Archive for the ‘custom motorcycle’ Category

I am just now getting around to writing about our trip to the 2021 International Motorcycle Show. Life and work have been pushing against riding and writing for a couple months now thus the reason for fewer posts.  I hope that is changing for the better, fingers crossed.

For us this year’s show was held at the Carlisle, Pennsylvania Fairgrounds, which is about a two-hour trip for us.  That was not much more than the trip into Washington, DC.  The trip into the city, while 100 miles closer, could often take hours as well.

The fairground was mostly flat with only a small hill to get to the Kawasaki display I had no issues with the choice of the venue. It was easy to get to food and product vendors as you walk around taking in the sights.  Parking was ample with separate areas and entry points for car and motorcycles.

The fact that the International Motorcycle Show was outdoors, was a surprise. While there I meet a member of the show team and spoke to her about why they moved outdoors.  I will write a separate post on her response to that question, it was interesting.

As far as the show and motorcycles went it was pretty much on par with the indoor show with one major exception, there were a lot of test rides available.  Every major manufacture had something on hand for a test ride! This was not the case with the indoor DC show typically held in January. DC in January is not an opportune time to test ride a motorcycle.

This year, as I noted in earlier post, the motorcycle show folks had the Direction Wide Open team there to talk about traveling the RV/Caravan lifestyle with motorcycles. Lucinda and Will Belden provided an interesting and lively discussion on how you can take your motorcycling in a different direction with the use of an RV. It was quite fun listening to their stories and answers to the attendees’ questions.

J&P Cycle was again sponsoring the custom motorcycle show and contest next to the tent holding the vintage bikers’ rides.  Walking between the two was like a time travel event! But, in each tent there were fabulous motorcycles that made me want to hit the lottery so I could have my own set of tents.

So, all in all I would deem the Outdoor International Motorcycle Show a hit.  Would I go if it were raining?  Well, if you have read this blog for very long you know the answer to that question, of course I would.  But would the attendance be as great, of that I am not sure.

We have been moving from our former home in Leesburg to a new “temporary” home in Front Royal, VA.  The reason, I thought we were at the top of a sellers’ market and wanted to cash in before it faded.

So now being in Front Royal it is time to get out and discover new roads on my motorcycle.  We live about 3 miles from the northern terminus of Skyline Drive Parkway but that was not my destination this time.  I wanted to try something new.

Leaving my new neighborhood on a cool, for a dramatic change, morning I turned west and headed to Strasburg on State Route 55. The morning light dappled through the tree cover creating a crazy show of shadows and light. It was a quite and very uneventful ride to Strasburg.

The road into Strasburg proper is a mess right now, I don’t know what they are trying to do but watch yourself on the uneven and rough road up to the traffic light at the intersection of 55 and 11.

Strasburg seems to be a pretty cool town with a brewery, antiques and art boutiques mixed in with the normal main street business. Murals seem to adorn, what was, every blank wall giving the town a renaissance feel. I had hoped to find a diner for some breakfast, but I did not, which given everything else on Main Street seemed odd.

Taking State Route 11 out of town I was now headed down the Shenandoah Valley.  Passing though the small towns of Toms’ Brook, Maurertown, Woodstock (not that Woodstock), and Edinburg.  I admired the views from the valley, mountains rising from both the left and right framed the valley and the small towns in a way you can’t get from inside a car.

When I reached Mount Jackson I decided to turn around and head back the way I had come.  There were other ways to make it back to Front Royal but there were places I wanted to stop and take photos.  For my first motorcycle foray into Shenandoah region, I was quite happy.  I look forward to more local trips in and round Front Royal.

An older Skyline Drive motorcycle ride post – 2015

Each year I post my top 10 weird motorcycle list, you can see last years winners here.  As crazy as some of the “modern” motorcycles are, our forefathers built some crazy stuff too!

Check out the following “vintage” or “old school” wild and weird motorcycles. If you have more or better please pass them along in the comment section.

Hitting NeutralOrange County Chopper is closing shop in the state of New York and moving to St. Petersburg, Florida. The following came from their Facebook page:

“And so, it begins, the next chapter in the Orange County Choppers story. Ground has been broken at the all-new OCC Roadhouse, Museum and Entertainment Complex in St. Petersburg, Florida.”

During a radio interview with WKRG, Paul Senior added some more commentary on the reason for the move:

“There’s more of a sense of freedom down there. I think I have more of a fan base down there in Florida and the riding season is nine months maybe even ten. In New York, you have a short season, maybe only three months or so. The whole thing makes sense.”

He added politics and taxes played a major role in his decision.

“Sometimes it’s just time for change, you know? Where I’m at in my life, it’s time for change and you feel the freedom in Florida, you don’t feel it so much in New York anymore,”

My Take – The last several years have been extremely hard on the motorcycle industry.  I bet Orange County Choppers have been hurt more than the big guys.  This move will reduce the tax burden and possible other costs.

This is a hard time which requires hard decision.  Good for them for making that hard decision. I hope it works out.

*****

Up Shift – Josh Herrin (racer with MotoAmerica) recently set a world record for the fastest motorcycle elbow drag.  He drug is elbow for about 100 feet (30 Meters) at 100.9 MPH (162.4 KPH) establishing the record!

The idea for this world record attempt came from a brain storming session with his sponsor “Fresh n Lean”.

My Take – Very cool!  It is also great to see a sponsor step up to do things like this in the motorcycle world!

*****

Down Shift – Armed FBI raid on Ducati North America. The FBI finical crimes division raided the headquarters of Ducati North America as well as the homes of some of their corporate leaders. To date, there has been no official statement as what warranted the raid or what is going on.  Ducati released a statement that confirmed that the raid occurred, and that Ducati was fully complying with the government.

My Take – Something that make you go hummmmm.   Is Ducati in trouble or are they the collateral damage from some other party.  Stay tuned.

Ride on, Ride Safe

2020 the lost year…. It was hard to find the weird motorcycles among all the hate and vile of social media this year. I found a total of 12 strange, wonderful motorcycles for this year’s list. Reducing from 12 weird bikes to 9 was not very hard either.

Just a quick note, these motorcycles may have been around for a few years, but I first noticed them this past year.

Also, there seems to be a bit of “SteamPunk” vide with many of this years winners. Which is your favorite weird motorcycle for 2020?

The Born Free Motorcycle Show is one of the best chopper jamborees around.  It always gets the coolest and craziest choppers to attend and show off. DicE Magazine covered the show and produced a “Coffee Table” picture book all about the bikes at the show.  

At 300 pages of the coolest motorcycles, choppers, bobbers, racing and culture pictures the book is fun to flip through.  The creativity of some of the builders is hard to believe.

This book will grace my coffee table for quite a while.

2020 the lost year…. Just not a lot of cool motorcycle “art” this year. I only found 9 motorcycle tanks that I thought were really special.

The tank is the center of attention for almost all motorcycles.  Some folks can get really creative on what they paint or construct for their motorcycles. I really hope that 2021 folks can get back to crazy paint, sheet metal and other tools to produce some truly unique projects.

If you have a candidate for 2021’s list please drop me a comment below!

During 2020 I collected 23 motorcycle memes that I though were funny, good or made a point.

I had a very hard time deciding which one I liked best, for me it came down to “Aliens” or “Make ready to RIDE!”. Well it is a tie for me… which one do you like best?

Here are the best 9 motorcycle memes for 2020.

Ride on Ride Safe

2020 was a lost year in more than a few different ways. For motorcyclists not only did we lose riding time we also seem to have lost some motorcycle art.

There were just not very many “candidates” for the wild, weird motorcycle helmet list this year.  I barely had enough to hit 9, the minimum number to have a list.  Why 9?  Because everyone does 10 and 11 is to much work!

So, which one is your fav-o-rite? Do you have any suggestions for 2021 because I think I will need the help?

upshift

Hitting Neutral ­– Harley on a new course – Harley Davidson Motorcycles changes course, again. Out with the old boss in with the new boss. Out with the old plan in with the new plan.

When the last Harley Davidson CEO was in charge, he put in place an ambitious plan of 100 new motorcycles in 10 years. 

The new guy thinks that is an overreach and ended the effort and has stating that 30% of new models will be cut. This is paired with a cut to production to “make them more exclusive”.

While the new streetfighter motorcycle looks like it may be on the cut list. Its engine sharing brother, the Pan America adventure bike, is coming out with the 2021 models.

The new guy also wants to drive up the parts and accessories business along with merchandise. 

My Take: Who is right? According to the board of directors, not the guy that got fired.  I thought trying to expand appeal by having different Harley Davidson motorcycles was an interesting idea.  Not sure where cutting production will help exclusivity when there are 1000’s of bikes on the used market.

*****

Upshift: The King of Baggers RaceMotoAmerica is adding a touch of the surreal to American motorcycle racing. Well maybe, in the age of COVID who knows.

If you always wanted to see American V-Twins race at Laguna Seca raceway, maybe this is the year.  Watching a mildly modified Harley Davidson Road or Street Glide swinging through the corkscrew is going to be bonkers at best.

The race is getting attention.  Drag Specialties is the King of Baggers sponsor. A bunch of accessory companies are getting in on the action, for example Saddlemen, the motorcycle seat and luggage maker, is sponsoring bike #87 in the race.

And Indian and S&S are teaming up to run a Indian Challenger as well.  It should dominate on the straights as it has more than a few cubic inches on the Harley’s.

Currently the race is schedule for October 23-25, but who knows if it will happen until it happens.

My take: OH HELL YEAH!