Posts Tagged ‘Harley’

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If you’re a motorcycle mechanic and an enthusiast, you may be thinking of starting your own business. Finding a way to do what you love and still make money is the goal of any entrepreneur. However, there are some things that you should think about before you dive in and get started. Take a look at this list of things you may not have thought of when you were toying around with the idea of opening a shop.

NAME

You may not realize it, but one of the things that can often make or break a business is whether or not it has a catchy name, that people will remember and want to share with others. While it’s not the most important thing to think about, you will want to invest time and a bit of market research into picking the right name.

ZONING

Beware that what looks like a fantastic location might not work out as well as you’d hoped. Local zoning and ordinances can make it very difficult to find a suitable location for your business. Considering that most motorcycle shops tend to be loud, you may find out that options for your shop are limited.

NEIGHBORS

Even if you find a location where the zoning regulations are met, that doesn’t mean that you’re going tod old 4 have an easy ride. Sometimes other local businesses or residents may take issue with the noise, or even the customers. Public perception is often your worst enemy, and many motorcycle businesses find themselves being visited regularly by inspectors, police, and other regulation authorities based on complaints from unwelcoming neighbors.

CUSTOMERS

You probably already have a few folks in mind, but you want to make sure that you will have a large enough customer base to sustain your business. When selecting your location, you want to make sure that it not only meets legal requirements, but also that it will be accessible to your customers.

CAPITAL

Finding the money to start up any business can be hard- finding capital to start up a motorcycle business can be even harder. Because the love of riding is so often not understood by others, convincing bankers and investors to see the value in your company is often difficult. Develop a strong business plan to help potential investors see the value of your business.

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Part of running a solid business is making sure that you aren’t only satisfying the customers you have, but also enticing new ones to your shop. In today’s business environment, building a website and having a strong social media marketing campaign are crucial to increasing revenue and turning a profit.

 

LICENSING/PERMITS

Any business will need licenses and permits to operate. Be sure to fully research an attain any certifications, licenses, and inspections that you will need. Failure to do so can result in your doors closing before you are up and running, essentially wasting any time and resources you’ve put in already.

SEASONAL INCOME

Motorcycle riding tends to be a seasonal activity in many places. Depending on where you live, there win dcan be several months or more of down-time. Carefully consider the months when you may have reduced traffic because of weather or other limiting factors, and make sure that you have the cash flow to cover any lulls in business.

EXIT STRATEGY

One thing that many entrepreneurs overlook is how they plan to wind down their business when the time comes for them to retire. Whether you intend to close down, sell, or pass the business on to an employee, you will want to understand your exit strategy before you begin. Your options may be limited by your business model and your record-keeping throughout the time you are open. Planning ahead will help you decide which option is best for you when the time comes.

Opening any business isn’t something that you want to take lightly. You’ll want to do your homework and be certain you’ve thought out all of the moving parts of a business before you invest your time and money into making it work.

Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb and BizDb.co.nz, an online resources with information about businesses. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.  Her dad was a motorcyclist and he passed that passion on to her. Sarah loves to travel the world on her motorcycle and she hopes that one of her daughters will become her partner in the near future. Sarah guest posted for IJustWant2ride check it out here.

 

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Can you spot the rear shock adjuster?

Harley Davidson is not holding back or onto tradition by the looks of it. The release of the 2018 Models show that they are serious about making changes.

Gone is the Dyna line of motorcycle.  Three “nameplates” of the old Dyna line have been retained but they are now part of the “new” softail family.  The Wide Glide and Low Rider S are gone completely along with the exposed twin rear shock Dyna frame.

The V-Rod and its 125HP right out of the box engine is gone too! No more V-Rod Muscle or Night Rod.  Those bikes have been around for more than a decade but have been rolled out of the lineup for whatever the future is bringing.

The softail line has been totally changed!  New engines (the Milwaukie 8), new frame and a new rear shock.  Gone is the under frame, dual shock configuration, replaced with a mono-shock that is hand adjustable from the outside of the motorcycle!

As noted above, some of the old Dyna names moved over to the softail world.  The Street Bob, Low Rider and Fat Bob models are additions to the softail lineup while the Softail Slim S and Fat Boy S have been dropped.  Speaking of the Fat Bob… wow they really hit the styling cues out of the park, well at least for me!

Everything said and done, excluding the Sportsters, all the motorcycle in the Harley Davidson stable are now water cooled… or twin cooled to use their terminology.  Harley Davidson is making waves with all the changes.  Their promise of 50 new models in 5 years and 100 in 10 is well underway.

So what is my take?  I like it!!  Harley Davidson took a big step on technology with the Softail family.  While the bikes might look the same, it is only sheet metal.  Folks that have been complaining about how Harley does not embrace new(ish) technology cannot say that now.   Between the new engine, water cooling, monoshocks, this is not your Dads’s softail or maybe not even your brother’s or sister’s softail.

P.S.  Mr. Davidson also stated that their electric bike will be out within the next two years, how is that for embracing new technology.

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The FAT BOB is looking good!

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Debbie and I decided to take a quick Sunday morning motorcycle ride this past weekend.  Our ride took us to three national parks in about 5 hours!

Leaving home about 8AM we headed out to the George Washington Parkway (a national park). It took us about an hour to get to the southern terminus which is also Mount Vernon home of George Washington. Riding north on the parkway gives the rider a wonderful, at times panoramic, views of the Potomac River and surrounding country.

Coming abreast of Washington D.C. the view is remains panoramic as well as breath taking. The Washington and Lincoln Monuments clearly in view, the Kennedy Center and the spires of Georgetown make the few minutes you ride past the city quite awe inspiring.  Just past those sites you come across Theodore Roosevelt Island.  This is an often a much under looked memorial to a great president.  Take the time to walk across to the island and view this memorial. We did not stop this time…the parking lot was full, otherwise it would have been 4 national parks in 5 ½ hours.

The second park of this motorcycle ride was the C&O Canal National Park.  If you follow this blog you will see that I am attempting to get to all the motorcycle accessible stops along the canal.  I have knocked out a few but there is a lot of stops remaining.

Lastly we stopped in and took a look at Glen Echo National Park.  Just a short distance from the Clara Barton Parkway (named after the founder of the American Red Cross) this National Park started life in 1891 as a school and in 1911 transformed in to the premier amusement park of the great D.C area.  In 1971, shortly after the amusement park closed the Park Service took over and it is now a national park!  The park is an easy motorcycle ride coming out of or into Washington D.C.

Leaving Glen Echo we returned to the Clara Barton Parkway and headed west towards home.  All in all…a great day for a motorcycle ride!

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If you follow me on FaceBook (which most don’t as I don’t really push it) or Twitter you know that I collect Harley Davidson Motorcycle Dealership Pins.  Debbie and I also collect pins that remind us of our motorcycle rides to various destinations.

This year we collected motorcycle ride pins during out nearly 3000 mile vacation ride, touring along a couple of the Great Lakes and into New England.  Neither of us had been into the northeast United States for anything beyond a business trip, so that is why we chose to go there this year.  You can read about our rainy, soggy, drenched motorcycle vacation starting here.

We rode to so some pretty cool places along the way.  On White Face Mountain we got to see the inside of a rain cloud and at Ben & Jerry’s we tasted a new ice cream that is not yet on the market.  All in all we had a great time touring and these motorcycle ride pins will be conversation starters moving forward.

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Designing a motorcycle garage is an important task for an avid bike owner, but it’s not something that you can accomplish easily on your own. There are many considerations to make, and it’s best to talk with an experienced garage contractor that can help walk you through the different decisions to be made. Give the process some consideration and consult with a professional to help you think of all the different decisions that must be made.

Get a Heated Space

One of the best investments that you can make for a productive motorcycle garage is on heat and cooling. Wrenching occurs in the cold winter months as well as the heat of summer, and it’s nice to have permanent heating and cooling systems in place to make working on your bikes more enjoyable overall.

Focus on Plenty of Lighting

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When hiring a contractor to take on your lighting tasks for your garage, make sure there are plenty of overhead lights, as well as some switch outlets that you can use to put in even more lighting. The lighter the better when it comes to working on some specific areas of bikes, so spending a bit more money here is essential and a good solid investment.

Invest in a Capable Ventilation System

Whether you want to paint up that new ride to give it a more attractive look, you’re stripping away old paint with a strong solvent, your sanding down your bike and creating lots of dust and debris, or you’re just building a new tool rack out of wood, ventilation is important. Invest in a powerful ventilation system that’s going to remove the particles from the air and keep your space nice and fresh, and you can enjoy tackling more jobs in the comfort of your bike garage, and avoid taking them outdoors.

Get the Proper Amount of Space

bike garageMotorcycles are small, so many people don’t make a spacious enough bike garage. Those people only think about the bikes themselves, not all the tools and machinery necessary to work on them. That could be a mistake, because there is a lot of equipment that’s nice to have. Lifts, parts cleaners, air compressors, work benches and a whole bunch of other tools will probably find their way into your space. It’s best to make sure you have the space to accommodate them all. That’s why you should add on extra space that you don’t believe you will use when coming up with the details of your space with the contractor. You will use the space, trust us.

Building the ideal motorcycle garage takes time, but with help from a contractor you can get just the right space for your needs that you’ll be happy to call your own. Take the time to consider everything that you’ll want inside, and then make sure everything is included at the time of building for best results.

Jason has a couple other posts on IJUSTWANT2RIDE including please check them out!

Products to Lock Up Your Motorcycles to Keep Them Safe! 

Motorcycle Riding in Paradise; Costa Rica

 

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 Pulling out of the Lake Placid hotel into a light rain (yup wet again) and lots of road spray day 7 of our motorcycle vacation begins.  The Adirondacks was just an awesome place to ride, even with the rain. 

WP_20170624_09_33_31_ProWe needed to reach Port Kent, New York no later than 930AM in order to make sure we are on the first ferry of the day to cross Lake Champlain.  We made it to the landing with about 10 minutes to spare!  We were the first to board the boat (they move motorcycles to the front, not sure why but I enjoyed the perk).  The ride across the lake on the Valcour (built in 1948) took about an hour before we rolled off the ferry and into Burlington, VT. 

Our first stop in Vermont was Green Mountain Harley Davidson.  I am very glad we did, Alan at Green Mountain turned us on to a different, more twisty, route over “Smugglers Notch” to get to our second stop.  That second stop was the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory.WP_20170624_13_10_51_Pro 

During the factory tour we got to see some of the history of the company, it started in a gas station, and how the ice cream is made today.  At the end of the tour we got to sample a new ice cream “Triple Carmel” which both Debbie and I really liked! 

After leaving Ben and Jerry’s it was only a short time before we were on theWP_20170624_16_19_58_Pro Kangamagus (and no I don’t know how to pronounce it!).  This could have been a great ride through the White Mountain National Forest, but, alas, it was a chore and a bit of a bore.  There were way too many cars on the road that had no clue on how to drive the curvy, somewhat mountainous route.  There was even an accident in one turn that I have no clue how it could have happened without a serious lack of driving skill and experience.  

Coming out of the other side of the Kangamagus I was beat.  We found a hotel, had a Mexican dinner and went to bed!  The next day we are heading to the top of Mount Washington.  By the way we are over 1500 miles on the trip so far.

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I have been taking my wife to some of the great cities of the old world. Last year I was able to take her to Lisbon and Damascus. Two years ago we rode the motorcycle to Paris.

Not sure where we will ride the motorcycle to next… but you can count on her getting to London and Glasgow sometime soon.

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Going to a motorcycle stunt show?  As a warning watch this!

Female celbs that ride!

How girls ride motorcycles 2up? 

How boys ride motorcycles 2up?

A short skirt, a thong and a sport bike motorcycle!

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The first really great motorcycle riding weekend of the year and we got to take advantage of it!   It was a bit cool when we started, something just under 50F.  But, Saturday, a little before noon, the sun was out, the temperature was rising, the sky was blue and the motorcycle was calling.  

I threw on my chaps, Debbie put on her electric jacket liner and we were ready for a motorcycle ride to the US Marine Corp Museum.  We had not been there before but had seen its structure many, many time.  Anyone who travels north or south on Interstate 95 in the Washington, DC metro area has seen the spire of the museum rising above the tree line.  

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Iwo Jima flag rising… in Legos!

We rode out, going the long way to avoid the DC highway system, and a couple hours later we were pulling the motorcycle into the parking lot of the museum.  The building itself is quite imposing, it was built to give an artistic representation to the Marines rising the flag on Iwo Jima.  

It is quite amazing when you walk into the atrium of the building. Hanging from the ceiling are multiple Marine Corp aircraft from WWII as well as a Harrier jump jet.  The museum itself is well laid out walking you through the founding of the Corp at Tun Tavern through their current deployments in the Middle East.

If you are in the area of Quantico, VA riding your motorcycle or in your car, you should stop a check out this free museum.  It would be worth your time to learn a little more about one part of the American armed services.  

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The view of the show from up high

Debbie and I went to the Washington DC International Motorcycle Show on the 8th of January.  But before I tell you about the show I have to tell you about the adventure we had just getting to the show. 

On a Sunday morning, barring accidents, it can take about 45 minutes to get to the Washington DC convention center from our home by car.  The problem is that parking in DC is very bad on the very best day, so we elected to take the metro/subway instead.  That was a big mistake! 

First and foremost we forgot that system was undergoing major overalls on the rail lines.  Second the trains are less frequent on weekends and third it was 12F and windy.  Sooooo, we quickly learned that we should have just driven in by car.

 The long story short is that we changed trains 5 times had to leave the subway to take a bus for 3 stops and walked several blocks to wait in stations for the next train to arrive.  At one point I think we were within a mile of convention center but at 12F the remaining 30 minute train ride was a better deal.  All in all just over 2 hours after boarding the first train we arrived at the convention center where we then had to walk to blocks, in doors, to get to the exhibit center. 

Well once there we had a great time.  This here the show was a bit smaller than those of the past.  Honda and KTM were not present thus the number of makes were down by at least two.  Last time we were there on a Saturday so I do not know if the crowd was smaller but it felt well attended to me.   

We wondered around the exhibits looking at the new bikes, checked out the JP Cycle motorcycle show contestants (I should enter my Army bike) and talked with the representatives. I had a nice conversation with the CEO of Southeastern Virginia Indian out of Newport News about what he and Indian are doing.   

I also had a good conversation with the marketing director of Royal Enfield USA.  She knew about the DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio show and stated that if any of us got to Milwaukee we had an invitation to ride the new Royal Enfield Himalayan adventure bike.  It is not yet available in the US but of course the HQ of Royal Enfield has a few on hand! 

After about 2 hours we knew we had to pack it in, even if we were not ready because we had a 2 hour train/bus/walking trek ahead of us.  So we packed our swag and headed out. 2 hours later we were in our car warming up and head to the house. 

All in all this year’s IMS Washington DC event was worth the 4 hour travel!