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Archive for October, 2012

Respect – David Barr

Riding a motorcycle on its own is difficult enough. Anyone who is just starting to learn how to ride one will know that. Even under the easiest of circumstances, you need to have a good control of your body in order to properly control your bike.

You can then imagine how difficult it is if you are someone like David Barr. David, a former professional soldier, lost both his legs when his car went over a mine in Angola. In order to save his life, the South African doctors had to amputate both his legs. But despite the fact that he no longer had any legs, David went back to active duty until his contract ran out.

When he returned to the USA, he took out to his “old” motorcycle, a 1972 Harley-Davidson Panhead which he bought just after returning from Vietnam in 1971. He restored to Harley, fitting it with devices that allowed him to ride his motorcycle with his prosthetics. He also fitted it with an electric starter, since there was no way he could start the heavy bike otherwise.

After getting used to the bike, he set out doing something that only a few people have done before him – all of them with no disabilities. He went and took his Harley around the world!

David Barr in China

During 3 1/2 years, David took his Harley-Davidson on an 83,000 miles journey around the world, often riding under extreme conditions and the most dangerous roads.

David finally returned home in 1994, and wrote a lengthy book about his ordeal. Called “Riding the Edge”, he describes, supported by many photos, his trip and all the memories.

In 1996, David finally put his trusty ride to rest, with 250,000 miles on it. He then set out in the same year on a new Harley-Davidson Sportser 883 with a sidecar, from France into the Siberian winter, traveling through a desolate Russia. The trip resulted in another book, called “Riding the Ice”.

David’s incredible adventures have earned him 2 Guinness World Records, and an induction in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2000.

With several books to his name, documentaries and worldwide recognition, David is now on the lecture circuit as a motivational speaker.

Click here to go to David’s website where you can read more about him and buy his books and/or DVDs.

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This week sees one of world’s biggest and largest motorcycle exhibitions take place in Cologne, Germany. Called Intermot, this once-every-two-years event alternates with the French motorcycle expo.

The show, since that is what it really is, starts for the public on October the 3rd. Specialists recon it’s second to the Italian expo Eicma in size and visitors.

In 2010, Intermot saw some 195,000 visitors visiting the 110,000 square meters (some 131,558 square yards) of space, divided into 6 different halls. The exhibition is not a “German” event, it’s truly international. 1,106 exhibitors from 40 countries are present in this event, with large representation from Asia (particularly China), Europe and North America.

Intermot Halls Layout

2010 Exhibitor Countries

This year should be a bumper year, since most main motorcycle manufacturers will be launching many new and updated motorcycles for 2013. BMW on their home turf will be showing their best-selling and new all-round motorcycle, the GS. But in contrast with previous year’s models, this boxer engine will have liquid cooling, an enormous step for the Bavarian manufacturer.

Ducati should be splitting their new models between Intermot and Eicma (their home turf), but the internet has already leaked information on their new dual-purpose 1200 Multistrada, so it’s not going to be a surprise.

The same will apply to Kawasaki with their 300 Ninja and the ZX-6R. Information has been circulating on the web about their much expected new models. Many other manufacturers are known to have new models ready for launch; Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and even harley-Davidson.

But it’s not only motorcycles that are shown here. Accessories, helmets and clothing are everywhere. From traditional manufacturers, to even the smallest shops in India can be seen here. Often you’ll find the latest gadgets meant for riders anywhere being exhibited.

Intermot (and their Italian counterpart, Eicma) are two exhibitions that any true motorcycle lover should visit at least once in their lifetime. A bit like a pilgrimage to Mecca, it shows what is being done in the world of motorcycles globally. A must!

Source: Intermot

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