One infrequently talked-about industry that has been gaining definitive traction in recent years is the electric motorcycle market. Although high-power electric motorcycles have failed to catch on thus far, there is a broad market in the United States for low-power urban electric scooters. In fact, more than 1.8 million were sold in the country in 2016. Even larger is the market for electric bicycles, which typically require the rider to input energy but that augment the user’s work through electric propulsion.
Harley-Davidson, the company that has made its name as the producer of roaring, powerful V-Twin motorcycles that have become icons of muscular American independence, is now seeking to branch out into the world of both electric motorcycles and electric bicycles. What’s clear is that the company already has the knowledge and some infrastructure to create top-quality electric two-wheeled vehicles; the company currently produces more than 1,000 high-power electric motorcycles each year.
What’s not clear is if a brand that has earned its stripes as a loud and brutish exemplar of raw American power can make a segue into a market that is more about being environmentally friendly and saving energy costs.
Following future dollars
But what Harley is doing, at the end of the day, is simply recognizing the reality of where the market is heading. Sales of electronic bicycles have exploded over the last decade, with millions of units per year being sold in the United States alone. But it is throughout the world where the real potential lies. As cheap means of transportation, electronic bikes have the potential to become the predominant form of personal transportation throughout the world, especially as electric motor and battery technology continues to improve, allowing both high speeds and extremely long ranges.
Harley is already gearing up its operations. The company plans on spending more than $200 million over the next ten years on research, development and manufacturing of electronic bikes and motorcycles. The company is developing products ranging all the way from flagship 200-horsepower electric superbikes all the way down to rider-assisted bicycles. The company believes that the trends towards lower-cost transportation options and the eventual inexorable rise in the prices of fossil fuels will eventually mean that these bikes could turn out to be the next automobile. The future will only tell if they are successful.
Buying gear from a dealership gets old, but looking elsewhere can lead to surprising discoveries. Whether you want to buy a gift for a biker friend or you’re looking for a new investment for yourself, here are a few options to consider.
We all know not to text and drive, but smartphones host a number of applications that make driving easier or more enjoyable. Rather than risk losing your phone while fumbling to skip a song or struggling to find an alternative route, invest in a phone mount that clips the device to your handlebars and allows it to be visible without being a distraction. This product in particular can rotate 360 degrees to allow for optimal visibility. It also features a lifetime warranty, and if while set in the mount, your device is fully insured in the case of accident or loss.
If you spend time off-roading and find your motorcycle is caked in mud, or even if it’s just not looking as clean as it was, it might be a good idea to invest in some cleaning supplies. Though not typical gear, this set includes a number of high-ranking products designed to keep your bike clean and functional.
Because safety and visibility are so important when riding a motorcycle, why not invest into reflective tires? They’ll improve visibility from the side to avoid and prevent collision with vehicles that are switching lanes and whose drivers fail to see you. These tires are a good find because until they’re hit with direct light, they appear black. Because tires have a much larger surface area than, say, your back, reflective tires will increase your chances of being seen and as a result will decrease your likelihood of getting into an accident due to low visibility.
Driving a motorcycle is dangerous business. Getting into an accident means serious injuries at best, and riding in the summer can lead to overheating. With foam built into the jacket and a design that allows for easy cooling and warmth retention depending on the weather, the FLY armored hoodie is a sound investment. The company largely designs products for motocross racers, but their latest creations seem to have a wider audience. With a sleek design that’s both functional and casual, this hoodie will make a great addition to your wardrobe while keeping you safe and comfortable.
Once the heat of summer subsides, what better way to celebrate than taking a long, easy drive through the changing leaves? The United States boasts a number of beautiful, scenic routes to travel by motorcycle and take in the sites of changing leaves across the nation. Here are a few to explore.
Pig Trail Scenic Byway (Arkansas)
Named one of the top motorcycle rides in the U.S., this ride goes north from Clarksville to Oark. While the scenic route of the southern ride is noteworthy, the byway likely gets its name — and its reputation — from the wild twists and turns the road takes; one theory is that the road is reminiscent of a pig’s coiled tail, and it takes you through tunnels of trees that are sure to impress.
Skyline Drive (Georgia)
Contained within Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive takes about three hours to travel. Though this road has a low speed limit, appreciating the nature and wildlife like deer and black bears is worth the sacrifice.
Tunnel of Trees (Michigan)
Fall is the best time to travel this route, as you can embark on what’s known as the M119 Color Tour, where the trees that crowd the highway are bright with autumn colors. You’ll catch glimpses of the shoreline and pass through quaint towns as you travel, and the scenic journey is a memorable one.
Cherohala Skyway (Tennessee and North Carolina)
Stretching more than 40 miles, this wide mountainous road provides an enjoyable ride with a view. It cuts through a forest which, at its peak, is awash with color. With low temperatures and minimal rainfall, autumn proves to be an ideal time to travel this route.
Blue Ridge Parkway (Virginia and North Carolina)
With over 450 miles of roadway, the parkway provides an ample territory to explore. The rocky mountainside and vast wildlife offer a variety of sights to take in, and when you’re not enjoying the scenic overlooks, feel free to stop at the Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson, or one of the vehicle museums along the way.
Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive (Wisconsin)
Crossing from Elkhart Lake to Whitewater Lake, this route extends over 100 miles north to south through multiple counties. Along the drive are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the journey by hiking, fishing, camping, or visiting historical sites.
About Graham Zahoruiko
As Director of Organizational Effectiveness, Public Benefit Corporation, Graham Zahoruiko is leading greater corporate shareholder wealth, public benefit, and social responsibility. Graham gets to exercise a level of independence that is rare in the business world. He needs to rely on himself to deliver on what he has been hired to do. There are no shortcuts, only hard work, and self-reliance. These are qualities intrinsic to Graham Zahoruiko, so it is no wonder that they permeate through his personal life as well. Graham is a motorcycle enthusiast. His most peaceful moments are when he is astride his Harley-Davidson and on the open road. Again, independence is the key. The iconic images of the lone rider tearing across the pavement are certainly romantic, but there is an undeniable beauty to it as well. It is a part of American culture – the independent traveler forging across the country à la the pioneers during westward expansion. The public’s understanding of motorcycle culture is also influenced by popular films – Easy Rider, the Wild Ones, Mad Max. Biker gangs are often a popular trope in these films, echoed by real-world incidences. For instance, the Hell’s Angels at the Altamont Free Concert in 1969 and the violence that ensued.
Graham Zahoruiko was introduced to motorcycle riding as a child when his uncle would give him rides in the front yard. In those days, helmets were optional and Graham and his uncle found themselves on the ground from unsuccessful wheelies. These early experiences manifested themselves into a lifestyle on the bike. Riding has always been a thrill that Graham has enjoyed as it compliments his spontaneous personality. Graham Zahoruiko averages about 5,000 to 7,500 miles during the riding season — April through October — on his black 2013 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softtail Classic.
For Graham and motorcycle riders alike, the open ride provides an immense sense of freedom in the open air. Sometimes with no destination in mind, the motorcycle is the ultimate escape. The open road and the motorcycle community provides the opportunity to meet some of the kindest and most patriotic people. Whether it is a motorcycle rally, event or ride, you always have the chance to meet and learn from interesting people all over the country.
Motorcycle enthusiasts like Graham Zahoruiko have to fight against those negative connotations. To that end, Graham has been able to combine is the love of riding with another one of his passions – philanthropy. Graham regularly participates in fundraising events focusing on motorcycle riding. For example, the 9/11 Ride. The event is organized by America’s 911 Foundation, Inc., and is purposed to remember the heroes, volunteers and victims of September 11th, 2001. Preserving the memories of all those who answered the call on that horrible day is the charge of the ride, and for the best 13 years, they have been very successful. The Ride is an annual event where 100s of riders travel together en mass. For a thousand miles, the caravan rides in formation, visiting each of the three major 9/11 crash sites. The event has grown tremendously, where now major highway interstates are shut down entirely and thousands of spectators line the streets to cheer on the bikers and honor the fallen.