Federal Regulators Issue Fine Against Southern Honda Powersports

1_southernpowersportsThe largest powersports dealer in the nation, Southern Honda Powersports in Chattanooga Tennessee was fined $125,000 to settle allegations that it knowingly sold motorcycles that had been recalled but not repaired.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began a probe of the dealership after USA Today story about the practice.   USA Today said it received information from Ernest Vickers III, a former marketing consultant, hired by SHP, who alledged the dealer sold hundreds, perhaps thousands of motorcycles, ATV’s and dirt bikes that were under recall without first fixing the defective items.

In October,  American Honda said in a statement that it “always has complied with all applicable regulations issued by NHTSA and the CPSC (Consumer Protection Safety Commission), including those related to product safety defects and the conduct of safety recalls.”  Southern Honda’s owner, Tim Kelly called Vickers allegations “utter balderdash” and told USA TODAY that  “some bikes were delivered” before recall work was performed but that customers were notified and their vehicles were repaired.

NHTSA said it’s investigation found that at least 329 motorcycles were sold between 2007 and 2012 that were not inspected or had their recall defects repaired before customers took delivery.  No injuries or deaths involving those motorcycles have been reported.

The total fine amounts to less than $400 per identified vehicle.

Vickers claims that 25,000 vehicles were assembled unsafely during his 3 year tenure with the dealership.   The NHTSA announcement did not mention or address those claims.

The Reactor Wheel

ReactorCharleston, SC- WanaRyd Motorcycle is pleased to announce The Reactor is now available in chrome. It’s a unique 6-spoke directional 3D wheel that’s part of their Stark-Line Series…a premium line of 3D forged one-piece billet wheels. The Stark-Line Series Reactor wheel is a sensational 3D cut 6-spoke wheel…Designed for those that want a clean yet crazy look.

All Stark-Line Series wheels come with a lifetime structural warranty to safeguard riders against some of nature’s toughest forces that could potentially damage wheels.

The Stark-Line Series currently offers 6 different wheel designs as well as matching rotors in 3 different styles and sizes and matching pulleys (including Cush drives which most other wheel companies don’t offer) and are available for all 1984-Present Harley-Davidson models, many Victory models as well as other metric cruisers. All Stark-Line Series wheel designs are also available in the proprietary Starkline finish as well as black powdercoat. For those interested in obtaining more information on WanaRyd Motorcycle, you can reach them at 888-926-2793, email them at sales@wanaryd.com or check them out online at www.WanaRyd.com.

Own the Cover Bike

1-CaptureVictory motorcycles is going to auction off the 2013 Cross Country between March 21-28 on Ebay to benefit Operation Gratitude.   Unfortunately, a date with the beautiful Playboy model Raquel (shown in the photo) is not included.  Bummer.  But here’s a behind the scenes video to whet your appetite and get you revved up to bid!  More Info

 

 

 

 

Historical Two-Wheeled Road Trips for 2013

Lonely Motorcycle on the HighwayMotorists aren’t fully experiencing the scenic vistas of the world behind a pane of glass. To fully enjoy the idiosyncratic terrain and climates of earth, one must ride by motorcycle. You’d be doing a disservice to the following routes by driving on any more than two wheels.

Motorcycle Prep

To launch any motorcycle road trip, your bike must be in supreme condition. Follow the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s safety acronym: T-CLOCS.

Tires & Wheels – Check your tire’s air pressure and treads. If the treads are worn down past what’s safe, consider a frugal replacement with discount Michelin tires to guarantee a safe journey. Inspect the spokes, bearings and brakes as well.

Controls – Check levers, switches, cables, hoses and throttle.

Lights & Electronics – Ensure that headlights, brake lights and electrical switches are fully functional.

Oil & Other Fluids – Inspect the oil, coolant and hydraulic fluid. Look for any fuel leaks.

Chassis – Consult the operator’s manual for suspension settings. Check the suspension and drive components and adjust for your load’s weight.

Sidestand – Check the tension spring and replace if need be.

Trail of Tears – Tennessee to Alabama

To honor and remember the Cherokee people, ride on this historic trail on Highway 72 from Chattanooga, TN, to Florence, AL. Every September, motorcyclists congregate to Chattanooga to participate in the only official Trail of Tears Motorcycle Remembrance Ride and honor the Native Americans who were extricated from their homeland after the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The Trail of Tears extends well beyond Florence and through several states  terminating in Oklahoma. There are several museums, parks, cemeteries and forts to visit for a lesson in history while traversing the Trail of Tears.  This year (2013) will mark the 20th anniversary of the ride.  http://www.trailoftears-remembrance.org/

Patagonia Tour – Argentina & Chile

Retrace the 1952 motorcycle journey of Che Guevara as depicted in his book and the movie “The Motorcycle Diaries.” The famed revolutionary began this great South American trip in Buenos Aires atop a 1939 Norton 500cc motorcycle. Once in Chile, head to Chuquicamata copper mine, the world’s largest open-pit mine. Onto Peru, you can view the remnants of the Inca Empire and the Amazon rainforest as Che did. Cross the Amazon river to eventually reach Bogota, Colombia and onto the finale: Caracas, Venezuela.

“Easy Rider” – California to Louisiana

In the iconic 1960s film “Easy Rider,” Wyatt and Billy take a journey across the American Southwest and South on the backs of their motorized steeds. Your first destination on this journey from L.A. to New Orleans is on the outskirts of Death Valley: Ballarat, California. Over the Colorado River and to Needles, Kingman and Flagstaff, you’ll encounter long stretches of arid desert, sandstone formations at Arizona and Utah’s border, mountains and vast American frontier. If you time the trip to coincide with the film’s timeline, you’ll make it to Louisiana just in time for Mardi Gras.

Biker Geeks Start 1% Club in Online Comedy Series

clandestineThe Clandestine is a comedy web series about a group of geeks who form an outlaw motorcycle club.  The show takes place in Belfast and is the highest budget live action web series made in Ireland to date. It is also thought to be the world’s first biker comedy series.

The show will be publicly released March 25th on YouTube. The entire first season of 13 x 5 minute episodes is available now by signing up to the VIP Room at Clandestine.tv

According to The Clandestine’s director, Joseph Campo, “This show is about the 99% of us that hold regular jobs and boring lives, but have an outlaw down there somewhere, fighting to get out.”

Writer, Kieran Docherty, says “Outlaw bikers are right up there with astronauts and superheroes in terms of ‘coolest jobs ever’. Now, most of us aren’t going to make it into space, and few of us will actually join the X-Men – but some of us, some of us might just make it as outlaws. I wanted to see what would happen when regular guys attempt to embrace the outlaw way of life. This is a show about breaking free … and who needs to break free more than a paper pushing lawyer and his tech-support friend?

Darryl Collins, Executive Producer, says “The Clandestine is the world’s first motorcycle comedy series. It’s incredible it has never been done before. When we developed the show we knew we had to get a sponsor on board to be able to get it into production. We were blessed to have Gingerparts.com on our doorstep – they sell motorcycle parts and accessories to customers around the world. Their support, and that of Northern Ireland Screen, has made it possible for us to get the show completed and released online.”

Nick Long, from Gingerparts.com, the show’s primary sponsor, says “When Darryl and Joe approached us for support, they already had two of the episodes completed. They were totally hilarious. They caught many of the absurdities and humor of biker culture perfectly. For us it was a natural extension of our online marketing activities to try branded entertainment. We are delighted with the results.”

One of the show’s stars, Bennett Warden, who plays Marcus says “On the first day of production, I was riding a Harley in the freezing cold and pouring rain. I thought, am I completely insane?  And why am I having the time of my life? That’s when I realised why bikers are going to love this show.”

The Clandestine website: http://TheClandestine.TV


The Clandestine was produced by Video Hacker Ltd. based in Belfast and commissioned by Banjax Ltd. a web software and e-commerce company also based in Northern Ireland.

France In America- One Man’s 21,000 Mile Odyssey

France In America Book Cover

FRANCE IN AMERICA is a visually stunning 400-page volume offering a unique mix of Americana, travel, motorcycling and a personal account of male mid-life transition. The book showcases an extraordinary 21,000-mile solo journey by a man leaving behind his professional life and identity to explore America and fulfill a life-long dream.

Gary France is English and lives near London. In a few short years, Gary’s self-description changed from “Project Management Executive” to “Writer, traveller and motorcyclist, who is happiest when combining all three”. That’s quite a shift, but nevertheless an authentic summary.

Riding with just his thoughts for company, Gary’s description of his 4-month trip unfolds through a down-to-earth record of what he saw, who he met and what he felt on the road, backed up with an impressive photographic inventory. As he clicks up the miles from the New England states, through the Midwest and the Rockies, and closing in the desert states of the Pacific coast, his thoughts, language and photographs become increasingly reflective and vivid as the ‘journey’ progresses – revealing more and more of his internal exploration and steady winding down.

The book will resonate with many. Not just those who wish they could make such a once-in-a-lifetime road trip, but also with the many men who have faced the unspoken uncertainties and reassessments of midlife.

This is not only a detailed guide about where to go and what to see in the USA. It is also a personal story of one person seizing the moment – a living testimony to the maxim that travel is not so much about the destination as it is about the journey itself. One man living his dream, and carefully cornering through the opportunities that midlife presents.

You can purchase the book at  www.garysfrance.com after the March 4, 2012 launch.

 

Potential New Pope Torpedoed By Racy Bike Week Photos

Latex_Nun_by_VBlancoSeveral  bike week photographs, taken 20 years ago, have torpedoed one of the front running candidates to replace the retiring Pope Benedict XVI, according to sources inside the Vatican who asked not to be identified

In 1992, when he was just 48 years old, Cardinal (then Bishop) Beagan Malachy took a walk on the wild side during Daytona’s spring bike week, and was photographed with a beer tub babe wearing a sexy nun costume.  According to the source, Malachy reportedly was also photographed later that same evening riding a Vespa down Main Street with that same beer maid as she flashed the crowd.  

Daytona Police allegedly stopped the Bishop but did not issue a citation, and the public affairs officer would neither confirm nor deny that the incident occurred.

The photograph surfaced on Twitter over the weekend, originating from @Nun_fantasy with the hashtag #raunchypope

Malachy joins  Dutch Cardinal Bonifacius Steuer as the second candidate to be taken off the short list of front runners to the papal throne.  According to the Borowitz Report, Cardinal Steuer attended Spring Break in Tampa and posted compromising Facebook photos to his account.

We reached out to Italian job placement specialist Alphonse Stigmatto , who was instrumental in helping several past Cardinals reach the upper echelon of Vatican politics, and he echoed the advice given by other experts “These photographs have a way of coming back at the worst possible times.  There’s not a Cardinal alive who hasn’t done something similar, but you just have to be on your guard and not let anyone get a photo of your face.  All things being equal, I think it was riding a Vespa instead of a Harley on Main Street that cost him the job. He should’ve known better.”

(our-advance-apologies to any offended Catholics)

 

 

 

 

 

Gods of Mischief Book Review

gods of mischief“Big George Rowe was surprised when his fiancee’ called him a snitch. What she actually called him was a MotherFu#$ing snitch.” But, she was right. Rowe was a snitch, a self made one.

Rowe’s fiancee’ became suspicious of his frequent late night meetings with “Uncle John” but never considered he was a snitch. Privately she thought he might be gay, which in her mind was preferable to being   snitch.

“The man she knew as a hard riding, hard drinking member of the Vagos MC, the man she had agreed to marry, the man who had saved her life and was the father of her unborn child had been lying to her for the  last 3 years and was secretly leading the life of an undercover Federal informant.” “Now he had 15 minutes to convince her to join him in the Federal Witness Protection program, or be killed by those he had  betrayed, along with their unborn child. He knew she wouldn’t take the news and this decision very well, but he never expected this.”

Gods of Mischief is a gripping true story about Big George Rowe, a reformed crystal meth addict and dealer, a bare knuckle brawler and convicted felon who seeks to satisfy his need for redemption by attempting to destroy the Vagos MC from the inside out. George becomes a full-patch member of the Hemut California Chapter and along the way falls in love with a struggling drug addict 20 years his junior, helping her with her addictions while trying to conquer his inner demons, never quite getting a handle on either. Far from the glamorized lifestyle of the bikers in the television series Sons of Anarchy, the MC world George Rowe lived in was dirtier, more mundane and filled with humans who seemed to enjoy and thrive on committing random acts of senseless violence.

In Gods of Mischief, Rowe carries the reader through a narrative (three years in the making) from an insiders perspective as he buys guns and drugs for the ATF and as a “Prospect” washes motorcycles and fetches tampons for his club brothers to pass the initiation phase on his way to becoming a full patch member of the Vagos. Now living under a new identity, in an undisclosed location courtesy of the US Witness Security Program, Rowe writes a revealing memoir of his activities with the Vagos MC. The life of a confidential informant is hardly the stuff of legends, and even those who walk entirely on the right side of the law have a love/hate relationship with them. On one hand we’re glad when justice is served on the predators, but, on the other hand, we don’t really like the informants who bring help bring the predators to justice. It’s hard to feel sorry for George Rowe, who lost everything trying to rid his town of what he saw as a criminal gang, terrorizing his friends and neighbors. It’s hard because we feel he dishonored himself, turned his back on his best friend. and in the process, became a little too much like those which he despised. For snitches like Rowe, the end justified the means, but it also shows there is no  honor, even among thieves, and we place a high value on honor. Is this book a “tell all?” Probably not. The publisher, Simon and Schuster, does a good job of whitewashing Rowe’s unsavory past (and present  actions) and painting him as someone who was motivated by the desire to “avenge” the murder of a friend. While most readers will never sympathize with Rowe, the narrative is still compelling enough to carry the story. If the 1% outlaw biker lifestyle intrigues you, then Gods of Mischief, My undercover vendetta to take down the Vagos Outlaw motorcycle gang is a good way to spend a cold weekend inside. It starts off a little slow, but revs up halfway in and even though you know how it ends, you’ll find yourself caught up in the emotional turmoil and you’ll be turning pages late into the night.

Available from Touchstone Hardcover / Simon and Shuster for $25.99; (ISBN 978-1-4516-6734-9)


Full Throttle Final Episode Reaches 1.9 Million Viewers

Michael Ballard heads the demented circus at The Full Throttle Saloon

Michael Ballard heads the demented, but profitable circus at The Full Throttle Saloon

The Full Throttle Saloon capped its fourth season with the marriage between co-stars Michael and Angie Ballard, and left fans wondering about the fate of Jackyl front man Jesse James Dupree.

(Spoiler alert)  It doesn’t take a Scotland Yard detective to figure out Jesse is alive as fans of the show have pointed out on Facebook, since there’s no entry on his Wikipedia page listing his death and the band has tour dates and are still selling tickets.

Have you heard the one about the jackass that walks into this bar…? Michael and Angie Ballard interview 2010

But all that drama translated into the one of the largest audiences for the biker bar reality show.

Almost 2 million viewers watch the final episode which was a 29% boost from the previous week.  According to TruTV,  Full Throttle Saloon has averaged 1.9 million viewers, 1.2 million adults 18-49 and 675,000 men 18-49.

For those of you who don’t know the show,  Full Throttle Saloon is a behind-the-scenes look at Michael Ballard’s enormous, 30-acre indoor/outdoor watering hole (Full Throttle Saloon) during South Dakota’s annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.   Each year, “The Throttle” has nine days to generate enough cash to cover its 300 employees, 100 of which are voluptuous go-go dancing bartenders. The expansive venue features large and small performance stages, a burn-out pit, a tattoo parlor, a wrestling ring, restaurants, dozens of stores, hundreds of cabins for rent and parking for the thousands of bikers who come to town for the annual motorcycle fest. “This is the ultimate destination for people who love badass motorcycles, kick-ass rock and roll, beautiful women and a cold belly washer,” says Ballard’s business partner, Jesse James Dupree.

Full Throttle Saloon is executive-produced by Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Frank Sinton of A. Smith & Co. Productions; Jesse James Dupree of Mighty Loud Entertainment; and Arnold Rifkin of Cheyenne Enterprises. The project emerged from a newly formed partnership between Dupree and Rifkin.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON® BREAKOUT® BELONGS TO THE STREET

Press Release –  The 2013 Harley-Davidson® Breakout® motorcycle is an urban prowler, a bike ready for a midnight ramble to the roadhouse or a rib joint rendezvous with the crew. Green light? Crack the throttle to deliver a muscular dose of American V-Twin torque and etch the asphalt with a fat rear tire. The Breakout will be long gone, along with its rider’s inhibitions.

 With authentic swagger that turns heads in traffic and a proud stance certain to draw a curb-side crowd on bike night, the Breakout is presented as a premium model in its segment with distinctive finishes and specific components not breakout low resavailable on other Harley-Davidson bikes. Long and low-slung, the Breakout features a 240mm rear tire visually balanced with thick forks and chopped fenders, while a shaved tank console and a drag handlebar keep the profile low. A Twin Cam 103Bpowertrain and other components are trimmed in gleaming chrome and gloss-black paint.

 Like the acclaimed 2013 Custom Vehicle Operations™ (CVO™) Breakout® model that precedes it, the Breakout features styling that’s smooth, tight, and intended to showcase the engine and the tires.

 “With Breakout we got down to motorcycle essentials, which means emphasizing the powertrain and the wheels,” says Harley-Davidson Styling Manager Kirk Rasmussen. “The black and chrome engine visually pops out of the center the bike, and then to maximize the impact of the tires, the fenders are chopped. We wanted a lot of rubber showing to give the Breakout a tough, muscular look.”

 The Gasser wheels are new and specific to the Breakout, according to Rasmussen.

 “We’ve always loved the gasser-style drag racing wheels from the 1960s and ‘70s,” says Rasmussen. “Our wheels are loosely inspired by those classics. Each wheel has 10 half-round spokes. The gloss-black powdercoat is machined away on alternating spokes and the rim edge to expose the aluminum under the paint.”

 A gloss-black finish is also applied to the new cast aluminum oil tank, as well as fork lowers, brake rotors, muffler shields and the handlebar.

 “To lower Breakout’s overall profile, we placed the speedometer on the handlebar riser,” says Rasmussen, “and topped the fuel tank with a black leather strip that covers the seam, and a chrome-plated pod that’s just high enough to conceal necessary wiring and vent lines. The handlebar is a new curved drag bend that which I think feels aggressive when you ride.”

 The Softail® chassis mimics the clean lines of a vintage hardtail frame, but utilizes rear suspension control provided by coil-over shock absorbers mounted horizontally and out of sight within the frame rails. The Breakout is available with ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) and the Harley-Davidson security system as a factory-installed option.

 Key Breakout Features

 • The Twin Cam 103B™ engine with 103-cid (1690cc), counter-balanced and rigid-mounted within the frame, is rated at 95.5 ft. lbs. of torque at 3000 rpm. The engine is equipped with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), and Automatic Compression Release    (ACR), and is mated to a 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission.

 • The powertrain is finished in black powdercoat with chrome covers and gloss-black shields over chrome dual-staggered mufflers.

 • Gasser-style 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels are finished in gloss-black powdercoat with machined highlights; 8 by 18-inch rear and 3.5 by 21-inch front.

 • Floating front and rear brake rotors have gloss-black carriers.

 • Front and rear fenders are chopped. The front fender location and bracket are specific to the Breakout. The rear fender is shaped and positioned to fit close to the 240mm tire. One-piece forged aluminum rear fender supports are highly polished.

 • The front end spreads 49mm forks approximately 1.75-inches wider than previous FX Softail models to allow fitment of a 130mm front tire. The fork lowers and headlight bucket are finished in gloss black.

 • New Single-Rib Cast Aluminum Oil Tank is finished in gloss black.

 • A five-gallon fuel tank is topped with a black molded-leather strip and a low-profile chrome cover.

 • The two-piece seat features a passenger pillion that may be removed without tools for solo   riding and to fully expose the rear fender. Laden seat height is 24.7 inches.

 • An all-new wide drag-style handlebar is finished in gloss black. The speedometer is mounted on the chrome pull-back handlebar riser.

 • The side-mounted license plate and combination stop/turn/tail lights leave the wide rear fender uncluttered.

 • The glass-filled fuel tank medallions and graphics are exclusive to the Breakout.

 • Available solid colors include Vivid Black, Big Blue Pearl and Ember Red Sunglo.

 Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s website at www.harley-davidson.com.