The Cabot Trail - Riding the Cape Breton Coast of Nova Scotia. One of my favorite rides of all time. Roadtrip planning post coming soon.

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Review: Indian’s Thunder Stroke 111 Motor

  The Thunder Stroke 111 has been in the motorcycle market since 2014 so I figured it’s time to take a closer look at this good looking VTwin engine. The

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RoadTest: The 2016 Indian Roadmaster.

  Is this the new Cadillac of touring motorcycles, the 2016 Indian Roadmaster? Here’s my take on this luxury touring dresser. It’s basically the same ride as the 2015 model

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Victory Motorcycle Wheels Fall Off At Polaris

  END OF THE ROAD FOR VICTORY MOTORCYCLES…An American Motorcycle Company Dies Before Its Time… Big News! Polaris Industries announces the end of Victory Motorcycles…Got to admit, I did not

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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

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Remember the Scramblers? They’re back!

  Yay! The Scramblers are making a comeback… I remember these machines being a ton of fun in their heydays of the 1960s and 70s. Now, it looks like they

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Protective Motorcycle EyeWear Done Right

  When on my bikes, I always wear the eye protection that is best suited for my motorbike choice of the day and riding conditions at the time of the

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Want Flare? Go Klock Werks Windshield.

  Wind Tunnel Tested…Rider Approved. My review of the Klock Werks Flare Windshield.  Shortly after I bought my Indian Chieftain, I was contacted by one named #BrianTheBobbleHead. Brian Klock inquired to

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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

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The Beaulieu Brothers Ride the American Southwest

  BEAULIEU BROTHERS RIDE 2016…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

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Roadtest: The 2015 Victory Magnum.

  So, you want a slammed and sleek looking custom bagger that you can ride long distance and that you can actually afford? Here it is…the 2015 Victory Magnum.  

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Riding Season Has Arrived. You Ready?

 

RIDING SEASON 2017 – Time to shift gears and start dreaming about all the wonderful miles you will put on your motorcycles this riding season.

 

Road Trip

My roadtrip to Sturgis75. Read about it. Talk about it. Then, ride out to Sturgis76.

Is your motorcycle roadtrip ready?

If your bike has been sitting idle all winter, you’ll want to give it a good check-up to make sure it is ready to take you safely through the riding season. Let’s run through a quick checklist of items to make sure your motorcycle will be safe, reliable and trouble free.
 
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Before you and your bike leaves the garage, check the following:

1. Tires and wheels
2. Controls – levers, pedals, cables, hoses
3. Sprockets, chains, or belts
4. Lights – headlight, turn signals
5. Fluids and Filters
6. Battery terminals and charge level
7. Brake pads and rotors
8. Chassis – frame, suspension, shocks
9. Kickstand, center stand
10. Start the engine. Monitor idle speed. Adjust as needed.
“A good inspection program should uncover more than the immediate black-and-white problems like failed bulbs, punctured tires and missing fasteners. Some components may gradually slide out of spec, and cause smaller problems that the rider may not notice because they happen so gradually.” Click here to read a good article by Cruiser Magazine’s Art Friedman on the subject of motorcycle pre-checks.
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MOTORCYCLE TOURING RELAXES THE SOUL.

There is nothing like exploring the world from the seat of a motorcycle.

 
 
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Life’s too short to let your dreams sit idle. Get out and ride this summer.
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I know that many of you who follow my blog posts don’t currently have a motorcycle in your garage but are still nuts about motorcycles and the adventures that come with this great sport. Hey, that’s OK. Today’s motorcycles are a major investment for sure so I understand.
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Fact is, we only live once… Seriously, if you are thinking about life and adventure on 2-wheels or 3-wheels, you need to check out all the key manufacturers online to determine which bike is right for you. Then, find a local motorcycle dealer to book a test ride. Once you find a bike that feels good, looks good and rides good…put down a deposit, register for a rider training course and spend the riding season chasing freedom.
 
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Remember, it’s the things you don’t do that you regret the most.
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There are so many great motorcycle brands out there for you to consider. You can buy new or pre-owned to your budget’s content. And, if you want it all…you can even rent a wide variety of motorcycle types from EagleRider Motorcycle Rentals.
 
 
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You don’t need to fork out $25,000 to ride an American Classic this summer. Click image to check out my friends at EagleRider Motorcycle Adventure Rentals.

 
Click on the following links to review the websites of today’s top brands. Harley-Davidson, Indian, Victory, Triumph, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Ducati.
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The Bottom Line…

If your are thinking and dreaming about adding a motorcycle to your life this riding season…I say do it. Just do it! It don’t matter whether you buy or rent, just do it…Ride Safe Out There.

 

LaJolla with the Magnum 300x226

#RideSafeOutThere this riding season. MJB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FYI: The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has excellent motorcycle information for all riders. Check ’em out. Sign up for a Rider Safety Course.

 

Note: Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement ever intended. Please see footer of this website for more information.

 

 

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Distracted Driving Awareness Month

 

DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS – Riding season is on…

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. 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 and habitual texters have become a real menace to all motorcycle riders and cagers alike. 3,477 people were killed and over 421,000 injured in 2015, according to the latest government data.

The distracted driver problem is getting worse in my opinion and this deadly practice must simply, somehow, be stopped.

 

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Menace is defined in Webster’s dictionary as a person or thing that is likely to cause harm; a threat of harm and/or danger. Someone who causes trouble or annoyance…a dangerous or threatening person…”. Yet,  while the dangers of distracted driving, especially texting and driving, are clear, people are still doing it.

Like drugged or drunk drivers, distracted drivers have become a clear and present danger to us all.

I estimate that almost half the drivers I see on California highways seem to be on cell phones, smart phones, texting and/or even checking the internet while driving. It’s a roadway crisis!— MJB

I put tens of thousands of miles on my 2 and 4-wheel vehicles each year and I’m frankly shocked at the number of distracted drivers out there. I even see big rig operators on their cell phones on a regular basis. How insane is this?

Young and old, everyone seems to be doing it! Driver inattention seems to have become a “normal” roadway practice. It’s an addiction as far as I can tell and it appears to be getting worse. According to  New Jersey’s Attorney General’s Office, 53% of crashes in that state labeled “driver inattention” as a contributing factor. Yes, that’s over half of all accidents in Jersey. I suspect this to be a typical statistic in all states across the country.

 

Law Enforcement Cannot Solve The Distracted Driver Problem Without Our Help.

Look-it, I like cops. They do amazing work keeping us safe under the toughest of circumstances. Having them spend valuable life-saving time chasing cell phone use violators is a complete waste of their talent and bravery. Weekend crackdowns, ticket campaigns and checkpoints targeting motorists who are using handheld devices while driving are simply not effective. These actions, while they sound good and even appear worthy, do nothing to curtail this dangerous practice beyond the time period in question.

 

Low-level fines of $100 to $500 on motorists violating the distracted cell phone laws are not working.

Yes, you can add court costs and various fees to increase the penalty but let’s be honest!  These low-level fines have done nothing to stop texting and driving for example. Click here for an example of what I’m talking about…Killer Texter fined only $500!

Now, a $2,500 fine, that’s a meaningful pocketbook pain point. Add loss of a drivers license for 6 to 12 months and you’ll really get people’s attention. And, if you kill someone due to your reckless use of a mobile device while driving, vehicular manslaughter/murder charge at minimum is a must.

Drugged. Drunk. Distracted Drivers…all should be treated as harshly as a DUI sentence in my book. 

 

PLEASE! STOP TEXTING & DRIVING. IT'S JUST NOT WORTH IT!

NICE HIGHWAY SIGN AND THE MESSAGE IS GOOD BUT GUESS WHAT? NO ONE IS READING IT. IT’S JUST NOT WORKING!

 

So, where do we go from here? Here’s my 2-cents.

 

1. I’m no lawyer but I gotta tell yas. Those inflicting pain and misery because of an accident caused by the use of their mobile device need to be at minimum, charged with reckless driving.

Plus, prosecutors should charge offenders with vehicular assault when an accident occurs from such reckless driving. Suspending driving privileges for 12 months should also be part of the legal package.

 

2. Employers must enforce laws that prohibit on-the-job cell phone use while employees are driving on business. Employees should fear the possibility of getting fired should they be caught using their smart phones or laptops while driving on business. In other words, employees engaging in a clearly dangerous workplace behavior and breaking the law should be disciplined…up to and including, being fired for breaking company risk management and safety rules. And, employers, you corporate liability and deep pockets are sure to attract a big lawsuit should one of your employees crash and kill due to being driving distracted on the job.

 

3. Adults need to be better role models to teen drivers. A recent survey, found that 77% of teens say adults tell them not to text and drive yet, do it themselves all the time. Is this nuts or what? Please, it’s time to lead by example people.

 

Better take the pledge before it's to late!

TAKE THE PLEDGE BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE! Click on image for more information.

4. Take The Pledge.

No text message, email, website or video is worth the risk of endangering my life or the lives of others on the road. I pledge to never text and drive and take action to educate others about the dangers of texting while driving. No text is worth the risk. It can wait!”

I like this attempt by AT&T to get the word out. I have taken the pledge…will you?

 

5. Become an advocate. Yes, you need to get involved. Your safe motoring life actually depends on it. If you’re a motorcyclist, there’s no excuse. You must do something against distracted driving. It is literally a threat to our sport and passion.This problem will not go away on its own…we must all play a part.

 

6. Use advanced technology to prevent texting, emailing, or web access while a vehicle is in motion…any motion.

Best I figure, only widespread use of technology that prevents mobile smart phones from working while inside a vehicle will bring any meaningful solution to this deadly problem.

Texting and driving is now a part of people’s psyche…a bad habit stuck in the consciousness of today’s drivers. While tougher laws and large fines should act as a deterrent for the responsible among us, the irresponsible will continue to use their smart phones while driving and as a result, continue to cause accidents.

 

Phone scrambling technology using GPS to disable texting and/or phone calls while a vehicle is in motion.

The technology is available…we just need laws to implement it. I am now convinced that society has no choice but to vote in the mandatory use of this phone scrambling technology less we want distracted driving accidents to continue to wreck the lives of innocent people. Check out one of the leading companies offering such a product, CogoSense Company.

 

7. Join the American Motorcyclists Association and help them work with the NHTSA.

The AMA has taken on the cause of distracted drivers as well and your AMA membership matters towards moving this cause forward. Click here for the AMA’s latest news item on the issue. Click here for the official statement from the AMA regarding their position on the inattentive operation of vehicles.

 

So, what is the government doing about this distracted driving crisis?

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Click image to access online driver training from the pros at Atlantic Tranining.com.

You need to know that the U.S. Department of Transportation, through the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), is trying to help the cause by leading the effort to stop texting and cell phone use behind the wheel. They have held two national distracted driving summits, banned texting and cell phone use for commercial drivers, encouraged states to adopt tough laws, and launched several campaigns to raise public awareness on the issue.

 

Driver training is a key component…but it’s not enough.

As a motorcyclist, I do appreciate the efforts of the NHTSA but fact is, as you have just read throughout this blog post…we have a long way to go before distracted drivers are stopped from menacing users of our roadways. Check out their website and judge for yourself how the government is assisting the cause. Bottom line, you and me need to get involved and help keep the roads safe. No government body can do it for us.

So, as we enter another exciting season of motorcycling, we should all make sure that we have good health insurance and life insurance since there is surely to be more accidents on the highways and byways of this great land due to distracted drivers. The texting and driving problem is that bad I tell yas. Five seconds and it could all be over.

 

The Bottom Line: Don’t Drive Distracted…ever! If you must use your phone while driving, find a safe place to pull off the road before you make your call or send your text. The life you save may well be your own. 

Ride Safe Out There.

 

Remember, Don't Text & Drive. Be Safe!

    Remember, Don’t Text & Drive. Be Safe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement ever intended. Please see footer of this website for more information.

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Indian’s New Bagger Cockpit – Powered by the Ride Command System.

 

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR RIDE…with the all new Ride Command System for 2017 Indian Chieftain, Chieftain Limited, Chieftain Elite and Indian Roadmaster.

For those of you who follow my blog, you’ll recall a blog post I did back in early 2015 about the Indian Roadmaster and how much I liked this new touring motorcycle. My only negative on the bike at the time was the lack of a GPS navigation system.

Well, that observation is history as Indian Motorcycle has just introduced a state of the art touchscreen system that comes with GPS and a whole lot more…read on.

Ride Command Technology is now standard equipment on both the 2017 Chieftain and Roadmaster.

Trademarked as the Indian Motorcycle Ride Command System, Indian’s huge 7-inch display is the largest available on a motorcycle today. As you will note in the following photos, the screen is bright with high-resolution and positioned close to the rider…making it easy to read and reach.

 

2017-imc-roadmaster-green-cream-51 - 646x487 CockPit

 

Cockpit dashboard is huge! 

The big 7-inch touchscreen offers simple information displays that are easy to see and control. It’s a bright, high resolution, 800 x 480 pixels screen that is even brighter than my Samsung Note 4 screen.

 

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Easy to turn on. Easy to see. Easy to use interface.

The touchscreen is operated by state-of-the-art software. One is able to work the screen via touch with gloves on or off. Yes, the 2017 Chieftain and Roadmaster Ride Command System comes with “glove-touch” technology. Impressive indeed! Also of note is the response/activation time following key-on…10 seconds and screen brightness is on.

 

2017-imc-roadmaster-green-cream-47 640x427 CockPit

 

Pinch-to-zoom technology makes screen management easy.

Managing the large screen display is intuitive and one quickly learns the modes and shortcuts available. The pinch-to-zoom technology works like your smart phone. Navigation around the touchscreen is simple as a result. Your bluetooth-enabled device is easily paired to the Ride Command System for maximum utility and use.

 

2017-imc-roadmaster-green-cream-48640x427 HUGEcockPit

 

You can get lost if you want to…but not with Ride Command.

There is a lot of vehicle information available on the Ride Command System screen. The screen can be customized via eight options that can be used in any combination. The Map/Navigation option is awesome. Best I’ve seen on any motorcycle to date.

The maps show turn by turn with clarity. The system also provides points of interest and a points of interest search capability, address search is accurate, audible route notifications can be activated and the system comes with a compass. A unique screen feature is the showing of a list of nearby gas stations when the low fuel indicator light comes on.

 

2017-imc-roadmaster-green-cream-54 640x427 CockPit

 

My Bottom Line…

Indian’s new cockpit system is in a class of its own. The Ride Command System comes with superb built-in navigation that gives you easy to see turn-by-turn directions. Plus, Ride Command provides all kinds of data such as points of interests. Additionally, there’s a tire pressure monitor, fuel range indicator, miles to the next oil change notice, altitude calculation, average fuel usage, and a Bluetooth connection. This, the “Ride Command Touchscreen” system, is Indian’s best innovation to date. Next phase…add Sirius XM radio to the Ride Commander.

 

Ride Safe Out There.

 

Motorcycle Marc

Chieftain Roadtrip Brand MJB 580x644

 

Click on the following links to get more information on Indian’s

2017 Chieftain

2017 Chieftain Limited

2017 Chieftain Elite

and 2017 Roadmaster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement ever intended. See footer of this blog/website for more information. “Ride Command” is a trademark of the Indian Motorcycle Company. Chieftain and Roadmaster cockpit images used in this blog post are the property of Indian Motorcycle International, LLC and used with permission. Always wear a helmet. Always pay attention and keep your eyes on the road. Never ride or drive under the influence.

 

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Roadtest: Street Glide Special…with Milwaukee Eight Motor

 

ROADTESTS, I LOVE ‘EM! The new 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special…

We motorcycle riders live in a great time…There’s an affordability price point for everyone. There’s a riding style design for every 2-wheeler and 3-wheeler out there. The marketplace is flush with pre-owned bikes and the new bikes are technologically outstanding. Choices have never been better. Yes, it’s a wonderful time to be a motorcycle enthusiast/biker.

My latest adventure put me on a new 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special. What a great way to end another spectacular year on 2-wheels.

 

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Picked up this beauty of a bagger from San Diego Harley-Davidson.

 

Imagine if you will…

…riding a new Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special with a brand new 45-degree V-Twin engine from the Motor Company. The first new engine design since the world famous Twin Cam motor of 1999.

The Milwaukee Eight is the most powerful Harley-Davidson engine ever put out by the craftsmen and craftswomen at the factory. The 107ci Milwaukee Eight motor is one impressive engine as you will see in this post.

P.S. There’s also a 114ci version (1,870cc) but that’s for a CVO model blog post in the future.

 

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Stripped down bagger style. Slammed suspension. Talk about sexy curb appeal! The 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special is one good looker.

 

First things first…let’s talk big new motor.

The Milwaukee Eight is a totally new motor from Harley-Davidson. Here are my observations.

 

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Faster Throttle Response. Faster and super smooth. Quick to the touch with crisp throttle action. Very impressive rev ranges too.

Cooler-running engine. In fact, engine coolness operation exceeded my expectations. Significantly less heat transmitted from the heads and exhaust components. Excellent heat management away from the rider.

More power. 92.5 hp out of the factory!  More torque at 111 ft.pd…10% more torque than the Twin Cam 103 and 110. Displacement is serious at 1,750cc. Lots of power…can easily handle two-up riding.

Better sound. You’ll notice less mechanical noise from the internal components of this new motor and a much crisper, richer exhaust note out of the pipes.

More speed. Harley-Davidson engineers claim 3-bike lengths faster from 0-60, 2-bike lengths quicker in top gear 60-80 mph. I was very impressed by the acceleration and speed of this bagger.

Easy Gear Shiftin’. Smooth gearing, easy shifter feel…And, easy to get into Neutral.

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Parked looking good in my mancave for the night.

Rubber mounted & counter balanced. Engine vibration is minimal on the Milwaukee Eight but there’s enough to keep the “Harley feel” of vibration alive.

Harley-Davidson uses a single counter-rotating internal balancer that literally cancels 75% of the engine’s primary shake. The genius of HD manufacturing here is that the “Harley shakin'” while subdued, can still be felt…love this!

RPM at idle. This was one of the first things I noticed when I picked up the Street Glide. Idle rpm has been cut from the normal/regular 1000 rpm down to 850 rpm. Makes for less heat at idle.

 

 

 

“Overall Feel”. In summary, this is a powerhouse motor. The Milwaukee Eight provides faster throttle response, more torque, better sound, runs cooler and it is smooth…really, really smooth.

 

Chassis, Suspension and Braking Observations

If ever there was a world-class feel to a motorcycle ride, the 2017 Street Glide Special offers it.

Front and rear suspension are all new. Control is felt directly throughout your body no matter the acceleration, speed or road condition. Ride is considered “sporty bagger plush” in my opinion.

Harley-Davidson uses dual bending valve fork technology in the new 49mm forks on this Street Glide. Fork travel is 4.6 inches so there’s plenty of room for the unanticipated pot hole.

The front suspension is by ShowaThe rear suspension features dual shock absorbers with 15% to 30% more pre-load adjustment than on prior Street Glide models. Shocks are hydraulically adjustable with a single knob – no tools necessary.

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Superb Brakes. Harley-Davidson teamed up with Brembo Brakes to bring to life a superb, stopping response experience.

These high-end brakes work excellently in corners and work to help you stop quicker whenever you want to.

The braking system on the Street Glide Special is the best I’ve felt to date from Harley-Davidson. The Brembo calipers, stainless steel discs and braking components are world class. The braking with ABS, is responsive and just plain tight.

 

Overall, the new chassis, suspension design and brakes means better control at low speeds and a better highway grip sensation at higher speeds. Quite the impressive riding technology combination I must say. Very good rider control and very comfortable.

 

Honorable Mention…the InfoSystem…GPS & Boom Box

For those of you that like to listen to music while riding or to follow GPS directions when out on the road, you are gonna like this “Boom Box” infosystem. We are talking big, full color touch screen navigation that is easy to use…big ass speakers for big sound and switches/controls that are located where you intuitively expect them to be.

The music sound system is impressive. In fact, it’s better sounding than my home theater system. The Boom Box Owner’s Manual is a must read however in order to learn how to work it all to your liking.

 

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The 2017 Street Glide Special. Hangin’ by the Beach in Del Mar, California.

 

My bottom line…

Run to your nearest Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Dealer to schedule a test ride. The Street Glide Special is an awesome, hot-rod looking, sporty bagger that handles really well. It’s got massive torque and more power than you expect. If you live in SoCal, visit San Diego Harley-Davidson…they’ll take good care of you.

 

Ride Safe Out There.

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Happy Holidays everyone. – Motorcycle Marc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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, biker events and everything in between. For more information, visit www.h-d.com.

About Harley-Davidson in San Diego, California

SDHD began operations in 1915. New York Myke Shelby bought the dealership in 1993 and over the years, turned it into one of the top rider destinations in southern California. Today, Ty Miller & and NY Myke’s daughter, Jen Milller, run the place keeping customers at the forefront of everything they do. Under their leadership, SDHD has become one of the biggest, baddest and best Harley-Davidson dealerships in the world.

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)

 

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.

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Big Time Powertrain Protection from EagleRider

 

PEACE OF MIND FOR FREE!…EagleRider is now offering a 1,000,000 Mile Limited Powertrain Warranty on the motorcycles they sell…Read on…

 

“You are covered for a million miles”, says the EagleRider Flyer.

Springtime is around the corner…click image to reserve your dream bike. Flyer Source: EagleRider

This was the big news all over the Business Wires on Monday, January 23, 2017. EagleRider motorcycle buyers can now feel confident that when they buy a motorcycle from EagleRider, they’ll basically ride worry free up to one million miles.

The protection plan covers the engine, transmission, primary drive and drive axle.

Complimentary powertrain coverage begins immediately following the purchase of an eligible motorcycle.

Eligible motorcycles are fully inspected by the EagleRider techs, are less than 10 years old and have fewer than 60,000 miles on them.

Coverage includes reimbursement for towing up to $75 per occurrence.

Chris McIntyre, EagleRider Founder & CEO, is one customer focused guy. “Our first priority continues to be improving upon our ability to enhance the EagleRider customer experience.”…he often says.

“This additional warranty provides an added sense of assurance for buyers, whether they are first-time buyers or trading in for a newer model from the trusted EagleRider fleet.”

“Full wrap” coverage is also available. “Full Wrap” is warranty coverage that goes beyond what the manufacturer offers.

Additional benefits include roadside assistance, rental reimbursement and the option to choose 24, 36 or 48-month term full wrap coverage for a new motorcycle.  Pre-owned bikes offer 12, 24 or 36-month terms.

This Powertrain Protection program is administered by Enterprise Financial Group, Inc. (EFG) or one of its affiliated companies. P.O. Box 167667, Irving, Texas 75016-7667.

Note that this warranty coverage may vary by state. Description in this blog post  represents only a summary of coverage and is not in any way, shape or form, a contract or part of the EagleRider Certified Pre-Owned agreement. Please read and understand your EagleRider and EFG contracts for complete details.

 

Ride Safe Out There

Thank you for reading my blog. – MJB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About EagleRider – The EagleRider Motorcycle Rental company is one of the world’s top motorcycle experience leaders. The company bring dreams to life for thousands of motorcycle riders worldwide. EagleRider has a vast network of rental locations, travel options and an industry-leading membership program, the EagleRider Membership Club. They also offer motorcycle sales, service and exclusive apparel. Go to www.eaglerider.com for more information.

Note to Motorcycle Renters – 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 the USA and/or in a foreign country. Ride at your own risk.

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

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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

 

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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

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The Beaulieu Brothers Ride the American Southwest

 

BEAULIEU BROTHERS RIDE 2016…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.

 

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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

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Victory Motorcycle Wheels Fall Off At Polaris

 

END OF THE ROAD FOR VICTORY MOTORCYCLES…An American Motorcycle Company Dies Before Its Time…

Big News! Polaris Industries announces the end of Victory Motorcycles…Got to admit, I did not see this news coming on Monday, January 9, 2017.

 

I will always remember where I was when I received the official media Press Release via email from Skyya Communications, Polaris’s PR pros. That warm sunny SoCal morning quickly turned cold as I read the announcement…Say what??? Big market cap Polaris Industries, an almost $6.0 billion corporation, could no longer afford to support the Victory Motorcycle brand? Wow, I said to myself as I boarded on a jet plane for a business trip to the east coast. Where’s the “American Muscle” in that newswire?

 

My history with Victory

As a long time friend and supporter of Victory motorcycles, the announcement both surprised and saddened me. What a shame I pondered as I looked out the airplane window…what the hell happened I wondered? How could such a supposedly powerful big enterprise like Polaris Industries give up on a true American brand after only 18 years in the marketplace?

 

My 2014 Victory High-Ball…best bar-hoppin’ fun bike ever. Click image to read my original blog post on this cool ride.

 

The making of an American motorcycle brand

In order to make sense of why Polaris Industries Chairman and CEO, Scott Wine, President of Motorcycles, Steve Menneto, and the Polaris Board of Directors decided to drop the Victory brand, one must get some perspective and context around what could lead to such a big, brand-killing, strategically-relevant, and future corporate brand positioning decision.

Remember back almost two decades to 1998, Victory was the motorcycle that was going to be the biker’s alternative to market leader, Harley-Davidson.

Victory’s first motorcycle, the V92C, was lauded as the new exciting American-made motorcycle that riders could fall in love with. The press loved it! Polaris championed it. And so began the building of a loyal fan base of Victory owners.

Market excitement for the new motorcycle company jumped exponentially when Arlen Ness Motorcycles of Dublin, CA signed on as a Victory dealership in 1999. The legendary Arlen Ness and his son, Cory, added huge credibility and brand relevancy to America’s new motorcycle company. They also signed on as styling consultants and as accessories supplier to Victory and in 2004, the Nesses created a cool series of sleek looking limited-edition Ness Signature Victory models. A third generation Ness, Zach, even got into the act joining the company after college and championed his own Zach Ness Signature Vegas model in 2011. The Ness family collaboration with the Victory team looked like a match made in motorcycle heaven from all I could see.

 

2008 was a big year with the introduction of the Freedom 106 V-twin.

I first learned about the new Freedom 106 motor during the summer of 2008 when the Victory Vision demo rides arrived at Ness Motorcycles. Victory added this industry-leading powerplant to the Hammers and Vegas models a year later.

By 2013, every Victory model sported the Freedom 106ci V-Twin motor. I loved the power, the acceleration and the look of this engine and, I loved the fact that its 1,731cc became viewed by Harley-Davidson as a serious contender with all its power and torque.

 

106 cubic inches of Modern American Muscle. Click motor image for a series of excellent YouTube videos on this engine. Image Source: Victory Press

 

In 2015, I was fortunate to hook up with then External Relations Manager for Polaris Motorcycles, Robert Pandya. Robert put me in the saddle of a new Victory Magnum for a major roadtest across half the country that would lead me to the 75th Anniversary of Sturgis…and, what an amazing ride it was from San Diego, California to Sturgis, South Dakota.

I made it a point to visit over 10 Polaris/Victory dealers along the way so that I could get a feel for the excitement around the new Victory bikes and to admire the inventory on their showroom floors. The bike ran smooth and cool. It handled really well even as I rode half the trip through heavy rain, thunder and lightning. I will never forget that ride.

 

On my way to Sturgis75. Devils Tower, Wyoming. 2015 Victory Magnum. Click image to read my blog post on this great ride.

 

The world of big money and big company decisions.

Polaris Industries (NYSE: PII) is a giant powersports company. The company had a market cap of $5.8 billion at November 2016. For perspective and comparison, competitor Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG) has a market cap of $10.6 billion. Other competitors of note are Thor Industries (NYSE: THO) which had a market cap of $4.3 billion and Brunswick Industries (NYSE: BC) also around $4.3 billion in 2016.

In 2015, the recreational vehicles segment accounted for a whopping 78.6% of total company sales according to information available from Polaris Investor Relations. Motorcycles generated only 14.8% of total sales. Looking at motorcycle sales over the past several years, you’ll want to note the following:

2012 = $195,789,000 or 6.1% of total company sales of $3.2 billion came from motorcycles

2015 = $698,257,000 or 14.8% of total sales of $4.7 billion originated from motorcycles. Estimates are that the Victory brand accounted for $114 million or only 20.2% of all motorcycle sales at Polaris in 2015.

 

Looking back, one can summize that the arrival of the iconic Indian motorcycle brand at Polaris in 2011 was the beginning of the end for Victory motorcycles.

 

According to published financial reports and insiders in my network, sales and profits from the motorcycle segment increased over the past several years primarily due to aggressive marketing, dealership promotion and company leadership enthusiasm for Indian Motorcycles and Polaris’s new 3-wheeled moto-roadster, the Slingshot.

The Victory brand…Well, retail sales were down a whopping 15% in the fourth quarter of 2015 due to “continued low product availability” and since the arrival of the Indian Motorcycle brand in 2011, there was a real loss of enthusiasm within company leadership to aggressively market and sell the Victory brand, according to my sources. Combine this with the fact that the Victory brand lost money in three of the past five years, according to published reports, and you have a formula for failure.

Media reporting around the industry indicated that Victory Motorcycles accounted for only 3% of the company’s total sales in 2015. ($141 million or viewed another way, Victory accounted for 20.2% of Polaris’s total motorcycle sales in 2015.) 

 

Imagine if Polaris had applied the same marketing strategy and distribution excitement towards selling the Victory story during the first 10 years of the brand’s existence…as it has during the past four years on the promotion of Indian and the Slingshot brands?

 

This is where I believe the company lost its way with Victory…in the marketing, sales and distribution of the Victory brand going all the way back to 2008 when the company introduced its new motor, the Freedom 106.

From cruiser to tourer, every Victory model was outfitted with the powerhouse, industry-leading Freedom 106ci motor in 2013. The brand was ripe for great marketing and a new distribution strategy to accelerate its sales from all I could tell at the time. I got so excited myself that I bought a new Victory High-Ball in early 2014 just for fun.

 

My 2014 Victory High-Ball…total head turner. Full of fun torque.

 

By the end of 2014, reports show that Indian had an estimated 140 dealers in the U.S. and 70 dealers internationally. Globally, Polaris had over 600 Victory Dealers…think about this for a moment. Over 600 established Victory Dealers supposedly selling the Victory brand but sales lagged and did not meet expectations?

While attractive Indian-branded dealerships sprouted up across the U.S. and internationally from 2013 and continues to this day, Victory bikes were lucky to get front door positioning in Polaris’s powersports focused dealerships. Some new Indian dealers also sold Victory bikes but the bikes got mostly back of the showroom floor status from all I saw visiting numerous dealerships across the country. For some reason, the impressive marketing and selling blitz focused on the Indian and Slingshot brands was nowhere to be seen for Victory. I began to wonder back in 2013 why Polaris had decided to not to fully champion the brand.

 

The key leadership player – Steve Menneto, President of Victory and Indian Motorcycle brands.

 

If you believe that Polaris had the financial means, engineering prowess and talented executives like Steve Menneto running the motorcycle segment, you got to wonder about the real reasons why the Victory brand got de-prioritized over the past several years?

Steven D. Menneto, has been the President of Motorcycles at Polaris Industries Inc. and around the Victory Motorcycle brand in numerous leadership capacities since 2009 according to his LinkedIn profile.

According to Bloomberg, he gained valuable experience in various other key roles at Polaris; Director of Dealer & Retail Development, Director of Consumer Sales, Regional Sales and he even dabbled in a Dealer Development Quality intitiative.  He also gained significant hands on dealership experience during his three-year tenure managing a powersports dealership. Fellow blogger extra-ordinaire, Cyril Huze, interviewed Steve Menneto back in March 2014. Steve’s commitment to Victory at the time seemed positive and even optimistic. Click here to read the full interview on Cyril Huze Blog.

So, given all of Steve Menneto’s leadership experience with the Victory brand, why was the Victory brand not promoted as an individual, viable, strong motorcycle brand like the Indian brand? Why was Victory allowed to get lost and relegated to the rear of many of Polaris dealer’s showroom floors?

Back in a 2012 interview with About Bikes Magazine, Steve Menneto had a strategy and a plan for growing the Victory brand profitably. What happen to the execution of that plan?

I am hoping to interview Steve Menneto in the near future about the reasons behind the killing of the Victory brand. We Victory fans want to know so I will report to you all when Steve and I connect.

 

Take note blog fans: Polaris will release its fourth quarter and full-year 2016 financial results and provide 2017 guidance on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.

 

My expectation is that the topic of the Victory brand kill (official announcement here) and its impact on the Polaris brand as a viable motorcycle manufacturer long term will be a hot topic for the Polaris executives in attendance.

Webcast and conference call will be held at 9:00 a.m. Central Time to discuss results. A slide presentation and link to the webcast will be posted on the Polaris Investor Relations website at  ir.polaris.com.  To listen to the conference call by phone, dial 877-706-7543 in the U.S. and Canada, or 478-219-0273 Internationally.  The Conference ID is #45015597. This is one corporate conference communication you don’t want to miss if you care about the future of American made motorcycles.

 

My bottom line…

I love motorcycles but I really love the American brands of Harley-Davidson, Indian and Victory. I’ve owned all three brands, among others, at one time or another over the past 45 years.

The bottom line is that Polaris Industries is a powersports powerhouse with a powersports-trained distribution system (dealerships).  Motorcycles and other hybrid on-road vehicles make up less than 20% of their total revenues. The Victory Motorcycle brand, in my opinion, got lost in dealership showroom clutter and when pinned against lower priced foreign motorcycle brands, it never had a chance.

Why Polaris leaders did not market the Victory brand separately as it is doing so effectively today with the Indian Motorcycle brand we may never know?

I do believe that the Indian brand will benefit from having its step-child Victory model out of its corporate way as long as it continues to be marketed with its own branded, Indian products and services story. For how long, who knows given the demographics buying Indian motorcycles? Me, I own a 2014 Indian Chieftain today with 40,000 miles on it and I love it. Great bagger I do admit.

 

On the road to Monument Valley, Utah with my 2014 Indian Chieftain.

 

As for the 3-wheeler, quasi-roadster, registered as a “motorcycle” Slingshot, it too is being promoted through existing Polaris dealership showrooms and parking lots…tucked away amongst the 4×4 ATVs. Some are even getting good front door placements. All the best to Polaris’s marketing pros as they continue to position this innovative vehicle in the marketplace. Click on this Slingshot link to read my original roadtest blog post.

My bottom line…Victory Motorcycles were well-engineered, sleek good lookers and even attractively priced but they simply could not compete hidden amongst the powersports Side x Side 4-wheelers, ATVs, lower priced foreign motorcycle brands and walls and walls of motocross boots, helmets, duffel bags…etc. Add to this that Victory inspired logo wear and accessories were limited until only a few years ago and the brand was clearly handicapped from a marketing point of view.

Furthermore, except for my many positive visits to the Ness Dealership in NorCal over the years, I never did feel dealer passion for Victory Motorcycles from any of the dozens of Polaris dealers I have visited over the years.

 

Customized cool, right out of the factory. 21-inch front wheel. That’s the Victory Magnum model. Click image for more info.

 

Talk about a missed opportunity for Polaris to fully develop an excellent motorcycle brand in Victory and to prove to Harley-Davidson that they will be a tough competitor for decades to come. Talk about bad news for us motorcycle riders from a price and product standpoint…Less competition, higher prices.

RIP Victory Motorcycles…you will be missed by this motorcycle enthusiast.

 

Me and the Magnum – 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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)

About Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII). Polaris Industries is a global powersports leader with annual 2015 sales of $4.7 billion. Polaris fuels the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts with some of the world’s leading recreational vehicle brands; RANGER®, RZR® and POLARIS GENERAL side-by-side off-road vehicles; the SPORTSMAN® and POLARIS ACE® all-terrain off-road vehicles; INDIAN MOTORCYCLE® midsize and heavyweight motorcycles; SLINGSHOT® moto-roadsters; and Polaris RMK®, INDY®, SWITCHBACK® and RUSH® snowmobiles.  Go to www.polaris.com for more information.

About Arlen Ness Enterprises – Arlen Ness Motorcycles is the motorcycle dealership associated with Arlen Ness Enterprises. They have one of the best reputations anywhere for personal customer service and standing by their wide variety of products. The dealership will continue to service your Victory bikes so there’s no need to worry about that. As you can imagine, given the elimination of the Victory brand by Polaris, all Victory brands at Arlen Ness Motorcycles are on clearance with limited inventory available. Once they are gone off the showroom floor that’s it. Best to get to the dealership asap!

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 their Manufacturer/Owners. Also, note that specifications and any information in this blog is subject to change without notice. No representation of accuracy is made.

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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 party-ready bikers totaling 750,000+ in a week’s time. Unbelievable right?

The Rally, in its 75th year, was held from August 3 to August 9, 2015…and I was there. According to reports, it was the biggest and baddest gathering of motorcycle riders of all time. Best estimates are between 750,000 – 1,000,000 attendees.

During Sturgis week, I visited the legendary Black Hills and rode to several of my favorite American landmarks, including Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower, the Crazy Horse Memorial and Custer State Park.

Click on the following link if you want to quickly find out about the Top 13 Motorcycle Rides Around Sturgis…read on for a taste of my Sturgis 2015 adventure.

 

The Motorcycle – A Custom Bagger from Victory Motorcycles.

I rode a 2015 Victory Magnum to the rally this year. It’s the industry’s coolest, out-of-the-box custom bagger. Meaning, it comes out of the factory looking like the owner added all kinds of aftermarket accessories to it…like pullback ape hanger bars, a 21-inch front wheel, a cool looking low windshield, a great audio sound system, a powerful motor, a sleek seat and custom-designed footrests.

Just to make sure the factory Magnum would fit me perfectly for my 2,000+ mile ride to Sturgis, I rode to my local dealership in El Cajon for some advice on taking this bike on a long distance ride.

They team recommended I switch the low-cut factory windshield to the Flare Windshield from Klock Werks and that we replace the short 6-inch Ape Bars with Victory’s cool 12-inch Apes. This turned out to be an excellent recommendation which made the bike totally comfortable for my 6′ foot frame.

Photo below shows the new bars and windshield on the Magnum.

 

THE VICTORY MAGNUM…ROADTRIP READY. MJBphoto. Note: It was good while it lasted. Victory Motorcycles shut down operations on January 9, 2017. Click image for formal announcement. Wow! Sure caught me by surprise.

 

I left San Diego, California on August 1, 2015 and enjoyed heavy rain, thunder and lightning for the next three days as I explored Utah and Wyoming…challenging riding but still fun! The Magnum ran well throughout the wet weather and was a real road hugger on wet roads. The front fairing, teamed up with the Klock Werks windshield, did a fine job keeping rain away from me.

 

RidingInTheRain - Sturgis75

DOES MY RAIN SUIT MAKE ME LOOK FAT? My rain suit saved my ride and kept me dry throughout the roadtrip. The first 1,000 miles through downpours…my 2015 Sturgis ride was a wet one.

 

The map below shows the states I rode through on my way to South Dakota.

 

ROAD-TO-STURGIS- 516x290 map

 

You meet all kinds of people on road trips...

 

You meet the nicest Russians on America's roads to Sturgis. World bike tourers include Black Hills in their plans.

THE RUSSIANS – You meet the nicest Russians on America’s roads. On a 6-month world tour, they were so excited to be attending Sturgis’s 75th Anniversary.

 

 

THE CHAPLEAU RIDERS.

THE CHAPLEAU RIDERS. You meet the nicest Canadians too.

 

                    Here are the highlights of my 2015 Sturgis Ride.

 

Devils Tower, Wyoming

 

Devils Tower Magnum 640x360

DEVILS TOWER – AMERICA’S FIRST NATIONAL MONUMENT (1906). Northeast Wyoming. Sacred monument to the Lakota and other Indian tribes from the area.

 

 

Granite Spires along Needles Highway

Granite Spires along Needles Highway.

The Needles Highway.

 

Lots of scenery to absorb on this beautiful ride…in fact, it’s one of my favorites.

 

Narrow, winding roads make their way up the hillsides taking you through one-lane tunnels and past huge needle-like stones.

There are overlooks along the 14-mile ride that offer spectacular visions of canyons, cliffs and buttes. Take this road to see the Black Hills area at its best.

 

 

 

Mount Rushmore.

There’s nothing like seeing this monument from the seat of your motorcycle. The faces of four American Presidents are literally carved out of the granite mountain. Mount Rushmore is only 17 miles from Rapid City, South Dakota. One can’t help but feel a strong sense of national pride at this monument. Truly an awesome feat of engineering art.

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, USA

THE MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL.- Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln.

 

The Crazy Horse Memorial.

The Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain monument under construction on privately held land in Custer County, South Dakota. It depicts Crazy Horse, an Oglala Lakota warrior, riding a horse and pointing into the distance. Click here for more info from Wikipedia.

The statue in the forefront of the photo below is literally being carved into the mountain you see in the background. Truly an amazing undertaking and a spectacular memorial to the brave Indian warrior, Crazy Horse.

CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL. World's Largest Carving. Black Hills, South Dakota

CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL. World’s Largest Carving. Black Hills, South Dakota

 

Custer State Park

Custer State Park is South Dakota’s largest and first state park and game preserve. It is named after Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer. The infamous Custer, along with 210 of his men, died in 1876 at the battle of Little Big Horn.

Custer State Park offers great scenery and one of the largest herds of free-roaming buffalo. The Wildlife Loop Road, about 20 miles long, had plenty of pull-off areas to take in the great scenery.

THE AMERICAN BUFFALO. At one time numbered in the millions.

THE AMERICAN BUFFALO. In the mid 1800s, covered the American Plains numbering in the tens of millions.

 

The Hills Around Deadwood, South Dakota.

 

RIDING THE HILLS AROUND DEADWOOD, SOUTH DAKOTA.

RIDING THE HILLS AROUND DEADWOOD, SOUTH DAKOTA.

 

Deadwood Saloon 10 sign

SALOON NUMBER 10…Most famous watering hole in Deadwood, South Dakota.

 

Saloon #10 – This famous saloon and museum is where Wild Bill Hickock bit the dust on August 2, 1876.

The legend of this frontiersman and gunfighter, Wild Bill Hickock, is sure an interesting one. Click here to read all about it.

 

 

The Bottom Line.

My ride from San Diego, California to Sturgis, South Dakota, despite a lot of rain, thunder and lightning, was amazing. My week in Sturgis and my daily rides exploring the region were spectacular. Meeting up with old friends and meeting new ones was a bonus.

The Victory Magnum handled beautifully. This is a comfortable and sleek looking custom bagger with a powerful engine (The Freedom 106). The Victory Magnum is one good looker. I recommend you take a serious look at this motorcycle if you are considering a custom bagger. It’s the coolest, factory custom on the market today in my opinion.

 

Ride Safe Out There.

 

VOGPIC 2015

Thank you for reading my blog folks. – Motorcycle Marc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement intended. All references, images, technical data and general information relating to Victory Motorcycles is the property of Polaris Industries, Inc., unless specifically noted otherwise. Always wear a approved helmet. Never ride under the influence. Motorcycle Marc’s Magnum Motorcycle provided by the Victory Motorcycle Company. Ride sponsorship provided by Indian Motorcycles of El Cajon, California. Special thanks to Nate Wek at South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB) for compiling the Top 13 Rides information from the good folks at “Ultimate Motorcycle Rides“. This info was invaluable to me as I planned my daily rides around Sturgis.

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