horse power towards the top. For beginners it’s recommended to ride a four stroke, the liner power band makes learning in the dirt easier. Where as two strokes are appealing because of the cc size to weight ratio two strokes actually makes more power then most four strokes. So roughly a 125cc two stroke will make the same amount of power as a 250cc four stroke. Also where as a modern 250cc four stroke will weigh in around 225 pounds a 125cc two stroke weighs just over 200 pounds. 

Undoubtedly someday I will try to get a four stroke dirt bike, but for now i'm enjoying the nostalgia, simplicity, and smell of my little KX125 smoker. 

MX - My Experience

Bryan Burnett

I rode dirt bikes from an early age, but usually by myself and with little instruction. I learned the basics and mostly did trail riding, the kind of riding that was back dirt roads, creeks and hillsides. By the the time i was old enough to buy my own dirt bike a couple of years ago, a 125cc two stroke, the only other dirt bike I had riding experience on was a DRZ125, which took all the abuse i could throw at it and more, but it’s an small bike and not for an adult. I could slide around, get the bike lent over, ride up hills with proficiency, but when i came to jumps i was woefully inexperienced. Time to learn.