Real World Harleys & Remembering 9/11

As motorcycle riders, we can choose to focus on our differences or our similarities. We have many choices in what we ride and how we view our riding style. Bagger, chopper, or bobber? Softail, Dyna, or Sportster? Stock or custom? Shiny and new or rusty and old?

As the editors of this magazine, every few years our team stops what we’re doing to look at what is popular with Harley riders. We are curious about what is hot, what was hot, and what might be hot in the future. Then we adjust the contents of this magazine to reflect the trends. A few years ago, the hot ticket was the long-fork, fat-rear-tire, big-buck choppers. But things have changed. And now they are seldom seen on the scene.

Traveling around the US, we are more likely to find low-cost customs, baggers, and bobbers. As you read through this issue, you might note the changes we have begun to make here: more real-world motorcycles, tech, and how-to articles. And we’d like to share more of our readers’ photos and
stories. That includes you!

September 11, 2001
There are tragic events and dates that stand out for every generation. For my parents’ generation it might have been Pearl Harbor or when JFK was shot. But for all Americans, September 11, 2001 will stand out as the date that changed everything and made it very clear that our country’s safety is not assured. It’s hard to believe that the terrorist attacks on New York, Washington, DC, and Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, were a full decade ago this month.

Each of us will remember this terrible event in our own way, and there are a number of commemorative motor­cycle rides that we encourage you to join. We have listed three of them in this issue. As the America’s 911 Foundation web site ( states, we need to remember “the heroes, volunteers, and victims who lost their lives on September 11, 2011, and since.” I can’t attend any of the organized rides, but this September 11, I will proudly strap an American flag to my Harley and, at 8:46 in the morning (when the first plane hit the North Tower), will join everyone here on the East Coast for a moment of reflective silence.

Motorcycle Kickstart Classic
Got a kickstart motorcycle? We are teaming up with Wheels Through Time ( and Barber ( museums for the first Motorcycle Kickstart Classic. This two-day, 350-mile ride is open to all makes, models, and years of motor­cycles, but electric-start-only bikes have to ride in the back. We leave from Maggie Valley, North Carolina, the morning of Thursday, October 6, for Panhead City (Panhead­ in Rome, Georgia, for an overnight party (there is free camping available). Friday morning, we will roll to the Barber Motorsports museum and racetrack for the Barber Motorsports Vintage Festival. Please make sure you and your motorcycle are up for a ride like this and don’t forget to bring your camera. Hope you join us.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun, Buzz Kanter.

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