Posts Tagged ‘Harley Davidson’

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.

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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!

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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

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.

Downshift – Realignment in the Motorcycle industry.

Suzuki – Suzuki Motor of America has announced a restructuring of US operations. Suzuki Motorcycles/ATV and the Marine Division will be split into separate companies on April 1st, 2021.

The motorcycle company will be headquartered in California, the marine company in Florida.

Kawasaki – Kawasaki Heavy Industries will spin off the motorcycle and “rolling stock (trains)” divisions as part of a major restructuring as the company faces a $47 million-dollar operating loss.

Hashimoto Yasuhiko stated that he hopes the motorcycle division will continue to build the brand and revitalize the market through collaboration with other companies.

Ducati – Volkswagen is again looking to sell Ducati and is hosting preliminary talks with potential bidders.  It appears that they are packaging Lamborghini and Ducati for a sell off.  Selling them together or separately is still unknown

Sources are reporting that the sale process may begin in early 2021. VW has not officially confirmed this activity.

Harley Davidson – Has dropped several new products, their new street fighter “The Bronx” for example, closed plants and most recently begin the process to pull out of India. Although now they are using Hero as a distribution partner in India and, in one article, will allow Hero to brand some of their motorcycles as Harley Davidson.

Harley also just pulled out of all factory sponsored racing.

This is all part of their new “re-wired” restructuring plan. 

My take – There is a major shift going on in the world of motorcycling and not for the better. 

Long term I feel that their will be a shrinking of manufacturing not all makers will survive. Governments around the world are pushing for all vehicles to go electric, but battery range for motorcycles just are not anywhere near comparable with fossil fuel engines.

Tie that with the Vision Zero desire to eliminate traffic deaths, which would require the removal of motorcycles from the road, and the on-coming autonomous vehicle revolution … can motorcycles survive?

So, I do not have a lot of hope for long term viability of motorcycling. Sigh.

But, there are a few good signs. Norton and BSA are going to make motorcycle again and both in Britian!

Reply to this post and tell me I am wrong.

Have a motorcycle enthusiast (aka Crazy Biker) on your naughty or nice list?  Here are 9 gift giving ideas to make their 2020 holiday a little bit better.

9. A New Motorcycle Jacket – All equipment gets old and needs to be replaced. Look at the condition of your crazy biker’s jacket does it need to be replaced?  I have been using the Viking Cycle Enforcer Motorcycle Jacket for a couple years now and I am quite happy with it.  Check out my review of this jacket.

8. Motorcycle Art – Ran across this a few months ago on Amazon…your rider’s name spelled out, in pictures of motorcycle parts.  I do not own this, but I might just get one from myself. Check out Personalized Motorcycle Name Art – Harley, Indian, and Honda on Amazon

7. New tie-down straps – Another piece of equipment that gets old, but one that is especially important if your crazy biker tows or hauls their bike(s).  Steal a glance at their current straps, look worn or about to be worn out, get them a new set.

6. Custom Dynamic Motorcycle Lights – Custom Dynamic makes SUPER bright, eye catching lighting for motorcycles.  I have several sets on my bike and wish I had more! In particular, look at the ProBeam LED Motorcycle Turn Signals

ijustwant2ride

These turn signal lights are really DIY

If I could get a commission on every purchase of Custom Dynamic lights I have influenced, I would never have to pay for this website again.

5. A Gift Card – from their favorite local dealership.  That way they can pick out what they want!

4.  New Motorcycle Gloves – Is your crazy biker’s glove a bet nasty? Now is the time to gift them a new pair. Some consideration, vented for warm weather or waterproof for the rainy day?  Or heated for the cold months?

3. Battery Tender – Winter is here in the northern hemisphere. This gift will help your crazy biker be ready to roll the first chance they get. No recommendation, they are almost all good. Just make sure you get the right connection for their motorcycle.

2. A Branded Hat – cause, you know, helmet hair!

1. Membership in the AMA – That is the American Motorcycle Association.  Membership not only gets discounts on products it also includes emergency towing. The AMA is the largest, but not the only, lobbyist group protecting your right to ride.

Ride On, Ride Safe

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We pulled out of our driveway on a cool, crisp Friday morning for a long weekend motorcycle ride.  By cool & crisp I mean 51 degrees Fahrenheit, a little less with wind chill, of course. We knew it was going to be at least that or a bit less on Skyline Drive.

We had decked ourselves out in appropriate clothing and closed the vents of the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited, so the chill was not very noticeable. Otherwise, the sun was out with blue sky all about and traffic out of town was quite light.

It took us about an hour to get from home to the northern terminus of Skyline Drive in Front Royal, Virginia. I really think that the state could do a bit better job of signage to get people to the park.  I knew where it was but, until you are right upon it the signs are few and far between.

A lot of motorcycles on the road!

Once we were on Skyline Drive the cool air got a bit cooler! There was nearly a 10-degree difference from the valley to the top of the mountain.  While we did notice it, and I turned on the heated grips, the motorcycle seemed to love the cool air and purred as it rolled up, down and around the ridge.

The leaves had not yet started to change colors or drop from the trees, but the greens were awesome to view. I do have another complaint, maybe it is a by-product of Covid 2020 but several of the overlooks really did not overlook.  The trees and bush build up limited the view on some of the stops.   Only a minor disappointment as the day was so nice!

We reached the southern terminus of the parkway late afternoon and headed to our hotel in Charlottesville, VA. The next day we went to some local site like Monticello. Our return tip was via the American BywayJourney Through Hallowed Ground Byway”, which will be documented on another post.

It was our anniversary by the way!

Skyline Drive by motorcycle really shows that the adage “Riding in car is like watching a movie. Riding on a motorcycle is like being in the movie” is absolutely true.

If you live on the east coast this ride needs to be on your bucket list.

Ride On, Ride Safe

We know that in a car or on a motorcycle we will get a tailgater, sometimes several in a single day.  It sucks, but it is going to happen.  So, what is a safe riding motorcyclist to do?

Below are 9 tips on how to deal with tailgating while on your ride. These tips may help you minimize your risk from the tailgating jerk. The #1 tip is, from my personal perspective, the most important to keep you safe.

9. Flash your taillights – A quick blip of your lights might get their attention on just how close they are to you.  Make sure this is just enough to flash your lights, do not slow down as they may not be paying attention. 

8. Draw more attention to your rear end – Consider adding a device to your motorcycle to case your taillights to flash multiple times.  I use a product from Custom Dynamics to draw attention to my rear end. I have received many comments from riders and drivers that have said hey can really see my lights. There is a video at the link that will show you how the different ways the unit flashes.

custom dynamics

7. Check to see if you are the problem – Are you moving with the surrounding traffic?  Are you at the speed limit?  If you are riding your motorcycle to slow for the traffic around you, look for a different route where you will be safe.

6. Move to be seen – We all know that drivers cannot see you even if they see you.  Move from your current wheel track to the other and then back.  Changing your lane position might get their attention and back off.

5. Increase your following distance – Give a bit greater space to the vehicle in front of you.  The idea is not to aggravate your tailgater but to give you and the tailgater more room to slow down or come to a stop.

4. Do not ride faster – Speeding up will not get the tailgater to stop.  They will just ride your tail faster.  You might get a temporary respite but if they tailgated you before they will again. Trying to appease the tailgater, like trying to appease anyone, just does not work.  Ride your ride.

3. Let them pass – If they are tailgating in order make a pass at the first opportunity, let them.  If you have been in a slow zone and now you are in faster zone, let them go by, don’t speed up!

2. Pull over – Find a safe place to move your motorcycle off the road and let them by.  Make sure to signal early your intent, use both your lights and arm signals. It will only be a few minutes before you catch up to them as they are tailgating the next guy.

1. Do NOT get ANGERY –  If you get mad you may not be paying attention to your situation. Stay cool and safe!

Have any tips of your own? Put them in the comments below!

Ride On, Ride Safe

I really enjoyed the films “Long way Down” and “Long Way Round”. The movies chronicled Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor motorcycle adventures.

If you did not know there is a new one which follows them from Patagonia, Argentina 13,000 miles to Los Angeles in the US. This time they ditched their BMW motorcycles for the new electric Harley Davidson “Live Wire”.

The Live Wire motorcycles were modified for off-road use and their trip was supported by all-electric Rivian trucks. These trucks were more proto-type then production according to the trailer.

Long Way Up is coming out on Apple TV. Sigh I don’t have Apple TV so I will have to wait until it comes out on another service as I am not spending any more money on TV.

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.

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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!

The July Bikes & Breakfast, for Poolesville, MD gathering occurred over the weekend. The 1st Sunday morning of each month motorcyclist collect in a Poolesville parking lot for a meet and greet.

Click for the website

This month my grandsons are in town, so I took the older one with me to the event.  Taking the blue Harley Davidson, we rode the motorcycle the long route to Poolesville, on a beautiful bright day but very humid morning.  We arrived about mid-morning and there were not a lot of bikes in the parking lot.  At first, I thought maybe it was Covid-cancelled but we hung around to see what would happen.

By about 10AM the parking lot was getting full, I would guess there was at least 70 motorcycle on display.  Besides the ubiquitous Harley Davidsons, there were the standard Triumphs, Hondas, etc. There were a bunch of custom bikes from café racers to bobbers.

The one motorcycle that stood out for me was a 1967 Moto Guzzi.  A two-owner bike that is in remarkable shape for a very well ridden bike.  Of course, it helps if the owner runs a vintage European Motorcycle garage.

When we left, we took the White’s Ferry across the Potomac river and head for the house.  My grandson said he had a good time, but 14 year-olds…does one really know?

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My daughter and grandsons came from Denver to visit!  Ashely only got to spend a short time with us but, the grandsons will spend most of the summer between the two sets of grandparents.  Looking forward to some time with them!

One of the things on Ashley’s “to do” list was a motorcycle ride.  With the Covid quarantine lock down still going on strong in Maryland and Virginia I decided to ride out to Berkeley Springs, WV.q2

Berkeley Springs was the first “spa” in America, where people would go to “take the waters”.  Berkeley Springs history goes back to the at least the 1740s when George Washington reportedly took a bath in the spring water. Berkeley Springs is also on the George Washington Heritage Trail (an America Byway).  I rode this byway a few years ago you can read about it here. An awesome ride for a motorcycle by the way!

Ashley having a good time!

Ashley having a good time!

For our ride we pulled out on the motorcycle mid-morning.  The sun and puffy clouds were out, and the temperature was more than reasonable. A mix of rock and country music playing through the Harley Davidson speakers provided a background soundtrack for our ride.

My plan was to take a lot of backroads and end up at our destination about 1PM.  The motorcycle was humming along as we rode through Virginia and Maryland.  We crossed both the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers as well as Cortactin Mountain and eastern side of the Alleghenies. The views were idyllic and the ride smooth and comfortable.

It couple hours later we arrived in Berkeley Springs. Ashley, much like me, is a bit of a q3history nut and we spent a some time in the museum before our stomachs told us it was lunch time.  Walking down main street we decided to have lunch at the Naked Olive Lounge.  This was a particularly good decision!

They were at serving at a reduced capacity and disinfecting everything as people left, per the Covid free directions. The atmosphere was nice, the wait staff/person was friendly, but the best part was the food, excellent.  I will be going back soon.

After lunch it was time to head back home.  Mounting the motorcycle and pulling out we took a more direct route home. Ashley wanted to go to an antique store before she went back to Denver the next day so she and the wife had their afternoon.

I had a great day out with my daughter!

 

Ride on, Ride Safe