A Burgman tale…

Today we bring you a story from listener Scott Cloninger.

Chris and James,

I’m finally catching up on a couple of months’ worth of back episodes of The Pace and while listening to Episode 188 Chris’ Bergman story brought to mind an excellent illustration of the Bergman’s prowess….so here goes:

One of the groups I ride with occasionally is a small collection of former Clemson University students from the ’60s and ‘70s who call themselves the Clemson Café Racers.  This group has an annual weekend event called Ride-In-Camp-Out where associates gather in metropolitan Walhalla, South Carolina (I forgive you if you’ve never heard of it) and camp on one of the members’ farm.  From Walhalla the group rides most of the day Saturday and Sunday throughout western South Carolina, north Georgia, western North Carolina, and eastern Tennessee. 

The members of the CCR ride an eclectic collection of motorcycles, mostly of a sporting nature.  They tend toward European marques like Ducati and KTM, but there is always lots of Japanese hardware present, as well.  These gents are all excellent riders with decades of riding experience.  They know the local roads since they’re mostly locals, and they tend to ride at a VERY spirited pace when they gather together.  The most lauded member of the group is a Gent named Tom Allred.

Tom generally shows up on whatever his latest purchase is, and it’s generally the latest, greatest sporting hardware, though he has shown up on everything from a Ducati superbike to a well-worn KLR.  A few years ago Tom pulled in Friday afternoon aboard a Bergman 650.  He proceeded to tell everyone how it rides comfortably, handles well, accelerates well, and is an overall blast to ride…in fact, Tom had just ridden his Bergman from South Carolina to Alaska and back!  We all doubted his assessment despite his excellent riding chops.

Saturday morning our plan was to ride from Walhalla northward to the Blue Ridge Parkway, then head east for lunch at the Pisgah Inn.  Tom lit out to show us the way.  He set a pace that was slower than that group’s typical silly speeds, but was nonetheless quite spirited and an absolute blast to ride!  This ride was punctuated by a story that’s one of those you just can’t make up……..

I’m sure you’re aware that the speed limit on the Parkway is 45 mph along most of its length.  Let’s just say that the CCR’s pace exceeded that slightly.  😉  While riding toward the Pisgah Inn the group came up behind a rider aboard a spanking new Hayabusa.  As Tom passed you could see him looking over in disbelief as the Bergman slid past, footboards dragging as the scooter leaned over into a right hand turn.  He shook his head as the rest of the group slipped by with a gentle wave. 

Later as we were eating lunch the Hayabusa rider walked up to our table and started a conversation.  “How am I ever going to tell my buddies I got smoked by a scooter?”, he queried.  Tom simply responded “Don’t tell ‘em.” 

I can’t say that was the most fun I’ve ever had on a CCR ride, but it was definitely the most memorable.  FEAR THE BERGMAN!!!!!

Keep talking.  I’ll keep listening.

Scott Cloninger
General Partner
Desert Desmo LLC
Albuquerque, NM

Chris joins The Dextercast for a review of Season 8, Episode 9

Chris was a guest on the Season 8, Episode 9 installment of The Dextercast. Catch the antics at http://www.thedextercast.com/.

Or if you just want to jump right to the MP3 file, you can hit this link: http://www.thedextercast.com/files/podcast_85.mp3 or play the file directly.

Thanks to Bob and Rachael at The Dextercast.

Episode 112 – Introduction Interruptus!

Episode 112 – Introduction Interruptus
May 13, 2012
We’ve got news… Lots and lots of…

Ok, that’s just a flat out lie. There’s really not much news, but what we do have is exciting. First, gear for kids! Bilt, Cycle Gear’s house brand, has a full line of gear for kids. Everything from classic Fonzie leather to high-tech textile 4-season gear. Check it out. Also from the “hey, this is pretty cool” files, sales of the Japanese big-four are up. While the numbers we have reflect Japanese domestic sales, anecdotally, this trend seems to be strong here in the USA, too. Also, looking for tires? Avon has a nice rebate on a few popular models[1].

1 – please note, this isn’t an advertisement or paid endorsement of Avon tires. We’re just reporting the news.



  • Mark (from the Blog)
  • Justin Varner
  • Stephen Lay
  • Allen Lessard
  • Rich Skartvedt


  • Heated gear – just do it!

RD350 restoration project by Motorcycle Girl

Celeste, aka the Motorcycle Girl has been restoring an RD350 street bike. Below you can find some text and pictures about her restoration. Give it a look. Celeste can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/celeste.atkinson.5.

I have not taken any recent pictures but enclosed is a link to the facebook album where I have posted some of them.  I bought it in several boxes and have been doing the ground up restoration over the last couple of winters.  The pic of the entire bike in the album is one that I found online so it is not my actual bike.  Tank and plastic parts are out getting painted as we speak and I hope to get the engine in the bike in the next couple of weeks. This model was never available in the US, only Canada so parts are more difficult to source locally.  Many of my parts have had to come from the UK where there is a cult following for this bike.  Interesting too is that Paul Manson(another listener) has one of these bikes too!

Pictures available at http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.412275535659.214893.692950659&type=3&l=26447bfedd

Episode 107: It’s weather prooth.

Episode 107: It’s weather prooth.
March 25, 2012
This week the guys bring you a plethora of… well, they talk a lot. Home modified iPhone mounts. GPS it with Navigon: redux. James’ Sena saga may finally be over. Here’s hoping. April is the AMA’s Get Out And Ride Month, which means The Pace’s loyal listeners are just doing what they do every day. Right? RIGHT? Get out and ride. Go on, get out of here, kid.

Triumph is 110 years old. Bonnie doesn’t look a day over 60, and man oh man, does she wear it well. Want to get an idea of how you’ll sit on a couple of hundred bikes? Hit up Cycle-Ergo.com and check out the comparisons. Very nice feature. Armored underwear is awesome, and Knox has what you need.

The guys follow up the news with some listener questions and feedback.


Listener questions:

  • Roland Cannon – Regarding tubeless tire changes: What’s necessary?
  • James from MA – What sport-tour(able) bike should replace the CBR?



  • Roland Cannon on the Motus
  • James from MA on the Motus, the Sena and the Adirondacks
  • Doug Kneissl follows up on the Xena alarm system
  • Jason Santos on the “woopsie” moments we all have
  • Colin Magnusson comments on Audi buying Ducati

Theme music is No Way by Kunk

The Vemar Jiano helmet

Another “multi-feature” helmet currently on the market is the Vemar Jiano. This helmet is a larger shell, modular helmet which includes an internal drop-down sun visor and integrated bluetooth communications.

My friend Paul just ordered one and when it arrived, he brought it into my office for me to look over and take some pictures. He was also kind enough to let me try it on.

The helmet fit me pretty well in size Large; it seemed to fit well for my roundish shaped head with no apparent pressure points or hot spots. I’m just coming off of 4 years wearing a Shoei Multitec. This helmet feels lighter than my old Shoei and has a similarly sized outer shell. The internal lining and padding felt good, and I didn’t experience any “face squish” from overly large cheek pads. Vemar seemed to pay attention to detail of fit and finish.

The controls for the visor, modular chin bar, vents and sun visor all seemed easy to use and intuitive. I did not try to use the controls with gloves, but given their placement and ease of operation, I suspect there will be no issues. The snow shoe style chin strap latch was also able to be opened with one hand using the convenient pull tab. A very nice feature, indeed.

When the chin bar is open, one can easily see the mounting and routing of the flexible boom microphone. Also, the charging jack is prominently placed in the front for ease of connection. Open the chin bar, plug in the helmet, wait for charge. No battery or device removable is necessary. Again, a nice bit of attention to detail.

I will ask Paulie to keep me updated on the bluetooth system’s ease of use, volume and sound quality, and the helmet’s wind noise levels.

The Vemar Jiano is available for around $175 from various online retailers.


The Pace Motorcycle Podcast’s 2012 riding trip

Batten down the hatches and unfurl the sails… though, if your bike has hatches and sails, we want pics… and make way for the mountains. Nautical talk in the mountains, you say? On a motorcycle? What madness is this? The Adirondacks, son… and Lake Placid. Is Lake Placid even big enough for sailing ships? Who cares; we’ll go, we’ll ride, we’ll party.

That’s right, the 2012 Pace Motorcycle Podcast’s riding trip has been decided. We’re doing the ‘Dacks. Plan on a long weekend in and around lovely Lake Placid, New York, home of the 1980 Winter Olympics. The Adirondacks offer some wonderful scenery, some great riding, and a plethora of places to unwind after a day in the saddle.

The trip is planned for a long weekend, July 27th through the 30th. Anyone wanting to join the ride up is welcome. We’ll plan on leaving the Wilmington, Delaware area early on Friday the 27th, and arrive in Lake Placid in time for dinner. We’ll be home-basing at the Econolodge in the town of Lake Placid. As the time draws closer, we’ll be planning day-ride routes, group dinners and hopefully The Pace will be able to set up a few microphones and talk to some attendees.

Please share your route and must-see destination ideas. Tracy Road is already on the list. So let’s hear it – routes, restaurants, day-stops, overlooks, etc. What’s on your list? Let us know at feedback@thepacepodcast.com.

A message from Chris Harr about Ricor suspension components

We got an email from long-time listener and guest on the show, Chris Harr. Chris wants to tell us about Ricor suspension components.
Hey Guys,
Do you read MCN? I ask because the back cover of a recent issue had a write-up on the Ricor Intiminators, a drop in compression valve/shim stack for damping rod forks which features an inertial valve which is intended to limit brake dive while also allowing effective high-speed bump absorption. In effect, the inertial valve allows the fork to have 2  different compression damping curves depending on which direction the suspension travel is occurring. The matching IAS Shock also has an inertial valve which affects rebound response instead of compression.
I did some homework on the KLR650.net, ADVRider and SV forums and found numerous positive reviews w/ no complaints, so I decided to give the Ricor parts a try.
I purchased the Intiminator fork valves and matching shock for my KLR in December under a winter special. The shock was shipped with a 300lb/ft spring which is on the soft side, but it seems to be working fine for me @200lbs in gear and with the panniers installed.
Install was straightforward. No modifications to the OEM damping orifices are needed, which means the forks can be returned to stock w/o replacement of OEM parts. I’d imagine you could install them w/ the forks in the clamps on the pre-08 KLRs but it’s better to remove them to drain the forks completely. The rear shock was also fairly easy  – the KLR’s upper shock mount nut is captive, which is a good thing since the airbox blocks direct access to it. Total install time with 2 guys working on the bike on a lift was about 2 hours. At home, I’d guess it’d take a half-day working solo, assuming you have the correct tools including an oil level tool for the forks.
I’ve had them in for a few weeks now and have logged around 500 miles since install.
In my opinion, the benefits of the combo are significant. The dive control under braking is really effective, but the forks are still fairly compliant over square-edged bumps. On local dirt roads I find that the front is far less scary over rough washboard/bumpy surfaces. Overall, the valves work exactly as advertised.
The shock is less cut and dry. The IAS system helps to slow forward pitch on the brakes relative to the OEM shock. Traction seems very good, even on wet and bumpy surfaces. The rear compression is stiffer than stock but it’s also less prone to bottoming. The improvement is definitely valving-related, as the 300lb/ft spring is only slightly stiffer than the OEM spring and I’m not running any more preload than I did with the OEM shock.
Where the IAS shock is strange, but effective, is over the wide speed bumps used in my local area. On the OEM shock, it would get launched out of the seat over those bumps at anything over 25mph (I can hit them much faster on the Aprilia BTW). The OEM shock simply had too little high-speed rebound to prevent kicking when most of the travel was used. The IAS shock exhibits far less of this behavior. The shock seems to extend quickly enough to track the back side of the speed bump as there is nearly no wheel spin after the crest of the bump, even at 45mph, but the kick is far less. Where it’s interesting is when the bike settles and then rebounds, it does so slowly and without a second or third oscillation.  To put it simply, the rear suspension seems to respond quickly when the rear suspension unloads over a bump, but rebounds slowly when dealing with chassis weight.
Compared to OEM, the bike is less pitch sensitive, less prone to bottoming, is slightly less plush over minor pavement imperfections, and is far easier to ride on bumpy gravel roads.
Post-sale, I’ve had a few questions or concerns. Brian @ Ricor has been responsive to my needs and has offered a spring rate change/revalve free of charge if needed (which I’ve decided it’s not). There may be limitations on those policies, but I’m still impressed with my interactions with their company.
Would I recommend the combo? Definitely, as long as the purchaser isn’t expecting KTM Adventure suspension quality… the kit on high-end dual sports is still superior to the modded KLR, but the gap is far less now and even with mods, I’m at ½ the cost of a used 950 Adventure and still less than the going rate for a used F650GS.
Chris, thanks for this excellent information!