Gear and Product Reviews


When we discussed the next bike to review I already had my eye on Ducati’s new S2R 1000 LeMonster, so I contacted none other than Leigh Letellier at Letko Cycles to see if he would be interested in having us do a review on one of his incredible Italian-made bikes.

Ducati offers the S2R 1000 for an affordable MSRP of only $10,995 and comes equipped with some of the highest quality components available on the market today. From the frame to the chain they do not cut corners and prior to this test ride I spent some time looking at the unique styling and paint options.

On start up this motorcycle is all Ducati with a quick revving engine and throaty exhaust. I had not ridden a Ducati since 2002; however, what remains constant and fresh in my mind is the way the Ducati sounds. Since this model is up against several of the metric twins that have made the top 10 list in 2006, I was really looking forward to seeing how this bike would handle. The total dry weight of this bike is a mere 392 pounds with a single-sided swing arm and Marelli electronic fuel injection, whose 45mm throttle bodies works well together providing no hesitation from idle to redline.

Below are the specs on the 2006 Ducati S2R 1000 Monster:

FRAME: Tubular steel trellis

WHEELBASE: 56.7 in

RAKE: 24°

FRONT SUSPENSION: Showa 43 mm upside-down fully adjustable fork


FRONT BRAKE: 2 x 320 mm discs, 4-piston caliper

FRONT WHEEL: 5-spoke light alloy 3.50 x 17

FRONT TIRE: 120/70 ZR 17

REAR SUSPENSION: Progressive linkage with preload and rebound adjustable Sachs monoshock. Aluminium single-sided swingarm


REAR BRAKE: 245 mm disc, 2-piston caliper

REAR WHEEL: 5-spoke light alloy 5.50 x 17

REAR TIRE: 180/55 ZR 17

FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 3.6 US gal (includes 0.8 US gal reserve)

WEIGHT: 392 lbs

SEAT HEIGHT: 31.5 in

INSTRUMENTS: Electronic panel: speedometer, rev counter, neutral light, oil pressure warning light, low fuel warning light, high beam indicator, turn signals, immobilizer system, LCD clock

WARRANTY: 2 years unlimited mileage

COLOR COMBINATIONS (TANK-FRAME-WHEELS): (red with white stripe-red-white) (black with white stripe-matte black-black) (grey with black stripe-matte black-black)

VERSIONS: Dual seat * = The weight excludes battery, lubricants and, where applicable, cooling liquid.

TYPE: L-twin cylinder, 2 valves per cylinder Desmodromic; air cooled

DISPLACEMENT: 992 cc BORE X STROKE 94 x 71.5 mm

COMPRESSION RATIO: 10:1 POWER* - 95 hp @ 8000 rpm TORQUE* 69.4 lb-ft @ 6000 rpm

FUEL INJECTION: Marelli electronic fuel injection, 45 mm throttle body

EXHAUST: 2 aluminium mufflers


GEARBOX: 6-speed

RATIOS: 1st 37/15, 2nd 30/17, 3rd 27/20, 4th 24/22, 5th 23/24, 6th 24/28

PRIMARY DRIVE: Straight cut gears; ratio 1.84

FINAL DRIVE: Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 41

CLUTCH: Dry multiplate with hydraulic control

This bike is a great value and a blast to ride! The fuel tank pivots to gain access to the air cleaner element and the throttle bodies for synchronization. The 43 mm inverted front forks are very stable and handle wheelie impacts like a true champion.
The mirrors and foot pegs have little to no vibration at all rpm ranges, which is a big plus while revving the motor.

This motorcycle not only looks good but the all-around performance of this engine is fantastic and likes to be ridden hard. The transmission shifts extremely easy and I never had any mis-shifts through all gears. The clutch and transmission are excellent for normal riding conditions as well as the race track.

The Rear Sachs suspension handled as expected under hard corners and never came close to bottoming out while traversing railroad tracks and small potholes. The combination of inverted forks, mono shock and single-sided swing arm is the right choice.

The swingarm design not only reduces the overall weight of the motorcycle, but also enables you to change the rear wheel in just seconds, which is very important at the race track. Between the power and suspension, it comes as no surprise that this model can be made ready for the racetrack with only a few minor modifications. Along with incredible performance, the S2R 1000 also looks great and is guaranteed to draw attention everywhere you go.

There are a lot of new 1000cc class motorcycles on the market today, and although Ducati has cut no corners with this model, it is priced very competitively. So if you are in the market for a great sportbike, make sure to stop by Letko Cycles and check out the new 2006 Ducati S2R 1000 Monster. I guarantee you will not disappointed!

I want to thank Leigh Letellier-Manager, Jim Koenig-Sales, Mario Arter –Tech Service and the rest of the crew at Letko Cycles for all their help and for allowing us to run this incredible bike though its paces.

Keep up the great job guys!

B-safe out there!

Review by Dave Miller

Photos by Stripe and Mike Schweder

I recently stopped by Donnell’s Motorcycles in Independence, Missouri to check out the new 2006 Suzuki Boulevard M109R. This awesome looking motorcycle is Suzuki’s largest motorcycle to date, and I’m convinced it will be one of the top 10 motorcycles of the year.

The M109 not only looks good, it performs like a serious mid-weight sport bike, from the inverted front suspension to the 240 mm rear tire setup. The Boulevard M109R's performance begins with its all new 109-cubic-inch, fuel injected V-Twin engine, which provides massive torque all the way from idle to redline, which gives it better acceleration than bikes of similar weight and size. According to Suzuki, this is the most powerful V-Twin they have ever produced.

The exhaust is very unique and has a throaty, distinctive sound that is all Boulevard. One look and you will agree, this new cruiser is one of the best you’ve seen in a long time, plus it has the horsepower to back it up. Suzuki has always been a cut above the rest, from the GSXR 1000 and the Hayabusa; however, seeing this bike and twisting its throttle may change the way you look at the metric line of cruisers.

Larry James and Stewart Basey at Donnell’s Motorcycles is adding a nitrous system to an M109 and I can’t wait to see the dyno results. I have a feeling that number may climb to 170 horsepower or more. I’m also sold on the shim-under-tappet design cylinder arrangement Suzuki has applied. That in itself tells me this bike is no joke and can be revved hard and long for some serious fun.

Below are the engine and chassis specs that prove this bike has been given a rebirth and a place in the spotlight for 2006.

New 1783cc, 4-valve DOHC, 54 degree, liquid-cooled, fuel injected V-Twin engine designed for strong throttle response and quick acceleration

Massive 112mm bore and 90.5mm stroke utilizing huge 112mm forged aluminum alloy pistons with short skirts, and cut away sides riding on chrome moly steel connecting rods.

Unique new two-stage cam drive system creates a compact cylinder head design and reduces overall engine height and creates a lower center of gravity.

Each bore is lined with Suzuki's race proven SCEM (Suzuki Composite Electrochemical Material) for optimum heat transfer, tighter piston-to-cylinder clearances and reduced weight.

A compact dry sump lubrication system SASS (Suzuki Advanced Sump System) provides reduced engine height, a lower crankshaft position and lower center of gravity.

Five-speed transmission features carefully selected gear ratios for comfortable cruising in a variety of riding situations.

Three-piece airbox uses dual intakes with 9.5 liters of internal volume working through a pleated fabric air cleaner element.

The 2-into1-into2 stainless steel chromed exhaust system features Suzuki's digitally controlled SET (Suzuki Exhaust Tuning) system for optimum engine performance and powerful V-Twin sound.

Electronic fuel injection system features the Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve system (SDTV) with 56mm throttle bodies - maintains optium air velocity for smooth low-to-mid range throttle response.

A new Idle Speed Control (ISC) system improves cold starting and stabilizes engine idle speed in various conditions.

Dual spark plug per cylinder ignition system is controlled by the powerful 32 bit ECM for improved combustion effeciency and reduced exhaust emissions.

Race proven front brake system includes radial mounted four piston front calipers and 310mm front brake rotors. Rear brake system includes a dual piston caliper and 275mm rear disc.

Chassis Frame
High-tensile double cradle steel frame is built to comfortably handle all the power and torque while delivering agile handling and a plush smooth ride.

Spiral spoke cast aluminum alloy wheels measure a 3.50 x 18 inch up front and a massive 8.50 x 18 inch rear tire wearing a huge 240mm rear Dunlop radial tire.

The M109R features a muscular, innovative and stylish new look of high performance with long sleek flowing lines and a powerful V-Twin engine.

A sleek wide fuel tank with 5.1 gallon fuel capacity that flows into integrated side covers, a comfortable low seat and stylish radiator cowl.

A streamlined headlight cover carrying a unique trapezoidal shaped multi-reflector H4 halogen headlight and a maintanance free LED tail light built into the tail section.

A handlebar mounted digital tachometer and LED indicator lights flow nicely with the tank mounted analog speedometer and LCD odometer, dual tripmeters, fuel gauge and clock, which I might add is the most unique setup that will get plenty of attention.

Inverted cartridge forks with 46mm stanchion tubes proved an aggressive front end look with 5.12 inches of wheel travel.

A cast aluminum alloy swingarm works with a progressive shock linkage and a preload adjustable single rear shock delivering 4.66 inches of wheel travel working through a shaft drive system.

Suzuki also offers a 12-month unlimited mileage warranty on the M109R.

So as you can see, the new Boulevard M109R is for real and will not only turn heads, but will also get you down the road quicker, cleaner and with one of the best looking stances I’ve seen in a long time.

For additional information on this bike, check out the 2006 Suzuki Boulevard M109R spec page in the Cover Page Reviews section of this issue.

B-safe out there; especially if you’re riding a new M109R.

Dave Miller

When Curtis Fisher of MidAmerica PowerSports Plus in Independence, Missouri asked if we'd like to road test their new 2005 MZ 1000S we jumped at the chance. I mean, how often does a dealer hand you the keys to a new bike and ask you to take it out for a week, run it through its paces, then bring it back and tell them what you think?

Sport or Touring?

If you're unfamiliar with MZ you're probably not alone. Although its German heritage dates back to the early 1900s, MZ is relatively new to the United States, with the first MZ 1000S being introduced late in 2004. Conceived in the award winning Naumann Design Studio, this unique bike, with its Stealth Fighter look and sexy European flair, fits into a category of sport touring that no other manufacturer has dared to enter. Typically, sport touring bikes are valued for their contrasts to pure sport bikes in terms of comfort, two-up riding, wind protection, and luggage capacity.

Rarely are sport touring bikes rated on the sport criteria but are routinely issued a pass when it comes to performance, suspension, handling, and other attributes by which pure sporting machines are strictly graded. Thus, MZ 1000S boldly ventures into the sporting category by exceeding most criteria for which far more powerful bikes are known. On the touring side of the equation, the MZ meets all the typical weekender requirements. The 1000S is more sport than tour but is able to bridge the gap with few compromises that would concern the discerning rider.

The chart shows a quick look at how the 1000S rates for both the Sport and Touring criteria we used for this test. With the exception of horsepower, the 1000S comes close to perfect on the sport side. The windshield lifts the air over your helmet cleanly so there is little wind buffeting at high speed. When tucked in through the corners the feel of the controls is superior. Handling, suspension, and braking are all excellent. The large tachometer is easy to read at a glance and the shifting is positive throughout the abundant power band. For long touring the lack of detachable hard bags, the less-than-upright riding stance, the vibration in the mirrors, and the speedometer error bring down the Touring scores, although at a 96% and 88% relative satisfaction index the MZ is still impressive.

MZ History

Beginning in 1906, Motorradwerk Zschopau-MZ has had a long history of contributions to motorcycling and at the end of the 1920's, under the brand DKW was the world’s largest motorcycle producer. The factory led the way in the 175cc and 250cc classes and enjoyed a hard-fought rivalry with another little start-up brand that went by the name of Bavarian Motor Werks—or BMW for short. World War II saw the factory dedicated to machinery for the Third Reich, and it wasn't until 1949 that the factory (then in Communist East Germany) turned out the IFA-DKW RT 125 and returned to the racing podium. In 1953, the Company reorganized under the German Democratic Republic (GDR) political system as VEB Motorradwerk Zschopau, or MZ for short.

Two names famous in motorcycle engineering are MZ's Walter Kaaden and fellow engineer and racer, Ernst Degner. Together they changed the face of competition forever. Kaaden developed the modern day expansion chamber for two strokes and made them competitive winners against the four-stroke designs of the day. Degner brought this body of knowledge to Suzuki when he defected from East Germany to Japan in 1960. Suzuki won its first World Championship in 1961 and in the years following Yamaha won, both borrowing heavily from technology hewn by Kaaden.

Throughout the 60s MZ continued to ship record numbers of two-stroke singles throughout East Germany and Soviet Block countries, as well as to evolving and Third World nations. They also managed to rack up a series of victories at the International Six-Day Trials. In total, MZ brought home 13 World Championships in the postwar era. In 1974, after manufacturing more than one million postwar motorcycles, MZ entered the US market. In the mid 80s German reunification spelled the end for MZ’s government funding when the GDR economy collapsed. MuZ was the name chosen by the Company when resurrected by the Malaysian group Hong Leong in 1996. The first successes were the Yamaha 660-powered Baghira and Scorpion. In 1999, the Company regained its original marque of MZ as well as a twenty million dollar investment for the new 1000S, funded by the parent company. The award winning 1000S became available in Europe in 2003 and then arrived on US shores in late 2004. MZ has placed a sizable investment in the US market and the new 1000S is the foundation of their future in the western hemisphere.

Styling Perspectives

In 2003, Peter Naumann, the designer of the striking 1000S, was awarded the prestigious International Forum Design (iF) Silver Award for the project. The iF Awards are coveted by world leaders in product design and reflect a manufacturer's commitment to innovation and willingness to take on competitors. MZ has certainly stepped forward with a bold, angular, and highly functional design poised with an aggressive mantis-like nuance: slightly sinister yet curiously inviting. At rest, projector beam headlights create the impression that there exists a soul within whose possibilities beckon.

Studies exist that attempt to quantify beauty; indeed, many industries believe they have narrowed it down to a finite set of rules. Product styling is always a subjective exercise, and after gazing at the MZ for a protracted period (an easy thing to do), the profile reveals a Fibonacci-like spiral overlaid from the handlebars to the notched tail that reveals the perfect blend of beauty with symmetry and artistic flair with genius. When we interpret beauty, shapes like the 1000S are as organic as a conch shell lying on the beach or as complex as a print from M.C. Escher, where the more you look the more you discover in the design.

Engine Tech

When grading on pure sport bike attributes, the 1000S motor is an example of how the world's finest motorcycles are about the total package not just high horsepower at the crankshaft. The MZ 1000S is powered by a liquid-cooled, four-stroke, parallel twin 998cc engine that was designed in-house. This engine is truly unique in its design and execution. The twin cylinder power plant is narrow and the over-square cylinders are canted forward 40°. The valve train is a chain driven DOHC, with a four-valve-per-cylinder set-up with 40mm intakes and 32mm exhaust. The tail mounted Sagem ECU controls the injectors for the dual 52mm throttle bodies and supplies highly predictable throttle response. MZ engineers started their design from a clean slate in a Computer Aided Design and modeling environment with numbers run on strength and performance before a case was cast or machined. The engineering goals were to make the motor an integral part of the handling and balance of the machine not just a power plant with huge horsepower numbers. Ease of maintenance was also important and that theme dominates the design of this motor as well as the whole bike. The cases split horizontally, the transmission is a cassette type, the clutch is on the left-hand side of the motor, and the alternator is on the right side with the drive.

By traditional sport bike design standards everything seems backwards. However, after looking closely at how both short and long-term maintenance labor is reduced you can't help but marvel at the forethought and simplicity that has gone into the 1000S engine design.

As the above photo reveals, the compact engine has a counterbalancer to dampen out the 180° crankshaft. The cassette transmission can be easily serviced by removing six bolts and pulling it from the engine cases as a complete unit. The alternator runs in the engine oil and the flywheel is attached to the right-hand side of the crankshaft. The starter sits above the free gear wheel and engages through the alternator gear. All ancillary and main gear teeth are straight cut to decrease friction and the telltale whirring can be heard when the engine is at idle.

The twin cylinder design contributes to the high amount of torque in the low to mid range. Maximum torque of 58 ft/lbs measured at the rear wheel at 7000 RPM, and when accelerating on through the power band never dropped with a sharp dive as redline approached.

Transmission and Clutch

The cassette design harks back to MZ's history of innovative racing design. Those who choose to race these bikes will enjoy some of the same benefits many MotoGP bikes have when it comes to track changes. On the practical side, any labor will be much less should a gear ever need to be replaced (which judging by the overall quality of the MZ, is not likely). I also noticed that the transmission was very tight and shifted extremely positive in the taller gears. The lower gears did shift a bit harder than I expected but is most likely due to the low miles on this bike, and after break-in should loosen up. The hydraulic clutch system works great and I was impressed by the clutch pull. It worked without incident and was very easy to use in traffic. The clutch uses a reinforced inner braided line to reduce fade and expansion.


The front forks are 43mm fully adjustable and inverted Marzocchi (Mar-Zo-kee), which are at the high end of suspension systems for today's high performance sport bikes. The front forks handled bumps, potholes, and tight corners very well. At the rear of the machine Finite Element Method (FEM) Simulation techniques were employed to test the stress characteristics of the massive aluminum alloy swingarm. It is tied to a single, fully adjustable, Sachs rear shock, offset to the left of the machine with a large knob for a 25 click preload adjustment, and an easy-to-find knurled ring at the connection point is for rebound dampening. Finding the ultimate setting for my ride was a breeze.

Both of these systems worked extremely well during normal and aggressive riding, and the suspension handles anything you throw at it and maintains its superior dampening characteristics over ripples.


The wheels are a patented split design for low rotating mass, and the large 320mm Nissin front rotors with four-piston Nissin calipers perform extremely well. The gold finish on the calipers and disc adds a nice touch, and the front and rear brake lines are metal reinforced to reduce brake fade and expansion. I was equally impressed when panic braking at 60 mph and was able to stop quite efficiently without locking the front wheel. The rear single-pot Nissin system offered excellent feedback when diving into a corner and was steady under trail braking throughout the apex. In fact, the feedback of the braking system was substantial as the ride continued.

Instrumentation & Controls

The instrument panel is easy to read and the clock is a useful tool, especially when you've told your significant other what time you will be home. The digital readout is great and offers several modes and functions. For those of you who have a problem setting the time on your microwave, the clock instructions in the user manual will walk you through it without fail. The temperature gauge is an easy-to-read bar where 2-6 bars indicate the proper operating range. There is a group of lights for systems self- test and ECU fault indication. The trip odometer is reset easily.

One drawback I noticed was the lack of a fuel gauge. There is a warning light but no actual gauge, which is what I prefer. I also noticed a discrepancy in the speedometer. The turn signals and high beam work well with the passing high beam indicator on the left control box. One other item worth mentioning is that the front brake master cylinder is located at the five o’clock position on the tachometer side, which might be in the line of sight for some riders.


Throughout my test, the actual road temperature was around 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the Metzler Sportec M-1 tires reacted extremely well. The twin spar parallel design of the frame is as attractive as it is strong. The 4130 Chrome-moly perimeter tubes encompass the engine head and the look is distinctive and bold. The steering geometry at 24.5-degrees of fork angle with a 98mm trail offers a light feel, and the 1000S always felt as though it was on a rail as I snaked through the twisties around Lake Jacomo. The handling was phenomenal and I never felt like it wanted to fall into a turn or go anywhere other than where I pointed it.

Functional Styling

I was very impressed by this bike and its styling is exceptional. Because of the rich paint job it's hard to tell the gas tank is actually made of plastic, so there are no rust issues. By removing two screws, the tank can be rotated upwards like a hood on a car to access the air cleaner, battery, and other vital engine components. The engine will run in this position enabling tuning without an auxiliary gas tank. My legs fit tightly in the sliced recesses on each side of the tank, which enabled me to hug the bike firmly through the turns. The projector headlights look and work great. The running lights are also a terrific idea and I like that you can have one headlight on or both, if you prefer. The tail section is clean and has a distinctive bird tail design with a taillight that reflects the body. The body is European race inspired with quick release Deutz fasteners securing the side panels. With a ground seat height of 32.5 inches I was able to touch flatfooted, but this might pose a problem for shorter folks. Positioned just above the tire, the rear fender controls debris and has a clean integrated look with the rear shock and swingarm.

Riding Impression

After starting the bike the first time I was immediately impressed by how quickly the engine achieved normal operating temperature. This is great when you don’t have a lot of time for warm-up. My test rides revealed that any engine vibration is dampened effectively due to a counterbalance shaft located in front of the crankshaft. The engine comes alive from 4000 rpm all the way to the 9400-rpm redline. Below 3000 RPM the engine is crisp but a bit jerky. I expected the engine to be sluggish at the bottom-end but it was barely noticeable. I really enjoyed the torque from 1500 to 4000 RPM, which allows you to raise the front wheel easily off the ground.

Overall, the engine seems to be the right combination for this twin set-up. With less horsepower than the typical liter bike (97 True HP™ at the rear wheel*) the parallel twin is narrow, with less rotating mass than the typical in-line four, resulting in reduced gyroscopic effects when leaning into a curve at high revs. The cylinders are canted 40° forward to provide a higher front wheel bias translating a solid feel through the handlebars under hard braking at high revs. Power transitions at the apex are predictable with the steering response light yet firm. Simply put, the design of the motor contributes positively to the handling while the lower HP doesn’t detract from the capabilities of the machine. Due to inclement weather I was unable to make it to the drag strip to get an accurate ¼ mile time; however, the specifications show that this bike is capable of hitting 146 mph at redline. I have taken this engine to the rev limiter and the motor pulled hard all the way to redline.

Cruising in fifth and sixth gears would normally be a detriment but that was not the case with this bike. I used all six gears and was impressed with the power that sixth gear provided. The bike is well built, handles beautifully, and is extremely well balanced. Being able to throw the bike into corners and lean at angles like a professional road racer, pound for pound you are getting the best suspension and riding position you can expect from a company that pays attention to creating a well-rounded product. The handlebar position is 3.1 inches above the fuel tank. The handlebars are adjustable by rotating a few degrees inwards. I was very comfortable riding this bike for several hours at a time and didn't feel like I was reaching over the tank. I enjoyed the comfortable seat, and although the windshield is shorter than on most Japanese models it offered great wind resistance when the occasional semi-trailer passed me by on the two-lane roads. The rider’s foot pegs have rubber tops, which helps reduce vibration and are positioned in a comfortable place.

The oval brushed aluminum mufflers give a distinctive sound that only comes from a twin cylinder motor. The engine torque and power is very good and begs to be powered out of the turns.

Touring Impressions

The 1000S will ride for about 170 miles at a steady 70-75 mph before the reserve light comes on. For a Sport/Touring bike that falls on the sport side the ergonomics of the bike are exceptional for long distances. The position of the handlebars in relation to the foot pegs is quite comfortable. Those riders over six feet tall will find the plastic tank sliced so the knees tuck in perfectly. Your body is leaned over a bit more than the BMW 1150RS or the Triumph Sprint ST, but there aren’t any significant stresses that show up in the lower back of a reasonably limber 35-50 year old rider.

The windscreen directs the air completely over the top of your helmet and the front end slices through it like a knife. Hundreds of hours of wind tunnel testing went into designing the front end on this bike. Like the Stealth Fighter, the MZ 1000S is at the intersection where form meets functionality. The style of this bike is a carefully engineered exercise in aerodynamics and the properties of laminar flow.

Under braking there is no excessive strain on your wrists, and getting off the bike after a full tank’s worth of highway is surprisingly easy on the knees. Although hard luggage is not available at this time a soft luggage kit is available for the 1000S, and the attachment points are conveniently accessible in the spacious storage area under the passenger seat. While the 'S’ designation is indicative of a Sport Touring bike the MZ in its current form is well suited to weekend and longer trips, but those transcontinental rides may have to wait for the 'ST’ Touring model to follow.  

One of our founding members began this journey back in early 2004. She joined Women on Wheels (WOW), but the social riding group seemed to lack the camaraderie that she was looking for. Moving on, she and another founding member came across Chics 'N Chaps M/C, an all female club based in Kingsport, Tennessee with an additional chapter in Indiana. They formed a chapter in Kentucky in early 2005, and it seemed from all outward appearances they had found what they had been looking for. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to them, there was turmoil with the Indiana chapter, and one month after beginning this venture, the Indiana chapter resigned from the club. A few months went by and a couple more joined the Kentucky chapter. During this time they noticed how a national officer in Tennessee was inflicting their point of views and beliefs on the rest of the club. By July 2005, the Kentucky chapter decided to part ways and reformed into the Rebel Roses M/C. We now cover three states, Cincinnati, Ohio, Topeka, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri, with prospective chapters in a few more.

The Rebel Roses is an all-female motorcycle club who are very passionate about their bikes and the brotherhood and sisterhood of the biker lifestyle. They aim to inspire women with the courage to break free from the chains of limiting belief patterns and societal conditioning that have traditionally kept women suppressed and unable to see their true beauty and power. It takes a very strong-willed and independent woman to uphold the image of a Rebel Rose. Anyone in the lifestyle knows of the challenges that exist in what some like to call a 'Man's World.' We have members who are well-seasoned in the lifestyle and some that have never been around it until us. We also have some who have ridden all their lives and others who are still quite green. Regardless of their knowledge, we help our sisters to obtain and achieve the necessary skills to be successful,
independent and confident at everything they do.

Our own foundation, Children of the Garden, was created to assist low-income families in Appalachia to help children receive beds, clothes, school fees and other items that are difficult to come by. We like to promote a positive image to the public and widely host charity events to support various causes.

If someone has questions on the commitment or the group itself, they can go to to contact us. Simply put, “We’re the ones you won’t forget.”

Story by Rabbit

Photos by Mike Schweder

Every year at Sturgis, I make it a priority to arrange my schedule to include one or more events put on by the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club. Anyone who enjoys attending the Sturgis Rally should thank the Gypsies for getting the whole thing started. The club, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, was founded by Sturgis Indian Motorcycle dealer John Clarence “Pappy” Hoel with seven original members. The club was originally known as the Jackpines because the seven original members enjoyed racing among the 'jackpines' or Ponderosa pines. One day, after they returned from a day of riding, someone told them they looked like a bunch of gypsies, and they decided to change their name to the Jackpine Gypsies.

On August 14, 1938, Pappy and the Jackpine Gypsies organized the first Black Hills Motor Classic. The weekend event featured an AMA sanctioned half-mile dirt track race. Nine riders participated in the first race, and the event drew about 200 spectators. The races became an annual affair, attracting more racers, spectators, and vendors year after year. As the crowds grew, so did the variety of events and entertainment. Amazingly, the Jackpine Gypsies’ small racing event grew into an enormous rally that attracts hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists to the Black Hills annually.

The club is a non-profit organization having over 150 members living across the United States and abroad. Associate memberships are available on line through the club’s website . The Jackpine Gypsies support various area charities including the local food bank, Sturgis High School, Zonta Club of Sturgis, and the Christian Motorcyclists Association

The Gypsies own approximately 40 acres of land along Interstate 90 between Exit 30 and Exit 32. Their property is home to a lighted short track, motocross track, field meet area, hill climb area, clubhouse, office and a state approved concession business. The schedule of events for 2011 was as follows:

Saturday, August 6 – Moto-X Practice
Sunday, August 7 – Moto-X Races

Monday, August 8 – Trophy Hill Climb

Monday, August 8 – Short Track

Tuesday, August 9 – Gypsy Tour

Tuesday, August 9 – Short Track & TT Races

Wednesday, August 10 – Half-Mile Races

Friday, August 12 – Pro Hill Climb

The results of the races are posted on the Jackpine Gypsies website . I enjoyed the races on Sturgis’ ½-mile oval. I arrived at the track just as the riders’ meeting was taking place. Soon the roar of high-performance racing engines echoed through the hills as the riders completed their practice laps. One rider among the first group on the track had the misfortune of sliding into the hay bales and suffering a shoulder injury. Thankfully, there were no other riders injured during the event.

Prior to heat races several Jackpine Gypsies rode a few parade laps showing off a variety of motorcycles from antique to modern. Club President Greg “Grog” Hultman led the way on a vintage racing bike followed by an Indian Chief bearing the club flag. During the opening ceremony, Greg’s father, Neil, who is the oldest active Gypsy at the age of 82, welcomed the spectators to the event and spoke about the club’s history.

The racing was very competitive. Several heats ended with as many as three bikes coming out of the final turn with an excellent chance of being first to the checkered flag. Race fans who came to the event hoping to see some great flat track action were not disappointed.

After the race, I was pleased to have an opportunity to visit with Neil Hultman.

CC: Neil, what year did you join the Jackpine Gypsies?
Neil: It was 1947.

CC: How has the club membership changed over the years?
Neil: It has varied. When I joined the club in 1947, there were ten of us. There were some from Sturgis, some from Deadwood, and some from Lead, and we would vary our meeting locations. When events were held, everyone worked their tails off. Now we probably have over 100 members including the associate memberships, but there are still about the same number of active members as there were when there were ten of us.

CC: What kind of motorcycles have you owned?
Neil: When I joined the club I rode an Indian. When I was in high school, I had about a 10-mile drive both ways, and I had a Model A. Right after World War Two I sold the Model A, and couldn’t get another car. A buddy of mine suggested that we both get motorcycles, and I said, “that sounds like a plan.” I went to Mr. Hoel who was the only motorcycle dealer around here. He didn’t have what I wanted at the time, but said he would get some more bikes in shortly. He sold me a 1947 Indian Chief, seafoam blue. I went over to Korea for two years, and sold it when I came back. I don’t know why I sold it. It was the one bike I should have kept, but I didn’t.

CC: Sturgis events sponsored by the club include some tours as well as the races.
Neil: Yes, this year we just had one. Sometimes we have two. The club got into the tour business at the request of the city. As the rally grew, they wanted to provide more things for people to do, so we had a tour to Mount Rushmore. Later we added a Devil’s Tower tour. This year’s tour went to Devil’s Tower, and we had 25 or 30 bikes.

CC: Your club has events other than during the rally, right?
Neil: We have meetings, rides, and races. People can go to our website and see our newsletters and learn what we do.

CC: Neil, I appreciate your taking the time to visit.

The Jackpine Gypsies continue to provide great entertainment opportunities at the Sturgis Rally every year with their wide variety of events throughout the week. The photos below are from this year’s half-mile plus a few from past years’ hill climbs and short track races.

Article and photos by Stripe

I was invited by my friend Darrell Curfman to attend a recent meeting of a motorcycle organization of which he is a charter member. The meeting, combined with the group’s winter party, was held at Paul and Jack’s in North Kansas City. I enjoyed meeting the organization’s President, Tom Norris, and several of the chapter’s members and guests. During the meeting, Tom conducted a “tour” of the organization’s website which seems very user-friendly and should provide members with plenty of useful information and opportunity to communicate. The following information was obtained from the Liberty Touring and Riding Association website:

“LIBERTY Touring & Riding Association was founded in 2009 in the Kansas City, Missouri area. It is our founding concept that our organization is here to support our membership, not the other way around. Every LIBERTY
member has a voice.
LIBERTY is a non-political riding organization. We emphasize safe and lawful riding. There is absolutely no alcohol allowed during sanctioned chapter rides. Our official rides do not bounce from bar to bar. Safe group riding is a must. We want to ride with all of our friends for many years to come.
If a fun, friendly and safe motorcycle riding association is what you are looking for, then check our LIBERTY Touring & Riding Association. If there is not a local LIBERTY Chapter in your area, we are more than happy to help you get one started.
The LIBERTY Mission Statement is as follows:
To promote and improve goodwill among motorcyclists and between motorcyclists and the general public; to encourage and promote motorcycle activities in each chapter's area; and to encourage safe and enjoyable motorcycle riding and group activities in a family friendly environment. LIBERTY Touring & Riding Association is open to all motorcycle makes and models.”

Question: What is LIBERTY Touring & Riding Association's annual membership fee?
Answer: Currently there are no membership fees to join LIBERTY Touring & Riding.

Question: How do I get information on starting a LIBERTY chapter in my area?
Answer: There is a link on the 'Home Page' to request information on starting a chapter.

Question: Is LIBERTY membership open to anyone regardless of the motorcycle make and model they ride?
Answer: Yes, LIBERTY is open to all motorcycle makes and models.

Question: What is a chapter's charter?
Answer: A charter is a licensing agreement between LIBERTY Touring & Riding Association and its chapters and provides operational guidelines.

Question: Are LIBERTY chapters non-profit or for-profit organizations?
Answer: Individual chapters can operate as either a non-profit or for-profit as they choose.

Question: Does LIBERTY support any particular charities?
Answer: Each chapter is open to choose their own individual charities to support.

Question: Can anyone purchase a LIBERTY back patch?
Answer: No, LIBERTY patches are available to members only.

In addition to the Q&A on the website, I had a few questions for Tom.

CC: Who are your organization’s officers?
Tom: I am President of both the national organization and Chapter 1-Kansas City. Ron Hulland is national Vice President and is President of Chapter 2-Ozarks. Sherree Kingman is Events Coordinator.

CC: When did the organization get its start?
Tom: Liberty Touring had its first meeting on September 19, 2009. Chapter 1 – Kansas City signed their charter. Chapter 2 – Ozarks signed their charter on Saturday, November 14, 2009.

CC: How many members do you have?
Tom: Kansas City currently has 35 members. Ozarks has 34 members.

CC: Do you have sponsoring motorcycle dealerships?
Tom: Our host dealership for Chapter 1 is Liberty Cycle Center. Chapter 2 is hosted by Destination Powersports.

CC: When and where are your meetings held?
Tom: Chapter 1 meets on the third Saturday of each month at Liberty Cycle Center, 321 N. State Route 291, Liberty, Missouri 64068, (816) 781-6880. The meetings begin at a.m. Meetings for Chapter 2 are currently held the second Tuesday of each month at 6 pm at Destination Power Sports, 225 S US Highway 60, Marionville, Missouri 65705, (417) 258-2544.

CC: What logo merchandise is available to your members?
Tom: We have a large LIBERTY logo back patch, small logo patch, and chapter rockers.

CC: What information is available on the LIBERTY Touring website?
Tom: There is general information about the organization and how to get a chapter started. We have a Member’s Area that contains open forums, events calendar and photo galleries.

CC: Are additional chapters in the works?
Tom: I am currently working with a group in Denver, Colorado, who are interested in starting a LIBERTY chapter in their area.

CC: Thanks, Tom. Looks like your organization is off to a great start!

Article by Stripe
Photos provided by LIBERTY Touring and Riding Association.

Photo Information:
Lead Photo: Charter members of LIBERTY Chapter 1 – Kansas City following our charter signing.
Chapter 1 Officers at Charter Signing (Lt to Rt: Harlan Breedlove, Ambassador; Paul Hartke, Sergeant at Arms; Tom Norris, President; Lori Schneegass, Treasurer; Parker Richmond, Secretary; Paul Schneegass, Vice President; Sherree Kingman, Events Coordinator.
Ron and Tom at Chapter 2 Charter Signing- (Lt to Rt: Ron Hulland, President Chapter 2 – Ozarks being congratulated at their charter signing by LIBERTY President Tom Norris)

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March 31, 2009

Romans Road Riders

Romans Road Riders is a community life group of Indian Creek Community Church . They are a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who love finding an open road and riding! Any licensed rider regardless of the size or make of his or her motorcycle will be welcomed by Romans Road Riders.
The group meets on the first Saturday of each month during the riding season. Rides depart from the church parking lot at 8:30 a.m. sharp. Riders should arrive with fueled motorcycles, helmets, and lunch money no later than 8:15 for pre-ride instructions. Rides include a meal stop and are usually completed by noon. The group also plans an mid-summer overnight ride.
Everyone who rides with Romans Road Riders must sign a liability release form prior to participating in an Indian Creek sponsored ride. Each rider must have a current motorcycle license and all participants must wear helmets.
Rides typically begin and end at Indian Creek Community Church. Some of last year's rides were:
DeSoto/Gardner Loop, 125 miles, 2 hours
Pittsburg/Ft. Scott Loop, 120 miles, 2 hours
Harrisonville/Louisburg Run, 128 miles, 2-1/2 hours
Prison River Run (Leavenworth/Lawrence), 131 miles, 2-1/2 hours
Weston/Leavenworth Loop, 130 miles, 2-1/2 hours
Lake of the Ozarks Overnight, 466 miles, 2-day ride
Topeka Loop, 130 miles, 2-1/2 hours
Lexington Loop, 135 miles, 2-1/2 hours
The church is located at 12480 S. Black Bob Road in Olathe, Kansas. To contact Romans Road Riders, call 913-254-4499 x2015 or e-mail Tom King.
Luke 14:23 - Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.'
Follow the Road: Romans 3:23 - Romans 6:23 - Romans 5:8 - Romans 10:9&10 - I John 4:15
Photos courtesy of Romans Road Riders

Hello Divas. I know a lot of you are busy making plans for spring bike trips and rallies, while some of you are enjoying the winter months of catching up on motorcycle reading, adding accessories to your bike, or chomping’ at the bit to get out and ride. Here in Kansas City we experienced a couple 60 degree days in January! Wow, did I see a ton of bikes out on those days, and then the next day, it was 13 degrees! Back into hibernation for a few more months I guess.

This month I want to introduce you to a unique group of ladies called The Road Divas Motorcycle Association (Real Divas Ride) out of Baltimore, Maryland. Frankie Tomlinson is the President and I had the opportunity to visit with her and their Senior Vice President, Janett “Smooth” Tillery about their club.

First and foremost, this is one classy group of ladies who give new meaning to “looking good while riding.” When they set out to ride they are dressed to the nines, white leather vests, black leather pants, jeans or chaps, clean polished boots, and their jewelry is all silver or silver tone to match the chrome on their bikes. The only exception to wearing silver is a gold wedding band or religious piece of jewelry.

Frankie had a passion for riding and joined a women’s motorcycle group and rode with them for about five years. She felt there was something missing with this group, and what she noticed was they weren’t like her. They didn’t take pride in their appearance. She tried to encourage change, but experienced a lot of resistance, so she wrote all her ideas down on what kind of group she would like to have. That list stayed under her car seat and she sat on it for three years. Even the name given by her two young children, “Road Diva” stayed on the piece of paper with her dream club ideas. She wanted to get rid of the stereotype of “biker chic,” and the drugs, and alcohol that was associated with it. Frankie wanted her riders to wear nail polish, lipstick, and makeup, and dress in a manner that made the group stand out. She knew how she wanted to look; she loves clothes and she loves to ride. She had never lowered her standards in appearance and wouldn’t start now.

Starting with 5 members, and 50 to date, her Diva’s most definitely stand out. Frankie said she has never been able to make it through an entire bike show because of everyone stopping them, wanting to take pictures and ask questions about the Road Divas. They are known across the United Stated for the classy way they look. I personally like their way of thinking. When I started riding my son said, “Mom how are you going to go from wearing Chanel and DKNY suits to Harley jeans and leather?” Ha! Really easy….it didn’t take me long to change from my business attire to motorcycle clothes, it just meant a whole new wardrobe! And you know how I love to shop! I spend as much time getting ready to ride as I do getting ready for work.

Now you might be thinking, “Is this a group of high society, high fluting, prissy ladies who don’t know much about riding because they spend too much time primping”? Wrong! I’ve been told they can ride the pants off any man… they are not all glitz!

They put as much time into riding skills and safety as they do looking nice. As a new member, you are given one year to get your license and a motorcycle. From there, they give the members private riding lessons (both Frankie and Smooth are certified instructors) and take them one step at a time, they don’t just throw them in the pack. Smooth thinks it really cuts down on the fear factor for beginner riders. Not only do they receive continuing education on motorcycles, but information on how to accessorize your bike from new pipes to handlebars. Frankie lends her expertise as a former runway model for fifteen years to all the members, offering help picking the right clothes that will flatter versus exploit your body. She discourages women who wear a size 10 but try to squeeze into a size 6, or who wear low-rider jeans with their thong strap showing, or riding as a passenger in shorts and stilettos. That is the image she wants to see changed in order for more people to have respect for women riders. Of course, that is an individual’s choice, it may not be the right choice, but what they wear is their choice. The Road Diva’s have Fashion Police who hand out violations. The members have to cough up $5.00 if they receive two violations. The most common citation is issued for wearing faded jeans. If you want to be a Road Diva you have to take your appearance as serious as you do your riding.

Frankie has passed on a lot of her Diva Tips from things she learned from her mother. Like, “Frankie if you smoke, I better never see you with a cigarette in your hand in public. If you drink alcohol, I better never see you with a bottle of beer to your mouth in public.” She passes that along to her members; she never wants to see them in a picture with a cigarette or beer in their hand. They believe in respect for each other. You stand alone and you stand on your own. The group does not tolerate gossip. If you can’t say what you want to say in front of the person, you don’t say it at all.

Smooth met Frankie at a country western clothing store where she was looking for boots.
She was admiring Frankie’s purse and Frankie asked her about her tattoos and if she was a rider. Conversation continued, and soon, she started riding with Frankie’s group (and by the way, Frankie never did tell me where she bought her purse). Smooth told me their philosophy is, “It’s more than the ride, it’s how you present yourself. Give people more choices and they make better decision.” When they are giving private riding lessons, they encourage the guys in their classes to, “clean up the beard, and style your hair, wear pants and shirts that match. Ditch the jeans you have worn for three weeks!” These are men who complain about not having a girlfriend or their wife has lost interest in them. They say, take a look at yourself and improve your appearance; you will soon see the change in the way people look at you.

Smooth also told me, “The Road Diva group is trying to make the motorcycle industry and its communities more aware of women riders and the effect it has. I need not explain how it feels (riding a motorcycle) to any of the Cycle Connections staff, but some of the outcomes from riding a motorcycle are awesome. Frankie and I have taught over half of our members how to ride and they have discovered their own empowerment. The ladies no longer settle for mundane jobs, abusive relationships, nor tolerate someone taking advantage of them. They have the feeling of opening their eyes for the first time, looking at everything life has to offer them. Man has known about this empowerment for a long time. Society gives them that feeling from the time they are born. When Frankie and I give motivational speeches we remind men to share this feeling with their loved ones, and give her the opportunity to ride beside you, not necessarily, behind you. I had one guy tell me, he never looked at it from that perspective and the next day he went out and bought his wife a motorcycle, thanking me for enlightening him.”

The Road Divas’ have chapters in Eastern Shores, Delaware, D.C., Virginia, Arizona, and Wisconsin. Frankie has formed two new divisions to her organization; The Road Diva Rockets are a group of members who ride sport bikes, they do wear white leather vests also. And the Diva’s of Distinction, a social club for non-riding women who like to be around other women riders and who like to attend, network, and socialize at parties and dances. They wear black leather with white fringe vests.

Frankie said every year she starts the New Year with a “word” for her group. For 2008 she chose two words: Unity and Respect. Road Divas is a safe haven where the members can come together, relax, take a “sigh of relief,” and be there for each other. The more they are together, the more bond there is between the members. “Having many cancer survivors in the group makes one more appreciative of living and living life well,” said Smooth.

And all of our Cycle Connection Divas know when we are riding we are living life well!
Check out their website at The Road Divas attend five or six rallies a year so be on the lookout for this group that is bringing a “breath of fresh air” to riding. Good luck girls and keep on “stylin’.

Have a happy Valentines Day!

Save the Date; June 14, 2008- 2nd Annual RUFF RIDE Dice Run to benefit the Northland Animal Welfare Society (NAWS)

Goldie Arnold:
Goldie Arnold

“Never rider faster than you angel can fly”

The Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts Club was founded in the late 1980’s by a small group of riders as a way to promote the sport of motorcycling and enjoy the fellowship of those who love to ride. Membership has grown to 175 individuals and 10 dealerships. Most of the members live in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Members pay $15 dues annually and must sign a membership/waiver form. According to club President Jim Van Eman, the only membership requirement is, “enthusiasm for motorbikes.” The group takes pride in its diversity. Members ride a wide variety of motorcycle makes, both modern and vintage.

In 1992, HoAME hosted its first weekend motorcycle rally and show at Clinton Lake near Lawrence, Kansas. The rally became the club’s major annual event. Other annual events include a dealer tour, Hunter Memorial Ride, and an annual meeting and party. Members also gather frequently to ride for a meal or to some destination of mutual interest. The club provides volunteer corner workers during road races at approximately eight Midwest racetracks including Heartland Park Topeka. HoAME is involved most actively with the Championship Cup Series, Great Plains and Midwest Divisions. Robert Putnam is the club’s Corner Worker Captain and is certified by the A.M.A. as a Corner Marshal. Roughly 15 club members are involved in this activity, and I can tell you from experience that it is a real thrill to be so close to the racing action. Alert corner workers are absolutely critical to the safety of the competitors. A few of the club members actually race their motorcycles, particularly at vintage racing events.

Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at the Lucky Brewgrille, 5401 Johnson Drive, Mission, Kansas. Many of the members arrive prior to the 7:30 meeting time to have dinner or to chat. The downstairs meeting room provides plenty of room for members and guests. After the approval of the previous month’s minutes, the program is informal and includes discussion of past and upcoming events as well as reports on who bought a new motorcycle (treated as a birth announcement), who participated in a race, who had a crash, and who went on a particularly interesting trip.

HoAME’s monthly newsletter includes a wealth of information about past and upcoming events as well as interesting articles by various members covering a wide variety of subjects. Their website is also a great way to learn about the club and keep up with its activities.

Having been very impressed by the recent Vintage Motorcycle Show , I decided to attend the June monthly meeting. It was obvious the members have a great time whenever they get together. If you love motorcycling and seek to join a group of fun-loving people who share your passion for the sport, you should head for HoAME.

Story and photos by Stripe

I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but Kansas City has a wonderful organization that does some great things for motorcyclists and their families called the American Biker Relief Fund (ABRF). The ABRF provides assistance to riders and their families during times of financial and emotional stress. The organization was founded in 2004 and is staffed totally by volunteers who want to help riders lead productive lives in time of need. Their motto is, “No matter what you ride, no matter who you are, we are here to help.”

Bikers helping bikers is the concept. During the year they sponsor many events and promote their cause at numerous bike shows and rallies. They have already helped many families through some rough times and will keep striving to do more. They are even in the process of trying to open an ABRF-sponsored thrift store to distribute clothing and household items to bikers in need. Goods will also be for sale to the general public to raise funds for the cause.

At this time of the year the ABRF sponsors an annual Christmas Drive held at Gail’s Harley-Davidson in Grandview each Saturday through December 23, and accept items for donation as well as cash to be distributed to area families for Christmas. Not only can you take your donations to Gail’s, but you can also take your kids to sit on Santa’s lap or listen to a story read by Mrs. Santa. Pictures can also be taken, with the proceeds going to the ABRF.

On December 2, my Khrome Cowgirl sisters and I dressed up as elves and went to Gail’s with our donations. Our club does an annual Elf Ride to donate to area kids and families; this year we decided to join up with the ABRF to donate toys, cash and gift cards. After depositing our donations, we all climbed into the sleigh to have our picture taken with the awesome KC Santa.

If you are a motorcyclist needing help, or you know of anyone needing help, please contact the people of this wonderful organization. They will strive to do what they can. You can contact them at 1-800-930-7571 or go to their web site at

By Toto - Khrome Cowgirls WebMistress/Newsletter Editor/Photographer