Suzuki GW 250; Great Beginner Bike

by: Walt Lumpkin

The Suzuki GW 250 is a ideal beginner bike or "refresher" for the returning motorcycle rider

The Suzuki GW 250 is a ideal beginner bike or “refresher” for the returning motorcycle rider

The newest bike in the Suzuki line is the GW 250 and it gives them a low cost niche in the starter motorcycle lineup. This lightweight bike is 248cc’s of two wheel fun directed primarily toward the first time rider. With an MSRP of $3999 it is affordable for most wallets and is a good choice for those who have no interest in purchasing a used bike and dealing with the pitfalls that usually come with such a purchase while perfecting the intricacies of learning to ride on two wheels.

The GW250 boasts a side by side liquid cooled twin cylinder engine delivering enough horsepower to the ground to satisfy most beginners. While twenty four horses may not seem to be adequate to those of us who have been riding for years  think back to the first time you straddled a  large displacement bike.  Now think about how daunting it’s power and weight can be to a novice rider.

This bike is not intended to be an long touring interstate highway cruiser but is plenty of motorcycle for those who need practice and transportation on surface streets and rural highways with double nickel speed limits. During our media test rides speeds of eighty plus miles per hour were obtained on I-4. Although the bike is not really in its element at those speeds it is good to know you have the capability if needed.

The GW250 seat height of just over thirty inches and narrow seat makes it ideal for the new female rider and male riders that are vertically challenged. The ability to place both feet flat on the pavement when stopped is one thing that builds confidence in new riders. The stylish GW250 also makes for a great bike for the college set that just needs affordable and fuel efficient transportation around campus. It is easier to park too.

Highway speed is easily accessible via the smooth shifting six speed constant mesh transmission and the hybrid ergonomic seating makes the ride comfortable for most riders. The positioning is somewhere between sport bike and normal mid controls. The seat and suspension is fairly comfortable even for a six foot two hundred thirty pound guy like me. Overall Suzuki engineers have hit the middle ground by focusing on the best of sport bike and cruiser ergonomics.

The chain driven GW250 weighs in at a very light four hundred and three pounds. It is equipped with front and rear discs brakes that are more than adequate to stop this lightweight chain driven looker. The dash contains both analog and digital gauges along with flashy indicator lights. The electric starter brings the 250 to life with an effortless press of the starter button.

The GW250 gives Suzuki an entry level bike that should appeal to a wide range of consumers and the twelve month unlimited warranty should give buyers the confidence in Suzuki to take care of their new offering to the US market.

What do you think?  Take the survey after the photographs

BJN47596 BJN47641 BJN47659

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.

Thief Steals Harley-Davidson in Less Than 4 Minutes

Security camera footage captures a motorcycle thief stealing a Harley-Davidson Sportster at 4:30 am in less than 4 minutes. Most of that time the thief spent taking off whatever it was he had on the bicycle he rode up on and then disposing of it off camera. Once he gets it hot wired and started he proceeds to break the fork lock by repeatedly slamming the handlebars back and forth. This video shows the necessity for a good cable lock or chain which may have slowed him down enough for police to arrive or just made it too difficult to steal.

Fictional Bikers Say They Saved Harley-Davidson

bobbyHe couldn’t save his fictional club brother Opie  who was killed in season 5, but  Bobby Munson (Mark Boone Jr.) tells the Hollywood Reporter that the hit cable show Sons of Anarchy “basically saved Harley-Davidson.”    Read it here.

Whoa there Bobby…that’s pretty big talk from a fictional patch holder.

It’s true that 7 years ago when the show first started, the motorcycle industry was just starting to swirl around the economic toilet drain, and several high profile manufacturers flushed themselves out,  but to claim that a television show “saved” a major motorcycle manufacturer from bankruptcy is…well…bullshit.

If  the Hollywood Reporter has their facts straight, Harley-Davidson is selling more bikes today than a few years ago and is leading the 18-34 market.  And, while 2012 overall sales increased 6 percent, if you believe that’s what saved the Bar and Shield, then I’ve got oceanfront property in Nebraska that I’ll sell you at $500 an acre.

What saved Harley-Davidson was draconian cuts in operating costs, new deals with it’s union, expansion of overseas markets and a recovering US economy that had nothing to do with the show being popular, any more than Then Came Bronson kept Harley-Davidson alive back in the 70’s.

I’ll bet the cut on my back on that.

What Makes A Woman Happy?

Turns out you don’t need a genie to tell you how to make and keep a woman happy.

A new study shows that women who ride their own motorcycles are noticeably happier — in life, in relationships, and even in the bedroom — than women who don’t ride.

The study, conducted by Kelton Worldwide1A-women and commissioned by Harley-Davidson, interviewed 1,013 adult female riders and 1,016 adult female non-riders, and the findings make it clear that riding a motorcycle greatly improves a woman’s feelings of overall self-worth. Key insights surrounding women who ride motorcycles in comparison to those who don’t include the following:

  • More than twice as many always feel happy (37 percent of riders vs. 16 percent of non-riders)
  • Nearly four times as many always feel sexy (27 percent of riders vs. 7 percent of non-riders)
  • Nearly twice as many always feel confident (35 percent of riders vs. 18 percent of non-riders)

According to the study, more than half (53 percent) of women who ride cite their motorcycle as a key source of happiness and nearly three in four (74 percent) believe their lives have improved since they started riding.

“Riding a motorcycle is the ultimate form of freedom and self-expression, so it makes sense that women riders are happier in life and, in general, feel more fulfilled,” said Claudia Garber, Director of Women’s Outreach for Harley-Davidson. “That’s why learning to ride a motorcycle is the perfect gift you can give yourself and the best resolution to make for a truly life-changing new year.”

Riding Improves Relationships
Beyond positively impacting a woman’s sense of self, the study also shows riding can improve relationships. When it comes to romance, women who ride leave non-riders in their dust, being more content with:

  • Communication with their significant other (60 percent of riders vs. 38 percent of non-riders)
  • Physical intimacy (51 percent of riders vs. 35 percent of non-riders).

Stress can cause tension between significant others, but since more than a third (34 percent) of women riders report that they now feel less stressed after starting to ride, it’s not surprising that 50 percent of them are extremely satisfied with the state of their current relationships.

Where Women Can Get Started
Women can jumpstart their journey to live a more fulfilled life in 2014 and beyond by learning to ride a motorcycle. Women are encouraged to visit the Women Riders section of the Harley-Davidson website at www.h-d.com/women. The site equips women with a number of tools to start their journey toward riding, including testimonials, overviews of motorcycles and gear, and news about special Harley-Davidson Garage Party events designed to give women hands-on demos and tips in a comfortable environment. Women can search for a Garage Party™ in their area at www.h-d.com/garageparty.

The site also features information about Harley-Davidson’s Rider’s Edge New Rider Course, which is offered at select dealerships around the country.  The course features 25 hours of expert guidance in the classroom, as well as the practice range, where you’ll learn everything you need to know to ride with confidence.  To sign up for a Rider’s Edge course at your local dealership, visit www.h-d.com/mytime.

Indian Auction Benefits Local Y

indian tankThe Indian Motorcycle Engineering, Design and Development team as well as Scott Wine, CEO of parent company Polaris Industries have all signed a one of a kind Indian Chieftain gas tank. This piece of history is being auctioned to benefit the local Twin Cities YMCA, and is mounted in a Plexiglas display case.  View the auction here https://give.ymcatwincities.org/yride

Harley Dealer Delivers Truckloads of Toys and Bikes For Children

RALEIGH, N.C. (PRWEB) December 23, 2013

Santa’s elves donned leather jackets on a recent Saturday as hundreds of motorcycle riders hit the streets for the annual Toys For Tots Ride, sponsored by Ray Price Harley-Davidson and the Raleigh Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.). Throughout November and December, the Ray Price dealership collected donated toys and bicycles to share with low-resource youth in the community. In all, Raleigh H.O.G., Walmart and Ray Price donated 80 bicycles and $2,500 in cash and toys to the U.S. Marines Toys For Tots.

“We enjoy the cruise-in with all our friends in Raleigh H.O.G., as well as partnering with the Marines to help put smiles on kids’ faces,” said Kris Weiss, Ray Price Harley-Davidson spokesperson.

The Raleigh H.O.G. makes a huge impact in the community. Earlier this year, employees of Walmart Triangle Town Center, including Raleigh H.O.G. member Billy Marshall, worked with store manager Bobby Parnell to donate their returned and damaged bicycles.

Raleigh H.O.G. members picked up the bikes, repaired them, and stored them at Ray Price Harley-Davidson to be distributed to the community throughout the year. In 2012, 40 bikes were donated to Toys For Tots.

The Toys For Tots Ride included participation in the Laying of the Wreath at the state capitol to honor fallen U.S. Veterans prior to the cruise-in to deliver the 80 bikes and truckloads of toys.

About Ray Price Harley-Davidson:
Now in its 30th year in Raleigh, N.C., Ray Price Harley-Davidson serves as one of the Southeast’s premier motorcycle dealerships. Staff has 950 years of combined Harley riding experience to provide award-winning customer service and education programs for beginners-to-expert riders.  The dealership’s commitment to community philanthropy has resulted in more than $100,000 in donations to local nonprofits in recent years. For nine years the annual Ray Price Capital City Bikefest presented by Nationwide Insurance has attracted between 85,000 and 100,000 people to Raleigh for the state’s largest motorcycle festival. In 2013, Ray Price was named a “Top 10 Dealer” nationwide by Dealernews.

About Marine Toys for Tots Foundation:
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not-for-profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Defense to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Now in its 66th year, Toys for Tots provides joy and a message of hope to economically disadvantaged children through the gift of a new toy or book during the Christmas holiday season. In 2012, Marines distributed holiday gifts to 7.2 million children in 740 communities nationwide. Since 1947, more than 209 million children have been assisted.

 

HARLEY-DAVIDSON CUSTOMERS CONTINUE TO DRIVE H.O.G. EVOLUTION

a HOG logoMILWAUKEE (Dec. 11, 2013) – Members of the Harley Owners Group®, the official riding club of Harley-Davidson Motor Company, celebrated H.O.G.’s commitment to freedom and self-expression by choosing a new logo for the world’s largest rider club.

The new visual element evolves the design of one of the most recognized symbols in motorcycling and creates more choices for members to express their pride in H.O.G.® membership.

“The iconic H.O.G. logo represents the passion of our riders, and no matter where in the world you go, chances are you’ll find a fellow rider wearing it. It’s a global symbol of freedom, independence and love of the open road,” said Harley Owners Group Director Ken Knuteson. “As part of our commitment to bring more value to our H.O.G.® members, we asked them to help direct the evolution of this powerful symbol.”

The new logo is the latest in a series of enhancements to the H.O.G.® membership experience in 2013, including a refreshed members-only web site, updates to the company’s Ride Planner online ride mapping service, and launching a digital edition of HOG® magazine for mobile devices.

More than 100,000 H.O.G.® members around the world voted online and overwhelmingly selected the winning logo over several proposed designs. The new design captures the spirit of the original Heritage design, which has been in use since the beginning of H.O.G. in 1983, and remains instantly recognizable to legions of H.O.G.® members around the world.

Major changes to the logo include bringing the Harley-Davidson Bar & Shield into the heart of the design, proudly representing H.O.G.® as the official riding club of Harley-Davidson, while the eagle shifts its gaze in a new direction to seek new horizons and adventures. Both the new and Heritage versions of the H.O.G. logo are available now on patches and other merchandise and will be joined by additional graphic options in the future to provide members with even more opportunities to express themselves and show their pride in membership.

With nearly 1 million members and more than 1,400 chapters in 140 countries, the Harley Owners Group® is the world’s largest rider club, providing its members with rewarding benefits and unique experiences that enhance their motorcycling experience. For more information about the Harley Owners Group visit h-d.com/hog.

Indian Motorcycle Unveils The Big Chief Custom

121313-2014-indian-big-chief-custom-01-633x389At the Indian Motorcycle display inside the International Motorcycle Show (IMS) at the Javits Center in New York City, Indian Motorcycle®,  revealed a fully customized, Indian Chief Classic conceptualized and designed by Indian Motorcycle’s Industrial Design team. The “Big Chief Custom” is the first custom Indian Chief created around the 2014 models introduced with great fanfare at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this past August.

Spearheaded by the head of Polaris Industries’ Industrial Design team Greg Brew, a small and dedicated team undertook the task of customizing a stock 2014 Indian Chief Classic.  It features an array of Genuine Indian Motorcycle aftermarket accessories along with a custom paint scheme and billet girder front fork. This Big Chief Custom was designed to spark owners imagination on how to customize, enhance and personalize the 2014 Indian Chiefs.

One special highlight of the custom build is the billet aluminum girder front end that recalls the early Indian models. Designed, machined and built in-house, the girder fork features fully machined uprights and sand-blasted billet cross members with a custom 23-inch front wheel. The custom front valance fender maintains the classic look of the Indian Chief. A custom shock and headlight complete the front end package. Custom paint was applied in-house by team member Steve Leszinski with a multicolored theme from prior generations of Indian Motorcycles. Another nod to the long history of Indian Motorcycle is the springer style seat, though updated through a cantilevered design. Combined with the standard  single rear shock, the Big Chief Custom promises to be a smooth ride.

121313-2014-indian-big-chief-custom-05-seat-detail-583x389 121313-2014-indian-big-chief-custom-06-583x389 121313-2014-indian-big-chief-custom-07-girder-fork-259x389 121313-2014-indian-big-chief-custom-14-new-york-city-518x389 121313-2014-indian-big-chief-custom-15-new-york-city-291x389The “Pinnacle Series” of Indian Motorcycle accessories on the Big Chief Custom includes the Cam Cover, Primary Cover, Chrome Grips and Beach Bars.  The robust sounding Stage 1 exhaust sports Fish Tail Tips. Other custom accessories include War Bonnet Floorboard Pads, a Heel Shifter and chrome Rear Fender Bumper.

The “Big Chief Custom” will be on display in the Indian Motorcycle exhibit as part of the 2014 International Motorcycle Shows tour. Remaining tour stops include Novi, Michigan; Washington, DC; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Cleveland, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; and Seattle, Washington.

The Display features the 2014 line of Indian Chief motorcycles including the Chief Classic, Chief Vintage and the Chieftain — Indians’ first-ever bagger. The display also includes the Spirit of Munro, a custom tribute to the legendary Burt Munro, and a display of vintage Indian motorcycles dubbed “Springfield Row” that will change from show to show. Additional features include an accessory and apparel display, a cut-away Thunder Stroke 111 engine and a rolling chassis that showcases the advanced technology underpinning all Indian Motorcycle models.

 

BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2007-2009 F800S and F800ST Motorcycles

bmw_f800s_sideBMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2007-2009 F 800 S and F 800 ST motorcycles manufactured August 2006 through January 2009. Due to incorrect tolerances, the rear wheel drive bearing and rear axle may wear. Bearing and axle wear may affect handling and control of the motorcycle, increasing the risk of a crash. BMW will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the wheel bearing, and if necessary, replace the bearing and rear axle, at no charge. The recall is expected to begin in December 2013. Owners may call BMW at 1-800-525-7417 or email BMW at CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com. 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.