Episode 52, in which we go faster than anybody else – again! – with Gary Ilminen

A small number of you are, like me, about to head off to the MOA’s big annual rally. This year it’s being held in Lebanon, Tennessee. Next year it will be in Great Falls, Montana. Whether you ride a BMW or not, you’re invited!​ If you come to the rally this year, please look me up. I’ll be in the School Exhibits Building doing interviews for the show all day Friday and Saturday.

All my spare time has been eaten up lately by preparations for the rally, so it’s lucky I had this discussion with author, journalist and world land speed record holder Gary Ilminen just waiting around to include in an episode. I talked to Gary back in March, so it’s been a while, but trust me – I had a plan. Really.

Two land speed record holders in back-to-back episodes. Couldn’t pass that up! Plus, rally time means there might not be a new episode out in two weeks like you’re used to. Stay tuned, friends, and listen to the old episodes starting with CTH001: Helge Pedersen. I’ll have a new episode to you no later than the first or second Monday in July.

It was actually an article about DOT-certified helmets largely failing standard tests that got my attention and drew me to Gary. It’s probably not going to surprise you folks that I use (and swear by) a full-face helmet. Not a 1/2 or 3/4 helmet, nor even a “modular” (i.e. flip-front) helmet. Full face, full time. I have my reasons, one of which being that when I got hit by a car in 1999, had I been wearing anything else, I’d have been severely maimed or even killed in the collision.

Gary shares my passion for helmet use, and even takes it a step farther by writing about it. He writes about a lot of other stuff, too. In addition to writing The Unlikely 1, a book about his Bonneville experience, he writes extensively for Ultimate Motorcycling and RideApart, two sites from which I often draw news articles for Chasing the Horizon. Click those links to fly off to a directory of Gary’s articles on each site.

I’m going to give you two direct links to interviews Gary did. First up is Roger Donaldson, the writer, director and co-producer of the film The World’s Fastest Indian, which starred Anthony Hopkins in a non-face-eating role as Burt Munro, the New Zealander with a dream of running the salt flats at Bonneville. The second is with John Munro, Burt’s son.

I’m not crying. YOU’RE crying!

I promise I only mention my new Indian FTR 1200 S one time during this episode – and it’s a quick mention, not a long-drawn out monologue on how I’m accepting that my mid-life crisis is an inappropriate motorcycle. There is news about Indian’s new motorcycle rental program to kick things off, followed by The Motley Fool’s continuing vendetta against Harley-Davidson. (PS TheMoCo has probably not sanctioned this Harley-themed dating site.) Royal Enfield dealers will soon be carrying slick new slip-ons for their 650cc parallel twins, and you can also find out a little about Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman as we continue to hear rumors about their next televised expedition, which looks to shoot some time in 2019.

I have it on good authority that the press release event for Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire electric motorcycle will take place the weekend of 12 July, so we should start seeing reviews on the web soon after, followed up by print media in September or October. No, Harley did not invite me to the press event, but I’m not bitter about it. Would have been nice to go, though! It’s OK, I know somebody who is going and hopefully I’ll be able to get him on the show not long after he gets to check out this highly anticipated motorcycle. I’m still trying to get somebody from Harley on the show to talk about this bike.

That was my long way around telling you the only bit of electric bike news in this episode involves a fun (maybe even childishly so) new aspect to Supercross – which, if you haven’t seen it, is just about the craziest kind of motorcycle racing there is. CRAZY FUN!!

Season 3 is fast approaching, and will be featuring a who’s who of folks who ride and make the things for our bodies and bikes that make riding safer, faster and more fun.

OK, here’s some bonus (video) links related to the FTR 1200 S: Fork Slowly: Unboxing an FTR 1200 S, and fixing the punctured rear tire that only has 40 miles on it with the very tool I gave away on this show. Well, not the VERY tool, but one just like the one I sent to William from British Columbia, our winner, who thankfully emailed me back so I didn’t have to pick a third winner. There’s also a real review of the bike from the fine folks over at Revzilla.

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See you out there somewhere on the road – or off it! Thanks again for listening. We’re getting close to 100,000 listens – it won’t be long now. Ride safe.