More American-Made Motorcycles Hitting The Market


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.


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Classic Harley News: What’s In The Barn Season 2 on Velocity Channel

Big news from Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, NC. One of American Iron Magazine’s favorite museum’s hit television series “Whats in the Barn?” is returning for a second season this summer on Velocity TV.

Beginning on Tuesday June 10, 2014, Velocity TV will debut eight brand new weekly episodes of “What’s in the Barn?” at 10:00 p.m., bringing viewers along as host Dale Walksler criss-crosses the country digging up America’s rarest and most historic vintage motorcycles.

The series’ first season premiered in late June of 2013 after much anticipation, and followed Walksler on his hunt for barns and outbuildings hiding long since forgotten motorcycles and automobiles. The show immediately garnered a world-wide audience, airing in over 60 million homes and on six continents.

Often uncovering history in some of the most unusual places, Walksler spent his life collecting rare American motorcycles and displaying them in his Wheels Through Time Museum. His passion for history is evident in every episode of “What’s In The Barn?”, but a walk through his museum gives an even deeper glimpse into one man’s grand vision of creating a paradise focused on not only the machines of our past, but the sights, sounds and stories associated with them.
Wheels Through Time displays over 350 all-American motorcycles and automobiles, and continues to grow due to Walksler’s undying effort to connect past and present. Currently, the museum’s feature exhibit displays dozens of “Barn-finds”, many of which were discovered during Season 1 of “Whats in the Barn?” Walksler has also brought the museum into the 21st century with the creation of various smartphone applications about the museum collection, giving viewers access into the museum’s digital archives.

Season 2 kicks off Tuesday, June 10th on Velocity TV with two brand new episodes starting at 10:00 p.m. For more information, visit or visit