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Posts Tagged ‘American Idol’

Harley-Davidson Facebook "Wall"

“Messy” Jesse wants to reunite with Sandra.  Mel “The Raging Ranter” Gibson is on the phone, again [THREE EXPLETIVES DELETED BY THE EDITOR DUE TO BEING VULGAR!!].  Bristol and Levi are back together.  The American Idol summer tour starts soon and The Bachelorette is close to selecting her dream man!  As if there is such a thing because Maricar “The Whip-Cracking” Dominatrix has been passed around more than a lumberjack camp salt shaker!

I’m thinking that free speech isn’t free because I have to REALLY work my brain to tune out all of this so-called “news”…

And speaking of short attention spans.  Yesterday, Facebook hit a new milestone; it reached 500 MILLION monthly active users (i.e. within the last month, 500M unique users have logged in).  That’s not the same metric as the number of registered users/accounts on a system i.e. Twitter’s 100M registered users, it’s 500M monthly active users.  That’s huge.  Also from the stats zone approximately 70% of Facebook users are from outside of the U.S., they average 130 friends, are connected with 80 pages (groups and events), post 90 pieces of content each month and spend over 700 BILLION minutes per month on the site.

Harley-Davidson Facebook "Info Page"

In a world of readily-available stimulation, where you can flip the remote or click a different link if you don’t like what you’re experiencing now, it’s really darn difficult to keep the attention of the public with mediocre product.  Motorcycle companies address this problem by adding bells and whistles, by doing their best to dazzle web surfers.  But this is akin to a wreck on the highway, you slow down to check it out, then you forget it.

So what about Harley-Davidson’s social media activity?  Is it an original that sparks rider inspiration or do you think it’s just another rendition of syndicating corporate messages?  I became interested in that question which brought to mind whether social media and specifically the Harley-Davidson Facebook page makes riders dumber?  Or smarter?  The H-D Facebook page has more than 956,000 fans.  I don’t think it’s a big stretch to suggest that some of the interaction with/or the overzealous status updates reflect more on folks who are in self-destruct mode, either by being excessively confessional or who foolishly post the bizarre and want to be in the limelight for 5-minutes of fame as dumbing-down riders.

Harley-Davidson Facebook "Events Page"

Don’t get me wrong, I like Facebook, I’ve reconnected with old friends and can easily keep in touch with current ones.  But motorcycle companies are fighting for your attention.  And people get angry if you jump in front of them with classic “stiff” marketing and demand it.  It’s like begin cut off on the highway.  You want to beep the horn or project the middle finger, you’re anything but open to being nice to the driver.  The internet democratizes access to information.  Suddenly the largest cost driven American motorcycle manufacture looks no better than a smaller independent motorcycle manufacture or the one-man customizer.

Yes, if someone’s truly interested, if they’re hooked, they’ll give you untold hours of attention.  But you’ve got to be good.  People don’t dedicate time to train wrecks, they invest in quality.  But that’s harder to come by.  Which is why some companies seem to blame the audience rather than look internally at their mediocre offering.

Photos courtesy of H-D and Facebook.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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Douglas A-26CYeah, it’s a little Randy slang from American Idol, but the title reference is about the new Indian Motorcycle called the Chief Bomber.

Two new models were introduced at last month’s dealer meeting and photo’s are starting to surface on the internet.  The new models are the Dark Horse and the Chief Bomber.  The Chief Bomber was inspired by WWII aircraft and is a limited edition model.  It will be available for one year in Military Green and Silver Smoke finishes.  The pin-up girl tank artwork was inspired (above photo is not a replica of the fuel tank) by the aircraft Bomber nose art of that era. For an added touch the leather used on the seat and saddlebags are reminiscent of the feel and color of an old bomber jacket.

MargieThe Chief Dark Horse is a sinister “matte” finish which is all the rage and highly desired by youthful riders.  The components on the bike including the blacked out headlight, tappet blocks, suspension, engine components, exhaust system, and hand controls make the few remaining chrome components stand out. The Bomber and Dark Horse are priced at $30,999 and $27,999 respectfully.  While that is pricey there are plenty of devotees who believe owning a gleaming reincarnation of the vintage bike is necessary.

Indian_BomberAfter a year in operation under the new company structure and management there are 15 Indian Motorcycle dealerships open worldwide.  All Chiefs have a 105 cubic inch PowerPlus V-Twin with electronic closed loop sequential port fuel injection. Engine cylinders are Nikasil plated and the stainless steel exhaust system is an integrated 3-way catalytic converter with heated oxygen sensors.   They have a 6-speed Baker transmission with belt drive. Brakes are 4-piston Bembo calipers and 11.5″ dual rotors up front. Fuel is stored in a 5.5-gallon tank and assembly of the motorcycle takes place in Kings Mountain, NC – U.S.A.

At the various rallies you’ll find large crowds gathering in and around the Indian booth.  There is something about these “Pretendian” motorcycles and how they recapture the glory of a half-century ago.

Photos taken at Evergreen Aviation Museum (“Margie” Artwork from nose of Douglas A-26C Invader).  Indian photo courtesy Motorcycling Magazine.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Danny Gokey

Danny Gokey

Not the town famous for building the Harley-Davidson motorcycle, but I’m talking about Danny Gokey.   He made the top 3 on American Idol even after unleashing a cat scratch yelp that would have made Howard Dean (famous ‘Dean Scream’) proud!  The song he chose was one which Steven Tyler performed so well over the years… “Dream On.”

The iconic song was released as Aerosmith’s first single in 1973.  It achieved minor hit status on the initial release and climbed to #59 on the charts back in the day when radio meant something.  It made it to #6 when it was re-released in 1976.  Remember this was in the heady days of Thin Lizzy, 10cc, Ramones/Talking Heads and Steve Miller.

But I wanted to come clean as I did something I’ve never done before.  Anyone who grew up on Little Feat instead of Lil Wayne has probably done it. Maybe you were in a crowd of motorcyclists a little younger, and in a vain attempt to appear relevant you made the mistake of turning to a vernacular with which you were not comfortable.  Maybe you were even trying to be ironic, but still hip, when you blurted out, “’Sup, dawg?”

Sure it’s been made famous by Randy Jackson and is a non-descript term of endearment, but this so-called urban slang and phraseology only confirms that I just did a “drive-by” on African-American ethnic backgrounds.  It’s just another meaningless and hideous massacre of the English language they call ebonics.  Here’s the thing.  I don’t know about why I used it, but ebonic language is more often used by thugs or gangsta rap (like phat, hood, bounce, hoe etc.) artists as a way to express where they’ve come from or by youth at the suburban mall wearing the baseball cap sideways.  Neither of which I qualify.

I guess I was really feeling it last night.  Back to my peeples.. 

Photo courtesy Fox/Idol.

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walkawayTaking a page from the Hyundai play book, Seacoast Harley-Davidson and the Rochester H-D shop have implemented what is called the “Walkaway® Vehicle Return Program.”

Designed to provide a unique way to help consumers in a challenging economic environment (read: “Got laid off down at the factory…”) that offers up financial protection for the risk adverse consumer.  Promotion details on what constituted a ‘life-changing’ event were not readily available and required a discussion at the dealer.

This is unprecedented.  Not only in the financial offering/protection, but that a dealer would cut against the corporate “grain” and offer up a program independent of the factory.  It’s not clear if the program is endorsed by exec’s or if company management huddled up in a conference room and compared this program to Adam Lamberts crash and burn sitar version of ‘Ring of Fire‘ on American Idol last night.

Photo courtesy of Seacoast H-D.

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steely-dan-albumIt will change my family’s life….that’s what several of the “contestants” stated after winning a ticket to Hollywood the last couple of nights on “American Idol.”  

I’m sure we’ve all had our share of musical aspirations or dreams.  Mine is to backed up Tim Reynolds and jam with Dave Mathews or Steely Dan and if all went well I’d make a lot of money!  However, in an era where Malcom Gladwell reports that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be any good I don’t see those artists showing up at my house this week.  Meanwhile musicians complain that today everybody plays.  You’re competing with amateurs employing GarageBand and posting material on MySpace, yet on the “idol” somebody’s going to win.  

How much money can a person truly make?  It’s an industry where most people have no idea what the number one album is?  “American Idol” is a television show.  First and foremost.  It’s bigger than any contestant.  I think it’s glorified karaoke.  Yet, I find it fascinating to watch because it perpetuates the myth that there’s a singular filter, a gate, which if you can pass through, solves all of your problems and you’re a star.

So thousands turn to the “Idol” and plead their case.  Typically it goes something like…I’m beautiful, I can sing like Beyonce, this is America, I get a chance for stardom, right?  I want my chance!  That’s what everybody is jockeying for on the “Idol.”  Please, use me, make me the next big whatever.  This is just the opposite of classic rock and the sound that still fills arenas.  Classic rock (Pink Floyd, The Ramones, Led Zeppelin) was about doing it your own way, giving the man the middle finger.  But now Simon Cowell gives us the middle finger and the businessman is the star.  You’ve got to hand it to Simon, at least he’s honest.

“Idol” is not reality.  It’s entertainment and fake like so many other things America TV specializes in.  Rather than show us the nitty-gritty of the music industry, they pull heartstrings, try to make you laugh, you had a good time, right?  The hoards of people who line up to play the producer’s game of a contestant on the “Idol” think they deliver the hope that people still care.  They don’t, because winners on the show become 4th tier celebrities that most people just don’t give a rip about.  These soon to be newly-minted “idols” enter a world where train-wrecks are posted all over the internet, almost instantly, and are then forgotten.

They should take a lesson from Harley-Davidson.  If you want to last, you’ve got to build slowly.  You’ve got to be selling something beyond your desire to be rich and famous.  You’ve got to get fans on your own merits.  And, you’ve got to be satisfied with who you are, because today, even if you’re on the cover of “Time”, you may still have to work 9-5.  Being famous is easy.  Making people care is much harder.

If you put being rich and famous first, you’ve got nothing that makes you attractive or makes you desirable.  And we need more.  A pretty face is not enough even if it’s in a bikini – Simon! 

I hope you didn’t ruin your laptop keyboard by spitting up your morning coffee.

Photo courtesy Steely Dan.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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I don’t know if I’m feeling lost and listless due to the foul weather or that we’re without the Seacrest, Randy and gang for several  months opening up Tuesday nights to a new set of Discovery OCC/American Chopper re-runs?

The fact that two nights ago Amanda Overmeyer, the tattoo laden, biker, rocker, nurse, on American Idol sang her last “Idol” song with the troupe means the world of motorcycles will never be the same!  The Biker ‘hot-rod’ was booted off the show after making it to the top twelve women and seeing her perform again on Wednesday night only brought on more emotional outcry of the bias in American Idol fans about bikers.  Nursing might fill her days, but the gothic stylized Amanda is the “real deal”…she stands out in a crowd and even made Simon Cowell cower. 

Eight days short of June and we’ve seen a 4 day temperature swing of forty degrees (55-95-55)!  Today its even cooler with a high of 52 degrees and rain.  I guess bikers and Amanda fans have a couple choices and that is to watch the TV weatherman to see which of the Presidential candidates “blows”…or download the Idol “countdown” widget for next season.

Photo of Amanda courtesy of American Idol.

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