Friday, May 30, 2008

As Gas Prices Rise, So Do Scooter Sales


While gas prices show no sign of slowing down, motorcycle dealers are seeing more customers checking out two-wheel alternatives to save money, like the Honda Silverwing pictured above. The Chicago Tribune features a Denver Post report that scooter sales are up 24 percent nationwide over last year.

Buyers who once thought they were too cool for scooters are changing their minds about owning one. Riders are using their scooters so much that the need for scooter repairs and parts has risen as well.

The Chicago Tribune also notes that dual purpose motorcycles, capable of riding off-road or on the highway, are a popular choice for those looking to reduce pain at the gas pump. Dealers report that many buyers were thinking about buying a scooter or motorcycle before gas prices started their harsh climb, but gas prices were the leading reason why they decided to buy now rather than wait.

Source: Chicago Tribune

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Harley-Davidson Softail Springer Classic Features Prominently In New Indiana Jones Movie

A Harley-Davidson Softail Springer Classic features prominently in the new Indiana Jones movie 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull', the top box office movie of the past weekend.

According to Harley Davidson...

Directed by Steven Spielberg, the latest in the series of cult Indiana Jones movies stars Harrison Ford and Shia LaBeouf along with a 2007 Harley-Davidson Softail Springer Classic customized to reflect the movie's 1957 period setting. The bike's starring role comes during one of the film's signature action-packed chase scenes, and features Shia LaBeouf tearing through a college campus with Harrison Ford along for the ride as a passenger.


Harley-Davidson Motor Company prepared five bikes for this movie and was closely involved with the on-set handling of the bikes. After the completion of the filming, two of the bikes will be returned to the Motor Company and will be on display in the soon-to-be-opened Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Museum, which opens to the public on July 12 in Milwaukee.

Source: Harley-Davidson and Paramount Pictures

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

60 Million Honda Super Cub Motorbikes On The Road All Over The World

Wired.com reports on the appeal and longevity of Honda's Super Cub Motorcycle. According to the Wired story, the Super Cub motorcycle is more than a best selling motorcycle, it is the best-selling vehicle in the history of the internal combustion engine with over 60 million bikes on the road.
Image Source: Wikipedia
Introduced 50 years ago, the original Honda Super Cub is credited with fueling the early Japanese motorcycle industry. The Super Cub does not have the rebel image of a Harley-Davidson or the speed of Honda's racing bikes, yet it has built a reputation as a sturdy, cheap, and reliable workhorse all over the world.

Sadly, you can't get the Super Cub in the United States anymore. Honda did sell the Super Cub in the States as the Honda Passport in the 1980's, but has since discontinued the model.

YouTube user 7863348 has uploaded video of a restored Honda Passport.



An entry last year on Autoblog Green suggested Honda bring the Super Cub back to the States, but no word yet if Honda is even considering it.

Source: Wired.com and YouTube

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Biodiesel-Powered Harley Davidson Gets 89 Miles Per Gallon

As gas prices rise, Motorcycle are getting more attention for their fuel efficiency than their stylish looks. Compared to other vehicles, motorcycles are hard to beat for miles per gallon.

A unique Harley-Davidson motorcycle takes fuel efficiency to a new level with biodiesel power that gets 89 MPG. Ridden by Bill Bolch, the biodiesel-powered Harley recently won in the MPG category at the Fourth Annual Green Grand Prix in Watkins Glen in upstate New York.

Source: Autoblog Green and Faster and Faster

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Robbie Knievel Makes Daring Motorcycle Jump Over 24 Trucks At Kings Island

Robbie Knievel made a stunning motorcycle jump over 24 trucks yesterday, soaring over 200 feet off of a ramp nearly three stories high.

According to the Cleveland Leader, the jump took place in the parking lot of Kings Island Amusement Park near Cincinnati, Ohio. Flames fired up in the air and the crowed cheered as Knievel's motorcycle flew over the 24 trucks.

Knievel dedicated the jump to his late father, Evel Knievel, and US war veterans and military service members.

Evel Knievel made a jump in the same parking lot in 1975, traveling over 115 feet over 14 buses.

YouTube user sirflipper has uploaded video of the jump.



MyFoxCleveland also reports on the jump and lists Robbie Knievel's past jumps.

Source: Cleveland Leader and YouTube

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation To Benefit From Charity Auction At Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum

An upcoming charity auction brings together the unusual combination of Snoopy and a motorcycle from a Quentin Tarantino movie.

The MotoStars charity auction to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation features a wide array of motorcycle memorabilia.

According to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum...

To celebrate its new "MotoStars: Celebrities + Motorcycles" exhibit, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum is offering enthusiasts the opportunity to take home a piece of exhibit-themed memorabilia while supporting a good cause.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit donors' selected charities, including the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF).

The first item benefiting PBTF is a "Joe Motocross" Snoopy statue. This unique piece of art, which stands five feet tall, honors legendary "Peanuts" creator Charles M. Schulz, who introduced millions of people to the sport of motocross in the book and movie, "You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown."

"The statue is completely unique, and nothing like it will ever be produced again," says Ruth Chambers, noting that Charles Schulz' son Craig designed Snoopy's helmet, boots and chest protector.


The PBTF will also receive proceeds from the auction of a 2006 Honda VTX1300 ridden by actor Francesco Quinn in the Quentin Tarantino-produced biker movie "Hell Ride."

Quinn, the son of legendary actor Anthony Quinn, launched his career in "Platoon" (1986) and has since starred in numerous movies. He will personally autograph the Honda for the winning bidder.

Source: Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Monster Motorbike: 15 Tons Of Car-Crushing Motorcycle

Here is a motorcycle that doesn't lane-split between cars, it simply goes over them. The Popular Science homepage features details on the Monster Motorbike, 10 foot tall a car-crushing motorcycle weighing in at 15 tons.

Driven by stuntman Ray Baumann, the Monster Motorbike rolls on tires from a Caterpillar front-end loader and is powered by a six-cylinder diesel engine.

YouTube features video of the Monster Motorbike doing what it does best: crushing whatever is in its way.



Source: PopSci.com and YouTube

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Harley-Davidson Web-based Ride Planner Helps Riders Pre-plan Trips


The Harley-Davidson website features an interactive tool to make it easier for riders to map out their fueling pit stops for cross-country road trips.

According to Harley-Davidson...

Thanks to Harley-Davidson Ride Planner version 2.0, riders have immediate access to customizable maps that include the more than 14,000 US Shell-branded gasoline stations along any route.

The Harley-Davidson Web-based Ride Planner allows motorcyclists to pre-plan their trip utilizing an interactive map, which identifies the locations of authorized Harley-Davidson dealers and now, Shell-branded stations.

Using Ride Planner 2.0 at http://www.harley-davidson.com will allow riders to identify all Shell-branded sites along each potential route. Additionally, they will be able to get an aerial satellite view of the station and its surroundings prior to the trip.

Source Harley-Davidson

Monday, May 19, 2008

The NASCAR 60th Anniversary Motorcycle Series

NASCAR is marking their 60th anniversary with 60 custom motorcycles, numbered No. 1 through No. 60. A limited number of the NASCAR bike will be available for public sale starting May 28.

According to NASCAR.com...

Bruce Rossmeyer -- CEO of 15 Harley-Davidson locations, including the World's Largest Harley-Davidson dealership located at Bruce Rossmeyer's Destination Daytona -- has teamed up with NASCAR to create the all new, one-of-a-kind officially licensed "NASCAR 60th Anniversary Motorcycle Series brought to you by Destination Daytona."

To commemorate NASCAR's 60th anniversary, Rossmeyer, in conjunction with NASCAR, is creating 60 custom motorcycles, each individually serialized No. 1 through No. 60. Each motorcycle in the officially licensed NASCAR 60th Anniversary Motorcycle Series brought to you by Destination Daytona will capture the true essence of NASCAR -- from the design to the speed.

While racing industry insiders have first dibs on this exclusive motorcycle, a limited number will be available for public sale starting May 28, with motorcycle No. 60 presented to Cup Series driver Kyle Petty. Petty will auction off Motorcycle No. 60 for charity in July during the Coke Zero 400.
Source: NASCAR.com and Clutch and Chrome

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Volkswagen To Produce Motorcycle With KTM

About a month ago, Volkswagen's Chairman, Ferdinand Piech, was quoted by a German Magazine on the prospect of Volkswagen buying a motorcycle manufacturer.

Today, LeftLane.com reports that Volkswagen is teaming up with Austria's KTM to produce a motorcycle. No word yet on when the bike will be available, but the look of the new motorcycle should be in tune with Volkswagen's styling.

Volkswagen has designed vehicles outside the realm of automobiles before. In 2006, Volkswagen did produce a 3-wheeled vehicle concept: the GX-3.

Source: LeftLane.com

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Indian Motorcycle Homepage Features Images Of New Indian Models

The Indian Motorcycle homepage features images of the long-awaited new models for the relaunch of the Indian Motorcycle brand.

The images are artist renderings, so the new bikes might look different when they go on sale. The images do indicate the continuation of Indian's classic style.

Here are images of Indian's Chief Standard.


Features on the Indian Chief Standard include a chromed tear drop halogen headlamp, black and polished engine with chrome covers, chromed spoke wheels, an air-cooled power Plus 105ci engine, 5.5 gallon fuel tank, Brembo brake system with dual floating rotors and 4 piston calipers in the front and single floating rotor and two piston caliper in the rear.

Here are the other bikes...

Chief Deluxe

Chief Roadmaster

Chief Vintage

Source: Indian Motorcycle

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Old Or New - Most Motorcycle Riders CustomizeTheir Bikes

TheState.com in South Carolina reports on the Harley Davidson Spring Rally in Myrtle Beach and local motorcycle shops.

According to TheState.com, the rally is a big time for sales for local bike builders weathering the effect of a struggling economy.

Riders are modifying old bikes to look new using custom parts. After-market parts are cheaper than buying a brand new bike. Motorcycle store owners say that few people buy a motorcycle, new or used, and drive it without some sort of personalized modification.

Source: TheState.com

Monday, May 12, 2008

LoJack Recovers A Motorcycle From Thieves Four Times In One Year

Bike thieves are craftier than ever when stealing motorcycles. Thieves move so fast that a motorcycle can be stripped down to spare parts before the police have any chance of finding it.

LoJack's site features the story of a New York City surgeon who has recovered his Honda Motorcycle four times this year from thieves. Each time LoJack came to the rescue.

According to LoJack...

After walking out of a movie in Yonkers, N.Y. on a recent Sunday evening, a surgeon realized that his 2006 Honda CBR 1000 motorcycle was stolen from the theater parking lot. Soon after contacting the Yonkers Police Department, the doctor's motorcycle was quickly recovered thanks to LoJack For Motorcycles. As a result of the timely recovery, his motorcycle was still fully assembled and only suffered minimal damage to the ignition lock.

This was the fourth time the owner had his motorcycle stolen by thieves and recovered using LoJack For Motorcycles in the past year. He had two motorcycles stolen prior to the 2006 Honda CBR. Neither bike was outfitted with a stolen vehicle recovery system and neither was ever recovered.

"I have a lot more peace of mind knowing that my bike is constantly protected. Even my wife said, 'don't worry about it, LoJack will get it back for you like

Source: LoJack

Friday, May 09, 2008

Ducati Wins Big In Motociclismo's 2008 Bike of the Year Awards

Ducati has announced that more than 35,000 readers of the major Italian bike magazine Motociclismo voted for their “Moto dell’anno 2008” (Bike of the Year 2008) and scored Ducati a best ever result in Sport Bike, best in Supermotard and a major result in the Naked Bike categories.

According to Ducati...

Choosing from 280 models split into 12 categories, including 125cc, Cruiser, Naked, Dual, Enduro, Supermotard, Touring, Sport Bike, Sport Touring, and three scooter categories, the public’s favourite and most eagerly awaited award was for best Sport Bike. For the first time ever in the history of such awards presented by motorcycle magazines, a single manufacturer – Ducati – had recorded an unprecedented clean sweep of votes and claimed the first three places.

The Ducati 1098 took the coveted first place with the Desmosedici RR in second and the stunning new 848 filled the ‘podium’ with third place to achieve the previously unmatched haul of trophies. Ducati’s domination of the Sport Bike category is a clear indication of the credibility and respect that the Italian manufacturer enjoys in this specific sector, traditionally a bench-mark and inspiration in the motorcycling world.

Ducati’s success that evening, however, did not end there. Once more, the highly original Hypermotard took first place honours in the Supermotard category and the beautiful new Monster 696, despite being launched just a few weeks ago, took an incredible second place in the Naked Bike category. To complete the impressive haul of awards, the Multistrada scooped third place overall in the Dual category.

Source: Ducati

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Buell celebrates 25 years on July 2-6, 2008 in Wisconsin


The Buell homepage features details on the 2008 Buell 25th Anniversary in Wisconsin on July 2-6, 2008

The Buell 25th Anniversary takes place at various locations, including the Buell Motorcycle Company facilities in East Troy, WI and the surrounding communities.

Events include music and festivities at Milwaukee’s Summerfest grounds, Buell racing at Road America, factory tours, vintage bike display, and more.

Source: Buell Motorcycles

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Rising Gas Prices Drive Up Motorcycle Sales

Trading Markets.com features a story the effect of rising gas prices on motorcycle sales.

The story quotes motorcycle dealers who have seen their sales climb 10 to 15 percent over the last year.

Motorcycles can reach 50 to 60 miles per gallon, nearly double the MPG of the average passenger car.

Source: TradingMarkets.com

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Classic Indian Motorcycles Shine At The Third Annual Legend Of The Motorcycle Weekend

The New York Times features a story on the third annual Legend of the Motorcycle weekend and classic-bike auction held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel near Half Moon Bay, Califorina

According to the story, Indian Motorcycles played a starring role among the 100 rare and classic motorcycles at the Bonhams & Butterfields auction.

Many of the bikes were valuable due to previous owners: Evel Kinevel, Steve McQueen, and Bud Ekins.

Why has the Indian name endured so long? Jared Zaugg, founder of the Legends of the Motorcycle Auction, is quoted as saying the Indian brand is as iconic as Coca-Cola and purely American.

The New York Times also features a slideshow of the rare bikes that were up for auction.

The Los Angeles Times also features a story on the bike auction and a photo gallery.

Source: The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times

Monday, May 05, 2008

MicroTrak GPS tracks your bike even when you are not there

The Tracking Corporation will display a new motorcycle GPS unit at the Myrtle Beach Bike Week held May 9-18th in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

According to The Tracking Corporation...

Commenting on the show, Jerry Grisaffi, Chief Executive Officer of the Tracking Corporation said: "The demand for an affordable and effective motorcycle GPS unit is considerable. This unit will offer safety and security features unique and unmatched in this market. Our anticipation builds as we look forward to showcasing what this unit will do for motorcycle enthusiasts at the Myrtle Beach show. We invite all our shareholders to come see us in Myrtle Beach."

While standard GPS devices track where your bike is, the MicroTrack GPS tracks where your bike is going and if you (and only you) are on it.

If someone sits on your parked bike while you are elsewhere, or if your bike starts moving without you on it, your cell phone will receive a text message.

The system also tracks your bike as you drive it. If you are in an accident, the system detects your bike stopping and calls for help and the MicroTrack GPS call center.

The system tracks your bike in real time on the web, ideal for driving directions or just checking to see where you are.

Source: The Tracking Corporation

Friday, May 02, 2008

"My Name Is Earl" star Jason Lee seeks out rare vintage bikes


The Los Angeles Times video features "My Name Is Earl" star Jason Lee describing his lifelong love of motorcycles.

Lee started riding dirt bikes as a kid in the 1970s. Now he collects vintage models and rare custom bikes.

Source: The Los Angeles Times

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Harley-Davidson's Dark Custom motorcycles seek young riders


The image of motorcycle riders has transformed over the decades from rough-living bikers outlaws to middle-aged professionals over the age of 40.

Motorcycle manufacturers balance their image to keep their rebel image alive, yet attract baby boomers who can afford pricey models.

What about the younger bikers? Where do the riders in their 20's and 30's fit in a motorcycle market geared to appeal to their parents?
According to MediaPost's Marketing Daily, Harley-Davidson has launched a new motorcycle brand targeted to younger riders.

The Dark Custom line of Sportsters, Soft Tails, and Fat Boys are featured on a specialized web site, featuring bikes sporting darker paint jobs and a classic design.

One of the Dark Custom bikes is the Harley-Davidson FLSTSB Softail Cross Bones.


According to Harley-Davidson..

With the retro look of a Springer front end and other post-war era bobber styling cues like a sprung solo seat, half-round rider footboards, Gloss Black round air cleaner cover and chopped front fender, the Softail Cross Bones rides with a Black and Polished Twin Cam 96B powertrain, 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission and truly unique Softail suspension.



As each Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycle declares its styling independence with exclusive components and inspired craftsmanship, the Cross Bones is a bold addition to an already free-spirited family. Many features of the Cross Bones and other Softails are reminiscent of restless riders of the past, whose defiant attitude resonates with those who march to their own beat in any generation.


Another Dark Custom Bike is the XL 1200N Sportster 1200 Nightster.


Stripped down and gritty, the Nightster reinterprets the Sportster legend with rugged, retro-rod styling. A solo seat and lowered suspension puts the rider just 25.3 inches above the pavement. Clipped front and rear fenders expose chunky tires. Wheel rims and hubs, forks and handlebars, hand and foot controls are finished in basic black.



Marketing to young customers is tricky, but Harley-Davidson hopes their brand name and appeal will inspire a new generation of riders.

Source: MediaPost's Marketing Daily and Harley-Davidson