Friday, January 08, 2021

Winter Riding Destinations


For many of us around the country, the colder months have hit… and they’ve hit hard. Looking for a warm-weather escape so you take that bike out of storage? We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite warm-weather rides perfect for cruising this time of year. You can send us a postcard to thank us later.

Image: Florida Traveler

Ozello Trail, Florida - The Ozello Trail is located 60 miles north of Tampa and is jam-packed with twists, turns, and a ton of water views. You’ll find great restaurants if you need a pit stop. We recommend pulling over and checking out Peck’s Old Port Cove for good seafood, a cold drink, and even better scenery. The Ozello Trail is largely a two-lane asphalt road with fair conditions. Be sure to keep an eye out for any sand built up on the trail and don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the view. It’s not a long ride, but it’s worth filling the tank and checking it out.

Image: Earth Trekkers

Valley of Fire Loop, Nevada - The Valley of Fire Loop is located about 50-miles outside of Las Vegas and is an increasingly popular destination for riding motorcycles, and for good reason. The temperature is mild in the winter months making it a perfect place for a ride. Heading there now means it won't feel as if you fell into a burning ring of fire like you would if you visited during spring or summer. The loop encompasses the Valley of Fire State Park, the oldest state park in the state of Nevada. The Valley of Fire Loop has everything you would want in a ride including sandstone rock formations, plenty of twists and turns, and high-quality road conditions.

Image: Gypsy Guide

The Florida Keys Scenic Highway, Florida - Like birds heading south for the winter, riders flock to the Florida Keys Scenic Highway in the winter. This 110 mile stretch of road has that summertime vibe and weather all year round. The ride starts at Mile Marker 110 down to Mile Marker 0 in Old Town Key West. During this ride you’ll be surrounded by palm trees and the blue waters of the keys, and get to pull into sandy beach bars and restaurants on nearly every block. The highway finishes with a 5 mile stretch of road where you’ll see nothing but clear water on each side of the highway.

Image: National Geographic

Pacific Coast Highway, California - We have all heard the hype about taking a Pacific Coast cruise. Is it urban biker legend or the real deal? Well, our insiders give the PCH the stamp of approval. The terrain is unlike anything anywhere else. Get out of the cold and hit miles of coastline, tons of curves, and unreal views along this entire biker's dream highway. If you ride the length of Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll see lighthouses, redwoods, mountains, lush valleys, and a variety of wildlife. The highway is 655 miles long, so whether you choose to ride for just a portion of the highway, or the entire length, there will be an ideal option for you.

Pack your bags and beat the winter blues by checking out one or more of these winter riding destinations. Have you traveled on any of these roads or have a personal winter favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

Your Motorcycle News Fix - January 2021


A new year means new updates from the motorcycle world. Stay in the know with the latest (and first) motorcycle headlines of 2021 below.

Honda Reveals First New Model of the Year - 2021 is starting strong when it comes to new models and Honda is one of the first manufacturers to show up to the party. They recently announced their first new motorcycle of the year, the 2021 Gold Wing. The upgrades to the new model include all things comfort. Honda is really looking out for their long-distance touring customers. Upgrades include enhanced audio, larger storage capacity, and redesigned passenger accommodations so you can ride with a partner in style. The Gold Wing will be available to U.S. consumers this February. See the new model for yourself here.

Bajaj Auto Becomes Most Valuable Motorcycle Manufacturer in the World - Bajaj Auto officially has all the dollar bills. They just became the most valuable motorcycle manufacturer in the world, worth 13.6 billion. Bajaj operates out of India, which happens to be the world’s biggest motorcycle market. Their lower displacement models sell like hotcakes in this region and they have seen a strong rise in sales in recent years. Congratulations to Bajaj! We’re excited to see where they will go next. Read More.

Yahmaha’s New Scooter Looks NOTHING Like a Scooter - Ready to see the most epic scooter ever? Yahmaha’s new F-155 concept scooter is one of the coolest, sportiest models we've come across. This moped was designed in Japan, with a special focus on the Asian market and features to keep the industry on its toes. The F-155 moped resembles a sport bike including winglets, an underbelly exhaust system, racing slicks and more. We’re telling you, this isn’t your mama's scooter. We’ll keep you posted when this model goes into production. Read More.

Indonesian Motorcycle Taxi Industry Sees Steep Decline - In recent months, Indonesia’s Motorcycle Taxi industry has seen a 40% decline largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this region, motorcycle taxis have been considered a common means of transport for both locals and tourists because they can easily navigate crowded cities. Since the pandemic began, 40% of these taxi drivers have been out of business due to the close contact needed to travel to point A to point B on a scooter. Cases have risen past 700,000 in the country and this decline threatens a sizable portion of their overall economy. We hope 2021 will bring a brighter future for everyone, especially for these Indonesian motorcycle taxi drivers. Read More. 

You’re officially up to speed on all things motorcycle. Have any favorite stories this month? Drop us a line in the comments below with the most interesting motorcycle news in your feed.

Monday, December 28, 2020

6 New Year’s Resolutions For Riders


2020 wasn’t what we had in mind to say the least. But with each new year comes new resolutions and 2021 should be no different. We are all ready for a fresh start which includes A LOT of riding (surprise, surprise). Check out our list of resolutions and get ready to write your own.

Make More Time for Riding - Need a little wind therapy? Count us in. It’s no secret we all love to ride, and we think you should commit to riding more than ever this year. Set weekly or monthly riding goals to ensure you’re riding just as much as you’d like.

Go on a Weekend Trip - This one’s for all the weekend warriors out there. Weekend trips bring anticipation, excitement, and overall thrill - all things we want more of in 2021. Create a bucket list dedicated to the weekend trips you want to go on and don’t back out.

Attend a Motorcycle Rally or Show - Will shows and rallies return in full-force in 2021? Who knows! But, we want to be ready when they do. Rallies and shows are great places to meet up with your buddies, see the latest and greatest motorcycles, swag, and so much more. If you’ve never been to one before, you’re missing out - plain and simple. And if shows aren’t making a comeback this upcoming year, make a resolution to at least plan for your next trip so you’ll be ready when they do.

Fine Tune Your Skills - No one knows everything. If you want to learn something new this year, why not learn even more about motorcycles? Let’s be honest, the obsession runs deep. Take a motorcycle safety course, riding class, or maintenance crash course to sharpen your skills and you’ll be looking like a pro on the road in no time. 

Pass Along the Tradition - Put any selfish ways aside this year. Afterall, riding shouldn’t be just for you. Who in your life do you know that might be interested in swinging their leg over a saddle? Tell them to hop on the back of your bike, nag them to get their license, and carry on the riding tradition.

Give Your Bike Some Attention - In 2021, make sure your bike is running just the way you like it. Take the extra time for preventive maintenance, make sure you're storing it properly, and to take your bike in to a mechanic as needed. Bottomline: don’t neglect your bike. 

Ready to cruise into 2021?
Start your motorcycle search on CycleTrader.com today. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Your Motorcycle News Fix - December 2020


We’re back with the latest motorcycle news you need to know this month. Our industry never slows down, and, as always, we’re here to fill you in on all things cycle. From sneak peeks to new models, we’ll break down the headlines you need to know.

Triumph Launches 2021 “Sneak Peek Tour” - Across the US, motorcycle enthusiasts are getting a first look at Triumph’s two newest models. Since motorcycle shows have been postponed due to COVID-19, Triumph still wanted to show off their bikes in a creative way to generate excitement and buzz for the new motorcycles. The Trident 660 and Tiger 850 Sport will be on display at select dealerships across the country. These two models have only been seen in Europe so this is a real treat for any motorcycle lover out there. Unfortunately, Triumph won’t be offering test drives, but this is your chance to get up close and personal with these exclusive models before they hit the U.S. market. To find out where these dealership stops will be, click here.

SHOEI Announces RF-1400 Helmet - SHOEI Safety Helmet Corp recently launched their newest helmet, the RF-1400, to North America. This full-face helmet is the latest and greatest RF model featuring a more aerodynamic design that is said to reduce drag by 4% and lift by 6%. There has also been an increase in ventilation to increase airflow and enlarged exhaust vents allow the helmet to shed warm air. The safety innovations are also impeccable as the helmet is made out of lightweight, high-performance fiberglass featuring a dual-layer, multi-density EPS liner. Safety is the name of the game and we love seeing the improved design of helmets over the years. The RF-1400 comes in a variety of sizes from XS-XXL. Check out the helmet for yourselves.

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America Makes Debut on February 22 - We haven’t heard much from Harley-Davidson lately, but we are in for a big update on Jan. 19. The moto-giant has plans for a virtual event where they will showcase their latest lineup of bikes before riding season hits potentially including their 2021 Low Rider S, Fat Bob, Iron 1200, and Road King. The manufacturer has also announced they will be debuting the long-awaited 2021 Pan America, Harley’s first adventure bike, on Feb. 22. Be sure to mark your calendars and keep an eye out for additional Harley news here on the blog. Read More.

Startup, Savic, Reveals Electric Motorcycle Prototype - The competition is stiff when it comes to the electric motorcycle market and now Savic is adding their second prototype into the mix. Savic is a startup company that has already created an initial prototype electric motorcycle in the past called the Alpha. More recently, the company has unveiled another prototype with improvements featuring a modified tank shape, mudguard, wheels, and saddle. The new model will be offered in three different trim levels that differ in horsepower and mile range on a single charge. We’re excited to see more electric models entering the market and wish the best of luck to Savic. Read More.

Which story piqued your interest this month? Be sure to let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for more motorcycle headlines next month.

Friday, December 11, 2020

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Bikers


The holiday season is in full swing which means it’s time to share wishlists and start shopping. Do you dread having to find gifts for your friends and family? You're in luck. We’re doing all of the hard work for you this year. Our ultimate gift guide makes it easy to shop for the rider in your life, leaving you more time to kick back and relax.
Gear:

Image: Revzilla

Helmet - Help protect a fellow rider’s noggin this holiday season by purchasing them a new helmet. The Icon Airflite is a popular choice among many riders because it looks awesome and offers incredible protection with its polycarbonate shell. 

Gloves - It’s crucial to keep your extremities protected and warm while riding and every rider needs a great pair of gloves. The leather construction of these gloves offers premium abrasion resistance along with maximum comfort.

Motorcycle Jacket - A motorcycle jacket is a classic gift that any rider would appreciate and use for years. Check out two of our favorite options below:
  • All-Season Women’s Motorcycle Jacket: This motorcycle jacket is also an all-season favorite among many women riders. It is completely waterproof and offers removable armor at an extremely affordable price point.
Tech:

Image: jzaq

Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset - A Bluetooth headset is a must while riding. It allows you to make calls hands-free, listen to music, and get GPS instructions. This headset is waterproof, offers a long run time, is suitable for all helmets, and can easily connect to two smartphones.

Heated Grips - If gloves aren’t cutting it, why not consider heated grips for the rider in your life? These easy-to-install grips will keep hands toasty, and turning them on and off is as easy as using your turn signal.

Anti-Theft Motorcycle Alarm - Give the gift of peace of mind to the biker in your life with this anti-theft motorcycle alarm. This anti-theft system is waterproof, composed of durable metal, and the 110 dB loud alarm is sure to deter any thieves.

Motorcycle Books:

Image: Amazon

Jupiter’s Travels: Four Years Around the World on a Triumph by Ted Simon - This selection's an oldie but a goodie. This biographical book highlights the experiences of Ted Simon as he rode his 500cc Triumph Tiger 100 around the world in the 1970s. We think this book should be on every biker's reading “bucket list.”

Discovering the Motorcycle: The History. The Culture. The Machines. By Armand Ensanian -
If you’re into the history of motorcycling or want to learn more about it, then this is the book for you. Armand Ensanian spent 5 years of his life researching and photographing the history of motorcycling from 1867 to the present. This book covers everything from vintage classics to choppers and bobbers to motorcycle racing and museums.

Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well by David L. Hough - This best selling book is a must-have for all riders regardless of experience level. It serves as a guide to sharpen handling skills, improve rides, and shows you first hand how to handle the unexpected on the road. It’s got it all and should be added to your library.

Novelty:

Image: Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Ornament - Spruce up your tree this year with a motorcycle themed ornament. This one from Harley-Davidson features Santa riding one of their classic cruisers. If you’re looking for a personalized or custom ornament, check out these options on Etsy.

Helmet Rack - No more throwing your helmet in the garage and calling it a night. Your helmet and jacket deserve a cool resting place while not in use. This motorcycle helmet and jacket rack easily mounts to any wall and is made out of dark walnut and steel that looks like a piece of art.

Motorcycle Whiskey Decanter -
Add some motorcycle love to your bar this holiday season with a motorcycle whiskey decanter. After a day of riding, who wouldn’t want to pour a glass of the good stuff out of this handcrafted decanter.

Tools & Maintenance:
Image: Amazon

Motorcycle Care Kit - This seven-piece kit protects and cleans all motorcycle surfaces including leather, metal, plastic, and more. It's got the goods to keep your bike looking great.

Tool Roll - Every rider needs a place to keep their tools. This Carhartt Legacy Tool Roll will do the job in style. It includes 19 slots for a variety of tools and houses three small pockets for additional storage. It comes in a variety of colors and will look great on any rider’s (or your personal) workbench.

Roadside Tool Kit - Riding can bring unexpected twists and turns, including mechanical issues. Stay ready on the go with this roadside tool kit that can fit in most saddlebags. 

A New Bike:

The ultimate gift for any biker would be a new bike. If you’re in the market for a new ride or looking to surprise the motorcyclist in your life this holiday season, start your search on CycleTrader.com.

Happy Holidays from Cycle Trader. We hope 2021 is full of epic rides.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

2020: A Lesson in Motorcycle Supply Chain


2020 brought unexpected challenges and changes. Thanks to stay-at-home orders and social distancing, some industries boomed and others struggled. People began looking to new hobbies to fill their time safely, and the motorcycle industry saw an increase in popularity with new and experienced riders alike.

Searches on Cycle Trader's website have been way up this year compared to the same time in 2019. Dealers of different kinds of bikes, including motorcycles and dirt bikes, have seen a jump in sales this year, too. A quick look at the Cycle Trader website highlights major trends in the industry. Cruisers, sportbikes, touring, dirt bikes, and standard bikes make up the five most popular motorcycle types. States like Florida, California, Texas, and North Carolina represent the top states for motorcycle popularity.

It's exciting to see the riding community expand and grow from coast to coast!

But, riders looking for their first or next bike in 2020 sometimes struggled to find an option that met every point on their buying checklist. Some dealers lacked inventory and some manufacturers struggled to support demand. These challenges have something in common: supply chain.

In the motorcycle industry, the supply chain includes every component of building and distributing new bikes for purchase. At its most basic, motorcycle supply chain looks like this:
  1. A manufacturer has to source all raw materials, like steel, rubber, synthetics, and aluminum.
  2. The manufacturing facility takes those raw materials and, through specialized processes, builds bikes of different makes and models.
  3. Those bikes are then sent to dealers who sell them to individual consumers.
With modern technology, each stage includes real-time data. Manufacturers know the current prices of raw materials from different suppliers. Plants know the level of production needed to meet market demand. Sellers know how many bikes they need, and which makes and models will soon join their inventory.

Global shipping options and efforts to reduce production costs have changed motorcycle assembly and purchasing in significant ways, too.
  • OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) have plants around the world, including to China, Germany, India, and more.
  • Sourcing of raw materials includes multiple suppliers from any number of countries that may be outside of the plant location.
  • Buyers are global and have many brand choices available to them, not just in-country manufacturers.
Without outside disruption, modern supply chains embrace efficiency and adapt to changes in popularity quickly.

But, 2020 proved disruptive to every stage of the process:
  • Many brands saw different parts of their supply chain interrupted thanks to COVID-19.
  • Shipping of raw materials from one country to a manufacturing facility in another part of the world stopped.
  • Production on assembly lines screeched to a halt.
  • Shipments out to dealers and resellers became few and far between because existing inventory did not cover the boom in popularity.
  • OEMs lacked control over when production would start again, and dealers didn't always know when inventory would arrive.
The immediate impact of COVID-19 on the motorcycle industry was rough and stressful. But, OEMs showed amazing resilience and innovation and buyers' interest in motorcycles continues to grow. In some cases, production has resumed, addressing inventory shortages and fulfilling the orders placed by eager riders.

One dealer told ADVrider the coronavirus pandemic has “saved off road motorcycling.” Another insider said he expected a strong crop of new riders, thanks to all this year’s dirt bike sales. Another said that even the supply chain issues showed OEMs ways to save money and work more efficiently in the future.

So while 2020 may have included a few bumps, the road looks clearer ahead for motorcyclists looking for their first ride, an upgrade from their current bike, or an additional way to participate in the community.

Looking for more information or more detail about other motorcycle-related topics? Check out the new ADVrider magazine to read more [link]

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Top Fall Motorcycle Rides


We’re temporarily saying, "Goodbye!" to the sweltering heat of summer and saying, "Hello!" to the epic fall riding weather we know and love. The cool breeze in the air is unbeatable and there’s no better view of fall foliage than on the back of a bike. Are you ready to ride this autumn? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite seasonal rides you won’t want to miss.

Image: Mackinaw City
  • Tunnel of Trees, Michigan- We've covered the Tunnel of Trees in the past, but there’s no denying it had to make our fall list. The Great Lake state is home to amazing routes for riders and the M-119 AKA the Tunnel of Trees is no exception. On this iconic route, you can expect to see coastline, small towns, and abundant forests. The narrow 16-mile road begins in Harbor Springs and ends in Cross Village. This ride is stunning during every season, especially when the leaves are changing to vibrant oranges and reds. This route is rated among one of the most scenic in the nation. There are a few sharp turns near Devil’s Elbow on this road so keep that in mind while riding. Along the way, there are many places to make a pit stop to enjoy a meal or just to take in the views.
Image: NPS
  • Skyline Drive, Virginia - Fall is the perfect time to enjoy Skyline Drive, as the leaves change color all along your route. This 105-mile scenic ride rolls through the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park and features views sure to take your breath away. Remember to be safe as the speed limit on most of Skyline Drive is 35mph. You will be tempted to reach speeds up to 50mph, but be careful - Skyline Drive is known for its abundant wildlife. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled on the roads. If you’re looking to take a scenic pit stop during this ride, you’ll most definitely cross paths with the Appalachian Trail, a marked hiking trail over 2,200 miles long that begins in Maine, winds along the Appalachian Mountain Range, and finally ends in Georgia. 
Image: Tripster
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains is the most visited national park in the country, and for good reason. With over 100 species of trees and over 1,600 species of flowering plants, you know the fall colors are going to be vibrant at this park. Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the North Carolina/Tennessee border, and is home to hundreds of miles of nearby roads perfect for fall riding. The park is so large that there’s a stretch of road ideal for every rider, no matter their experience level. A few rides we recommend in the area are The Tail of the Dragon (experienced riders only), The Blue Ridge Parkway, Foothills Parkway, and Cherohala Skyway Loop. If you decide to visit this area, there are stunning mountain views at every turn and quaint towns to visit along every route.
Image: Durango
  • San Juan Mountain Skyway, Colorado - Ready for more mountain views and breathtaking fall foliage? Look no further than San Juan Mountain Skyway in Colorado. This 230+ mile loop boasts incredible views of the Rocky Mountains and you’ll pass by historic mining towns, alpine trees, national parks, hot springs, and so much more. During the loop, you’ll even encounter a 25-mile section between Ouray and Silverton called “The Million Dollar Highway” named for its breathtaking views. While your eyes will be glued to the scenery, make sure you also focus on the road ahead as there are many hairpin turns and switchbacks on this ride. Many riders claim this is one of the most beautiful routes in the United States. Ready to see it for yourself?
Image: Arkansas.com
  • Pig Trail Scenic Byway, Arkansas - Last, but certainly not least, to make our list is the Pig Trail Scenic Byway in Arkansas. Although it’s a shorter ride (just 19-miles along Arkansas State Route 23 ) this ride is known for its canopy of trees and beautiful views, especially in the fall season. The ride is full of curves, inclines, and hills passing through Ozark National Forest that make for an exciting ride that’s sure to keep you entertained. Although this ride is on the shorter side, there are plenty of jumping-off points along this route to fill your day.
Are you ready to ride this fall? We hope our list has inspired you to get out and enjoy the amazing weather that this season brings to many of us across the country. Do you have a favorite fall ride? Let us know in the comments below.

Your Motorcycle News Fix (Oct. 2020)


Fall is here and so are the latest and greatest motorcycle headlines! This month was jam-packed with model upgrades and new bikes from Honda to KTM. We’ve got all of the industry updates you won’t want to miss. Let’s get into it.

Image: BMW

The BMW G 310 GS Has Gotten an Upgrade - The smallest model in BMW’s lineup has gotten some big upgrades. The ‘baby’ BMW recently received a new ‘electronic throttle grip’ that makes for a sportier reaction time and also boasts a new self-boosting anti-hop clutch. The exterior remains largely the same, but now includes a new LED headlight arrangement at the front and rear now and LED flashing turn indicators. BMW has also added new color options including metallic titanium grey and a new Kyanit blue, red and white for a sportier look. Read More.

Image: Indian Motorcycle 

Indian Motorcycles Reveals First eFTR Electric Motorcycle - Indian recently announced the launch of their first eFTR electric motorcycle for smaller riders. Yep, you read that right -for kids. This electric bike is modeled off of the legendary Indian Motorcycle FTR750 meaning the bike has a fake gas tank and exhaust pipes. The bike has two and a half hours of run time in low mode and over one hour in high mode with the included 36V battery. The new bike is available at Indian dealerships and comes in at $749.99. It’s definitely interesting to see that Indian’s first electric bike would be targeted for children, but could this inspire an adult-sized model in the future? Only time will tell. Read More.

Image: Honda

The Honda CB650R Gets a Refresh - Honda has just announced the newest features for the 2021 CB650R. The bike will include a fresh color scheme of Pearl Smoke Gray and will also feature smaller side panels and a new steel mudguard. One of the largest changes for this model is the upgraded Showa Separate Function Big Piston (SFF BP) forks. The CB650R also includes new and improved LED lights, an updated display with negative backlight to improve readability, and USB-C outlet under the seat to charge your phone and other accessories. We can’t wait to see the updates for ourselves. Read More.

Image: KTM

KTM Announces New Adventure Models - Are you ready to #AdventureHarder? KTM is making it possible with the release of their new 2021 KTM 890 ADVENTURE R RALLY and KTM 890 ADVENTURE R. The new pair are based on a LC8c parallel-twin engine, including a 90cc increase in displacement from 799c to the 889cc. The KTM Adventure R boasts more power and torque, improved ABS and traction control, updated shifting, new suspension settings, and more. The limited-edition KTM Adventure R RALLY features an updated engine and electronics and WP XPLOR Pro Components Suspension. These new bikes should be arriving to dealerships November 2020 so keep your eyes peeled. Read More.

We weren’t kidding that there were A LOT of new models in this month’s roundup. We love to see the innovation that these manufacturers provide to the motorcycle industry and can’t wait to see these new and improved features for ourselves. Did you have a favorite story this month? Let us know in the comments below.