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

Ducati Bike Sales Top 2016 Motorcycle Record

There’s nothing like a good bike that can get you through any tough ride and last year Ducati Motor Holding has done just that with their new record of motorcycle sales. Posting a new sales record on the Italian two-wheeler manufacturer’s 90th anniversary with over 55,451 units sold, Ducati has set the standards high when it comes to durability, ingenuity, and style.

Overall sales were up 1.2 percent from 54,809 bikes in 2015. Ducati hasn’t released sales figures for individual models or sales numbers in individual regions, but sales of the Multistrada family were up 16 percent compared to 2015.

Graham Zahoruiko blog on Ducati Bike Sales Top 2016 Motorcycle Record

The US remained Ducati’s strongest market, with sales of 8,787 new bikes in 2016. In Europe too, Ducati posted impressive growth numbers 38% growth in Spain, over 20%  in Italy and more than 8 per cent in Germany. There is an outstanding performance in Asia too, where Ducati more than doubled its year-on-sales in China with over 120% growth. In Brazil, sales increased by 36% and Argentina saw staggering growth of 219%.

In addition to a new sales record, 2016 saw a consolidation of the considerable increase in volumes achieved in 2015, thanks also to the introduction of the Scrambler brand. This growth demonstrates the strength of both range and brand and, above all, the solid performance of the global sales network,” said Andrea Buzzoni, Global Sales and Marketing Director of Ducati Motor Holding.


 

For more on Ducati and industry news, click here

Guide to Riding Route 66

36f9a3fef4bf4f0042f544d7e119499fRoute 66 is one of the original highways in the United States highway system. The road originally ran from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California and became possibly the most well-known road in the entire country. Eventually, it was overshadowed by the Interstate Highway System and now Route 66 is no longer considered a highway. Many parts of it have been bypassed by the more recent highway system. Though, it’s still as popular as ever and is a great trip for bikers, due to its rich history; not to mention its stretches of flat road that are perfect for cruising and its reputation as a top item on the biker bucket list! Here’s some advice to keep in mind if you choose to ride Route 66.

 

  • Get the right bike

 

Unless you already own a cruiser that you feel comfortable riding on for hours at a time for a few weeks, you’ll probably want to rent a bike in Chicago. There are various places you can choose from and even some guided tours that will offer suggestions on what bike to take. If you don’t feel like planning out your entire trip, go for the guided tour of Route 66. Or, just find the proper bike and get ready for your journey.

 

  • Know where you’re going

 

Route 66 has a complicated history of being bypassed by the Interstate Highways and having various sections constantly realigned or completely renovated. You need to know exactly what part of the route you intend to follow (maybe all of it) and then carefully map out where you’ll be going. Sometimes you’ll come across multiple signs, all showing Route 66, so it’s important you know what route you’re following or where you’ll detour off of Route 66 (if you want to do so). It can get complicated and rough, so make sure you know where you’re going!

 

  • Give yourself time

 

Biking Route 66 is going to take a while; it goes across most of the country, after all! Give yourself at least two weeks to travel this road, though adding an extra week would be good, so you can account for any accidental detours or time you may decide to spend in one area. You’ll give yourself freedom to take your time and really enjoy the trip. It’s also important to be mindful of what time of year you’re going. Many people feel that September is the best time to travel Route 66, but anywhere between the middle of May to October should be fine.

 

  • Talk to people!

 

When you stop for food or to rest for the night, make sure you talk to the locals. There’s an endless amount of towns along Route 66, with many family-owned businesses and people who have lived there for generations. Take time to get to know these people and hear their stories. You’ll end up learning more about the history of the route than you could have ever imagined.

 

  • Pick out places to stop

 

Much like planning your route ahead of time, also plan where you’ll stop. Know what landmarks you’d like to see, where you’ll spend the night, and what towns are worth stopping in. There are lots of great places to get food, almost always for an affordable price. Take a look at this list to get some ideas of where you’d like to go while riding Route 66. Also, take along proper clothes that’ll leave you prepared for any weather!

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.

Essential Tips from A Motorcycle Mechanic

Millions of people own and ride a motorcycle every day. Most of these individuals have been riding for some time while other are just beginning their motorcycle riding experience. Regardless of a rider’s experience or skill, the following essential tips from a motorcycle mechanic can help them to get the best ride of their lives, while out on the road.

Keep a Good Set of Tools on your Bike

All motorcycle riders should have a good set of tools on their bike. These tools should be kept inside of their bike’s storage compartment and they should include items such as pliers, multi-meter, chain breaker, riveter, socket, torque wrench and other types of tools that would be useful for handling minor repair problems while out on the road.

A Rider should know their Bike’s Estimated MPG and Fuel Capacity

Motorcycle riders should know how far they can travel on their bike and they should also know much fuel their bikes can hold. The reason being is that some cycles have fuel gauges and others do not. Some manufacturers choose not to place this meter onto a bike. Knowing this information can help a rider not to get stuck in a remote place because they ran out of gas.

Inspect your Bike before you Ride

Motorcycle mechanics strongly encourage riders to inspect their cycles before they ride. This is important for detecting problems before getting onto the road. People who do not take this action could end up dealing with a big problem while they are out riding.

Maintain a Maintenance Schedule

A rider must maintain a maintenance schedule to ensure that their bikes are running in optimal condition. They should inspect fluids (yes, motorcycles need fluids) and their engine. Tires, hand grips and other parts of the bike should be inspected for problems as well. Once again, this will help to avoid problems before getting out onto the road.

Make sure you can Control a Bike before you Buy it

A good motorcycle mechanic will tell riders not to purchase a bike that they cannot control or handle while out on the road. Even if they do not end up crashing or injuring themselves; they can do a lot of damage to a bike by simply tearing it up during their ride. The point is that no one should purchase a motorcycle that they cannot keep under their control or take care of while it is in their possession.

Other tips include purchasing anti-lock brakes for superior stopping power. Getting a cover for your bike to protect it from the elements when you’re not riding is also highly recommended. These tips will definitely help any motorist to ensure that their bike is being properly maintained and is ready for the road. You can find out more about these tips from Motorcycle Cruiser and Rides Apart.

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.

7 Motorcycle Rides in the Wild, Wild, West

Feeling the wind on your face, blowing your hair, the feeling of flying. These are the feelings of riding a motorcycle. There is nothing like cursing over the road, being part of the world. You can’t get these feelings being inside a car. To be part of it you have to ride a motorcycle. There is no better place to enjoys the joys than in the West. Mountains, valleys, twist and turns the West has it all.

Here are some of the best routes to check it out on your bike.

1) Pacific Coast Highway, Carmel to Morro Bay, in California
This part of the Pacific Coast Highway runs for 120 miles. You’ll see crashing surf, towering redwood trees, acres of curves and beaches covered with seals. The Highway has many turnouts that allow you to take in the sights.

2) Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado
This highway runs only 60 miles but it’s worth it. Peak to Peak extends north along highway 72 and 7 before dropping to Estes Park. The highway runs through Rocky Mountain vistas and through the National Park. Moose and elk can be seen so be careful if you choose to ride.

3) Beartooth Highway through Montana and Wyoming
This ride runs for 68 miles of Highway 212, starting at the Red Lodge in Montana and ending at the northern gateway of Yellowstone National Park. Ride through above tree line tundra and high alpine meadows.

4)Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana
This ride is only available in summer and goes for 50 miles but it’s worth it. Ride up and down and through twist and turns. 3,000 ft above Lake McDonald and 6,646 summit at Logan Pass. If you look closely you can see big horn sheep and mountain goats.

5) Grand Staircase- The Escalante National Monument Ride in Utah
Includes spectacular views of Eroded scenery and runs through Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef National Parts, and Petrified Forest State Park. The trail is 115 miles long follows the Rio Grand between Candelaria and Presidio Texas.

6) San Juan Mountain Skyway in Colorado
You can start anywhere on this route and go in any direction, you wont be disappointed. Ride over 14,000 foot mountain peaks and view red rock canyons, amazing river valleys, and hot springs.

7) The Three Sisters (aka The Twisted Sisters) in Texas
This 131 mile route starts in Media Texas. The ride views clear rivers and twisty like mountain curves around real J.R. Ewing Texas style ranches. Plan time for fishing as the Nueces River is home to large and small mouth bass and the native Guadalupe bass but watch out for gators.

Riding the open road, feeling the wind, and being part of the country is part of motorcycling. The west has royal views throughout the expansive range to enjoy.

Motorist Confessions: What You Don’t Know About Riding A Motorcycle

Everyone wants to ride a motorcycle, but they never really understand all of the things that go into owning and riding a motorcycle. From experience, I had friends who would come up to me and say “that looks so easy, I can ride that thing”, when in all actuality they had no idea of the technique and knowledge that a person needs when deciding to be a motorist.

Here I wanted to confess not only to my friends but to every other person the hidden truths and responsibilities that come along with riding on the open road. If you’re still tempted to be a part of the “bike life” after reading this, then you have what it takes to be a part of the motorcycle community.

 

  • We Drive Way too Fast

Yes, this is true, many of us who take on the challenge of riding a motorcycle can admit that at times we drive way too fast (especially on open roads)

  • Other Drivers Hate Us

Maybe it’s because we can squeeze into compact spaces or cut them off in the middle of the road, but drivers just seem to hate us motorist.

  • Wearing Protective Gear is Important

You may see it time and time again, people riding on a motorcycle without wearing the proper equipment. This should never! Wearing protective gear protects your from any debris or potential harm that can be done while riding.

  • It is NOT Like Riding A Bicycle

This has to be my favorite misconception of motorcycle riding! It is not like riding a bike and should be taken seriously! Before I rode my first motorcycle I had to learn the gears, shifts, and changes. It is not as simple as pushing your legs and keeping upright.
Interested in knowing more about riding motorcycles? Check out my website for more insight and motorcycle related blogs.