Madison County Fire Rescue says a tractor-trailer hauling at least a dozen of Indian’s Motorcycles Go Up In Flames On I-10 on Thursday.
MCFR says it happened just after 11 a.m. near mile marker 262 in Madison County.
Officials say it started when the trailer experienced a tire blowout and the driver attempted to make it to the next exit before stopping. Another driver reportedly flagged down the driver upon seeing flames coming from the trailer.
The Florida Highway Patrol and MCFR responded to the scene.
Rinehart Racing® is preparing to make their presence heard at the 77th Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida. Rinehart Racing will be in the midst of the action all week long to equip riders with American pipes for their American bikes.
Rinehart Racing’s Bike Week headquarters will be at Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona®, where the Rinehart rig will be setup and open for business from March 7th through March 18th. Harley-Davidson® and Indian® riders are invited to visit the Rinehart rig and experience the legendary Rinehart Racing sound firsthand.
“Choosing an aftermarket exhaust for your bike is a very personal process,” explains Rinehart Racing Owner & CEO, Judd Hollifield. “Upgrading to a full system or even a new set of slip-ons will change the appearance, the sound, and even the feel of your motorcycle. It’s something that we take very seriously, and it’s why we see so many riders make the decision after getting the opportunity to see and hear our exhausts in person.”
Rinehart Racing will have a full lineup of exhaust solutions on hand for riders to check out, from slip-ons all the way up to full systems. Riders that need a little guidance can talk to product specialists, who can help explain the differences between each option and what to expect when equipped on their bike. A few new products will be on display, including Rinehart’s famous 2-into-1 full systems for newer 2017-2018 Harley-Davidson Touring models. The new MotoPro 45 Classic End Caps offer a fully blacked out option for the 4.5” MotoPro 45 Slip-On Exhausts.
Riders who already run Rinehart pipes can browse exhaust accessories like air cleaners and Hi-Flo baffles, or can change up the appearance of their setup with a new set of end caps. All purchases at the event come with complimentary installation while you wait, so you can get back on the road to enjoy the rumble of your new exhaust system. Just take a seat in Rinehart’s hospitality area, enjoy a hot dog and a cold drink, and get off your feet for a while.
I’m very lucky to be alive. I slid through a tiny gap between the trucks rear tires and the trailer stand. If was going any slower or faster, I wouldn’t of been so fortunate. The only injuries I got was a very small amount of road rash on my knee and hip.. Nothing broken. I’m very blessed in this instance of BIKER VS SEMI TRUCK.
How did I get the wobbles? NO I DIDN’T WHEELIE. I was merging onto the freeway, checking traffic while I ventured over to the carpool lane. When I got next to the carpool lane, I check if it was clear again, then merged in while quickly accelerating in first gear. When I got up to enough speed to pass traffic (Traffic was doing 75-80 MPH) I changed into second gear (where the clip starts). First mistake I made was having my weight WAY too far back on the bike while accelerating, that mixed with the extremely bumpy freeway and the acceleration of the bike caused the front wheel to go extremely light. Thus causing the violent speed wobbles.
Looking across a vast display of motorcycles and platinum blonde women asking leather-clad show-goers if they want to enter a raffle to win a $500 gift card, I found Harley-Davidson product portfolio manager Jeff Strunk at H-D’s booth at the IMS Chicago motorcycle show. We had a good, long talk about the 2018 Harley-Davidson Lineup , where the brand is headed, and if it’s really following through on that hot gossip about an electric motorcycle in the next 18 months.
Harley-Davidson is starting 2018 in a bit of a rough spot. H-D saw an 8.5 percent drop in U.S. sales in 2017 and a 6.7 percent sales decline worldwide. The brand had its lowest number of shipments in six years last year, and while Harley-Davidson expects sales to dip this year, the company has a long-term turnaround plan to attract new riders and much of that plan is rooted in the products it sells.
Being a product guy, what Jeff Strunk really wanted to talk about was the bikes. That was fine with me because I really wanted to hear about them from a guy who knows everything about them.
First, we talked about the Harley-Davidson Street lineup of small-medium sized liquid-cooled bikes that are, for some reason, often overlooked.
“In the last 12 months we’ve come out with new bikes like the Street Rod,” said Strunk. The Street Rod is at the top of the Street lineup sharing a frame and fuel tank with the Street 750 with several performance and appearance upgrades. It has a cafe racer vibe thanks to repositioned ergonomics, a cafe-shaped seat with a rear cowl, and a small front fairing. Performance upgrades include a bigger airbox, a revised 60-degree Revolution X V-Twin engine producing 8 percent more torque and 18 percent more power, and a 9,000 rpm redline.
“The Street Rod builds on the Harley-Davidson Street platform. We really took it to the furthest extents developing a motorcycle for somebody who lives mostly in an urban environment,” said Strunk. “This is something they can get around on every day, but can also venture out of the city on a weekend and carve up some corners. This is a bike that really meets both of those needs from lane-splitting on a Monday to hairpin turns on a Saturday.”
We also discussed the entry-level Street 500 which Strunk says is a great starter bike. “The Street 500 has been around for several years now,” said Strunk. “It has a nice, neutral riding position. We use that for our riding academy courses. It’s a bike you can learn on and you can also sit on one on the showroom floor and put one in your garage.”
Last August, Harley-Davidson pulled the wraps off a fully revamped Softail lineup. It consists of nine all-new models, each with its own purpose and personality. Strunk walked me through some of the featured models and gave me the rundown on what makes each one distinct.
“We’ve launched nine new models since August,” said Strunk. “An all-new chassis, 90 percent stiffer than the previous Dyna chassis. It uses a rear monoshock with preload adjustment that on some models is exposed for quick adjustment and on the more classic models we keep it under the seat for more of a vintage look.”
At this point, we walked over to one of the standout models in the Harley-Davidson lineup, the Street Bob, which is the most affordable Softail. “The first model in the lineup that gets most people’s attention is the Street Bob,” said Strunk. “The Street Bob has been around for a long time, but with the new improvements in the Softail lineup, this is a bike that has that retro cool, but performs in a modern sense. This is a great example of blending classic stripped-down looks and enabling modern technology.”
It’s worth noting that the Street Bob was once a beloved member of the Dyna family of Harley-Davidson. The all-new Softail lineup saw the merging of the Dyna and Softail lines which was met with some predictable criticism from purists who miss the “rubber soul” of the Dyna.
“The thing that always makes me proud about working for Harley-Davidson is I can’t think of any other product I could be associated with where the owners are so passionate,” said Strunk when I asked how strong the resistance has been to the elimination of the Dyna. “We knew that with a change like that there was going to have an opinion. What I’ve noticed is that after folks ride them they say ‘Oh, this is wonderful,’ and the name change is less of a concern after they actually put some miles on. These bikes are just far and away on a whole different level from the previous models.”
Next, we walked over to what might be my personal favorite new addition to the Softail line, the Sport Glide. “The great thing about this is, again, all of the wonderful technology of the new Softail chassis is used like dual-bending valve technology in the inverted front fork,” said Strunk of the Sport Glide. “Two out of the nine models, the Fat Bob and the Sport Glide, use the cartridge-style inverted front fork. The rest of the models use a traditional front fork, but uses the SHOWA dual-bending valve which we first debuted on the touring models the year before.” The Sport Glide has a sport-touring vibe from the factory, but that can easily be modified. “You can easily strip it down,” said Strunk. “The fairing is quick-detachable, no tools required. Same thing with the saddlebags.”
The most characteristic and perhaps the most controversial of the new Softail bikes is the new Fat Bob. “The Fat Bob has probably gotten the most attention out of all of them,” said Strunk. This is one of the four new Softails available with either a Milwaukee Eight 107 or the bigger 114, the Heritage Classic, Breakout, and Fat Boy being the other three.
“Some of the cool features of this bike, one of the trademark features of the Fat Bob is a big, beefy front tire. It has a 16-inch front wheel with a nice, wide front tire. It can shrug off anything the road throws at it. Great lean angle, the stiffness of that chassis really makes it a great-handling bike,” said Strunk. “This has kind of an aggressive-looking riding position, but it’s also very comfortable. This a tapered aluminum drag bar nested in an all-new riser designed specifically for the Fat Bob. Again, blacked out finishes with subtle hints of chrome just highlighting some of the characteristics of the powertrain. The signature of this, and totally unique to the Fat Bob, is the LED headlamp. I have this exact bike and I absolutely love it.”
The Fat Bob got us talking about different riding positions available throughout the Softail lineup. “There are three control positions across the Softail range,” said Strunk. “There’s mid which you’ll find on the Street Bob and the Low Rider. Then there’s forward, which is really more of a mid-forward. They’re not as far forward as a traditional stretched out forward control. Then there are floorboards on the Deluxe, Heritage, Fat Boy, and Slim.”
“This one is a little more classically styled,” said Strunk as we looked at a Low Rider. “A little more use of chrome. The tank and the graphics are definitely a throwback to the custom cruiser era of the 1970s. This is definitely on point right now with an emerging custom trend.”
Next, we looked at a Softail Slim which is in the sweet spot for a Softail that’s classically styled but delivers strong performance partially thanks to meaty tires. It’s also the most affordable Harley you can get with floorboards. “It’s very popular for its retro look,” said Strunk. “A combination of black and polished finishes, a low seat height makes it very accessible and confidence inspiring for new riders and riders of all sizes and shapes. We’re very cognizant of trying to make the bikes fit the widest range of riders. Where we hit a limit, the accessories department always comes in to help with the seat that might get you a bit closer or more stretched out more, changes to handlebars, changes to the suspension. We can accommodate just about anyone who wants to ride and make them comfortable.” The Slim is a blank slate when it comes to customization.
Next, we walked over to a Softail Deluxe. If an alien came to Earth and asked me what a Harley-Davidson is, this is the bike I would show them. “This is the only new model in the Softail lineup to feature classic wide whitewall tires. It has chrome-laced wheels, a little bit of use of chrome for a more heritage, classic look,” said Strunk. “Exclusive to the Deluxe is all-LED lighting all the way around. We’ve got a very retro tombstone tail lamp, but it’s 100 percent LED as well an art deco style turn signal stalk which again, LED really enabled us to get the shape that we wanted. There’s a similar treatment up front with combination turn signal and passing lamp bar. This is definitely for the rider looking for a very classic Harley-Davidson look.” This model, maybe more than any other new Softail, is much more striking in person than it comes across in pictures. You can really see the attention to detail in things like the thoughtfully styled lighting that you might not notice otherwise. It’s definitely on the retro side of the retro-modern ethos.
The Harley-Davidson touring lineup is mostly unchanged for 2018, but there are a couple changes. “The trend to black has been stronger and stronger every year,” said Strunk as we looked at some touring bikes with a noticeable lack of chrome. “We’re excited to have launched the Street Glide Special, the Road Glide Special, and the Road King Special this past year. These bikes take that great American touring custom look and make it contemporary with blacked out front forks, blacked out engine guard and engine treatments, blacked out exhaust, and stretched saddlebags. Black is very much the popular norm right now. You’ll see more and more of that in our lineup.”
Moving on to the Sportster lineup, the name of the game is attitude and customizability. Granted, those two characteristics are sort of the theme of the whole Harley-Davidson brand, but it’s really pushing the custom Sportster scene for 2018. And it’s doing a pretty good job by having this gorgeously customized 2018 XL883N Iron 883 on display. Among its many mods which you can get straight from H-D are a cafe solo seat, a satin black clubman handlebar, a compact sport wind deflector, a front spoiler, and a red brake caliper kit. Factory mods from Screamin’ Eagle include a round high-flow air cleaner kit and jet black street cannon mufflers. Being Screamin’ Eagle, they upgrade both the performance and the aesthetic of this Sportster.
But the real story with this custom Sporty is the brass accents. Yes, real brass straight from the factory. The fuel cap, foot controls, front axle nut covers, engine trim, and hand grips are all brass. The brass on the grips have been worn down just from people grabbing them and they’re nice and shiny and worn in the coolest way. “It’s only a handful of pieces, but it definitely helps the rider set their bike apart from anything else,” said Strunk. It’s a great look and I’m anxious to see if this trend grows throughout the industry.
Moving up through the Sportster lineup, we walked over to a 1200 Custom which has the lowest cost of entry into the Evolution 1200 engine. “The 1200 Custom was traditionally a very chrome-styled custom. In this case, we’ve taken it a little bit darker,” said Strunk. “It’s a combination of black and chrome. It’s got a great new paint scheme on the 4.5-gallon fuel tank with a racing stripe inspired theme available in a number of different color combinations. It has mid controls and a fairly neutral handlebar position. This bike has traditionally been one that a lot of riders looking to customize will start with and change the bars or change the seat and make it very much their own.”
Just for kicks, I asked if some variation of the Milwaukee Eight engine was in the Sportster’s future. “I can’t say at this point, but there’s definitely a lot of love for the Evo Sportster powertrain,” said Strunk.
We moved on to the Sportster Roadster which came out in 2016. “Taller suspension in the back gives it a little more of a sporting feel in terms of lean angle,” said Strunk. “The handlebars are positioned a little bit downward so the rider is a little bit tucked in a tight position. This one is just a lot of fun to rip around on.”
Next, we discussed Harley’s range-topping CVO models. CVO stands for Custom Vehicle Operations and they’re heavily decked-out versions of existing Harley-Davidson models. “For the 2018 model year, our CVOs received an even bigger set of options than before. At the heart of it is the all-new 117 ci Milwaukee Eight. One of the most notable colors this year is Gunship Grey,” which is gorgeous in person. “CVO is the pinnacle in terms of features and exclusivity. The lineup this year includes the Street Glide, the Road Glide, and the Limited. Three different CVO models with three different finishes each.”
A recurring theme Strunk brought up while we discussed the 2018 Harley-Davidson lineup is blending classic, genuine Harley styling, and character with modern technology and engineering. This is a trend that’s been going on in the industry for a few years now with some brands having more success than others with mixing the old with the new. Harley deserves credit for bringing that ethos to its lineup which, quite frankly, wasn’t aging so well until recently. The Milwaukee brand fell behind on innovation and it’s picking up the slack in a way that’s very characteristic of the brand. Harley has gotten back up every time it’s been down over the past 115 years.
We’ve just gotten our first hint about what the electric Harley-Davidson motor will be called. The Milwaukee bike brand just filed an application to trademark the name “H-D Revelation” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for batteries, chargers, and motorcycle powertrains.
It’s not much of a stretch to imagine the name Revelation will be applied to the engine—or family of engines—that will power the H-D electric bike that has been promised to enter production in the next 18 months. The engine family that powers the Sportster lineup is called the Evolution and the engine in the entry-level Street bike is called the Revolution X, a derivative of the Revolution engine that powered the V-Rod. Harley has a thing for “volution” names, now it sounds like it’s switching to a “velation” name for the new electric mill.
Mind you, this doesn’t tell us anything about the name of a new model. Engine names and model names have always been separate in the Harley-Davidson world, and we don’t imagine that being any different for the electric bikes. What we do know is that Harley-Davidson has recently trademarked the names“Bronx,” “Pan America,” and “48X,” suggesting new models, but personally, none of those sounds like the name of an electric bike to me. My theory is that those three names will be applied to new Sportsters.
We reached out to Harley-Davidson asking if there’s an update they can offer about the upcoming electric bike or if any light can be shed on this new trademark application.
There is no such thing as the best motorcycle helmet. There is only the best motorcycle helmet for your individual needs as a rider, and we poured our passion and our expertise into creating the RevZilla 2018 Best Motorcycle Helmets Gear Guide to help connect you with your ideal lid. We help you cut through the noise and information overload—which helmets are the top rated, the quietest, lightest, or safest on the market—and hone in on what exactly matters to you.
While this guide highlights four standout motorcycle helmets from top brands that absolutely can’t miss for most riders, we strive to give you the information and resources you need to find the best helmet for your head and your ride, whether we’ve featured it in this year’s guide or not. That is why we’ve gone beyond our seasonal Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guides and created our Moto 101 articles, a resource where you can school up on topics relevant to your buying decision without any individual product noise. Check out our Motorcycle Helmets 101 article for an intro to the basics of a topic that is not so simple as it seems. To find the perfect fit, our Motorcycle Helmet Fitment Guide is the perfect place to start. And to sort out the alphabet soup that motorcycle helmet safety certifications can so easily become, reference our Helmet Safety Ratings Guide as your helmet safety rosetta stone.
Mama Tried Motorcycle Show (MTMS) returns this weekend for four days of moto madness. The 2018 Mama Tried Show itself takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 24-25, with pre- and post-parties, flat out races, a film festival and more happening before, during and after.
For the first year, the show will take place in The Eagles Club and The Rave, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave.
“We outgrew the Lindsay Building (in Walker’s Point),” says co-organizer Scott Johnson. “The Rave offers a ton more space and amenities for our ticket holders.”
With a larger venue, the 2018 Mama Tried Show – which is presented by Harley-Davidson – was able to book more bands, add a film component and allow more guests.
“We don’t have to worry about City Occupancy permits because it’s in a legit, rad old building from the ’30s. I think The Eagles Club will be a great home for us,” says Johnson. “For those folks from out of town who have never been in that building, it’s kinda mind blowing.
“And for those who have only been there for a dark, rowdy show, seeing The Ballroom in the daylight with the whole room opened up is pretty breathtaking. Add 100 of the best custom and collectible bikes in the country and you’ve got quite a show!”
The Mama Tried Motorcycle Show is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon. A kick-off party at Fuel on 5th and Museum Bike Night at the Harley-Davidson Museum both start at 5 p.m. on Thursday night.
The Flat Out Friday Flat Track Races at the BMO Harris Bradley Center Arena and the Mama Tried Show Pre-Party at Turner Hall Ballroom take place on Friday night, with the races starting at 5 p.m. and the pre-party at 9 p.m.
The MTMS Motorcycle Film Festival runs Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at The Eagles Club. Admission is free with a MTMS admission ticket. The films include Supermoto (11 a.m.); Out Of Nothing (2 p.m.); Hogslayer (4 p.m.) an Sugar and Spice (6 p.m.)
The Mama Tried After-Party takes place at the Eagles Ballroom at 9 p.m. It’s free to attend with a MTMS ticket. Bands include Weedeater, One (Metallica tribute band), Bleed, Happyneverclear, Sex Scenes and Mom’s New Boyfriend.
Company Brewing and Cactus Club will also host post-parties at 9 p.m.
The 2018 Mama Tried Motorcycle Show closes out on Sunday with the Slippery Sunday Ice Ride from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at McKinley Marina.
For the online schedule of the entire MTMS event and more about the films, go here.
Mama Tried was started three years ago by Johnson and Warren Heir, Jr. Two years ago, they partnered with Jeremy Prach (RW24 and The Milwaukee Community Hockey League) for the first Flat Out Friday Indoor Flat Track Motorcycle Race. Other key players include Maureen Post, who coordinates all the vendors and sponsors, and Chelsea Baas who handles social media.
“This is the only indoor, curated motorcycle show in the Midwest. And unlike other shows who have just cafe racers or just Harleys, we have everything under the sun: vintage Japanese race bikes, Hillclimbers, Ice racers, Flat trackers, traditional Choppers and everything in between,” says Johnson. “Fans won’t be disappointed.”
The Big Dam Tour Baggers to Vegas Rally: BMW K1600 B vs Indian Chieftain Dark Horse vs Kawasaki Vaquero vs Harley-Davidson Street and Road Glides vs Moto Guzzi MGX-21 vs Yamaha Eluder
The Big Dam Tour was originally conceived as a multi-day moto-carouse way up to Northern California, where we’d swoop by a few of the state’s many impressive dams, including Shasta and Oroville, as an excuse to ride like maniacs over some great roads. The exigencies of the modern workplace, however, dictated an overnight blast to Hoover Dam via Death Valley – a ride of about 300 miles each way. Actually that’s probably just about right for a “bagger,” which is really just this side of a touring bike, and built for just such overnight hauls as well as around-town use and commuting. Mr. Hoover’s dam is also Los Vegas-adjacent, where a quick search for cheap accommodations had us booked into the Hooters Casino and Hotel quicker than Dirty Sean could say “hot wings.”
And so I found myself burbling through Corona early one morning two weeks ago on a brand spanking Twisted Cherry Harley-DavidsonStreet Glide, breathing in the wonderful aroma of hot garbage, which always reminds me of that frightening year of law school that “motojournalism” rescued me from. Did you know it was common knowledge among medieval peasants that stored wet hay will spontaneously combust, and they could be held liable if it did and burned something down? I keep waiting for a garbage truck to combust someday. I get behind them a lot on the freeway; riding along in the stench plume feels like a kind of metaphor for SoCal life.
I met up with the other usual suspects at a Chevron/Taco Bell in Rancho Cucamonga: anIndianChieftain Dark Horse and a Moto Guzzi MGX-21. We actually already tested these just over a year ago in Baggers Brawl – wherein the Street Glide and the Indian battled to an actual mathematical tie!
This year, we have new players: BMW’s new K1600B, Yamaha’s new Eluder, and well, theKawasaki Vaquero has been around for years but we hadn’t tested one since 2011, so it’s in the mix too. And an H-D Road Glide, which is almost the same as the Street Glide but with a bigger, frame-mounted windshield.
Why not just get on with it then?
Somebody has to finish last and this time it’s the Moto Guzzi MGX-21. The Guzzi only finished one percentage point behind the winners in “Baggers Brawl” in late 2016, and beat the now-defunct Victory Magnum. This time out, however, the group could not collectively get past the Italian bike’s ungainly low-speed handling. The bike’s 21-inch front wheel wants to flop over, a problem Moto Guzzi addresses with a sort of steering damper to keep it from doing that. I think an owner would adjust to the funky feel it imparts to the steering, especially at parking lot speed, but its characteristics are definitely offputting at first. (In the 2016 comparo, we said “Once underway, though, it flies straight and maneuvers in the twisties with surprising alacrity. Coupled with that amazing playful engine, the Guzzi is surprisingly sporty.” While we all groaned over the effort required to lift the MGX off its stand, its top-heaviness goes away once rolling and we were able to adjust to its handling idiosyncrasies as the miles piled up.”)
Thai Long Ly says: One minute, you’re ripping down the highway thinking this is the shit! The next minute, you’re holding on for dear life trying not to eat shit. Aside from fear of the impending “death wobble,” which never actually occurs, the bike handles great – though low speed maneuvering is a funky affair, with a strange heaviness to the bars when paired with subtle inputs.
The damper does have the Guzzi weaving occasionally at speed, too, but it never does develop into the “death wobble” of legend. It’s kind of a shame, really, because the rest of the Guzzi is quite a package. It would be the lightest bike here if not for the BMW, and its horsepower would be the most if not also for the BMW.
In fact, the Guzzi and the BMW both are playing a slightly different version of “baggers” than the other bikes here, which are either Harley-Davidsons or slavish clones. These two Eurobaggers nod toward sport-touring, with the Guzzi in particular having its rider assume less of a La-z-boy recliner posture and more of an upright sporty one. The Guzzi’s 90-degree V-Twin is a helluvan engine, but at “only” 1380cc it’s the smallest one here, and wants to be revved a bit to give its best. The “traditional” Twins are doing their best work well below 3000 rpm. Most of us really like the Guzzi engine, which sounds like a cross between a Ducati and a small-block V8.
Thai says, This engine, my friends, does power right. It pulls violently to the side off idle with just a whiff of gas. But flog the throttle aggressively and she purrs like a subservient kitten, relaxing her quiver the harder you turn your twisting fist. Torquey AF, this bike will smoothly walk away from everything here but the BMW. A total speed party.
Ahhh, I actually don’t mind the MG at all. All the main building blocks are there, it’s just that none of them fit together and work with the precision all the other bikes here seem to have achieved. The LCD instruments are mostly invisible in daylight, though the batwing fairing they’re housed in is less turbulent than most. The one-button cruise control is a bit more finicky, but it is cruise control. The stereo is weak and its buttons are also confusing, but who needs a stereo on a motorcycle anyway? And if you owned the thing, you’d learn how everything works in time.
In short, it’s a Moto Guzzi, a brand that speaks to a fairly sparse group of unique individualists worldwide; the MGX will appeal to an even thinner slice of that group. If you are one of them, you probably already know it, and our niggling complaints won’t keep you from enjoying the MGX-21 at all.
Barely beating out the Moto Guzzi for Not Last! would be the Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero. It looks like Kawasaki started stamping these out in 2011, but that 1700cc liquid-cooled V-Twin precedes that date by quite a few years. The Vaquero has no trouble keeping up with the crowd (all these bikes have plenty of torque), but the dyno doesn’t lie, and the Vaquero is the weakest bike here in both horsepower and torque.
It’s also the most behind the times. It does have the cruising essentials, including cruise control and a pretty good stereo. But if you’re after central electronic locking, GPS and Bluetooth connectivity, you won’t find it here. You’ll need a key to get in the awkward side-opening bags every time. And every time you scrounge around in there you’ll note the Kawi’s fit, finish and paint are a few steps behind the other bikes. No bagger guy wants his front fender to admit he’s got ABS.
For some, and I could be one of them, the Kawi’s Dollar Store demeanor might be its biggest attraction: Fewer things to lose or go wrong, and a list price of $17,699 is way less than the next cheapest bike here (the $21,990 Moto Guzzi). What the Vaquero has going for it is what all these bikes do: it’s an excellent place to sit and reel in road at 70 to 90 mph, and surprisingly has one of the best set-up suspensions of the group, with a plush but controlled ride from either end under a deliciously comfy seat.
Even if it’s not the fastest, the Kawi still pulls with plenty of authority, and once you’re in the saddle and only looking at the dashboard instead of the rest of the bike, it does the best imitation of 1950s Americana of all of them. And let’s face it, showing up on a Japanese bagger really does mark you as a person who goes his own way.
Brent Jaswinski says: The Vaquero was perhaps the most vanilla bike of all the flavors. That’s not to say that it was bad by any means – it did everything very well – the other bikes just did it a little better. The Vaquero definitely looks the heftiest of the bunch, but feels surprisingly nimble once things start rolling. Next to the Road Glide and Eluder, I think it provided the most wind protection. The engine’s power didn’t feel as torquey as some of the other bikes, but it was there. Definitely the least refined of the group, from the cheesy pinstripe-graphic stickers to the center tank panel, the overall fit and finish was somewhat lacking. The dashboard was the least sophisticated of the bunch too, well, except for maybe the Moto Guzzi – no digital screen, the handlebar switch cluster was gigantic with more switches and knobs than an airplane… the cruise control button was the lowest and furthest away from your right thumb – like, why? Also, it was the only bike that didn’t have a USB hookup as standard. There were some wires with connectors in the left glove box, but obviously needed some sort of an adapter. Kawasaki, join us in the 21st century why don’t you?
I’m forced to agree with Thai again:
This polarizing vehicle actually fits me like a glove. A cheap, funky, 99-Cent Store glove. Unless I happened to be tripping on mushrooms, covered in velvet, half chewed wasabi peas and neighborhood cat hair, the styling makes zero sense to me. And when I am, it still doesn’t. With that said, the bike is comfortable and the ride is confident and reassuring. The massive splash of plastic disguised as a dash tries way too hard for attention and reminds me of every small town groupie I ever met after any given rock-fueled set. There’s a calm behind that behemoth fairing though, with no discernible buffeting and solid protection from the wind. The consistent wave of torque from the adequately endowed engine propels you forward with satisfying alacrity. She’s far from the prettiest, nowhere near the most talented, nor the most interesting girl in the club. But she’s the kind you can take home and have a drama-free relationship for years long after all the others have turned you down.
Fifth place will be going to your Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special in lovely Bonneville Salt Pearl paint. This one differs from the Street Glide in that it has a bigger, frame-mounted fairing packing a pair of H-D’s excellent Daymaker LED headlights. It also has a higher handlebar than the Street Glide, what H-D calls a mid-ape I believe, along with a few other bits and finishes to differentiate it from the other Road Glides, including blacked-out engine, exhaust, etc.
Most of us, though, just didn’t like the Road’s high-bar ergos as much as the Street Glide’s, even if the “shark nose” fairing does punch a bigger, less-turbulent hole through the air.
Here’s Thai: The rear suspension has the suppleness of your great grandma’s oppression-fleeing leathery hammer toes. It’s best to keep this hog on the smooth parts of the farm for sure. The bike pulls with typical Harley heft and response – with power, hold the grace – a redneck bear hug. These bikes are all about the motor and with recent advancements in forward thinking, the rest of the bike is slowly catching up to the masses. The brakes are dare I say, “wholly adequate,” the handling is planted and the feel is best described as “chunky.” The clutch lever is only slightly heavy, the transmission engages with granola-like smoothness; my mid-`80s Snapper riding mower shifted less clumsily. The air behind the giant frame mounted fairing is calm and the ergonomics are comfortable. The kickstand is difficult for short legged beings, as the reach to disengage is quite far out. I know it’s a design feature, but that kickstand is NOT reassuring to engage and I’m always feeling like the bike is gonna fall over. Overall, it’s a manly bike and I strongly see the appeal. My disdain for Harley products has waned over the years and as the Motor Co. continually ups its game, I come closer and closer to considering ownership again one day.
Brent doesn’t like the Road’s cockpit layout as well as the Street’s: The Storm Trooper bagger! Like the Street Glide, it did just about everything well. Just a couple nitpicks made me favor the Street Glide over the Road Glide. The gauge/touch screen orientation is flip-flopped, which makes reading the gauges a little more difficult. That frame-mounted fairing makes the Road Glide feel waaay bigger than the Street Glide, and most of the other bikes for that matter too, which makes lane-splitting rather difficult. On the other hand, the Road Glide’s fairing provided some of the best wind protection of the group. It’s also a great looking motorcycle, and just like with the Street Glide’s paint, the Road Glides pops just as much. A very sharp looking motorcycle.
It really is a beautiful thing, and a highly refined one too. The biggest complaint involves what Thai was referring to when he insulted your grandmother’s leathery toes: H-D’s emulsion shocks do a fantastic job of suspending the rear end and keeping the seat low, but there’s only so much fantasticness you can make out of 2.1 inches of rear-wheel travel. On smooth roads, she’s lovely. On bumpy ones, not so much. When we stopped for gas in Baker after hammering (literally) over a few bumpy sections of Death Valley Highway 127, the Glide would no longer start; its electronic remote fob deal had jumped out of the (non-latching) glovebox in the right side of the fairing somewhere back there in the dark. You’d think a big red light would come on or something? Happily, we were able to retrieve a PIN code from our man Alan at Fleet Center West, and got the bike to restart. Personally, I like a key.
Finishing less than one percentage point higher than the Road Glide, and less than another point behind the Indian, we give you the other Harley – the Street Glide. Allow me to overuse another word I’m coming to despise, but the Street Glide really is the “iconic” bagger upon which all others are based. And why not? The Street has been a monster seller for H-D for many years. Its pull remains so powerful; it’s the one a couple of us said we’d buy with our own money, even if our job is to evaluate which bike here works best. The Street blows the others out of the water in the Cool Factor portion of our Scorecard, with the Road Glide in second.
Take everything we just said about the Road Glide but improve its ergonomics and handling with that lower handlebar and a reduction in weight of 26 pounds. Replacing the shark nose fairing with the classic fork-mounted batwing just makes the Street feel more frisky and fun to ride, even if it is blusterier. (How anybody rides any of these bikes without good earplugs and a full-face helmet is hard to grasp.) Harley and the aftermarket offer tons of different windscreens.
This one’s, again, “highly refined”, with a one-button cruise control that works great, Boombox Infotainment controls which are relatively easy to figure out, great, top-opening bags that are super-easy to get in and out of, and an overall seamless rider/motorcycle interface. Except for the 2.1 inches of rear suspension travel, just like the Road Glide.
With the install of the new Milwaukee-Eight 107-incher last year, the Glide moved into the 21st century. What addicts its adherents, though, is its ability to keep one foot firmly rooted in the past. Except for the bags and fairing, all you see here is chromed steel, aluminum and rubber, same as it ever was.
Speak, young Brent Jaswinski: The quintessential modern bagger. Fantastic looks and an overall solid package. Everything from the controls, to the ergonomics, to the layout of the gauges and switches – it all felt good and natural and easy to operate. I really liked the placement of the speedo and tach relative to the touchscreen. They were above it and very easy to read, just below the rider’s line of sight. The Street Glide felt a lot thinner and more nimble than the Road Glide even though they’re essentially the same bike. The cherry paint paired with the black motor/frame/tranny/pipes/etc. put the Street Glide at the top of the good looks category for me for sure. My only real gripe with either of the Harleys is that their suspension could have worked a little better. It soaked up all the small stuff very well, but the bigger, sharper hits saw the rear shocks blow through their travel super quick. Overall, theStreet Glide shares the top spot with the Eluder for me.
Thai?Pretty much everything I wrote about the Road Glide applies here, except that the turbulence behind the screen for me was the WORST. My head was pinballing back and forth and side to side, especially at elevated speeds, so much that I could barely focus my eyes. No matter what position I leaned into or away from, it was terrible. The bike felt smaller to me than the Road Glide… perhaps it’s the bars or seat or whatever… but the bike felt more compact and danced more gracefully through the turns as a result. Aside from the incessant head buffeting, the bike was more enjoyable to ride overall than the Road Glide.
Ryan Adams is down with all that: The smaller-feeling of the two Harleys just feels more manageable. Best Harley engine yet, quintessential American Bagger feel and sound. Suspension felt somewhat harsh, Infotainment is easy to use, with speakers that provide good volume.
Sneaking onto the podium a mere 0.79% ahead of the Street Glide would be the 2018 Indian Chieftain Dark Horse (these two tied in “Bagger’s Brawl” two Decembers ago; all that’s changed is the testers and the route).
Everybody likes the Chieftain’s burly engine and power delivery; 1811cc makes it the biggest one here, and the 105 pound-feet of torque it puts out at just 2800 rpm trails only the mighty BMW – which needs 5200 rpm to produce its 106 lb-ft. Indian wisely took a look at the Street Glide and improved upon it wherever it could, and you feel that most in the 4.5 inches of rear-wheel travel its single air-assisted rear shock provides. That and a great seat means this Indian cruises like a birchbark canoe on a still lake over bumps that dislodge the Harleys’ key fobs and jiggle your moobs.
Either the rider sits more forward on the Indian or the fairing sits more rearward; either way, there’s less buffeting in the Indian cockpit, and the instruments and GPS being closer make them easier to read. Furthermore, the electric-adjust windscreen allows people of different heights to find calm refuge behind it. Usually we complain about excessive heat from that big air-cooled motor; this year, nobody really mentioned it. Indian says, “For 2018 heavyweight bikes featuring the Thunder Stroke 111, Indian Motorcycle shrunk the coil cover on the right-hand side of the motor to improve airflow to the rider’s right leg. Although a small adjustment, the change resulted in improved airflow and rider comfort.” Hmmmm.
Ryan wants to own one: My favorite engine and exhaust note of the bunch, Infotainment system is slick and provides shit-tons (sT) of information. The fairing on the Indian worked best for me, with the adjustable windshield providing clean air at every level and the fairing itself keeping the wind off of my chest completely… Comfy seat, big floorboards, and quick steering compared to the other V-Twins. Shame about her face.
Brent: Like the H-Ds, the Chieftain is a super comfortable bike with well thought-out ergos and control/gauge layout. The electronics were definitely pretty easy to use and provided a ton of useful vehicle information, including tire pressure monitors and even elevation. To me, the Indian had the most seat-of-the-pants grunt out of all the V-Twins, but the BMW was definitely faster. The throttle was also great – more of a quick-turn throttle that didn’t need nearly as much of a twist as the other bikes. The handling felt the second most nimble and flickable (who knew you could say that about a bagger?), second only to the BMW cheater bike… The floorboards were my favorite of the group because they were by far the biggest, or longest rather, which meant you had a large dance floor to move your puppies around on and keep comfortable during long stretches. Personally though, I’m not a fan of the Chieftain’s styling. It’s a little bland and the matte color made it look plastic-y. I also didn’t like how the transmission was covered up by a big panel, unlike the Harleys. Best, most throaty sounding exhaust though, and an overall really nice motorcycle.
Thai Long Ly stamp of approval here: I love the way this thing looks. It’s what a bagger should look like to these baggy eyes. The lines are bold, slightly bulbous and certainly brawny. The display screen is modern, yet the instruments are classically familiar, with a perfect blend of form and function. The ergos are comfortable and wind protection barely ample, despite some annoying helmet buffeting at elevated speeds. The engine pulls mightily, but feels slightly disconnected in how freely it spins for such a large V-Twin. It’s hard to describe… but let me try… most large Twins have a heft to them with a heavy flywheel and somewhat lethargic response. This bike’s engine spins freely and quickly, not something usually associated with big-piston Twins. If the BMW is a turbine, the Harley a tractor, the Guzzi a metro train, then this Indian would be a mother f*ck-ton (mF-T) of squirrels and rats, albeit pissed off and very well-toned squirrely rats. The front end feels a bit light and belies the bike’s heft and seriousness. This adds up to excellent handling and being surprisingly quick on its feet for such a beefy machine.
That leaves the new Yamaha Star Eluder to escape first place by almost three percentage points, which I have to say surprises me when I look at the formidable competition assembled here. But the mighty MO Scorecard does not lie: The rookie Yamaha took first place in the Ergonomics/Comfort and Luggage/Storage categories; her seat is low, cush and welcoming (and a nice passenger perch, too).
She also finished second in most of the other categories, mostly to the BMW: Brakes, Handling, Suspension, Technology, Instruments/Controls, Quality/Fit & Finish and even Grin Factor. The only category that eluded the Eluder was Cool Factor, where she could only outcool the Vaquero and the BMW (which proves how stupid Cool Factor is more than anything).
This bike runs down the road so smoothly, if you couldn’t occasionally hear the V-Twin burble, it would be easy to think you were on a Gold Wing. The damper system Yamaha engineered into the clutch damps out 98% of the V-Twin pulsations you’d normally occasionally feel from an 1854cc engine swinging two 4-inch pistons. A big 46mm fork and single shock provide 5.1 and 4.3 inches of usually plush and always well-controlled suspension action. Rider and passenger both get floorboards for freedom of motion on long slogs.
All your modern appliances are in here, too, big GPS, Bluetoothable sound system, the easiest cruise control to use (but no electric windshield!). I was surprised how much the kids like the Eluder, which to me has all the goods but just seems a bit plasticky and sanitized for a bagger. I thought Yamaha was in for trouble with an R1-snouted bagger, but what do I know? My own 24-year old son loves the thing. His generation grew up on plastic. So did mine, but we knew metal was better.
Brent, who’s 28, is in love too: Ahh… the Eluder. Yamaha hit the nail on the head with this one. The bike is made to crush miles with exceptional comfort. I don’t have a single negative thing to say about the Eluder, I was pleasantly, pleasantly, pleasantly surprised by it. Everything worked great. It’s a bike I don’t think I’ve ever even looked at twice, but man did it satisfy. I guess what they say is true – you never know where you might find love… The Eluder probably has the most storage space as well as spacious and conveniently placed glove compartments on each side. The gauges are right where you want them and in the center is the super informative digital screen. The cruise control is the easiest to use and the wind protection is the best of all the bikes. It was the one bike that felt easiest to get accustomed to as well. And by that I mean I felt right at home on it as soon as I let the clutch out – I couldn’t believe it. All the other bikes took a little adjusting to, but the Yamaha was instantly an extension of myself. Two thumbs up! If I have to say one negative thing about it, I’d say it revs out too quickly in the first two gears, but c’mon, it’s a bagger not a dragger.
Thai is not without an opinion: Eyeing the bike on the side stand, the hefty profile promises Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, but reality delivers Danny DeVito – at least through the first two gears. It’s a shamtastic buzzkill because the engine has legs… big ones. But when grafted to inexplicably short gears, it makes spirited riding an exercise in frustration as you immediately bounce off the rev limiter before your foot has even left the shifter. If it weren’t for that huge oversight, this bike may possibly be the best bagger here. Notice I said “bagger.” But wait, the heat is unavoidably oppressive – like an all expenses paid Saudi Arabian vacation for your balls… The bike is sure-footed and confident in its handling, with a calm pocket of air behind the well-appointed cockpit. The kickstand is great… easily the best of the bunch. The display is clean and concise as well. The looks are modern and sleek, for a bagger. Once into third gear and beyond, power is smooth and seemingly limitless, slapping you with waves of torque. Thoughtful ergos have everything falling exactly where you’d expect them. This is an exceptionally well thought out bike and ranks high on my list.
He’s right about the heat and the low redline, you know, though the heat’s not that bad. The engine party’s over at just 3,850 rpm. Ryan Adams complained about the same things – but the complaints apparently didn’t stick when it came time to fill out the Scorecard. I’ll add one more negative to the Eluder’s balance sheet. As the great Richard Pryor once observed when referring to his own member, “the shit is big”: 874 pounds on the official MO scales makes the `Luder the heaviest bike here – 106 lb heavier than The Winner…
… which is, of course, exactly the bike I predicted it would be after riding it last fall at its introduction – the new BMW K1600B. Again, BMW kind of stretched the bagger envelope, but I have to say they stretched it in an excellent direction. However “uncool” it might be, the kids couldn’t ignore its amazing attributes in the other Scorecard categories. The seat’s two or three inches higher than the other bikes, but it’s low enough and the fact that the bike is way light makes it easy to handle anyway. (So does its Reverse.) The B could even be almost the least expensive bike here, at $19,995, if BMW hadn’t sent us one with all the good stuff on it.
If you just want to bagger traditionally along, you’ll be fine with any of the others. If you retain vestiges of the performance gene, like so many people riding baggers now, you might appreciate the fact that when you want to, you can grab a big fistfull of screaming Six-cylinder horsepower coming off a corner, and let the traction control deal with it as you bang a couple of seamless full-throttle upshifts with the quick shifter. There’s 132 horsepower down there, and 106 pound-feet of torque at only 5000 rpm. Sorry, but there is no V-Twin rumble here; right where it’s time to clunk all the other bikes into the next gear, this one’s just beginning to snarl like a vintage F1 car on its way to its 8400-rpm redline.
There’s a bit of a dead spot just off idle, but grab a bunch of revs, use the clutch, and it’s easy and emotionally satisfying to blow the doors off guys revving their loud baggers with Screamin’ Eagle stickers all over them at red lights on the way back from Cook’s Corner, even with your 120-pound GF on back. (Actually he had us for the first 20 feet because I didn’t want her to fall off, but after that it was all over. And she’s probably pushing 130 lately.) I’ll admit his bike had more character.
We didn’t even hit any tight roads on this quick spin to Vegas, but I can tell you with 100% confidence that if we had, the BMW would run and hide from any of these traditional baggers. I know this first-hand because BMW rep Gina D and I ran away from the rest of the crowd at the bike’s launch in North Carolina, and flogged the things mercilessly in some very tight twistiness. Set ESA to Sport and away you go. The BMW’s seat is a bit higher so it can lean farther. It’s also, I repeat, way lighter than the other baggers.
Alternatively, put the ESA back in Cruise and set the cruise control to whatever speed you want to bagger along at, no problem, in complete smooth Six-zylinder serenity. BMW’s spinny control ring deal wrapped around the left grip is the best solution for controlling lots of electronic functions without loading the switchgear up with a bunch of little buttons that are invisible after dark. BMW has probably been making bike luggage longer than anybody. Central locking works great, there’s a 12V outlet up front and one for the passenger, as well as a USB port inside a little zippered pocket suspended from the ceiling of the right saddlebag.
Just because a state has a lot of people and a lot of motorcycles doesn’t mean it has the most motorcycles per person.
America might have a love affair with the car, but the most recent report by the Department of Transportation says there were almost 8.6 million motorcycles registered in the U.S. in 2015. With the Census Bureau saying that there were 135.7 million housing units available the following year, that means there was one motorcycle for almost every 16 homes. Put another way, America has a serious crush on two-wheelers, too.
So which states are most in love with motorcycles? We won’t look at just the number of bikes registered in each state; rather we’ll also factor in population to get a person-per-motorcycle figure. The results might surprise you. For example, California is the most populous state (39.1 million residents) and has the most motorcycles registered (828,883), but at .02 motorcycles per resident, it is far down the list.
7. North Dakota (1 motorcycle per 19.4 people)
There are only three states (Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming) with fewer people than occupy North Dakota, but its 757,000 residents apparently find that getting around the state’s 69,000 square miles is a lot more fun on a motorcycle. According to the DOT, North Dakota has almost 39,000 motorcycles registered, making it one of only seven states with one motorcycle per fewer than every 20 people.
6. Wyoming (1 motorcycle per 18.9 people)
If you’re already starting to see a pattern here, you’re right: Wide-open spaces apparently correlate to a love of motorcycles, and Wyoming, with 586,700 residents, clocks in at one motorcycle per 18.9 people for the 31,000 bikes they have registered.
5. New Hampshire (1 motorcycle per 18.0 people)
At fewer than 9,000 square miles, New Hampshire doesn’t have the land mass of either North Dakota or Wyoming, but it does share a love of motorcycles, as the residents of the Live Free or Die state have registered almost 74,000. Something else it shares with the previous two states: It doesn’t have a mandatory helmet law if you’re an adult (24 other states also have age restrictions on going helmet-less).
4. Wisconsin (1 motorcycle per 17.8 people)
Not surprisingly, the state that is home to Harley-Davidson(NYSE:HOG) is also one of the states with the most motorcycles registered per population size. Wisconsin’s nearly 5.8 million residents have registered more than 324,600 motorcycles. How many of those are Harley-Davidsons, we don’t know.
3. Iowa (1 motorcycle per 16.5 people)
Harley-Davidson rival Polaris Industries(NYSE:PII) may be headquartered in Medina, Minnesota, but it makes its historic and storied Indian Motorcycle brand at its factory in Spirit Lake, Iowa — and until the nameplate was discontinued earlier this year, Polaris made its Victory motorcycles here, too. Iowa’s 3.1 million residents have 189,500 motorcycles registered in their names. It’s also one of only two states that have no motorcycle helmet laws whatsoever (the other is Illinois).
2. South Dakota (1 motorcycle per 8.9 people)
It’s also fitting that for the state that just finished hosting the 77th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, South Dakota should rank so high on the list. An estimated half-million bikers rolled into the Black Hills earlier this month, swelling the town’s population of 7,000 many times over. South Dakota itself is fairly sparsely populated, with only 858,000 residents, so their 95,278 motorcycles gives them one bike per 8.9 people.
1. Montana (1 motorcycle per 5.2 people)
Big Sky Country is only surpassed in land mass by Alaska, Texas, and California, but with 197,000 motorcycles registered to its 1 million inhabitants, Montana is first in states with the most motorcycles registered to residents, or one bike per 5.2 people. On average in the U.S., there is one motorcycle per 35.7 people, which means Montana beats the national average by more than seven times, making it sound like they’re cramming an awful lot of motorcycles into its 147,000 square miles.
The bike maker has filed for an intriguing trademark, though what it’s for is anybody’s guess.
Harley-Davidson(NYSE:HOG) knows that if it wants to reverse the tide of falling sales, it’s going to need to appeal to motorcycling’s purported new rider demographic: young, urban, and increasingly female. And what better way than with a motorcycle that evokes the gritty feel of the city?
Because the styling is still going to have to largely conform to the platforms available, Harley’s going to need a way for the bike to immediately say it’s built for that rider. That could very well be why it has submitted applications to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to trademark the name “Bronx” and “Harley-Davidson Bronx.”
The Bronx is up
If there’s an urban environment that still has that visceral, edgy feeling, it’s the Bronx, one of the five boroughs of New York City. Brooklyn has gone hipster, Manhattan is too upscale, Queens, though ethnically diverse, is cultured and artsy, and Staten Island, well, it doesn’t feel like you’re even in a city. While there are a lot of cities Harley-Davidson could have chosen, the Bronx is still raw in most people’s minds and would do well as an immediate depiction of what it would be like on a new Harley cruiser.
There are other metropolises, of course, that elicit a similar response. Detroit’s one, but it’s far too closely affiliated with automobiles to make the leap to motorcycles. Chicago is another, but maybe the Windy City doesn’t have that same appeal. And Milwaukee was already assigned to Harley’s new engine. Despite being the home of the New York Yankees, the Bronx Zoo, and the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx arguably doesn’t have a separate identity.
It is unknown what Harley-Davidson actually has planned for the name. Industry siteMotorcycle.com seemed to be the one that noticed the application first, and noted that it does say it’s for “motorcycles and structural parts therefor,” suggesting it may be a new bike, but Harley has never before named one of its bikes after a place. Polaris Industries has only done it once, with its Springfield model, which it noted was the birthplace of Indian Motorcycle.
A question of style
The application also gives no indication of what the bike may look like, though it’s easy to imagine the Harley-Davidson Bronx being part of its Dark Custom line that it introduced several years ago — first with the Iron 883, then with its Street 500 and Street 750 models. It was those models that were supposed to appeal to the new rider demo, as the middle-aged male receded from buying its bikes in large numbers.
And though the Streets originally were some of Harley’s big sellers, their appeal seems to have waned. In the third quarter, shipments of bikes in its Sportster/Street segment tumbled 14% from the year-ago period and are down 11% year to date, indicating that the decline is accelerating.
In addition to not knowing what the Bronx would look like, we also don’t know when it would appear. An applicant has three years to use the trademark or risk losing it, but the USPTO has said it won’t even assign an examiner to research the application for about three months, so it’s not about to come anytime soon.
Triumph Motorcycles America, LTD, has recalled 2,824 of certain 2016-2018 Thruxton and Thruxton R motorcycles due stalling problems.
Triumph reports that the Thruxton’s engine may stall if the throttle is opened or closed quickly while the clutch lever is pulled in.
The Triumph recall notice states, “The engine management software on these motorcycles may not always prevent “blip stalling”; the ability to maintain a stable engine idle when the throttle is opened and closed (“blipped”) very quickly, with the clutch disengaged.
“To prevent the engine from stalling when “blipping” the throttle, a revised engine calibration must be downloaded into these motorcycles. Engine stalling presents an increased risk of a loss of control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.”
Triumph will notify Thruxton and Thruxton R owners, and dealers will update the engine management software, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 9, 2018. Owners may contact Triumph customer service at 1-678-854-2010. Triumph’s number for this recall is 33.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number is:18V084000.
For 2016, the Thruxtons were updated with the 1200cc engine shared across the revamped twin lineup. The Thruxton is all about performance, its eight-valve parallel twin delivering 82.6 ft/lbs of torque at 4950 rpm – up from the T120’s 1200cc engine that produces 77.4 ft/lbs at 3100 rpm, and up 62 percent over the previous generation’s 865cc engine that produced 50 ft/lbs of torque at 5800 rpm. And unlike previous models, the new 1200cc engine is mated to a six-speed transmission.
Motorcyclist falls to his death from a freeway overpass after crashing into a roadside guardrail in Long Beach on Sunday afternoon, according to authorities.
The wreck happened around 4:25 p.m. on the roadway that connects eastbound Ocean Boulevard to the northbound 710 Freeway, police said in a news release.
“Officers arrived on scene and discovered a 2005 Honda motorcycle lying on its side on the overpass,” police said. “The rider was found in a construction area below the overpass after being ejected from the motorcycle.”
Authorities haven’t released the man’s name yet, saying only that he’s a 24-year-old from Los Angeles.
Police said they believe the rider split lanes between two vehicles on the overpass before moving into the right lane and hitting the guardrail.
After the crash, paramedics took the man to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to authorities.
Police are still investigating but do not believe drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash.
Fortunately for Polaris Industries (NYSE:PII), investors were willing to look beyond the recurring recalls that primarily plagued its off-road vehicle (ORV) segment. Instead of dwelling on the potential damage repeated recalls could do to the brand’s reputation, investors instead chose to look to the growth of its aftermarket parts business and the health of its motorcycle division, and pushed Polaris’ stock 50% higher in 2017.
A thermal breakdown
Despite several years of Polaris promising to get the problem in hand, some 450,000 recalled vehicles later the company says its RZR vehicles are still likely to combust, and even ones that had been previously repaired are likely to do so again. Fortunately, the Consumer Product Safety Commission didn’t issue a don’t sell/don’t ride order, because not only were investors ignoring the recalls, but so were customers.
Regardless of the problems in its off-road segment, it was still able to grow off-road vehicle sales by 7% over the first nine months of 2017 while enjoying a near 300-basis-point increase in gross margins. It’s true the frequency of recalls diminished over the course of the year, and the financial impact to the powersports vehicle maker’s bottom line also declined, so Polaris was still able to enjoy a positive year in ORV sales.
The acquisition of TransAmerican Auto Parts had an even more robust influence on operations. Acquired in the fourth quarter of 2016, TAP gave Polaris its first exposure to the retail market, providing it with a network of 75 stores and six distribution centers that sell aftermarket parts and accessories for off-road Jeeps and trucks. It alone contributed $190 million in revenue in the third quarter, a 4% increase year over year on a pro forma basis, and has positioned the segment as the second-biggest division in terms of revenue, almost as much as motorcycles and parts, garments, and accessories combined.
While the ancillary business could be a source of significant sales and profits down the road, it does add a layer of complexity to Polaris Industries’ business — and because retail is a new avenue for the vehicle maker, it has a chance to go awry. It’s an area business investors will keep an eye on, both for its potential and for possible pitfalls that could arise.
Engines are still revving
AlthoughPolaris Industries‘ motorcycle sales declined 20% through the first three quarters of 2017, that was solely due to the decision to shut down production of the struggling Victory brand. Originally conceived as a challenge to Harley-Davidson(NYSE:HOG), Victory never really gained traction. With Polaris’ purchase of the Indian Motorcycle brand, it quickly became superfluous, especially as the Indian nameplate took off.
Consumers have been looking for a challenger to Harley for some time and found in the historic brand a worthy competitor. It was a level that Victory could never rise to. Retail demand for Indian Motorcycles continues to grow at double-digit rates every quarter, and market share has finally broken through the 10% share threshold. While Harley-Davidson still owns half of the big bike market, Indian is steadily chipping away at its lead.
The problem for both bike manufacturers is that customers are weaning themselves off the big block engine variety both have been known for in favor of smaller bikes of the sort built by Triumph and Royal Enfield, which recently opened a beachhead here in the U.S. But Polaris has been more responsive than Harley in reaching out to this emerging demographic.
The Scout and Scout Sixty bikes have resonated with consumers, unlike Harley’s Street 500 and 750 models, which after a quick start have seemingly faded.
In short, all of Polaris Industries ‘ divisions performed admirably this year, even if there were sections that shouldn’t have. The powersports vehicle manufacturer still has problems to address in its off-road vehicle segment, but with RZR still the leading brand in the space and continued support from its customers, there doesn’t seem to be any reason why Polaris can’t crush it in 2018 as well.
He was dressed nicely, the young fella approaching us from across the gas station, wearing a pressed shirt and a generous smile. He was getting his first motorcycle and had been eyeballing Harley-Davidson’s Forty-Eight and Triumph’s new Bonneville for an entry-level way to zip around town, comfortably free of his chronic back pain. Hang on, what? Considering a Forty-Eight to avoid chronic back pain?
We were, umm, “surprised.” But also relieved to know that someone else thinks these bikes deserve a comparison. They’re all holding hands from one direction or another, after all. The Harley Forty-Eight and the Star Bolt share the air-cooled, V-twin layout, while the Harley’s MSRP nearly matches that of the Victory Octane. Triumph’s new Street Twin blatantly reaches back to a different era, just like the Forty-Eight. Star revamped the already popular Bolt to create this C-Spec at the same time Victory is reinventing itself as a performance brand.
So, here we are—cooling fins and bias-ply tires all mixed up with radiators and ABS in a way we’ve never seen—with companies going in different directions to appeal to the same smiling, dry-cleaned yuppie. And to him we say: You deserve to know which bike to put next to your Jeep Wrangler in the garage, dammit! We dedicate this ride to you, friendly Shell patron, and all others with it in mind to cruise in style for around $10K.
If style is what you’re after it’s easy to be drawn to the Star Bolt and, by association, this C-Spec. We’ve raved about the Bolt’s punchy engine, classic lines, and excellent value before, and in many ways the C-Spec is more of the same. It’s a $700 upcharge from the base Bolt to the café-racer C-Spec, for which you get piggyback shocks (same as the R-Spec), a different seat that is 2.9 inches taller, rear-set footpegs, clip-on handlebars, fork gaiters, and a snazzy seat cowl.
All of these parts add up to an upper body canted forward toward the dash, feet perched on slightly rear-set pegs, and a riding experience that is vastly different. On paper it sounds like the ergos are sportier, and we suppose they are. Yet when our city-centric test ride wandered into the twists and turns of unkempt suburbia, the C-Spec showed us its roots. This is a dressed-up cruiser, and it feels like it. The low, narrow bars make handling lethargic, sometimes just plain heavy, and even with the pegs set back they still drag too easily.
With the standard Bolt’s nicely proportioned riding position in mind, our testers were unanimous in their dislike for the C-Spec’s ergos. Even taller riders were stretched forward and found themselves sitting on the back of the tank, barely using what is actually a pretty comfortable seat. The footpeg position feels a little awkward while riding, but that’s okay because you’ll forget about that when they’re exactly in the way of your legs at a stop. Argh!
As important as we think it is to point this out, it is not (repeat, not) what this comparison is about. Friendly Shell yuppie doesn’t care if the pegs drag. This is his first full-size bike. He just wants to be pleased with his purchase. In that respect, the C-Spec cannot be faulted. The brakes are mellow but responsive and strong, and even though it’s not ultra agile the handling is predictable. Plus it’s finished nicely, with a cool, faux-suede seat, striped wheels, and metallic paint that comes alive in the sun.
The engine, as we already mentioned, is a treat. When we compared the standard Bolt to a crop of 650cc-to-900cc cruisers (“Re-Entry Points,” June 2015, MC) it crushed the lot and made us realize that this mill delivers more than 942cc worth of torque and sound. Even in this company with thoroughbred, liquid-cooled competition the C-Spec’s 60-degree vee is not outclassed at all. There’s plenty of thrust, all while churning out a bass-heavy, thunder-in-the-distance note.
Compared to the traditionally low-slung Harley and Victory, the C-Spec’s 30-inch seat seems tall. It wouldn’t be a problem but for the Bolt’s perceived heft. We suspect raising the seat nearly 3 inches makes the C-Spec feel heavier than it is—which, at 551 pounds, isn’t exactly welterweight. Our only other complaint was about the chrome-rimmed, circular dash (that matches the headlight and taillight so nicely), which we simultaneously love the look of and hate to look at.
But then, at $8,690 the C-Spec undercuts Triumph’s Street Twin by 10 bucks to be the most affordable of this group. And, frankly, even with simple instruments it never feels cheap. Being so impressed with the standard Bolt we were curious how the C-Spec would stack up, and we have reconfirmed that this is a great platform. Sure, we don’t like the C-Spec ergonomics, but the bike still radiates an enthusiasm that makes us enjoy the ride.
No, that’s not a typo. Harley gets a 10 out of 10 for this Forty-Eight’s styling. Just take a minute to bask in it. Sure, the “Hard Candy Custom” metalflake paint job is stellar, and the machine-gun louvers in the chrome exhaust covers are pure brilliance. But beyond that, just look how it carries itself. It oozes backstreet brawn and classic Americana, with a kickstand presence that most bikes can only dream of. A pure, Hollywood quality.
And so it goes when you start it. With the same WWII fighter-plane rhythm of any full-size Harley, the Forty-Eight’s starter motor takes a one-two beat to strain against 1,202cc of compression before taking an audible gulp of air and firing to life. It’s quintessential, as though made to hook millennial customers with memories of a cool neighbor with a Harley that started every Saturday morning, making that very same noise and pointed toward who knows where. Knowing Harley, the engineers probably did it on purpose, and we can only stand back and start a slow clap.
With the sun gleaming on the tank and the Sportster mill pulsing beneath, you’re ready to clank it into gear and set off. Depending on how committed you are this might be where the dream crumbles. It really takes some getting used to, riding this Harley. Forward-set pegs and a low handlebar, combined with a one-position-fits-all seat, equals a riding stance that is pretty stretched. This means practically all of your weight rests on the bottom of your spine, which is only protected from the road by 1.6 inches of rear suspension. The ride can be rough.
Still, the Forty-Eight chugs along happily at any speed between 10 and 80 mph, vibrating mechanically but not annoyingly. The five-speed gearbox is clunky yet totally predictable, and a 150-section rear tire helps it to handle better than you might expect, dragging peg feelers anytime you even think about turning. When it comes time to slow down, the Harley calls into action the worst brakes of this group but only by a small margin (plus, the Forty-Eight has an ABS option where Star and Victory do not).
Aside from the good handling, none of this was a surprise. The Forty-Eight fits into the Harley mold in exactly the way The Motor Company wants it to, with all of the emotion of the halo bikes for less loot. A base price of $11,199 seems pretty competitive with this lot (especially the Octane at $10,499) until we realized that the Hard Candy Color and ABS this testbike has push the price to more like $12,500. Again, how committed you are to The MoCo matters. It’s expensive and also delivers a prestige no other bike can.
No part on the Forty-Eight sums the bike up better than the mirrors, coolly slung under the narrow handlebar. It keeps the Forty-Eight’s profile low, like a terrier with its ears pinned instead of perked up and curious. It adds to this Harley’s projection of burgeoning badass, halfway to full custom. However, the mirrors are indisputably worse than traditional ones when it comes to showing what’s behind. They are form over function. And that’s the Forty-Eight. Yes, there are some exposed wires, hot or pointy bits that rub your legs at stoplights, and the ride is unrelentingly harsh. But you’ll forgive it when you put it on the sidestand and let it pose, classic and proud.
As EIC Cook mentioned in his column (Cook’s Corner,), there was an awful lot of hype surrounding this new Victory model. When we first saw it, we were disappointed because it looked like a clear knockoff of Indian’s Scout. And when Victory’s press material surfaced, with claims of setting new trends and reinventing the muscle bike, we thought Victory was blowing smoke a mile high. Then we rode it, and it really does have a different feel than any other cruiser.
Not the riding position, though, that’s more of what we (and you) are used to. Like the Harley, the Vic’s pegs are set forward and fairly wide, but where the Forty-Eight makes you reach for the fork caps the Octane uses a pullback handlebar to create a much more relaxed riding position. There’s still a lot of weight on your backside, but 3 inches of rear travel is calibrated well and soaks up bumps nicely. With nearly double the suspension stroke of the Harley and a seat 1.4 inches lower, the Octane is proof that low-slung doesn’t have to be uncomfortable.
The Octane’s 25.9-inch saddle goes beyond accommodating, but, more than that, the whole bike seems impossibly squat. It shares the C-Spec’s weight of 551 pounds but feels a hundred pounds lighter, from coming off the kickstand to manners on a curvy road. It’s extremely well balanced, and even though it’s low the pegs don’t touch down immediately when you leave a gas station or turn into a parking spot. This is one of the points, in fact, that Victory stressed in its introduction of the bike: 32 degrees of lean angle! Marc Marquez will not be impressed, but for a cruiser it’s downright agile.
If you’re like us, thus far you’re pretty impressed with this new Victory. And all before you spin the engine up. Between 5,000 and 6,000 revs the Triumph and Harley are pretty flat, while the Star Bolt is actually losing power. By the time the Victory hits 5,000 rpm it is already making more power than any of the other three and is just getting started, eventually cranking out 90 hp at the wheel.
On the road, the engine is terrific. It’s as thrilling to use as the dyno chart makes it seem, with plenty of torque and a top-end rush unlike any American-made cruiser to date. If anything, the exhaust system is too comprehensive because the Octane doesn’t sound like much at all. As if to complement the blue-ribbon engine, the Vic’s fueling and drivetrain is solid and smooth and uses the only six-speed gearbox in this test.
To get picky, we’d like to see an ABS option, and, as much fun as we had with no traction control to save the contact patch from those 90 ponies, TC would be a nice option (maybe switchable, like the hooligan in all of us?). The dash is also pretty spare, with only enough data to make it legal. We’ll admit it contributes to the bare-bones, badass disposition the Octane is trying so hard to exude. Aww, man, who are we kidding? One more trip to redline and we forgot all about that! For us, it has the opposite problem to the Harley, in that when it’s parked it leaves us a little cold. There’s nothing wrong, per se, but all of that matte paint blends in with itself and doesn’t distract enough from the frame that reminds us of the Indian Scout. It’s a handsome bike, and yet it’s a little too Ness-tastic for us to get all the way behind Victory for being “reinvented.”
But, credit where credit is due: It’s no V-MAX, but we admit that the Octane sits at an unprecedented cruiser intersection of low MSRP ($10,499, incidentally) and high horsepower. This is just as Victory has been saying all along, and that definitely represents a step toward true performance. And, lastly, it does that while avoiding the footsteps of a certain British marque, which has come at the market from a different standpoint altogether.
In many ways Triumph’s new Bonneville Street Twin is the easiest of this group to like, but it’s also the most difficult to talk about. How can we convince you, the consumer, that this bike is actually new (when compared to the Bonnie it replaces) while also going further back in time toward the original? We must just be drinking the Kool-Aid, right? Well, yes. (Here’s where we try to convince you that it’s delicious.)
The Street Twin fits in to Triumph’s new-for-2016, multi-level Bonneville lineup smack at the bottom, and yet it’s just as new as its bigger-bore siblings. The 900cc powerplant is not a punched-out, revamped version of the outgoing 865cc mill but a new engine altogether—liquid-cooled, no less! The same effort goes for the styling, chassis, and electronics, all of which are new. Triumph wanted the Street Twin to be updated and refreshed but also smaller, visually cleaner, and more accessible than ever.
Aesthetically, you can make your own judgments, but we think the team at Triumph nailed it—this is simplicity personified. It’s stripped down as though a twentysomething has already owned it for a year, with modest black fenders and a tidy seat. The radiator hides in plain sight, between the downtubes of the frame, and the perfectly sculpted pipes sweep backward so elegantly it’s easy to miss that they stop under the engine in the chunky catalyzer needed for modern emissions standards. This Trumpet is so clean, classic, and easy to look at that we’re not even sure of our favorite part.
Swing a leg over and be amazed at how low the seat is (29.5 inches) and how thin the Street Twin is at the waist. Then fire up the engine and be astonished at how deliciously loud it is, thumping nonchalantly at idle only to snarl away from stoplights enough to leave the Forty-Eight rider embarrassed and in the dust. A heavy crank mass and good fueling make the Street Twin quite friendly despite a clutch that is so light to pull we struggled to get any discernable feedback (we suspect the slip/grip mechanism is partly to blame). Also, we admit that the low seat seems to be due in part to the padding being a tad thin.
We can hardly call out the clutch or the seat as complaints, really; it’s more of a word of warning—like the softly sprung suspension—for those interested, than a criticism. As for amenities, the Street Twin has the other three completely clobbered. There is standard ABS, as well as switchable traction control and a fuel gauge, in addition to the usual spread of clock, tripmeters, and warning lights (there’s even a USB charging port under the seat). It’s all communicated and controlled through a single, round gauge atop the headlight and a simple button just inboard of the left grip.
Just like all of the bikes in this test, amenities and comfort are parameters that contribute to enjoying the bike but aren’t truly the purpose of the machine. How you feel in the saddle is where the Street Twin comes through most of all, even considering all of its engineering accolades. This bike is fun to ride. It’s comfortable, handles wonderfully, sounds terrific, and otherwise delivers most of the joys of motorcycling that we have come to desire, all for a base price of $8,700.
A quartet of additional color options, including red and silver, bump the price to $8,950, which is nearly a full thousand dollars higher than the former base Bonnie’s price of $8,099. Then again, what you get is the best motorcycle of this group and of almost any group. We recommended it to our new friend at the gas station purely for comfort, but it provides everything the other three bikes here do (aside from the Vic’s power and the Harley’s metalflake), for a decent price and in classic style.
If investors need any further proof that 2017 was a bad year for Harley-Davidson(NYSE:HOG) & that they just doesn’t get it when it comes to what it needs to do, look no further than its just-released disastrous fourth-quarter earnings report.
Sales were down sharply, with U.S. sales plunging 11% from the year-ago period, while international sales were down 4% year over year. Harley also said it’s closing its final assembly plant in Kansas City, at a cost of 260 jobs. But not to worry: CEO Matt Levatich said Harley is going to produce an electric motorcycle within the next 18 months.
Project LiveWire was introduced several years ago, and some panned it as unworkable because the e-bike had only a 50-mile range and took a glacial three and a half hours to recharge. Even if Harley has increased the distance significantly and reduced the recharge time to a something more snappy, it’s going to have the same fatal flaw as the motorcycles it’s currently producing: It will be too expensive.
Another indicator that 2017 was a bad year for Harley-Davidson is the decline of motorcycle sales and is a sign that buyers want cheaper bikes. The new rider demographic of young, urban, and female riders want smaller, more affordable bikes, but Harley-Davidson remains committed to producing gorgeous but insanely expensive bikes for the market.
So far, under the 100-bikes-in-10-years program Levatich launched last year, Harley has introduced 16 new models (20 if you count those with engine upgrades), a truly spectacular achievement in so short a time.
Yet of those 16 new models, exactly one is priced under $10,000, the Street Rod, which starts at $8,700, a not insignificant amount. The nine new Softails Harley unveiled — the eight original bikes under the merged Dyna and Softail platforms, plus the Sport Glide it introduced late last year — all range between $14,500 and $19,000, while the new Special touring bikes start at $22,000 and go above $26,000. Should we even mention the limited-edition CVO bikes? At $40,000 or more for these ultra-premium motorcycles, we’re talking a hefty chunk of change.
What price prestige?
Although Harley-Davidson has never put a price tag on what its electric motorcycle might cost, most guesses have said somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000, though some go as high as $50,000.
Pricing the bike that high would be suicide for the vehicle, and even the lower price points would make it a hard sell. An electric motorcycle could be a second bike for current Harley owners if it was priced right, and it could even bring more riders to the brand if it wasn’t priced out of the market.
But it would need to be something a rider could get around town with, and not just one to head out to the Bonneville Salt Flats on. That would also require the e-bike to be priced below $10,000 — and likely closer to $5,000. Certainly, the Livewire prototype didn’t look like a $50,000 bike, but it didn’t look like a $10,000 one, either. What Harley-Davidson will probably end up with is another beautiful piece of machinery that few will want to ride or can afford to. It’s the exact problem it has now resulting in another bad year for Harley-Davidson.
Still more air beneath it
Where Harley-Davidson’s sales are falling through the floor, Polaris Industries (NYSE:PII) reported that its motorcycle sales were down 2% as a result of shutting down production of its Victory brand. Retail demand for the Indian Motorcycle nameplate is still growing, though below the double-digit increases it’s been accustomed to.
A bad year for Harley-Davidson is a decline, if not freefall. It hasn’t been able to staunch the bleeding on its bread-and-butter motorcycles, is shutting down production facilities, and is laying off workers, yet it wants to introduce an electric motorcycle now. In reality, that’s a completely different kind of motorcycle than what it’s known for and something few people have really been demanding from the bike maker.
Harley-Davidson has also forecast more pain for the immediate future, with shipments of new bikes to dealers expected to decrease another 4% in 2018, down to as few as 231,000 motorcycles. Those are numbers not seen since 2011, when it was just coming out of the recession. If sales keep falling at their current rate, it might have to scale back those numbers even more. Profit margin is also expected to fall, from 12.5% this year to between 9.5% and 10% in 2018.
Unfortunately, with all that’s been going on in the industry, Harley-Davidson not only doesn’t seem to have learned the right lessons, but it looks like it’s also continuing to learn the wrong ones — meaning its skidding stock price may not be done giving investors some serious road rash.
PLEASE WELCOME to the 30-Hr Ironman LDR Challenge……..Roger Buis (pronounced “Buy-Us”) w.o is a veteran at LDR and at LDR rallies showing off in the American Legends Rallies that is now defunct. The Hoka Hey Motorcycle challenge and many IBA runs! He is currently competing in the AULDR. He is a great friend of mine and he adds competition to those in the Veterans LDR Category. Please welcome Roger Buis!!!!!!
PLEASE WELCOME: Charles Wilson and his lovely wife as Challengers to the 30-HOUR IRONMAN LDR CHALLENGE!!! Below Charlie let the cat out of the bag somewhat but here is his beautiful spouse. They love to ride hard and Charlie will compete in the hardest run in the world called the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge in July 2018. TO REGISTER FOR THE 30-HOUR IROMAN LDR JUST CLICK ON THE LINK……….Welcome Charlie Wilson!
WELCOME NEW RIDER: Chris Pereira from the “239” area code! In his own words…………”About me: I am not a vet. I’ve ridden dirt bikes since I was a small child and transitioned to street bikes later in life. I enjoy adventures such as 2,000 mile weekends as well as track days aboard my BMW S1000RR. I generally ride alone, so pictures of me on my bike are very rare, but I’ve attached what I have. The names over headlights on the track pic are of my kids, Mia and Christian. I live in Bradenton, FL and am looking forward to this adventure.” Please welcome Chris Pereira. IF YOU WANT TO REGISTER FOR THIS RUN CLICK ON LINK!!!!
PLEASE WELCOME…………….Corey French and Alexandra French have been riding separately, but together, for six years now and have done thousands of miles on their bikes. Being teachers they have to plan their trips accordingly, but together they have gone through Georgia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, and recently completed a motorcycle trip around the western half of France. Corey has completed solo trips to Utah as well as to New York. Alexandra has a Yamaha FZ-07 and Corey rides a BMW R1200GS (not pictured), which they ride daily in rain, sunshine, freezing temps, and blistering heat. This will be their first LDR competition and they are looking forward to some friendly competition between husband and wife. Couples who ride together, stay together! Please welcome this Power Couple!!!
PLEASE SHARE: A great shout out and welcome to Ruth Effner, she has been riding since 2012 and she loves i!. Her longest ride was the 40 to Phoenix with GWRRA in 2015 and she is registered to do it again this year. This is her 3rd year with Tour Of Honor and First year with LDR. Picture was taken in April 2015 when she picked up her new Goldwing. She is quoted as saying “looking forward to meeting new friends”. Remember folks,I can only post those that give me permission to post their LDR mug shot! Please give a warm welcome to Ruth Effner!!!
WELCOME TO THE 30-HR IRONMAN LDR CHALLENGE challenge! Ms. Barbara Truitt who has been riding hard core since 1966! Barb has completed Iron Butt Saddle Sore Ride in 2009. It was a World Record Largest Saddle Sore Ride inside the state of Virginia to benefit Redwing Flight 19. She rode alone in 2012 from Florida to California & back going through 31 states totaling 8,500 miles (not all at once). Barb was traveling for 7 weeks, sightseeing and visiting friends and relatives.
Barb is the past Director (2-years) American Legion Riders, @ Post 72 in Warrenton, VA. She continues to be a member there.
Barb is a Patriot Guard Rider here in Central Florida. Please welcome this LDR veteran! #IronmanLDR https://www.facebook.com/events/509747779411678/
Someone is going to kill me! I lost these people’s emails and now I forget their names. I have the registrations but I cant place the faces with the names……sorry guys.