I'm always looking for innovative luggage systems for my sport-bike. I ride a lot, and I want to take stuff with me. However, I don't really want big, ugly, permanent racks attached all over my bike. Enter the Marsee Corona tank bags.
In this second installment of roads to sample as part of a Laguna Seca MotoGP experience, we are going to look at an amazing side-road. I would never have heard of the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road if my riding buddy Mark had not researched it as a part of our last MotoGP trip.
The Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is a wonderfully twisty road that winds its way through the Fort Hunter Liggett military reservation and the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. It is the only paved access between The Pacific Coast Highway (covered in part 1 of this series) and US Highway 101 on the Big Sur stretch of the coast.
Obviously, the Nacimiento can be ridden either to or from the coast. We rode it west to the coast starting near Jolon, CA. Be aware that Fort Hunter Liggett is an active military training facility. You will be stopped at a full military checkpoint where you will be required to show your license, registration, and proof of insurance. Another riding partner, Gregg, had not brought his current proof of insurance. To make a long story short, we sat at the checkpoint until he could get his wife to fax current documentation. So have your ducks in a row before the trip.
Once you get onto the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, you will be treated to a great motorcycling experience. First you will travel through the military base and up the eastern slope of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. The road is well paved, but there are small drifts of sand or dirt in spots, so take it easy. You will wind your way through the trees to the road’s summit at 2780 feet above sea level. Speaking of sea level, the descent from the summit to the Pacific spans only 7 switch-back infused miles!
The views on the way down toward the Pacific Coast Highway are spectacular. Take your time, as there are no guardrails on the tightly-wound descent. It’s a long way down if you part ways with the tarmac. I can’t stress strongly enough that the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is to be savored at a reasonable pace.
In the end, the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is an off-the-beaten-path stretch that you should go out of your way to ride. I would count it as one of my favorite MotoGP related rides. So get out your map and include this winding ribbon of pavement as part of your Laguna Seca experience
There was a time in recent motorcycling history when it seemed that 2-stroke motorcycles were a dying breed. Growing international environmental regulations seemed destined to effectively squeeze the smoky, noisy (but incredibly fun and powerful) engines out of existence. It was a sad revelation for those of us who cut our teeth on the 2-strokes of the 70s and 80s.
Protective riding jeans are a hot commodity in the motorcycling apparel world. Simply put, a lot of riders want protection, but don’t always want to pull on leather or fully armored Cordura.
The Sliders Kevlar Riding Jeans 3.0 are an outstanding product. They are constructed of high-quality 13.5 ounce denim. The protection comes in the form of genuine Dupont Kevlar in the knees, shins, seat and upper hams. That is remarkably full coverage. I have tested nice riding jeans made by the big names in motorcycle apparel that don’t have that level of Kevlar coverage. Even the Alpinestars Rodeo jeans that I really like (and reviewed for AAB) don’t have the Kevlar seat protection that the Sliders do.
The Sliders jeans have a subtle construction that really looks similar to regular jeans. Only the seams above the knees that secure the inner Kevlar give any indication that these are motorcycle-specific jeans.
Okay, so I can give these jeans a full visual inspection – and I like what I see. However, I am not going to crash test them (at least not on purpose). I did a search of the reviews on the Competition Accessories site to see if any customer reviewers had “slid” in the Sliders. Take a look at these two testimonials by separate riders:
One rider reported, “I slid approximately 20 feet with my HDXL on top of me. I was bruised from the impact on the pavement however I did not receive a scratch nor did the Sliders even tear.”
Another rider said, “I had to take evasive action to the right into the loose gravel and lost control when getting back on the pavement. I was travel(ing) 30 to 40 mph. The Sliders did a great job and didn't even rip through the denim while I was sliding on the pavement and gravel. I would recommend them to anyone wanting protection in a jean riding pant. My bike was totaled.”
There are several other solid reviews on the Competition Accessories site by riders that have hit the pavement (http://www.compacc.com/index.cfm).
I have to say that I can’t see a down-side to the Sliders Kevlar jeans. Styling, fit, sizing options, and most importantly protection are all top-notch. I say save your Levis for the mall, and wear the Sliders on your bike.
The jeans are cut in a relaxed fit and are available in a huge range of lengths and waist sizes. Blue and black color options are available at under $80.
I have ridden to the MotoGP in Monterey several times since the race’s return to the Laguna Seca venue in 2005. I have found that some of the nation’s best roads can be sampled riding to, or returning from Laguna Seca.
In a warm up to the Laguna Seca MotoGP at the end of July, we are going to give you a look at a few of the West’s great roads that can be ridden as part of a great MotoGP experience. In this first installment, we will glance at the big one – California Highway 1, which is also known as the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).
The PCH must be ridden at least once by every avid American motorcyclist. The Pacific views are simply stunning, and the highway is a twisty delight. Covering much of the Pacific Coast, every stretch of the PCH has something to offer.
What you will see on the PCH depends on your direction of travel. If you are traveling south to Monterey, Highway 1 will offer the rugged and precipitous tree-lined views of the Northern California coast. If you are traveling north to the race, you will span the gamut from the SoCal beaches to the jagged rocks of the coast near Monterey.
A couple words of warning. Because of its beauty, the PCH can see times of heavy traffic. Also, since you typically have rocks on one side and the Pacific on the other, stay between the lines.
So, ladies and gentlemen, get out your maps and plan a route the samples the amazing Pacific Coast Highway. In coming installments, we will look at a few of the lesser known (and lesser traveled) roads in the area around Monterey.
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