Posts Tagged ‘Indian motorcycle’

what 

 

If you have not noticed there have been no new “What’s in the Barn” motorcycle TV shows. That is because it was canceled by the Discovery Channel.

I know this because I talked to Dale Walksler, star of the show, while I was on our motorcycle touring vacation. I met Dale when we stop at the “Wheels Through Time” motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley, NC.

My reviews were not five star but that was more due to the production not the content.

ijustwant2ride.com

This past weekend I rode my “Army Motorcycle” to the “Finish the Race Ministries” car and bike show. The show was held in the parking lot of the Calvary Temple Church in Sterling, Virginia. The day was wonderful for a car and motorcycle show! Warm and sunny with a bit of a breeze. But as I used the remains of last year’s sun block I did get a mild sunburn hanging out in the parking lot.

There was over 100 cars and at least 35 bikes entered in the show. The cars ranged from the hopped up, rusty patina shop trucks to Bentley’s. There were a lot of Corvettes ranging from the 1950s to the new Stingray’s. And there was everything in between including a Studebaker pickup, something I have never seen before.

In the bike category there was also a large gamut of entries. Sport bikes, a couple of vintage bikes, third generation Indians, choppers and of course Harley Davidson’s. All the bikes in the show were nice and well keep motorcycles. The winners were selected by judges and attendees of the show and I was fortunate to win the People’s Choice award for the show!

The number one thing that I noticed immediately was that attendance was up. I arrived about the same time as last year and was parked much further away. It was also easily noticeable that I was dodging more folks as I weaved around each of the displays.

The second noticeable thing was the number of vendors and the addition of venues (Motorcycling Touring and Toy Hauler RVs). The people running the show really stepped up their game and I really enjoyed the new additions.  Here is a “small” list of the bike vendors in attendance. (I did not remember seeing BSA and URAL though, hummm 🙂 )

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Ijustwant2ride.comAs usual Harley Davidson had the primary spot of the show… right there as you walk into the building. HD of Baltimore was showing of their bikes and riding gear. I was surprised to see “sold” tags on more than a few of the bikes. They had at least one of every bike they sell including the new Road Glide and FreeRider Trike.

 

 

Ijustwant2ride.com

The Indian display was not in a prime spot, which was surprising to me. They only had a few bikes on display including their new Scout and the flagship Roadmaster. The Scout was very nice but the color scheme on the Roadmaster was…. UGLY. The bike’s paint was Indian Red and Birch White, with tan saddles and a lot of black plastics. The color scheme did not work for me, but the bike itself was interesting, I would like to take it for a spin and compare it to my HD Ultra Limited.

 

All the major imports were represented. Honda had at least one their entire stable, it seemed, on hand including a REPSOL branded CBR1000. Ducati had one of the new Scramblers on display and based on the number of people looking at it is going to be a hit. Kawasaki had a limited edition Ninja on display but I was expected to see a new H2. Turns out that is not going to happen until the Chicago IMS: Motorcycle Shows ‏@MotorcycleShows 7m7 minutes ago The #Kawasaki H2R is under wraps until #ChicagoIMS opens at 1:00 today! http://instagram.com/p/zDBzuGkGLv/

Yamaha had the bike that intrigued me the most the SR200. The SR200 is kick start only, not something you see much of any more. I think that I might go by a Yamaha Piano Dealership and check out the SR200 (just kidding). Suzuki, Royal Enfield, Triumph, and others all had displays but nothing really new and exciting to show.

The two biggest additions to the event were the motorcycle hauling RVs and the motorcycling tours venues.

There were several toy haulers on display and the one in the photos below peaked my interest. The wife and I have kicked the idea around a time or to but it usually ends when I state “you will have to drive too you know” LOL.

The touring section was very nice with multiple vendors, most of which you will have seen advertising in all the major magazines Edelweiss Bike Travel for example. They also had some recent long distance riders’ talk about their adventures for example Allen Karl author of Forks, Lois Pryce author of Lois on the Loose (I bought her book) and Guinness World Record Holder Benka Pulko.  Each of these folks and the others, presented a 30-45 minute slide show and discussion of their travel.  It was a great addition. This is a venue I hope to see again next year.

As for the actual bike show, there were some really beautiful motorcycles on display in all the classes. I wish I had checked my battery before I left the house as I did not get as many pictures as I wanted. Oh well, there is next year.

 

0mmharl928011

 

Motorcycle dispatch riders have been around nearly from the start of the motorcycle era. They came into their own during the two World Wars carrying messages to and fro across the battlefield.

They rode a variety of bikes. Americans typically on Harleys and Indians, Brits on Triumphs and Enfield’s. Other bikes were used as well, Douglas, Matchless, FN, Mausers, BSA and BMW for example.

Wikipedia has a brief entry on Dispatch Riders but that article does not cover the training of those riders. The videos below show us some of the training that the riders underwent during the Second World War by US, British and Canadian soldiers. Well worth your viewing time if you are interested in this type of motorcycle history.

Motorcycle Dispatch Riders – ‘Texas Daredevils’ (1914-1918)

British Made – Testing Army Motorcycles (1915)

Military Police Motorcycle Training (1940)

U.S. Army motorcycle dispatch riders pass road test WWII

U.S. Army Trains Dispatch Riders 1943

1938 British Army Motorcycle Trials

American Motorcycle Corps Training

Canadian Army Newsreel – Dispatch Riders Train For Action

Canadian Army Motorcycle Training

U.S. WWII Motorcycle Troops Train at Fort Olgethorpe, GA

Lots of Photo of Motorcycle at War (all sides of WWII)

board track rader

WOW.. you never know what you can find on You Tube, this historic record of motorcycle racing blew me away.

Mr. Frantisek Marik, an Indian Dealer in the Czech Republic, came to the United States to attend the 1920 races in Daytona (although some have pointed out it might not actually be Daytona). Mr. Marik was also pretty darn good with a film camera and recorded this account of the race.  As you will see when you watch the film he recorded more than just this particular board track race event but this is the only one to survive.

Now, just what blew me away about the film:

1) The quality of the film was just better than what you normally expect from that period.

2) I have seen other board track videos but the SIZE and scope of this WOOD track was unexpected.

3) That they could race 10 -12 across if they wanted was very cool.

4) That Mr. Marik filmed from all angles including from cars and sidecars.

5) That they raced sidecar rigs as well as regular bikes on this track.

6) The sidecar guys were racing 7 across at times.

7) The amateur and sidecar races were 10 miles long and the professional race was 100.

8) How high the banking in the turns was.

9) 212 KMPH = 132 MPH

 I got excited just watching this old film.  As I have stated before I think this type of motorcycle racing might do well in modern America (pavement not wood) over road racing.  I can just see 30 bikes racing at some of the NACAR short tracks.

 All in all this is 10 minutes well spent if you have any interest in motorcycles history!

 

 

Michele Smith & Jay Barbieri

Michele Smith & Jay Barbieri

If you watched any motorcycle TV at all I am sure you saw an episode or two of American Thunder (or Two Wheel Thunder as it was known for a single year on Discovery) it was on for 14 years.  The Thunder has been off the air for nearly 5 years.

 

Well…. The hosts of Thunder, Michele Smith and Jay Barbieri, are attempting to revive the show.  They are not looking for the traditional network TV route but are using a KickStarter campaign to raise money to create an Internet only show.  This is point where the motorcycling community can help support Jay and Michele.

 

If you liked the Thunder and want to see another version of that show consider contributing to the cause.  Go to the “Bring Back Two Wheel Thunder” KickStarter site and pony up.

 

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What was your favorite Thunder moment?  Mine was the time that Jay rode through a snow storm on the way to a Daytona Bike Rally.

 

 

You can here or download Show 272 here.

 

Ken’s News:

Review of last weeks 4 tips for rally attendees plus remaining 6 tips.

Phil’s dream motorcycle. BACON Powered!

BaconBike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warren’s News:

Motorcycle TV: Sons of Anarchy…surprising guest stars.

New Indian off the Polaris reservation

Indian BTO? What? Whose idea was that!

Motorcycle Recall: Harley Davidson 2014 (and a ½) Dyna FXDL

Cam-Am Spyders are catching fire! But, not in a good way

When Mopeds Become Lethal – Motoped Survival

Lethal Moped?

 

 

 

 

 

Racing News –

AMA Motocross from Unadilla.

MotoGP/Moto2 & Flattrack from Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Picks for Czech GP from Brno.

Well this somewhat surprised me… Ken, during our last DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio show, gave us a report on how the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, CA is putting on a long term motorcycle exhibit.

 

Now before I dive into the show I need to tell you about Forest Lawn.  According to reports there are more major Hollywood stars buried at Forest Lawn memorial Park than anywhere else.  A few examples of some of the stars interred there are Jimmy Stewart, Nat King Cole, Walt Disney, Casey Stengel, Humphrey Bogart, Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor. This place is more than just a final resting place as it has works of art scattered about the grounds and a museum.  The museum is hosting the motorcycle Exhibit.

 

logo from forest lawn cemataryCalled “Vroom:  The Art of the Motorcycle” the show runs from June 27th until the 5th of January 2015.  According to the Forest Lawn website  the show “is a meticulously curated exhibition that will offer an in-depth look at the dynamic history of motorcycle culture, featuring some of the most beautiful, historic, rare and collectable vintage motorcycles; one-of-a-kind hand-painted motorcycle helmets, previously worn by world and national racing champions; painted motorcycle gas tanks and fenders; as well as paintings, sculpture and photographs by a dozen of today’s most celebrated motorcycle artists—many of whom are Southern California natives and/or residents”

 

A few of the bikes on display include a 1910 Flying Merkel, a 1938 Indian Flat Track Racer, a 1938 Crocker and Steve McQueen’s 1939 custom Indian Chief.  Other items for your viewing pleasure include sculptures and paintings by official Harley Davidson artists.  In the gift shop you can purchase hats and sweaters featuring the North Los Angeles Motorcycle Club logo along with coffee mugs depicting the Last Supper. 

I, for one, have no problem with this show.  In fact, I think it would be cool to be displayed with those bikes before being put in the ground!

 

 

 

We only found out about this motorcycle event a few weeks ago and it was a last minute decision to attend. I am glad we did decide to ride.

The Mission of the Some Gave All Foundation “ensures the memories of Sergeant Joshua J. Frazier and Sergeant Nicholas C. Mason are not forgotten through service to local wounded veterans and an annual motorcycle rally.” This ride/rally was the 8th event and according to speaker has raised over $168,000. Check out the website to learn more about this organization.

Debbie and I left the house at 7:30 for the two hour trip to ride’s start point. After a quick Mickey D’s and gas pit stop (insert joke her) we head south on Route 15. The ride there was very nice, with cool crisp air and limited traffic, if it were not for the fact that we hit 98% of available red lights it would have been an awesome morning scoot.

The ride begins at Spotsylvania High School (Spotsylvania, VA) and ends at a rally at King George High School (King George, VA). When we pulled in to the High Schools parking lot I was blown away by the number of motorcycles attending the ride! I was expecting, for no real reason, about 200-300 bikes, there was at least 1000+ bikes in the lot. In listening to some of the conversations of folks who have attended before I gathered the impression that this was the largest turn out to date.

As you will see in the pictures bikes of all types were in attendance. Harley Davidson, of course, had the most bikes in attendance but, I saw more Spyders and Boss Hoss bikes in this one location than I have ever seen outside a dealership. At one part of the parking area there were 12 Spyders in a row (I am sure Miss Muffet would have passed out from fear).

Even with such a large number of attendees the organizers had everything down, from my point of view the start point was well run and superbly organized! The actual ride to the rally started on time and the police had everything well managed, we had the road to ourselves with plenty of well-wishers waving from the sides of the road. But, as with all groups of this size, there was the expected “accordion affect” which may have caused an accident. We passed a point where EMTs were dealing with two bikes off the road and over a small embankment. I did not look (I am a safe rider you know ) but Debbie told me that there appeared to be little damage to the bikes but that someone was laying in the grass while the EMTs were looking them over.

We arrived at the end point about noon and it was as well organized as the start point. The bikes were all lined up in a manner that, when ever wanted to leave, there would be no issues about getting your bike out. For the rally part of the event there were a good number of vendors, the small business type, in attendance along with a sport bike stunt team (the 540 Boyz), a half dozen “moon bounce” type of things for the kids and a local bomb squad and their robots. The event was anchored by an area setup for a pretty good band (Bad Monkey) and a bike show.

Debbie and I decided to put our bike in the show and we won “Best In Class”, not too bad for a last minute decision. Right after the bike show awards we decided to head back home, we pulled into the garage at 5:30. We both agreed that this was a very nice event and there is a very good chance that we will do it again next year!

P.S. 251 miles round trip.

Cafe bike

Royal Enfield Continental GT

As I mentioned in an earlier post I have always liked Royal Enfield motorcycles.  I ran across a short, interest article on the DealerNews.com website that covers where Royal Enfield came from and where it is now.

Check it out HERE.