Will I Care About This When I’m 80?

Francis Gangley, Gadsden Alabama

D-Day survivor and motorcycle enthusiast Francis Gangley, Gadsden Alabama

Editorial – Scott Cochran

I’m sure it’s happened to all of us at one time or another. Pumping gas, putting on your gear in a parking lot, or eating in a restaurant. A total stranger will walk up to you and start a conversation about motorcycling.

It happened to me in Gadsden Alabama. I was at a restaurant counter waiting on my order when 82 year old New Jersey native Francis Ganley walked up and asked me if I was on that motorcycle outside.

Over the next few minutes, I learned Francis stormed the beach (Omaha) during WWII, and when he came home he bought a used Iron Head HD for twelve dollars! When he recalled the decades he’d spent riding various motorcycles, you could hear the longing in his voice to take one last ride before his passing. But, he knew that wasn’t possible. He said he couldn’t trust his knees, and watching him walk, you knew that was an understatement. The strength was no longer there to balance a bike, or even straddle the seat of a trike.

My food arrived, and I thanked Mr. Ganley for the conversation. I told him how much respect I had for him, and wished him a good day.  After lunch, I was outside getting ready to gear up when Francis appeared and asked me if I minded if he took a closer look at my motorcycle.  “That’s a good looking bike” he said, as he walked around it. “I had a FLH once with leather saddlebags.” I could tell there was something he wanted to ask but he wasn’t sure it was appropriate.

“Would you like to sit on her?” I asked.  “Do you mind?” He replied.  “Be my guest.” I said.

I moved in to help steady him in case he decided to straddle the seat as most would, but Francis sat down sideways, gently reaching to the handlebar. What he did next caught me completely off guard.

A big smile lit up his face and he twisted the throttle and playfully said, “VROOM VROOM!”

As his smile faded, Francis said, “I’d give anything to be able to take one last long motorcycle ride, but my knees won’t let me. But I sure do miss it.” I took his photo and thanked him again for his service to our country. He stood by and watched as I cranked up the bike, waved and rode away.

An hour later, as I was carving the twisty roads along Lookout Mtn Parkway and Little River Canyon in North Alabama I caught myself obsessing about deadlines, balance sheets, and business opportunities. I pulled off at one of the overlooks. As it was a Monday afternoon, it was deserted and peaceful. The only sound was the occasional bird and the tick, tick, tick of the v-twin as it cooled.  As I sat there I thought about that old man and our conversation. Here I was, doing the one thing that he longed to do, and I wasn’t fully appreciating the moment.

Sitting there I realized how important it is to occasionally view your life from the perspective of your future. Asking yourself, “Will I care about this when I’m 80?” is a good way to prioritize your life.

I wanted to go back and find him and apologize. I wanted to go back and shake his hand and tell him that from now on I will enjoy every minute I get to spend on two wheels because one day (If I live long enough) that pleasure will be taken from me, just as it has from him.

But there was no going back. Even if I did, I wouldn’t know how to find him.

Godspeed Francis. I hope you feel the breeze one more time before your day ends..

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

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

Sturgis Buffalo Chip® Presents The Limpnickie Lot at the West Gate

Buffalo Chip Campground, SD (July 1, 2011)- The Sturgis Buffalo Chip® is proud to announce the partnership they have embarked upon with the Limpnickie Lot to showcase the next generation of motorcycle builders.

This year the Limpnickie Lot will be featured at The Buffalo Chip®, near the West Gate (where the large Buffalo Sculpture is located) in the free area. They will be creating their own FREE Limpnickie village complete with over 20 Limpnickie Lot motorcycle builders and a skateboard ramp.

The Limpnickie Lot brings with it two great Cycle Source Magazine events to Chip, The Cycle Source Free Night Time Chopper Show will take place on Friday August 12th, which is free to enter and features prizes from Legends Air and 10 classes to enter. The fifth annual Cycle Source Black Hills Run will start and end at The Sturgis Buffalo Chip® this year with a host of great destinations throughout the Black Hills. The ride will take place on Tuesday, August 9th at noon.
Rod Woodruff said “We have watched what Chris and Taber have created over the last few years and feel like the Buffalo Chip is the perfect place for them to realize their fullest potential in Sturgis. We see this as a long-term partnership that will round out the world class attractions that the Buffalo Chip already offers.”
“This new free area of the facility will be a combination of the laid back Limpnickie attitude and the world-class destination of the Chip.” Said co-owner of the Limpnickie Lot Chris Callen.
The Limpnickie Lot took the motorcycle industry by storm in March of 2008 during Daytona Bike Week when the original 11 Limpnickie Lot members took over the parking lot in front of the Stone Edge Skatepark. It was the first time young builders and small parts manufactures had joined together in an effort that would combine their passion for custom motorcycles and their cultural identifiers like skateboarding, punk rock and metal music.

They had a successful week that changed the face of motorcycling and finally gave the rising next generation of motorcycle builders a united voice. “We wanted to have our own kind of rally and found other like minded next generation builders who shared our common interests. It has blown up over the last few years and we are really stoked to be at The Buffalo Chip this year.” Said co-owner of the Limpnickie Lot, Taber Nash.
The Limpnickie Lot addition is the crown on an already packed 30 Years Strong Celebration at the Legendary Buffalo Chip. This year the Sturgis Buffalo Chip will feature Charlie Brechtel, Edgar Winter, Alice Cooper, Pop Evil, Bachman Turner, Styx, Williams and Ree, Sweet Cyanide, Buckcherry, Def Leppard, Toby Keith, Poison, Lukas Nelson, Greg Allman, Lynrd Skynrd, Jeff Bridges and Friends, Saving Abel, Puddle of Mudd, Tesla and George Thorogood and the Destroyers.
For thirty years the Legendary Buffalo Chip has proven itself as the heart of Sturgis Rally Week. Poised and ready to once again offer their visitors the complete biker experience, the Legendary Buffalo Chip has rounded up an enormous selection of biker-centric fun and festivities in addition to offering the summer’s biggest and most authentic music experience of Rally Week. Reservations for multi-day passes or daily admissions are available online at BuffaloChip.com or by calling 605-347-9000 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (MST) Mondaythrough Friday.

The Legendary Buffalo Chip Salutes Women Riders with First Annual Biker Belles

Celebration During the 71st Annual Sturgis Rally

STURGIS (04-29-11) The Legendary Buffalo Chip will recognize the passion, diversity and spirit of women in motorcycling during the 71st annual Sturgis Rally.  Women from across the globe will hit the road, Wednesday – August 10, 2011 for the first annual Biker Belles(TM) celebration.  The event was created to help celebrate women’s role in shaping the culture, history and sport of motorcycling, while helping to raise significant funds for two charities chosen by Helping with Horsepower (TM), including the Abbott House and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame.

The inaugural Biker Belles(TM) celebration will begin in the historic town of Deadwood as the Lodge at Deadwood will roll out the red carpet and host a special welcome reception complete with events, entertainment and activities catered to women.  From Deadwood, Motor Maids member Meg McDonough and friends will lead a women’s-only ride to The Chip for a special Biker Belles(TM) shindig put on by “The Best Party Anywhere®.”

“Each year the Buffalo Chip sees more and more women riding through our gates”, says Toni Woodruff, daughter of Buffalo Chip president, Rod Woodruff.  “It’s so exciting to have an event during the Sturgis Rally that caters to women riders and benefits local charities in the process!” To highlight the Biker Belles(TM) festivities at The Chip, 4-time national land speed record holder and pilot of the original “World’s Fastest Bagger,” Laura Klock of Klock Werks Kustom Cycle, will unveil “SALT,” a customized Harley-Davidson® built under her direction and guidance with the girls and young women of the Abbott House.  While at the party, Laura and her staff will be selling raffle tickets to win this special bike that will be given away in support of the Abbott House next fall. “We couldn’t be more excited about this inaugural celebration of women in motorcycling in Sturgis.” says Laura Klock. “Whether you’re an avid motorcyclist, a curiosity seeker, or someone looking for a new change
of pace, you are welcome to join us!  “Biker Belles(TM) will be a day of real women, real stories and real fun!”

Tickets for the 2011 Biker Belles(TM) celebration are available now on www.bikerbelles.com or by calling (605) 347-9000.  The Biker Belles(TM) celebration requires a $75 contribution, of which 100 percent goes directly to its chosen charities.  The finishing touches are being worked out for the 2011 celebration, with details to be announced on www.bikerbelles.com.

Polaris Acquires Indian Motorcycle

MINNEAPOLIS (April 19, 2011) — Polaris Industries Inc. today announced the acquisition of Indian Motorcycle. The business was acquired from Indian Motorcycle Limited , a company advised by Stellican Limited and Novator Partners LLP, U.K. Private Equity firms. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are excited to be part of the revitalization of a quintessentially American brand,” said Scott Wine, CEO of Polaris Industries Inc. “Indian built America’s first motorcycle. With our technology and vision, we are confident we will deliver the classic Indian motorcycle, enhanced by the quality and performance for which Polaris and Victory are known.”

With this acquisition, Polaris adds one of motorcycling’s legendary brands to its strong stable of Victory cruiser and touring bikes. Indian will operate as an autonomous business unit, building upon the potent combination of Polaris’ engineering acumen and innovative technology with Indian’s premium brand, iconic design and rich American heritage.

“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Polaris. Polaris will utilize its well-known strengths in engineering, manufacturing, and distribution to complete the mission we undertook upon re-launching the brand in 2006: harness the enormous potential of the Indian brand,” said Stephen Julius, chairman of Indian and managing director of Stellican. “Polaris is the most logical owner of Indian Motorcycle. Indian’s heritage brand will allow Polaris to aggressively compete across an expanded spectrum of the motorcycle market.”

Novator Partners LLP is a London based alternative investment firm founded and led by the investor Mr. Thor Bjorgolfsson. An avid motorcycle enthusiast, Mr. Bjorgolfsson said “After a troubled past, our goal was to bring the legendary Indian bikes back on the roads. The initial phase of that project is done and now our great partners at Polaris will carry on the work to realize the full potential of this classic American brand.”

Conference Call and Webcast Presentation
Tomorrow, April 20th at 9:00AM (CT), Polaris Industries Inc. will host a conference call and webcast to discuss the acquisition, as well as the first quarter 2011 financial results. The call will be hosted by Scott Wine, CEO, Bennett Morgan, President and COO and Mike Malone, Vice President-Finance and CFO.

A slide presentation and link to the audio webcast will be posted on the Investor Relations page of the Polaris web site at www.polarisindustries.com/irhome approximately 30 minutes before the conference call begins.

To listen to the conference call by phone, dial 800-374-6475 in the U.S. and Canada, or 973-200-3967 internationally. The Conference ID is #36643140. A replay of the conference call will be available approximately two hours after the call for a one-week period by accessing the same link on our website, or by dialing 800-642-1687 in the U.S. and Canada, or 706-645-9291 internationally.

Giffords to Remain on Motorcycle Caucus

U.S. Reps. Michael Burgess and Gabrielle Giffords to remain as co-chairs

photo from Hell for Leather.com

Despite her injuries, Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) will remain as a co-chair of the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus for the 112th Congress, along with Texas Republican Michael Burgess.

The bi-partisan caucus, which has existed for many years, was formally recognized by the U.S. House for the new Congress. Official caucuses must register and be recognized at the start of every two-year Congress.

The caucus is made up of members of Congress who are passionate about motorcycling and who work to promote the interests of motorcyclists.

“It’s great to have Reps. Burgess and Giffords back as leaders of the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus,” said Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations. “The Congressional Motorcycle Caucus is made up of dedicated members of Congress who ensure that motorcyclists aren’t forgotten on Capitol Hill. Reps. Burgess and Giffords have proven that they are true friends of motorcycling.

“We look forward to working with our old friends in the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus, as well as new members who join, to help protect and promote the motorcycling lifestyle,” Moreland said.