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RIP: Jim Downs

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I'm very saddened at hearing that a friend and fellow rider, Jim Downs, has passed. I still don't know the details but I will try to report back when I hear more.

I met Jim a few years ago after reading his now shuttered Motostella website about his new found love of adventure riding on his BMW GS Adventure (same as my bike). Jim was one of those Hollywood hipster Deus type guys so it was great to see him enjoy adventure riding as much as he did his other passion, track racing his other cafe bikes.

Jim was RideApart's creative director and I'd most recently read about his test ride of the new Africa Twin. He had just commented on our Africa Twin post last week.

Jim "got it" about big bikes and my favorite thing he wrote about was in an article he titled "The Politics of Size" that I cited for a blog post I wrote here "So Why Not a Big Bike?"

So much gets said in motorcycle riding circles about motorcycle size. Prominent naysayers hail the trend of larger adventure-style motorcycles coming to market with the fevered zeal of sandwich-board wearing religious zealots crying out about the end of the world from city street corners. But instead of demanding that we repent our sins to Jesus, they try to shame those of us who like to ride heavy motorcycles on the dirt, saying that our bikes are “too heavy” and that we’d be better off with something smaller. Disciples of this “moto-size,” religion are also want to plague social media feeds. Always quick to interrupt otherwise civil threads with some shrill vitriol about why we ride the wrong kind of motorcycle. Like the rapture nuts on street corners, I usually pay people like this little mind. But lately I’m finding their rants more difficult to leave unanswered.

RIP my friend.

Update: a mutual friend posted that it was a fatal accident


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