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.

 

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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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A logo of victory motorcycles and indian motorcycle.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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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
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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

 

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

 

Southwest Colorado…simply amazing!
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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 Gritâ€, 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.

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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.

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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.

 

Great Motorcycle Tours – Italy


Of all the countries that I have traveled to…Italy is one of my all time favorites. I just love the place… — Motorcycle Marc

Italy has some of the most spectacular scenery imaginable and offers amazing cultural wealth. The country is full of interesting places. You’ll know this if you’ve ever looked at rentals in Siena with the option of spending your vacation there. It hosts the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites of any country in the world for example (51). It is a must see destination for those of you who love to travel and explore.
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My family and I landed in Rome, Italy in September 2013 with the intention of learning all we could about the amazing history of this great city, the country and Italy’s great selection of wines.
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Rome, Italy’s largest city with 4,000,000 people, has a history spanning more than 2,500 years. It is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Europe. Vatican City, the smallest independent state in the world, is a walled 110 acre enclave withing the city of Rome which houses the Pope and his entourage of Catholics.
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One of the most amazing sites we visited while in Rome was the Colosseum. This huge amphitheatre was built in the first century. It is just simply…amazing. Click here for a full history of this enormous stadium.
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The Colosseum in Rome. Scooters were everywhere.

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There are many ways to explore Italy. Planes, trains, automobiles and motorcycle rental services are available throughout the country. Many companies offer guided tours.
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Our favorite tour company for families wanting to see Italy up close is Trafalgar Tours. Their “Best of Italy” tour is exceptional.
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For you motorcyclists out there, I suggest you look up “Hear The Road” Motorcycle Tours to get a 2-wheeled view to the scenic landscape that is all over Italy.
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Amalfi Coast…nothing short of spectacular riding. Scenery…takes your breath away.

If you go…consider a guided motorcycle tour to really see and feel the true spectacular beauty of Italy.

The “Hear The Road” Motorcycle Tours company is becoming well-known and respected for its unique Italian Guided Tours.

A logo of victory motorcycles and indian motorcycle.As a guest, you will be lead by professional Tour Leader Enrico Grassi, founder of Hear the Road Tours. Enrico has spent hundreds of hours developing the travel routes, the cities to visit, the sites to see as well as the hotels and food options key to making this kind of an adventure something to remember and cherish for a lifetime. It’s the kind of experience you’d expect from Global Basecamps and similar groups, to be honest!

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The Dolomites Mountains in the northeastern Alps of Italy. Considered one of the most dramatic and scenic mountain ranges in the world.

From all I’ve heard and read, guided motorcycle tours by Enrico Grassi’s company have everything you need for your great Italian experience: an English speaking Tour leader, the best route to ride on, comfortable accommodation, great food throughout the roadtrip, beautiful historical cities to explore, interesting venues to visit, and a support van for your luggage.

A special note about my favorite Italian Wine.

Be forewarned that one cannot visit Italy without indulging in the country’s world-class selection of wines so you want to give yourself plenty of time to visit wineries and vineyards. And, it goes without saying that you should arrange for safe, independent transportation as you hop from one winery to another.

Our favorite winery visited in 2013 and to this day is the classic winery from Fratelli Saraceni – Lorenzo and Matteo Saraceni, well-known and admired Italian hoteliers and restaurateurs, founded Fratelli Saraceni.

Two generations of the Saraceni family have grown their business from a single restaurant (I Tre Pini) in the heart of the Tuscan hills into a world renowned hospitality brand recognized all over the world for its distinguished and historical venues, its embracing service and its exclusive high quality dishes based on family recipes.

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Breathtaking scenery all over Tuscany. Just look at these beautiful sunny fields.

Our family visit to Libero’s restaurant (I Tri Pini) and winery (Saraceni) in 2013 was simple luxury. Great hospitality wrapped around great local foods and spectacular wines delivered with enthusiastic and friendly service…an experience me and my family will not forget.

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We were honored to meet Libero and his children back in the busy kitchen of their world class restaurant, the I Tri Pini Restaurant.

The Saraceni’s Tuscan wine collection is truly extraordinary. A true representation of the typical characteristics of the grapes and the terroir from Tuscany, the Chianti region and Prosecco regions of Veneto.

A logo of victory motorcycles and indian motorcycle.Lorenzo and Matteo were affectionately inspired to name the collection after their father, Libero. The Libero Collection is composed of quality wines with fresh and fruity tones that are each identified by their unique and individual details.

So, as you ponder where your travels and great motorcycle adventures should take you in 2016, I highly recommend you add Italy to your wish list of destinations. You will be inspired to live it up for sure.

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Beautiful Lake Como in northern Italy.

Ride Safe Out There.

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Lake Como, Italy — Motorcycle Marc

Note: I don’t accept financial consideration for product/service/travel reviews but gladly accept keeping the products reviewed for my personal use or having the products donated to a charity in my name. Reviews are my own opinions. There’s no influence or funny stuff. I either like the product or I don’t. Use products/services/travels reviewed at your own risk. Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement ever intended. Photos are either my own or purchased directly from various photo services. See footer of this blog/website for more information. #RideSafeOutThere

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.

 

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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.

 

A logo of victory motorcycles and indian motorcycle.If 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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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

Release Your Adventurous Spirit.


We Begin A New Year Fellow Adventurers.

January is the perfect month to reflect, recalibrate and take a fresh look at where we go from here. Let’s reflect on the times for a moment.

No doubt about it. These are different times.

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Lone Biker Reflecting On 2014

Seems everyone is rushing to get somewhere or to achieve something. Add in an overload of negative media, unlimited internet access, fierce competition, a pop culture gone wild, a weakened economy, politicians who lie and, it becomes almost impossible to hear yourself think let alone try to live the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Here’s a commentary, attributed to various authors, on our times worth noting as we reflect and think about where to focus in this new year.

Something To Ponder – “The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.”

“We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.”

So what to do about what seems to be crazy times?

LifeTip: Focus on what matters. Do what counts. Cherish your loved ones with all your heart.

Doing what you like to do really matters. It’s good for your soul. It helps you find purpose and fulfillment in your life. Get totally focused on what matters to you and your family in 2014. As the various authors went on to say in this commentary:

“Remember to spend time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent. Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind. And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.” – Click here for attributions.

The first month of every year is the perfect time to recalibrate.

I like the way author, Marina Theodotou, spells it out about recalibration. “While hindsight is usually 20/20 she says, what would you have handled differently given the chance?”

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What would you have handled differently given the chance last year?

“Time is our most scarce and valuable resource. We need to recalibrate our thoughts and actions so that we can use time well.”

“What would you tweak to reach a balance? Less work, more rest? Less Facebook, more books? Less worry, more meditation? Of course, whatever works well, you probably will chose to do more of. Whatever it is, now is the time to decide how much of your time you will spend on what.” Great advice here from Marina.

LifeTip: Simplify…Get rid of clutter. Get rid of debt.

There’s way too much unnecessary noise and clutter around us in my opinion. Much of it totally unnecessary. Consider transforming your life in 2014 to exactly the low-clutter, minimal distraction life you want.

Want to really improve your life? Do everything you can to pay off consumer debt and stay out of debt. Correspondingly, researching some of the different debt consolidation options out there can help you to manage your personal finances in a more efficient way. Although right now, you might be wondering, ‘what is debt consolidation?’ there is no telling what the future might hold and therefore the sooner you can work out a repayment plan for any outstanding debts, the better your chances of getting your debts paid off in a timely manner. Besides, nothing seems to kill life’s beautiful moments and one’s dreams like having too much debt. It’s an action strangler. It’s a freedom killer. Bottom line, if you can’t afford it, you can’t buy it. Accumulating massive debt is a surefire way to put yourself in a bad place. Click here to learn about the basics of getting out of debt.

So, what’s the best way to recharge?

LifeTip: Stop running. Slow down. Refresh. Go on a road trip.

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There’s nothing like a motorcycle ride to recharge.

Hey, I understand that one has to work beyond their limits sometimes and we can even burn out from time to time but fact is, we need to learn how to recharge.

Learn to walk away. Ground yourself by taking a breather. Get out on your motorcycle. Feel the wind. Enjoy the freedom of the road.

Commit to getting really focused on those actions or things that charge you up. Avoid all the people, things and events that bring you down. Take a mental day off and do nothing for 24 hours. You’ll be amazed how refreshed and recharged you will feel.

The Big Tip…Pandemic or no Pandemic — Release your adventurous spirit…but, be safe out there. Wear a mask. Practice Social Distancing.

As adventure author, Jon Krakauer, said in his book, “Into The Wild” — “Nothing kills our adventurous spirit like being stuck to a life of security, conformity and conservatism. It may feel good, it may even give you peace of mind but in reality, one’s total focus on a secure future numbs or even kills our innate need for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” So true…so true!

Ride Safe Out There.

Motorcycle Marc

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

Bonneville’s Burt Munro – hero of the salt.


The Life Story of Bonneville Speedster, Burt Munro,…simply amazing.

So inspirational to gearheads like me.

To really understand “Herbert James Munro“, (aka: Burt Munro) you have to be a true motorcycle gearhead and a lover of the many adventures that come from the great sport of motorcycling. Yes, Burt Munro was nuts about motorcycle mechanics and the amazing things you can do with carburetors, pistons, heads and transmission gearing. His amazing knowledge of 2-wheelers, their motors and their design, allowed him to accomplish things on the speedway at Bonneville that were deemed impossible to us average mortals.

In 50 years of racing, he had some 250 motors blow up. With only basic tools and equipment, he used spectacular mechanical engineering ingenuity to rebuild his motors and do it all over again. Plus, at the age of 63, when most old farts start giving up, he set off to set speed records at the world-famous Bonneville Salt Flats. Truly an inspiration I tell yas. Truly inspirational. Read on!

Burt on his famed #35 Indian – 1962


Burt Munro came out of Invercargill, New Zealand, a friendly place in the southland farming
region of New Zealand. This little city, population today estimated at 53,000, is one of the southernmost cities in the world. It was on his family’s nearby farm where a young Burt would first find his passion for machines and motorcycles especially, the 1920 Indian Scout. A motorcycle he would build, rebuild and modify for over 50 years. Like many of us motorcycle enthusiasts, he got his first bike at the young age of 15. He bought his first Indian Scout in 1920 at the age of 21. The rest of the story…is amazing history folks.

 

Burt Munro: 03/25/1899 –  01/06/1978
Source: Adapted from RD Menzies Photo

The Indian Scout…now, there was a machine in it’s day.
 

Best I can tell…the Indian Scout came to life in 1920 with a 37 cubic inch engine
registered as a 606 cubic inch. Powerful for the day. The bike was built by the great Indian Motorcycle Company from 1920 to 1949. It was a very popular model. The original top speed of the Scout was 55
mph on its stock flathead motor.

Remarkably, Burt Munro figured out how to get it to a record 185.585 mph in 1967 by adding overhead cams to the original flathead V-Twin, machining his own cylinders from old gas pipes, casting his own pistons and fabricating connecting rods from a tractor axle…so the story goes according to author, Richard Menzies. Genius stuff. Absolutely genius mechanical construction skill.

                                  

Original
500-745cc V-Twin 1920 Indian Scout

The guy set a land-speed world record

at the Salt Flats on August 26, 1967.
And, it still stands today! 

 
 
 
Mr. Munro made ten trips to the famed Bonneville Salt Flats. He was 67 years old when he set the world record in 1967 riding his beat up Munro Special Indian.

Burt was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2006.
Click here for a summary of his amazing story from the American Motorcycle Association.

The Munro Motor – you can actually hear it.
 

Jay Leno comments on the original Burt Munro Special 35 Bonneville record setter bike. Click here to hear the engine sound and to see Jay admire this mechanical masterpiece.  This is the actual bike that
set the record three times during the 1960’s for bikes under 1,000cc. Click original motor sound to hear it.
Amazing isn’t it?   


 

Not sure who took this photo but I love it. Great pic of Burt and his record-setting #35 Indian machine.


The World’s Fastest Indian – movie excerpts for the fun of it all.

Movie excerpt #1: Timer speaking – 193.728 mph — 194.291 mph – the wobble. 201.851 – a new, amazing record. The crash on the Bonneville Salt Flats….Movie’s Writer and Director is Roger Donaldson (Super Job Roger!). Stars the great actor, Anthony Hopkins (perfectly cast for the role.). Includes Diane Ladd, Iain Rea, Christopher Lawford and many other
talented actors. Click here for the entire cast and crew list. You gotta see this movie to understand what I am talking about. You can buy the movie here.




Movie excerpt #2 here. Racing the “bikies” on the beach in New
Zealand…where he needs a push to get going then beats their buts but crashes
as he nears the last turn. 


Movie excerpt #3 – can Burt handle the Munro Special on the Salt? 2nd gear results get him in. Troubled by wobble at around 180 mph.Click here for the official record of Burt Munro’s racing
accomplishments.

Tribute Video from the Indian Motorcycle Company.


Click on clock for video.

Now, for some rare pics of the man himself. Meet the real Mr. Burt Munro. One of the “Gods” of
motorcycle machinery and the great sport of motorcycling.   



Burt Munro – 1899 – 1978 — RIP Sir. Source: Flickr.com – RD Menzies

For decades, Burt Munro’s speed racing accomplishments were little known outside a small, enthusiastic
group of Bonneville gearheads like me. That all changed when the movie, The World’s Fastest Indian, came to theatres and TV sets.

I want to personally thank film maker, Roger Donaldson and the Munro Family for bringing Mr. Burt Munro’s story to life. It’s one hell of a true story and needs to be told for all generations to enjoy.


Ride Safe Out There,

       Motorcycle Marc

Yup. That’s me at Bonneville 2011.

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Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement is ever intended.  If you see something you don’t like or feel that we have used your copyrighted or trademarked material inappropriately, let me know asap and I will immediately correct attribution or remove your material. Please contact me via the comments field of the article in question should you need to regarding material. Thank you. – Motorcycle Marc.

My Project LiveWire Ride. – High Voltage Road Test.


Project LiveWire is the marketing code name given to Harley-Davidson’s first electronic motorcycle.

Harley’s Project LiveWire Experience Tour rode into America’s Finest City in July 2014 and I got to road test the Motor Company’s very first electronic motorcycle.

As we saw with Project Rushmore, Harley-Davidson does a good job seeking input and feedback from its customers, I was one of the select consumers across the country who was given the opportunity to ride their new electronic motorcycle and provide my overall impressions of the experience.

So, here’s my feedback HD. I have added design suggestions throughout this post for your marketing and engineering guru’s to ponder as they go forth shaping the future of these innovative machines.

The Basic eBike Look.

There it is folks. As you can see in the photo below, this is a good-looking motorcycle. Frame has clean lines and is well proportioned for holding the eMotor casing and the rest of the bike together.

 

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The San Diego Harley-Davidson Team was on top of it’s game as usual. That’s SDHD Customer Care Pro, Aimee Holmes, ready to answer all my questions and to make sure I bought Project LiveWire T-shirts for all of my friends and family.

 

The Dashboard and Front-End View.

Motorcycle design is as much look as it is function. The LiveWire dashboard is impressive in both its look and clarity. I really liked the touch and go selection options on the LCD-style panel. As for the position of the rear view mirrors?  Not-functional as currently located below the handlebars. They gotta go.

Design Tip1: Re-locate rear view mirrors above the handlebars where they will actually function to let a rider see the traffic action behind them.

Design Tip2: Handlebars – see image note below.

 

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Design Tip2: Consider a different set of handlebars. Wider and higher bars which allow the rider to sit up as opposed to crouching forward.

 

LiveWire Dashboard Close Up View.

The LCD-style dashboard status screen is impressive. Bright, detailed and easy to read. I found having the option of choosing a “range ride” versus “power ride” very interesting although, I personally did not feel any difference in throttle twist impact. The eBike goes, really really goes, no matter which ride option I selected…0-60 mph in less than 4 seconds is good enough for me.

 

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Welcome to Harley’s LiveWire dashboard. Select your ride power band, twist throttle, GO!

 

Electrical Motor Performance Specs

“Oooooh, powered by an AC lithium-ion battery”, I muttered as I approached my test LiveWire…just doesn’t sound all that kickass I’m thinking to myself as I pull up the kickstand. But I must admit, the bike offered awesome rubber-shredding acceleration at various throttle twists. The power band totally exceeded my expectations. I went in thinking lawn mower fast, came out from the test ride very impressed with the electric motor’s power, speed and super responsive acceleration.

Note to self: “I’ve got to get this eBike to the Bonneville Salt Flats asap…I’m thinking as I get off the eBike after my test ride.

Harley’s onsite LiveWire Rep indicated that the eBike goes 0-60 in less than four seconds. Yup, he was right!!! The bike puts out real world horsepower at 74 bhp and 52 lb-ft of torque. FYI: For you non gearheads, (bhp) is the measure of an engine’s horsepower before the loss in power caused by the gearbox and drive train. 

 

Design Tip3: Place that electronic motor in a more badass frame configuration. See image note below.

 

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Design Tip3: Put the Project LiveWire motor in a re-engineered, lighter-weight Harley Forty-Eight or Sportster frame or even into a redesigned Softail-style frame.

 

Speed versus distance note: Accoding to the eBike Pros onsite, the LiveWire has a top speed of 92 mph. Distance range at this early stage of the prototype is low at only 53 miles. No surprise given where this non-self-recharging motor technology stands at this time in its evolution.

 

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Fancy Elecrical Charge Plug-in?

The Lithium Power Pack

Knowledge about the battery pack itself was scarce around the Project LiveWire display rig area. Not a lot of discussion around anodes, cathodes, electrons or brushless conducting capabilities was going to happen during my visit I quickly concluded.

The motorcycle manufacturer that figures this technology out and that can achieve reasonable price points for electronic motorcycles, will surely dominate their target market. We’ll talk battery life in a future post as I get more information.

It also goes without saying that “Charging Stations” will need to become commonplace throughout the land if there is any hope of taking eBikes beyond an urban, city-street riding experience.

Note the ugly electrical cable plug in the photo above. It’s OK HD, charge cable plug ugly is OK when in prototype mode as far as I’m concerned.

 

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LiveWire Frame Design.

Design Tip4:  While I am impressed with Harley’s continuous effort to develop new innovative frame designs, I suggest Harley-Davidson not compete in the crotch-rocket style frame space.

Recall, it was tough going with similar Buell frames and even with MV Agusta frame setups given the small, niche audience that this type of frame appeals to.

In my opinion, the LiveWire, with its current frame design, does not compete well with others in the same target consumer space based on my own riding and handling experience with fast bikes over the years…re: Ducati and several of the Japanese frame manufacturing configurations.

 

Design Tip5: Neutral Option…LiveWire models must have a neutral gear so that the brand’s unique, futuristic signature jet-engine sound can be enjoyed by all, moving or not.

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Neutral Gear…gotta be able to twist that throttle in a neutral gear.

 

Electrical Motor Sound

The sound, positioned as “fighter jet style” by the onsite reps, was somewhat on the mark but way too low on volume for my liking or even for my perceived noise safety standards on the road. This bike is by no means a whiner but man oh man, let’s turn up the volume HD! I like my bike motor sounds hovering around 95 – 105 dB (decibels). It would be great to have a sound noise level option, (low, medium, high) so that riders could select the decibels they are most comfortable with.

Bonus design tip:  Harley-Davidson’s family of loyal customers love the unique Harley motor sound. HD can go beyond “potato potato” here and really make an impression on the electronic motorcycle riding crowd with a super cool, slightly louder jet engine sound.

Go Ahead! Push the limits HD. I’m not saying going crazy loud but a touch more aggressive jet engine sound would be good for marketing and future sales I figure. For example:

 

MJB Design Tip6: Sound Check. The right sound matters. Decibels matter more.

Please turn up the volume on your computer or smart phone. Click on the first volume bar below to hear what a real jet engine sounds like.

FYI – jet engines operate at about 140 dB when standing 100 feet from the engine in open space. Of course, there’s no need to go anywhere near 140 decibels. Suggest you test 100 dBs to 110 dBs with focus groups to determine which decibel level to adopt as Harley’s signature sound level.

 

 

Here’s what I want my neighbors to hear when I leave the neighborhood.

 

Here’s what I want my buddies to hear when I’m idling in “neutral” and showing off my new, redesigned, electric Softail Custom (eSC007HOG) with 12-inch Ape Hangers and a Captain America paint job.

 

Here’s what I want my fellow biker bros to hear when I approach them from behind, pass them and leave them in the dust on the highway.

 

Sound Advice:  Harley’s motor sound is extremely important when it comes to the Harley-Davidson brand, the Harley-Davidson experience and even to many of Harley’s individual customer identities. The huge after-market exhaust pipe world is proof of this.

Get that electric motor sounding louder and your eBikes should dominate their target category with sound alone. Plus, a unique Harley jet sound level will truly differentiate LiveWire models from all other competitors who are sure to come into the market promoting softer, screechy and whiny electronic motorcycles.

I can see the new age ads of the future already: “You meet the nicest people on them microwave oven sounding motorbikes.”  – Don’t let this be your ad HD!

 

The eMotor…let’s go full-out chrome.

Chrome matters to bikers/motorcycle enthusiasts! While I like the black engine look myself, I find most of my blog and social media fans prefer chrome engines. Go all chrome motors I tell yas.

MJB Design Tip7: Chrome is good. Lots of chrome is better.

 

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MJB Degign Tip7: Chrome the upper section of the motor casing. Get rid of the black plastic casing look shown in this photo.

 

The LiveWire Ride, Look and Feel.

Harley’s eBike felt small to me as a six foot, 200+ pounder. This new ride is not only different in powerplant, it looks different and feels different…maybe too boldly different? Ergonomics of the LiveWire just did not work well for me.

 

MJB Design Tip8: I am not a fan of footpegs that are positioned behind me or my having to lean much forward on any motorcycle. Ergonomic design needs some attention on the LiveWire.

Riding the LiveWire reminded me of my attempts to like the Buells in the early HD Buell days. I owned one, rode one but could never fully fall in love with that style of motorcycle. Hey, to each his own or her own riding preferences.

Note to HD Designers: Refer back to MJB Design Tip3 for guidance on footpeg and body lean placements.

 

Project LiveWire brings a new definition to what a motorcycle “may” become in the future.

Project LiveWire is in the mechanical, electrical and consumer testing stage. It is not available for sale at the writing time of this blog post.

I have no doubt that Harley’s “Freedom To Ride” mantra will continue for future generations. The Motor Company’s brand is a very powerful expression of personal freedom. Harley-Davidson is well known as one of the strongest brands in the entire universe. Project LiveWire is a futuristic machine with a unique sounding motor…the Harley eBike is sure to continue to evolve as they gather more and more feedback from consumers.

 

MJB Design Tip9: New products need fresh new colors to give them life…to separate them from all the marketplace clutter. See new brand logo color suggestion and note below.

 

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Design Tip9: Give the LiveWire its own brand color to truly differentiate it from the old internal combustion engine bikes…this is truly a “new” motorcycle and should be promoted as such. For example, a cool lightning infra-blue.

 

The bottom line…rider adoption.

Today’s high school teenager, who’s looking for their generation’s definition of freedom, and many of today’s millennials, who are trying just to find freedom away from their parents, will likely love electric vehicles, including motorcycles.

Me, I don’t plan on riding the byways and highways of the world on an electronic motorcycle anytime soon but if I ever do go electric, it will most likely be on one of Harley-Davidson’s future LiveWire Models. I just trust that they will build the right motorcycle at the right time for the right customer. Why? Because they are asking customers and future customers for feedback…they actually care about our opinion so let them have it.

Stay tuned folks…if anybody can bring a good looking, super-cool sounding electronic motorcycle to the 2-wheel world, it will be Harley-Davidson Inc. Go to the official Project Livewire website for more information.

 

Ride safe out there…no matter the type of bike you ride. See MJB Design Tip10 below.

 

         Motorcycle Marc

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May the electrons be with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LiveWire eScooter? Coming to a dealer near you?

 

MJB Design Tip10: Make sure you introduce an eScooter to the LiveWire Model Lineup when it comes to life HD…you could dominate the worldwide urban riding, city-dwelling market with a cool jet-engine sounding eScoot. (eHOGScoot001)

You heard here first folks. MJB

 

 

 

Special Note: I want to thank Ty Miller, General Manager, San Diego Harley-Davidson, for giving me the opportunity to participate in the Project LiveWire Experience Tour. It was a very interesting ride and a lot of fun. Thanks Ty! Click here to see the Project Rushmore experience mentioned at the beginning of this post. SDHD has an excellent inventory of the Project Rushmore motorcycles.

 

Note: Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement ever intended. Music/sounds used with permission of recording artists. MJB Design Tips were provided free of charge to the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. No compensation was received and the Motor Company is under no obligation to adopt any of my design tips. Refer to footer area of this website/blog for additional information.

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 pointThe industry cannot hope to capture the hearts and minds of new riders without more diversity in its leadership ranks.

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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 harassment. Also, by treating women as nothing but sexy ornaments, they are leaving themselves open to a lawsuit if a woman decides to contact a sexual harassment attorney in response to this behaviour.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.

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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. If you’re someone looking to invest in companies operating within the motorcycle industry, then getting involved in online stock trading could be a good way to begin doing this and could potentially become lucrative if you make smart investments.

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.

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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.

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