Merry Christmas Riders...May you get the motorcycle of your dreams on December 25th. Artwork by CademPartori.

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Beaulieu Brothers Ride 2019

WE RIDE THE GASPE PENINSULA… Few things in life get my excitement level up like planning for a big motorcycle roadtrip… Note – Blog Post in progress. — MJB This

Motorcycles are still cool so why is the industry hurting?

WHERE ARE THE NEW RIDERS? Motorcycle sales are down, motorcyclists are getting older, and people have all kinds of non-motorcycle related pursuits fighting for their hard-earned, after-tax dollars. Industry distributors,

The Beaulieu Brothers Ride the American Southwest

  BEAULIEU BROTHERS RIDE…Big blue skies, breathtaking natural scenery, John Wayne’s wild west and the rich history of Route 66…Read on… BBR2016 had me riding my Chieftain out of San

Explore Cambodia on a motorcycle…Enduro style.

  AMAZING KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA…See this amazing country from the seat of an Enduro Motorcycle.  The Kingdom of Cambodia was a powerful and prosperous empire that flourished and dominated almost

Romania and Eastern Europe on a Motorcycle

  DREAM RIDE ROMANIA! Imagine riding one of the most exciting roads in the world…the Transfagarasan Highway in Romania. The country of Romania in Eastern Europe is home to the

Harley-Davidson’s Workhorse Bagger – The Electra Glide Ultra

  THE ELECTRA GLIDE…ONE OF MY FAVORITE BIKES — Back in 2004, I bought a brand new Electra Glide Classic from San Diego Harley-Davidson. Me and “the Glide” as I named

Distracted Driving Awareness

WATCH OUT FOR DISTRACTED DRIVERS! Nothing is more threatening to us motorcycle riders than the distracted driver who now commonly occupies our streets, roadways and highways. Driving mobile phone users

Marc’s Magnum Ride to Sturgis75

  STURGIS! The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally…you gotta see it to believe it! Imagine this, Sturgis, South Dakota, a small, quiet mid-western town of 6,500 people, growing to a metropolis of

The American Wall of Death Thrill Show

  Hell Riders, Motor Maniacs, Thrills, Chills and Spills…This is one heck of a carnival-style biker ride! Imagine if you will…trick riding around the country riding in a wooden silo

Destination Sturgis? You got to see these places!

  The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally…truly a “WOW” experience. Imagine if you will, Sturgis, South Dakota, a small, quiet mid-western town of 6,500 people, growing to a metropolis of party-ready bikers

Beaulieu Brothers Ride 2019

WE RIDE THE GASPE PENINSULA…

Few things in life get my excitement level up like planning for a big motorcycle roadtrip…

Note – Blog Post in progress. — MJB

This year’s BBR will have us cover just over 4,000 miles beginning in upstate New York then heading to the tip of eastern Canada then back into New England USA and with a final leg way up north in northern Ontario.

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Day 1 – We meet up in Niagara Falls/Buffalo, New York

Located 17 miles norhtwest of Buffalo, NY, the three Niagara Falls straddle the international border between the province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. The American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are on the American side. The Horseshoe Falls lie right on the border with Canada and the U.S.

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Off to visit a sister in Ottawa, Ontario.

Few things bring back childhood memories like our Mom’s french meat pie known in French as “tourtiere”. Sister Rose inherited our Mom’s great cooking skill and makes the perfect French Tourtiere for us during our stop-over at her home in Ottawa.

Canada’s Capital City, Ottawa, sits on the Ottawa River in eastern Ontario and borders with Gatineau, Quebec. The city was founded as ByTown in 1826.

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On to Quebec City to visit another sister.

La Belle Ville de Quebec…one of the oldest cities in North America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Note the towering Chateau Frontenac in background. Mainly all French speaking, the city was founded on July 3, 1608 by French Explorer, Samuel de Champlain.

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Riding towards Canada’s Atlantic Coast…the incredible beauty of the Gaspe Peninsula.

On the way via Route 132 which tracks south of the massive St. Lawrence River, we’ll make stops in the St. Eusebe-Cabano area to visit family members.

View of Perce Rock from Rt 132. Quebec, Canada
Located on the tip of the Gaspe Peninsula in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

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Once around the Gaspe Peninsula, we’ll head to visit yet another sister in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada lies in the center of the Maritime Provinces. It was founded in 1766 by Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants from Philadelphia, USA.

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The spectacular Cabot Trail ride…

One of the most scenic drives on the planet. Especially amazing from the seat of a motorcycle.
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

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After cruising around Cape Breton, we’ll ride through Nova Scotia towards Saint John, New Brunswick…where two more sisters will get to feed us. 🙂

Saint John, New Brunswick is located on the Bay of Fundy. It is the oldest incorporated city in Canada (1785). French Explorer, Samuel de Champlain, landed here on June 24, 1604.

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Back into the USA – New England region to visit family.

Lawrence, MA originally settled in 1655, is about 15 miles from Lowell, MA. The city is located on the Merrimack River.

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The last leg of BBR2019 will have us heading north into logging country.

After enjoying the company of our cousins around Lawrence, MA, we’ll ride out through New Hampshire and Vermont back into Canada looking to head north on Provincial Highway 17 towards our home town of Chapleau in northern Ontario.

Heading to bush country for the Island Lake Lumbercamp Kids Reunion…
Watch out for moose in northern Ontario.

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Long live the Beaulieu Brothers Rides…

Time sure flies…Brother Roch and me first rode the Cabot Trail back 18 years ago in 2002. He on a 2001 Yamaha Star Cruiser and me on my 1999 Harley-Davidson Dyna Wide Glide.

Ride Safe Out There, 

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Marc & Roch Beaulieu


Beaulieu Brothers, Marc (59) & Roch (57). We’ve been riding motorcycles and exploring everywhere since our early teens growing up in the Island Lake Lumber Camp
in northern Ontario, Canada.

About Motorcycle Marc – I’m a motoblogger, some say a motorcycle evangelist, an industry influencer, ambassador and sponsor. I prefer to ride motorcycles but when I can’t ride I blog about it. Since 2009, I’ve developed a strong, dedicated following of thousands of gearheads, motorheads, biker-wannabes and 2-wheeled adventurers who love motorcycles and everything motorcycle-related. Welcome to my world – Marc J. Beaulieu (MJB)

Note: Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement ever intended. Some of the material for this blog was gathered from numerous articles and websites available in the public domain. Manufacturer Names, Logos, Photos/Images, Websites, Links and Model Information are Registered Trademarks of the Manufacturer and/or Organizations represented. Also, note that specifications and any information in this blog is subject to change without notice. No representation of accuracy is made.

Motorcycles – Winter Storage Prep

WELCOME TO WINTER – Said no motorcycle rider ever!

I grew up in the lumber camp country of Northern Canada where winters were long, brutal and just plain nasty.

As kids, we basically froze our butts off most days from October to May. To make matters worse, we could not ride motorcycles for that 8 month period…Yes, I hated winter in northern Ontario and it hated me. I, therefore, set my sights laser-beam style on southern California and got here legally at the age of 33. I’ve been riding whenever I want ever since.

Quick stop on Del Mar Beach in sunny San Diego, California. Winter riding the 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special. On loan from SDHD.

For those of you riders bound by ice, snow and sleet, I suggest you read this post and follow the storage tips my brother and I learned during those long, cold and dark Canadian winters. Read on…

Clean your bike. Lubricate metal surfaces.

Dirt will begin to corrode and damage metal surfaces if left on your bike for long periods of time. Bike owners need to be sure that they clean their bikes before putting them in storage sheds. If you don’t yet have any storage sheds, you may want to take a look into them for the winter months. Most sellers will provide shed delivery, so you don’t have to worry about the logistics of picking one up. Some people don’t think it is worth getting a shed, either because they think a sheet over the bike is enough to protect it from the elements (it isn’t), or because they are simply trying to save the expense. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune; you could take a look at used storage sheds if you want to save money.

Have a chain? Lubricate it. Lubricate all moving parts such as cables. Make sure you also lubricate the underside of the frame and engine. This will take care of any rust exposed by scratches.

Check your tires. Prepare them for storage.

Prepare your tires by taking out any moisture that may be in them. Simply deflate your tires and then inflate them with clean compressed air. It helps if you have your own compressor.

If at all possible, consider elevating your bike so both tires are not under any load. Use blocks under the frame instead of bottle jacks or motorcycle lift. Lifts and jacks have been known to lose pressure and fail under prolonged period of load time. Double-check your bike to make sure it is secure.

Change your oil and add a quality fuel stabilizer.

Scooters need love and protection too.

Scooters need love and protection too.

This step is really important. Residual fuel and contamitants in the gas and oil can oxidize over the winter months and ruin your engine prematurely.

Change your oil to remove all the dirt and particles. Put in a good fuel stabilizer and run it through your engine for about 10 minutes.

Prep the battery. Buy a quality charger.

I recommend disconnecting and removing your battery from your bike for the winter. Clean the battery cables and battery post connections. Once cleaned, put a fine film of grease on the posts to seal and protect them. Simply remove the grease next spring.

CTEK Battery Chargers…top quality product for sure.

Double-check your battery for cracks and damage. I like battery tenders since they don’t overcharge your battery. Simply hook up a specialized and quality battery charger and let it do its thing all winter long.

My battery charger of choice is made by CTEK.

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Park it and Cover It.

The type of cover you use to protect your motorcycle while it is in storage matters. You’ll want to select a mildew resistant cover.

Also, it’s a good idea to cover the openings of your exhaust pipes unless you want to deal with rodent nests in the spring. This actually happened to me one winter while my Yamaha 125 was stored in an outdoor shed. It was quite the furry blowout when the bike was first started in the spring.

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Review your insurance policy.

Some insurance companies offer reduced rates for motorcycles that are stored during the winter months. Check with your insurance agent for specific details.

Collision coverage can make up anywhere from 22% to 35% of your annual premium so savings can be significant. You can delete the collision coverage if you feel that your bike is stored in a very safe location and is surely not to be exposed to the possibility of any collision.(i.e. your teenager running their car into your bike while stored in the garage.) This is not an option for everyone but sure is worth considering.

Soon...it will be summer...Oh, how I love summer time.

Oh, how I love summer all year long and being able to ride whenever I want.

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The Bottom Line

Gearing down for winter can be an emotional experience for bikers who live in cold climates. Spring time is always around the corner they say. Protect your motorcycle right and it will be ready for that first ride in the spring. Also, remember to double check and clean your leathers, gloves and helmet.

If you live in the cold, wintery parts of this world, you gotta follow the motorcycle storage suggestions above. Me, I live in sunny southern California so I’m riding this weekend.

Special Note: Please inspect your motorcycle before that first spring ride. Look for any loose wires, bolts, connections and mechanical problems before starting your bike. Double check tire pressure. Review any notes you may of made before putting your bike up for the winter.

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Ride Safe Out There.

MJB July 2015 - 336x336

Remember, keep that battery charged up all winter long. – Motorcycle Marc

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About Motorcycle Marc – I’m a motoblogger, some say a motorcycle industry influencer, ambassador and sponsor. I prefer to ride motorcycles but when I can’t ride I blog about it. Since 2009, I’ve developed a strong, dedicated following of thousands of gearheads, motorheads, biker-wannabes and 2-wheeled adventurers who love motorcycles and everything motorcycle-related. Welcome to my world – Marc J. Beaulieu (MJB)

Note: Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement ever intended. Some of the material for this blog was gathered from numerous articles and websites available in the public domain. Manufacturer Names, Logos, Photos/Images, Websites, Links and Model Information are Registered Trademarks of the Manufacturer and/or Organizations represented. Also, note that specifications and any information in this blog is subject to change without notice. No representation of accuracy is made.

Motorcycles are still cool so why is the industry hurting?

WHERE ARE THE NEW RIDERS? Motorcycle sales are down, motorcyclists are getting older, and people have all kinds of non-motorcycle related pursuits fighting for their hard-earned, after-tax dollars. Industry distributors, suppliers and after-market players are all struggling according to numerous media reports and a review of various OEM financial reports. Future sales forecasts by the big manufacturers are weak. Many are working towards lower inventories to ensure they are not producing more bikes than their “current” marketplace can support. So, what’s up?

Here’s my 2-cents on this issue…

The 45+ Demographic –  As is the case with many expensive recreational product offerings such as ATVs, RVs, side-by-sides, boats and motorcycles, personal income levels and interest rates play a huge role in customer demand. In other words, you got to be able to afford your recreational pursuits.

The American Motorcyclist Association indicates the average age of today’s motorcycle rider is 48. Nearly 40% of motorcycles in the U.S. have owners in the 50+ age range. Average household income of a motorcycle owner is above $85,000. This is $30,000 higher than the average household income of $55,000 in the U.S. Basic observation: A disappearing pool of customers (with the money to buy their ever increasingly expensive products) is clearly evident to OEMs and has been so for the past decade.  Despite the evidence, OEMs have been slow to control their selling costs and even more slow to invest in developing other target demographics such as women riders and minorities.

The Aging Rider – Baby Boomer on 2 wheels. – Almost singularly drove the success of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s…but today, they are “aging out” of the motorcycle marketplace.

Product Sticker Shock – It’s no wonder first-time buyers and young people aren’t buying a lot of new motorcycles. Many are loaded with college debt and/or  automobile debt and/or raising young families. In California and other expensive states, a good number of the under 35 crowd can barely afford to leave the comfort of their family’s homes.

OEMs have failed to address the economic reality plaguing this demographic. Best I can tell, young people actually like the idea of participating in adventures and going on roadtrips but view bikes as too expensive a vehicle for it.

Remember the simple minibikes of the 60s & 70s? You could buy them for less than $250 from the Sears Catalog. These bikes got a lot of us riding early.

Not building new motorcycles that young people can afford has been a clear strategic miss by the OEMs in my opinion. For example, the Harley-Davidson Street 500 MSRP is $6,899 plus an estimated 25% for various state and dealerhip charges. Now, your talking almost $9,000 out the dealership door.

Indian’s new Scout Sixty is a really cool ride but at MSRP $8,999 plus an estimated 25% of OEM “disclaimer” fees and you are now looking at $11,249 out the door.

Yamaha Cruisers don’t fare much better with the Bolt Cruiser MSRP at $7,999 + 25% = $10,000.

2018 HD Street 500 – nice bike! First time buyers and young buyers on my blog tell me they would see this Street 500 as much nicer at $6,899 out the dealership door instead of $6,899 MSRP plus various fees. ImageSource: HDMedia

Just 1 in 5 new motorcycle purchases (only 20%) are coming from first-time bike buyers according to marketing expert, Brandon Gaille. Basic observation: Smart competitors have taken notice. Sources tell me that India’s Royal Enfield is getting ready to launch new U.S. bikes in the 500cc and 750cc range for under $7,900 out the door by 2019. Japan’s world famous Honda Super Cub, with engines at 50cc and 110cc, is being launched now in Japan for an out the door price estimated to be $2,500. A U.S. and Canada introduction is expected for 2019.

Used MotorcyclesThe real price to ride value today…comes from used motorcycles. Bikes are so well built that one can consider any pre-owned motorcycle with less than 10,000 miles and less than 10 years old basically like new in my opinion. Riders are saving thousands of dollars by buying good used bikes from Motorcycle Trader, EBay and other sources.

And, for all those fortunate few that can afford/want to pay $40,000 to $50,000 for a new, top of the line Tourer, there’s as many potential such buyers chosing to hang back waiting for a pre-owned, low-mileage Tourer selling for $22,000 to $29,000. Basic observation: Dealers need to display more used bikes up front as viable ride options…don’t hide them in the back of the showroom as outcasts. I’m hearing used bikes are selling so you might as well prioritize them for sale on the showroom floor.

Industry Leadership – Looking around the motorcycle industry, OEM leadership is predominantly male. One is hard-pressed to find many female executives among the C-suite decision-making ranks. So it’s no surprise that female riders have not received top level support from OEMs and their distributors. Key point – The industry cannot hope to capture the hearts and minds of new riders without more diversity in its leadership ranks.

The Motorcycle Industry C-Suite…a male dominated business looking for ways to attract more female riders and other enthusiasts? Clearly, the industry requires new thinking from women and minorities to lead tomorrow’s new sales success.The motorcycle business cannot afford to favor one group over another going forward.

Depending on which statistics you look at, women riders make up between 9% and 14% of the motorcycling population. Gen X women, those born between 1961 and 1981 are currently between 30 and 55 years of age. They appear to be well educated, more confident, more independent and many have good paying jobs. Yes, they got debt and other obligations but so does everyone in this demographic age group.

As a business person, it seems odd to me that women and minorities are so under-represented across the sport of motorcycling given how long motorcycles have been around.

Also, women continue to be promoted not as serious riders and/or passengers but mainly as sexy ornaments to motorcycles and the motorcycle lifestyle. This is a clear marketing target customer miss by OEMs in my opinion given today’s business climate of diversity, inclusion and harrassment. Basic observation: Diversity and inclusion of women and minorities matters. Big time support and respect is a must going forward if OEMs have any hope in developing this major, important group of future riders.

Marketing as a Discipline – does not appear to be a strong, well-funded business competence amongst OEMs. Basic observation: Where are the powerful, executive level, revenue-driving, motorcycle-riding CMOs leading the charge on “experience marketing” initiatives?

Marketing as an Investment – There appears to be enthusiasm for various motorcycle racing segments, a few celebrity endorsements, some money to assist local dealership promotions but little investment by OEMs in the creation of new rider engagements and experiences. The industry’s use of the broad media overall seems to be inadequate for more demand creation. When was the last time you saw a cool television commercial showing a happy motorcycling family outing, for example.

OEM BizTip – It’s all about the customer…not the dealers, not the suppliers, not even the shareholders. Motorcycle manufacturers must build affordable bikes for a broader spectrum of the population in order to re-energize sales.

Basic observation: OEMs need to pivot and invest in more “experience marketing” strategies and plans that are totally customer specific…not dealership specific or feel good engineering specific. OEMs and dealerships need to move beyond Saturday morning coffee and donuts and/or bikini-clad babes washing bikes to attract new riders. It’s about the experience around “the ride” for everyone!

New Rider Prospects – They’re everywhere! Yes! The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that there are near 8 million Americans who have a motorcycle license but don’t own a bike. Where are the sophisticated marketing campaigns and initiatives aimed at converting these 8 million motorcycle-licensed holders that don’t own a bike?

In California, the country’s largest motorcycle market, there are more licensed motorcyclists without a motorcycle than there are licensed riders who currently own one. According to a 2014 Motorcycle Industry Counsel Survey, 1.7 million Californians held licenses to operate motorcycles but only 847,937 motorcycles were registered in the state. I suspect a similar correlation exists today in 2018.

Think about this for a moment…millions of licensed-qualified prospects want to ride and the industry is struggling to sell them bikes? Basic observation: The industry’s traditional marketing and sales model is obviously outdated and nowhere near as effective as it should be…My spin on it…OEMs are making great bikes that people want to ride but they are just too expensive given the weak marketing communication efforts around their overall value. In other words, they have allowed the price-to-ride-value equation to get out of whack.

International Sales – are in motion by OEMs in the U.S.. –  Global sales will play a major role in the financial success of American motorcycle manufacturers if they are able to adapt and build for the international rider. Basic Observation: Dramatically increase your efforts here to optimize your profits and shareholder value.

The Bottom Line

There are an estimated 9.0 million motorcycles registered in the U.S. today, according to the Statistical Portal. The Motorcycle Industry Council estimates that the percentage of U.S. households with at least one bike has settled around 6.8% since 2008. Harley-Davidson wants to add 2.0 million new riders over the next decade…what do the other OEMs want to do?

While the industry and and its participants may rise and fall together, I’m placing the responsibility for the industry’s success today and in the future 100% on the OEMs and their current distribution model. Like many traditional business models, they must change and significantly improved the customer experience to ensure a profitable future in the U.S. and abroad.

OEMs have a responsibility for elevating the visibility of riding. They have the responsibility for working hand-in-hand with their dealers to create family-friendly riding opportunities.  They have a responsibility to train their dealers to be more customer friendly. They have the responsibility to promote safe riding conditions on streets, roads and highways everywhere. They have a responsibility to lower manufacturing costs so that they can bring bikes to market that people can justify buying.

Dealers have the responsibility for bringing the fun back into buying new motorcycles. Yes, OEMs and dealerships…The future of motorcycling is in your hands.

Rode out from San Diego, CA to Monument Valley, Utah in 2016…660 miles one way just for the fun of it. – June 2016

Me, I will continue to promote the great sport of motorcycling with my thousands of social media followers in the hopes that someone somewhere will be inspired to get on a bike and ride.

Coming soon…In Part 2 of this topic, I will provide my 2-cent advice on how motorcycle manufacturers, dealerships and others…can get back on track towards recruiting more riders and selling more bikes. Stay tuned…

Ride Safe Out There,

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About Motorcycle Marc – I’m a motoblogger, some say a motorcycle evangelist, an industry influencer, ambassador and sponsor. I prefer to ride motorcycles but when I can’t ride I blog about it. Since 2009, I’ve developed a strong, dedicated following of tens of thousands of gearheads, motorheads, biker-wannabes and 2-wheeled adventurers who love motorcycles and everything motorcycle-related. Welcome to my world – Marc J. Beaulieu (MJB)

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About Give-A-Shift – The Future of Motorcycling – Roundtable Discussion  This initiative is being championed by motorcycle industry pro, Robert Pandya. I got to give credit where credit is due…his document inspired me to write this blog post. Mr. Pandya recently brought together a number of key motorcycle advocates and industry participants to discuss the realities impacting today’s motorcycle industry. The resulting roundtable report offers some good thoughts and ideas. Click here to read it or click on the Give-A-Shift Banner located in the right side banners of this blog.

Note: Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement ever intended. Some of the material for this blog was gathered from numerous articles and websites available in the public domain. Manufacturer Names, Logos, Photos/Images, Websites, Links and Model Information are Registered Trademarks of the Manufacturer and/or Organizations represented. Also, note that specifications and any information in this blog is subject to change without notice. No representation of accuracy is made.

The Beaulieu Brothers Ride the American Southwest

 

BEAULIEU BROTHERS RIDE…Big blue skies, breathtaking natural scenery, John Wayne’s wild west and the rich history of Route 66…Read on…

BBR2016 had me riding my Chieftain out of San Diego, California early one Saturday morning back in June…Destination: 375 miles eastward to Phoenix, Arizona to meet up with my brother Rocky.

Rocky had just completed 2,000 miles riding with his wife and friends around Arizona, Utah and Colorado. He and I would start the second leg of our Beaulieu Brothers Ride and explore the American Southwest for another 2,500 miles. His motorbike of choice this year was a new BMW K1600 GTL Tourer from Eagle Rider Motorcycle Rentals.

 

Roch E. Beaulieu – Adventure Rider. The Other Half of the Beaulieu Brothers Rides.

 

I must say that the BMW K 1600 GTL is one high-end, classy touring machine. It comes with a 6-cylinder engine that is all power all the time…160 hp, 129 ft-pd of torque (1649cc)…driven by a 6-speed tranny and shaft drive. This is one smooth, luxury motorcycle. I knew that I would need to push my Indian Chieftain to its upper limits to keep up with my younger brother on this BBR.

 

The ride through northern Arizona

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Arizona is one of America’s most interesting states to explore. The state is best known for the Grand Canyon, the Navajo and Apache Nations, Monument Valley, artsy Sedona and Route 66 lore. We tried to see as much of it as we could on this roadtrip.

Flagstaff, Arizona was founded in 1876. It’s an impressive big pine mountain town on the original Route 66…today known as I-40. The railroad reached Flagstaff in 1881. The Mother Road, as Route 66 is affectionally known, passes right through the center of Flagstaff. Route 66 was 90 years old in 2016. The city takes special pride in its Route 66 heritage.

 

Winslow, Arizona…a Bucket List Item for us

We rode into Winslow, Arizona all excited to experience this historic railroad town on Route 66 made famous by one of our favorite rock bands, The Eagles.

Our first stop was at the Old Trails Museum on Kinsley Avenue. The museum is full of interesting exhibits featuring tales and stories of Indian culture, pioneers and explorers, cowboys and ranchers, traders and includes a full history of the Santa Fe Railroad company.

We then headed for the “corner” in downtown Winslow. In 1949, the daily number of automobiles and motorcycles passing through Winslow averaged 3,800…that’s 3,800 vehicles per day! Most of the vehicles were traveling west to California.

Imagine if you will…the hustle, the excitement of being on Route 66 and the road noise as traveler’s passed through this town. America was on the move after WWII ended and Route 66 was like a dream for many seeking fame and fortune out west.

Route 66 in Winslow, Arizona. Closest thing to Americana we could ever experience. The Eagle’s famous song verse reads; “Standin’ on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my Lord, in a Flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.”

 

The Standin’ On The Corner Park is located at the intersection of Kinsley and Second Streets in downtown Winslow.

Takin’ It Easy on the corner in Winslow, AZ

There’s a bronze statue and mural depicting the story behind the famous 1970s Eagles song, “Take It Easy”. The song’s music was written by the late Glenn Frey. The lyrics were written by Jackson Browne. The song’s success literally put Winslow, Arizona on the map.

The park area is paved with inscribed bricks purchased by fans who wanted a permanent place “on the corner”. Look for the Beaulieu Brothers Ride 2016 brick when you visit.

 

The White Mountains of Arizona – Apache Country

The White Mountain Indian Reservation is home to 25 lakes and 400 miles of streams full of rainbow and brown trout. Mount Baldy is the tallest mountain on the reservation at 11,590 feet. It’s a wilderness paradise.

There are over 1,000 campsites for adventurers to enjoy. Hunters love the place. According to one of the roadside plaques, the largest elk ever taken was on White Mountain and 8 of the 10 largest elks listed in the Safari Club International Record Book were taken in Arizona’s White Mountain range.

Growing up in lumber country, we were fascinated by the area’s big logging history and ongoing lumber industry.  The Apache Timber Company, which has the logging rights to the area,  is one of the top 50 lumber companies in the U.S.

Rocky admiring the scenic breathtaking beauty of Arizona’s White Mountains…

 

The Great Monument Valley

Monument Valley extends into both southern Utah and northern Arizona. The valley covers almost 92,000 acres and sits 5,600 feet above sea level.

    “Monument Valley is the place where God put the West.” ~ John Wayne

Known as Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley Park, it’s a truly magical place. The landscape simply overwhelms the senses for both its unique beauty and its vast size. The towering sandstone outcrops are masterpieces towering 400 to 1,000 feet. The formations are simply out of this world.

My Indian Chieftain overlooking the 8th Wonder of the World, Monument Valley.

 

This section of the Navajo Indian Nation contains some of the most picturesque and spectacular scenery in the world. Riding through this special place on a motorcycle puts you in absolute awe of the vastness of this native land.

Near the small village of Mexican Hat, Utah on I-163.

The monolith shaped rock formations stand strong high above the desert floor, the beauty and enormity of the rock pinnacles, spires and buttes blow your mind. The place simply amazes your senses.

Travel Tip: Add Monument Valley to your bucket list. This is one of those regions in the USA you must see before you die.

 

 

Twin Rocks Bluff – unique Utah History

Founded by Mormon pioneers in 1879, the community of Bluff, Utah makes for an interesting stop. We are talking remote and desolate ranching territory just north east of the entrance into Monument Valley. We visited the Twin Rocks Trading Company cafe for breakfast before entering into the Valley.

The Navajo Twin Rocks…The Twin Rocks Trading Post in Bluff Utah offers handcrafted Native American and Southwest art. Good food and good service in the cafe too.

 

John Wayne and Director John Ford made Monument Valley famous.

Legend has it that Ford discovered John Wayne while he was working as a propman around movie sets for then western cowboy star, Tom Mix.

John Ford was a superbly talented film director. He is renowned both for Westerns such as John Wayne’s Stagecoach and The Searchers as well as adaptations of classic 20th-century American novels such as the film, The Grapes of Wrath.

One of my favorite JW mancave posters.

John “Duke” Wayne movies more than any others, have made Monument Valley famous. The “Duke” made five movies there in his lifetime, “Stagecoach” (1939), “Fort Apache” (1948), “Rio Grande” (1950), “The Searchers” (1956) and “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” (1959).

John Wayne (1907-1979) was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. My movie hero, died of lung cancer in 1979. He is buried at Pacific View Memorial Park, Newport Beach, California. Look for his bronze headstone plaque. He is laid to rest on the grassy slope called the “Bayview Terrace”.

Today, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation is one of America’s most important educational and fund raisers for cancer research.

 

 

Exploring New Mexico

New Mexico has a diverse terrain encompassing the Chihuahuan Desert and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

 

Nicknamed the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico is known for its gorgeous high desert landscapes, good roads, artist towns and native culture.

Los Alamos is the site of the secret Manhattan Project that developed the world’s first atomic weapon during World War II. Can you imagine living the life of the scientists charged with this world-changing task in the 1940s?

Today, the Los Alamos National Laboratory is a highly secure U.S. government lab that is still responsible for America’s nuclear arsenal.

Taos is one cool town in northern New Mexico’s high desert, bounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and seemingly inhabited by all kinds of artists…you really get the artist colony feel in this town.
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We stayed in Santa Fe for two days using it as a base for our exploration rides in the northern part of the state. Santa Fe, New Mexico’s capital, was founded as a Spanish colony in 1610 and is known as the oldest state capital city in the United States. This quaint city sits in the Sangre de Cristo foothills. It’s renowned for its Pueblo-style architecture, fancy upscale spas and as an ultra-exclusive creative arts center.
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The Four Corners Monument

Marker at Four Corners Monument – Border of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico

The Four Corners Monument is located on Native American land off US Highway 160. Both the Navajo and Ute people live in the Four Corners area.

We learned more about Native Americans, their cultures and their way of life while riding in this area.

This region has been home to native peoples for hundreds of years. Archaeologists have recorded numerous ancient Puebloan sites dating prior to AD 1300 throughout the Four Corners area.

 

We stopped for an old style shave at Jeffrey’s Barber Shop near Penasco, New Mexico

 

Took time for a relaxing, old-style shave on the backroads near Taos, New Mexico.

 

Southwest Colorado…simply amazing!

Our BBR adventure for 2016 originally began as a bucket list item to visit the True Grit movie locations to see where the Duke filmed his famous movie scenes.

Much of  the 1969 western movie, “True Grit”, was filmed in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and the movie lead to John Wayne’s only Academy Award. The amazing natural scenery of Colorado’s southwest corner was a huge part of the film so we wanted to capture it all on the seat of our motorcycles. Scheduling issues prevented me from joining Rocky on this segment of BBR2016 so it stays on my bucket list of rides to check off in the future.

 

Until the next BBR…

My brother and me, we love the excitement and family bonding moments of our 2-wheeled adventures. It reminds us of the incredible freedoms we enjoyed growing up riding Enduros/Scramblers in the remote lumbercamps of northern Ontario, Canada during the 1970s. Riding gives us quality time together once a year just to be brothers. Stay tuned for more riding adventures from the Beaulieu Brothers in the future.

 

Ride Safe Out There.

Beaulieu Brothers Marc (57) and Rocky (55). Apache Country, Arizona – June 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Motorcycle Marc – I’m a just a motoblogger, some say a motorcycle industry influencer. Since 2009, I’ve developed a strong, dedicated following of gearheads, motorheads, biker-wannabes and 2-wheeled adventurers who love motorcycles and everything motorcycle-related. Welcome to my world – Marc J. Beaulieu (MJB)

About Roch E. Beaulieu – Roch E. Beaulieu is one of Ontario, Canada’s top Financial Wealth Management and Retirement Planners. His company, Financial Planning Logic, advises individuals and families in the development of successful retirement income plans and insurance protection plans. – Roch E. Beaulieu (REB) – www.financiallogic.ca

Bonus BBR Photo…Sierra Mountains on the way to Sturgis, South Dakota from San Francisco, California…BBR2001..16 years ago.

BBR2001 – San Francisco, CA to Toronto, Ontario via the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

 

Note: Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement ever intended. Some of the material for this blog was gathered from numerous articles and websites available in the public domain. Manufacturer Names, Logos, Photos/Images, Websites and Model Information are Registered Trademarks of the Manufacturer. Also, note that specifications and any information in this blog is subject to change without notice. No representation of accuracy is made.

 

Inside Harley-Davidson’s All-New Milwaukee-Eight

 

LET’S GO INSIDE THAT MOTOR…Harley-Davidson’s new Milwaukee Eight is loaded!

 

The Milwaukee-Eight (M8) motor is the first all-new engine design since 1998 when the then-exciting Twin Cam 88 engine came to life. By all accounts, the M8 is bigger, has newly designed cylinder heads with 4-valves per cylinder and meets the strictest emission standards of the world.

And, as you can see below, the 114ci, 1868cc CVO Street Glide looks absolutely stunning. My gearhead buddies tell me that the 114 puts out a whopping 100.6hp!

 

2017 CVO Street Glide. 114ci powerhouse bagger. MSRP $37,799 – Source: HDmedia

 

Oil-cooled or Coolant-cooled heads. You decide.

Best I can tell, you now have the option to getting oil-cooled or coolant-cooled heads. Go 2017 Roadking for oil-cooled or go liquid-cooled with the  “Twin-Cooled” 107ci engine when you demo the Motor Company’s touring motorcycles. — the Road Glide Ultra, Tri Glide Ultra and Ultra Limited models.

The larger 114ci M8 engine comes with liquid-coolant cylinder heads for the CVO Street Glide and CVO Limited models.

 

Source: HDmedia

Note blue passages in rear cylinder and the black hoses that lead over the heads. That’s where the liquid-coolant or oil-coolant circulates in and on top of the engine heads. Source: HDmedia

 

Each cylinder now has four valves. (2-intake valves & 2-exhaust valves) for a total of 8 valves. The new motor comes with a higher compression ratio than its predecessor and has more displacement herego, the ability to push out 10% more torque than the Twin Cam.

Note the dual-sparkplugs per cylinder in the rocker box cutout below. Two sparkplugs are better than one from an efficiency of combustion standpoint.

 

Rocker Box Cutout - HDM8 - Source: HDmedia

Rocker Box – Note the tight-fit rocker arm assembly. HDM8 – Source: HDmedia

 

Electrical Accessories…bring ’em on!

According to the Motor Company, the electrical charging system produces 50% more charge to the battery. This is a significant improvement given all the gadgets now used on touring bikes such as heated gear, big audio systems and a wide variety of electrical accessories.

 

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The Primary Case is an all new design too. Source: HDmedia

 

Note the single chain-driven camshaft in the photo below. Single cams provide less chain noise, are lighter and just mechanically simpler than their Twin Cam predecessor. This cam is driven by a hydraulically tensioned chain. I personally prefer the chain-driven cams instead of gear-driven cams. They are much smoother and quieter in my opinion.

And, for the really big news!

Despite the extra power available with the new 107ci motor, it weighs the same as the now-prehistoric Twin Cam 88. There’s no fat in the M8…it’s all muscle. This means more power with less weight (aka: faster acceleration) and better overall fuel economy.

 

My Bottom Line…

Best I can tell, the new Milwaukee Eight (M8) is technically superior and mechanically better than the Twin Cam it will eventually replace. This said, it’s no high-performance, “Revolution Motor”.

The "Revolution Engine" - Should this of been the "big engine news" for 2017 models? Photo: HDmedia

The Revolution Engine Goes Mainstream at Harley-Davidson. – Should this of been the “big engine news” for 2017 models? Photo: HDmedia

As mentioned in a previous blog post, the new 107ci Milwaukee-Eight produces more torque and kicks out 92.5 horsepower. The 114ci motor is said to generate a whopping 100.6hp.

Yup, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company has a winner here with the Milwaukee-Eight in that it is a slightly more modern version of the Twin Cam and that’s a good thing.

I am somewhat surprised however, that in this day and age of EPA scrutiny and bureaucracy, that the excellent, high-performance EPA-compliant water-cooled engine found in the V-Rods has not yet become more dominant as a feature of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

 

 

Ride Safe Out There.

Motorcycle Marc. #RideSafeOutThere

Motorcycle Marc. #RideSafeOutThere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Harley-Davidson Motor Company – Since 1903, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company has fulfilled dreams of personal freedom with cruiser, touring and custom motorcycles, riding experiences and events, and a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, general merchandise, riding gear and apparel. For more information, visit www.h-d.com.

About Motorcycle Marc – I’m a motoblogger. I prefer to ride motorcycles but when I can’t ride, I blog about it. Since 2009, I’ve developed a strong, dedicated following of gearheads, motorheads, biker-wannabes and 2-wheeled adventurers who love motorcycles and everything motorcycle-related. #RideSafeOutThere – Marc J. Beaulieu (MJB)

Note: Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement ever intended. Manufacturer Names, Logos, Photos/Images, Websites and Model Information are Registered Trademarks of the Manufacturer. Also, note that specifications and any information in this blog is subject to change without notice. No representation of accuracy is made.

 

 

 

Explore Cambodia on a motorcycle…Enduro style.

 

AMAZING KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA…See this amazing country from the seat of an Enduro Motorcycle. 

The Kingdom of Cambodia was a powerful and prosperous empire that flourished and dominated almost all of inland Southeast Asia during the 9th and 14th century. That period was known at the Angkor Period. Today, the kingdom offers an exciting culture, extraordinary natural beauty and has become a favorite tourist destination for adventurers of all types.

Cambodia is predominantly Buddhist with 90% of the population being Theravada Buddhist, 1% Christian and the majority of the remaining population follow Islam, Atheism, Oranimism. See Wikipedia for additional information on the culture of Cambodia.

 

THE FAMOUS ANGKOR WAT TEMPLE. Siem Reap, Cambodia.

THE BUDDHIST TEMPLE ANGKOR WAT. Siem Reap, Cambodia. Click temple image for additional, fascinating information. Source: Wikipedia

 

Angkor Wat is a huge temple area consisting of miles of different sites.  They were constructed around 1000 years ago (half a millennium before Columbus “discovered” America).  Amazing place! It is the largest religious monument in the world and a World Heritage site. An interesting tidbit is that the movine, Tomb Raider, was filmed at Angkor Wat.

 

The globe close up, Asia pastIf you go to Cambodia…

In addition to some amazing history, Cambodia’s landscape spans low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, mountains and the Gulf of Thailand coastline.

Phnom Penh, is the country’s capital. In northwest Cambodia, you’ll find the ruins of Angkor Wat mentioned above. It’s a massive stone temple complex built during the Khmer Empire and a must see.

 

There’s an exciting motorcycle touring company out there.

 

GO WHERE MOTORCYCLE RIDERS GO FOR BIG ADVENTURES.

 

Roads in the Kingdom of Cambodia are in the best condition between the months of November through June. Rivers and lakes are at their highest water levels between August and November. Weather is coolest between November and February. Their famous monsoon rains come dropping down between July and September.

 

DIRT ROAD IN THE CAMBODIAN JUNGLE.

DIRT ROAD IN THE CAMBODIAN JUNGLE.

 

Book and Save with my special Promo Code…MJB016

 

tours-ad

CLICK ON BANNER TO BOOK A TOUR. USE PROMO CODE MJB016.

 

Want more info on the Kingdom of Cambodia? Also go to CEA’s Facebook Page and CEA’s Twitter Handle.

 

Ride Safe Out There.

LaJolla with the Magnum 300x226

Thank you for reading my blog. – Booking 2017 events & blog content now. Limited engagements available so contact me asap. — Motorcycle Marc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement is ever intended. Renter(s) accept all risks of motorcycle rental and motorcycle tour(s). Motorcycle Rental Agreement subject to individual rental company contract terms and conditions. No representation of Touring Company Services or Promises are made on this page or anywhere else in this blog. Always wear an approved helmet, rider and passenger safety gear. Do not drink alcohol or do drugs while riding/driving any motor vehicle.  A special thank you to Wikipedia for their information sharing online library. See footer area of this website for more information. Motorcycling while exciting, is inherently dangerous. Ride at your own risk.  #RideSafeOutThere

Romania and Eastern Europe on a Motorcycle

 

DREAM RIDE ROMANIA! Imagine riding one of the most exciting roads in the world…the Transfagarasan Highway in Romania.

The country of Romania in Eastern Europe is home to the Transylvanian Alps. There you will find the most crooked road in all of Europe known as the Transfagarasan Highway. This mountain highway snakes through the Transfagarasan Pass (6,700 feet above sea level). It’s 56 miles long and takes you to the highest peaks in the southern Carpathian Mountains.

The road is open only three months a year due to the high altitudes and snow packs. Exploring this road with the riding pros at Adventure Motorcycle Tours will blow your mind from all I’m hearing. You’ll cross over 830 narrow bridges, pass by 27 viaducts and lean into dozens of hairpin curves. And as a bonus, the ride comes with picturesque villages, beautiful scenery and you’ll get to meet the friendliest Europeans anywhere on the continent.

Riders Paradise. The Transfagarasan Highway in Romania.

 

Many of the riders who experience this road also participate in a motorcycle tour through the southern part of Eastern Europe. The team at Adventure Motorcycle Tours offers a fully guided roadtrip that will take you through nine countries in Eastern Europe. – Romania, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia and Servia.

 

 

Additionally, the company offers private motorcycle tours with first class accommodations, including rentals of your choice of motorcycle. Ask them about touring around Devil’s Valley, Hell’s Valley, the Ponorului Citadels and the Turzii Gorges.

 

Panoramic view of the Transfagarasan Highway in Romania

 

If you are an Enduro/Scrambler fan, the company offers a seven day tour that explores trails, forest meadows and many rolling hills rarely seen by the general public. You’ll get a nice feel for the Carpathian Mountains on this motorcycle roadtrip.

 

The Legend of Dracula, the Vampire.

Romania – Source: World Atlas Map Website

Did you know that Dracula originates from Romania? Dracula (Vlad Tepes), the scary legend goes, was born in December 1431 in the fortress of Sighisoara, Romania. Click the following link to see the Five Things to Love About Sighisoara.

Dracula is of Gaelic origin (Drac Ullah) and translates to meaning “bad blood”. In Romanian, Dracul stands for Devil or Dragon.

Vampires are believed to hang around crossroads on St. George’s Day, April 23, and the eve of St. Andrew, November 29.

The area is also home to Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula. It’s easy to get caught up in the tale while riding around the area’s winding roads, dark ancient forests and over the spectacular mountain passes.

Dracula – a very interesting tidbit to add to your motorcycle tour as you traverse Transylvania. Click here for the full Dracula story from the Romania Tourism website, Romania Natural and Cultural.

 

The team at Adventure Motorcycle Tours – great ambassadors for their beautiful country.

Romania’s Adventure Motorcycle Tours – Transylvania Live has garnered a strong reputation for motorcycle know-how and riding expertise over the years. Press coverage and testimonials about the Adventure Motorcycle Tours company speaks for itself. All very positive and encouraging.

 

Beautiful Romania. Natural landscapes and lost-in-time villages everywhere.

 

If you go…you will find an exceptionally vital and creative traditional culture. This could well be the motorcycle tour of a lifetime for you so contact the company for all the details you’ll need for your great adventure.

 

Ride Safe Out There.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Motorcycle Marc – I’m a motoblogger. Some say a key motorcycle industry influencer. I prefer to ride motorcycles but when I can’t ride, I blog about it. Since 2009, I’ve developed a strong, loyal following of thousands of gearheads, motorheads, biker-wannabes and 2-wheeled adventurers who love motorcycles and everything motorcycle-related. Welcome to my world. #RideSafeOutThere – Marc J. Beaulieu (MJB)

Note1: Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement ever intended. Photos/images used with permission or sourced from the public domain.

Note2: Renter(s) accept all risks of motorcycle rental. Motorcycle Rental Agreement subject to all Motorcycle Tours and Rental contract terms and conditions. Always wear a helmet and approved rider safety gear. Do not drink alcohol or do drugs while riding/driving any motor vehicle. Motorcycles are inherently dangerous. Double check your insurance coverages to make sure you are covered adequately while renting motorcycles in a foreign country. Ride at your own risk. #RideSafeOutThere

Review: Indian’s Thunder Stroke 111 Motor

UPDATE2: Hi Friends…I just turned over 41,000 miles on my 2014 Indian Chieftain…planning to add another 7,000 miles or so in 2019. Engine is running flawless. I will keep you updated. — Motorcycle Marc.  05/22/2019

UPDATE1: THUNDER STROKE 116ci Stage 3 Big Bore Kit available for 2017 and later Indian Thunder Stroke motors. Selling for $1,999,99. 

This takes your current Thunder Stroke 111ci to a whopping 116ci (1901cc).

The powerplant pros at Indian Motorcycles say the new kit will deliver 20% more horsepower and 15% more torque…all without sacrificing engine reliability. Of course, dealer installation cost is required and for an extra mandatory $1,500 or so depending on your dealer, you’ll need to upgrade to a Stage 1 Exhaust, Air Cleaner and Exhaust Tips. Total estimated cost for your extra 20% horsepower = $3.499.99. 

116ci = 1901cc…this brings to life big time power! PhotoCredit: Indian Motorcycles

Special Note: This big bore kit will not work on pre-2017 Indian Thunder Stroke engines or with Stock Exhaust or Stock Intake . It also will not work with Stage 2 Cam motors. Installation does not void warranty according to Indian Motorcycles. This Stage 3 Kit meets EPA and CARB emission limits but “Non-competition street use may violate federal noise limits” so double check your options with your Indian dealer. Click TS116 for more information. See “Comments” section at the end of this post for fan feedback.

Below is my original post on the TS111 published in August of 2016.

INDIAN’S THUNDER STROKE MOTOR – The Thunder Stroke 111 has been on the market since 2014 so I figured it’s time to take a closer look at this VTwin engine.

The TS111 resembles the Indian Chief motor look of the 40s and early 50s. It’s a nice piece of modern mechanical engineering. It’s about as far advanced as one can take the traditional air-cooled, internal combustion V-Twin engine.

At 111 cubic inches, this 49-degree V-Twin motor (1811cc) puts out an estimated 78 hp @ 4510 rpm and pushes out a whopping 119.2 ft-lbs of torque according to data from the Indian Motor Company. For those of you not familiar with these types of gearhead stats, you can use the term “torque monster” with confidence to describe it.

Old-style classic inspiration

Looking at the early Indian Chief motors, it is easy to see the retro-look resemblance. I personally like the big slanted fins, the fat pushrod tubes, tapered cylinders and downtube exhaust pipes design of that 1940s era.

720x480 - OldIndianChief - S88A8563
EARLY INDIAN CHIEF ENGINE. Circa. 1940s, early 1950s.

Let’s look inside…

I was able to take some nice cut-away photos of the Thunder Stroke 111 while visiting the Indian Motor Company booth in Sturgis this past August 2015. Additionally, the good folks at Indian Motorcycles sent me some of their CAD design images so that I could share an insiders view of the engine with all my blog fans and followers.

TS111 - Full-LefttSide-View-591x480-
THERE’S A HUGE MULTI-PLATE WET CLUTCH IN THIS MOTOR.

Cool CAD designs. I’ve added some tech notes for reference.

0-CAD TS111 -A - 401X398

It’s not often you get to see what the engineers saw on their computer screens when they were designing this motor.

Imagine their excitement when asked to take a clean sheet of paper/screen and come up with a modern air-cooled V-Twin for new Indian motorcycles back in 2011. Oh, and it’s got to ready for testing and production in 24 months.

The Thunder Stroke is a fuel-injected 4-stroke 49 degree V-Twin engine with serious displacement at 111 cubic inches (1811cc).

The engine has a forged single-pin transverse crankshaft that transfers power from the big pistons (3.89 in./101 mm) during their their big 4.45 in/113 mm stroke.

Note the 2-valves per cylinder shown in the diagrams here and the three camshafts driving the parallel pushrods which in turn, bring the hydraulic lifters to life. We’re talking a really cramped mechanical design around them three camshafts.

The 111 is the most innovative interpretation of a V-Twin motor I seen in years.

0-cad clear pic 425x397

As you can see in this post, the motor design of Indian’s Thunder Stroke is modern and innovative.

Big kudos to the engineers at Polaris’s Indian brand for bringing this new V-Twin to market I say.

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Durability and Reliability…tested for over 1,000,000 miles according to the factory.

As indicated earlier in this post, the Thunder Stroke’s monster displacement of 111 cubic inches (1811 cc) is said to deliver 119 ft-lb of torque. The engine tops out at 5500 rpm, and delivers its power through a six-speed overdrive transmission. Compression ratio is high for your basic air and oil cooled engine at 9.5:1.

The new design, which has undergone over one million miles of testing, has a forged single-pin transverse crankshaft to transfer power from the 3.89-in diameter pistons during their 4.45-in stroke.

Full RightSide View 542x480
NOTE THE HELICAL TEETH GEARS ON LEFT SIDE. The right side lower casting area houses the primary drive and 3-camshafts.

The TS111 is an overhead valve engine, with two valves per cylinder controlled by a triple camshaft driving parallel pushrods which activate hydraulic lifters. Yes, you read correctly…this motor has three cams that drive four pushrods that open and close two intake and exhaust valves per head.

As you can see, the design is rather cramped near the crankshaft. The motor has big cylinder outlines and multi-directional cooling fins to optimize engine cooling.

RightSide-Gears-Full-500x480a
PUSHRODS AND LIFTERS IN THE CYLINDER CUT-OUT.

The engine is connected to a six-speed overdrive constant-mesh transmission. Sixth gear turns 3.37 times faster than first gear, leading to an easily controllable transmission that will allow a rider to remain within the power band of the engine under most riding conditions. The clutch is a multiple-plate wet design to provide smooth clutch action without undue slippage.

See the following interesting YouTube videos for additional perspective.

Indian’s introduction video…check out this video

Here’s a factory look from the team at MotoGraphic.

Rider feedback.

My recent social media call for riders with 50,000+ miles on the Thunder Stroke 111 did not uncover such a riding pro but I did find one happy owner with just over 37,000 miles. Here is his quote:

“I have put 37,209 miles on Chieftain #873 since January of ’14 and it has been utterly reliable. I just returned from a month-long ramble across the country of over 4,000 miles, in all kinds of weather and extreme temperatures; I never once had any concern about making it home. I’ve had no clacking, no belt problems, no oil leaks, no rough running. I have put two front and three rear tires on it. Problems, such as they have been, are mostly little electronic glitches in the bike’s sophisticated electronics suite. I’ve replaced three headlight bulbs (commonly available H-4s). It has been the best bike, of many, that I have ever owned. That has been my experience with Chieftain #873.” — Randall… Source: Indian Motorcycle Forum – IndianMotorcycles.net

The Bottom Line.

There’s no doubt this is one powerful, sweet motorcycle engine…a real good looker. It even looks good in a naked Indian Chief frame as shown in my Sturgis Rally photo below.

TS111 IN FRAME MJB PIC dots protect innocents Sturgis
THE 111 FITS REAL TIGHT INSIDE THE INDIAN CHIEF FRAME. FYI: Black dots in image to protect the innocent Sturgis Rally partiers visiting the Indian Motorcycle booth.

The Thunder Stroke is a modern version of a truly classic motor. Only time and hundreds of thousands of road miles will tell if this motor has true reliability and staying power. My motorbike experience tells me that the odds of having a superior, long-lasting motor here with the TS111 are very good. Only time and millions of riding miles will tell.

Best I can tell, the Thunder Stroke 111 engine is the new standard for V-Twin motors on the market today.

Motorcycle Marc

HOOVER DAM PIC Victory 314x183
Ride Safe Out There. — Motorcycle Marc

Note to Indian Motorcycle Co. 

I gotta ask the creative minds at Indian Motorcycles.

Could an innovative, water-cooled crankshaft in-line four be coming in the future?

Stay tuned folks. My bet is that more innovation and excitement will be coming from the Polaris motorcycle companies in the future.

Note: Engine photos taken during my 2015 visit to the Indian Motorcycles display in Sturgis, South Dakota. CAD images and Classic Indian Chief images from Indian Motorcycles’ PR Pros. Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement ever intended. See footer of this blog/website for more information. Ride Safe Out There.

Motorcycle Sales – How can manufacturers and dealers recruit more riders?

AN INDUSTRY IN TRANSITION – The motorcycle business…manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and after-market players are all struggling according to recent media reports and various financial reports. Future sales forecasts by the big manufacturers (OEMs) are weak. So, what’s a motorbike manufacturer and their distributors to do? Here are my thoughts…

Sales Basic#1 – Target the already licensed population.

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that there are near 8 million Americans who have a motorcycle license but don’t own a bike.

In California alone, the country’s largest motorcycle market, there are more licensed motorcyclists without a motorcycle than there are licensed riders who currently own one. According to a 2014 Motorcycle Industry Counsel Survey, 1.7 million Californians held licenses to operate motorcycles but only 847,937 motorcycles were registered in the state. I suspect a similar correlation exists today in 2018.

Think about this for a moment…8,000,000 licensed-qualified prospects want to ride and the industry is struggling to sell them bikes? Basic observation: The industry’s traditional marketing and sales model is obviously outdated and nowhere near as effective as it should be given the pool of ready-to-ride licensed holders.

OEMs are making great bikes that people want to ride but they are perceived as just too expensive so are avoided. There’s a reason we’re all asking how much is a second hand motorbike worth? I agree the price to ride value equation has gotten out of whack but I believe the real problem is bad communication from OEMs and dealerships on the value of motorcycle ownership.

Goal: Identify the licensees by zip code, create campaigns to show them some love, provide attractive reasons to motivate them to visit dealerships and twist some throttle.

Sales Basic #2 – Go International faster!

Today’s marketplace is worldwide and the OEMs know it. Harley-Davidson executed against its long-term objective to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally in 2017 adding 57 new international dealer points. The company also maintained its number one 601+cc motorcycle market share position in countries including the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia and India for 2017.

Marketing Basics #1 – Manufacturers…suggest you all give serious consideration to the following actions.

> Strategy – Re-think your overall marketing strategy. Adopt an “experience marketing” mindset.

OEMs have got to do more to increase awareness of the motorcycling experience.

A more robust and effective media advertising and rider engagement strategy is required by manufacturers. One that compliments and enhances the marketing efforts of their dealers. There’s so much excitement and fun to motorcycles! Every facet of the rider experience is amazing in my book and that has got to be better communicated to a wider group of aspiring riders.

When was the last time you saw a 30 second TV commercial showing a group of riders enjoying a ride together down a scenic mountain road or parking their motorcycles in front of their favorite breakfast diner on a weekend morning?

> Invest in “Experience Marketing”.

OEMs and dealerships need to begin proactively championing motorcycling as part of the great outdoors that can be enjoyed by the entire family. The kids overtime, with early exposure to positive motorcycle experiences, will themselves likely be buyers of bikes as they get older and introduce the sport to their children. I highly recommend OEMs at least double their marketing and sales budgets to promote motorcycling as a recreational outdoor experience that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

> Positioning & Promotion – The open road…guess what, it still matters.

Exploration, travel and adventure is part of the human experience in all age groups. Millennials love travel and adventure. There’s no better way to experience the rawness of it all than from the seat of a motorcycle.

Get on the open road this summer…Explore America on two or three wheels. Click image for the Top 15 motorcycle roads in the U.S..

> Influence Marketing 101 – Get your lobbyists to “lobby” harder and faster.

Lobbyists play a major role in an organized attempt to influence legislators. Every topic from transportation infrastructure and planning to making lands available for enduro riding to keeping the EPA off our backs are areas lobbyists can help the motorcycle industry. Can anyone even name an OEM lobbyist?

Imagine if you will, a strong motorcycle lobby at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC?

> Influence Marketing 102 – Lobby aggressively against distracted driving.

How much time, money and effort are OEMs allocating to curtailing this dangerous cager habit? I believe the distracted driver epidemic is scaring away a significant amount of new riders from enjoying the great sport of motorcycling? Best I can tell, OEMs have had their heads in the sand on this issue. But yet there are many companies and organizations trying to make the roads safer from distracted driving, especially the likes of different California traffic school options available for those looks for further driving education.

Because motorcycles are wide open, we riders find ourselves at an increased risk of injury in the event of an accident…that risk is compounded significantly when you add distracted drivers. If you find yourself in a motorcycle accident, it’s worth contacting Attorney Ray Areshenko at REA Law in Reno, Nevada. This way you can find out if you’re entitled to maximum compensation and claim it.What are OEMs doing about distracted driving? Does anyone know? Please add your info in the comments section at the end of this post.

Manufacturing Basic #1 – OEMs must decrease manufacturing costs!

MSRPs are too high for today’s and tomorrow’s financially challenged prospect customer. Keep increasing MSRPs annually and you will lose more potential riders to other recreational alternatives. Basic observation: Your operating cost structure is contributing, even killing local dealership sales before bikes even hit the dealer’s showroom floor. Simplify your offerings…decrease complexity…Do what you must to reposition your costs. Only a minority of potential riders want technical dashboard complexity, Picasso caliber paint work and/or opera level speakers, let alone pay for it. Many just want to ride quality motorcycles.

Motorcycle Dealers – My 2-cents advice for you.

> Training – Review your customer experience training budgets.

Are they realistic or even sufficient to develop a more customer sensitive motorcycle dealership visit experience.

I have visited hundreds of motorcycle and powersports dealership in many different parts of the world during my riding lifetime. Today, I rarely go on rides without making a stop or two at dealerships. Some visits are pleasant some not so much. For example:

Basic dealership visitor etiquette, such as just being polite and offering a welcoming smile, seems to occur only 50% of the time. While powersports dealership employee attitudes have come a long way over the years, still too many exhibit a negative/bad attitude in my opinion. It’s as if they don’t understand the impact of great customer experiences on their employer’s bottom line.

I admire motorcycle dealers like San Diego Harley-Davidson and motorcycle repair shops like Ron Bishop Motorcycles in Escondido, California. They take customer satisfaction very seriously, and invest in well-trained team members. From all I’ve seen and have experienced, they commonly go beyond just “satisfying” customers. They actually go all out to make potential customers feel at home when visiting their businesses. They even thank people for “dropping by” and visiting.

Still, as they say, you’re only as good as your last customer facing performance. In a world of online reviews and social media, the only way to grow profitably is to consistently exceed the expectations of all customers — men, women, minorities. Dealerships won’t be selling many motorcycles, services and accessories for long if they don’t.

Declutter your Showrooms

Simpler with more space between bikes is key. If a customer or prospect can’t walk between your motorcycles, put up the kickstand and sit happily on your inventory then your bikes are too close together.

Clean up your showrooms and every corner of your dealership…some recent powersports dealerships I’ve seen are messy looking and darn right unattractive. Remember, the whole family needs to be made to feel welcome and “part of the family”.

The dealership motorcycle showroom lineup…works for experienced motorbike pros like me…the new rider? Feels intimidated with so much choice. ImageSource: SDHD

> Diversity & Inclusion

Motorcycle dealerships, especially powersports-oriented dealers, must develop new marketing and sales approaches that will attract women and minority riders. There’s simply too much business opportunity with these two groups to not make them a developmental priority going forward.

The Bottom Line

There are an estimated 9.0 million motorcycles registered in the U.S. today, according to the Statistical Portal. The Motorcycle Industry Council estimates that the percentage of U.S. households with at least one bike has settled around 6.8% since 2008. Harley-Davidson wants to add 2.0 million new riders over the next decade…what do the other OEMs want to do?

OEMs have a responsibility to elevate the visibility of riding. They have the responsibility for working hand-in-hand with their dealers to create family-friendly riding opportunities. They have a responsibility to train their dealers to be more customer friendly. They have the responsibility to promote safe riding conditions on streets, roads and highways everywhere. They have a responsibility to lower manufacturing costs so that they can bring bikes to market that people can justify buying.

Dealers have the responsibility for bringing the fun back into buying new motorcycles. Yes, OEMs and dealerships…The future of motorcycling is in your hands.

Me, I will continue to promote the great sport of motorcycling with my thousands of social media followers in the hopes that someone somewhere will be inspired to get on a bike and ride.

Ride Safe Out There…

About Motorcycle Marc – I’m a motoblogger, some say a motorcycle evangelist, an industry influencer, ambassador and sponsor. I prefer to ride motorcycles but when I can’t ride I blog about it. Since 2009, I’ve developed a strong, dedicated following of thousands of gearheads, motorheads, biker-wannabes and 2-wheeled adventurers who love motorcycles and everything motorcycle-related. Welcome to my world – Marc J. Beaulieu (MJB)

Note: Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement ever intended. Some of the material for this blog was gathered from numerous articles and websites available in the public domain. Manufacturer Names, Logos, Photos/Images, Websites, Links and Model Information are Registered Trademarks of the Manufacturer and/or Organizations represented. Also, note that specifications and any information in this blog is subject to change without notice. No representation of accuracy is made.

Distracted Drivers…ready to snuff you out.

“Motorcycling…is not of itself, inherently dangerous. Riding a motorcycle is however, extremely unforgiving of inattention, ignorance, incompetence or stupidity.” Not sure who came up with the above quote and observation but I gotta tell yas…after 45 years of motorcycle riding experience, I could not of said it better myself. Unfortunately, we must add an additional warning to this observation today. No matter how good and safe a rider you are, there’s a distracted driver out there who could snuff you out. If you’re wanting to protect yourself and others against these distracted drivers, crashes and accidents in general, investing in a dashboard camera for your car will help you prove you’re in the right or wrong at the time of the accident, you may want to look into blackboxmycar.com. If you have been in a motorcycle or a motor vehicle accident, be sure to start looking for solicitors as there are many around to help cater to your needs, MRH Solicitors is one of many that you could look into. Read on… Nearly 80% of crashes believed to be caused by distracted drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the accident event. Primary causes of driver inattention are distracting activities such as cell phone use and drowsiness.” – Source: American Motorcyclist Association

Distracted drivers are everywhere. Be extra careful when riding your motorcycle. Distracted drivers are everywhere. Fact is, this dangerous practice seems to be getting worse every year. Government bureaucrats have been slow to act on prevention. $161 fine for distracted driving infractions is a joke in California for example. California’s, “It’s not worth it”, campaign is actually not worth it from all I’ve seen as there appears to be little change to cell phone use while driving. Yes, there are all kinds of feel good press releases from Sacramento…I read them but let’s be honest…one cannot get on any highway today without seeing driver cell phone use in action. Want to know more about distracted driving legislation in your state? Follow the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) for updates. Everyone at the NCSL talks about distracted driving being a major traffic safety issue but what are they really doing about it? Where’s Goofy Flo and Gecko The Reptilian Mascot regarding this important issue? Surprisingly, the automobile insurance industry hasn’t done all that much beyond providing basic tips to policyholders. Some have gone all out to create “Don’t Drive Distracted” contests for teenagers. Other insurers provide informative “Cell Phone Safety Tips“. Where’s the multi-million dollar advertising campaigns talking about doubling auto insurance premiums for those who get caught driving while distracted? Could Flo be secretly supporting America’s conversion to driverless cars so that drivers can sit back and text away? Or, how about working to legislate an industry wide insurance contract clause that says that any claim payment due as a result of an at-fault distracted driving crash will be shared 50/50 by the policyholding driver and the insurance company? Think this would change driver behavior?

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The American Motorcyclist Association is doing all they can to combat distracted driving. Click banner for more info.

Note to employers…have you heard of “vicarious responsibility”? Under the doctrine of vicarious responsibility, employers may be held legally accountable for the negligent acts of employees committed in the course of employment. Employers may also be found negligent if they fail to put in place a policy for the safe use of cellphones. Yes, your company could be held liable for accidents caused by your employees while driving and conducting work-related conversations on cellphones, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The Bottom Line Distracted drivers are unable to focus their full attention on the road. As noted earlier, they are the leading cause of most crashes per the NHTSA. They are a menace to themselves, their passengers, other drivers and killers of motorcyclists. Only you can prevent motorcycle accidents so look out for the distracted driver. He/she has become a total threat to our beloved sport of motorcycling. At least if we do fall victim to the total negligence of another driver, we have access to legal recourse to bring them to justice and to recover compensation – more at hamptonlaw.com. Me, I gave up riding motorcycles during commute hours years ago as I witnessed the driving while distracted epidemic take hold. The riding risk-to-reward ratio during commute times is simply not “worth it” to me. Ride Safe Out There. Motorcycle Marc
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Thank you for reading my blog.

P.S. Please consider taking a Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider course that is appropriate for your riding skill level. Whether beginner or experienced, the Foundation has a rider safety course for you. Note: Copyrights and trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement ever intended. See footer of this blog/website for more information.