Time of the Season

TAKING AIM by Chris Maida, Editor

TAKING AIM by Chris Maida, Editor

TAKING AIM, by Chris Maida, editor

As I write this, it’s about two weeks before Thanksgiving, and, as per many of the suggestions and tips given in last’s issue’s Storage Strategies by John Frank, I’m preparing my bikes for a hopefully not-too-long winter’s nap.

Whether it’s due to global warming or just the constantly changing cycles of our planet’s weather systems (I’m not getting into that debate), this yearly ritual can take place during different months/weeks of the year. When I first moved to Connecticut from New York and started working at TAM, I was able to ride all year. In fact, I didn’t have a car, only bikes. Of course, my wife at the time had that bastion of modern family life — the minivan — to haul herself, the kids, and the paraphernalia required for them. (It’s always amazed me how much stuff is needed to take care of two toddlers, but I’m not getting into that now, either!) The winters were mild for this part of the country back then, which was in the late 1990s. Very rarely did it snow, though it was, of course, cold out. Other than watching out for patches of black ice at stoplights thanks to people throwing coffee out their car windows, riding one of my bikes to work was a safe, cheap, though chilly, way to commute.

Unfortunately, for the last 10 years, winter here in the northeast has been more what you would expect. We can get snow starting in November (our first was yesterday, November 12) until late March, hence the need to pack the machines safely away. Bummer! However, Joe and I have been known to ride down to Daytona Bike Week in early March with snow on and all along the side of the road. People in cars look at you like you’re crazy, but what the hell. As long as they look at us and don’t run us off the road I’m good with it.

No matter when nap time comes for your bike(s) where you live, if it comes at all, be sure to take the time to properly stow away your machines, this includes motorcycles, lawn mowers, or anything else that has a gasoline engine. The better you do this process, the easier it will be to fire them up when needed. This is especially true with ethanol gasoline in carbureted bikes. I’ve had to pull apart and clean many a friend’s carb to remove the varnish residue left by evaporated ethanol gas. But I’m not going to get into that now, either!

See you on the road.



Editor Chris Maida’s column “Taking AIM” appears monthly in American Iron Magazine.

This article originally appeared in issue #306, published in February, 2014.

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Daytona Bike Week 2013 News: Indian Motorcycle Info

Indian Motorcycle, the original American motorcycle company, recently announced its power-packed schedule of events for Daytona Bike Week 2013, which takes place March 9-16, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Making History: The All-New Indian Motorcycle Engine Reveal – Saturday, March 9, 9 p.m., Dirty Harry’s Pub, 705 Main St.

Daytona Beach Bike Week will prove to be a pivotal moment in the history of Indian Motorcycle and a historic milestone in motorcycling. The long-awaited, completely new Indian Motorcycle engine will make its debut to members of the press and motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world. A special unveiling event will be held on Saturday, March 9 at 9 p.m. EST at Dirty Harry’s Pub on Main Street in the heart of Daytona Beach. Special celebrity guest Mike Wolfe, host of HISTORY Channel’s “American Pickers” series and diehard Indian Motorcycle fan, will be on-hand to join the celebration. No tickets are required for this chance to take part in history, but a fully charged camera is highly recommended. The public reveal promises a great time, some surprises, and plenty of American pride.

Experience the Thrill, Courtesy of Indian Motorcycle: Daytona International Speedway “Indian Motorcycle Spring Dash” – Saturday, March 16

To commemorate the 65th anniversary of the dominating Daytona 200 beach race victory by Floyd Emde on a 1948 Indian Big Base Scout, Indian Motorcycle will be the title sponsor of the Daytona International Speedway Spring Dash on March 16, 2013. Floyd’s son Don also won the fabled Daytona 200, and in homage to his father’s tenacious flag-to-flag win on the original beach course Don built a tribute motorcycle to replicate the bike his father would have had on the starting line in 1948. This rare Big Base Scout will be at the Indian Motorcycle display at the Daytona Speedway and will lead the Spring Dash event on March 16 with Don Emde at the controls.

In the celebration of this legendary anniversary, Indian Motorcycle will give away chances to make every motorcyclist’s dream come true — an opportunity to ride their bike around the Speedway. Starting Wednesday, March 13, visit the Indian Motorcycle Store at 506 Main Street or the Indian Motorcycle display at Daytona Motor Speedway for more information and to enter for a chance to participate (1 pass per motorcycle is required / approximately 400 passes available).

Indian Motorcycle @ Daytona International Speedway (Turn 4) – 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily

Visit the Indian Motorcycle Experience display at the Speedway every day throughout Daytona Bike Week for a chance to hear all the latest news, see the iconic Floyd Emde Big Base Scout tribute race bike, get inspired by an up-close look at the all-new engine starting Sunday, March 10 and check out the full line of 2013 Indian Motorcycle models including the stunning 2013 Indian Chief Vintage Final Edition.

Must-See Location: Indian Motorcycle Main Street Store – 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily, 506 Main Street

Located at 506 Main Street in downtown Daytona Beach, this Indian Motorcycle hub offers a chance to get up close with a specially created cutaway display of the all-new Indian Motorcycle engine starting Sunday, March 10. Visitors here can also enter to win admission to the “Indian Motorcycle Spring Dash” and walk away with a free, customizable premium item. A full collection of authentic apparel will be available for sale.

Must Experience: “Destination Daytona” – 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily, Ormond Beach

Celebrating the pride of engineering and heritage, this site offers a display facilitated by the National Motorcycle Museum featuring vintage Indian Motorcycle engines and complete motorcycles including a 1927 Indian Scout and a rare 1913 Indian Twin. Additionally, Destination Daytona includes a custom display showcasing the awesome new Indian Motorcycle engine. Limited edition Indian Motorcycle/Daytona Bike Week 2013 t-shirts will also be on-sale.


2013-Daytona-Bike-Week-American-Iron-MagazineBike Week 2013 Offers Demo Rides, Custom Bike Show and More

MILWAUKEE (February 5, 2013) – Harley-Davidson will celebrate Daytona Bike Week 2013 as part of its global 110th Anniversary events with a special display of motorcycles and more at Riverfront Park on Beach Street and at Daytona International Speedway. “Daytona Bike Week is an exciting part of Harley-Davidson tradition,” said Steve Piehl, Harley-Davidson Director of Customer Experience. “With our 110th Anniversary happening around the world this year, Harley-Davidson wanted to make Daytona Bike Week an important part of that celebration with our riders and customers.”

Harley-Davidson will present a unique 110th Anniversary display at Riverfront Park on Beach Street in Daytona from Saturday, March 9 to Saturday, March 16, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, including motorcycles, MotorClothes, H-D1 customization, Women’s Area, Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) raffle, H-D Insurance, H-D Visa, Willie G. merchandise, beverages and more.

Harley-Davidson has partnered with American Iron Magazine and Motorcycle Bagger to host the Ride-In Custom Bike Show on Beach Street Wednesday, March 13. Registration is 9 a.m. to noon with a $10 MDA donation. Trophies and cash prizes will be awarded at 4 p.m. in 11 classes with five Editors’ Pick winners to be featured in American Iron Magazine or Motorcycle Bagger magazines.

Harley Owner’s Group (H.O.G.) events in Daytona include pin stops at Beach Street and the Speedway, an area celebrating H.O.G’s 30th Anniversary on Beach Street, and a special event for H.O.G. members Friday, March 8 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Mikey Luv’s Bar & Grill on Main Street.

The 7th Annual MDA Women’s Ride takes place Tuesday, March 12 with registration on Beach Street starting at 8 a.m. and the ride landing at Destination Daytona at 10:45 a.m.

Harley-Davidson will also be at Bikers on the Boulevard on Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard in Daytona Beach March 14-16 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

For a complete listing of Harley-Davidson events, please visit our website at www.harley-davidson.com/events and there will be online coverage from Daytona at www.harley-davidson.com/110daytona.

Our Magazine Plans & Harley Show In Daytona

Bring your bike and friends to the H-D Ride-In Custom Bike Show presented by American Iron Magazine.

This magazine (along with Motorcycle Bagger and RoadBike) is owned and published by TAM Communications. If you think that sounds like a big fancy corporation run out of impersonal offices in an ivory tower, you’d be wrong. My wife and I created TAM Communications in 1989 to publish Old Bike Journal in a spare bedroom (the garage was reserved for my motor­cycles). Gail and I still own and run the company 23 years later. Like you, I am passionate about motorcycles and spend an insane amount of time riding, wrenching, and discussing motor­cycles. I love my job and feel very fortunate to be here. Thanks.

As the best-selling Harley magazine in the world, you should expect more from us than other publications. As enthusiasts, our staff wants to offer the best in print, online, and in person. We have been working on a number of improvements around here, some we can discuss now and others will have to wait until we finalize them.

One area I can share now is that we want to increase our one-on-one experience with our readers and their bikes. We plan on doing this at various motorcycle events around the country. Another is to become more accessible to our readers online through Facebook and Twitter as well as on our web sites and forums.

Harley bagger fans should note we have increased the frequency of our Motorcycle Bagger from six to nine issues this year. We will continue to offer custom baggers, bagger reviews, and bagger tech in American Iron Magazine as we always have, but Motorcycle Bagger is dedicated to the subject, if you can’t get enough in AIM.

I am not sure on the timing, but in response to many requests: yes, we are looking into offering subscriptions to our magazines in a digital format on tablets and smart phones soon.

Daytona Harley-Davidson Show
We love to meet readers and check out what they ride. So I’m pleased to announce that we are teaming up with Harley-Davidson for a free custom and classic bike show in Daytona during Bike Week. If you are thinking about going to Daytona Bike Week with your Harley, I’d like to invite you to bring your bike and friends to the Harley-Davidson Ride-In Custom Bike Show presented by American Iron Magazine.

This event, with classes from mild to wild, old and new, will be on Wednesday, March 14, at the Harley-Davidson Experience at Riverfront Park on North Beach Street. Our staff and I will be there to photograph a number of bikes to feature in our magazines. For more details visit www.AIMag.com or www.Harley-Davidson.com/Daytona.

The Daytona show should be a nice balance to the dealer-built bikes from the American Iron Magazine-sponsored custom motorcycle show at the dealer-only American V-twin trade show in Indianapolis in February. And if you can’t get to either of these shows, we will also be sponsoring the J&P Cycles Open House bike shows in Iowa on June 23 and 24. As I said earlier, we really do like meeting our readers and sharing their bikes in print. And I suspect you do, too. That’s why we go to all kinds of motorcycle events around the country with our cameras.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.

Buzz Kanter    
American Iron Magazine

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New Year With Lots of Motorcycle Events

We are proud to be presenting the all-new Ultimate Dealer Bike Show at the American V-Twin Dealer Show.

Every February, motorcycle dealers, parts manufacturers, and distributors take a few days off work to meet in the heartland of America. We brave the winter cold and snow to gather at Advanstar’s annual Dealer Expo in downtown Indianapolis. This is where many of the newest products and services are revealed to the industry and the motorcycle press. And 2012 should have even greater significance to our readers as Advanstar is launching the American V-Twin Dealer Show inside its long-running powersports event.

The bad news is that, unless you work in the powersports industry, you can’t get into the show, which is closed to the general public. The good news is that our team will be there, covering the event and showcasing the most exciting news and products in print, on our Facebook page, and on www.AIMag.com.

We are proud to be presenting the all new Ultimate Dealer Bike Show at the American V-Twin Dealer Show. In addition to sharing many of the best new products, we will photograph and feature some of the more interesting motorcycles. The bikes in this show are dealer-built customs from around the world, so we are curious to see what cool rides will show up.

If you are a motorcycle dealer or work for one — franchise or independent — this custom bike show is a great chance to showcase your work. Call my pal Bob Kay at 919/886-5075 for more details or to enter. And, remember that our editors will be picking several bikes from this dealer-only show to feature in this magazine.

Motorcycle Events for 2012
While the new year is just that, a new year, we are already making plans for the 2012 motorcycle events we will be attending. We can’t attend all the events we’d like to, or we’d never be able to produce American Iron Magazine every month or to increase our Motorcycle Bagger from six to nine issues in 2012. Here’s a brief list of some of the events we’ll be part of:

American V-Twin Dealer Show: The motorcycle trade show in Indianapolis in February.

Daytona Beach Bike Week: A must-attend event for us every year. It marks the start of another year for riding. Plus, we are usually suffering from cabin fever and need to leave the snow of New England for some sunshine.

Motorcycle Kickstart Classic: Our first one in October was so popular that we’re going to do it again and perhaps add a second ride in another part of the country so others can join us on this two-day ride for vintage motor­cycles.

Sturgis Bike Rally: Another must-attend deal for our crew. We love the craziness in Sturgis and riding the amazing Black Hills.

Motorcycle Cannonball: After the first one, I figured I was done with cross-country rides on antique motorcycles. But I’ve signed up again, this time for pre-1930 motorcycles. The two-week ride from Newburgh, New York to San Francisco starts Friday, September 7. Info at www.MotorcycleCannonball.com.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.

Buzz Kanter  
American Iron Magazine

American Iron Magazine Custom Harley Show For Daytona Bike Week?

Last year American Iron Magazine and Motorcycle Bagger created a ride-in custom and classic Harley motorcycle show in Daytona Beach during Bike Week. It was a lot of fun and drew a good number of wonderful custom and classic Harleys, several of which were photographed and featured in the magazines.

Plans are still up in the air now for another American Iron Magazine and Motorcycle Bagger sponsored custom Harley show in Daytona Beach Bike Week but we want to do another one. So we are asking our readers for suggestions on where to hold a custom and classic Harley ride-in show and how to make it the best possible.

Share your comments here please.

On The Road Again

By the time I get back from Daytona Bike Week I will have been traveling for 25 out of 38 days with three days off! In fact, I’m writing this while sitting in yet another hotel room.

My latest series of road trips started on February 4 with a four-day jaunt to the V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati. This is the V-twin industry’s big kickoff for the new riding season, so Joe K and some other staffers were there, too. Then it was back to the office to get an issue of American Iron Magazine out to the printer, as well as work on an issue of our new Motorcycle Bagger magazine.

Six days later, Joe K and I were back on a plane, this time headed for J&P Cycles in Anamosa, Iowa. The plan was to arrive on Sunday, February 13, and, starting on Monday, shoot 17 tech articles before flying back home on the following Sunday. Thanks to the great staff at J&P, by the time it was 6 o’clock on the 19th, Joe and I had our laptops and cameras packed and were heading out to dinner with all 17 articles in the can. What we shot were the tech articles you’ll see in our newest American Iron Magazine newsstand-only special, American Iron Garage, which goes on sale April 17.

Thankfully, it was a holiday on Monday, the 21st! But the next day we were both hard at it back at the office to get our articles and other work done before our next trip, which for me was two days later. Yup, on the 24th I was tooling up the highway at 7:30 am in the American Iron Magazine pickup headed for Westerly, Rhode Island, and Johnson Engine Technologies. In Westerly, where I’m writing this, I need to shoot and write one more tech article for the Motorcycle Bagger issue I have to finish before leaving for Daytona. I’m also here to shoot and write most of the 106″ Twin Cam build article for the next two MB issues. And with a little luck, I’ll also shoot two other tech pieces before I head home to Connecticut on Saturday. I’ve got Sunday off!

Monday the 28th will find Joe K and I slamming to get Motorcycle Bagger done before we leave for Daytona on March 4. Normally, Joe and I would have left earlier in the week since we ride down, but I had rotator cuff surgery just before Christmas, so a 2,600-mile round-trip ride just wasn’t a smart thing to do this year. Anyway, we’ll work the event from weekend to weekend and get back home on Sunday, March 13.

Of course, Monday morning will find us back at the office to get the June issue of AIM done!

See you on the road — Chris Maida, editor

Harley Magazine News Dave Zien Ex-Senator in Motorcycle Accident

A former Wisconsin state senator and champion for that state’s “Rider’s Choice” helmet law was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash Sunday in Florida at the end of Daytona Beach Bike Week.

Dave Zien - Harley rider and ex-politician

Dave Zien is in fair condition at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, a spokeswoman told the La Crosse Tribune. Zien was taken there by helicopter after an accident with an SUV on I-10

He lost his left leg above the knee, fractured his right pelvis and suffered other injuries, state Sen. Mary Lazich told the newspaper.

“However, Dave is, or was, sitting up, in good spirits, and does not want friends concerned or stressed about him,” Lazich said in an e-mail. “The family requests no phone calls at this time.”

American Iron Magazine publisher Buzz Kanter has breakfast with Dave at the AMA Hall of Fame breakfast in Daytona Beach Florida two days before the accident and reported Dave was in a fine mood.

Harley Baggers In Daytona Beach

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.

While most of them are stock or mostly stock, there are some nice custom Harley baggers on the streets and parking lots.

I am pleased to find copies or all three of our motorcycle magazines, American Iron Harley magazine, Motorcycle Bagger Harley magazine and RoadBike motorcycle cruiser magazine in most of the stores I have visited in the Daytona Beach area. 

Curious how our bagger show will go on Friday afternoon at the Broken Spoke.

Daytona Bike Week: What Motorcycle Gear To Pack?

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.

In addition to the usual riding gear like boots, gloves, jacket and helmet I have to pack something in case it is hot, mild or cold. Sure I will have our company truck, but most days and nights I will be riding and reviewing a brand new 2011 Harley XR1200X Sportster so I need the right gear.

I guess the good news is I can pack more in the truck than I could even the cushiest Harley baggers, but I can still only bring so much. So I am bringing one helmet, a light jacket and a heavy one, a fleece (it can get cold riding back to the house at night), jeans and lots of shirts.

And I have to wear a clean STAFF American Iron Magazine, RoadBike and Motorcycle Bagger shirt at our bagger show and event at the Broken Spoke on Friday March 11.