Read The Two Articles Of Mine Google Thinks Are “Dangerous”, Without Ads!

A few years ago, I decided to start slathering this websites with advertisements in a crass and deplorable attempt to recoup some of my hosting budget. Our valued reader and bitcoin magnate Pete Dushenski of contravex.com offered to sponsor the site ad-free for a year, an offer I declined because I like Pete and would rather take money from Google than take some of his occasionally fluctuating Bitcoin.

We had a month or two where I actually made twenty or thirty bucks after expenses, but in general we earn $60-80 in ad revenue against a constant hosting expense of $140/month. (To be fair, I use that resource for other things which have nothing to do with this site, and I willing pay extra money to have real hardware instead of a “presence” in The Clown. This is nice. After taxes, it’s like $400 extra a year, which would feed ten starving children overseas or supply me with another set of T&A cufflinks.

As you might expect, the bounty of Google does not come without strings attached. Periodically, the hivemind will inform me that I have written something which is simply too dangerous or threatening to warrant being supplied with advertisements.

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Spotter’s Guide To Issue 1/2020 Of Cycle World (With Article Link)

I didn’t put this in the Roundup yesterday because I didn’t have a free link for it yet. In this quarter’s issue of Cycle World you can read my retrospective on the Suzuki GS500. While researching the article I was reminded, yet again, of the stark difference between Gen-X and Millennial/Zoomer motorcyclists. These kids are more than happy to start on a Yamaha R3 (which is what Danger Girl rides) or Ninja 300, neither of which has the motivating power of, say, my 1975 Honda CB550. Were the GS500E to come back today, with its fifty horses and low-maintenance durability, I betcha some of these dudes would buy it. The Reddit motorcycles forum might as well be the Reddit Sub-600cc Motorcycles Forum. These young riders don’t have any desire to show off, go fast, or go face-first into oncoming traffic.

By contrast, the first streetbike I ever rode back in 1991 was my pal Sherman’s ZX-7RR. When I bought a 1986 Ninja 600 (75 horses, twin front discs, 135mph top speed) shortly afterwards, Sherman and my other new motorcycle pals were not complimentary. “Man, n***a, that’s a pussy-ass bike right there,” was the universal verdict. “You gonna want a Gixxer 750 in, like, a month.” Nobody in Gen-X wanted to ride anything slower than a front-line 600 — and that was seen as a “beginner bike”, something for the 90 days before you sucked it up and got a ZX-9R. Sherman’s opinion of me was not improved when I bought a new YZF600R in 2000. If they ever let him out of prison maybe he’ll approve of my ZX-14R. Maybe. Most of my time is spent riding my (newly JW-Speaker-LED-Adaptive-equipped) CB1100. It’s not a fast bike by the standards of my peers, but it’s a rocketship compared to a Ninja 300 or Rebel 500.

Why were we all so driven to get bikes that we had no idea how to ride and which would kill us in a heartbeat’s worth of inattention? Why did the GS500E gather dust on showroom floors while the 165-mph CBR600F3 became the universal “learner bike” in the United States? I suppose it was that “toxic masculinity” of which you hear so much nowadays. We were all looking for something against which to test our mettle. We had this idea of manhood as something you earned rather than as an identity that any creature could choose at any point in its life sans effort or consequences. I’m not sure we’ve completely leached that toxicity from all of our young men. Sometimes I will watch my son prepare himself for a jump or obstacle he hasn’t done yet and I can see his whole body shudder as he forces himself past whatever fear he’s feeling at the moment. If I have any sense, I’ll make sure the keys to that ZX-14R are well hidden a few years from now. Would he be satisfied, I wonder, with a Suzuki GS500E?

Spotter’s Guide To The Jan/Feb Issue Of Hagerty Magazine

If you’re receiving Hagerty magazine, you’ve already had a chance to read my tale of cross-border bribery and live-animal evasion in Southeast Asia. If you aren’t, we have it on the web now. If you would like to receive our magazine but don’t get it now… in the near future we will be making it easier for you to get the magazine and first-rate roadside assistance for about the price of Road&Track’s sneaky little automatic subscription renewals.

We Interrupt This Website Full Of Things I Wrote For An Attempt To Sell You Something I Wrote

If there is one thing I do not know how to do, it is this: conceive, write, and publish a book. The 400-page anthology I assembled back in 2016 is still stuck in my laptop because I haven’t made time for the Itchy-And-Scratchy-Movie-style 40% new content, the photo book on Matsumoku-built Electra guitars was stillborn when my photographer got a day job, and the witty little Updike-lite period piece on social-media-driven adultery has been trapped in my backbrain for half a decade. I can crank a novel’s worth of words in 30 days but I have to do it 1,500 at a time. Oh well.

Luckily for me, Larry Webster came up with the brilliant idea of having me write one-fourth of a book. Three out of twelve chapters. Easy as pie. Did it Hall-and-Oates-style in a minute. Larry wrote another quarter of the thing, Zach Bowman contributed some heartfelt storytelling, and we arranged a bunch of superstar sidebars from writers, actors, racers, and collectors.

The finished product is called Never Stop Driving.

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Spotter’s Guide To The May/June 2019 Issue Of Hagerty Magazine

Subscribers to the newest issue of Hagerty Magazine will see my byline with a piece entitled “SCCA And The Struggle To Endure”. Shortly after its publication, I received an absolutely irate email from noted club racer and bon vivant Toly Arutunoff. He called it “purple prose” and “bull puckey”. See what all the fuss is about — and read it today!

Spotter’s Guide To The May 2019 Watch Journal

I had the pleasure of reviewing the new skeleton watches from Jacquet Jaquet Droz in this month’s Watch Journal. They’re not exactly my personal style (I’ve been dividing time between a Tudor Black Bay Bronze and a hilarious, but super-useful, gold-ion-plated Seiko Casio “All Metal” G-Shock) but if you like the idea of wearing something completely unique and easily recognizable, you’ll want to, uh, borrow twenty grand and buy one!

Spotter’s Guide To The May 2019 Road&Track

Oh, this is bittersweet. As I’ve noted previously, Road&Track changed leadership (and office location) in January, just after I accepted a gig working for Hagerty but before I started the job. The R&T change wasn’t entirely for the good — David Zenlea, Matthew dePaula, and Nate Petroelje were all genuine assets to the magazine in my opinion, and they’ve all found places where their talents will be valued — but the past few years had been rough from a leadership and vision standpoint. Now that Travis Okulski is in charge I think the outlook for the magazine is brighter than it’s been in a few years.

When Travis called me with the news I asked — no, scratch that, I begged for a couple of slots in what would be his first issue of R&T as well as my last one. He was kind enough to oblige.

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In Which The Author Is Almost Completely Wrong About Something

Guessing the future is a tricky business; just ask any of the major media collectives that predicted a President Hillary with certainty ranging from ninety-four to ninety-nine percent. As the man once said, the future’s uncertain and the end is always near. Another example: Back in August of 2015 I ruled out the possibility of a Wrangler pickup with such certainty that I blush in retrospect at the contemplation of it. About this time last year, I admitted defeat and tried to figure out who would buy the Gladiator. Having seen the specs, I’ve revised my ideas about the potential customers just a little.

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Spotter’s Guide To The October 2018 Road&Track

I could take or leave the whole Singer Por-sha phenomenon, but Preston Lerner does some great work tracking the development of their newest take on the air-cooled engine. What’s depressing about the article is that Porsche themselves should be able to do anything that Williams F1 can do. We were told 20 years ago that EU noise regulations were the reason that the air-cooled engine could not continue. The real reason was, most likely, cost. The M96 engine costs half as much as its predecessor, and the current mill is probably cheaper still. Can you imagine a modern GT3RS with the Singer/Williams engine? It’s enough to make me a Por-sha fan again.

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