Hall of Fame Supporter Wins 1973 Kawasaki Z1 and 2010 Z1000 in Motorcycle Hall of Fame Raffle

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — When he was growing up in the late 1970s, riding a Kawasaki KZ650, Scott Carey from Pecatonica, Ill., considered the 903cc Kawasaki Z1 the quintessential superbike of its day. Now, 40 years later, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame supporter has his dream bike. Carey won a restored 1973 Kawasaki Z1, as well as a new Kawasaki Z1000, in the 2011 Motorcycle Hall of Fame raffle on Saturday, July 23.

Carey’s winning ticket was drawn by event Grand Marshal and Hall of Famer Jeff Fredette during AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days featuring Kawasaki, Marque of the Year at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

“When I was growing up, the Z1 was the big boy,” Carey said. “I was talking to a friend about getting one just a few weeks ago. And the Z1000, just this spring I was looking at that as a new bike. This is just great. I’m very excited to win both of these bikes.”

Carey said that he donates to the Hall of Fame regularly, and considers the tickets another way of supporting the organization’s mission to preserve the rich tradition of motorcycling in America.

“I really think the Hall of Fame is a fantastic idea,” said Carey. “You never really expect to win these things. It’s good to support the Hall of Fame. It’s something that has to be done. Motorcycling is a big part of history.”

Carey, who competes in amateur roadracing, said that his Z1 — which has been expertly restored by Johnny’s Vintage Motorcycle Company — will probably see a few miles, but, for the most part, “it’s going to be added to the collection and admired.”

While Carey prepares to enjoy his Z1 and Z1000, Hall of Fame supporters can start planning for next year with the newly announced 2012 raffle bike, a stunning 1947 Indian Chief. The Indian Chief is an iconic masterpiece of Americana, representing not just America’s longtime love for big V-twin motorcycles, but riders’ passion for the open road. The winner will be selected at a drawing at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days in July 2012.

A minimum donation of $5 per ticket, or $20 for five tickets, is suggested. Donations can be made online at MotorcycleMuseum.org

or by phone at (614) 856-2222.

About the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation
Founded in 1990 by the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, the goal of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame is to tell the stories and preserve the history of motorcycling. Located on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association in Pickerington, Ohio, the Hall of Fame’s three major exhibition halls feature the machines and memorabilia of those who have contributed notably to the sport. The Motorcycle Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to motorcycling, including those known for their contributions to road riding, off-road riding and all categories of racing, as well as those who have excelled in business, history, design and engineering. More information can be found atMotorcycleMuseum.org

Terry Nesbitt, President, Viper Motorcycle Company Resigns

Auburn, Alabama July 8, 2011– Viper Motorcycle Company (OTCBB: VPW1.OB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Viper Powersports Inc., announced today the resignation and retirement of Terry Nesbitt, veteran employee, President of Viper Motorcycle Company and Director of Viper Powersports, Inc.

According to John Silseth, CEO, “Terry is a co-founder and long time valued employee. It’s been a pleasure to work together all these years. I’m sad to see him leave but wish him the very best. Terry will always be a part of the Viper team”.

Terry Nesbitt, stated, “It’s been a tough decision but it’s time. Having the opportunity to help build Viper into a new American made OEM over the years has been an honor. We are very proud of our accomplishments and believe Viper will continue moving forward and develop into a motorcycle industry force. I want to thank our share holders, dealers and customers as well as everyone involved in supporting our efforts. I continue to wish John and the entire Viper team much luck and continued success”.

Viper Powersports designs, manufactures and markets a line of premium American V-Twin Super Cruiser motorcycles, V-Twin aftermarket engines and other related aftermarket products through an independent dealer network. A joint venture partnership with Ilmor Engineering (www.ilmor.com), provides design, technical development and support for the proprietary 152 cubic inch Viper V-Twin engine, utilizing their 25 years of high-performance engine expertise, ensuring Vipers’ long term success as America’s newest domestic OEM of motorcycles. Viper Powersports and Viper Motorcycle Company’s websites are www.viperpowersports.com and www.vipermotorcycle.com.

The foregoing material may contain forward-looking statements. We caution that such statements may be subject to uncertainties and that actual results could differ materially from the fore-going statements. Readers accordingly should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which do not reflect anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances occurring after the date of these forward-looking statements.

Steven Tyler Joins Motorcycle Club

He is the Demon of Screamin, a walking, talking exclamation point who has become a living legend. The internationally known front man of Aerosmith, and now American Idol judge, Steven Tyler has earned many accolades. And now he’s part of a different kind of venture, a custom motorcycle company that’s located right here in the Granite State. Tiffany Eddy caught up with Tyler at the company’s Boston launch and got to sit down and talk about two of his favorite subjects… motorcycles and New Hampshire.

Read More Here..

Arthur Davidson, son of motorcycle company co-founder, dead at 97

Arthur Harley Davidson, son of Harley-Davidson Inc. co-founder Arthur Davidson, died Saturday night at age 97.

Davidson was not closely involved with the motorcycle company but had his own firm, Wenthe-Davidson Engineering Co., that’s been in business for 70 years.

Read more here..

Brief History –

Arthur Davidson (1881–1950) was one of the four original founders of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. One of Arthur’s favorite pastimes was fishing in the beautiful Wisconsinwilderness, which inspired him to create a motorcycle that would “take the hard work out of pedaling a bicycle”.

Arthur was a natural story teller, salesman and United States patriot. During World War I and II, Arthur and company diverted motorcycle production to support U.S. troops. This noble act was rewarded with returning troops ready, trained and willing to buy Harley-Davidson branded motorcycles.

The “Honey Uncle” story is one of the most memorable family stories about Arthur and a pivotal moment for the fate of Harley-Davidson company. One day shortly after Arthur’s cleaning lady visited he discovered the seed money he had stashed between his mattress to start Harley-Davidson was missing! Fortunately, Arthur was able to borrow the $500 in venture capital needed for Harley-Davidson from an uncle who owned a bee farm in Madison, Wisconsin. From then on, the uncle was known as the “Honey Uncle” for helping the business get off the ground. The bee farm on Lake Mendota was later sold to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and is now known as Picnic Point in the Lakeshore Nature Preserve.

Arthur was credited with the slogan that inspired he and his 21 year old friend Harley as they worked tirelessly in a 10 x 15 foot shed. The slogan was to “Take The Work Out Of Bicycling.”

Arthur was survived by his three children, Margaret, Arthur and James Davidson.

2011 Star Stryker- Affordable Attitude

Sitting in the press meeting at the historic Driskol Hotel in Austin, Texas, preceding the first ride of the new Stryker 1300, there are familiar faces wearing Star shirts. Long-term employees and lifelong motorcyclists, I’m among designers, product planners, accessory specialists, road testers, media staff and more. A closely-knit team of highly qualified and dedicated people, all directly responsible for the way the new Stryker’s styling, character and how you can customize it to your own personal preference.

This is a machine built for the American riding public, designed, refined and styled after much time and effort spent interviewing current riders, cruiser and non-cruiser. Then long periods of time riding and evaluating and improving, until the motorcycle you see here is ready for sale. And just in case you think Yamaha slipped a bottle of Scotch in a goody bag before the introduction, take a quick look at Star’s sales figures. As the motorcycle company that sits second in number of units sold, and the company that is nipping away at Harley’s heels, it’s clearly this cohesive mix of home-based knowledge and talent, blended with Yamaha’s pursuit of excellence that is making the Star brand excel.

Just looking at the Stryker outside the Driskol on the morning of our ride confirmed all these feel good thoughts from the previous evening’s launch. The bike sits low, with a lean, muscular stance and has plenty of chrome and deep luster custom-look paint work. It has the chopper style with the wide bars, raked out front end and big rear tire, but swinging it up off the side stand, it thankfully doesn’t have the chopper feel. Bikes with extended front ends have the heaviest and least precise steering of any motorcycle produced, but not so the Stryker. The somewhat lazy rake and trail of 34 degrees and 109mm extend the wheelbase more than two inches longer than the V Star 1300 at 68.9 inches. Like its bigger brother, the Star Raider, it deals with it extremely well. Sure it’s not quite as sharp at speed on very twisty roads, but for the majority of riding situations it’s barely noticeable. The 21-inch front wheel allows the front end to become skittish on very rough pavement, and the somewhat basic suspension will send big bumps directly through to your vertebrae, but when ridden on smoother roads and at sensible speeds, the Stryker performs just fine.

Built on the V Star 1300 platform, a bike that’s been with us since it replaced the venerable V Star 1100 in 2007, there are a few changes to the over square 1304cc, 60 degree, V-twin engine for 2011. The Stryker engine gets a slightly higher lift camshaft and roller rocker arms for a little more power, and the ignition and fuel injection have been changed to work with a larger three-liter air box to complement these changes.

The 100mm pistons use a conservative 9.5:1 compression ratio and run in 83mm ceramic composite cylinder sleeves. The engineers have worked hard to give the engine character, but not at the expense of unnecessary vibration. A bike we think of as mid size, the Stryker has plenty of power from idle up to the 6600 rpm red line. It’s not going to rip your arms out of your sockets when you crank the throttle and put the 40mm Mikuni throttle bodies to work, but it certainly has some good, healthy grunt. I liked not having to down shift to overtake on the highway, and the bike’s ability to rumble along at low rpm and accelerate without any fuss if needed, can be credited to the excellent fuel injection.

With a weight wet of 646 pounds, the Stryker is no lightweight on paper, but it’s cleverly disguised the by the low 26.4 inch seat height and wide bars. Yamaha fully expects a third of it’s Stryker sales to come from female riders, so this is a good thing, as it will certainly be a confidence booster. The ability to put your feet flat on the floor, not needing to wrestle the bars to turn the wheel like a conventional chopper, will make life a lot more pleasant not only for the ladies, but for newer riders stepping up to their first full sized bike.

The chopper theme is certainly evident with the wide 210/40R 18-inch rear tire and 120/70 21-inch front, but the Yamaha team has done their homework with their tire choice. Where conventional choppers use a very skinny front tire, the wider one used on the Stryker calms things down and makes the bike steer a lot better while improving stability. While this set up is not my cup of tea, overall the combination does a much better job in all areas of road holding than I would have thought initially reading the press literature.

The Stryker comes with regular forward positioned foot pegs. The six-speed gearbox makes light work of shifting gears, and power is taken to the back wheel by a clean, quiet maintenance free belt drive system. A single disc brake is used up front, and this is a generic looking two-piston caliper lightly massaging a 320mm single disc. There is a one-piston caliper in the rear with a 310mm disc, and to stop in a hurry, you will need both of them in tandem, as they are somewhat modest in their performance.With a bike of this nature though, I would hope you wouldn’t be doing too much sport riding as the Stryker is about good looks, great feel and the custom cruiser lifestyle. The paint quality on the four-gallon gas tank is first class and is carried over on the fenders and side panels. Fenders are deliberately made of steel so they can easily be modified or repainted to your own choice once you start accessorizing. The stock pipes have a very custom look as delivered and certainly compliment the bike’s looks.  Star is always quick on the draw with their tag line, “We build it, you make it your own,” but this really is the perfect way to describe the accessory options available for the Stryker. Chatting with the man in charge of these accessories, Dave Pooler, I learned there are a plethora of items already available, sixty to be precise. You can choose from billet covers, performance air filter kits, custom seats and back rests. There are mounts for saddlebags and a choice of windshields for traveling, so whatever your taste, Yamaha dealers have you covered.

Riding the stock bike, there’s no windshield, so the view over the chrome handlebars is very clean. There is however a small, centrally mounted console with a conventional analogue speedometer that sits in the center of the bars. All the usual warning lights, neutral light, trip counter fuel gage etc are located in the panel, and all work as intended. Switchgear is plain and functional, and a pair of conventional chrome mirrors let you get a fairly good view of what’s behind. The relationship of the bars to the seat and the foot pegs make the riding position relaxed, and during our day in the Texas hill country it was certainly very comfortable.

At the time of purchase, you can choose from a chrome trim or a more mean looking blacked out package, and the base price of the new Stryker is $10,990 for the Raven and $11,240 for the Impact Blue or Reddish Copper version. It comes with Yamaha’s normal one-year factory warranty. Parking back at the Driskol at the end of the day, I had a chance to spend some time with the Yamaha guys and see their passion and enthusiasm for the tight, competent,  and fun middleweight custom Star Stryker. They have done it again.

 

Victory Throttles into 2011

Riding through the slot canyons around Gateway, Colorado, with the headlight of a good friend occasionally blinking in my mirrors, I’m once again reminded that I belong to a small tribe, at least when compared the number of people there are in the world who don’t ride. Realizing how incredibly fortunate we are to experience the thrill of a new landscape from the saddle of a motorcycle, I down shift the big V-twin beneath me and dive into the next series of bends. Reacting to the change of pace, my buddy adjusts his speed, as I also realize that the Victory motorcycles we are riding belong to a relatively part of this tribe in the big picture of the motorcycle industry. This makes the large presence and awareness they have already established for themselves since their introduction in 1998 all the more remarkable.
[singlepic id=27 w=320 h=240 float=left]
Having arrived on the scene with their bikes being touted as “the new American motorcycle,” Victoryquickly began winning awards. Their 1999 V 92C took Cycle World’s “Cruiser of the Year,” with numerous awards to follow. Building on this success, “Fuel your passion” is now a new tag line at Victory to accompany the fifteen new models they have on offer in 2011. As we thunder alongside a breathtaking vista of deep river canyons and towering mountains, I’m having no trouble figuring out what it means.

Also, riding through some strange times in the motorcycle world with our current economy, it’s interesting to note the success Victory has been achieving in growing the brand. This is not so surprising, when you realize the Victory Motorcycle Company is headed by Mark Blackwell, the motorcyclist’s motorcyclist. There are few more qualified in our industry, and this is easily recognizable in the quality and versatility of the machinery and choice of machines he oversees. With the fat 250 tire models excluded, the have ridden put a premium on the ride experience, with great handling, braking and strong, useable power allied to superb fuel delivery. Realizing that while I’m not a fan of big tire bikes, many people are, and the Victory models certainly do a much better job than others I’ve ridden with this configuration. American Iron Horse has to be the worst offender, with Suzuki’s M109R coming a close second for honors in the most difficult to ride category.

With fifteen new models to potentially ride in one day, it seemed like a daunting prospect at first to give them a decent evaluation. But with all of the line up sharing the same basic 106 cubic inch, air-cooled V-twin engine, it actually wasn’t such a tough job. Starting with the one bike I know from the Victory line up, the Vision Tour, I learned this, the Cross Roads and the Cross Country actually have what is called the Stage 1 engine package. This gives the touring range engines milder camshafts and a lower maximum peak of 92 horsepower. With 109 lb-ft of torque, it’s man enough for the job, and I’ve made many a happy mile in the seat of a Vision in the past.

For 2011, Victory has made changes to the gearbox to quiet things down. Fourth and sixth gears have been worked over to reduce whine, and drive train lash has also been drastically reduced. After our day of testing, there was too much daylight and incredible scenery left for me to pack it in, so I jumped on a cruiser and headed out to shoot some photos. Paying particular attention to the gear whine, I was surprised how much noise there was and wondered why it wasn’t noticeable during the day. Well, I’ve never been the sharpest tool in the shed, so it took a while for the small, shriveled pea floating around inside the cerebral nut basket to register I was riding last year’s model. Enough said.

Visually there are few noticeable changes to the Vision Tour, which I personally think is one of the coolest looking motorcycles ever made, except new blacked out passenger handholds, redesigned muffler tips and new tubular handlebars. It does come standard with anti lock brakes this year though and will set you back $23,699. If you want something extra special, there is an Arlen Ness version, which is simply stunning to look at and retails for $27,999. As a top of the line luxury cruising motorcycle, the Vision Tour comes with all the bells and whistles, from capacious lockable storage to a fully integrated sound system and more. While I didn’t put any transcontinental type mileage on the new ’11, I did put enough miles on to remind myself why I enjoy this, comfortable, mile-eating motorcycle so much.

The Cross Country is a stylish bagger, with a large full handlebar mounted fairing that comes with a fully integrated audio system like the Vision, an MP3/iPod hook up and optional Satellite radio. It feels instantly lighter and more maneuverable than the Vision, but with a choice of hard bags or soft saddlebags, or the new accessory color-matched trunk you can make it perfect for long haul journeys. Comfortable and smooth, with a 4.8-gallon gas tank and cruise control, the Cross Country is going to easily live up to its name.

Braking is the same as the Vision, with a pair of 300mm dual discs up front using four piston calipers. A single 300mm disc is used in the rear, and unlike the Vision the system is not linked. Settling the bike well into corners, solid and predictable handling is certainly one of the Cross Country’s strong points. While it uses the same frame, forks differ from the Vision’s 46mm conventional units by using the same inverted 43mm units found on the Cross Roads. A single air assisted shock in the rear makes changes for passengers and luggage not only easy, but also as precise as you want to make it. Coming in a choice of three colors: Solid Black, Solid Imperial Blue Metallic and Two-Tone Pearl White and Vogue Silver. The base model is on showroom floors for $17,999. You can, of course, get a highly individualized Cory Ness version for $24,999, which comes with a host of Ness chrome and billet accessories, the cylinders diamond cut, a pair of beautiful sculptured billet wheels, custom suede seat and a Sun Set red custom paint job.

The Cross Roads itself comes standard with cruiser control and no fairing, although you can have the same lockable hard bags or soft saddlebag option as the Cross Country. Part of Victory’s Core Custom Program yhat allows the customer to choose their own color from a choice of Solid Crimson and Solid Black. They can also specify whether they would like the accessory windshield, different handlebars and either the soft or the hard saddlebags. There is the optional color matched lockable trunk from the Vision and Cross Country. This comes on and off the bike in seconds and requires no tools for this operation. Able to hold two full-face helmets with room to spare, it has two speakers for the passenger as well as a comfortable backrest. Added benefits are the high mount tail light, and if you want to accessorize it further, you can add a passenger arm rest kit and pick up a liner and a cargo rack for more luggage carrying capacity. It’s this attention to every detail that is so precise that really impresses me with the whole Victory experience. You can simply set the bike up exactly the way you want it before you ride it away from the dealership. Retail on this baby starts at $14,999 and there is a highly customized Cory Ness version for $24,999.

In the cruiser department, you have a mix of bikes centered on three models: The Vegas, the Kingpin and the Hammer. The Vegas Jackpot is one of the bikes that has a 250 series rear tire and a very skinny 90 profile, 21 inch front tire. Retailing for $18,999, it comes with a cool black and white paint job, with a glamour girl on the side panel. The bike is a real looker, but loses points from me for the rear tire and the very busy digital tachometer. Never settling at any one place, even when I tried to keep the throttle steady, it would need to go if I owned the bike. The engine is a peach though and with the same faultless fueling it has a little extra power thanks to the Freedom 106/6 Stage 2 engine, which gives a total of 97 hp and 113 ft-lb of torque. It also uses the newly revised six-speed transmission and a host of customizing options at time of purchase.

The Hammer and the Hammer S also feature this level of engine tune and the 250 series rear tire. Victory says they are “at the intersection of sporty styling and cruiser muscle” and with twin discs up front, an inverted fork and removable seat cowl, they certainly have some sporting attributes. A performance exhaust is available, as are lower controls, grips and covers. The standard Hammer retails for $17,999 with the S model coming in a little higher at $18,499. There is also the Hammer 8-Ball which is a more base line, blacked out version with less frills for $14,499.

The rest of the Vegas family of cruisers restored Mr. Happy to the saddle as they come with a 180 series rear tire and a cool custom looking skinny 90 series 21-inch tire up front. The best selling motorcycle of the Victory line up, and probably the best known, it’s a distinctive looking bike that works really well over a wide variety of road conditions. Wide pull back handlebars, low seat and custom quality paint give it the right look, and with the basic 8-Ball starting at $12,999, it’s the lowest priced Victory of the bunch. You can spend up to $18,999 for the Zach Ness version, and there are a number of accessories available like performance exhaust, windshields etc, at the time of purchase for all the Vegas line up if needed.

Last but not least, and one of the bikes I put the most miles on during our test, the Victory Kingpin. With the larger fenders, inverted fork and eighteen-inch wheels, it has a distinctly different look to the others in the range. With the best handling package and the same silky smooth engine response, it was my favorite to ride. The seating position is pure cruiser, but not at the expense of any comfort, as the floorboards were nicely placed and the wide bars sat me upright without feeling strained in either direction. Base model 8-Ball starts at $12,999 and the straight Kingpin, with a choice of Solid Crimson and Two Tone Imperial Blue and White, hits $14,999. Clean, quiet and efficient belt drive is used as with all the models here, and like all Victory motorcycles it’s an extremely tight, well thought out package in every respect.

Heading home from Colorado, it’s clear Victory is extremely serious about their motorcycles and how to keep building on their success. The amount of options available for someone purchasing a new machine are bordering on the overwhelming, although I’m sure very exciting as you set about making your new bike just the way you want it. What started out as a confusing prospect, turned into a simple distilled realization that it doesn’t matter which of the new Victory models you choose, you are clearly not going to be disappointed.

Viper Moves From Minnesota to Alabama

AUBURN, Ala. Aug. 10, 2010 – The Viper Motorcycle Company (OTCBB: VPWI) is announcing its plans to begin manufacturing motorcycles in Auburn, Alabama. The Company will move its operation from Minnesota to Auburn as soon as possible with full production beginning in 2011.  A brand new facility in Auburn Technology Park West will become the new headquarters and production facility for Viper Motorcycle Company. Company officials expect the creation of 100 new jobs in Auburn over the next two years.

Viper Motorcycle Company, a subsidiary of Viper Powersports, produces high performance, super cruiser motorcycles for bike enthusiasts. The motorcycles are produced with over 80% of proprietary parts designed and manufactured by Viper. “The Auburn facility and community support places us in a position to achieve our annual goal of 2000 motorcycles and 2000 aftermarket engines within 5 years,” added John Silseth, CEO of Viper Powersports.

Company officials say the timing is ideal to relocate their operation and that Auburn has all of the assets for the Company to expand and satisfy the increased demand. “The market is ready for a new original equipment manufacturer to be a leader in the super cruiser niche,” said Terry Nesbitt, President of Viper Motorcycle Company.

Andrew Broadley, Technical Director of Viper Motorcycle Company sees the proximity to Auburn University as an opportunity to integrate a wealth of knowledge and expertise from students and faculty. “The ability to develop a relationship with such a high-quality University is of particular interest on the technical side, which will allow us to expand our research and development capability towards new projects,” said Broadley.  The company sees unique opportunities for creative students to be involved in design and engineering.

State Representative Mike Hubbard and Governor Bob Riley assisted in recruiting the Company to Alabama.  Both had seen the product prior to its official launch.

Governor Bob Riley congratulated Auburn on this exciting economic development news. “This is a great win for Auburn and really for our entire state.  We’re proud to welcome Alabama’s latest economic development success to Alabama and look forward to a long and productive relationship with Viper.  I know I’m definitely looking forward to seeing those bikes that will be built in Alabama out on the road,” stated Governor Bob Riley.

State Representative Mike Hubbard welcomed the new company to Auburn.  “The company was attracted to the area because of its excellent conditions including skilled personnel, a diverse manufacturing base, Auburn University, and the local quality of life,” Hubbard said.

Auburn City officials say the announcement is good news for the local economy.  “We are proud to bring in another dynamic company that will provide Auburn citizens with good paying jobs, while diversifying our local manufacturing base,” Mayor Bill Ham said.  ”It’s exciting that such a unique product, to be sold across the country and abroad, will be manufactured in Auburn.”