Motorcycle News

AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days Announces Entertainment, Bike Show

AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days Bike Show (Jeff Guciardo Photo courtesy of the AMA)

AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days Bike Show (Jeff Guciardo Photo courtesy of the AMA)

Old Bike Barn Crossroads features vendors, music, AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Bike Show

Fans of country music, rockabilly and high energy party rock are in for a treat at the 2017 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, scheduled for July 7-9 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

The Old Bike Barn is sponsoring the Old Bike Barn Crossroads, which includes live music, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Bike Show, club displays, a craft beer garden, vendors and more.

Performers during the three-day event include Beau Braswell, Death by Rodeo, Sneaky Pete and the Players and others.

The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Bike Show, presented by Old Bike Barn is scheduled for July 8.

“We welcome the Old Bike Barn back to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days as a sponsor,” said AMA Chief Operations Officer Jeff Massey. “The bike show is a crowd favorite, because it attracts nearly 100 top-quality motorcycles. And I know everyone attending the event this year is going to be rocking out to the great music we have scheduled.”

Old Bike Barn ( is a mail-order parts and accessories business based in Columbus, Ohio. The company, started in 2001, offers a selection of custom and maintenance parts for vintage American and Japanese street bikes, café racers, choppers, bobbers and V-twins.

“Old Bike Barn has been attending AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days for more than a decade, initially just sharing the event with others through social media,” said Bear Haughton, founder and chief technology officer. “In 2016, we celebrated our company’s 15th anniversary at the event and helped out with the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Bike Show. This year, we are back with an all new format ‘Old Bike Barn Cross Roads,’ a concept we hope will bring new energy to the infield events.”

AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days–an annual fundraiser for the nonprofit AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame–features vintage motorcycle racing, bike shows, seminars, demo rides, live music, the American Motor Drome Wall of Death, a swap meet with nearly 1,000 independent vendors and much more.

Tickets are available for purchase at or at the gate. A weekend pass is $60, a single-day admission for Friday or Saturday is $40 and a single-day admission for Sunday is $35. Kids 12 and under get in free.

A $10 early bird discount is available through May 1 at the Mid-Ohio website.

AMA members get a $15 ticket discount through June 5, which is an additional $5 off the early bird discount. To take advantage of the member discount, visit

Stay in the know. Check often at and for new information. And look for #AMAVMD on Twitter and Instagram.

7th Annual Hamster Dry Heat Run Raises Big $$ for Charity

Held in conjunction with Arizona Bike Week, the 7th Annual Hamsters Dry Heat Run charity motorcycle ride was a smashing success: over 1000 riders attended and the event raised over $20,000 for Lifescape Children’s Care Hospital.

“It’s a great opportunity for folks to come together, support a great cause and do what we love most: ride motorcycles,” said legendary bike builder Paul Yaffe, long-time Hamster and one of the event’s organizers.

Hot Leathers generously donated the 8th annual Dry Heat Run logo and T-shirts that helped raise more funds for Lifescape Children’s Care Hospital and there are just a few left, call Bagger Nation. “We like to support causes and rides that align with our values. We’ve know Paul and Suzy for years and are glad we can participate in such a great cause,” said executive vice president Any George.

Riders gathered the morning of April 7 at Paul Yaffe Originals in Phoenix, AZ, before departing en masse at 11:30 a.m. for a two-wheel sojourn through scenic desert foothills. They stopped at the Roadrunner Restaurant and Saloon on the Black Canyon Highway for lunch, libations and live music, spending the afternoon “Hamster style,” before winding up at Arizona Bike Week at Westworld for the Creedence Clearwater Revisited concert.

All entrants got to ride with the Hamsters; enjoy lunch, beverages and music at the Roadrunner; and received entry to Arizona Bike Week’s vendor expo, stunt shows, flat track races and the Korn concert. Hundreds of riders joined famous Hamsters like Paul Yaffe of Bagger Nation, Nick Trask of Trask Performance, Miguel Samaniego of Lane Splitters , Arlen and Cory Ness of Arlen Ness for an afternoon they won’t soon forget—and all for a great and charitable cause. Event organizers and participants alike are already looking forward to next year’s 8th Dry Heat Run during Arizona Bike Week.

E-ZMount From Wetcoats Inc. Is A Gamechanger

Riding through New York can be a nightmare–and I love it. I know, I know. I know about distracted drivers. I know about the potholes, the never-ending construction, the taxis (Okay, the taxi drivers do stink), the buses, the trucks, the double-parked space hogs, the bicyclists, the glued-to-phones pedestrians. I know. It’s a risky environment, but it’s home and always has been. And weaving through the streets on two wheels makes rediscovering the city an entirely unique experience. Not to mention easier parking, the occasional filtering through traffic (don’t tell mom or Johnny Law), a multitude of motorcycle shops to hang out at, events to attend, beautiful photo ops–you get it. I love getting away from the city as much as anyone, but it’s far from an intimidating and negative experience.

Between my bouncing around from Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, however, one thing always provided me with another slight headache. The E-ZPass. Commuting to AIM‘s HQ in Connecticut from Queens made for three tolls a day (ever since I completely ditched the car, my checking account has breathed a sigh of relief. But morning rain sucks). I usually kept my motorcycle E-ZPass in my right jacket pocket, which meant shifting down to 1st gear, riding with one hand on the clutch, trying to avoid the slick spots at the toll, digging for the E-ZPass with my gloves on, and pulling out the transponder before I had rolled too far past the scanner. Oy vey!

My clutch-control skills are now excellent. But more times than not, my transponder did not read and I had to wait for a traffic cop to come to my rescue, all the while being the guy holding up the line.

No more! Wetcoats Inc. owner Shane Salisbury sent me his company’s very own E-ZMount ($39.99). The mount was handmade in Brooklyn using locally sourced products, including full-grain leather. The Velcro hook and strap makes it an easily mountable, versatile product, on and off in seconds, and it can attach to literally anything. Fork leg, handlebar, clamps, triple trees–heck, you can even latch it around your backpack strap.

Here is it strapped around the fork tube. It has not missed a read, and I have not had to put my foot on the ground or take my hands off the handlebar once since attaching the E-ZMount. Considering I’m always bouncing between boroughs even when I’m not commuting to work, this is a dream. And the simple design, subtle and effective, means that the mount is far from an eyesore.

Your E-ZPass tag can be quickly inserted or taken out by merely popping open the metal snap button. It’s easy–E-Z–as it should be. It truly has made my life easier, no matter where I’m riding. With the influx of express E-ZPass lanes across the country, having the tag ready at all times gives me constant peace of mind.

Check out for the full scope of Shane’s work, and to order your E-ZMount today. And also check out Shane’s Instagram to see him lay down some trick pinstriping, tattoo work, and other various work in mediums with which he’s supremely talented.


AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Joe Leonard Passes

AMA Hall of Famer Joe Leonard

AMA Hall of Famer Joe Leonard

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame member Joe Leonard passed away on Thursday, April 27, in San Jose, Calif. He was 84.

“The American Motorcyclist Association offers its condolences to Joe Leonard’s family and friends,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “He was one among those rare competitors who excelled in multiple disciplines.”

Mr. Leonard raced motorcycles and cars during his career. He won the AMA Grand National Championship in 1954, 1956 and 1957. In 1955, he finished third.

In all, Mr. Leonard amassed 27 national wins split between the disciplines of TT, miles, half-miles and road racing. Leonard won the Daytona 200 twice, the Laconia Classic three times and the Peoria TT seven times.

After switching to auto racing, Mr. Leonard won the USAC Championship Car Series in 1971 and 1972.

Mr. Leonard was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1991 and into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998.

Mr. Leonard’s AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame bio can be found here.

American Iron Magazine recently featured a WR Class C Racer built as a tribute to Joe Leonard. The motorcycle’s owner, Fred Fortune, worked with Larry Headrick and his son Jerry but was unaware of Larry’s racing past and his connection to Joe. When Fred met Joe, he was inspired to build this tribute bike. – Ed

Joe Leonard Tribute Bike WR Class C Racer

Joe Leonard Tribute Bike WR Class C Racer

Here’s an excerpt from the story: In the early 1950s, Sifton had a racer named Larry Headrick who was his go-to guy, but a broken leg took him out of racing and opened the door for Leonard to get his shot with Sifton. He took full advantage of the opportunity and went on to ride for Sifton from 1951-56. Along the way he won many races and three AMA Grand National Championship titles in 1954, 1956, and 1957. He won the Daytona 200 twice: once in 1957 and again in 1958. He rode in TTs, half miles, miles, and road races and did it all with his hard-charging style, which many have described as “wild.”

We’re honored to have run this story about flat track legend Joe Leonard’s Tribute Bike in American Iron Magazine Issue #348

Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s 2017 Biker Belles Welcomes All to “My Motorcycle Life”

Biker Belles

The Buffalo Chip’s Biker Belles tradition of honoring women in motorcycling continues with special guests, new features and old friends.

An inclusive opportunity to celebrate women in motorcycling and connect with those who are shaping the industry, driving change and breaking long-held traditions will take place Tuesday, Aug. 8 during the Buffalo Chip’s ninth annual Biker Belles celebration. This charity event opens with The Morning Ride that leads participants on a beautiful journey from the Buffalo Chip’s CrossRoads to the Lodge at Deadwood. Here participants will experience the Comfort Zone by Team Diva, a catered lunch and an inspiring symposium. The theme “My Motorcycle Life” will open the path to discussions surrounding the role motorcycling plays in the lives of women and those who love and serve them.

Panelists and special guests announced to date include Open Road Girl’s Malinda Johnson and Sturgis Rider Daily and Iron Trader News Editor and Publisher Marilyn Stemp. Biker Belles was created in 2009 to raise awareness of the passion, diversity and spirit of women in motorcycling and to raise funds for local worthy charities. Those interested may find more information or reserve their place at the event at

Participants will be among the first to get a look at Diva Amy Skaling’s dazzling new Paul Yaffe-customized bagger when she unveils it before the ride. New to the popular Comfort Zone at the Lodge at Deadwood, Malinda Johnson will be bringing her Open Road Girl store, where she will be personally assisting her fans.

The 2017 Biker Belles event is supported by Hot Leathers, BMW Motorrad and Wrangler Jeanswear.

2017 Biker Belles Schedule
8:30 a.m. – Registration and coffee at the Buffalo Chip’s CrossRoads, Diva 2 Bike Unveiling
9:30 a.m. – A guided journey through the picturesque Black Hills.
11:00 a.m. – Registration opens at The Lodge at Deadwood non-ride participants
11:30 a.m. – Ride arrives at The Lodge at Deadwood for a catered lunch, “Comfort Zone” by Team Diva pampering and retail experience and silent auction.
12:30 p.m. – “My Motorcycle Life” Symposium and featured speakers
1:45 p.m. – All participants gather for Biker Belles official group photo

How To Register
Participants are asked to make a $60 contribution to join the festivities, 100 percent of which directly benefit two South Dakota charities that benefit women-related causes, Helping with Horsepower and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. Reservations may be made by visiting or by calling (605) 347-9000.

About Biker Belles
The annual Biker Belles charity event is a celebration of women in the world of motorcycling that centers on “Real Riders, Real Stories, and Real Passion”. Whether one rides his or her own bike or prefers being the passenger, this Sturgis Buffalo Chip-hosted event offers a great opportunity to meet new friends and gain inspiration from pioneering women who continue to influence the world of motorcycling today. All Biker Belles proceeds support worthy local charities. To date Buffalo Chip programs have raised over half a million dollars for charity. For more information and to join the 2017 Biker Belles celebration visit or call (605) 347-9000.

About The Sturgis Buffalo Chip
The Sturgis Buffalo Chip is the Largest Music Festival in Motorcycling. It is the world’s first and leading entertainment destination for the motorcycle enthusiast and 2017 South Dakota Excellence in Tourism Innovation award winner. Since 1981, the venue’s high-profile, nine-day festival, known as The Best Party Anywhere, remains one of the world’s most televised and longest running independent music festivals. Located three miles east of Sturgis, SD on 600 creek-fed acres, it offers eight stages of entertainment, a swimming hole, bars, mouth-watering food, showers, cabins, RVs, camping and more to visitors traveling from all corners of the world. The Chip’s concerts are free with camping. The 2017 Motorcycles as Art exhibit, “Old Iron/Young Blood – Motorcycles and the Next Gen” curated by Michael Lichter is free and open to the public. More details are available at

Rock, Rumble & Rebellion Chronicles: Kuryakyn Mesh Collection

Rock, Rumble & Rebellion Bagger 2017

News flash – it got jacked! The Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger was last seen heading down I-90 in the wee hours of the morning. Luckily, it was the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s Lon Nordbye and Greg Smith who coordinated the heist. After months of searching, The Chip finally narrowed down its 2017 Poster Model to one lucky girl, Tawnielle Childs, who’s wasting little time settling in to her new role. Apparently The Chip did a photo shoot with Miss Childs and the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger and we hear it was smokin’ hot. We’ll see if we can’t get a hold of some of those photos to share with you somewhere down the line.

Meanwhile, Kuryakyn just released its all-new 2017 Catalog with over 400 new product releases. You’ll find many of those products on the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger, including several products from the company’s Mesh Collection. Launched in January, Kuryakyn says “The entire Mesh Collection incorporates multi-piece construction throughout. Most parts utilize a three-piece design integrating chrome or satin black aluminum outer frames with a satin black aluminum baseplate that’s exposed through satin black or chrome stainless steel mesh panels.” Hence the name.

RRR Street Glide 2017

You’ll find plenty of parts from Kuryakyn’s Mesh Collection on the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger including this Chrome Mesh Derby Cover. 

In the case of the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger, you’ll find the Mesh Collection on the Timing Cover Kuryakyn has created for Harley’s new Milwaukee-Eight engine, some of the first trim you’ll find for H-D’s new powerplant. On the flipside of the bike is a sharp-looking Chrome Mesh Derby Cover.

While these two covers are easy to spot, you have to look closely to appreciate the other items from the Mesh Collection, one because they’re satin black instead of chrome and two because they blend in so cleanly to the build they’re easy to overlook. But the difference between a good bike and great is in the details, right? Peek at the brakes and you’ll find Kurakyn Mesh Caliper Covers adding a sweet custom touch. Up on the bars are a Mesh Master Cylinder Covers for both the front brake and clutch. In the recess of the Batwing fairing you’ll see a Mesh Fairing Vent Intake. Head back to the bags, look close and you’ll find Kuryakyn Mesh Saddlebag Hinge Covers.

Kuryakyn and The Sturgis Buffalo Chip Rock, Rumble & Rebellion Chronicles

In the recess of the Batwing fairing of the Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bagger is Kuryakyn’s Mesh Fairing Vent Intake. 

Not sure how they’re going to pull it off seeing how the bike was just in Sturgis, but somehow they’re going to get it over to the East Coast just in time for Myrtle Beach Bike Week. It will be on display from 5/12 – 5/17 if you’re headed to the rally and would like to check it out. Maybe its potential buyer will be among that crowd as this thing’s for sale and will be going home with the highest bidder after the Sturgis Rally is over. Letting the bidding wars begin!

Ace Cafe Orlando Sets World Premier for May 19

Ace Cafe Orlando

Grand opening weekend for the first Ace Cafe in the USA features cool cars and hot bikes, charity ride, motorcycle raffle, special guests, free rock ‘n roll concerts, site-wide giveaways, activities, and more

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines: Ace Cafe Orlando, the first North American location of the celebrated London-based cafe, makes its world debut on Friday, May 19. Guests are invited to kick-start the grand opening weekend of the all-new, full-throttle, rock ‘n roll destination Ace Cafe with a cuppa coffee and tea when the Ace officially opens its doors to the public on Friday at 7:00 a.m., then stay to enjoy an action-packed weekend of festivities at the 35,000-square-foot motor-centric dining, entertainment and retail destination.

North America’s newest home for all who share the passion for speed, thrills and rock ‘n roll is waiving the green flag, signaling that it’s “go time” for Central Floridians and guests from around the globe to celebrate the heritage and history of the most famous cafe on the planet. All three days of grand opening weekend will feature cool cars and hot bikes, live rock ‘n roll inside and outside both day and night, a BMW RnineT Racer motorcycle raffle benefiting Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children (APCH), live demonstrations by three world-famous artists, onsite activities and brand partner merchandise (while supplies last), and a free Friday night concert by Rockin’ Jason D. Williams – direct from Memphis, about whom Rolling Stone magazine says “There hasn’t been raw rockabilly this solid since Jerry Lee Lewis, himself.” A snapshot of Ace Cafe Orlando’s grand opening weekend celebration is listed below; visit to stay up-to-date on the Ace’s grand opening happenings.

Friday, May 19, 2017
• The first Ace Cafe in the USA opens at 7:00 a.m. Grab a cuppa Julius Meinl coffee – direct from Vienna; tea and grab ‘n go breakfast bagels, muffins, burritos, croissants, and cinnamon rolls also available.
• Lunch menu is served and bars open at 11:00 a.m., with live music on the back porch
• Raffle opens to win a BMW RnineT Racer to benefit APCH
• Register to win a trip for 2 to the 24th Annual Ace Cafe London Reunion Weekend
• Live painting and sculpting works by three world-renowned artists: Japanese chopsticks painter Makoto Endo, Spanish artist Antonio Merinero painting the Ace’s backyard beer garden bocce courts (opening summer 2017), and American sculptor Michael Ulman
• Music in the car park (parking lot) starts at 4:00 p.m. with live rock ‘n roll lasting well into the night. Taking the stage at 8:00 p.m. is headliner Rockin’ Jason D. Williams.

Saturday, May 20, 2017
• Carbs & Caffeine at 7:00 a.m. Kick-start Saturday morning and drive in for an early morning cuppa!
• Ace Cafe’s Cool Cars for Kids to benefit APCH. For a $15 donation per car, participants can be a part of the opening weekend car show and receive a limited-edition Ace Cafe grand opening t-shirt.
• Hungry? Start the day with a bang at Ace’s 4-Banger Brunch at 9:00 a.m. (a buffet-style, all-you-can-eat brunch served every weekend).
• Free activities in the car park starting at 10 a.m. with a variety of local partners and vendors engaging Ace fans until 5:00 p.m.
• Raffle continues to win a BMW RnineT Racer to benefit APCH
• Registration continues to win a trip for 2 to the 24th Annual Ace Cafe London Reunion Weekend
• Live painting and sculpting continues by Japanese chopsticks painter Makoto Endo, Spanish artist Antonio Merinero and American sculptor Michael Ulman
• Live music starts at 4:00 p.m. outside with live rock ‘n roll into the night.

Sunday, May 21, 2017
• Bikes & Bacon at 7:00 a.m. Kickstart Sunday morning and ride in for an early morning cuppa and Ace’s Bacon of the Week!
• Ace’s 4-Banger Brunch kicks off again at 9:00 a.m, with full lunch menu starting at 2pm.
• • Raffle continues to win a BMW RnineT Racer to benefit APCH
• Registration continues to win a trip for 2 to the 24th Annual Ace Cafe London Reunion Weekend
• Live painting and sculpting continues by Japanese chopsticks painter Makoto Endo, Spanish artist Antonio Merinero and American sculptor Michael Ulman
• Free activities in the car park starting at 10 a.m. with a variety of local partners and vendors engaging motor fans until 5 pm.

Ace Cafe Orlando is located at the corner of West Livingston Street and Garland Avenue on a three-acre parcel in downtown Orlando in the extensively refurbished 100-year-old Harry P. Leu buildings (the former home of The Edge rock venue). The new “Ace Corner” is adjacent to the modern SunRail locomotive station and is a direct ride to the world-renowned Daytona race circuit via Interstate 4. The Ace spans two floors and features a full-service restaurant, two kitchens, four bars, a coffee bar, a communal counter, a mezzanine overlooking the main floor dining area and stage, private and semi-private group spaces, retail shops, and a motor-inspired art gallery. Boasting delectable and affordable American diner fare with a twist and also featuring authentic British favorites, Ace Cafe Orlando connects great food and dining with a passion for motoring and live rock ‘n roll, providing a totally unique experience found nowhere else in the U.S.A.

“Our team is privileged to continue the culture and heritage of the world’s most famous motor diner,” said Mark McKee, CEO and Chief Gearhead of Ace Cafe North America. “This is exactly the Ace that we envisioned – a beacon for everyone, from petrolheads and enthusiasts, to the after-hours work crowd, families, music lovers, and everyone in between. We have remained true to the spirit of the Ace, and we have done so in a way that honors this incredible space in the heart of downtown Orlando. It is our hope that Ace Cafe Orlando will serve this community for generations to come.”

About Ace Cafe
Ace Cafe is the most famous motor-diner on the planet. Since 1938, Ace Cafe London has been a mecca for those passionate about cars, bikes and rock ’n roll culture. The original location on London’s North Circular Road began as a simple roadside cafe for truckers, then evolved into a popular destination for rock ‘n roll-loving teens riding motorbikes during the ’50s and ’60s. Today, the Ace has a multi-generational appeal from motorsports enthusiasts from all over the world. Ace Cafe North America holds the exclusive licensee rights in North America and South America for this world-famous brand. Ace Cafe Orlando is the first North American venue for Ace Cafe. For more information, visit, and connect on Facebook, Twitter @AceCafeOrlando and Instagram @acecafeorlando_official. #GOAceCafeOrlando #AceCafeOrlando #SpeedThrillsTeaSpills

What to Expect at the 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

The Quail Motorcycle Gathering

Spectators, sponsors, entrants and organizers eagerly await the start of the 9th Annual The Quail Motorcycle Gathering, presented by GEICO Motorcycle, this Saturday, May 6th at Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel.

The weekend festivities kick off Friday as The Quail Ride departs for a 100-mile journey through the Monterey Peninsula, including a jaunt on the world famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The Quail Ride is followed by The Quail Motorcycle Dinner, a reception and dinner that features guest speakers. Both events are sold out, but interested parties are encouraged to reserve their spot early for the 2018 edition.

The 9th Annual The Quail Motorcycle Gathering opens at 10:00 a.m. Guests will be treated to hundreds of the most incredible motorcycles displayed on the lawn, along with a host of lifestyle vendors, live entertainment, a signature beverage pavilion, dedicated kids area and more. Among the many motorcycles will be a special display celebrating this year’s featured class: 50 Years of the Norton Commando.

This year The Quail Motorcycle Gathering is honoring Kenny Roberts as its Legend of the Sport. Roberts will take the stage with Director of Motorsports Gordon McCall to chat about the past, present and future of motorcycle racing.

Guests will enjoy the sounds of live music as they wander the grounds to examine the many motorcycles, scooters and bicycles on display. A catered “southern picnic” lunch will be served, and handcrafted ice cream from Marianne’s Ice Cream will be available throughout the afternoon.

1951 Panhead Chopper at the 2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

1951 Panhead Chopper at the 2016 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

Along with the many motorcycles on the event field, The Quail Motorcycle Gathering has partnered with the Monterey Youth Museum to help raise money for this wonderful organization. A silent auction will be held with items donated by sponsors, and all proceeds will go to the MY Museum.

The day’s excitement will culminate with the awards ceremony in the afternoon, where The Quail Judges will announce the recipients of more than two dozen awards. From general awards like “Best in Show” and “The Spirit of the Quail Award” to top honors for specific classes, the ceremony draws crowds to see the winning machines and hear from their owners.

Following the awards ceremony, The Quail Motorcycle Gathering invites guests to The Covey Bar & Deck for an informal after party. Located in the Quail Lodge lobby, The Covey Bar was recently completed and opened on May 1st. You will find many pieces relating to the motorcycle world throughout the bar including a few bikes from the Moto Talbott Museum.

The fun continues on Sunday at the Cycle World Test Ride at The Quail. Select applicants will have the opportunity to take a demo ride on some of the latest motorcycle models from Honda. Bell and Transitions are participating as well, allowing riders to try out a Bell Helmet or Transitions adaptive face shield. The Test Ride will be staged in the parking lot across the road from the Clubhouse.

Witness this celebration only at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering on Saturday, May 6, 2017. Attendees can save $20 by purchasing discounted pre-sale tickets online at Full price tickets will also be available at the gate on the day of the event. Entry includes a gourmet barbecue lunch, parking, and gear valet service for those riding a motorcycle to the event. Learn more on the event website and follow the action on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sacrificial Motorcycling

Steve Lita American Iron Magazine Editor

Steve Lita, American Iron Magazine Editor

Ride to Work

…making the decision to do without

I get lots of e-mails here at American Iron Magazine. Some come from readers, some from vendors and OEMs, and way too many from people who don’t have anything better to do than send out spam. But one just crossed my computer monitor that made me think. Seems a motorcycle manufacturer (a European brand that shall remain nameless, though here’s a hint: they’re known for making lots of red bikes) is promoting a new sales campaign based on the premise that you can now own a brand-new motorcycle for less than the cost of a good cup of coffee per day.

By the way, I love how they qualify what type of coffee (a “good” cup of coffee, not that cheap gas station stuff). It’s true, and they have the figures to back it up. A footnote at the end provides the supporting data. US News & World Report research shows that the average cost of a cappuccino in the US is $3.51. (I want that research dude’s job, traveling around buying cups of “good” coffee all day.) This is cappuccino we’re talking about here—after all, the company is Italian (hint #2). So with a payment plan of just $99 per month (after paying a specific down payment and $750 freight and setup fee), owning one of its motorcycles costs less than the $105.30 you would have spent on all that frothy, tasty, caffeine-laced goodness in a cup.

Sounds like a deal, right? Now comes the hard part: making the decision to do without one thing in order to have another. It happens all the time, you need to give up one thing you like, in order to get the thing you think you’ll like more. This is not the same as, say, ordering in a restaurant. “Can I have the loaded baked potato side dish instead of the creamed spinach (yuck)?” And that’s not meant to offend you creamed spinach fans out there. Giving up something you don’t like to get the one you do is a no-brainer. The sacrifice bunt in baseball is talked about often, and it benefits the team with the potential of scoring a run. The only person that doesn’t like it is the actual bunter.

So I extrapolated this idea into motorcycling, and, no, I’m not shopping for a new European bike today. But I have experienced similar tough decisions before. I see a rare, used motorcycle part on eBay, and I subsequently convince myself that I have to have it on my bike. So I immediately go to my parts sales auctions and lower the price to make them more attractive to other buyers. It’s fire-sale time. Yes, I’ll take the loss on this, to get the cash I need for that.
It’s a tradeoff. You can’t have it all—unless you’re independently wealthy and throw money around like it’s water (which reminds me of a meme I saw online: “Water is the most essential element of life, because without water, you can’t make coffee”). But even in that case, if you have both things, and it didn’t hurt to get them, then you might not value either as much as the person who gave up something valuable to get something of more value.

As riders we might give up time with family and friends to go riding, but as a result of that decision, we also have riding family and friends. So that might be a win-win situation, depending on your family. I know Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) coaches who have given up a lot of weekend riding time in order to teach new riders how to ride safely. Both are fun, and the latter is a bit of a noble cause. We give up the comfort of a warm, dry car to ride a motorcycle in the rain in order to get to a bike rally, where we’ll inevitably have a raucous time. We give up our hearing temporarily to see a Kid Rock concert at The Chip in Sturgis. I can’t really sip my morning coffee (there it is again) on the days I ride my bike to work. And I give up hauling anything larger than what can fit on my bike. Saddlebags do have their limitations.

It’s said that a man should give up three month’s salary to buy an engagement ring. I guess those guys are going without food, beer, gas, an apartment, and car insurance for a while. And they say money can’t buy you love.

Next up is deciding what to give up. Better think about this. All that shimmers is not gold. Once you have time to think about it and perform the necessary research, maybe the item you desired wasn’t a must-have after all. As for me, I’ll keep taking my regular coffee (none of that decaf stuff) with cream, no sugar. Thank you.


AMA Highlights May as Motorcycle Awareness Month

Non-riding public urged to use special caution during prime riding season

The American Motorcyclist Association is issuing a special appeal during May, which is Motorcycle Awareness Month, to motorists to be aware of their driving environment, check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes and watch for motorcyclists.

“With its warmer weather and increased riding, May is an opportune time to educate the non-riding public about the safety issues that motorcyclists face on every outing,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “Our hope is that calling special attention to motorcyclists early in the prime riding season will keep motorists on alert through the summer and fall, as well.”

Among the top issues affecting motorcyclist safety this year are distracted driving and over-reliance on new driver-assist technology.

May #MotorcycleAwarenessMonth

Distracted driving is dangerous for all road users, claiming 3,477 lives in 2015 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Another 391,000 people were injured in crashes that involved distracted driving.

Distractions include any activity that takes the driver’s focus off driving. The NHTSA provides these examples: talking or texting on a phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in the vehicle and fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system.

With the development of driver-assistance technology, such as adaptive cruise control, automated braking and lane-assist, some drivers may believe that distractions, such as texting while driving, hold less potential for harm.

Trusting their cars, instead of their eyes, ears and training, can create dangerous situations for drivers and the nearby traffic. And motorcyclists are at much greater risk when things go awry.

Drivers can avoid crashes with motorcyclists by taking extra care and looking twice to spot motorcycles in traffic — especially at intersections — respecting the motorcyclists’ space on the road and by not following too closely.

The AMA’s position statements on Distracted and Inattentive Vehicle Operation and other issues can be found at under the “Rights” heading.

Motorcycle Awareness Month, launched by the AMA in the early 1980s and adopted by many state motorcycle-rights organizations, government entities and AMA-sanctioned clubs, is observed each May.

Throughout the month, look for #MotorcycleAwarenessMonth on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.