Friday, February 23, 2018

Augmented Reality

Does it have a place in our industry? We think so.

Technology is always evolving and constantly changing -- and the motorcycle industry is no exception. Between innovative safety gear, cutting-edge electric bikes, new navigation systems, and more -- it’s no surprise tech for our bikes is on the rise. As riders, we’re always on the hunt for practical gear -- but let’s be honest -- the coolest new technology and gadgets really get us pumped.

Recently, virtual reality has been all the rage, but taking that tech on the road can be impractical. Augmented reality, on the other hand, is proving to be useful because it isn’t taking you to a completely different place, but rather is enhancing where you already are. So what does that mean for us and our ride?

Many companies are racing to get the first augmented reality motorcycle helmet to market. LiveMap seems to be leading the pack and is already in the prototype stage. When complete, their helmet will be able to project directions, maps, and notifications onto a helmet without blocking the vision of the rider. Imagine never having to pull over to look up directions again.

Though awesome, augmented reality doesn't have to just be used while riding -- what if you could shop for a bike using this technology? Imagine scrolling through your phone on the hunt for your next ride -- but instead of just seeing the bike on your phone, you see the bike parked in your driveway. When buying online, scoping out photos and descriptions are crucial, but augmented reality will essentially take the guesswork and imagination out of how your new bike will look right in front of you. This technology has the ability to completely change and enhance how we buy motorcycles -- plain and simple.

Our guess is that augmented reality will definitely have a place in the motorcycle industry - and we’re ready to see what’s coming.
Trader Online Web Developer

Polaris on the Rise

Despite closing Victory in 2017, Polaris had an impressive year full of growth

We’ve all heard the rumblings - the motorcycle industry isn’t growing like it used to. Well, that wasn’t the story for Polaris, the parent company for Indian and Slingshot, in 2017. Even though they ditched Victory early in the year - it didn’t phase their other two brands, both of which saw growth, and fully embraced a persona that was a perfect mix of badass and inclusive.

Indian, in particular, had a stellar year and built momentum with the roll-out of their popular Scout and Chieftain models. Indian’s entire lineup offers riders a diverse range of bikes at competitive prices -- which we think gives them a huge leg up. Their rollout ad for the Bobber gives a well deserved nod to the Chieftain and ends with the tagline “Strip It Down” -beautifully mixing their classic rides with their more slimmed down options, while showing the spectrum of riders in the Indian family. It’s ads like this that allow them to reach a younger generation of riders - while still keeping their loyalists happy. Indian is keeping the competition on their toes - and our guess is as long as they continue to make cutting-edge, high-performing bikes, they’re a force to be reckoned within the industry.

But Indian wasn't the only Polaris brand that had an impressive year - Slingshot has continued to gain popularity and brings a new and unique feel to the industry. Slingshot is consistently exciting their riders by adding to their lineup and recently announced a new premium limited-edition model that’s sure to turn some heads. Their marketing campaigns also give you that “hell yeah” feeling - making you immediately want to go for a ride or just do something generally awesome. Everyone likes a good dare - particularly when it comes to buying bikes.

If these brands keep it up in 2018 -- which we fully expect they will -- we could see some major shake-ups in the moto space in terms of loyalty.
Trader Online Web Developer

New to Riding?

Harley’s got you covered with their new rider courses.

We all remember our first ride -- but all the work that it took to get to that point might not be such a fond memory. There’s a lot to learn when you’re a new rider - and knowing where to start can be a lot. But fear not -- Harley’s new rider classes will get you ready in no time. The motorcycle giant is on a mission to help new riders feel confident and safe on two wheels through their New Rider Academy Courses.

These courses are available at select Harley dealerships and are led by the cream of the crop -- Harley’s certified coaches. The course is a combo of classroom and practice range time where riders learn the ins and outs of the bike, basic safety skills, and how to actually ride a motorcycle -- and trust us, there’s no better feeling than that. After required exams are completed (and passed) riders receive a completion card that could potentially wave their DVM riding exam. And anything you can do to avoid the DMV is always a positive.

So why did Harley start these courses? Because training is crucial and they are stepping up to the plate to attract and prepare a new generation of riders. By taking a course through Harley and learning to ride on a Harley, they hope that these new riders will one day -- you get it -- buy a Harley.

Now the question is -- will other manufacturers follow suit on providing courses specific to new riders? We hope so. Our riding community embraces both new and seasoned riders and we are always eager to add more to our crew. Click here to find a course to get you started and we’ll see you on the road.
Trader Online Web Developer

Friday, January 26, 2018

Top Tools for Every Rider

Looking to do some of your own maintenance so you’re not constantly running back to the dealership or to your buddy for help with your bike? We get it - it’s nice to be able to take care of some smaller maintenance issues on your own. If you’re just getting going with at-home maintenance, check out the board below for our recommendations and some other great resources on the topic. This should help you pick which tools you buy to outfit your garage. 

Trader Online Web Developer

A Compiled List of Motorcycle Basics

There’s a lot of information out there if you are just getting into riding and it can be hard to decide what to listen to. So, we’ve put together a list of our top resources to help get you started.

Step #1: Figure out what you want to ride

If you’ve never been on a bike before, it can be hard to decide what you want - so take your time and check out all your options. These three articles should give you a good place to start - and then once you have your license, you can actually go test ride some of these bad boys.

Step #2: Keep your noggin covered - and find other gear you’ll need

While some of this other gear might be optional - helmets definitely aren’t. They also aren’t cheap. So pick one you like and plan to be happy with for a while. Web Bike World’s reviews are thorough - but if you are looking for other gear - gloves, pants, etc. - you can’t go wrong with the article from Best Beginning Motorcycles.

Step #3: Get trained & learn the laws

Motorcycle laws are different in every state (and there are some strange ones that exist) - and you’ll want to be educated when you head out on the road. Study up and take a course to make sure you feel comfortable.

Step #4: Check out local clubs

Once you’re educated and outfitted - find other riders in your area. The dealership you purchased your ride from may have some groups, but if not - look for local meetups to help you get going in the community.

We hope this helps get you started - and cuts out some of the noise of the Internet. You can’t go wrong learning how to ride. It actually IS as fun as it’s cracked up to be.
Trader Online Web Developer

Top Notch Backpacks

It’s no shocker that bikes don’t have tons of storage - even if you’ve added some saddlebags on your ride - so having a backpack that is reliable and sturdy is crucial. But - let’s be honest - sometimes wearing a backpack makes you feel like you’re back in school. Well - not these backpacks. These are sleek and definitely worthy of a spot on your ride… or should we say back?

This bag comes in a variety of color options - although we’re fans of the dark grey. It’s got plenty of room inside to hold your gear - and two conveniently placed outer pockets for things you need to get to more easily. We like the security the outer flap provides - so you’re sure the the stuff in those outside pockets is going to stay put. 

Any bag that can hold all of our stuff and our helmet is an automatic win in our book. And this guy comes at a great price point. It’s got a sporty feel to it and plenty of room inside. Another perk - because this is made by a brand catering to the needs of bikers - this pack has reflective piping to help you stand out at night. 

This backpack is surprisingly large - bragging it can hold somewhere between three to five days worth of travel goods - and it has the ability to charge your phone. So if you like to take your bike out for several days at a time, this could be the one for you. It also says that it’s an “anti-theft” backpack - although we couldn’t tell exactly why - but our best guess is because of where the zipper is placed - if someone tried to get in there, you would definitely feel it. 

No matter your style - this backpack has you covered. Looking for something bright and bold? They’ve got it. Prefer to go with all black? They’ve got that too. These bags have a drawstring top and are plenty long - so you can shove stuff deep in there. Also - the flap that closes over the top has storage for things like your wallet and phone and allows you use that for additional outside storage - maybe even your helmet. 

This is the most fashionable and high-design backpack we included - but we like that it can go from “day-to-night” or “bike-to-business” pretty easily. So maybe you use this as your backpack during the week - and then switch to one of the other options during the weekend? Just a thought. This guy also still has plenty of storage - and offers a horizontal strap that gives you nice streamlined back support so it should be comfortable to have on your back while you ride.

So there you have it. These bags should give you a little extra storage while you ride - so you can easily take everything you need with you while you’re out and about.

Trader Online Web Developer