Archives for June 2011

Harley Davidson Motorcycle Footwear Laramie Boots

I don’t know about you, but when I’m OUT and about on a motorcycle, I rely more on my riding boots than any other piece of gear. And I expect real comfort on and off the bike.

I need my riding boots to be sturdy enough to handle good weather and bad. They must also offer above-ankle protection. I expect them not to slip on the brake pedal or the ground. It’s also important to me that they look good.

As an editor of a motorcycle magazine, I ride a lot of miles on many different motorcycles, and the last thing I want to do is find myself distracted by my boots. Knowing how important riding boots are, I try to keep mine in reasonable condition, but I don’t baby them. I have had great luck with Harley-Davidson boots and typically get two or three years of hard use out of them.

I like the look of the Laramie boots from Harley Footwear. They have a good thick rubber sole with plenty of grip on a wet or oily road surface, a decent look, and are tall enough to cover my ankles. I could do without the Harley Bar & Shield logo on the side and the Harley badges on the laces. I appreciate the zipper on the side of each boot making it easy to pull on or off, and the laces allow me to make the fit as snug or as loose as I like.

Some boots I test don’t make it a hundred miles before they get tossed, but these Laramie boots have already lasted more miles than that. I have found them comfortable all day long, on and off the bike, and they aren’t even fully broken in yet. I’ll miss my old boots, but think I am going to like these new Harley Laramie boots a lot. AIM

Visit your local dealer,

Product Review By Buzz Kanter

Story as published in the June 2011 issue of American Iron Magazine.

HARLEY NEWS New Classic Harley Web Site

There is a lot of great history surrounding the Harley-Davidson motorcycle over the years. Buzz Kanter, the Editor-in-Chief of American Iron Magazine is working on creating a new web site, called Classic Harley Motorcycles, all about various aspects of classic Harleys and their history.

Located at, this new motorcycle site launched a few days ago and Buzz hopes to grow it over time with a growing range of topics. If you would like to be involved in this project pleaese visit the site and cotact the Admin or post a comment there.

J&P Cycles Open House

The annual J&P Cycles Open House is this weekend in Anamosa, IA. We have some crew from American Iron Magazine there to cover the action and find some interesting bikes to photograph for featuring in the magazine. And we are sponsoring the ride in show on Saturday.

If you see Buzz Kanter or any of our crew there please say hi.

Motorcycle News: Federal Funding Language Blocks “Lead Law” Enforcement

PICKERINGTON, Ohio –A key federal agency can’t enforce a ban on the sale of kids’ dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) under language inserted into a federal government funding measure in Congress, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

On June 16, Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) got language inserted into the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, that prevents the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) from using money to enforce lead-content limits on kids’ off-highway vehicles (OHVs).

The limits are contained in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which is known as the lead law.

The CPSIA bans the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under that contains more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part. It also requires all children’s products to undergo periodic testing by independent laboratories approved by the CPSC, which is responsible for implementing the law.

Kid-sized dirtbikes and ATVs contain amounts of lead that exceed the parts-per-million levels allowed under the CPSIA.

The CPSC has delayed enforcing key portions of the law until after the end of the year. Unless the CPSIA is changed by then, the sale of child-sized dirtbikes and ATVs will effectively be banned.

The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill provides annual funding for several key federal government agencies, including the CPSC. If the full House eventually adopts the language, then it still needs to clear the Senate before the bill goes to the president to be signed into law.

“While the original legislation was intended to keep kids safe from lead content in toys, the overreaching enforcement wound up putting them at risk by forcing them to use larger, more dangerous machines that are intended only for adults,” said Rehberg, who is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

“While I’m working on a permanent fix to get rid of this dangerous regulation, my appropriations language will buy more time,” he said.

Rehberg was referring to H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act, which he introduced to exempt kids’ OHVs from the lead-content restrictions of the CPSIA.

Rob Dingman, AMA president and CEO, thanked Rehberg for his efforts. “This language is an important step in efforts to lift the ban on the sale of kid-sized dirtbikes and ATVs imposed by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008,” Dingman said. “America’s young riders need to be able to ride appropriately sized machines to help them stay safe. If those machines aren’t available, then they may ride bigger machines that may be difficult for them to control.

“Small businesses that sell small off-highway vehicles also suffer under the CPSIA,” he said. “For the safety of children, and for the health of small businesses, the AMA strongly urges the adoption of this language.”

To urge your federal lawmakers to support the Rehberg language in the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, and to support H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act, go to

The 2011 Motorcycle Kickstart Classic

Join American Iron Magazine and our colleagues at RoadBike for the inaugural Kickstart Classic, a two-day, 293-mile tour from the Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina to the Barber Vintage Festival at the Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama. Sound simple enough? Well, here’s the kicker: all the lead motorcycles must have a functioning kickstarter, and that’s the only starter to be used for the duration of the tour. All makes, models, and years of bikes are welcome — but those that use electric starters will be relegated (not regulated) to the back of the pack.

The party starts with an all-day open house at Wheels Through Time on Wednesday, October 5. At 10 am the next day we ride to Rome, Georgia for a visit to Panhead City, the famous vintage Harley emporium. We’ll get to Barber Motorsports Park by lunchtime on Friday October 7 — just in time for the start of the 7th Annual Barber Vintage Festival. Word has it we may also get to do a lap on the track!

Stay tuned to for more details!


We at American Iron Magazine feel it is important to be a foum for motorcycle riders to share opinions and concerns. Few issues, these days, seem to be as hot as loud pipes. So we are sharing the American Motorcyclist Association’s current position statement on excessive motorcycle sound.

Since its inception in 1924, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has maintained a position of strong opposition to excessive motorcycle sound. The AMA has funded information and public relations campaigns in support of quieter motorcycle use, and was the world’s first motorsports sanctioning body to regulate and reduce the sound level of racing vehicles.

The AMA believes that few other factors contribute more to misunderstanding and prejudice against the motorcycling community than excessively loud motorcycles. All motorcycles are manufactured to meet federally mandated sound control standards. Unfortunately, a small number of riders who install unmuffled aftermarket exhaust systems perpetuate a public myth that all motorcycles are loud. Efforts by regulators to rein in excessive motorcycle sound often miss the mark by singling out motorcyclists with ordinances and laws that are unfair, impractical and unenforceable.

No single segment of the motorcycling community–riders, event organizers, retailers and distributors, original equipment and aftermarket manufacturers, law enforcement and the safety community–-can single-handedly solve this problem. Although there are other sources of excessive sound such as loud cars and trucks, booming car stereos, poorly maintained generators, and whining leaf blowers, motorcyclists have a responsibility to be part of the solution. Shifting blame and failing to adopt responsible, voluntary practices will only result in greater prejudice and discrimination against all motorcyclists, including excessively rigorous state and federal standards, more expensive and less attractive motorcycles, the reduction of choices in aftermarket products, abusive enforcement of current laws, and other measures that will negatively impact both riders and the motorcycle industry.

Based on its opposition to excessive motorcycle sound, the AMA recommends the following:

  • All motorcyclists should be sensitive to community standards and respect the right of fellow citizens to enjoy    a peaceful environment.
  • Motorcyclists should not modify exhaust systems in a way that will increase sound to a level that is offensive.    This includes the installation of unmuffled exhaust systems.
  • Organizers of motorcycle events should take steps–through advertising, peer pressure and enforcement–to make    excessively loud motorcycles unwelcome.
  • Motorcycle retailers should discourage the installation and use of excessively loud replacement exhaust systems,    including unmuffled “straight pipes.”
  • The motorcycle industry, including aftermarket suppliers of replacement exhaust systems, should adopt responsible    product design and marketing policies aimed at limiting the cumulative impact of excessive motorcycle sound.
  • Manufacturers producing motorcycles that meet the appropriate federal standards should continue to educate their    dealers and customers that louder exhaust systems can decrease the performance of motorcycles.
  • Law enforcement agencies should fairly and consistently enforce appropriate laws against excessive vehicle sound    and other sources of undesirable sound.
  • The motorcycle industry and the safety community should educate customers and riders that excessive sound can be    fatiguing, thus impairing good riding skills and judgment, making riding less enjoyable.


The AMA and its Board of Directors wholeheartedly endorse these recommendations and the Association will continue to advocate for responsible behavior on the part of its members and all motorcyclists.

Sturgis Motorcycle News Alice Cooper & George Thorogood

Alice Cooper and George Thorogood and the Destroyers will play at the Legendary Buffalo Chip’s 30th annual party during the 2011 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.  Alice Cooper will play on Saturday, Aug. 6, and George Thorogood and the Destroyers will close the iconic music festival on Saturday, Aug. 13.

“We’re just tickled to have Alice Cooper and George Thorogood joining us for our 30th,” said Rod Woodruff, campground owner. “We’re all about the party and Alice and George know how to get a crowd into a party mood.”

Cooper invented theatrical rock with a stage show combination of heavy metal, vaudeville and horror movies. He is a multi-platinum artist with platinum or gold records in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s with hit singles that include “I’m Eighteen,” “School’s Out,” “Under My Wheels,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” Billion Dollar Babies,” “Only Women Bleed,” “Welcome to My Nightmare,” “Poison,” and “Muscle of Love.” “Alice Cooper’s stage show is chock full of hits and horror. To this day, he is the master of shock rock and one of the most entertaining rockers in the world,” Woodruff said.

Delaware Destroyer, George Thorogood is also a multi-platinum artist who has successfully blended the blues with a rock attitude and a virtuosity on slide guitar unequaled in rock. He may well be the hardest working man in rock and roll, with sixteen studio albums and five live albums.

His hits include: “Move It On Over,” “Who Do You Love?” “Madison Blues,” “Bad to the Bone,” “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” “The Sky Is Crying,” “Who Do You Love,” “I Drink Alone,” and “Get A Haircut.”

Look for more coverage in American Iron Harley magazine

George Thorogood and Alice Cooper join Toby Keith as confirmed performances for The Buffalo Chip’s 2011 party. Passes for those shows or for the entire Sturgis Rally are available at or can be obtained by calling 605-347-9000.  More information on other events at the Chip are available at

Drag Specialties Python Fishtail Dual Motorcycle Exhaust

Python® continues to produce show-stopping performance and value! Nowhere else will you find this much Made In The U.S.A. quality, combined with top-notch performance and style, in exhausts that can still leave money for riding.

Rock out your ride with these Fishtail Duals, a true dual system with 1 5/8″ headpipes wrapped in 2 1/4″ heat shields that flow into extra-long 2 1/8″ mufflers under full-coverage 2 1/2″ heat shields.

That’s a lot of power and performance in one show-quality chrome finish system complete with classic fishtail tips. With a rider-friendly cost of $799.95 and fitments for 97-11 FXST/FLST (except 09 FSXTSSE), there’s an application for you to create your own stylish lowrider-style Softail with these Python pipes.

For more information, go to or contact your local Drag Specialties dealer.

Harley Riders: Best Western Photos And Win Rewards, Free Nights

Photo Contest Celebrates Launch of Three Types of Best Western Hotels

PHOENIX – To kick off motorcycle riding season and introduce two-wheeled travelers to Best Western’s three new types of hotels, Best Western International, the World’s Biggest Hotel Family, announced a photo contest for motorcycle enthusiasts who visit any of the chain’s 2,200 Best Western, Best Western Plus, or Best Western Premier hotels in North America.

Motorcyclists who visit a Best Western hotel and upload a photo of their bike in front of a Best Western sign will be entered to win and each week between now and July 15, three winners will randomly be chosen to receive 5,000 Best Western Rewards points.

One grand prize winner will be chosen at random to receive 65,000 points, good for room nights, gift cards, airline miles and more, in celebration of Best Western’s 65th birthday in 2011. To commemorate the launch of the three new types of Best Western hotels, the first rider to submit a photo in-front of all three different Best Western, Best Western Plus, and Best Western Premier signs will win a $650 travel card – good for use at any of the chain’s 4,000 hotels worldwide.

Participants must upload their digital photos to Best Western’s Facebook page at between now and July 15 to be eligible to win prizes.

“We want motorcycle riders to know that there’s a Best Western hotel for every type of trip they take with the introduction of Best Western, Best Western Plus, and Best Western Premier hotels, and we welcome them to come and stay with us,” said Dorothy Dowling, Best Western senior vice president of marketing and sales. “This photo contest allows new and existing Ride Rewards members to experience the special amenities and services we offer exclusively to riders. What’s more – one lucky rider will win 65,000 rewards points which can be redeemed for up to a week of free nights at participating hotels, gift cards, airline miles and much more.”

Photo contest entrants must sign up or be existing members of Best Western Ride Rewards, the industry’s only free loyalty program for guests traveling by motorcycle. Best Western Ride Rewards members will automatically earn Gold Elite status when the sign up, allowing them to earn 10 points for every US dollar spent on qualified room rates and 10 percent bonus points with each qualified stay at any Best Western hotel. Motorcycle travelers can register for Best Western Ride Rewards by visiting or calling 888/BW2-BIKE.

As part of its partnership with Harley-Davidson, Best Western has more than 1,200 Rider-Friendly hotel locations in North America which provide services such as a special Harley-Davidson rate, a clean wipe-down at check-in and a bike cleaning station. Additional benefits at some properties include reserved parking spaces, bottled water and lip balm.

As a complement to Ride Rewards, enthusiasts can also use the Harley-Davidson Ride Planner tool to map and plan rides, and book a Best Western hotel along the route.

Keep up with the photo contest by following Best Western on Twitter @TheBestWestern, hashtag #BWBikerPhoto.


Best Western International, Inc. is THE WORLD’S BIGGEST HOTEL FAMILYSM, providing marketing, reservations and operational support to over 4,000* BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS® and BEST WESTERN PREMIER® hotels in 90* countries and territories worldwide. Each Best Western-branded hotel is independently owned and operated. Now celebrating 65 years of hospitality, Best Western has grown into an iconic brand that hosts 400,000* worldwide guests each night. Equally committed to the business and leisure traveler, Best Western recently embarked on a mission to lead the hotel industry in customer care. World Vision is the charity of choice for Best Western in building the world’s biggest family, with our hotels and staff sponsoring children in need around the globe. Our partnerships with AAA/CAA, Michael Waltrip Racing, and Harley-Davidson help guests make the most of every trip. For the fastest way to a free night globally, join Best Western Rewards. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit

*Numbers are approximate and can fluctuate.

Custom Design Studio Unveils New Bug Catcher

Novato, CA – Kirk Taylor and the crew at Custom Design Studio are at it again. Renowned for their award-winning ground up customs, paint work and custom parts, CDS has constructed a practical solution to a common predicament.

The CDS “Bug Catcher” consists of a domed shaped screen designed to be easily inserted into the throat of your S&S carb. Once pressed into place you can bolt on a traditional S&S Style velocity stack. The base/frame is made of stainless steel, so not only does it look good but it’s durable and keeps your carb debris free. No more ugly covers over the bell on the stack! The CDS Bug Catcher sells for $40. To order call Custom Design Studios at (415) 382-6662 or email them at

Custom Design Studios was established in 1988 by Kirk Taylor and is located in Novato, California.  Taylor’s vision combines artistry, mechanical savvy and solid construction.  He believes that builders “shouldn’t limit themselves when it comes to expressing their vision of art.”  In addition to CDS’s service, assembly and parts operation, the company also has a full paint department and a fabrication shop. CDS can handle all the needs of the riding public from oil-changes and tires to beautiful one of a kind customs.

For more information about Custom Design Studios, please visit, or call (415) 382-6662.