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Four Legs, Two Wheels and a Grateful Heart

DSC_3632Four Legs, Two Wheels and a Grateful Heart“, Zen Motorcyclist’s latest column can be read in the July/August 2015 issue of RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel.

The issue is available here in both print and digital versions. RoadRUNNER can also be purchased for Nook   Apple and Android devices and at Barnes & Noble and other bookstores. As always my Zen Motorcyclist blog for RoadRUNNER can be read here.RR_July_August_2015

William Shatner Cross Country Ride

ICON WILLIAM SHATNER PARTNERS WITH AMERICAN WRENCH TO CREATE THE RIVET MOTORCYCLE FOR A CROSS-COUNTRY RIDE
TO BENEFIT THE AMERICAN LEGION

8-Day Ride Set To Kick Off From American Wrench Shop On June 23rd

Rivet Warehouse

William Shatner(June 1st, 2015 – New York, NY) The legendary Hollywood icon that captained the Starship Enterprise for over 30 years, William Shatner, is teaming up with American Wrench to create the first-of-its-kind Rivet motorcycle. In conjunction with the release of Rivet, Shatner will be riding across the country to showcase the machine on the open road. The ride will kick off on June 23rd from the American Wrench shop just outside of Chicago. “The Ride” will be an 8-day journey showcasing Rivet in various cities across the United States and will be following the legendary Route 66 for most of the trek.

Accompanying Shatner on the ride will be some of the team from American Wrench and members of The American Legion Riders. Shatner will be meeting with Legion members along the route to raise awareness for the work The American Legion does nationwide. The journey will be making stops in St. Louis, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Las Vegas before wrapping up in Los Angeles on June 30th.

I am taking another step into the unknown!” said Shatner. “A phenomenal bike made by American Wrench and a 2,400 mile journey, where the road holds the big mystery.”

“The Ride”

The Ride MapThe machine, straight from the creative brain of Shatner alongside American Wrench owner/designer Kevin Sirotek, is the ultimate landjet and unlike anything the world has seen before. A video describing what Rivet is can be seen here.

Having this unique opportunity to design and build a custom machine for William Shatner, we knew it had to be nothing short of amazing,” explains Sirotek. “Our vision with Rivet is simple, to give the most thrilling motor experience possible.”

The journey will also be documented for an upcoming television show. The show will follow Shatner and company on their voyage through each city and traveling along the route. There will be opportunities in each city for people to come out and see the Rivet in person and meet Shatner and the riders. More information on this will be available in the future at American Wrench and Rivet Motors. Fans can follow Shatner @WilliamShatner and Rivet Motors @RivetMotors for up to date announcements.

For more information on American Wrench or “The Ride,” please contact:

Kevin Chiaramonte / PFA Media / (212) 334-6116
Paul Freundlich / PFA Media / (212) 334-6116

About American Wrench

American Wrench, a division of IAE (Illinois Auto Electric Co) is located outside of Chicago. IAE was founded in 1915 by Joseph Sirotek (Kevin Sirotek’s great grandfather) and today it is owned and operated by the Sirotek family. American Wrench has been at the cutting edge of building custom motorcycles, specializing in design innovation and high-performance machines. For decades, they have been committed to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Horsepower.

About Rivet Motors

Rivet Motors was born out of the desire and passion to build machines, which like those who ride them, have command, presence and personality. The goal is to rival the experience a driver would get from any vehicle on the street. Without a formidable machine in the marketplace that provides this experience that William Shatner desired, he partnered with American Wrench and set out to design and develop something that would not just meet his expectations, but blow the minds of everyone who sees, pilots or experiences it. The machine, RIVET, will deliver an experience that rivals the refinements and power of a fine automobile, but does not compromise the raw sensory feedback and grit of a motorcycle on the open road.

About The American Legion

The nation’s largest wartime veteran organization, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veteran care and rehabilitation, Americanism and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 14,000 posts across the nation. www.Legion.org

The RideAmerican_WrenchRivet

2015 Motorcycle Fairings

What does 2015 have in store for motorcycle fairings?

Fairing KitAnother new year marks the era of another new set of bikes available on the market. The newest supersport bikes are supporting lairy looks, crazy colors and eye-catching exhausts. The newest fairings are showing the creativity that can be used with advancing technologies in plastic moulding and metal machining that can be used to make them look awesome, while still being functional.

Many motorcycle fairings that are coming out are sporting new matt paint finishes. This is giving the bikes mean looks that haven’t been seen before. There is also the addition of carbon fiber parts into high-end supersport bikes to make them lighter, but also to make them better looking.

The latest fairings that are coming to light on bikes such as the new Kawasaki Ninjas and the BMW S1000RR are showing bold lines that were not possible before, but new advances in technology are making them possible. There are also several concept bikes such as the new Lamborghini concepts, which are sporting the same bold likes and triangular shapes. These are also present in the new 2015 Honda CB 750 concept that is floating around. Making it clear which direction the design of motorcycles in moving in.

The latest Yamaha fairings are also sporting these new strong shapes, which is not only clear in their motorcycles but also their other vehicles too. The addition of LED lights to most of the bikes this year is making the design of fairings easier as less space needs to be allocated to once large light units. The integration of LED lights into most wing mirrors has also improved aesthetics, as they aren’t sticking out the side of the main fairings. However, this may be annoying for some who opt for removing their mirrors regularly for track days.

These improvements are not only coming to supersport bikes though. The latest sport bikes and touring bikes are also being updates, making these look sportier without compromising the ride comfort. This is also evident in the latest street bikes, making ones such as the new ER-6n Kawasaki Fairings and the Ducati Streetfighter look very mean with their latest headlights and what fairings they do have.

The older style bikes are not to be left out either. The new Norton Commando bikes are styled very well, although their fairings are still good ol’ metal, they do not disappoint. With up to Faring Kitdate electronics and LCD tachometers these bikes have been nudged into the 21st century, but not by much. Still giving you the look and feel of an old Norton, without the troubles with reliability and electric controls as stock. Making them more reliable for use as an everyday bike for those that would like to don their old leathers and ride a blast from the past.

Overall, it looks like an exciting year for motorcycles and I look forward to seeing what is going to be revealed over the coming months. From the looks of it, we have a lot to look forward to see in the summer.

Under Asian Skies – The World is Colorful, Complex and Beautiful

Under Asian SkiesIf you had spent any time lately watching any of the mainstream news, it is easy to begin viewing the world as a diabolical, scary place, occupied by either victims or perpetrators.

However, not everyone ascribes to the mainstream media’s view. The recently released audio version of Sam Manicom’s Under Asian Skies provides one of the best alternatives.

The book is a sequence to Manicom’s debut travelogue, Into Africa, and picks up right where Into Africa left off. After spending a year as a relatively new motorcyclist touring the African continent, Manicom and his trusted companion, BMW R80GS motorcycle, known as Libby, take a cargo ship to Australia and then travel together from Asia to Europe. It would be an understatement to say that a lifetime worth of adventures and a few misadventures ensue. To name a few, there is an encounter with an Australian Hells’ Angel; a no less scary run-in with maddening Indian bureaucracy; smuggling of tractor parts into Iran on an ancient Setra bus; rides through world’s most breathtaking and most dangerous roads (with little distinction between the two); and sharing harrowing train rides with hundreds of strangers, crammed by a stroke of fate into the same rail car. There is even a love story to boot and many encounters with generosity, kindness and raw beauty of the universe.

Through his adventures Manicom does not wear paisley colored lenses. Far from it! Whether he chronicles back-breaking work of fruit IMG_0020 psrpicking in Australia or relays the frustration of dealing with the Indian port officials, who work with all the efficiency, enthusiasm and philosophical detachment of a turtle out in a mid-day sun, Manicom spares no color in painting a real picture of what he sees. Yet, he is also careful to place the picture in a proper historical, social and cultural context, thus removing the gaudy frame of judgment and arrogance so prevalent in the reporting of many of the “traditional” information sources.

What distinguishes Under Asian Skies from myriad of other travelogues is the sense of compassion towards all living beings; acceptance of the world without a grain of self-righteousness; and deep gratitude for the opportunity to experience the universe just the way it is. These qualities are especially evident in the audio version of the book, read by the author, where Manicom’s enthusiasm, sense of wonder, and basic humanity really shine through. In fact, while Manicom is clearly not a voice actor, it is impossible to imagine anyone but the author reading this book.

And, because Manicom not only describes what he sees, but makes an attempt to understand it, what emerges is a narrative of a world far different from the one seen on the evening news. The World according to Sam Maincom is colorful, complex and beautiful. Like his book, it is a multidimensional and rich tapestry, woven together by the experiences, joys, sorrows and extraordinary adventures of ordinary folk. What a joy it is to be a part of this World!Crating psr