No Colors Allowed

no colorsby.  Editor Scott Cochran

I didn’t see the notices taped on the front of the entrance doors to the Charlotte Convention Center when I arrived early Saturday morning to man our booth at the Easyriders Bike Show this past January.

Sylvia was in Atlanta working a different show, and I was working Charlotte.

It wasn’t until late that afternoon when I saw them. I made a mental note to investigate the reason for their posting before the show ended.

However, working the booth by myself, I never had that opportunity and, as far as I could tell, the dress code (no colors) had not caused a decline in attendance.

I did think it was ironic that you could get in with a Sons of Anarchy t-shirt but nothing else that appeared to be “club related.”

The following week it became apparent there was more to the story than what I’d assumed.

I reached out to a source inside Easyrider and was told, “This is not a matter that needs any input from the general public or rights groups. If someone is not involved in this it would be best to MYOB.” (mind your own business.) Easyriders Events are neutral ground, we do our best to serve the lifestyle, cultures and subcultures of the motorcycle world. Easyriders Events does not get involved with club business, our only concern is for cohesive coexistence between the general public and the subcultures during our events.”

A few days before the big Columbus Show, Easyrider Events issued a public statement that said in part, “Easyriders Attorneys have been able to provide us with the approval to ALLOW COLORS for all clubs except ONE. The Club that is not allowed knows who they are and will not be admitted into any Easyriders Events………ever. “

For the record, Easyrider Events has been an advertiser in this magazine. I’m friends with the promoter and several of the writers for the magazine. This is a small industry and everyone knows just about everyone.

But, that’s not why I’m taking Easyrider’s side on this one.

The reason is their 40 years of unwavering support for the biker lifestyle.

The motorcycle landscape has changed in the four decades since Easyriders first hit the newsstands in the 70’s. Some of the progressive changes can be credited to its founder Joe Teresi and the magazine’s staff in the early days who gave the “tattooed, long haired bikers” a magazine they could call their own. A magazine that celebrated the rebellious freedom of the two wheel lifestyle.

All that, and a fair amount of incidental nudity. But that’s what goes on in this lifestyle among consenting adults. They didn’t create it, they just reported it.

More importantly, Easyrider Magazine was one of the few, if not the only newsstand motorcycle magazine who aggressively supported motorcycle rights, and helped galvanize MRO’s into formidable opponents of overzealous McCarthyish state and Federal lawmakers.

Joe Teresi himself testified in Congress against laws that would have made it illegal to modify motorcycles.

Teresi and others worked to establish and support fledgling A.B.A.T.E. chapters across the country, often paying their expenses with profits from the magazine, out of pocket, or with donations from advertisers.

Easyriders customers are the hard-core “biker” lifestyle readers and riders. The guys and gals who attend ABATE meetings and have been discriminated against time and time again, in one form or another.

So there’s no doubt in my mind that posting a “no colors” sign was a decision that was made to protect the general public first, and the organization and brand second.

Probably the most outrageous (and stupid) accusation leveled against Easyrider Events is their decision was “profit motivated.”

Think about it for a minute. Easyrider Events took a public relations black eye to protect the moms, dads and kids who attend their events. They knew a small but vocal group intended to stir up trouble and disrupt attendance, (and possibly become violent) but they made the tough call, and I respect them for that.

I’m glad I wasn’t the one who had to make that decision.

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

Harley-Davidson® Events Rule @ Sturgis 2011 Rally

MILWAUKEE (July 12, 2011) – Harley-Davidson riders and enthusiasts will revel in one of the motorcycle world’s most unique and exciting events at the 71st Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota’s legendary Black Hills region.

 

The Harley-Davidson Road Tour will run from Saturday, August 6 through Saturday, August 13 at its location at the intersection of 3rd and Lazelle streets in downtown Sturgis. All Harley-Davidson activities in Sturgis are free of charge and include the following:

New 2012 Harley-Davidson motorcycles, H-D1 customization and MotorClothes® riding gear and apparel, including free helmet fittings

·        Harley-Davidson Custom Ride-In Show, Thursday August 11

·        XR1200 Racing Experience presented by Harley-Davidson Insurance

·        Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) pin sales and Custom Motorcycle Raffle

·        Free Bike Wash

·        Willie G. Commemorative Merchandise

·        AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building, August 8-10

·        Women’s Area including the JUMPSTART rider experience, bike lift and more

 

Harley-Davidson demo rides for the new 2012 motorcycles will be available in Sturgis at Hersrud’s Chevrolet Dealership near Interstate 90 at Exit 30 from Saturday, August 6 to Friday, August 12. Riders can enjoy as many bikes as they want, but must have a valid motorcycle license and adhere to riding gear requirements and safety rules. There will also be a 2012 Harley-Davidson motorcycle display at this location, including a Fit Shop display for motorcycle customization.

 

For a complete listing of Harley-Davidson events at the 2011 Sturgis Rally, please visit www.harley-davidson.com/sturgis

Some incredibly creative and passionately customized bikes at the Sturgis Rally will be displayed at the Harley-Davidson Ride-In Show, on Thursday, Aug. 11 at 3rdand Lazelle streets. There is a $10 entry fee, and all proceeds will be donated to MDA with cash prizes awarded in all categories.

There will be a pin stop and merchandise sales for Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) members at the Harley-Davidson Lazelle Street location, H.O.G. members can get a special pin at the AHDRA races, and more information on other H.O.G. events is available at www.members.hog.com

 Race fans will be able to check out the AHDRA Screamin’ Eagle Performance Parts Race at the Sturgis Dragway on August 10 and August 11, so visitwww.ahdra.com

Harley-Davidson Motor Company, the only major U.S.-based motorcycle manufacturer, produces heavyweight motorcycles and a complete line of motorcycle parts, accessories and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s website at www.harley-davidson.com

Newest Orlando Harley-Davidson Store is Custom Fit

Seventh Central Florida Location Debuts at Downtown Disney® West Side

Orlando, Fla. – When customers enter the newest Orlando Harley-Davidson (OHD) location at Downtown Disney® West Side , they won’t hear the usual store soundtrack of chart-toppers and oldies. As soon as they set foot inside, they’ll be greeted by the sounds of the road: the roar of V-twin engines accelerating from 0 to 60 and the signature “potato-potato” for which Harleys are known. This isn’t just a store – it’s a celebration of the Harley-Davidson® culture. And that’s just how owners Steve and Anne Deli envisioned it when they started designing the store two years ago.

“For fans of the brand, Harley-Davidson® is a way of life,” said Anne Deli, President of OHD. “We wanted this store to speak to that culture. For us, it’s about more than selling merchandise. It’s about creating a place for both die-hard Harley fans and those simply curious about riding.”

The new store’s 3,635-sq.-ft. layout and hands-on format encourages customers to touch the merchandise and sit on the display bikes. For the first time at a
Harley-Davidson® store, visitors can “ride” a motorcycle in front of a variety of green-screen backgrounds, including Daytona Beach and Route 66, and take home photos to remember the experience.

When it comes to merchandise, the store offers everything from adult shirts and jackets to baby bibs and dog collars. For those looking to personalize the iconic Harley leather vest, the store sells a wide array of pins and patches, including some exclusive to the location. A full-time seamstress sews purchases while customers wait.

Throughout the motorcycle world, Harley-Davidson® bikes are renowned for their intricate design and custom paint jobs. To incorporate this element, local artists Vince Balistreri and Ted Schoonard each designed and painted original sculptures for OHD.

“It’s not often that a store doubles as an attraction,” said Deli. “We wanted to encourage interaction for all ages of Downtown Disney® visitors. As lovers of the Harley-Davidson® lifestyle, Steve and I designed the store to reflect the type of place we’d want to visit.”

Situated between Planet Hollywood and AMC Theatres, the store is located at 1502 East Buena Vista Drive in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Hours are 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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.
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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.

Victory Releases 2011 Models

Victory Motorcycles, a Minnesota-based company, continues to push forward with new products and innovations.  Each July, Victory debuts its line-up to the world and this year was no exception.  Victory is enticing buyers with big motors, updated transmissions, black-out components and new exhaust notes.  Other refinements include providing ABS standard on some of its models.  So, let’s take a look at some of the changes for 2011.

One of the biggest changes this year is the decision to include Victory’s 106 inch V-Twin in every model.  Based on the model of bike, Victory is including the 106 in two versions.  The first is a stage 1 106 V-Twin pumping out a claimed 92 hp and 109 lb-ft

Victory 106 V-Twin

of torque.  This motor is included in the Cross Country, Cross Roads, Victory Vision and Arlen and Cory Ness Signature bikes.  For more stump pulling power, Victory includes their 106 Stage 2 V-Twin that churns out 97 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque.  This motor is included in the Vegas, Jackpot, Hammer and Kingpin including the 8-ball versions.

Both V-twin motors are coupled to a 6 speed transmission which provides a true overdrive gear for smooth cruising at highway speeds.  Victory has re-designed its transmissions to reduce gear whine as well as lower driveline lash by a claimed 66%.  In addition, Victory has included a “neutral assist” feature that makes it easier for a rider to find neutral at a stop.

Victory rocked the motorcycle world in 2008 with the release of the Vision.  The

Victory Vision Tour

Vision is the company’s long distance touring bike.  The 2011 Victory Vision Tour

now includes the added advantage of ABS.  ABS provides the rider with an advanced braking system that minimizes lockup on heavy braking.  Additional enhancements

to the Vision line include round handlebars which allow for easier mounting of devices, easier opening saddlebag compartments and newly designed exhaust tips.

The Cross Country and Cross Roads continue to be an extremely popular bike for Victory.  Current owners have been hoping for a trunk for their long distance

machines.  Victory answered this year by providing a Lock & Ride trunk package for the Cross Country and Cross Roads.  This trunk has built-in speakers, LED tail lights and can be mounted or removed in seconds.  The trunk can hold two full faced helmets and provides a padded passenger

Victory Cross Country

backrest for the long hauls.  With cavernous saddlebags and a trunk that provides a combined 39 gallons of storage, just about everything can be brought along on that road trip.

Victory introduced a new program this year for its Cross Roads bike called the CORE Custom Program.  This program allows potential buyers to design a Cross Roads exactly to their liking before even leaving the dealership.  Buyers can add different types of accessories such as saddlebags, windshields and highway bars before they make their final purchase decision.   This flexibility allows the buyer to customize a bike without investing in stock parts that will be replaced later.

Victory continues to offer a no frills blacked out 8-ball version of its Vegas, Hammer, Kingpin and Vision.   8-Ball versions feature very little chrome but a lot of attitude.  With the same power plant and transmission as the other bikes in the lineup, the 8-ball versions provide a lot of performance at a reduced price.

The Ness family continues to provide signature series bikes for Victory.  Arlen and Cory have provided these masterpieces for several years, however, Zach Ness, Cory’s son, is now following the family trend. Arlen Ness continues to add his creative designs to the Victory Vision this year with a really impressive scroll design.  A true work of art that features a unique paint process that looks like engraved metal highlights the Vision.  Another addition to the Ness Signature Series is the Cory Ness

Victory Cory Ness Cross Country

Cross Country.  A beautiful Sunset Red paint job created by Cory Ness as well as an abundance of Ness chrome accessories adores this model.   The Cory Ness Cross Country even sports a custom suede leather seat.  Zach Ness has learned from his family and designed a really distinctive Vegas.  Diamond cut cylinder heads and precision cut wheels makes this Vegas stand out in the crowd.  Other enhancements include a custom seat, Ness chrome and stunning suede black paint with custom graphics.

The Victory Hammer, an aggressive fat tire muscle bike, continues in 2011.  The Hammer sports an inverted front fork, a 250 mm rear tire and dual disc front brakes.  With the addition of the 106 inch Stage 2 V-twin, this muscle bike is sure to please the high performance cruiser crowd.  The Hammer S continues show attitude with the addition

Victory Hammer S

of blacked out custom details and an aggressive paint scheme. Other models such as the Jackpot, Vegas and Kingpin continue to provide impressive components such as new paint and a new power train.

For more information about the 2011 models, including building your own custom Victory, check out www.victorymotorcycles.com