Top U.S. Road Trip Routes for Motorcycling

Graham Zahoruiko Routes in US

Planning for an epic road trip across the United States on the back of a motorcycle? Nothing is more liberating than traveling through America on a motorcycle as you experience that thrilling sensation course through your veins and the open winds on your face. Here are the top recommended bike routes and destinations that you’ll enjoy as you map out your next big adventure.

Nature’s Wonders: Beartooth Highway

Feeling overwhelmed by the rigors of your daily routines? Take a breather and spare a couple of hours to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature as you weave your way through the curvaceous bends of Beartooth Highway’s rugged terrains on your bike. The 68-mile scenic route begins at Red Lodge in Montana, leading you through the iconic Custer and Shoshone National Parks as you ride up the 10,947 foot-long Beartooth Pass and end at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

The Journey of a Lifetime: Route 66

A biker’s ultimate dream: the chance to embark on the 2,200-mile, Chicago-to-Los Angeles journey, navigating your way across six states via one of the nation’s original highways. Make a pit-stop at one of the numerous biker-friendly sites along Route 66 and replenish your energy with delicious pies and Route 66 highway nostalgia.

Defy the Odds: Tail of the Dragon

An iconic landmark, U.S. 129, aka Tail of the Dragon, has cemented its place at the pinnacle of biking destinations within the United States. The Tail of the Dragon comprises of a whooping 318 hairpin curves within an 11-mile intersection that spans between North Carolina and Tennessee. This route is a paradise for daredevil bikers and inquisitive tourists seeking to challenge their riding abilities.

Are you Ready For It? Going-to-the-Sun Road: Montana

Theme parks are so overrated when you can experience a similar rush of adrenaline as you escape from the reality on this thrill-seeking biking adventure. Disclaimer: like a tumultuous, topsy-turvy rollercoaster. This route is definitely not for the faint-hearted as this unpredictable route brims with more sharp-turns than the average Hollywood melodrama as it continuously winds you up to the 6,646 foot summit at Logan Pass in Montana. It should be noted that Going-to-the-Sun Road is only available during the summer and you should always check weather conditions before venturing out on this path.

Planning to embark on a biking expedition may seem somewhat unconventional, but hey, you only live once right? Of course, it is of utmost importance that you ensure necessary safety precautions are taken to prevent unwanted incidents from occurring. But don’t let unknown possibilities deter you from experiencing life’s infinite possibilities on a classic motorcycle adventure.

2018 Harley Davidson Bikes to Consider

The Harley-Davidson brand name is synonymous with motorcycles. They’ve developed an image over the decades of being an iconic and powerful all-American motorcycle that is instantly recognizable and widely respected.

For these reasons and many others, Harley-Davidson has been the kind of bike that enthusiasts have aspired to, a sign that they’ve really made it. Now, in 2018, Harley is shaking things up a little with some of their newest offerings, while still retaining that special something that keeps people coming back for more.

Here are a few of the top new Harleys this year:

Street Motorcycles

While not much has changed on the three Street models this year, they remain extremely popular as Harley’s entry-level line. Designed to be new-rider friendly, with a lower seat and wide handlebars, the Street 500, Street 750 and Street Rod are built to maneuver through busy city streets.

Sportsters

Another favorite of Harley enthusiasts, this line didn’t change much from 2017 to 2018, either. New black and chrome finishes and a custom race stripe on the 1200 were the only significant alterations made to these five bikes.

Softails

This line of nine new Softail models are where the company has rolled out the first major changes of the year. With an aim to improve comfort and performance across the line, Harley has blended the Dyna and Softail models to retain the hard look of a Dyna with the faster, easier ride of a Softail.

Touring Motorcycles

While the base design elements of these ten big bikes remain unchanged, there are bits and pieces of several models that have received an updated look for the new year. This line continues to be Harley’s iconic long-haul brand, with the individual bikes built for extended trips on the road, but with new blackout styling, extended luggage racks, more built-in comfort and upgraded infotainment systems on several models, the Touring line just keeps getting better with age.

CVO

These bikes are Harley’s answer to custom houses. The line changes from year to year, but always uses the best design features, parts and styling to give riders the very best factory-installed experience possible.

Trikes

This line is mostly unchanged for the new year, aside from the introduction of the the Tri Glide Ultra’s 115th Anniversary edition. Still focused on long-distance hauling and built for two people, these trikes offer plenty of storage and all of the amenities you’d expect to find on a Harley, just with three wheels.

Harley Davidson Markets Towards Millennials and Trademarks “Bronx”

Graham Zahoruiko Updating Brand Marketing

 

The stereotypical demographic of motorcyclists reflects on middle-aged men with a little bit of a wild side. They enjoy the open road, average the age of 45 and probably have some sort of black clothing such as a leather jacket or boots. The gray-haired motorcyclists is a trend seen across the United States doesn’t seem too concerning, however, it poses a major threat to the motorcycle manufacturing industry. What happens when all of the middle-aged motorcyclists become too old to ride? Statistics show that there just isn’t enough “young blood” making motorcycle purchases, so Harley Davidson recently began a millennial marketing campaign.

 

To combat the rise in age of the average motorcycle rider, Harley Davidson is marketing towards millennials in order to get younger people to ride. Gearing their marketing and products towards a younger generation, Harley knows what the younger generation wants: speed, performance, and style just to name a few. Targeting this new demographic, rather than “bigger and better”, Harley Davidson is launching smaller, more affordable models.

 

With a vast majority of millennials being in debt or unable to grow their savings, these affordable models are enticing to this age group. Most of the competition is struggling to keep sales up, while Indiana sales are soaring. With its entry-level cruisers, the bikes from this affordable brand showcases a sleek, modern design that still ties in the brand heritage. All this to say that Harley Davidson has a lot of room to overcome this competition. Especially with lower models starting at $12,000, Harley is working towards becoming more affordable for this younger generation.

 

In order to stay relevant as a brand and attempting to outshine the competition, Harley Davidson trademarked the name “Bronx” through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Changing direction from more localized name from their headquarters in Milwaukee, Harley Davidson treks all the way to the popular New York Borough, The Bronx. With a much more “big city” vibe, we all have to wonder what Harley plans to do with this new patent name.

 

Some figure this new name will shine to be a new model. Gearing towards a more street style, city rider, this could change the game for motorcycling demographics. However, Harley already launched its 2018 lineup of models, silently discontinuing the V-Rod.

 

As Harley Davidson is undergoing some major changes for its brand, we can’t help but expect some excited things from this brand in the upcoming year.

Why I Love Harley Davidson Bikes

Graham Zahoruiko Why I Love Harleys

If you haven’t taken a ride across America but you love to ride motorcycles, I highly recommend you plan your trip now. One of the best rides that riders experience is multiple week long trip across the beautiful country of the United States. With the asphalt under the tires and the drastic changes in scenery throughout the ride, there’s no experience greater– especially if you are on a Harley Davidson.

Harleys Are Made Well

Harleys make the ride fun, and they were made for long trips. As an iconic American-style bike, Harleys were made for America. For years this company has had manufacturing plants in America, making it a trademark for their brand. Although they may also have plants in other international companies, but this is all in good faith to expand their company on a global basis.

For high-speed trips, Harleys make it easier. Being made with such a heavy body, it’s much harder to get blown around or beat up on a Harley. Their performance in high-speed rides are fantastic for stability and maneuvering on the road.

Harleys Let You Meet People

Harley Davidson to the public is a very misunderstood brand for those who don’t ride one. Some have made the joke that Harley owners are like a cult. If you ride a Harley, you’re automatically in tune with other Harley riders. There are so many groups of motorcycle riders out there that all ride Harleys. There are hashtags on social media, and even public groups of Harley riders on social media. It’s pretty simple though– Harleys bring people together.

Harleys create a community. There are plenty of opportunities inside of the Harley community to go on scheduled rides, planned tours, and even friendships. Harleys bring an opportunity to meet other Harley riders. In such events, you get a fun ride while also making lasting friendships.

Harleys Have a Long Lifespan

Ultimately, you can make your Harley last as long as you want it to, or until you decide you want to ride in a new style. The way that Harley engines are designed, their pretty much always repeatable. Although Harleys can show their age, the motors have incredibly proven their long lasting life. In fact, David Zein, the former Wisconsin State Senator is the proud owner of a 1991 FXRT, which is the first Harley to reach 1 million miles on it. It was a pivotal day in Harley history when that odometer read “000000” after a torturous trip.

The Gear You Need for Your Next Motorcycle Ride

If you consider yourself a motorcycle enthusiast like myself, then you know all about the bikes. You have your favorite ride mapped out in your head because you’ve rode it too many times to count. You know when the weather is nice which roads to take to get that perfect, scenic view. But do you know what the best gear is for riding? Here are a few pieces of motorcycle gear you don’t want to miss on your next ride.

 

The Jacket

 

Jackets keep you warm when the wind isn’t at your favor. The jacket also protects your skin and body in the event of a crash. When the weather is hot, riders often don’t wear jackets or they’ll overheat. Here’s the good news. Textile jackets are becoming a popular motorcycle signature piece. They’re lightweight and made from materials such as polyester that won’t make you sweat. You can enjoy the ride and be protected no matter what the temperature is outside.

 

The Boots

 

Riders, it’s vital that you care about your safety just as much as you care about your ride. Proper gear goes beyond just the bike. Riding boots are essential to your ride. You never know if you turn a curve too fast or any other unfortunate event that will occur while you’re out on your ride. Motorcycle boots protect your feet, what you use every day to get you from point A to point B. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to ride. Keep it classic with some of the best motorcycle boots. You can’t go wrong with protecting yourself.

 

The Helmet

 

It’s not illegal to ride without a helmet anymore, however it’s the smart thing to do. A helmet can be the difference between one last ride or thousands of rides ahead of you. If you wear a helmet, you might as well make sure it’s the best. Luckily, 2017’s best helmets are out on the market. The prices range so if you’re short on cash or have the ability to splurge, there’s a helmet for every wallet. Your helmet should do the job, but it also helps if it looks cool too.

 

Indian Motorcycle Spring Gear
While the Indian Motorcycle spring gear fits into a category of it’s own, it has great history within America. In World War II, Indian Motorcycle company produced over 50,000 motorcycles, and military jackets to go along. If you want to be more original in your motorcycle gear, a military jacket is a great way to represent your freedom to ride.

Your Guide to Planning a Cross Country Motorcycle Trip

Some people ride a motorcycle for the sheer passion and adrenaline. Others ride for the independence and freedom. No matter what your reasoning is for riding, you must love this hobby and lifestyle if you’re planning a trip across the country. Here are important things to keep in mind when planning your cross-country motorcycle trip.

Start and End Points

America is a large country with so many great spots to start and end your trip. The first part of planning is deciding where those two spots are that work best for you. Mark down what places you want to see and that will help you figure out what locations are best to start and end from. If you want to include Route 66 for your motorcycle trip then starting and ending in mid-southern locations is a good idea.

What to Pack

Obviously you can’t bring your entire wardrobe with you on this trip. Packing light will do you and your gas mileage both a favor. Take tips from experienced riders to pinpoint what you will need and what you don’t.

Map or GPS

Consider how you want to navigate your trip. A standard map is the old-school way of riding so make sure your map is up to date on functioning roads and highways if that’s the method you choose. The standard GPS will keep track of your location from point A to point B. If you get lost, there’s an app for that.

Tire Mileage

Before you leave, check your tire mileage and make sure your tires will last for your motorcycle trip. Feel free to “burn rubber” on your trip but keep in mind the lifespan of your tires. If you’re looking to get new tires for this trip, look into touring tires which are specifically made for longer rides.

Keep Log of Visited Locations

Maybe you’re not one to write in a journal, and that’s okay. Whether you simply keep a notepad and pen in your pocket or type notes on your phone, make sure you track the places you visit on your trip. This will let you mark the places you may want to ride again if given the opportunity.

Where You Lay Your Head

Another important factor behind planning your motorcycle trip is determining where you will stay. You have many options as a motorcyclist for where you want to stay. Hotels, motels, airbnb or even camping are great options to make your trip easy and interesting.

Stop to Smell the Roses 

The last thing you should include in your motorcycle trip plans is time to stop and smell the roses. You will be going through monumental landscapes and scenery. Take the time to enjoy it to make this trip one of the most memorable in your lifetime of riding.

The End of Victory: Polaris Industries Reveals Brand’s Departure

Victory Motorcycle Brand Is Finished
Polaris Industries announced that the Victory Motorcycle brand will come to an end. The brand was started 18 years ago, but due to lack of market share and pressures to be competitive, the company decided that the time has come to put an end to it.

The company made the announcement a few weeks ago. However, Polaris’ Indian Motorcycle brand and its other divisions are not affected by the decision. Scott Wine, CEO of Polaris, said the company was winding down the Victory brand right away. Wine released a statement saying that Victory has struggled to become profitable.

Wine said the decision to end the Victory brand will increase Polaris’ profitable and improve their global motorcycle business. He added that the decision will make the company more competitive.

Polaris actually lost money on Victory in three of the past five years after sales of the motorcycles peaked back in 2012. Victory only accounted for around 3% of the company’s total sales. In other words, over the last few years Polaris hasn’t made much money with Victory.

The chances are this move will improve Polaris’ Indian motorcycle sales. In the market, Indian is second to Harley-Davidson.Some experts believe Polaris is doubling down on their Indian brand and the move is probably a positive one to make.

One interesting thing to note is that Harley-Davidson may not have the chance to capitalize on Polaris’ decision. This is because Davidson’s customer base is getting older and Indian Motorcycle’s share in the market has continued to grow.

Dealers that have any Victory motorcycles leftover will receive help liquidating them. Furthermore, Polaris will continue making parts for Victory bikes for the next 10 years, so dealers will still be able to order parts for their customers. Victory bikes were sold by around 400 dealers around the United States, but around 150 of those dealers sold Indian motorcycles alongside Victory bikes.

Polaris not only produces motorcycles. They also produce snowmobiles, ATVS and the Slingshot roadster. The company also makes other types of vehicles.

Indian motorcycles will continue to be made in Iowa and South Dakota, which is where Polaris’s plants are located. What’s unclear is the impact on jobs once the production of Victory comes to a complete end.

This is a good decision on Polaris’ part. It’s safe to say that Polaris’ Indian motorcycle brand could become more popular than Harley-Davidson, in terms of sales.

Sources:
Star Tribune
Daily Mail

6 Best Motorcycles of 2016

aprilia-tuono-v4-1100rrEvery year, bikers anticipate the new, awesome line-up of motorcycles that’ll be released in the upcoming year. Though most of us will never be able to try out all of these bikes, it’s fun to shop around and see what features are available and what reviews say about them. These bikes have been out for a while now, so we can get a clear idea of how they handle and which ones are the best to ride. Though opinions may vary, I’ve created a list of some of the best bikes of 2016.

  • Suzuki SV650

This bike is a great throwback to the original model from 1999 that was adored by many bike enthusiasts. The bike has the same look as the original and also uses the same engine and frame, though Suzuki assures the buyer that many parts were switched out and it isn’t merely a reissue of the classic. The horsepower is around 75 and the bike is lighter than its predecessors, which makes for a great ride.

  • Ducati Scrambler Sixty2

This Ducati bike has a great streamlined look, like a cross between two dirt-track and street fighter bikes. Because Ducati makes such high-quality bikes and it also based in Italy, these motorcycles can get pretty expensive, sometimes ranging over $10,000, though this bike is more affordable. It’s light, only around 400 pounds, and has a 399cc Twin engine, which means it isn’t as fast as some other models, though I think it makes up for it. The bike is fairly low to the ground, so it’s ideal for shorter or newer riders.

  • Kawasaki Z800

For a sportbike, the Z800 is ideal. It’s minimalist and the rider sits upright enough that you’ll be comfortable while riding, but it’s still a street 4905bike. This is the first year for this bike, so there will be a definite improvement in the years to come that will make it even more formidable.

  • Honda CBR300R

Honda has once again delivered with a sportbike that is affordable but doesn’t skimp on great features and an awesome ride. The newest version of this bike handles the highway better than previous models but is still good for canyon riding. It has a low weight (under 400 pounds) and is pretty sensitive. It even has ABS, which means it can be ridden when the roads are wet.

  • Harley-Davidson Softail Slim

While this bike isn’t cheap (it’s around $15,000), it’s quite affordable by Harley-Davidson standards. It’s lower than other Harley-Davidson bikes and also offers a great, sleek look. The Softail Slim is old-school and has a 103 cu-in motor that packs a huge punch. If you have some extra cash, check out the S model that has even more features.

  • BMW G310R

Though this bike only has a 300cc engine, which is much smaller than BMW’s usual for bikes, it’s the company’s first attempt at an entry level bike. The quality of this bike exceeded expectations, considering it’s BMW’s first attempt with such a small bike. The motorcycle has ideal weight distribution and it’s a thrill to ride.

Fact or Fiction: Common Motorcycle Myths Explored

Owning a motorcycle is one of the most empowering and free feelings that you ever have. It doesn’t matter what kind of bike you own, crotch rocket, tourer, cruiser, sportster, or what kind of biker that you are 1%er, weekend warrior, or daily rider, having a bike is the ultimate in independence. They’re a lot of myths, legends, and old wives’ tales that come from motorcycle ownership, however. Some of these are outlandish, some are based on misconceptions, and some are outright dangerous. Many are true, most are not. You have probably heard a lot of them yourself in your time of motorcycle ownership. Let’s take a look at some of the more common ones and whether they are fact or fiction.

Sport Tires Make a Bike Go Faster
This is FICTION: Racing tires are designed to be sticky and have a better grip on racing surfaces, but this effect only takes place once the tires reach a certain operating temperature. The truth is that you will more than lily never attain this temperature when you are using your bike for daily riding such as to and from work, or around your local area. While you might get a slight performance increase when you are on long highway trips, the advantage you may gain will not even be remotely close enough to warrant the effort of changing your tires out for the road trip.

In addition, racing tires are not designed for the rough surface of roads and highways. They are meant for the relatively smooth surface of racetracks. The limited tread on the tires and the lack of steel belting will make them wear out faster than regular tires. A lot of money put out, no real benefit gained.

Use of High Octane Fuel Increases a Bike’s Performance
FICTION: High-performance bikes are designed for high octane fuel since the engines are tuned in such a manner that a larger amount of energy is able to be extracted from the fuel. Regular motorcycle engines are not designed for such high compression extraction of energy and as such cannot truly benefit from the use of high octane fuel. The only real advantage of using high octane in your regular motorcycle engine is that there are more cleaning agents and engine boosters in the fuel which may help your engine run better on average. The truth is, though, that you can get the same effect by using a bottle of fuel booster with every fill up of your tank for less than the cost of a gallon of regular unleaded. Save your money and use a high-quality regular gas in your bike and every week drop a bottle of STP into the tank.

By Going Faster, You Can Decrease Front Wheel Wobble
FICTION: This is based partly in truth, however. The truth part is that due to a motorcycles two-wheel design the front wheel, which is thinner than the rear wheel, wobbles naturally. When you hit a bump or some other obstruction the wheel wobble seems to be more pronounced, but then when you speed up it corrects itself. Now for the fiction part and why…wheel wobble can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including issues with your tires or you from the wheel being out of alignment. If your wobble is significant you should get your bike into a service center and have it looked at but at all costs do not try to correct the wobble by riding faster. You could suddenly lose control of the bike and end up in a very bad way.

A Fast-Moving Motorcycle Is Small Enough Not to Register on a Speed Trap
This is FICTION: While your bike may be smaller in size than a car or truck, the truth is that the laser or radar beam that detects your speed is only the size on average as the lead from a mechanical pencil. You get the idea, you may be smaller but there is still enough of you to have the beam hit and there is no way to ride fast enough to beat the speed of light, which is what you are effectively racing against when trying to beat a speed trap.

Lay Down a Motorcycle If You Are Going to Crash
FICTION: This is not only massively fiction, this is also massively stupid, and massively dangerous. Are you trying to lose an arm or a leg, or to totally destroy your $25,000 investment in your bike? Why would you deliberately want to lay down your beloved machine to have it turned into highway hash browns? Back in the old days when bikes were less advanced and most riders had more balls than brains they idea of stopping a bike in an emergency situation was at least plausibly to lay it down and take the side, but today’s bikes are much more advantaged, they go a hell of a lot faster and there are more drivers on the road. The advent of ABS, disk brakes, computer stabilization, and other advancements have made it a lot easier to stop the bike quickly and under control. If you are in an emergency, then it’s best to just apply both brakes hard and controlled and try your best to maintain a vertical position using your feet. Remember, it’s cheaper and easier to replace a pair of biker boots and deal with at worst a sprained ankle than to destroy your bike and perhaps yourself in the process.

Now that you have seen some of these myths settled you are better informed and prepared to ride your motorcycle for many years to come. While there are a lot of myths and wives tales about motorcycles that have some truth to them, the ones that we have discussed here are fully debunked. Now go forth a ride!

Daredevil Robbie Maddison and His Famous Oceanic Motorcycle Ride

The daredevil Robbie Maddison had been involved in a variety of stunts but the most original and crazy stunt was riding his motorcycle on water. A video was made of Robbie showing him and his motorcycle riding the waves of Tahiti.

Other Amazing Stunts Robbie Maddison Has Performed

Other stunts he has previously accomplished include back flipping the Tower Bridge in London while it was open, making a 300 foot leap across Greece’s Corinth Canal, a nearly 400 foot jump over a San Diego Bay boat inlet, and a 351 foot jump over the F1 Track in Melbourne. His most famous stunt was in Las Vegas when he jumped onto a replica of France’s Arc de Triomphe then jumping back down.

How This Stunt Was Done

The motorcycle water ride was accomplished using ski-like devices that were attached around the wheels of the bike. Maddison came up with these devices himself with the front ski in the shape of a snowboard, while the back was shaped like a surfboard.

Practice Runs

The filming of the stunt took three weeks on two separate surf breaks. Prior to filming, he made a test run on Mission Bay in San Diego. He completed three laps totaling seven and a half miles. When him and his crew got to Tahiti, it was challenging changing from the cold freshwater he had rode on before and the warm salt water there.

Preparation

He went through a total of six different bikes that were rebirthed ten times a piece. Everything on the bikes had to be sealed tightly so no gas or oil was leaked into the ocean. During the final day of filming, he wiped out on a wave twenty-five foot high.

Combining Surfing and Motorcycles

Maddison grew up surfing in Australia and just had to bring his two favorite pastimes together for this stunt. He used the fundamentals of aquaplaning to help him and his bike ride on the surface of the water. Both the customizations he made to the bike and a very high rate of speed helped him to remain on the top of the water for such a long period of time.

You can watch a clip of the video here. Robbie Maddison is an amazing daredevil who has successfully performed some truly dangerous and exciting stunts. This new addition to his stunt history will be talked about for years to come.