American Iron News: Polaris To Drop Victory Motorcycles

Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE:PII) today announced it will immediately begin winding down its Victory Motorcycles brand and related operations. Polaris will assist dealers in liquidating existing inventories while continuing to supply parts for a period of 10 years, along with providing service and warranty coverage to Victory dealers and owners.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision for me, my team and the Polaris Board of Directors,” said Polaris Industries Chairman and CEO Scott Wine. “Over the past 18 years, we have invested not only resources, but our hearts and souls, into forging the Victory Motorcycles brand, and we are exceptionally proud of what our team has accomplished. Since inception, our teams have designed and produced nearly 60 Victory models that have been honored with 25 of the industry’s top awards. The experience, knowledge, infrastructure and capability we’ve built in those 18 years gave us the confidence to acquire and develop the Indian Motorcycle brand, so I would like to express my gratitude to everyone associated with Victory Motorcycles and celebrate your many contributions.”

Several factors influenced today’s announcement. Victory has struggled to establish the market share needed to succeed and be profitable. The competitive pressures of a challenging motorcycle market have increased the headwinds for the brand.

“This decision will improve the profitability of Polaris and our global motorcycle business, and will materially improve our competitive stance in the industry,” said Scott Wine. “Our focus is on profitable growth, and in an environment of finite resources, this move allows us to optimize and align our resources behind both our premium, high performing Indian Motorcycle brand and our innovative Slingshot brand. Ultimately this decision will propel the industry-leading product innovation that is core to our strategy while fostering long-term growth and increased shareholder value.”

Polaris will reduce the appropriate operating cost based on this decision, while continuing to support the future growth of the ongoing motorcycle business. Polaris remains committed to maintaining its presence in the Spirit Lake, Iowa community with Indian Motorcycle production and in the Huntsville, Alabama community with its Slingshot production.

Grizzly in Australia, on Track to Break World Record on Victory Daytona ONE

Grizzly has completed the third stage of his round the world trip and is on track to break the world record.

The Swiss rider swiftly rode through the Americas in just 19 days. His final goal is to go around the world in just 100 days on a modified Cross Country that he has named Victory Daytona ONE.
Grizzly started the record attempt with a lap of the Daytona Speedway during Daytona Bike Week in March and then made his way south through the USA to Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Argentina.

Grizzly Tackles the World Record

Grizzly just blasted through the Americas section of his round the world adventure and is now in Australia as he continues his pursuit of the world record.

The third stage involved a distance of 3,360km and Grizzly covered this in a butt-numbing 2 days and 23 hours. He has been through 36 sets of customs clearances, 100 mountain passes and has ridden on sand and through snow.

Grizzly is now back on the road in Australia for the next stage of his adventure and is riding from Sydney to Perth.

So far he has ridden 19,840 km in 19 days and 12 hours – averaging almost 1,000km a day. With 75 more days ahead of him, the scale of his attempt really does start to show, as does his remarkable endurance.

Grizzly commented: “I am well! And the stage from Central America to South America is now completed. Now I‘m looking forward to Australia! I’d like to say thank you for all the motivating messages I receive every day. Please don’t be disappointed that I am not able to answer personally. I’m absolutely happy for your attention and it is a big honor and motivation for me. Don’t stop writing please.”

During Grizzly’s attempt the timer is only stopped at airports when his bike is airlifted to the next continent.

After Australia Grizzly will fly to Cape Town and then start riding his way up through Africa.

See further updates on Grizzly’s Facebook, Instagram and website.

#‎GrizzlyRaceTeam‬
‪#‎GoGrizzlyGo‬
‪#‎RecordRide‬
Tweeting from @GrizzlyRaceTeam

www.grizzlyraceteam.ch

Grizzly and Victory Daytona ONE

World traveler Grizzly and his customized Cross Country called Victory Daytona ONE.

Victory Motorcycles Rippin’ and Roarin’ Through Daytona Bike Week

Octane Burnout

Victory Motorcycles roared through a full schedule of events during the 75th Anniversary of Daytona Bike Week, March 5-12, with the excitement of the new Victory Octane, the setting of a world record, the launch of a forthcoming world record attempt, a packed and active display area and demo rides, stunt expositions, racing sponsorships, organized tours and much more.

Events started at Orlando World Dragway, where Victory Stunt Team rider Joe “Vertical” Dryden achieved a 2.23-mile Guinness World Record Burnout atop his Victory Octane. The feat was later celebrated at the famed Main Street Station, at a party hosted by Bryan Fuller from TV’s Naked Speed and featuring special guests Dryden and partner Tony Carbajal, Red Bull extreme athlete Aaron Colton announcing his new Victory Octane project series, and live music by Raw Adrenaline.

Main Street Station also served as the host site for Victory’s salute to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) foundation. Victory Motorcycles is in its third year as a strategic partner to IAVA, and has provided financial contributions and helped raise awareness for the organization by providing exhibit space at major motorcycle events such as Daytona Bike Week, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and motorcycle shows from coast to coast.

Located at Daytona International Speedway, the Victory Motorcycles display area remained a bustling hive of activity all week on the heels of the recent unveiling of both the Victory Octane muscle bike and Magnum X-1 Stealth Edition bagger. Victory Motorcycles offered enthusiasts test rides on the full 2016 line-up of motorcycles – including the latest models – exhibited new accessories and apparel, showcased exciting expositions by the Victory Stunt Team of Carbajal & Vertical, and astounded attendees with the control skills of Victory Police Motorcycles demonstration team.

Later in the week, Swiss endurance rider Urs “Grizzly” Pedraita rode a lap of the Daytona International Speedway track to kick off his own Guinness World Record. Always a major Bike Week event, the Victory Owners Ride this year incorporated Grizzly’s world record start. Hosted by Volusia Motorsports, the event culminated in more than 200 Victory owners gathering at Daytona International Speedway to ride one lap of the Daytona 200 road course and escort Grizzly out of town for the first part of his journey of circumnavigating six continents in less than 100 days aboard his Victory Cross Country Tour.

Ending the anniversary of Daytona Bike Week festivities, Victory Motorcycles served as the presenting sponsor of the 75th running of the Daytona 200 at Daytona International Speedway – the crown jewel of Daytona Bike Week and America’s most historic motorcycle race. As part of the sponsorship, the new Victory Octane, the ultimate musclebike with the heart of a racer, fulfilled pace bike duties by leading the field of 600cc sportbikes off the grid for pre-race warm-up laps and during caution periods.

“Victory Motorcycles came to Daytona Beach with a mission to ignite the American motorcycle scene,” said Alex Hultgren, Marketing Director for Victory Motorcycles. “We had great success with the Victory Octane by not only setting a World Record right out of the gate, but by hosting thousands of demo rides for visitors who came to the Victory display. The kickoff for the newest era for Victory Motorcycles was a success by any measure.”

American Iron Magazine 5 Simple Ways To Improve Your Harley, Indian or Victory Today

Yes, it is winter season and many of us can’t ride our Harley, Indian or Victory motorcycle until the weather improves. But that doesn’t mean we can’t spend some time with our motorcycles to make them better for now and for those spring rides.

Here are 5 simple things from the team at American Iron Magazine you can do today to your Harley, Indian or Victory motorcycle to make it better.

  1. CLEAN MACHINE Take an hour or two to carefully wash and wax your bike top to bottom and front to back. This includes all painted, plated and chrome surfaces.  Besides making the bike look better, you are removing baked on dirt and crud that holds moisture that could lead to rust.
  2. SAFETY CHECK Now that your motorcycle is clean, give it a safety check. Look for worn or loose items like tires, wiring and connections, suspension, final belt drive (or chain) and hardware. Now is a good time to fix or replace what is needed for a safe, dependable and fun ride.
  3. ERGONOMICS Put your bike on a stand or lift and sit on it as you would when riding. How are the ergonomics and feel of the bike when stationary? Do you like where your handlebars are or would you be more comfortable sliding them forward or backward a few inches? How about the clutch and brake levers – would they feel better up or down a little? How about your shifter – up or down for a better feel. Most of these adjustments are simple and can be done in a few minutes. Just be sure everything is tight and proper when finished.
  4. LEVELS Check your tire pressure and oil levels. If they are low now is a good time to top them off to factory spec. Sounds simple enough, and it is.
  5. BATTERY Maintain and charge your battery. If you have not ridden your motorcycle in a while, it’s a good idea to check it out. Check the acid level of the cells and top off with fresh distilled water if needed (Not necessary with a newer sealed battery) check and clean the terminals. Then hook up a smart battery charger to top off the charge. You’ll be glad you did in the spring.

This free advice is brought to you by American Iron Magazine, the world’s best selling American V-twin magazine.

Published 13 times a year (a new issue every 4 weeks), you can subscribe to American Iron Magazine in PRINT or in DIGITAL by clicking on the links.

 

 

 

2016 Empulse TT: Victory Motorcycle Unveils New Electric Street Bike

2016 Victory Electric Motorcycle

2016 Victory Electric Motorcycle

electric-victory-logoMedina MN, July 28th – Building on the innovative design and engineering that produced the fastest U.S. electric motorcycle at the 2015 Isle of Man TT Zero race, Victory Motorcycles has introduced the 2016 Empulse TT, the first all-electric addition to the Victory lineup. The Victory Empulse TT is a fully electric street-legal sport bike that is as capable of carving tight lines on twisting roads as it is powering the daily commute. Building on Victory Motorcycle’s focus on performance, the Empulse TT features a sport bike-style aluminum beam-frame, an adjustable suspension, and aggressive brakes. With a combination of advanced technology and stylish, modern design, this unique new motorcycle delivers outstanding overall performance, zero-emission output, and a torquey motor.

“We have always been known for great handling and power, so the Empulse TT is an ideal fit in the expanding Victory lineup,” said Motorcycle Product Director Gary Gray.

“The Empulse TT was developed primarily as an electric motorcycle delivering a sporty ride,” said Victory Electric Product Manager Joshua Katt, “but with dual ride modes – ECO and SPORT – to choose from, and the addition of a gearbox, the Empulse TT is a versatile motorcycle that can be used for impressively sporty riding or as a casual commuter.”

2016 Empulse TT Victory Electric Motorcycle

2016 Empulse TT Victory Electric Motorcycle

The key features that allow Empulse TT to deliver a sporty riding experience include: a fully adjustable suspension featuring a single rear shock and inverted front forks; dual-disk front brakes that deliver confidence-inspiring high-performance stopping power; lightweight new cast aluminum wheels; the greatest lean angle in the electric class; and a sportbike-style riding position.

Steve Menneto, VP Motorcycles, said Victory Motorcycles is committed to expanding brand awareness and sales globally, and the Empulse TT will allow the brand to reach more markets.  “This is a company that does not fear technology and progressive products, and we want to be strong in the electric motorcycle segment,” he said.

The Empulse TT shares some DNA with the original Brammo Empulse R motorcycle. Victory has been working with Brammo since 2011, but in January 2015 Victory’s parent company, Polaris Industries, acquired Brammo’s motorcycle assets.  Since then, Victory engineers worked with the Brammo product team to achieve improvements in battery capacity, display function, and handling.  The result is a Victory Empulse TT with advanced technology, impressive performance, and sporty styling that draw from the Isle of Man Zero TT race bikes.

The Victory Empulse TT is capable of top speeds of over 100 mph, and it has a high-capacity 10.4kWh battery.  The bike has a built-in battery charger and an easily accessible SAE J1772 plug atop the bodywork in front of the seat. The bike’s Brammo Power Lithium Ion battery fully charges in just 3.9 hours using a Stage 2 charger (available as an accessory utilizing a 240V outlet). The bike will fully charge in 8.9 hours using a regular household 120V outlet.

2016 Empulse TT Victory Electric Motorcycle

2016 Empulse TT Victory Electric Motorcycle

In typical riding, the Empulse TT battery provides a rider with a range of about 65 miles, and a range of 100 miles is possible with throttle management and use of the bike’s regenerative charging. In preliminary testing, the bike demonstrated a Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) city range of 94 miles. The bike delivered an MIC “combined 70 mph highway and city range” of 57 miles.

Riders can make the most efficient use of the battery’s 10.4kWh of electricity by using the six-speed gearbox. Shifting and downshifting help to create regenerative power (under deceleration), and also produce a feeling familiar to experienced riders of the compression braking on gasoline-powered motorcycles.

The rider only needs to use the clutch when shifting between gears, not for taking off or coming to a stop. When coming to a stop, a rider can leave the bike in gear, or choose to click the shifter down (without pulling in the clutch) to put the bike in neutral.  To take off from a stop, the rider simply needs to twist the throttle to unleash the liquid-cooled electric motor’s impressive torque.

In the Empulse TT’s proprietary transmission, neutral is found between 2nd and 3rd gears, and the transmission can be left in 3rd gear for most riding speeds and conditions. To begin riding, a rider can simply turn the bike’s power on, select 3rd gear (without the clutch), twist the throttle, and go.

Not all competitive electric motorcycles have gearboxes, so the Empulse TT gearbox gives the bike a significantly sportier feel, and it enhances a rider’s engagement with the bike.

In everyday riding conditions, the Victory Empulse TT can be operated in ECO mode, but it also has an optional SPORT mode for high-performance riding. In SPORT mode, 20 percent more battery power is released to the motor, resulting in enhanced acceleration.

2016 Empulse TT Victory Electric Motorcycle

2016 Empulse TT Victory Electric Motorcycle

SPORT mode also increases the amount of regenerative braking – or “regen” – which further increases the feeling similar to compression braking when the rider rolls off the throttle. Regen uses the inertia of the motorcycle to return energy from the motor back into the battery pack, which increases available energy. To select SPORT mode, a rider presses and holds the start button for 1 second.

The bike’s LCD data display features a speedometer, tachometer, gear indicator, and clock. It also displays the battery level as a horizontal bar accompanied by the percentage of battery energy remaining, and provides an estimate of remaining riding range.

Genuine Victory Accessories immediately available for the Empulse TT include Victory performance forks, frame sliders, tall and short windscreens, and side bags that hold cargo.

The new Victory Empulse TT electric motorcycle is scheduled to be available for purchase in the United States in late 2015. Victory is in the process of determining global demand for the bike before announcing its international sales plan.

Additional specifications and high- and low-resolution images are available at our media site: www.VictoryPressKit.com

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINE

ELECTRIC MOTOR: Internal Permanent Magnet AC Induction

PEAK MOTOR POWER: 54hp

PEAK TORQUE: 61 ft-lb (available from a full stop)

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed gearbox with multi-plate, hydraulic activated wet clutch

EMISSIONS: None

BATTERY PACK

BATTERY: Brammo Power Lithium Ion

BATTERY CAPACITY: 10.4 kWh

BATTERY VOLTAGE: 103.6V/117.6V (max)

CHARGE TIME: 2 hrs (Level I/20% to 80% SOC)
3.9 hrs (Level II/0% to 100% SOC)
8.9 hrs (Level I/0% to 100% SOC)

BRAKES

FRONT BRAKING SYSTEM: Dual 310mm Brembo floating discs with twin 4-piston radial mounted Brembo brake calipers

REAR BRAKING SYSTEM: Brembo single disc with dual piston hydraulic Brembo brake caliper

PERFORMANCE

MAX SPEED: 161+ km/h / 100+ mph

REGENERATIVE BRAKING: Extends riding range and provides familiar rider feedback on deceleration

SUSPENSION

FRONT SUSPENSION: Adjustable 43mm Inverted Forks

REAR SUSPENSION: Adjustable Direct-Acting Shock

CHASSIS

CARRY CAPACITY: 167 kg/368 lb

DRY WEIGHT: 213 kg/470 lb

GROUND CLEARANCE: 18.54 cm/7.3 in

LENGTH: 206.5 cm/81.3 in

RAKE/TRAIL: 24°/7.62 cm (3 in)

SEAT HEIGHT: 80.0 cm/31.5 in

WHEELBASE: 147.32 cm/58 in

OTHER COMPONENTS

INSTRUMENTATION: LCD display with: Speedo, tach, odometer, gear indicator, energy consumption, battery status, estimated range, and system status

TYRES FRONT & REAR: Continental Sport Attack II 120-70 ZR17 58W &   160/60ZR17 69W

WHEELS FRONT & REAR: 17” x 3.5”/17” x 4.5”

Isle of Man Electric Motorcycle Race News Updates

Isle of Man: Victory Racing has charged forward in its second practice with Guy Martin replacing injured William Dunlop to ride his first ever lap of the TT course on an electric motorcycle.

William fell from his Tyco BMW S1000RR at Laurel Bank in the morning’s Superstock practice lap and was taken to Nobles hospital. He had a broken rib and bruising, ruling him out of any more racing this week. After consultations with both teams and both riders, William’s Tyco BMW teammate will ride the electric motorcycle inWednesday’s TT Zero race.

For his first ever ride on the electric bike, Guy Martin rode an incredible 104.56mph lap and hit 147.8mph through the Sulby speed trap. Guy is known for his love of engineering, but even he was almost left speechless at the end of his lap. “I couldn’t be more impressed,” he said. “It was mega. So quiet and really fast. A mega experience.”

While Guy took much of the spotlight during today’s practice, Lee ‘General Lee’ Johnston rode a 103.94mph lap and screamed through Sulby 15mph faster than his previous practice lap, hitting 157.9mph. Riding over the 150mph mark will be come as some solace for William Dunlop as he had told the team in their morning briefing that he was eyeing up 150mph at Sulby today. Little did he know at the time how his day would pan out.

With Guy stepping in last minute, the team was able to run two bikes and now has two sets of battery data that it will study to make decisions about the setup for the SES TT Zero race on Wednesday.

Knowing exactly what battery power settings to choose is proving crucial to success, as both Lee and Guy slowed as they rode over the finish line, with Lee running out of battery power as he brought the bike back up pit lane after his lap.

As he walked up pit lane, Lee said he knew he’d ridden fast early on: “I caught up with Guy at Sulby and got a good slipstream then passed him,” he said. “I was starting to slow coming down from the Creg, then Guy came past.”

Team Manager, Brian Wismann, said: “The team were gutted to hear of William’s crash during practice this morning, but are relieved to learn that he’s OK and will make a full recovery.

“We had a talk with William and he pegged Guy as the best rider to fill in for him on the Victory Racing electric prototype, so we moved quickly to get Guy confirmed for the bike.

“We sent Lee and Guy out for today’s session with the power turned up a bit from the first session, and the riders made good use of it! Unfortunately, we overshot our mark a bit and both riders slowed in the final mile to cross the line.

“Luckily, we’ve been given another qualifying session tomorrow so we can take another shot at getting the perfect balance between power and energy consumption.”

The practice highlights how performance in the Zero TT is down to the amount of electrical energy that can be stored onboard. Parker’sUS-based strategic account manager, Kevin Holloway, sums it up succinctly: “Energy storage is the Holy Grail for electric vehicles.”

After Lee achieved 157.9mph today on the bike, Victory Racing and Parker Racing have more details about the design of the electric motor that propelled him to that speed.

The motor is made by Parker and called the Parker GVM. It’s cylindrical and sits behind the swingarm’s pivot point. The Parker GVM is just eight inches (0.2m) in diameter and five inches (0.13m) long, but generates 175hp giving around 165hp at the rear wheel.

It is 97 per cent efficient; nearly all of the electrical energy drawn from the Brammo batteries is converted in to kinetic energy to drive the chain and sprocket on the rear wheel.

Parker has designed an internal water-cooling system for the GVM motor. It resides within the motor, rather than creating a jacket around it; this way the smaller volume achieved means that the motor has a much higher power density.

New Model Preview – 2016 Victory Magnum X-1

322-22-2_12016 Victory Magnum X-1

Ingredients for a sound performance

text by Dain Gingerelli
photograph courtesy of Victory Motorcycles

With all the noise that came from Polaris Industries’ Indian camp this past year or so, it was only a matter of time before the other motorcycle company from Minnesota broke its silence. And when Victory Motor­cycles decided it was time to be heard, the ruckus came in a big way: a new Magnum-based bagger that pipes 200 watts of audio amped into 10 speakers. Let’s hear it for the Magnum X-1!

“This bike is built to shatter the sound barrier,” says Brandon Kraemer, Victory’s product manager, during the X-1’s special sneak preview at an audio-video studio in Simi Valley, California, last January. Kramer was speaking in figurative terms, of course. His words were aimed at those 10 speakers — six of which reside in the fairing dash, the remainder in the bag lids — that are poised and ready to broadcast whatever tunes you deem worthy of playing through the onboard audio system. For the most part, the sound system’s controls are the same as those on the standard Magnum because the X-1 is essentially a reissue of that model, but with bolder acoustics and a wilder display of paint graphics (Victory describes the red pinstripes as Electric Red), and contrast-machined components that include an all-new 21″ black billet front wheel design. There’s also a sun-bright, smoke-tinted LED headlight that can practically melt your retinas to light the way.

322-22-1

Kraemer’s reference to the sound barrier explains the Magnum’s X-1 moniker, too. The first man to break the sound barrier was US Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager, and he did so back in 1947 piloting the experimental rocket-powered aircraft Bell X-1. Victory’s new Magnum X-1 won’t necessarily take you near Mach 1, but people at Victory are hedging their bets that the 200-watt audio system is loud enough to break another sound barrier, of sorts. You want loud tunes while you ride? The X-1 will deliver, claimed by Victory to be four times louder than a standard Cross Country. And, to drive home that fact, the folks from Victory parked one of the new bikes in the acoustically rich sound studio where they cranked up the volume. Simon and Garfunkel’s classic “Sounds of Silence” most certainly was not on the play list. Indeed, the Magnum X-1 might be the vanguard of future models from the Minnesota-based motorcycle company because Polaris is poised to ramp up Victory’s role in how it markets motorcycles. Victory Brand General Manager Rod Krois explained that the motorcycle community should expect even more diversity between Indian and Victory models in the future, with America’s oldest brand (Indian) taking the lead in producing designs heavy on heritage while Victory will develop and produce what Polaris calls “performance and muscle” — cruisers and baggers such as the X-1.

322-22-4“We are investing in motorcycles,” Krois explains to motorcycling’s gathered fourth estate, and any doubt about that was left on the table when that same day Victory announced that it was going NHRA Pro-Stock racing. With ambitions to crack into the hotly contested quarter-mile drag racing arena, Victory is teaming up with S&S Cycle to develop an engine and dragster for two-time NHRA champion Matt Smith and his wife/co-rider Angie to compete in the Pro-Stock class this year.

“We’re going to take on Harley,” one Victory spokesperson confides. And his words will be verified by the time this issue of American Iron Magazine hits the newsstands because the NHRA season will already have begun with the first race at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

322-22-5No doubt the American V-twin landscape is becoming more and more interesting as time goes by. On one front, we’ve now got more than one American-made brand battling at NHRA race tracks, and we’ll have American baggers vying on the chorus line to see which bike is the loudest. So far the Magnum X-1 has top honors from Victory’s camp. And you can be a part of the magic, too, by underwriting the X-1’s MSRP to the tune of $24,499. AIM

This article originally appeared in American Iron Magazine issue # 322, published June 2015. To order a back issue of this or any other issue of American Iron Magazine, visit Greaserag.com.
 
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Marching On Two Wheels: American Iron in the NYC Veterans Day Parade

By Ken McCurdy, American Iron Magazine

What an honor it was riding a new Victory Gunner in “America’s Parade” in New York City on Veteran’s Day, Tuesday, November 11, 2014. As a Navy vet myself, it was surreal and humbling to witness the spectators cheering for the participants in the parade as we traveled up Fifth Avenue from 26th to 52nd streets. We had the easy part, of just riding motorcycles; the real heroes were all around us, including the more than 700 members of the IAVA marching behind us.

Thank you to Victory and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America for allowing me the honor to be part of this great event. Look for a full story in issue #321 of American Iron Magazine, on newsstands February 3, 2015.

 

Through its The Road Home campaign, Victory donates $500 to the IAVA for every Victory motorcycle sold. Moreover, ALL military and service personnel – including police, fire, and emergency medical men and women – receive $1000 cash back when they buy a new Victory.

 

More American-Made Motorcycles Hitting The Market

buzz-headshot

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

SHIFTING GEARS, by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

Halloween is right around the corner, but looking at the latest issue of American Iron Magazine, I don’t feel we have a trick or treat deal going on. I can’t think of any specific trick in the motorcycle world, but lots of treats.

Let’s start with the growing assortment of terrific American-made motorcycles hitting the market. Harley is still offering plenty of the traditional air-cooled, pushrod, V-twin motorcycles in all shapes and sizes, plus V-Rods, and the new Street 750 and 500. And who knows about the electric motorcycles The Motor Company has been teasing us with this year? Victory continues to expand its line of motorcycles to include three baggers, two all-out touring models, and four cruisers. Indian has added a top-of-the-line touring Roadmaster and an exciting new Scout to the three existing Chief models. And EBR (Erik Buell Racing) is also expanding its offerings to three models, including the new, lower-cost (under $17,000) 1190SX American street tearer.

So, what does all this mean to those of us who prefer to ride American motorcycle brands? Well, let’s start with the obvious: (1) competition is heating up here. And healthy competition benefits consumers with greater choices and improved products. (2) No matter what your style or tastes, there is something for everyone going into 2015. Entry-level Street 500 and 750, muscle cruisers like the Indian Scout, Victory Gunner, and Harley V-Rods, standards like the Harley Softail, Indian Chief, and Victory Hammer 8-Ball; racers include any of the EBR machines, or long-distance tourers like the Harley Ultra, Indian Roadmaster, or Victory Cross Country Tour (I still can’t get used to the Victory Vision’s adical look). Let’s not forget Harley Sportsters and Dynas, the other Indian Chiefs, and more.

So, even before you start pulling out the manufacturer and aftermarket parts catalogs to figure out how to personalize your new motorcycle, the choices are already a bit overwhelming. Even to the longtime rider/builder/customizer. My advice for people in the market for a new ride? Go to the dealer and look at the machines that catch your fancy. Sit on them in the showroom and see how they feel. Read all you can about the particular model and ask if you can take a test ride (some dealers encourage this).

I love a big sign I saw at one dealer that read “Your wife called and said it’s okay to buy it.”

I don’t know if the quality and quantity of new bike choices will ever get better. And if it does, you can always trade in or trade up. So what’s keeping you from pulling the trigger on a shiny new bike?

Florida Sunshine
October in New England can be dicey for us. It might be perfect riding weather or it might be terrible. It’s the same in most of the northern regions and Canada. So a great way to finish the traditional riding season is to aim your headlight south and roll your bike down to Florida. Why? Well, I can think of a couple excellent reasons (other than the terrific riding weather). They are Biketoberfest in sunny Daytona Beach, and the trade and consumer AIMExpo in nearby Orlando. Both run from October 16 to 19, and both are worth checking out.

Congrats To Mr. & Mrs. Walksler  
I’d like everyone to join me in congratulating my friend Matt Walksler (of Wheels Through Time and What’s In The Barn? fame) for convincing the lovely Hailey MacDonald, one of the greatest young ladies in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, to marry him.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.

Buzz

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Clutching Harley, Clutching Victory

317-36-09 BarnettBarnett has a line of stock length and custom length cables for all Harley-Davidson and Victory models in addition to custom length and one-off cables for any handlebar conversion or custom bike application. The cables are available in four casing types: traditional black vinyl, classic stainless braid, Platinum Series bright silver-plated braid, and Stealth Series black for Harleys only. All braided cables have a protective clearcoat that will not become discolored from sun exposure. All 1987 and later Harley-Davidson clutch cables along with all Victory clutch cables come standard with high-efficiency, nylon-coated, silicone-lubed inner wire for a smooth pull and reduced lever effort. All equipment is made and assembled in the US. Info: Barnett Tool and Engineering, 805/642-9435, BarnettClutches.com.