It’s nice to be loved, and every once in a while we get a golden opportunity to hang with our brothers at Motorcycle.com and take part in whatever journalistic madness they’re dreaming up at the time.
This time it was a massive, six-bike Adventure Touring shootout, and when MO ringleader Kevin Duke asked me if I could come and offer commentary on the bikes from a dirtbike rider’s perspective, I checked my insanely busy calendar and realized I would be able to squeeze some time with the boys in-between my address of the United Nations and my racquetball rematch with Vladimir Putin.
Our three-day mission was to run the bikes through what were supposed to be tame two-track trails up in Big Bear, California, but by the time it was over, most of these 500-lb. behemoths were bearing more than a few nicks and cuts from some of the less-experienced dirt riders among our crew. It was nice to watch other people eating crap for a change, a stark contrast to when DirtBikes.com test riders Nic Garvin and Ryan Abbatoye take me on trips to the desert to test the latest in trick off-road hardware (“c’mon, you puss—eight feet is not that far to fall if you don’t make it up the face of that rock!”)
About the only grave tactical error I made was a failure to remove the rain liner from my riding pants on day one, and the resulting flume from my sweet-smelling thighs ran down the inside of the pants and turned my riding boots into a pair of hot springs, creating a tropical stench guaranteed to meet or exceed the smell of your average National Hockey League dressing room, and at the end of the day my socks looked like a pair of well-soaked dish rags. No wonder that the rest of the guys gave my tent a wide berth. Hell, even I didn’t want to sleep near me.
If you need proof that this isn’t just one of those tall tales that desert racers like to tell, skip to the end of the vid that supplements the story on the shootout. Better yet, don’t do that. Read the story and watch the entire video to gain perspective on what it was like to live with these two-wheeled wide loads for a couple days. Spoiler Alert: If you are a dirtbike guy, you’ll probably be cool with the outcome.