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Palin kick-starts tour on motorbike

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Sarah Palin during a Memorial Day event in Washington (AP)

Sarah Palin during a Memorial Day event in Washington (AP)

Sarah Palin rides on the back of a motorcycle during a Memorial Day event in Washington (AP)

Sarah Palin rides on the back of a motorcycle during a Memorial Day event in Washington (AP)

Sarah Palin during a Memorial Day event in Washington (AP)

Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin rumbled through Washington on the back of a Harley motorcycle as she and her family began an East Coast tour, renewing speculation that she would join her still unsettled party's presidential contest.

Wearing a black leather jacket and surrounded by a throng of cheering fans, the former Alaska governor and family members jumped on bikes and joined thousands of other motorcyclists on the Memorial Day weekend ride from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Mrs Palin did not mention politics during the visit but smiled broadly when many in the crowd urged her to run.

The party's 2008 vice-presidential candidate remains one of the biggest questions for Republicans, who have not yet settled on a front runner to challenge President Barack Obama's re-election.

PA