Long Strange Trip for Indian

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

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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.

 

Zero Offers Three Day Evaluation For Law Enforcement Agencies

zero-motorcycle-police_mainSANTA CRUZ, Calif. (April 1, 2014) – Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in the electric motorcycle industry, today announced a new program to support law enforcement agencies. In response to growing interest and demand from police departments, Zero is offering 100% electric patrol motorcycles for a 3-day evaluation period, allowing officers to experience the advantages in their own jurisdictions.

“Over a dozen departments have added Zero motorcycles to their patrol fleets in the last six months,” said John Lloyd, Vice President of Worldwide Sales at Zero Motorcycles. “The feedback from our law enforcement customers is extremely positive, so we are looking at ways to make it easier for agencies to see for themselves how well Zero motorcycles can work in a wide variety of applications.”

“The addition of the Zero motorcycles to our patrol fleet is a huge benefit. The bikes are quiet, cost effective and ‘green,’ making them an ideal mode of transportation for our officers,” said Ron Levine, Chief of Police for the Foothill-De Anza Community College District. “In addition to general police duties, the motorcycles will be used for patrol in the parking garages and lots, which can be targets for auto burglars. Because the bikes are almost silent, they can patrol an area almost undetected, giving the police officers an element of stealth.”

“We like to use the Zero when patrolling parks and rural areas. It’s environmentally friendly for us and keeps the noise down…one, for the neighbors, and two, it allows the ability to sneak up on people,” said Sgt. David Ball of Scotts Valley Police Department.

Stealth and the element of surprise are common themes expressed by the officers who have used the motorcycles in the field. Departments are seeing performance and economic benefits, as well: instant torque from zero RPM, a high degree of maneuverability, no need to shift gears, maintenance-free powertrain, and about a penny-per-mile operating costs adding up to long-term savings.

For more information on Zero Motorcycles or to apply for the 3-day evaluation program, visit zeromotorcycles.com. Note that Zero Motorcycles Police and Security models are available exclusively to authorized organizations. Demo motorcycles and the 3-day evaluation program are subject to availability, and certain terms and conditions apply. Contact Zero Motorcycles at (888) 786-9376, ext. 105, or FleetSales@zeromotorcycles.com for details.

About Zero Motorcycles
Zero Motorcycles is committed to transforming the motorcycling experience by bringing to market highly innovative electric motorcycles that offer exceptional value and performance. Zero is powered by innovation, driven by passion, guided by integrity, and measured by results. Through extensive research, insight and experience, Zero combines the art and science of motorcycle development to create and manufacture products that excite consumers and inspire brand loyalty. Zero is determined to be the preeminent global electric motorcycle company.

Riders Discount Racing Makes History Becoming First Triumph To Win Daytona From Pole Position

Daytona-200-winner-Danny-EslickDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 15, 2014) – Danny Eslick and the #69 Riders Discount Racing team made history by becoming the first Triumph team to win the Daytona 200 from the pole position. Eslick is the first Triumph rider to win the race since Gary Nixon in 1967 and the pole position since Paul Smart in 1971.

“Gary Nixon was the last to win this race on a Triumph so this is pretty special. It doesn’t get much better than that,” said Eslick. “Whether I led out of the chicane or if I was fourth out of the chicane I knew I could lead at the stripe. Hats off to the Riders Discount crew for an awesome motorcycle.”

Eslick, of Broken Arrow, Okla., led 44 of the 200-mile race’s 57 laps. His margin of victory was an incredible 10.975 seconds.

“Pit stops for the Daytona 200 are the most important thing,” said the two-time AMA Pro Daytona SportBike champion. “You can’t have bad stops and we had great pit stops.”

“Danny and the Riders Discount team ran an incredible race. It was absolutely amazing to watch them make history,” said Greg Heichelbech, CEO of Triumph North America. “In addition to becoming the first Triumph to win the Daytona 200 from the pole, four of the top ten are Triumphs. Congratulations to all of the Triumph riders and teams for a great race at Daytona.”

A Triumph previously won the Daytona 200 three times. Don Burnett won in 1962, Buddy Elmore won in 1966, and Gary Nixon won in 1967. The first Triumph Daytona production motorcycle appeared in 1967, the Tiger T100R Daytona, as a tribute to Elmore’s victory.

This is the third time that a Triumph won the pole for the Daytona 200. Gene Romero was fast qualifier in 1970 with his 750cc Triumph Trident, and Paul Smart backed it up in 1971.

Four of the top ten finishers rode the Triumph Daytona 675. They include:

#69 Danny Eslick, Riders Discount Triumph

4. #50 Bobby Fong, Latus Motors/Castrol/Triumph

7. # 68 Luke Stapleford, Profile Racing

10. #15 Steve Rapp, D&D Cycles/Castrol/Triumph

15. #42 Kenny Riedmann, RRM/Castrol/Triumph

24. #71 Lee Farmer, Apex Race Services

29. #21 Elena Myers, Apex Manufacturing/Castrol/Triumph

31. #40 Jason DiSalvo, Sportbike Track Time/Castrol/Triumph

After 40 Year Absence, Triumph Returns To The Pole At Daytona

1TriumphThree Of The Top 10 Qualifiers Are Riding Triumph’s Daytona 675

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 14, 2014) – Two-time AMA Pro Daytona SportBike champion Danny Eslick and the #69 Riders Discount Triumph team won the pole position for the 73rd running of the Daytona 200 at Daytona International Speedway. It was the first time a Triumph won the pole for this prestigious race in 43 years, when Paul Smart rode a Triumph Trident 750 in 1971.

“Winning the pole at Daytona is always special, but this one is really sweet since it’s the first Daytona 200 pole for Triumph since 1971,” said Eslick. “Everything just clicked with the bike, the team, and working the draft. It was a smoking hot lap for sure.”

The fastest lap Eslick turned in with his #69 Triumph Daytona 675R was 1:49.292, nearly three-quarters of a second faster than the second place qualifier. His top speed was 182.629mph on the 675cc machine.

“Congratulations to Danny and the Riders Discount team for their achievement, and to all of the Triumph riders and teams,” said Greg Heichelbech, CEO of Triumph North America. “It’s a great feeling to see such a strong showing of Triumph’s at Daytona. We’re looking forward to a great race.”

This is the third time that a Triumph won the pole for the Daytona 200. Gene Romero was fast qualifier in 1970 with his 750cc Triumph Trident, and Paul Smart backed it up in 1971. While the machines that Eslick, Smart and Romero rode are separated by more than 40 years of technology, all three machines feature Triumph’s signature inline triple engine.

Jason DiSalvo, the 2011 Daytona 200 winner, qualified fourth with his #40 Sportbike Track Time/Castrol/Triumph.

“We had a solid day and the team’s really pumped up about the race tomorrow,” said DiSalvo. “It’s fantastic that so many Triumph’s are in the top ten today. I think we’re going to see even more Triumph’s in the top ten tomorrow during the race.”

Qualifying seventh is British Supersport competitor Luke Stapleford of Leicestershire, England. Stapleford and his # 68 Profile Racing team traveled to Daytona because “This is a nice chance to get in a bit of riding before the British Supersport season.” Stapleford continued, “The race distance is quite difficult mentally. A top six is the aim in the race and I’d class that as a job well done.”

There are six other Triumph riders in the Saturday, March 15, race at Daytona International Speedway. Those riders and their qualifying positions are:

12. #50 Bobby Fong, Latus Motors/Castrol/Triumph

19. #21 Elena Myers, Apex Manufacturing/Castrol/Triumph

21. #15 Steve Rapp, D&D Cycles/Castrol/Triumph

23. #42 Kenny Riedmann, RRM/Castrol/Triumph

39. #71 Lee Farmer, Apex Race Services

40. #62 Shaun Summers, D&D Cycles/Castrol/Triumph

A Triumph has won the Daytona 200 three times. Don Burnett won in 1962, Buddy Elmore won in 1966, and Gary Nixon won in 1967. The first Triumph Daytona production motorcycle appeared in 1967, the Tiger T100R Daytona, as a tribute to Elmore’s victory.

Watch the Daytona 200 live at the newly launched fanschoice.tv. Pre-race ceremonies begin at 12:00pm EST and the race at 1:00pm EST.

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Honda Recalls Almost 7,000 Sportbikes for Loose Bolts

check your bike and see if it's in this list.

check your bike and see if it’s in this list.

Honda is recalling 6,954 model year 2013 CB500 (FA, F, XA, X) and CBR500 (RA, R) motorcycles.

The rocker arm shaft retaining bolts may have been manufactured incorrectly resulting in the bolts loosening during engine operation. A loose bolt will initially result in a slow leak of engine oil, but if not addressed, the bolt can come out of the cylinder head entirely. Without a bolt, the engine will have reduced power which may result in a stall, increasing the risk of a crash.

Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the rocker arm shaft retaining bolts, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in March 2014.

Owners may contact Honda Customer Service at 1-866-784-1870.

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

Fairless and Allstate Display Custom Built Victory

fairlessAll day today March 7, Allstate Insurance Company and legendary motorcycle builder Rick Fairless will display at Daytona Bike Week his latest custom creation – a reimagined Victory Vegas 8-Ball.

The custom-built motorcycle is part of this year’s grand prize for the Allstate Motorcycle Sweepstakes and will feature signature Rick Fairless designs and customization never before seen by the public. This is the fifth year of the Allstate Motorcycle Sweepstakes and the first year that a Fairless custom is featured as the grand prize.

“When Allstate asked me to build this year’s bike, they asked for one that really fit the image of its riders. I knew I had to push the limits a little with this bike because they insure so many different kinds of folks,” Fairless said. “We ended up with a bike that is really going to turn some heads. This ain’t a bolt-on custom.”

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Fairless will be on hand to help debut the new custom machine at the Allstate Rider Protection Zone, which is located at Daytona Speedway. Riders in attendance will have the opportunity to see the bike in-person, learn more about how the Allstate Victory Vegas 8-Ball came to be from Fairless himself, enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win the motorcycle, as well as see some of the other custom bikes Allstate owns, including Arlen Ness and Dave Perewitz originals.

In addition to winning the motorcycle, Allstate will give the winner a trip for two to Rick Fairless’ Strokers Dallas for a free custom paint job consultation, personalized by Fairless himself.

“We’re confident that the winner of this year’s Allstate Motorcycle Sweepstakes is not only going to love their new ride,” said Pam Hollander, senior director of marketing for Allstate Insurance Company, “but they’re also going to love the whole Allstate experience.”