Friday, July 20, 2018

Vintage motorcycles remind riders what it's all about

1970 Rickman Royal Enfield Metisse seems aglow with appeal.
RetroTours conducts tailored tours on vintage motorcycles around their base in eastern Pennsylvania. I've written about them before because in their stable of almost antique old motorcycles is a 1970 Rickman Royal Enfield Metisse. Their international (no Harleys) selection of motorcycles tends toward big twins, the more "interesting" the better.

The RetroTours website is particularly entertaining because it offers a "tour report" of each ride since 2010. Apparently no two rides are alike. The ride reports don't sugarcoat the inevitable rain, heat and always unforeseen yet unsurprising mechanical challenges riders may encounter.

A recent email from RetroTours founder Joel Samick was both an explanation and a challenge:

"Don't let me scare you out of coming on a RetroTour. Just know that these are machines, not appliances. These machines were designed and built to be ridden, not just looked at.

"I realize that many of you own antique motorcycles. Perhaps riding your pride and joy in the rain, letting other riders of unknown capabilities ride your bike, breaking or maybe crashing it sometimes, does not seem like a great way to enhance your investment. You are 100 per cent correct.

"That's why RetroTours is such a bargain. For a very fair and reasonable fee, you totally experience the bikes and the real-world riding and wrenching they demand. No chase vehicles here. Life on the road as it once was.

"Sign up for a tour now, before self-driving vehicles take over, before you're too old. If you're nowhere near too old, do it to experience the essence of man + machine motorcycling, as it was done IN THE DAY. You will come out of it a better motorcyclist, and maybe a better person.

"RetroTours builds character! Don't just look at it. Ride it. Wrench it."

1 comment:

  1. I was on the July 1st "Local Loops" ride. I had a wonderful time and rode with some great guys on beautiful backroads. Since I rode down from NY, I stayed two nights at the house and Joel and Lynn were the perfect hosts. They made me feel right at home, seriously. All of the bikes made it through to the end (about 135 miles in scorching 95 degree heat!) although as noted in the ride report, the Triumph and the BSA suffered the most from mixture problems. Some side of the road carb tuning got 'em running OK.
    Anyway, RetroTours is a rare gem you shouldn't miss. And Joel, if you're reading this, my toe is all good and I want a crack at that Norton!


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