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Archive for January, 2013

Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Celebration

Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Celebration

Graffiti art originated in the late 1960’s, and it has been developing ever since.

It’s not readily accepted as being art like those works that are found in a gallery or a museum. Most of the opposition to graffiti art is due to its location and bold, unexpected, and unconventional presentation, and that often it involves illegal locations or does it necessarily qualify as art.

H-D is giving all its fans an opportunity to create their own “graphic art” as part of the 110th Anniversary Celebration.

The graphic maker is located HERE where you can upload a personal photo and have it framed within the 110th Anniversary logo.  Once the upload is complete and the photo gets checked/validated it will be shared on the 110th Anniversary “Graphic Wall” and visible to the riding world.

Photo taken by author near Moab, UT and post processed by H-D

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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Digging Through Saddlebags

Digging Through Saddlebags

Yeah, it may well happen if you come across a motorcycle-only checkpoint.

I’ve written previously about how motorcycle safety outweighs individual liberty as state and local governments have begun to implement motorcycle-only checkpoints that unfairly target motorcyclists for inspection by law enforcement officers.

Specifically it’s called the “Motorcycle Law Enforcement Demonstration Grant” (DTNH22-10-R-00386) and the motorcycle-only checkpoints are funded by grants given out by the federal government, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  That’s correct.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is offering federal funds to expand the practice of creating motorcycle-only checkpoints by law enforcement agencies.

Initially started in New York State, the process involves setting-up checkpoints where only motorcycles are pulled over. Law enforcement officers will check for U.S. DOT-compliant helmets, legal exhaust systems, and compliance with licensing, registration and inspection regulations.  And they may decide to dig through your saddlebags!

What can you do?

Petition-PhotoSign this petition which calls for the cessation of the NHTSA’s direct and indirect funding of the motorcycle-only checkpoints through its grants and other measures, and asks that the laws for vehicle conformity and passenger safety be applied equally to motorcycles and automobiles alike.

Why This Petition Site?  The White House’s “We the People” website is the only one that sends a message directly to the president.  Once 25,000 signatures are reach, the petition is put in front of President Barack Obama, where he has to officially respond to the petition, which could include directing the NHTSA from funding motorcycle-only checkpoints.

I Live In A State With-Out Motorcycle-Only Check Points, Why Should I Bother To Sign?  Because there are a large number of motorcyclists in the U.S., yet overall our passion is shared by only a small portion of the population. This makes it relatively easy for laws, and those who enforce those laws, to target motorcyclists unfairly.  The motorcycling community needs to come together, regardless of how this one issue affects you, in order to ensure that the basic rights of motorcyclists everywhere are assured.

This Won’t Change Anything, So I’m Not Going To Waste My Time.  You might be right, but putting the issue in front of The President of the U.S. might do something, and if nothing else, it shows that the motorcycle-riding community is an active participant in what occurs in Washington D.C. and in the local legislatures. Doing nothing truly means that nothing will change.

Crap, I Have To Register To Sign This.  Are You Kidding Me?  The White House’s “We the People” website is the only site that sends a message directly to the president, and if there are enough signatures, the president has to formally respond to the petition.

I Don’t Want The Government To Have My Email Address.  Ahh… right, like they don’t already know where you live…

Please take the time and consider signing the petition.

Photos courtesy of Baggers Magazine and The White House “We The People” website.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Maisto “Sons of Anarchy” 1:18 Scale Bikes

Maisto “Sons of Anarchy” 1:18 Scale Bikes

There is now the Sons Of Anarchy collection of die-cast motorcycles.

Back in December, Maisto announced they worked closely with 20th Century Fox and Harley-Davidson to bring fans of the show 1:18 scale die-cast versions of the SOA motorcycles in association with the TV show characters: Jax, Clay, Opie and JT – the SOA Motorcycle Collection.

Not only can you now dress and ride like SOA outlaws, thanks to a flurry of licensing deals that includes everything from actual motorcycles at Bartel’s H-D to hats, games, stationary, jewelry, calendars, stickers, wall graphics and more.   Now while sitting in your work cube thinking about the winter cold you can have your very own die-cast outlaw motorcycle to stare at and think about how you can’t wait to ride in warmer weather!

The Maisto brand name was registered in 1990 by May Cheong, a vertically integrated manufacturer based in Hong Kong. The company has been manufacturing die cast replicas for over 40 years.  They have over 11,000 employees worldwide, and manufacturing facilities covering more than 2 Million square feet.

Sons Of Anarchy merchandise sales have grown 70% year-to-year since 2010.  This is not a U.S. only concept as the TV show is a hit in U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the Netherlands.  And with the TV show committed through a seventh season merchandise sales will only increase.

Previous SOA/H-D license deals blog post HERE.

Photo courtesy of Maisto, 20th Century Fox and Harley-Davidson.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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110-burnoutTo commemorate 110 years on 1/10, H-D released a video of a celebratory burnout.

The epic burnout footage was filmed late last summer during the anniversary kick-off party at the Harley-Davidson Museum, but the video was released yesterday.

Nice!

There was no fine print about it being a professional driver on a closed course and don’t try this at home…but, they did overlay in 8 point font:

“Burnouts look great on film, but in the real world are hard on tires, wheels and other mechanical parts.  Love your bike.  Be respectful to your neighbors. Ride safely.”

Photos of the anniversary kick-off event are HERE on Facebook.  Other H-D videos HERE on YouTube.

Photo courtesy of H-D

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Robert Joseph "Sandman" Johnston

Robert Joseph “Sandman” Johnston

Mister Sandman, bring me a dream.
Make her the cutest that I’ve ever seen.
Give her two lips like roses in clover.
Then tell her that her lonesome nights are over.

It’s ironic how this song, which was most notable in the movie “Back To The Future“, mimics the reality behind the reality TV show called The Devils Ride.

I’m referring to Robert Joseph “Sandman” Johnston, a member of the Laughing Devils MC and one of the more popular characters on the reality TV series.  He was arrested for attempted murder after allegedly stabbing a man during a burglary just prior to Christmas.

Mister Sandman’s Melis

Mister Sandman’s Melis

There is some speculation (HERE) that Mister Sandman wanted to surprise his ex-wife? — SATIRE ALERT — with a belated Christmas gift.  After realizing that he’d misplaced the house keys he let himself in and then discovered another man in the bedroom, and became concerned… came to her defense by stabbing the “assailant” three times in the back.  The police somehow misunderstood his good intentions.

I’m sure the show producers are salivating over all the possible plot twists for a second season.  This is all just another sad chapter of reality TV – salacious, exploitative, celebratory violence, abusive and predatory behavior – not to mention an extraordinarily colorful life of a motorcycle club member.  Not only do we have to turn the channel to avoid the “vast wasteland” called The Devils Ride, we have to endure nit wits like Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson, uneducated goofs who are followed around, their every activity plastered on magazines and online, who’ve got nothing to say.  They’re not entertainers, and to keep it real there isn’t much reality in reality TV.

And before you fire-up the keyboard to tell me that I don’t get The Devils Ride or am stupid or there is something inferior about me or I’m just not as far out there on the motorcycle outlaw frontier as Sandman is…  Keep in mind that The Devils Ride is the creation of the Santa Monica production company Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment and that show producer, Eric Bischoff is the author of the acclaimed memoir Controversy Creates Cash.

There are a number of things I am looking forward to in 2013 and high on that list is that The Devils Ride implodes and gets cancelled.

Previous posts: Laughing At The Laughing DevilsLaffing Devils Are The New World OrderThe Laughing Devil Tickle Monster;

Robert Joseph “Sandman” Johnston photo courtesy of Discovery Channel.  Melis photo courtesy of Twitter page.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Red Rocks

Red Rock Canyon In Route To Laughlin

Year-end stories are always interesting to me.

Publications around the world rate stories, detail online traffic numbers, select the best leaders and generally give readers a special year in review.

On the national stage here are a few of my more notables:

We had what I’d call the best supporting furniture award…that went to the empty chair that actor Clint Eastwood spoke to throughout his speech at the Republican National Convention.  We narrowly re-elected a president.  John Edwards and Roger Clemens, both escaped conviction.  There was the epic fall of Lance Armstrong.  There was the Korean pop singer, Psy and that Gangnam Style video which skyrocketed a catchy tune into YouTube superstardom.  We bought more than 48 million iPads, weathered a couple of hurricanes, and cheered for the Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner who, broke the sound barrier from 24 miles up.

Baker City at HCMR

Baker City at HCMR

When I look back on the motorcycle rides there was:

LAUGHLIN RIVER RUN – in April the Road Glide was shipped to the Las Vegas desert.  Then it’s a short 100 mile jaunt through the desert to Laughlin, NV and it’s a great way to escape the Oregon monsoon rain to enjoy the heat of the canyons.  And being close to the Colorado River and between two mountain ranges in the Mojave Desert there are a lot of scenic rides with panoramic views to enjoy.  Not to mention the motorcycle rally itself.

HELLS CANYON MOTORCYCLE RALLY – in June, some riding buddies took off on 3-days of enjoying nature’s perfume – the sweet smell of rain showers on the cedar and pine forest – into the Cuprum-Sheep Rock country.  At times, the cold rain made us wish for a fishing lure and then there were other times the motorcycle tires were inches from the edge of a 1,000-foot drop-off while in the next instant the left-view mirror came pretty close to scraping a craggy rock wall on the grade coming up from Hells Canyon Reservoir into the mountains…  it’s always an exciting adventure in Baker City!  But hey, that rain is a “summer” adventure in Oregon.

On top of Bear Tooth Pass

On top of Bear Tooth Pass

FOUR-CORNERS MOTORCYCLE LOOP – in late August the posse set out for the mystical 4-corners.  It turned into a 4000-miles epic journey over a couple weeks that led us through Eastern Oregon, Southern Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota/Sturgis, Montana, Northern Idaho, Washington and then back home.  Moab, the 4-corners and Bear Tooth Pass were the highlights.  It was amazing scenery and viewing it all from back-roads on a motorcycle made it all the more fun.  The trip was much more than just a motorcycle ride.  We were exposed to searing heat, dodged wildfires and rode through mud-flows so deep on Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway that we could have caught trout with the right fishing gear!  The gist of the ride was exploring Moab and 4-corners, but the searing summer heat kept us from really getting to know the area well, and it gave me lots of ideas for future trips.

STREET VIBRATIONS –  One of my favorite ways to end the Northwest riding year is this late September trip to Reno.  The drive is pretty quick and it always guarantee’s the heat of the valley inter-mixed with cool mountain meadows and panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The crux of the ride is of course the rally and wide assortment of builders and vendor booths along with coming back with a to-do laundry list of possible winter projects for the motorcycle.  It’s not like we’re going to be loafing around on the couch this winter, right?!

Street Vibrations 2012

Street Vibrations 2012

That was my look back and it helps to motivate me to plan for 2013.  A couple of rides already blocked out on the calendar are the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary in Milwaukee and “Shark Week” in Utah.

In looking back on 2012, we also need to keep in our thoughts and prayers those who were met with tragedy this year, whether from storms or gunfire here at home, or on a battlefield on foreign soil.  May 2013 be safer, healthier and happier for all of us.

Photos taken by author.

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