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.

Industry Pioneer: Floyd Clymer

Floyd Clymer was born in Indianapolis on October 26, 1895. They shortly after moved to Colorado. Upon moving to Berthoud, Colorado, Floyd’s father purchased the family’s first automobile, a Curved Dashed Oldsmobile which became Floyd’s first car he would learn to drive at the age of 7.

He always showed a passion for cars. He became the youngest Ford dealer in the country at 13 years old. Many publications wrote about Clymer and his early success. He eventually became interested in motorcycles and began entering races. He also opened a Harley Davidson and Excelsior dealership in Greeley, Colorado.

As a motorcycle racer, Clymer gained notoriety by leading a great fraction of the acclaimed Dodge City 300. Floyd was riding a Harley Davidson and was the top performer for much of the race until his bike malfunctioned at 110 laps in the 150 lap competition. This event was just a minor bump in the road for Floyd.

He would then go on to win multiple races including the Pikes Peak hill climb. In 1920 he was victorious in winning the national sidecar championship and prevailed in numerous hill climbing competitions thereafter.

Floyd Clymer is known as a pioneer in the motorcycling profession. He was a racer, a racing promoter, a motorcycle dealer and distributor, a motorcycle manufacturer, a magazine publisher and an author. In 1998, Clymer etched his name in history by being inducted into the motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Floyd’s latter notoriety came largely in part due to his yearly publishing of a yearbook for the Indianapolis 500. His time spent working with them spanned from 1946-1968. He also wrote numerous works on classic cars. These pieces included Henry’s Wonderful Model T, Those Wonderful Old Automobiles, Treasury of Early American Automobiles along with a series of Historical Motor Scrapbooks.

Not only was Floyd Clymer an amazing motorcyclist and writer, but he was a superior entrepreneur. He created innovative ways in marketing and selling motorbikes. He would take his motorcycles to agricultural trade shows and he would demonstrate how the bikes could be utilized in the agricultural industry as well as in the delivery industry, in the police force and in the newspapers companies.

Floyd Clymer was an inspiration to many and his life was a staple of passion and drive. His accomplishments were a direct product of his desires and he achieved them by persevering with great courage and persistence.

Female Riders United: Eastern Canada’s First Female Rally Proves Successful

Women Bikers Increase at Canada’s First Female Rally
Many bikers feel compelled to ride and honor the lives of those who rode with them. The love of motorcycles in Canada and the U.S. has increased, specifically the female biker demographic. Not only are more women riding, more pro-female motorcycle rallies are taking place. One rally, the Backroad Ball, was the first rally by this name held in New Brunswick. Many females showed up in support, so this will likely be the first of many Backroad Balls.

The women of Penobsquis in New Brunswick celebrated their love of bikes over a weekend in June. The event, titled Backroad Ball, was also attended by ladies from the United States. There were at least 100 people that showed up in attendance between June 17-19, 2016. Women riders are up 6% since 1998. According to a survey conducted by the Motorcycle Industry Council, 14% of total motorcycle riders are female. This may seem like a small percentage, but 1.2 million riders are nothing to scoff at. Women are being included in more marketing materials as consumers that enjoy riding bikes as opposed to being an onlooker. It’s worth noting that most female riders are younger than men. The average age of a female rider is 39, for men, it’s 48. About 48% of female riders choose cruiser style bikes, scooters are at 33%, and sports bikes are at 10%.

The event successfully brought together women who love motorcycles across Canada and the U.S. The event was designed to be another version of female biker events such as Babe’s Ride Out and The Dream Roll. In line with the theme of safety, the Safety Service staff gave a speech about proper clothing, keeping your passenger safe, as well as other important topics. New Brunswick claimed 4 casualties due to biker accidents in 2016.

So the awareness of safety was definitely a major topic at the event. Some of the attendees have lost friends in motorcycle accidents, so the theme of safety was not overdone but welcomed. Despite the tragedies that have occurred, women still love to ride and that was the entire purpose of the rally. These attendees ride on in honor of their lost friends and family. These women are not discouraged from riding because of the simple and powerful feeling of total freedom. Lives were honored at the rally with a “minute of thunder”, particularly the life of Erin Robertson.

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

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.

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.