Posts Tagged ‘Harley’

BEST WEIRD motorcycles of 2021! This year I started with a list of 22 really off the wall strange motorcycles. Was not too hard to work it down the best 9.

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

Which is your favorite weird motorcycle for 2021?

Last year I had a hard time deciding what would make the “Best of” Motorcycle Memes for 2020… not so much this year.

I started out with 19 and these 9 memes came to the top for the Best of 2021 pretty quick.

My favorite this is the Ducati one at the top. May or may not be true….but funny!!!

What has happened to Easyriders magazine?

In the lead up to Christmas 2021 when, at a local bookstore, I noticed the latest issue of Easyriders magazine.  But that magazine did not look at all correct, it did not have a hot bike and girl on the cover.

In fact, glancing through it at the newsstand, it did not have “really” have any hot bikes and no nude or scantly clothed women.

The new Easyriders magazine looked more like coffee table style magazine then anything else.  All this raised my curiosity to find out just what happed to the old school motorcycle magazine.

Death of Easyriders Magazine

The original Easyriders magazine was a champion of the counterculture, on the road biker symbolized in movies like “Easyrider”.  But, as we all know, the printed word is in decline due to the evolution of digital media.  From my point of view, magazines have been the hardest hit with many, to many, motorcycle magazines failing to survive the transition. 

Easyriders magazine started in the early 1970s and always showcased the best motorcycles from across America along with the aforementioned scantily clad women.  Later Easyriders would host and run events, rallies (or as they called them rodeos), and motorcycle shows.

From what I can gather, that Easyrider magazine closed its doors and auctioned off what was left in 2018.

So, What Happened Next?

It appears that a Canadian clothing company called StrongHold now owns the name and trademark of the old company.  If you go to the new Easyriders website you can purchase $16 shaving kits, $30 t-shirts, $25 boxers, and $60 hoodies.

The magazine, as noted above, is now more “up-scale” targeted to a very different audience then the original Easyriders. On their website they state that this is an “Elevation of an Iconic Brand”, that it is more then a magazine it is a lifestyle.

I purchased the second issue and I enjoyed it quite a bit.  Short stories and great pictures laid out in a modern format; the magazine looks nothing like the classic version.

Rodeos and events

Easyriders did support three events 2021 but the long running, over 30 years, rodeo in Chillicothe, OH will not be back in 2022 but not due to the pandemic.

The town, fairgrounds and county will not allow the Easyriders event to return because, during the 2021 event, there was, very nearly, a “gang” battle. 

According to reports an undercover cop stopped the unnamed biker gangs from starting a shootout when he spotted “his” gang putting guns together and getting ready to move against their rivals. The gangs were not identified.

Easyriders is dead, long live Easyriders.

I am sure many purest will not like the new Easyriders but, at least it is still around.  I don’t have any issue with the new direction while at the same time, I am kind of missing the old magazine. Things change and in this new age, at least we still have a motorcycle magazine on the news stand.

Ride On, Ride Safe

(If I did not get anything right, please let me know!)

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Hey guys, I am in a middle of a move and have not provided as much content lately.  Please stand by for a bit while I get back to normal… whatever that is!

Up Shift Entire Family to Race at the Amateur Championship – The entire Rau family is going to the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s motorcycle complex! This is the first time that a mom, dad, and son have pulled this type of hat trick.

Mom and dad (Tressa & Justin) qualified for the Senior (40+) and son (Jett) made the cut in the Mini-E Junior (4-6) class.

My Take – This is one of those, “Isn’t that cool!” items.  Congratulations to the Rau family and I hope they all make the podium for another amateur motocross racing first!   

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Up ShiftNew Harley Davidson Sportster – If you did not see this coming, I don’t know what to say to you.  The ever changing and tightening emission standards is slowing ending the air-cooled era of motorcycling. Lament if you wish, but the old engine just could not compete in this modern world.

The 50+ year old Sportster name continues at Harley Davidson with an all-new motorcycle. The new Sportster brings the Harley Revolution Max engine and 121 horses (from 1252cc) as a major upgrade to the name.   

To help tame that horsepower the new Sportster has lean-sensitve Antilock brakes, wheelie control, traction control and “Drag Torque Slip Control” to reduce rear wheel lockup during engine braking.

My Take – At first glance this new Sportster looks a like the FXDR from a few years ago.  A lot of styling points from that bike made it to the Sportster.  I do like the styling; I do like the performance upgrade, and I understand why Harley Davidson had to make the change to old bloodline.  I have not yet had an opportunity to ride this motorcycle, but I will make the time to do so.  At a $15,000 US starting point it seems to align with many of its competitors.

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Ride on, Ride Safe

Click here to see the last news update.

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Hey guys, I am in a middle of a move and have not provided as much content as normal lately.  Please stand by for a bit while I get back to normal… what ever that is!

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Hitting Neutral – Certified Pre-owned Harley Davidsons – Somewhere along the line I missed this news item.  Back in November 2019 Harley Davidson started a new program to the “Certified Pre-Owned program

This program will, if you buy from an authorized US dealer, provided used motorcycles that have been through a 110 point inspection and certified by Harley. If you buy a certified pre-owned motorcycle, you will get a 1-year warranty and roadside assistance.

These bikes will have under 25,000 miles and must have fully stock powertrain. So, no straight pipes as part of this program! See Harley Davidsons website for more information.

My Take – My first thought “why have they not been doing this for years”? Then, “This might help some folks make that decision to buy a bike”. Then, “Oh well, moving on”.   

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Up Shift – One of the fastest men on a motorcycle does not have a license to ride on the street! – If you have won 6 straight World Superbike championships, and the front runner for #7, one would think you have had motorcycle licenses most of your life, right?

Apparently not, but even world champion Jonathan Rea must take the official course to get the licenses.

My Take – LOL… to funny.  But I am glad he is doing this it will help show folks that everyone is on the same playing field when it comes to safety.  You can check out how well he does on his videos.  

*****

Ride On, Ride Safe

Click here for previous motorcycle news post

April is Motorcycle Helmet Safety month and the supposed start of the riding season in the Northern Hemisphere. So, if your riding season is just beginning or coming to an end you should check your helmet for any issues that could risk your safety.

What do you look for when performing a safety check on your motorcycle helmet? Different manufactures state similar and different things to check, please referrer to your helmets makers directions for the best information.

However, there are some generic checks you can do that will cover many areas to make sure your helmet is still safe. Here are the a few things you need to look for:

1) Is the shell all in one piece? No cracks or splits?

2) Are the straps and connectors in good shape, no adverse wear or tear?

3) The internal padding is connected and stays in place?

4) Remove the padding and check the foam.  Is it dented or have cracks?

5) While looking at the foam, most companies place a sticker printed with the helmet’s birthday. Is it over 5 years old?

6) Does the rest of the internals look in good operating condition?

7) Check the visor for damage that might obscure your vision, can you see clearly?

8) Are the screws or other visor attachments tight?

9) Make sure that insects/creatures are not living in your helmet, see the photos below! (that is a Black Widow Spider)

Checklist item 5 is the 5-year rule.  Most manufactures recommend that after 5 years you replace your helmet.  While the cynical among us will cite the “more money” theory of why they want it replaced there is evidence that the foam lining (the part that does most of the work in a crash) does deteriorate over time. It is your head, so it is your decision to replace or not if everything looks good.

James Madison’s Montpelier

As noted in in Part 1 of this Quarantine Motorcycle Ride series on the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Byway, had to occur over three seasons.  Part 2 Leesburg to Montpelier occurred last summer.

This leg of the ride started on a cool summer morning.  Blue skies, white puffy clouds, and the local weatherman, promised a comfortable day to ride the motorcycle.

Our eyes and the weatherman were right! Our ride on the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited motorcycle was smooth and sweet.  Great tunes and light traffic made this leg of the Hallowed Ground Byway nothing short of great.

This part of the Byway is packed full of sites that just beg to be stopped and explored as this part of Virginia is packed with history and historical sites.

Getting to Montpelier took us past the following historical sites, and these are the major sites. There are many, many smaller sites in each of the towns you pass through.  This leg of the Hallowed Ground Byway can, by itself, could take a week to work your way though.

Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park | Nova Parks

George C. Marshall’s Home

President’s Monroe’s Oak Hill

Bull Run Battlefield (1st and 2nd Battle for Manassas)

This section also passes though the Northern Virginia wine and brewery corridor.  For example, there are over a dozen breweries and 30 vineyards in Loudon county alone! Just do not drink and ride, of course!

Of course, the destination of this motorcycle ride was the home of President James Madison’s home Montpelier.  Montpelier was the plantation home of the Madison family, including the fourth President of the United States James Madison and his wife Dolly.

Montpelier is both a National Historic Landmark and part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Completed in 2008 a major restoration (by the National Trust), in part to return the mansion to its original size of 22 rooms.

Archeological investigations provided information on African-American life at the plantation. Philanthropist David Rubenstein funded and enabled the National Trust to restore the slave quarters in the South Yard and open a slavery exhibition, The Mere Distinction of Colour, in 2017.

Getting to Montpelier is a wonderful ride through historic lands.  If you are in the area, on the Journey Thorough Hallowed Ground Byway or not, take the time to stop.

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Up Shift – The State of Montana is now the third state to have legal motorcycle lane-filtering. 

Motorcyclists in the Big Sky State can overtake slow or stopped traffic by filtering between the lanes of traffic. But they have to stay at 20 MPH or below while doing so.

My Take – While I tremendously applaud the efforts of the motorcycle community in Montana for making this happen, was there much need for it? There are so few people in Montana how often will conditions allow lane-filtering?

ON THE PLUS SIDE…Other, vastly more populated, states (Oregon and Virginia for example) are also looking at legalization of motorcycle lane-filtering. Maybe the momentum is building for more states to pass the law.

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Up Shift – Harley Davidson my soon offer a bolt on supercharger for its V-Twin motorcycles. Cycle World is reporting that the Motor Company is working on the supercharger as part of it’s Screamin’ Eagle performance line. If you are not familiar with the Screamin’ Eagle line it is their in-house performance division that develops products (cams, exhausts, engines, etc.) to “hop-up” your motorcycle horsepower and torque. 

My Take – With the retraction going on at Harley Davidson I am a bit surprised with this development.  Harley has killed many new bikes designs, dropped out of racing and closed production lines so this new part is more the exception along the lines of the Pan American adventure motorcycle.

It will be interesting to see if it makes it into the parts catalog.

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Up Shift – Over the last few years American Flat Track racing has made quite a comeback, at least until Covid.  With the racing season to start soon Royal Enfield is joining the series with a factory sponsored team.

Johnny Lewis will be riding for Royal Enfield and the company is expecting good things to come from their involvement with American Flat Track.

My Take – This is great for the sport! More factory team involved means a greater chance for success.  But with American Flat Track on NBC and tape delayed how many fans are going to get to see Johnny and the other racers.

I don’t think that I am to different from the other fans in that if I know the outcome I am not going to watch the event.

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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.