Buzz Gotta Brand-New Bag(ger)
SHIFTING GEARS, by Buzz Kanter, Publisher
The last modern bagger in my garage was a
Harley Ultra, which I sold years ago
As deep as my passion runs for classic Harley and Indian motorcycles, and I can assure you it is deep, I must admit that I am really enjoying the modern motorcycle currently in my garage. “What?” You might ask, “Buzz Kanter has a motorcycle in his garage made after he was born?” I recently laid claim to the 2017 Indian Roadmaster Classic long-term project bike. It’s shiny black and chrome, with a brown leather seat, saddlebags, and a trunk, and the more I ride it the more I fall under its spell. I think my old bikes are starting to feel neglected.
The last modern bagger in my garage was a Harley Ultra, which I sold years ago. Other than my Sportster XR1200, this is the only motorcycle in my garage with disc brakes. Sure, I get great enjoyment riding and maintaining my small collection of classic motorcycles. But there is something very appealing about having a bike that needs nothing more than a tank of gas every few hundred miles. Everything of importance is monitored by the onboard electrics. I can check tire pressures, battery charge levels, and air temperature while cruising down the road listening to tunes and following the GPS directions. (Well, I suspect that will be the case once I figure out how to use the fancy factory-installed electronics.)
Gone are the typical procedures I have followed for years owning classic bikes. Before starting up, I don’t have to disconnect the smart battery charger, slide out the plastic pan from under the bike, or check the oil, chain, and tire pressure levels. No choke to adjust, no ignition timing to set, and no kicking!
Then, at the end of the ride, I don’t have to remember to shut off the fuel petcock a quarter-mile from home to burn off the gas in the carb. Don’t want to leave any ethanol-laced fuel sitting in the float bowl damaging the Linkert carburetor. I don’t have to hook up the battery charger or slide the tray under the bike to catch the oil drips. Just pull into the garage, shut off the ignition, and leave the big bagger resting on its sidestand. I could get used to this.
So, what’s the plan for this modern motorcycle? We have made arrangements with Indian to keep this bike indefinitely and make whatever modifications we wish. Life is good! We plan to share our observations and our modifications with you on these pages as often as is practical. And, yes, we are open to your suggestions, questions, and comments about the Roadmaster project and what we do with it. We did something similar with a new Harley last year, so this time we figured it might be a nice change to do an Indian.
As for my small stable of classics, I will continue to ride and enjoy them as before, occasionally sharing the experiences and upgrades. But now I have the vehicle to carry me on motorcycle tours without a massive tool roll or bags of spare parts.
American Iron Garage and American Iron Salute
The world is full of options, some better than others. One option that we offer for motorcycle gearheads is our very popular American Iron Garage magazine. Published six times a year, it is our all-tech and how-to magazine. No tours, no new bike reviews, no event coverage. Just nuts and bolts, backyard home-builds, installs, and tech tips and tricks. And we never repurpose articles from American Iron Magazine, as many readers get both magazines. If you can’t find American Iron Garage in a local store you can subscribe by calling 877/204-0774.
In addition to American Iron Garage, we are expanding our line of magazines. We will be publishing the second issue of our American Iron Salute (the 2016 premiere issue came close to selling out) celebrating our brave men and women in uniform. American Iron Salute goes on sale November 19. If you can’t find your copy, you can order one at www.Greaserag.com.
Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.
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