Every year I have seen a greater number of Harley baggers come to Daytona Beach for Bike Week and this year there are more than ever. I am seeing fewer choppers with fat rear tires and long forks. They are just fading off the scene as the Harley baggers continue to grow in popularity here.
I got pretty much every year to the Daytona Beach Bike Week to cover the activities for American Iron Magazine and the Harley enthusiasts who can’t attend. Yet when it comes time to pack my stuff it is odd to be in freezing New England trying to figure out what to bring to sunny and warm Florida.
Motorcycle Bagger Harley magazine Launch Party and Bike Show
March is right around the corner, and that means the annual Daytona Beach Bike Week party is almost here. This event is fun every year, but we want this one to be something special. In conjunction with celebrating our 22nd birthday here at American Iron Magazine, we’re expanding our most popular special issue magazine ever — American Iron Motorcycle Bagger — to a bimonthly publication in March.
After not riding or even starting a motorcycle in over a month I finally got my driveway free of ice and snow and pushed my 1931 Indian 101 Scout motorcycle out of the garage into the 18 degree temperature Sunday morning. My pal Charlie was due at my house on one of his motorcycles for us to do a freezing Sunday morning breakfast ride.
A lot of Harley magazine sales come from book stores, especially for the smaller circulation motorcycle magazines. After weeks of rumors about the financial condition of Borders Bookstores, we heard today that Borders (and Waldenbooks, which it owns) has filed for bankruptcy.
Our new Motorcycle Bagger will feature the same high quality editorial, art and printing as American Iron Magazine with reivews, tech and installs plus tours and great places to ride your Harley baggers to.
After more than twenty years of publication, we think American Iron Magazine is good magazine for Harley riders. More people buy American Iron Magazine than any other Harley magazine in the world. But we also know there are always ways to make it even better. So every year we ask our readers to tell us what you think about what we print every month.
This past Sunday morning, my riding partner and neighbor, Dean, rode over on his trusty 1959 Panhead. He wanted to show me his recently purchased, correct, and original bubble bags. The sun had just come up and the temperature was climbing out of the high 30s. I was bundled up for the cold when I fired up my trusty old 1931 Indian 101 Scout. While it had been more than a month since I had last rode this old Indian, it is a bike I have ridden a lot over the years and is one of my favorites.
Sitting at a recent business lunch, one of the men leaned over and confided that, after a couple of decades of not riding, he rented a Harley Road King for a few days. Admitting, that at “close to sixty years old,” those few days on a Harley reminded him of his long ignored passion for motorcycling. He sold his motorcycle decades ago to start a family, then he dealt with increasing job responsibilities, perhaps a cash crunch, then concerns about his young sons wanting to ride, too. This was hardly the first time I’d heard variations on this story.
Some riders, with advanced technical skills, know each and every nut, bolt, and spring in his or her Harley. A surprising number of our readers can field-strip and reassemble their Harleys wearing a blindfold. OK, maybe not, but I like the idea that there are people out there like this reading the mag. Other readers, who are more into riding than wrenching, don’t care to know anything more technical than how to check and add engine oil and to fill the gas tank. And that’s fine.