Archive for May 7th, 2008

Harley launched a new ad campaign this week.  This is the new rally cry from the MBA marketing guru’s at the Motor Company.  I’m thinking a bunch of them were in a conference room whining the blues about workforce reductions and said “WTF, 8% getting laid off…screw it.  C’mon let’s ride!”

I like it!  It’s a great slogan.  They should make bumper stickers.  Wait, they did that.  You have to admit it does stick in your head…sort of like McDonalds; “I’m Lov’n It” or “Just Do It” from Nike.  Now if they just had a little music “ditty” like them Intel boyz after every PC inside logo commercial…

With a new record set for a barrel of crude oil ($123.00) today, do they really think freedom and wind will outlast all these hard times?  I’m sure the rumble of a 110cu in will drown out the nightly news, but can chrome and black top really separate you from what the world has dished up?  I don’t know, but it can’t hurt, can it?!

So, go to the site.  I did (left picture) and spoke out my rally cry. 


For some reason I now feel better…


Photos courtesy of HD

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Back in 2006 the “boyz” at Harley Davidson used the European motorcycle show (Intermot in Germany) to roll out the XR1200 prototype bike.  It was styled after an American-only racing motorcycle, the XR750 dirt tracker which was an AMA Grand National Champion.  At any rate, rumors percolated over the past couple years on when or if the bike would be manufactured.  Most of the press and writings have been from Europe.

Harley confirmed that it will manufacture the motorcycle and it will go to dealers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa THIS month.  This is the first time where any Harley model was delivered outside the U.S. prior to launching a motorcycle in the states.  That in of itself is something to take pause over.  Some people-people who can use words and speak in complete sentences-are unable to accept clear facts or simple truths, but the fact is there are no current plans to make this bike available for the U.S. market so put away your cash.   Evidently those marketing types don’t think there is enough demand to introduce it.

The XR750 was all about flat track racing and is where the XR1200 takes many of its styling cues.  It’s a 1200cc Sportster based machine with a sport tuned suspension.  It has inverted 43mm forks and the ergonomics are customized for the European rider. The bike has wide handlebars with semi-rear-set footrests to provide an upright and sport riding posture. It looks to have plenty of cornering clearance.

For those from the Americas it’s difficult not to criticize a Europe only launch, but are customers in Europe demanding a flat track inspired Sportster?  I suspect it has a lot more to do with cannibalizing the Buell inventory in the U.S. dealer network.

Photo courtesy Harley, Great Britain.

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Moms or Mums as they say in “down under” never really approve of their children having a motorcycle and can you blame them?  They never seem to get beyond the “motorcycles are dangerous” stage.  Maybe it was watching you weave all over and fall off a bicycle when you were a little tike and first learned to ride that convinced her?  Or maybe it’s all the “other” people on the road that she worries about.  Who knows as everyone has a different reason to worry.

My parents agreed and bought my first “real” ride.  It was a Honda “Mini Trail” 70 (CT70). Sure I had a couple of solid frame mini-bikes with the 5HP Briggs & Stratton lawn mower engine prior and I’m sure the small wheels and mini-bike look of the Honda CT70 made them feel comfortable in buying it.

The bike was first introduced in 1970 to compete against all the two stroke small capacity motorcycles and was one of the first four-stroke, small capacity motorcycles of its time.  Unique were the fold down handle bars and many loaded up the bikes on the back of RV’s or campers and used them to motor around when traveling.  You could immediately tell by the angle of the decal on the center beam if it was a 3-speed “automatic clutch” (vertical) or a 4-speed (diagonal).  I have lots of stories and positive memories riding that motorcycle.   When ever I see one on display I just smile.

I’m sure being first introduced to this motorcycle in my teens infected me with an enthusiasm about riding that has lasted all my life.  I’ve owned multiple dirt and street bikes.  I find myself enjoying the wind in my face and the mini-adventures they bring along.

This Sunday is Mothers Day.   So, call your mom and/or thank her for that first motorcycle!

Photo courtesy of Honda Trail.

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