What Do We Ride?

Shifting Gears with Buzz Kanter


SHIFTING GEARS, by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

A car moves the body, but a motorcycle moves the soul

Do you consider your motorcycle more a form of transportation or a personal statement? I’m convinced that for most of us it’s a bit of both. Though it’s likely more of a statement, because, let’s face it, most riders in America put in more miles each year in a car or truck than on two wheels. They are cheaper to buy, easier to maintain, and work better in all sorts of weather and road conditions. But as the old saying goes, “A car moves the body, but a motorcycle moves the soul.”

Ask a dozen people why they buy and ride motorcycles, and you will likely get dozens of different answers. Mostly, we ride motorcycles because it’s fun, exciting, and different. Motorcycle riders are different. My generation was inspired by Easy Rider, Rebel Without a Cause, The Wild One, Then Came Bronson, or CHiPS. No matter what inspired us to ride, that first one was enough to get us to come back for more.

So what do we ride? Many like factory stock motorcycles the way the design team intended them. Others like to tinker and bolt on parts to personalize their bikes to match changing tastes or style. And others go for radical modifications—big-wheel baggers, stripped-down bobbers, long-fork choppers, or swoopy café racers. And let’s not forget the antique bike crowd, always searching out original parts or the next project bike. Each motorcycle has its appeal to someone.

We are all a family united by our love of riding and motorcycles. And like most families, we are a widely diverse group. Some lucky ones trade up to new Harleys or Indians every year or two. Others are waiting for those 2- or 3-year-old trade-ins so they, too, can trade up to something newer. And some ride what we can afford while dreaming about riding something newer one day.

As our motorcycle riding family ages, my question is what are we doing to encourage the next generation of riders? What are you doing to share the passion with a neighbor and to let others, young or old, experience some saddle time? If we do not encourage and mentor new riders, what’s going to happen to our motorcycles? Please send us your suggestions on how we can grow the sport of motorcycling to [email protected]

American Iron Special Issues
Over the years we have created some great special newsstand issues focusing on specific topics. This includes our American Glory issues that celebrated Harley’s 110th anniversary, 100th, and even 95th. Last year we published American Iron Salute, celebrating brave men and women in uniform.

The No. 1 best-selling motorcycle issue of 2016, it sold out in most stores, so we release another one later this year. On May 16th we are publishing the first issue of American Iron Power, which will be all about high-performance options and motorcycles. Look for it in the same stores that sell American Iron Magazine. Most of our magazines (even the older ones) are available to purchase at Greaserag.com.

Motorcycle Kickstart Classic
Love the look, sound, and passion of classic motorcycles? Our next Kickstart Classic ride will be in the Carolinas May 18-21, starting at Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, and ending at the AMCA meet in Denton, North Carolina. Preregistration is highly recommended at AIMag.com or call Rosemary at 203/425-8777 ext. 114.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.


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