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Archive for June, 2012

Wind in the face timeout!

Just a quick post to say how I really appreciate the blog reader base and those of you who visit this site regularly.

I started this blog back in 2007 as a way to combine a mix of hobbies (motorcycle and photography) and provide an outlet for the various motorcycle rides and rants.  Because it’s a hobby I don’t enlist guest bloggers or have a staff available to pump out news snippets or excerpts of other peoples articles.

I don’t typically announce a “timeout”, but this is different as I’m headed out on an extended 9 week travel schedule and little if any new material will appear until September.  Of course summer is that special time of the year when the days grow longer (and warmer) and a large part of this time will include an epic motorcycle trip with the wind in the face.  It clearly will help provided inspiration for when I return to the keyboard and share the riding experiences.
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If you happened onto this site for the first time then I hope you enjoy reading through the archives.  If you’ve left a comment – I hope it’s about anything other than the Laffing Devils Motorcycle Club (LDMC or New World Order) – but if not, be patient as it might take a few days before I get around to approving your thoughtful insight.

Enjoy the summer, ride safe and I’ll see you around the twisty bend when I see you…

Photo courtesy of the beach.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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I previously blogged about how miserable, weather wise the rally was this year.  And Steve & Eric Folkestad tapped out.

Meaning they surrendered to the weather and the public outcry and decided to move the date of the annual event.

It’s a smart move given the weather over the last 3 years has prevented this rally from achieving its full potential.  The new dates for the Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally are now July 12-15, 2013.  Mark your calendar because the Devil’s Tail with hundreds of curves, blue sky and t-shirt warm temps will be a spectacular view.

Speaking of the Devil’s Tail — it can easily lull you into a catatonic state-of-mind during the 20+ miles of curves and may let your attention drift off the road.  Don’t let it!

And speaking of attention span, during this years rally around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday June 9th, at milepost 17, on the Idaho Power Road leading to Hell’s Canyon Dam one person was killed and another injured after the two motorcyclists collided.  I was talking with a person (name withheld) later in the day  about the accident… as their group was the first to come up on the accident and it looked like a sport bike failed to stay in his lane and traveled left of the double yellow center line, where it collided with the other motorcycle.  Life Flight was called in, but John S. McCree, 68, of Port Orchard, Washington later died from his injuries.  According to law enforcement reports it didn’t appear that weather or alcohol was a factor in this crash.  This same group also came up on a sport bike accident a couple hours later on that same road.

The above motorcycle accident along with the one on Highway 7 which occurred just 11 days earlier make this one of the deadliest starts to the “summer” riding season for the Baker City area.  My thoughts and prayers are with the McCree, Mohrland, and the Currey families.

Photos taken by author

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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110th Anniversary Logo

Well not officially, but according to this site, they’ve obtained a double top secret (read: “leaked”) list of the new Harley-Davidson 2013 model lineup.

No sources were provided, no color schemes or was there any validation via a photo or a scanned copy of the leaked list provided so take all this with a grain of salt.

Motorcycle enthusiasts are well aware that 2013 is the 110th Anniversary for the motor company and similar to the 100th and 95th anniversary celebrations there were a lot of special color combinations and special badging on a broad range of models so we can expect the same for 2013.

For 2013 in the top-of-the-line CVO’s, there will be the CVO Road Glide Custom Anniversary Edition, the CVO Road King, the CVO Road King Anniversary Edition and the CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide Anniversary Edition. The 2012 CVO Softtail Convertible and CVO Street Glide are dropped.

That last one means the price just went up for any stragglers in the dealer showroom floors on this year’s 8-speaker, 1000 Watt, aural bubble machines, i.e., the CVO Street Glide!

Moving down from the CVOs there’s the new 2013 Road King Anniversary Edition and for “trike” crowd there will even be a three wheel Tri Glide Anniversary Edition.

On the Sportster line-up, there is the Sportster 1200 Custom Anniversary Edition, and the Nightster is being dropped.  On the Dyna and Softail lines there’s the new Fat Boy Special Anniversary Edition, Heritage Softail Classic Anniversary Edition and Super Glide Custom Anniversary Edition.  According to the report the “Anniversary Edition” means black paint and some special badges.

In related news, on Monday (June 25th) the Harley-Davidson CEO, Keith Wandell and members of his management team will be in New York to ring the closing bell at the NYSE commemorating the company’s 25th anniversary on the exchange.  It wouldn’t be unheard of them to take Experience Square and transform it into a mini-showroom and have some 2013 models on display.

When I get more information I’ll update this post.

UPDATE: September 9, 2012 – An updated post on the 110th models is HERE.

Photo courtesy of H-D.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Pinterest Usage Data

Photos as content generates very high newsfeed engagement for all types of users.

And, unless you’ve been living on the Laffing Devils Motorcycle Club fantasy island you’ve more than likely noticed the staggering number of embedded photos on Facebook pages, Twitter and on Instagram as well as other similar type sites.

So, with the marketing resources at Harley-Davidson being at a premium, shouldn’t Mark–Hans Richer, the SVP and CMO of Harley-Davidson be paying closer attention to folks who are pinning photos of motorcycles and motorcycle clothing?  The short answer is yes.  More appropriately someone at the motor company should be standing on a conference room table and ask the question of all the H-D creative’s and strategists… “How did we miss the social growth on Pinterest?

What is Pinterest, you ask?

Pinterest is a kind of visual bulletin–or inspiration–board.  In short order I created one for this blog which you can view HERE.  Users create boards with categories like “Motorcycles I Love” or “Beautiful Motorcycle Places” or “Motorcycle Products That I Like.” Users can then link images from websites or upload images from their computers and “pin” the images to the boards. Similar to Twitter, users can follow other users, and Pinterest images can be re-pinned and shared.

Why should Harley-Davidson take this blog post serious?

Pinterest Growth

Because according to the Experian Marketing Services blog, Pinterest users skew female and young. Fifty-eight percent of users are women, and 59% are between the ages of 25 and 44.  This is a critical and key demographic that Harley-Davidson often states that they are trying to win over and accelerate both clothing and motorcycle purchases.  I’m not paid as a H-D media strategist, but wouldn’t it be a good idea to be visible where potential customers hang out?  This is the biggest no-brainer in the history of no-brainers!

In the U.S., growth in Pinterest has been phenomenal with more than 10 million registered users.  The image-sharing social network grew a staggering 4,377% in the last year, according to comScore’s “State of the U.S. Internet”.  It is outpacing competitors such as Tumblr which grew 168%, LinkedIn (67%) and Twitter (58%).  Outside the U.S. the number of Pinterest users in Latin America for example grew in first four months of 2012 from 153,000 to 1.3M.

It’s time for Harley-Davidson to just Pin it!

However, before they can do that they will need to resolve the issue of domain “parkers” because the current H-D URL belongs to Becky Segovia, yet has no content (boards, pins or activity).

Disclosure:  I don’t work for or have any financial interest in Pinterest.  I do try new technology and developed one for this blog which you can view HERE.

Photo courtesy Modea.com and Experian.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Limited edition Son’s of Anarchy motorcycles

I called this back in 2009 with a post called Bottling Ideas.  UPDATE: Actually now that I’ve re-scanned the blog it was even earlier with a post in 2008 called Harley SAMCRO Limited Edition Motorcycle HERE.

I’m talking about the FX television series “Son’s of Anarchy (SOA)“, and a new deal with Harley-Davidson for custom motorcycles made by 20th Century Fox Consumer Products as part of a flurry of licensing deals for SOA that includes clothing, leather jackets, hats, t-shirts, games, calendars, stationary and much more.

Thanks to Bartels’ Harley-Davidson the bike maker will produce 100 limited edition Son’s of Anarchy motorcycles that will retail for about $25,000 each at Harley dealers this fall.   Now TV viewers can further tap into the motorcycle club fantasy… who doesn’t want to pretend to be a ‘clubber’ and ride a faux outlaw biker motorcycle, right?

I can’t think of another TV show that cuts across multiple gender identities, social boundaries, is a taboo breaker, a mainstream manufactured product for the rebellious and the dispossessed.  If ever there was a Harley-Davidson brand ambassador it would be Kurt Sutter’s (@sutterink), Son’s of Anarchy!

SOA is about to enter its fifth season, and is now the most-watched show in its history among total viewers 18-49. The most recent season the show averaged 5.5 million viewers per episode. It was also the number three DVD release among TV shows in 2011.  And after growing online merchandise sales for FX’s top-rated show about 70 percent year-to-year since 2010, Fox is shifting to brick and mortar retailers like Spencer Gifts, Transworld/FYE and Hastings.

I wouldn’t be honest if I failed to mention that this feels like a disaster for any person who rides to a rally thinking they’ll have instant club admiration.  However, it could be shrewd marketing of misbehavior and we’ll see a formal offering from the motor company every year!  Any of the “noise” generated in the press and blogosphere helps in terms of show profile, helps H-D reinforce how the middle finger of rebellion built the brand.  And isn’t that all that matters in the end?!

I don’t have a Kurt Sutter man-crush, but he does deserve a big shout-out for remaining true to the setting in the TV show without becoming stereotypical.  We know it’s hard work compared to the Laffing Devils crap the Discovery Channel is trying to pass off as good TV.

Here are some previous SOA blog posts made over the years: OMG New Media Darlings; Men of MayhemBikes, Bullets & Brawls; Mail Room of LifeBottling Ideas; Be Good & You’re Lonely; Sutter Shout Out; Season 3 IdeasWorking The SOA Trail

Photo courtesy of SOA and RatRodStudios.com.

All Right Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Eric Bischoff Web Site

You might be interested to know that if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, we wouldn’t have The Devils Ridea parody TV show about an outlaw motorcycle club that is produced for the Discovery Channel by Bischoff Hervey Entertainment.

Yeah, I did it.  I just connected the dots of Lex Luger, Ric Flair, “Hollywood Huckster” and the Giant… to a semi-glorified American motorcycle TV show.  It’s a long read, but click HERE for the details.  I’ve previously laughed at the Devils HERE.

It turns out that Eric Bischoff, one of the Executive Producers of The Devils Ride along with Jason Hervey, was instrumental in redefining the WCW wrestling landscape with clowns, midgets and other outlandish characters and has now applied his wrestlemania ‘magic’ to a TV show about the world of motorcycle clubs and the sometimes simple-minded members of San Diego’s — The Laffing Devils (LDMC).

Clearly with today’s lowest common denominator of TV viewers we face a real crisis in mainstream society’s media preferences.  The measurement bar was on the floor, but everyone wants it lowered!  Just when you think it’s become increasingly difficult for producers to insult the intelligence of the American public the Discovery Channel announced this week that the Laffing Devils is officially a hit after only six episodes and it has been renewed for a second “season.”  Is it futile to hope that none of the original cast members return?!  For Discovery Channel, David Pritikin is Executive Producer of The Devils Ride.

David Pritikin – Discovery Channel Executive Producer of The Devils Ride.

As the competition for the stupidity dollar grows ever more fierce The Discovery Channel has repeatedly stated that the television show is about a “real” club.  They even brought in the real and apparently retired Hells Angel Rusty Coones.  Coones is the former President of the Orange County (California) charter of the Hells Angels.  Back in June 1999 he was arrested on federal drug charges and sentenced to eight years in prison. One of his defenders with an 8-minute attention span limit was celebrity bike builder Jesse James who married Sandra Bullock, then divorced, but in his spare time somehow made some Hollywood business connections. After he got out of prison Coones with the help of James connections made some show business connections, too.

So for viewers who need to be spoon-fed credibility, one episode of The Devils Ride featured Coones sending a group of Laffing Devils to repossess a bike for him in Las Vegas. It’s unconfirmed, but one could speculate that Coones was compensated for his appearance.  With a lot of free time in prison Coones continued to play the guitar and also began writing songs. He now plays lead guitar for a heavy metal group named Attika7 and is an owner at Illusion Motorsports.

No-one is better at pandering to an outlaw image or their bad tendencies than Kurt Sutter, so the Attika7 songs have been placed in episodes of the Sons of Anarchy (SOA) TV show.  Meanwhile Coones appeared in a second episode to play with his band in the Laffing Devils’ new club house where they all seem to smoke expensive cigars while sipping expensive glasses of wine.

Thank you Discovery Channel you complete me!

Clearly it’s all about this symbol —  $$$ — because the old fashion stuff like ethics, morals and honor are way down on the list for a TV producer.  It’s interesting to note that the trademark registration for “Sinister Mob Syndicate MC” was filed by Bischoff Hervey Entertainment Television, LLC of 1754 14th Street in Santa Monica on May 18, 2012. That application listed Tommy “Gipsy” Quinn, the founder of the Laffing Devils as the last listed owner of the mark. However, that application was withdrawn and re-filed on May 24, 2012 without Mr. Quinn’s name.  I smell a new round of t-shirts and hoodies for the very lucrative stupid-person market.

Photo’s courtesy of Eric Bischoff web site and Twitter

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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HCMR – “Showers” in downtown Baker City

I’ll get right to the point. 

This year the Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally (HCMR) was hit hard with the “Gore Effect.”

Huh?  You may remember this as the phenomenon that whenever Al Gore discusses Global warming it leads to unseasonably wicked cold temperatures, driving rain, hail, or snow mix whenever he visits an area.  I’m not exactly sure where Mr. Gore was located last weekend, but I’m darn sure he had to be thinking about the northwest, because Baker City, Oregon got slapped hard with a cold wet rag right to the face!

If you’re unfamiliar with the rally, it’s located on the border of Oregon and Idaho and Hells Canyon is the deepest canyon in North America.  Motorcycle riders come from all over to ride the Devil’s Tail, visit Historic Baker City, Oregon and then travel along the various Hells Canyon Scenic Byways.

So, here is the ASK of Steve and Eric Folkestad, (organizers of the HCMR rally):  Send Al Gore a letter asking that he never think about the northwest or better yet, after attending this rally 4 previous years and having some portion of it significantly disrupted by poor/bad weather let’s move the date! 

HCMR – Temperature kept going down, and down!

This past weekend was the straw that pushed me over the edge.  Unless the date of this event moves out to later in the month/year, I don’t plan to return!   And if the random survey I took with several other riders was any indicator,  there are a number of motorcycle enthusiasts who plan to remove HCMR from their list of early summer (“June-ary”) rides. 

Hey we’re a hardy bunch, but clearly riders would like to guarantee improve the odds of better weather for this great event.  And just because the Sunridge Hotel had the largest crowds in the city huddled around two patio warmers don’t think I’m railing against Global warming. 

Nothing could be more fun in my book – sarcasm alert – than holding a cold refreshment in 40 degree rain while standing six people deep around a patio warmer trying to catch a little bit of  heat.

Don’t make us start a Facebook petition to move the date!

Photos taken by author

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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