By John Burns
A week or two ago I had the pleasure of “testing” some new Dunlop tires up north of the L.A. sprawl – all up through recently rained-upon green backroads and citrus farms reeking of orange blossoms, around Fillmore and Santa Paula, looping around Lake Cachuma (filling back up with water!) and Ojai, back down along the ocean and through the Malibu canyons – all on a brand new KTM Super Duke GT, all under blue skies with temperatures hovering in crispy low 60s. Nearly as good a day on a motorcycle as you can have, really. When you’re working, anyway.
And when it was over at about 5 pm, it was time to continue southward on the KTM, back to my digs in Santa Ana, a distance of 69.2 miles says Google. That may sound like an easy hour’s cruise, but if you’ve ever driven in L.A. or any big metropolitan area, you know better. Just a couple of weeks ago, L.A. won the title once again, Worst Traffic in America. My route would take me directly through the belly of the beast. (Actually, I-5 would be the belly, which is constantly undergoing surgery. Don’t even think about that.) We’ll do the 101 South to the 405, a slight gastric bypass.
To get to this in the Golden State from where I live, you must go through, well, it’s not so hellish on a bike at all. Remember to never lane split when there are only two lanes.
If I was having to make the drive back down through the Valley, over Sepulveda Pass, down past the Getty and through the Westside, past LAX, through South Bay, Carson, Long Beach, yada yada yada, in a car, I probably would’ve either just taken my own life or maybe gone …read more