Destination: long weekend

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MV-Engine.jpgGrant and I have some pretty exciting plans for the weekend plus Monday and Tuesday. We’re headed to Philadelphia to have our brains scanned for some research project, riding vintage-style dirt bikes in an urban wasteland then taking three exotic superbikes to a members-only private track upstate one that lets any schmuck in, even us. We’ll keep you updated with pictures and stories here via Img.ly and Twitter. Feel free to participate: ask questions, make fun of us, whatever either in comments below or via Twitter.

Update: weekend’s over, back to regularly scheduled programming.

  • chris

    get your cheap lunch at hong kong bakery… if you get there early, you can get a bowl of congee or noodles… if not, get the ham and egg bun and some coconut buns… they’re 60c each! 917 race st. philly is generally a pretty friendly place when it comes to parking your bike on the sidewalk. if you want decent mexican food, you have to go to allentown.

  • Sean Smith

    Make sure to bring your Members Only jackets to the track.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Is there anything else one could possible wear to a track?

  • Cu3Zn2balls

    This stuff gives me woody….

  • http://sugarcube.us Edward

    Wes, If you guys ride through Old City stop by Sugarcube. BTWN Arch and Race on 3rd.

  • Peter

    IH are nice. I’ve got the 634SR. 23oz!

    It’s amazing how comfortable they are for being so thick.

  • brettvegas

    Hey! I’ve got big plans too! Oh, wait, no I don’t, never mind.

  • AadmanZ

    And where are the burnouts in the ladies’ room?

  • 2ndderivative

    Hope you have a better track weekend than I did, though my tank mounted camera did get amazing video of me tumbling along after I lowsided.

    • Mitch

      You too? We’re lowside friends!

  • CBphila

    Oh man you guys picked one of the hottest weekends so far to be riding through this traffic jammed city. Friday it took me around 80mins to go 7 miles. Be sure to chain up your bikes , or they will walk themselves away.

  • Roman

    Yeah, this weekend was brutal. Almost made me glad that my bike was in the shop. Hope you guys had a good time and remember, Philadelphia is not as bad as Philadelphians say it is.

  • http://damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    is it that new track, Monticello? (i think that’s the name) Sounds like an awesome place from what i’ve heard.

    on a side note, during the motogp race one of the commentators used the phrase, “hell for leather”. thought that was pretty cool.
    also, i’m loving my new t-shirt!

  • j

    Come on, please put a little more effort into the photos!

  • Pompous Too

    Wes, as usual pompous and self important. It’s been a long time since Monticello has run out of money and no longer is a members only location. Tons of track days for non members are available.

    • http://Http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Awww, is someone a wittle jealous?

  • brettvegas

    I am definitely jealous, stuck in my stupid car(luv it, but not that much) 600 miles from my bikes.
    Driving sucks, but I’ll be back in ashland soon enough. Enjoy yourself Wes, you fucker!

  • NYC Elite

    Narcissistic, much? As said in an earlier comment, Monticello is no longer “members-only private.” Everyone knows this, or at least the throngs of track club participants do. Many, many track clubs have been there, done that.

    On the other hand, I can’t blame you for the feelings of self-importance. I had the same feelings too the first time I went there.

    It’s still a nice track, though.

    • http://Http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Been here a bunch dude, think you’re reading into things a bit much. It is a nice track, but the lack of facilities and $3 bottles of water kill it. My kingdom for some shade.

  • Pompous Too

    Not too jealous, no, spent the week end racing at VIR and been at Monticello 3 times this year (nobody asked me for my member card). Someone of your caliber deserves to have minions setup some shade for them. You are not being treated the way you deserve.

    • http://Http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      You and I are on the same page now.

  • vic

    i’m surprised they didn’t give you free jackets at the brain research center,

    how’s the new mv like?

  • David

    Still waiting for some of your wonderful prose on the MV and Aprilla!

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Dude, we JUST got off of them! Like an hour or two ago. Even we’re not that fast.

      • Ducati

        You are not that fast, you are sloooooooowwwww. from what i was told you were in the intermediate group and you were barley moving.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          Ha, well that depends on how you define “slow.” Street tires and $18,000 bikes we’d never ridden before slow or showing up a couple hours late and doing our first warm up laps while everyone else was already on pace slow? I was very happy with both our paces by Monday afternoon, but especially yesterday.

          • http://Http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

            You forgot the part about being under no circumstances allowed to damage either bike in any way upon return to the respective manufacturer.

            • ducati

              That is horseSh!t. its a track day, anything can happen. i’ve had guys run into me. people low side at the track all the time. i see it as another excuse for lack of BALL$!!!

              • Alex B

                Don’t know about the lack of balls parts but you’re right that anything can happen at a trackday. At NJMP Lightning last Sunday, A guy went above the handlebar and probably totalled his bike in the paddock when two kids on a paddock bike went banging into him out of nowhere, and that was in the paddock.

              • Grant Ray

                Jayson, Mr. IdontDrinkCoffee, is that you? Don’t talk about balls when you’re scared to use your real name and give a fake email address.

                Of course I was slow the first day. Really really slow. I road directly to the track from Brooklyn, missed the first 2 sessions due to traffic and construction, didn’t know the track, haven’t even been on a track since Mugello back in November, and didn’t have anything to prove to anyone there but me.

                I knew I had two days to get up to speed and I set my acclimation curve accordingly for getting comfortable on a track again. By the last session I got passed by Dave Podolsky getting a private lesson with Doug Polen, both with obviously more experience. After that, we had to leave to avoid the storm.

                I didn’t go to Monticello to be king of the hill, I went for the fun of being on a track with other people who love bikes.

          • ducati

            Did you just make an excuse???

            what i was told is that you were slow!!! as in slow going around the track. but do not believe me, i have video confirmation – which will be made available soon.

            your “slow” because you were getting passed by guys on a 600cc bike while you were on a 1000cc in the intermediate group. someone like you should have been in the advanced group. Ha. you talk the talk, but cant ride the bike.

            the diablo supercorsa sp’s are pretty grippy for a street tire and warm up fast.

            • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

              Oh noes, not video evidence that we enjoy riding motorcycles!!!1! Give us the video, we’ll publish it.

        • Skadamo

          Ducati, who cares how fast they are. Unless your faster than Valentino no one cares because well.. your slow like the rest of us. :)

          Grant and Wes rode nice bikes and talked smack to each other and became better riders. Had fun. That’s what it’s about.

  • ducati

    maybe wes had his b@lls surgically removed so he can fit in his tight jeans, that even europeans think is too tight?

    so basically what your saying is you go out to the track like if you were riding a scooter? you dont fully test a bike; you just take it out for a spin and say VVVVVV444444 from aprilia is god’s gift to man. i do not think your apt to make reviews, and whatever you write or say, should be taken with salt from the gulf of mexico.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Who pissed in your coffee? This is a pointless discussion, go troll somewhere else please.

      • ducati

        no troll. calling you a journalist is an insult to those who do real journalism. who make the bike sing, and put it through its pace. comes out and says, i like this bike, but this other bike is a better bike for these reasons… you do not do that, you have favoritism, and based on that you talk sh!t which you know nothing about.

        i could give 2 fracks about the s1000rr, but it is a better bike than the RSV4 in its intended purpose. do not compare WSBK bikes to a street bike, which have nothing in common. your a social retard – lighten up.

        BTW, i do not drink coffee.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          I really don’t understand where the hate comes from dude, we’re motorcycle enthusiasts just like you are and probably have a lot smaller egos than you’ve somehow concluded we do. Come to our next party or watch GP races with us on Monday nights at Matchless and we’ll buy you a cheap beer and a shot of whiskey.

          Ultimately we’re trying to represent your voice, that of the enthusiast, not the industry, with HFL, so it’s confusing when you somehow think we’re bought and paid or that we’ve got a hidden agenda. We aren’t and we don’t.

          If I was buying any liter bike right now it’d be the KTM RC8 and those guys won’t even return our phone calls. We might write good and take nice pictures, but we’re just two young guys who like bikes trying to do something cool with them.

          • ducati

            Now that you just said there, i can respect. trust me there is no hate. if you shoot the sh!t straight, i am all for it. elaborate to your audience about the bikes, not about what you like. there is a difference. you can talk about what you like, but give us an uncolored version; so that people may make up their own mind.

            i’ve already had a beer with grant. at that bar. i like the KTM RC8R – but id take a duc any day over the KTM.

            • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

              Dude, all we do is shoot straight! You wouldn’t believe how much trouble we get for that too. Companies like Honda are so used to getting their asses powdered that they’ve virtually cut off all our access simply for failing to have brown enough noses.

            • sofjr

              ducati – “A duc any day over a KTM”? I don’t see any “straight sh!t in that statement. Who’s showing their own favorites now? Your posting name gives away your bias straight away!

              Bikes are cool and a fun way to live life! And this site rocks! Props to you, Grant and Wes.

          • Aaron Frank, Motorcyclist

            What’s confusing is why you think every other working professional motojournalist is somehow bought and paid, or operating under a hidden agenda. You’ve got a chip on your shoulder the size of England. I look forward to meeting you in person someday. You’ve got a lot of explaining to do.

            • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

              Like explaining how we’ve grown a larger readership than Motorcyclist in just two years? Sorry, quality is a trade secret.

              • Aaron Frank, Motorcyclist

                “Page views” or even “unique users” are hardly the same thing as a readership, to say nothing of audited circulation. I’m sure your ad rates reflect that. Yet another unsubstantiated claim. HFL=no subtance, all snark.

                • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

                  Just like 17 people supposedly reading each of the 200,000-ish copies you print a month is bullshit, right?

                  It’s not so much that you and other writers at the magazines are bought and paid for (you’re not) it’s that you’re ingrained in a culture that serves the manufacturers, not the readers.

                  Can you provide one example of Motorcyclist providing its readers with a clear service at the expense of pissing off an advertiser?

                • Alex B

                  Hey Wes,

                  Did you book a trackday for July 4th WE?

                  As for the print magazines, it’s silly to try to bring them down. I am always delighted when I open my mailbox and find roadracing world, sport rider, motorcyclist or bikes, (4 bike magazines to which I subscribe). I do like the print media in general and the fact that they all have a ton of writers with experience and budgets that you unfortunately don’t have yet. I read their reviews with a critical spirit and get opinions online and from friends. There is only so much marketing can do for a bad product.

                  I also read your site daily and really enjoy it. Your limited manpower does make the line between marketing and editorial blurry but I don’t really think that matters so much. I am very honest when I say that your Frontlines features are fantastic and would actually gain from being seen on paper as well (book, magazine, whatever) and that I would actually pay to get it. The Czisz shoot was fantastic and I’d love to see these pictures in higher def.

                  News is fun but anybody can do it. Isn’t HFL about culture, style and design ?

                • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

                  No, didn’t book yet. My girlfriend is trying to get me to take her to the beach. What about July 23 at Monticello?

                  As for print v web etc etc etc, I’m just happy to be number one in your RSS feed, for now. Remember it’s just Grant and I and until now we’ve been doing this part time. I read a bunch of print magazines too. Wait till we have 1/4 the budget that some of our legacy rivals have though :)

  • ducati

    I am not a journalist. i am not giving a review of any sort. i am just saying what i would take. hell yeah i favor the ducati, i make no gripes about it. no one is looking at me as a medium on how to spend $12k – 25k.

    i do not think the ducati is a good track tool for anyone who does not want to invest big bucks into their bike, or is expecting a bomb proof trouble free motorcycle. you want your duc to turn and hold the line, invest in triples, you want your rear tire to have some more grip get a more linear linkage. but for the street, it is the king of superbikes in my eyes. has the low end torque that you can have fun with, without needing to go as fast on the 4bangers to feel the top end rush and looks better than anything out there. you feel that torque monster from the “GET”.

    a stock RSV4 does not have the power of the big boys, but it has a great chassis, aprilia is know for that. mv agusta to me has done an outstanding job on the new bike, i like it. lets see what you have to say about it.

  • http://twitter.com/marshallhaas Marshall Haas

    For the record, I come here for the opinions… I’m sure others feel the same way, so don’t let “ducati” change that just because he’s the loudest.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Don’t worry Marshall, just because some people are media ignorant doesn’t mean we’re changing. :)

  • Aaron Frank, Motorcyclist

    Can I provide one example of Motorcyclist providing its readers with a clear service at the expense of pissing off an advertiser? Are you frickin’ kidding me, Wes? Really? Now I know you’re just being a troll.

    Here’s a challenge for you. Pick up a copy of our current issue, July 2010. Flip to our Class of 2010 sportbike comparison, a story that I wrote. A story that condemns the Japanese manufacturers for being “more interested in air-kissing each other’s ass cheeks than in building ass-kicking sportbikes.” A story that describes the KTM RC8R as “a stepladder with a piece of farming equipment wedged underneath.” A story that calls out Ducati for suffering a mechanical failure during our sportbike testing, for the third year in a row. A story that ranks the gilded BMW S1000RR—possibly the most heavily advertised bike in our pages this year—fourth of five bikes, and compares its handling to a “slammed Chevy Impala”. A story that calls the “toylike, easy-to-upset” RSV4 Factory a “real bummer around town.” Etcetera, ecetera, ad infinitum. Anyways, I DEFY you to identify a single instance in that story where anything is sugar-coated, glossed over, or otherwise soft-pedaled for the benefit of an advertiser, at the expense of a knowledge-seeking, bike-buying reader. Go for it.

    C’mon, you’ve ridden most of those bikes. Tell us what we missed, messed up or overlooked, please. Prove me wrong. Just once, try to back up one of your baseless claims with an actual example of our suckitude, please. Just try it.

    There’s a reason that none of the OEMs return your calls (or the calls of most other .coms operating right now…), and it has nothing at all to do with the color of your nose.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Ultimately Aaron there’s a reason why we’re having this discussion 50 comments down in a story that’s five days old and it’s not because you’re really awesome at putting together group tests.

  • gregorbean

    o snap, HFL 1 – MC 0

    Aaron, I’m honestly sorry to say it but your mag jumped the shark some time ago.

  • http://plugbike.com/ skadamo

    Print and Web are different formats by different professionals… for now.

    I hate watching bridges burn. It is good drama though.