This guy seems to think so…
One of the things that fell apart after Vietnam was Harley-Davidson’s business. All those war surplus bikes got used up. The new bikes were no longer cheap or particularly good. Only the outlaw mystique endured and when Harley came back to life in the 1980s it was because the company was selling the idea of the outlaw as much as it was selling motorcycles. Harleys became the Outlaw Machine because that is what Harley-Davidson wanted you to think.
If you couldn’t afford a motorcycle, the official outlaw company would sell you a tee-shirt. They cost more than just ordinary tee-shirts but that was only because they included a magic ingredient. The magic was, when you put them on you became an outlaw, too.
The simple fact is, Harley stopped being a motorcycle manufacturer long ago. For decades Harley has been a company that sells magic on credit.
Harsh, but not without some truth. A lot of truth, in fact. Harley is flailing around in a death spasm, trying all kinds of crazy stuff, like axing Buell, ditching Lehman Trikes and bringing trike production in-house, and frantically expanding into foreign markets. It all comes off as desperation. Just because I’m a huge fan of Triumph doesn’t mean I want to see Harley go away. No worries on Triumph, however, they’re the only motorcycle company that actually made more money last year, with a substantial increase in sales.
Today I received, for the first time ever as far as I can remember, an email newsletter from TriumphRAT.net (TRat). Didn’t know I opted-in for that, but whatever.
An aside: I don’t visit TRat very often. When I do it’s usually because one of my weekly Google News Alerts for either “Triumph Motorcycle” or “Triumph Rocket III” has indexed one of their forum posts. I have a little bit of a dubious history with TRat. I think I found them before I found BonnevilleAmerica.com (BA.com) and indeed, probably found BA.com because of TRat. I had contacted one of the owners, Shawn I believe, because we were using the same content management system, Post-Nuke. We had a few genial exchanges about the software. BA.com quickly started to eclipse TRat, both in amount and quality of information about the Triumph Bonneville America (and later Speedmaster), as TRat didn’t really cater to cruiser riders. I spent 99% of my online motorcycle surfing time on BA.com.
Over the years TRat went through many changes, good and bad. One of the bad changes, IMHO, was their draconian moderation and censorship policy, which I ran up against a few years ago. They don’t allow links in their forum posts to any other site, personal or otherwise. The mere mention of BA.com in one of my posts and in my profile saw the former deleted entirely and the latter “cleansed” of the “offending” information, all without my knowledge. This time my exchanges with Shawn weren’t quite as cordial. Eventually my account was deleted entirely. I do have a new account, and I still don’t use it much, but that explains why I received this email newsletter. Shouldn’t be too hard for them to figure out my username. If I get deleted again I’ll know they’ve found this post.
A HARLEY SPONSORED TRIUMPH WEB SITE!?! I don’t know who is more desperate, TRat for advertising revenue or Harley for market share. I’d say it’s a tie. I can’t fault TRat for taking the money, and I can’t help but think this has something to do with Harley’s latest trick, their “Competitive bike exchange” program:
Regardless, it’s all about eyeballs. Well money. But online eyeballs = money.
For the record, I have been a moderator on BA.com for over six years. We have a moderation policy but it’s not effected by money. The site isn’t monetized at all. We only edit posts for offensive content to make the site family-friendly, and limit discussions of politics and religion because they serve no purpose on the site and only end up offending people.
A few weeks back Ken asked about doing a Triumph show and asked if I could help find some guests. Episode 71 is the Triumph show. I helped point him to Jeff York (thanks to Dwight Argo on BonnevilleAmerica.com for pointing me in his direction), Kevin Cook (Midget11 on BonnevilleAmerica.com) and Big Al of Bitter End Choppers (Ken already knew Big Al but didn’t know he builds Triumph choppers). Links mentioned during the show:
The Triumph Bonneville is a name that we have long been aware of as bikers and the Triumph chop has been coveted by many. If you can find an engine that hasn’t been mashed to bits over time you too can build a very cool looking ride or you could choose a newer model and take the engine from that. This route has it’s benefits. This week, Ian Huntly who gives us Isle of Man coverage and info tells us how new pictures will help us get the feel for this year’s IOM-TT, Jeff York who works on and builds Triumph bikes, Kevin Cook with a great looking chop and ‘ Big ‘ Al Wilkerson of Bitter End Choppers with insight on this build and how to deal with a shop when you need parts made. This is Edition 71.
Thanks for the nod (just before the Jeff York interview), Ken. Looking forward to my interview when my bike’s makeover is done.
This is a great collection of vintage photos from Dark Roasted Blend.
Since there was no “Harry Potter” in IMAX 3-D in the 1930s, where would you go to see an ultimate spectacle? You'd go to the amusement park to see motorcycles roaring up, down, and around a huge wooden barrel, filling the air with atrocious noise, fumes and a tremendous sense of danger – with spectators standing just yards away from the action!
Oh SNAP. I’m running a Corbin Solo and backrest on my Triumph. Hope they don’t disappear altogether. I had to send it back once to get it “adjusted” as it was too hard, but I’ve loved it ever since then.
Corbin, probably one of the best known brands among motorcycle seat and accessory makers, is up for sale. Everyone knows the Corbin name, they make seats and a line of accessories for practically every make and model of motorcycle. Most of us have owned one or more of their seats, personally I’ve owned 3.
This listing just came my way, the reason for sale is listed as retirement. I would certainly think this is a great opportunity for someone with the cash or ability to obtain business financing to jump into an established business with an excellent name and reputation.
Regarding the vanity plate on my motorcycle, “Bollox” (usually spelled “Bollocks”):
“Bollocks” is a word of Anglo-Saxon origin, meaning “testicles”. The word is often used figuratively in British English, as a noun to mean “nonsense”, an expletive following a minor accident or misfortune, or an adjective to mean “poor quality” or “useless”. Similarly, the common phrases “Bollocks to this!” or “That’s a load of old bollocks” generally indicate contempt for a certain task, subject or opinion. Conversely, the word also figures in idiomatic phrases such as “the dog’s bollocks” and “top bollock(s)”, which usually refer to something which is admired, approved of or well-respected.
It’s really quite versatile, perhaps more so than any American profanity, which also makes it difficult/tedious to explain when people ask.
“A motorist opened fire on a group of Hell’s Angels motorcyclists along Interstate 95, killing one and injuring another, police said.”
I’m amazed the shooter got away.
This happened less than a mile from my house. There is PLENTY of visibility in both directions from that intersection. Via NBCMontana.com (emphasis mine):
EAST HELENA (AP) – The driver of a motorcycle was killed when a pickup truck pulled out from a side road onto U-S Highway 12 and hit the motorcycle. The victim was identified as 56-year-old Dennis Lucas of Shelbyville, Kentucky. The female passenger was 52-year-old Barbara Lucas. She was taken to St. Peter’s Hospital with several broken bones. The collision happened late yesterday morning, just outside East Helena at the Intersection of U-S 12 and Lake Helena Drive.
Montana Highway Patrol officer Shawn Fowler says the woman driving the pickup told officers she didn’t see the motorcycle. It was westbound on Highway 12 when the woman pulled out from Lake Helena Drive to turn east. Fowler says the pickup driver likely will be cited for failing to yield to traffic. The death raises the state highway fatality toll to 130, compared with 112 at this time a year ago.”
How about manslaughter? How about negligent homicide? Here is that intersection on Google maps, now that they hit it with Street View:
Futuristic Motorcycle, Car and SF Design Gallery Check out the motorcycle designs. Schweet.