Posts Tagged ‘Indian’

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The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio…The #1 Motorcycle Show in the US

This week Ken completes his list of the top 11 motorcycle makers (by sheer number produced).  I was surprised that Royal Enfield was not one of those eleven!

Next we discuss the maybe, possible resurrection of Birmingham Small Arms, better known as BSA.  BSA started in the 1860s making guns  and then added bicycles, then motorcycles and at one time made cars, buses, tools among a long list of things.

The BSA brand was bought by the Indian company Mahindra and it is our hope that we might see BSA motorcycles on the road sometime in the not to distance future.

Next up is a review of the results of World Superbike, Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP racing.

You can listen to the show HERE!

 

 

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This year September 11th, in addition to being a national day of tragedy here in the US, it was also the day the 2016 Motorcycle Cannonball Run leg 2 began in York, PA.  York is only about 90 minutes from my home so it was a no brainer to go and check it out. 

For those of you unfamiliar with this the Cannonball Run it is a timed cross county event of 100 year or older vintage motorcycles.  So this year the run is with motorcycles built before 1917. Starting on

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Every motorcycle over 100 years old

the 10th of September The Cannonball Run is going from Atlantic City to San Diego. If you go to their website you can get a lot more detail, in case you are interested in running the next event in 2018.  

Phil, from the DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio show, and I arose early (3AM for him 4AM for me LOL) in order to be there before the motorcycles began departing. BOY am I glad we went to the event.  We got to see vintage bikes that you might only see in a museum, if ever.  For example, I saw two motorcycles that I had not seen in person before a Shaw and a JAP.   

By 10AM all the bikes that were going to make the start were on the road.  Attrition on this ride is high. In talking to some of the participates we learned that about 90 of these vintage motorcycles departed Atlantic City the day before but nearly 30 were unable to make the time hack in York.  That group included one bike that burned to a crisp shortly after the start.   

ijustwant2ride.comYou can also tell by the pictures below that there is a lot of maintenance that occurs.  One of the motorcycle mechanics said that they begin the preparations for the next day as soon as the bikes are cool enough to touch.  He also said that while the vintage motorcycles in the Cannonball Run might be easy to work on, there is not really that much in spare parts and a lot of creativity is required to keep them running.

It was a wonderful morning walking around looking at these 100+ year old vintage motorcycles and seeing what goes into them to keep them running.  I have a new respect for all those folks that participate in this event!

 

 

I like to listen to the DawgHouse 2 Wheel Radio show .  It is a motorcycle podcast which the hosts call “A completely irreverent, totally biased, intellectually challenged and scornful study of the twisted life of the motorcycling world & those who inhabit our planet, all wrapped up in a disturbing weekly show!” and I can’t completely disagree with that description to much  😉  The show use to be on Saturday mornings on a local Washington, DC radio station but was dropped when the station changed formats. It is now broadcast on the internet Tuesday nights.  I typically listen to the podcasts during my commute.morehead1

The last couple weeks they have been discussing and lamenting the fact that motorcycle racing does not have much of a following in the US. So after listening to those shows I sat back and thought about why I am not a follower of motorcycle racing. I do caveat the following this with the fact that I have watched some bike racing on TV, both road and super-cross.

While I am a lifelong rider I have never really followed the road racing scene (in fact I have only once attempted to attend a bike race at BSR/Summit Point but the $30 entrance fee was too much to watch just a small portion of the track). I do follow, loosely, NASCAR and I have even been to a couple races (in the 80s).

Long story short I came to the following conclusions (right or wrong just my thoughts):

1. I want to see more of the race. I can, for the most part, see the entire track at NASCAR and super cross, not so with road racing, car or bike. When I can’t see all the action I do not feel I am getting my money’s worth, I don’t really know what is going on, and unless I am near the start/finish line I have no idea who won. Motorcycle road racing on TV just is not as well coved as a NASCAR (which only has a couple of road races) or as well as the auto grand prix style races which also has attendance issues.

This maybe an American predilection for this type of racing.  Like our version of football and fondness of baseball, it is neither right nor wrong  it just is.  With the NASCAR tracks folks can see the action, depending on how thick the beer googles are!  And the same applies for our other major American sports, I can see the entire playing field from my seat. I can see the entire track at Supercross and when I see it on TV it looks better attended than any other version of motorcycle racing I have seen.

2. Harley is not road racing. Yeah, I know, but the fact is that the folks you want to watch are the folks who watch NASCAR and ride Harley. My two favorite manufactures are Harley and Honda (Royal Enfield is #3) but there is a large gap between #1 and the rest. So unless I am really enamored with a Honda sport bike (I am not) I have no emotional draw to the sport.

Without that emotional pull do I want to pay $30 dollars to see part of race then walk or ride around the track to see different parts of the action?   No not really.

tamagawa_nov6_49So what would get me into motorcycle racing? What could be done to fix this situation?

I only have one idea which might be used pull people into the sport.  First, it will not be road racing.  Second it will have to be a V-Twin bike. So what I am thinking is that we have a V-Twin series (NASCAR has car and truck) for those of us not into the sport bike world.

It would also have to be an oval (turn left) track.  The NASCAR super speedways would be too large for bikes like this but not the short tracks like Bristol could be a lot of fun.

Would Harley, Indian, Victory Star and others compete, would it be a privateer series? I do not know but I do know that I would be more interested in seeing a race of this nature then I would a normal superbike road race.

Combine a V-twin race to an oval and I start to think WOW! And when I think back to the old pictures of motorcycle racing in the early 1900’s I think of oval board tracks and large crowds. Would I go to the speedway during Daytona Bike Week to watch guys race Harley and Indians, yes I would!

Just saying…..

CaptureI ran across a new motorcycle related TV Show, Velocity channels “What’s In The Barn”.  Evidently this series premiered last summer; I must have missed it while I was out riding.  LOL

Based on what I watched and what I read on their website the show is primarily about the “Wheels Through Time” motorcycle museum and it curator, Dale Walksler, search for vintage motorcycles.  I have not been to the museum yet myself, but it is on my list of things to do.

The first show I watched “A Motorcycle Crime Story” was quite interesting.  If you have ever been to a motorcycle rally or read a motorcycle magazine you are aware that the museum raffles off a motorcycle every year to help cover their operating costs.  This episode begins with the build of the 2013 raffle bike coming to a halt due to a lack of rare, vintage parts, in this case a cateye dashboard that Harley produced for one year only.Velocity

Mr. Walksler sets off to Illinois to get the part from a guy that has the barns full of old parts he purchased from a family whose mother and fathers were killed by members of the Outlaws MC, thus the title.  He also has a side trip that involves him getting an original 1970’s Arlen Ness chopper.

The most interesting show was “12 Hours and Running”, they started 120 vintage motorcycles in 12 hours.  There was some really old bikes in this bunch including Pierce, Excelsior, Henderson, Crocker as well as Harley and Indians.  It is cool and amazing that they have a museum full of running, functional old bike!

While parts of the show are “cheesy” over all it is well laid out and well put together.  I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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International Motorcycle Show

I went to the show (Debbie had to work again) with my friends Tim, Karma and their daughter McKenzie. We got a bit of a late morning start but got lucky with the metro (subway) and made to the show at about eleven AM.

The show was held at its now normal location, the DC convention center. The last time I had attended the event was two years ago so I was looking forward to seeing new products and get any cool swag. One note of interest was that attendance was free for military, with ID cards, but Deb had bought my ticket as a Christmas gift before we knew of the discount….oh well.

Progressive Insurance is the major sponsor of the event and their area was front and almost center to the entrance. They and an old school electric slot car race track setup for people to race in order to earn a t-shirt. We did not race but the race track was cool. OH, Flo was not there.

In addition to the major manufactures there were a lot of vendors but, I do not think there were as many as the last time I attended. The crowd was about the same, it was a nice turn out on a wet, rainy day.

The only disappointment for me was in the helmet area, I am looking for a new modular (flip-up) helmet to replace the Fulmer that I currently own. My Fulmer’s locking latch broke and is over five years old, it needs to be replaced. I am interested in the Nolan 104 and was hoping to check it out at the show but no one had the Nolan helmets.

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2014 Honda Valkyrie

We took a good look at the new Indian bikes, they are nice! I was surprised to see that they are using a mono-shock on the rear end (see pic below). There were a lot of folks swirling around the Indian booth which made it hard to take good pictures but also indicated that there was real interest in the bikes.

I also looked though the Victory, Honda, Yamaha and Ducati venues. The new models for those bikes were out and had a lot of interest from the crowds. The Honda area was very packed with bikes. Because of how close they were to each other and with the crowd of people it was almost impossible to get a picture. The Honda that was getting the most attention, at least when I walked though, was the Valkyrie.

After we were done with the show we headed back to Tim’s and Karma’s house. When we got off the metro the consensus was to go to Chili’s for lunch…this was where the most interesting part of the day occurred!

As we were walking into the restaurant a guy was coming out and asked Tim for a smoke, to which he replied “Sorry, we don’t smoke.” At that the guy became belligerent and started yelling and cussing at Tim. This guy was a bit on the big, solid size and I thought he might be trying to start something. I moved to the right of the two of them, I was placing myself in a position to jump in if the guy made a move, it was very clear that he had been drinking….or something! Luckily for him (it would not have been a fair fight) he chose to move on.

When we went into the restaurant we found out that they had just refused him service because he was causing problems. But, even with that we had a good day with friends and motorcycles!