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The Rider\'s Digest

The Rider\'s Digest Motorcycle Magazine

The Rider's Digest: for the best Motorcycle writing anywhere on the Internet.

New! The Rider’s Digest Issue 187 – Winter 2014

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on Sun, Dec 7, 2014 | By Stuart Jewkes

This is it! After nearly a year away, the brand new Issue 187 of The Rider’s Digest is now available to download for FREE via the online shop either here or from the menu bar up there (Issue 187 PDF); featuring all the usual top quality motorcycle literature, commentary and cutting-edge photography you’ve come to expect from us, and more. This one has definitely...

Elefant Escapades

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on Sat, Nov 22, 2014 | By Editor

On a whim I call my fellow conspirator Andy and ask him if he fancies doing the Elefant Rally. Typically, he replies that he can’t see any reason not to and our fate is sealed. With no real idea of what we are getting into, since information regarding the rally is pretty hard to come by and more often than not, highly inaccurate, we coerce another friend into joining us....

Globe Girdlers Six

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on Sat, Nov 8, 2014 | By Editor

Hard to believe, but circling the world on a motorcycle goes back more than a hundred years. It did not start with Ted Simon, despite what many still believe (Simon, incidentally, has never made such a claim). The first was actually Carl Stearns Clancy, an American, who – in a wonderfully horrific Edwardian phrase – “girdled the globe” just before World War One. More...

Me & Harley McDee

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on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 | By Editor

The title of this piece is an affectionate nod to the ‘road’ classic most famously — not to mention most emotively and passionately — delivered by Janis Joplin. Although “Me & Bobby McGee” is actually a tale of hitchhiking and lost love, the chorus explores the very nature of ‘freedom’, while the verses conjure up such a vibrant image of a journey “from...

From the Old Editor

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on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 | By Editor

The heading of this editorial, as with so many things I write, can be taken more than one way (well the way I see it, there’s no point in having tens of thousands of words at your disposal, if you can’t be bothered to play with them); it could so easily be a reference to the fact that I have just entered my seventh decade but it could equally be a subtle way of informing...

From the (New) Editor

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on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 | By Stuart Jewkes

There’s a big difference between contributing to a publication and editing it; between adding a voice to the choir, and conducting it. Maybe I hadn’t thought it through during the millisecond between DG phoning me up a couple of weeks ago and going “wanna edit the Digest?”, and me saying “yeah, sure!” Then, after a top-secret summit last week in Digest Towers HQ...

DCT – The ideal automatic transmission?

New Ariel Ace Cruiser with DCT version of Honda's VFR 1200

© Blez
on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 | By Editor

In the beginning, there was only a single speed and a crude ‘chain’ of linked pieces of leather to transmit power from a motorised bicycle’s engine to the back wheel. Then someone had the bright idea of using a metal chain, or even a shaft, combined with a clutch and gearbox with two, three or even four gears. By the time five gears were available on a road...

Road – The DVD: An Update

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on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 | By Editor

‘Road’ is an in-depth study of the legendary Dunlop dynasty. A documentary about two sets of Northern Irish brothers whose name has become synonymous with motorcycle road racing; Joey and his younger brother Robert, and Robert’s sons William and Michael. Written, produced and directed by Diarmuid Lavery and Michael Hewitt, the movie starts with slow motion footage of...

BSMC 111 – Cafe Society

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on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 | By Editor

Anyone who read ‘The Posh Boys Bike Club’ and ‘Underneath the Arches’ (issues 179 and 184 respectively) will be familiar with the ‘Bike Shed Motorcycle Club’ (BSMC), a virtual meeting place where like-minded souls can gather to compare notes and pictures of their ‘shed builds’ and discuss what’s hot and what’s not. For the uninitiated, a ‘shed build’...

The Tale of Harry the Bastard

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on Tue, Jun 17, 2014 | By Editor

I’ve become known as a patient person, with a lot of spare time on my hands, so people often come to me with their problem cases in the hope that I can work my magic where others have failed. In my articles I don’t normally publish names, but in this case I think it’s appropriate so that readers can fully understand the situation, and of course permission was granted...

Horsepower at High Beech

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on Tue, Jun 17, 2014 | By Editor

Being a cultured sorta chap, I instantly recognised the ad for Miller’s Tea Hut as the first line from The Teddy Bears’ Picnic, so naturally I assumed I was in for a big surprise but when I got there, it was exactly what I expected from a tea hut. You can pick up a cuppa or a can, sandwiches, biscuits and choccy bars — all at reasonable prices; and that in my humble...

Chasing Sunsets – A Faerie Tale Tour

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on Tue, May 13, 2014 | By Editor

My Ireland trip proper was due to begin in Anglesey at 09:20 the following morning but before I could roll onto Irish Ferries Swift Service to Dublin, I needed to squeeze in a bit of rock. The open mic night I mentioned in issue 67 was celebrating its 2nd birthday at Dingwalls in Camden Lock, so there was no way I was going to head to North Wales until after the party had...

Twist & Go, Go, Go

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on Wed, Mar 26, 2014 | By Editor

Many commentators have questioned who the current crop of larger capacity super scooters are aimed at? Well, rather than providing a definitive answer, the GP800 – replete with an 839cc V-twin Aprilia engine – throws the whole question wide open. Who isn’t it aimed at? Actually the answer to that one is dead simple: the close-minded. Anyone else who enjoys the sensation...

A Fine Romance

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on Wed, Mar 26, 2014 | By Editor

I worked for a campaigning charity in whose office Sheila stood out like a swan amongst mostly ducks. Most staff at best, shopped at M&S, but frequently wore T-shirts and jeans. Sheila was different, always beautifully turned out in a black frock with a pearl necklace. You just knew she came from a ‘good family’ in the Home Counties. In everything she did and said was...

Bikes for softies

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on Wed, Mar 26, 2014 | By Editor

We started printing pictures of indoor motorcycles in the letter pages of the last issue and it’s clear from the response we received that there are quite a few of you out there (or should we say, in there).   The proud Guzzi owner featured in this month’s ‘In the Saddle’ suggested that his friend would have her Le Mans in the bedroom if she could, which is easy...

Beginnings: Fits and Starts

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on Wed, Mar 12, 2014 | By Editor

Where, oh where, to begin discussing Ashes to Boonville by Geoff G. Thomas? I could begin with why it wasn’t reviewed in November as originally planned. Or I could begin with the series of absurd events including (but not limited to): my mother’s two visits to the hospital; jury duty; a germ that decided I was its new home for a fortnight, only to return a week later for...

A Flock of Goldwings

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on Fri, Mar 7, 2014 | By Editor

When I hear the word Goldwing, I immediately think of two things: one being that it sounds like the name of some exotic bird (of the feathered variety!) that only rarely appears on our shores on its annual migration south; the other is an enormous two wheeled cars with a plethora of gadgets, lights, and quite possibly a trailer, which are definitely not rare and are often seen...

Where’s Your Head At?

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on Wed, Mar 5, 2014 | By Editor

Your entire personality and core essence as an individual is nothing more than a bunch of semi-random electrical impulses firing off inside the big grey wetware in your skull*. It sits there in the dark being really fussy about temperature, and it receives information constantly in the form of more electrical signals from your five (or should that be six?) senses, forming...

Paul Sample ~ The Interview

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on Mon, Mar 3, 2014 | By Editor

Whitchurch in Shropshire is one of those places that encapsulates the essence of Englishness with all its half-timbered houses, red bricks and stone-built churches. It’s a theme I want to explore with Paul Sample as his work seems to me quintessentially British, if not English. Having found my way surprisingly easily to a car park nearby I am soon knocking on the door of...

A swift commentary on motorcycle racing commentary

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on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 | By Editor

Why does everybody involved have to mention the sponsor EVERY time they mention the bike when they have their names splattered across everywhere? It discourages me from watching. Once upon a time it was Murray Walker talking his shite but he didn’t go on about the Robertson’s Jam Samsung Ducati or the Ever Ready Battery Counter at Tesco’s Surbiton Suzuki. It was Barry...

HOG in St Tropez

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on Sun, Feb 23, 2014 | By Editor

Long before Brigit Bardot and the jet set celebrity pack put St Tropez on the map, it was just a sleepy little fishing port where the calloused hands of old salts mended nets and the loudest sounds to be heard came from the wheeling gulls. Transport a resident from the 1890s to today’s town on the weekend of the HOG bash and they’d think they were in another century. OK...

More American Motorcycles

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on Sun, Feb 23, 2014 | By Editor

What’s the difference between the editor of The Road and the editor of The Rider’s Digest? While Mutchie gets to hang with the HOGs in the South of France, I get to spend an afternoon with AMOC in sarf London! Not that I’m complaining of course, rumour has it that the head honcho of the MAG members’ magazine was only in France so he could put a bit of distance between...

Fear & Loathing in LA LA Land

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on Mon, Feb 17, 2014 | By Editor

Everyone knows that we live in dangerous, lawless times; so anybody who rides an expensive or highly desirable motorcycle has to deal with the reality that there are hordes of thieving low-lives out there just waiting for an opportunity to steal their pride and joy. Love him or hate him, Michael Moore’s film “Bowling for Columbine” is intensely thought provoking as it...

Spaceship Awareness

© Damon l’Anson
on Mon, Feb 3, 2014 | By Editor

It’s all too easy to dismiss that thing you do on your bike, as nothing more than a traffic-choked, soul-destroying grind; particularly when you consider that for what seems like forever, there have been major road works on at least one stretch of every main artery into or across the Metropolis. If you’re one of the thousands who currently spend five days a week picking...