Long Strange Trip for Indian

Editor Scott Cochran –  It occurs to me what a long, strange trip its been.

indian

Harley and Indian enjoy a level of devotion unrivaled in the motorcycle industry.

But, at least I’m still riding.

Ok…I stole that first line from the Grateful Dead’s song, “Truckin.” Written by the band and released in 1970, that song defined a generation and the psychedelic culture of the 70’s.

“Truckin” reached #37 in 1971 and was the only chart success the Dead achieved until “Touch of Grey” was released in 1987 and eventually broke into the top ten.

The story of the Grateful Dead and their music, does have some direct correlation to motorcycling. The leader, Jerry Garcia was a Harley rider as well as Ron “Pig Pen “ McKernan. Their first manager, G.H. “Hank” Harrison was also a motorcycle rider.

In the beginning (1965) the band even used the name “The Warlocks” which was also adopted by a motorcycle club that founded in 1967. The Dead eventually changed their name, not because of the MC, but because of another band in the area was also using the name Warlocks.

The Grateful Dead played over 2,000 concerts (Guinness Record) during their career, and by many estimates played to more than 25 million people, (600,000 at one show!) more than any other band.

But, by the measure of commercial / popular music, radio play the band never sold enough records to be considered wildly successful.

But its fans, The Dead Heads, were the reason for the band’s longevity and the money making machine it eventually became.

A hard-core group of fans, who will stick with you through thick and thin are worth their weight in LSD, (not that I would know what LSD is worth…)

And that’s where I’m going with this months ramble…. Fans.

Harley-Davidson, like it or not, has enjoyed (through the years) the loyalty of a group of customers unequaled by any other motorcycle manufacturer.

The reason, I believe, is not based in the machines, anymore than the Grateful Dead’s rabid fan base was because of the music.

The reason thousands of people followed the Dead around the country and tens of thousands of people inked the Bar and Shield onto their skin is…The Culture.

It’s what the brand said about them. Who the customer wanted to be and who the customer wanted to be identified with.

Whenever you see a “Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac” even though that vehicle is the symbol of the Right-wing upper-middle-class American bourgeoisie (Don Henley’s words) you can be sure the owner is someone who wants to be associated with the 70’s counter-culture movement. Someone who sees themselves as a “hippie” stuck in a white collar world.

The same (sort of) thing when you see a Harley-Davidson bumper stickers on a Honda Prius.

Until recently, Harley-Davidson could lay claim to being the only motorcycle brand with enough heritage to satisfy the owner who wanted something more than just a motorcycle. Today Harley-Davidson’s dominance in that space is being challenged by a revived Indian Motorcycle.

Looking back to 2008, it would have made more sense for HD to buy the intellectual property rights to their old nemesis Indian, instead of spending $109 million dollars on MV Agusta.

I’m guessing it would have been a better investment than the Italian motorcycle maker turned out to be. (not to manufacture Indian motorcycles but to keep anyone else from doing it) But, you can’t prove a negative so speculation is useless.

The common belief is that healthy competition is good for everyone involved.

Competition breeds innovation and prevents companies from becoming stagnant by relying on outdated manufacturing processes and market assumptions.

Indian is certainly bringing new ideas to the heavyweight cruiser market. Their five (5) year bumper to bumper warranty is the first (I know of) in the industry and has convinced many tire kickers to take the plunge, even though there may not be a dealer near them.

Once Indian has established dealers in most major metropolitan areas, the turf wars will really heat up, and it will be interesting to watch the brands as they compete for one another’s customers.

Or….maybe they’ll be able to increase the pie for both brands and sell more motorcycles overall than either would have been able to do alone.

I hope that’s the case.

It’s been a long strange trip for the brand that started in 1901 as Hendee Mfg Co. in Springfield Massachusetts.

And I’m not alone in thinking that Polaris is the last company who has any chance to revive the brand to its glory days.

But if the resurrection is to be successful, Indian will have to find a way to connect with enthusiast who values the intangibles as much as a reliable motorcycle.

The dealers will have a lot of that responsibility on them. They must work hard to foster a “community” of owners and realize their mission is more than just moving units out the door. Their mission must be to establish and nurture the “culture” of Indian motorcycle ownership.

If they do that, and Polaris commits to staying in for the long haul, then maybe, just maybe the pie will increase and we’ll introduce the Zen of motorcycling to a whole new generation.

Until next month, ride safe, and always take the road less traveled.

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Go-Daddy Founder Plans To Take Over The Harley World

GoDaddy Founder plans to build the largest HD store in the world in Arizona.

Everything Bob Parsons does is big.  From hunting big game in Africa, to outrageous and over the top Super Bowl commercials.   So it’s no surprise that once the big-daddy of internet domain names got into the motorcycle dealership business, he was going to eventually take on the status quo.

Yesterday it was announced that Parsons intends to build the “worlds largest” Harley-Davidson dealership in Scottsdale Arizona, at the Scottsdale Airpark, and relocating HD of Scottsdale from its current location to the new building.  According to GM Justin Johnson, the new dealership will be 146,000 square foot, eclipsing Destination Daytona by 37,000 square feet and Las Vegas HD by 42,000 square feet.

Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale is one of three motorcycle dealerships owned by billionaire GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons. That includes Go AZ Motorcycles in Scottsdale, with nine brands, and Southern Thunder Harley-Davidson in Southaven, Miss.

Parsons, a motorcycle enthusiast, also founded Spooky Fast Customs, which builds custom bikes.

The proposed two-story Scottsdale dealership would be built on 4.28 acres northeast of the existing 26,000-square-foot dealership that opened in 1998 at Hayden Road and Northsight Boulevard.  The closed Airpark Chrysler dealership would be torn down to make way for the new building.

In 2012 we interviewed Bob Parsons for our “I’m a Rider” feature.  Bob-Parsons-Go-Daddyhttps://www.google.com/url?

The complete story is at AZ Central.com

Here Comes The ‘Gov…Harley Style

1GovHarleyNevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has bought his raffle ticket for Las Vegas Harley-Davidson®’s one-of-a-kind Nevada Sesquicentennial-themed motorcycle.  The Governor stopped to check out the bike and show off his raffle ticket while at the 2014 DRI Nevada Medal Event at ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas on Thursday, March 27.

Celebrating Nevada’s 150th anniversary, 2,000 raffle tickets for the custom motorcycle are being sold with all proceeds benefitting the Nevada 150 Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization formed to support the Nevada Sesquicentennial Commission and official Nevada Sesquicentennial Events. Signed by the governor, the bike, a 2014 FLHX Harley-Davidson Street Glide®, will be raffled off at the grand opening of Las Vegas Harley-Davidson®’s new location this fall, which will be located directly on the Las Vegas Strip at 5191 S. Las Vegas Boulevard, just steps from the famed Welcome to Las Vegas sign.

Tickets are $150 each and can be purchased at Las Vegas Harley-Davidson® (2605 S. Eastern Ave., Suite 100, Las Vegas, Nevada 89169), at select Nevada 150 events throughout the state and at several additional events that the bike will be making appearances at throughout Clark, Nye and Lincoln counties.

Those interested can visit www.hdnv150.com or call (702) 431-8500 ext. 1183 for the latest information on upcoming bike appearances, raffle tickets, eligibility and full contest rules.

CONSUMER TIRE REBATE FROM HARLEY-DAVIDSON AND DUNLOP

whitewall, Dunlop, wheel, tire, tread, 101976Receive $40 H-D Gift Card with Purchase of Two Tires through April 30

MILWAUKEE (April 2, 2014) Participating Harley-Davidson® dealers and Dunlop® are teaming up to offer a $40 consumer mail-in rebate on a set of Harley-Davidson-branded Dunlop tires purchased between March 1 and April 30. The offer applies to a set of two new H-D/ Dunlop tires (excluding Police tires) and will be paid in the form of a $40 Harley-Davidson Gift Card. The gift card can be used at any authorized Harley-Davidson dealership or at h-d.com/ store. Dunlop tires are made in the USA and have been mounted as original equipment on Harley-Davidson motorcycles since 1984. Dunlop is recognized as one of the world leaders in motorcycle tire design, engineering and manufacturing excellence.

The H-D/Dunlop rebate offer applies to consumer purchases made exclusively at a participating Harley-Davidson dealership between March 1 and April 30, 2014. A form available from the participating Harley-Davidson dealer must be postmarked by June 15, 2014. Additional terms and conditions apply. See a participating Harley-Davidson dealer for complete details. To find a local Harley-Davidson dealer, visit h-d.com/dealer.

Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces 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.h-d.com.

 

Tennessee Dealership Facing Stiff Opposition from Residents

HDCS-LogoHarley-Davidson of Cool Springs wants to invest several million dollarsto build a new store in a new location but the local homeowners association is fighting the plan tooth and nail.
In this report by WZTV in Nashville, the owners of Cool Springs HD want to build a new dealership on 8 acres and install an amphitheater and become a “destination” dealership and that’s what nearby residents say they don’t want to happen.

 NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather

Just In time for Bike Week; Two New Harley-Davidson Models

The Return of the Rebellious Low Rider; Tour-Ready SuperLow 1200T

 Fresh off the unveiling of the new Harley-Davidson Street750 and the launch of Project RUSHMORE,   Harley-Davidson® (NYSE:HOG) unleashed today two new motorcycles that expand its diverse line-up of street bikes, and put more models for more riders on the showroom floor of each Harley-Davidson dealer.

The mid-year release of the retro-cool Low Rider® and rangy SuperLow® 1200T completes the largest new-model launch in Harley-Davidson’s 110-year history.

“It’s been a fantastic six months for us,” said Matt Levatich, Harley-Davidson Motor Company President and Chief Operating Officer. “First Project RUSHMORE, then Harley-Davidson Street, now the new SuperLow 1200T and Low Rider models — all are the result of being customer led and delivering riders the technical prowess and rebellious spirit that they want infused in each and every new Harley.”

low riderLow Rider

In 1977, Harley-Davidson created a ride-it-hard, put-it-away dirty, make-your-own-boundaries custom motorcycle that became an icon – the Low Rider. Today that defiant attitude returns with a vengeance as the legendary Low Rider model name is reprised for an all-new cruiser that rolls with old-school class and exciting new performance. A polished headlamp visor, wrinkle black trim, and split five-spoke aluminum wheels are touchstone styling elements from the original Low Rider model.

The unrelenting thrust of the Twin Cam 103 powertrain signals departure with a satisfying, throaty tone through twisting header pipes feeding a 2-into-1 exhaust. Suspension is calibrated for all-day comfort and precise handling, while dual-front disc brakes deliver capable stopping power. The new adjustable seat and handlebar risers enable a perfect fit for more riders.  Ample Genuine Motor Accessories offer endless possibilities for self-expression, so any rider can own the look and own the road.

SuperLow 1200T

Harley-Davidson opens the door to touring adventure with the SuperLow 1200T, a motorcycle that combines a nimble chassis with essential touring features and the power to ride to the horizon. A detachable windshield, locking saddlebags and Michelin® Scorcher™ 11T touring tires are standard equipment. Docking points accommodate detachable accessory racks and backrests for ease of customization.

1200T

A new seat and control ergonomics are shaped specifically to give more riders long-distance comfort. The SuperLow 1200T can run with the pack thanks to the power of a 1200cc Evolution® V-Twin engine, and it weighs 118 pounds less than the lightest Harley-Davidson Big Twin touring motorcycle. The finish is premium Harley-Davidson with aluminum wheels, an available two-tone paint scheme and plenty of brilliant chrome.

 

To swing a leg over a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle visit h-d.com to find a local dealer. The Low Rider and SuperLow 1200T models start arriving today in dealerships across the country, and are available to demo during Daytona Bike Week at the Harley-Davidson display at the Speedway.

Indian Ink; Wearing the Brand

In honor of Tat Tuesday, (also known as Fat Tuesday) we wanted to bring you this story of a unique tattoo.

Lonnie Hannah has been riding Harley-Davidson’s for a long time and he’s been a loyal customer. But, his connection with Indian motorcycles goes back longer to when his father built an Indian from spare parts. Now Lonnie, (who started working for the new Indian motorcycle company) is getting the ink to show he’s ready to change brands.

Yes, this is a promotional video from Indian, but that doesn’t change the fact that it looks like the Harley/Indian rivalry is back, in a big way. Is the market big enough for both? What do you think?

Harley-Davidson Motor Company Named Official Motorcycle of Bike Week

harley-davidson-rais_600x0wDaytona Beach, FL –According to the Daytona Beach Chamber of Commerce,  If you’re not on a Harley during  Bike Week 2014,, then you’re not official.  But, that’s somewhat old news as Harley-Davidson has been the “official” sponsor for 26 consecutive years.   Daytona Beach Bike Week this Friday March 7th  and runs through March 16th

This year Harley has combined their corporate footprint at the Speedway.  

After several years with our displays split between Beach Street and Daytona International Speedway, we’re consolidating into one action-packed display at the Speedway to make it easier for our fans to experience everything we have in one easy-to-access location,” said Paul James, Harley-Davidson Director of North America Customer Experience. “And on Saturday March 8, we’ll be electrifying our display with an exciting special announcement at 1 p.m. that our fans will not want to miss.”

Harley-Davidson’s display at Daytona International Speedway will be open from Saturday, March 8 to Saturday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with free motorcycle parking and a wide range of displays and activities including 2014 model year motorcycles, Genuine Motor Accessories, Harley-Davidson MotorClothes, the Fit Shop, H-D1 customization, a Women’s Area, Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) motorcycle raffle, H-D Visa, Willie G. and H.O.G. merchandise, beverages, musical entertainment and more. Harley-Davidson will be a stop on the AMSOIL Treasure Hunt map, also located at the Official Harley-Davidson tent at the Daytona International Speedway (H.O.G. tent on their footprint) where riders may get their passport stamped .

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.com.

Additional information on Bike Week in Daytona Beach can be found by downloading the Official Bike Week iPhone App and also on the Official Daytona Bike Week Website at www.officialbikeweek.com  featuring the largest online resource for attendees and designed to offer a litany of choices of activity.

For information on any aspect of Bike Week 2014, contact the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce at 386-255-0981.

Akrapovič goes ‘cruising’ with the Harley-Davidson Open-Line range

Akrapovič has launched an aftermarket premium range of exhaust systems to target the most popular Harley-Davidson models and give owners even more exclusivity from their hogs.

The Akrapovič Open-Line range is a unique design that offers outstanding performance and the unmistakable deep resonant sound of Akrapovič. In a genre where bigger and louder is definitely better, the new Harley exhausts from Akrapovič will transform the look and sound of the motorcycle and make an already unmistakable machine stand out even more from the crowd.

The finest craftsmanship from Akrapovič’s manufacturing technicians goes into every single exhaust, with hours of intricate design and development. The latest techniques and materials—as well as knowledge developed on the racetrack—all go into making these some of the best-looking accessories you can add to a Harley-Davidson, and ones that will also improve the whole sensory experience. During the production process, the exhaust was carefully tuned for that authentic custom sound experience enjoyed not only by the rider, but everyone else.

Manufactured to the highest standards from stainless steel, these pipes are available in chrome (S-HDTOR1-C) and black-coated (S-HDTOR1-B) versions. All of the Akrapovič Open-Line exhaust systems include headers, mufflers, and heat-shields, and an optional noise-reduction insert is available for those times when a Harley rider wants to be a bit more conservative—if there ever is such a time!

The Open-Line range isn’t just about looks and sound, though. Akrapovič engineers have shaved an incredible 26 lbs of weight from the OEM system and then added an extra 6 lb-ft of torque in the mid-range—just where it’s needed.

The Harley-Davidson Open-Line range is available for many models, including the Fat Boy, Electra Glide, Switchback, and Road King, among others. This great-looking exhaust is very easy to install, and adding it to one of America’s finest machines is an extremely simple task that can comfortably be carried out by the owner. A full explanation and easy-to-use mounting manual is included with the system. For perfect performance, throttle response, and durability, a specially developed mapping from Akrapovič’s partner Dynojet must be used. Please visit www.powercommander.com/powercommander for more details.

To see more from Akrapovič, visit its booth at Daytona Bike Week, from March 7th to 16th, 2014. This Slovenia-based company will be displaying its full custom-line (Open and Slip-On) exhaust systems and offering complete sales, marketing, and technical support. Whether it’s for a Harley or another motorcycle, come along and see the fantastic range of high-quality, precision-engineered exhausts that Europe’s finest manufacturer has to offer.

Akrapovič will be displaying its amazing Morsus custom bike, which signaled Akrapovič’s move into top-quality aftermarket custom motorcycle exhausts. This distinctive machine was a joint venture between Akrapovič and Slovenia-based Dreamachine Motorcycles—itself a renowned European custom workshop—and the Morsus simply stunned the European custom world when it was launched.

Showcasing a styling theme that echoed Akrapovič‘s emblem (morsus is Latin for ‘sting’ or ‘bite’), this outrageous and head-turning machine is a fusion of materials including carbon fiber and titanium. Mimicking an animal in many subtle ways is part of the bike’s appeal, from its clip-on style handlebars resembling claws, through to the bike’s mid-section, which curves in the same way the creature’s body arches, and the sweeping tail section that imitates the muscular and assertive sting. Built with the same passion and experience that goes into every Akrapovič exhaust, the Morsus is special, different, and very unique!

 

WARNING / USA & California

Various U.S. states and the U.S. federal government have individual laws regulating the use of aftermarket exhaust parts and systems, especially as those parts and systems modify, remove, or replace original equipment catalysts. Please consult the appropriate laws in your area before installing any aftermarket part or system on your vehicle to ensure compliance with all applicable laws. Neither Akrapovič d.d., Akrapovic America LLC nor any of their subsidiaries or the sellers of the parts or systems make any representation that any of their parts or systems comply with any such laws.

 

California laws prohibit the use of any aftermarket exhaust part or system that modifies, removes or replaces original equipment catalysts unless the California Air Resources Board has issued an Executive Order regarding such part or system or unless the part or system is exempted by being used only on racing vehicles on closed courses. Neither Akrapovič d.d., Akrapovic America LLC nor any of their subsidiaries make any representation that any of their parts or systems has received such an Executive Order or that any of their parts or systems conform with the racing vehicles exemption. The purchasers are entirely responsible for informing themselves of applicable California laws and to comply with those laws.

You Won’t Believe Which Brand Received The Worst “Reliability” Rating

12-BMW-K1600GTL-0151Consumer Reports surveyed 4680 subscribers who are motorcycle owners about the reliability of their motorcycles.  Out of those who responded to the survey, BMW touring and dual sport owners reported more problems with their motorcycles than owners of other brands.

One in every three BMW owners (33%)  said they’ve had an issue with their motorcycle in the past year.  One in every 4 Harley-Davidson owner (25%) reported an issue with their motorcycle.

Honda CBR, and Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R owners reported the least amount of problems.  The issues that were brought up the most by those who responded to the survey were problems with lights, switches, instrumentation, electrical or fuel systems.

Other brands such as  Kawasaki, Victory, Indian, Suzuki and Triumph were not ranked as the owners did not provide enough information as required by the survey.