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Posts Tagged ‘Speed’

I’ve had a lapse in concentration.

Not only about the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA), who will bring an exciting race to Oregon this weekend August 27-28th,  but you might have noticed the blog posts have become fewer of late.  Unfortunately a new job has me fully booked and while I have a number of partially completed posts in various stages I’ve just not had the spare time to polish them up and get ‘em to the line.

And speaking of the line, I wanted to bring to your attention how AHDRA and Team Latus Motors H-D are bringing the “Northwest Nitro Nationals” to the Woodburn Dragstrip and if you’re a speed junkie or maybe you just like to hang out in the pits —  then this is a must attend event.  Fans can expect to see plenty of fast action with tire smoking and fire-breathing bikes.

Interested in reading more?  Here is a link to SPEED, the official magazine of the all Harley drag racing association.

Photo courtesy of AHDRA.

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Talladega“Shake ‘n Bake”…  as the Harley-Davidson financial wizards turn off the Speedway lights and come on cost savings ideas like a spider monkey. 

I blogged in October 2008 that H-D reached an agreement with Chrysler to use part of the Arizona Proving Grounds facility. The facility is located about 25 miles south of Kingman, AZ on the old Yucca Army Airfield.

Given the dismal Q3’09 financial results and closure of Buell, they have now decided to further reduce operational expenses by closing the test facility in Talladega, Alabama, eliminating about 100 jobs. The testing facility was opened in January 1981 and had performed several kinds of vehicle tests including high-speed performance tests on Talladega SuperSpeedway.

The companies operational plans had previously committed to cease testing in Mesa, AZ (the GM Proving Grounds) by July 2009 because the testing ground had been sold for a variety of planned developments.  Consolidating test operations from Talladega; and Naples FL., to the Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, AZ., is new information.

Clearly the company is aggressively cutting costs where it can and must be necessary to align cost with the new economic reality of reduced sales. I’m truly starting to wonder if H-D has lost its way and offer up the movie opening title card as a reminder to H-D management: “America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, bad-ass speed. – Eleanor Roosevelt, 1936.”

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.

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Nike Clothing Exit -- Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi

Nike Exit -- Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi

According to miss-placed sources the Nike endorsement scouts have frantically been working to strike deals with high profile Scottish “residents” for a new line of casual wear.

The new ad campaign titled “Compassionate Wear: For Those Making A Fast Exit” pitches a 30-second TV commercial that depicts an ailing individual who is released from a “solitary village” in tourism clothing; (white) running shellsuit, prominent black-on-white “Swoosh” baseball cap, and walking trainers.  This new “Compassionate Wear” campaign was first rolled out last week with celeb Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi,  the terrorist who killed 270 (most who were Americans) in the 1988 Pan Am flight over Lockerbie Scotland and was recently returned to a hero’s welcome in Libya after only serving 8 years of a life sentence.  His compassionate release by Mr. MacAskill was due to “so-called” final stages of prostate cancer and having less than 3 months to live.

According to my Nike sources who never attended the unveiling, the new “Compassionate Wear” clothing line needed to send a powerful association message of being “FAST” even as relaxed tourism casual wear.  Ideas by Nike marketing were bullets, airplanes, camera flashes, really fast dogs, and other athletes who walked counterclockwise to turn back time.  In fact, the marketing rep reportedly said the words “fast” and “really fast” more than 72 times per minute.  They also described the use of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in some of the upcoming commercials to leave burn-out tire marks on the road with tiny flames coming out of them. Fire equals fast…  Other concepts bantered around was something about an exploding stopwatch which was clearly ill-conceived as they were caught off guard by the obvious bomber correlation.

Boycott Motorcycle Scotland

Boycott Motorcycle Scotland

All humor aside — although completely implausible and actually quite offensive, I’m sure Nike wasn’t satisfied with a direct link to the Scottish judicial system and the Lockerbie bomber.  What?  The same company that aggressively fights any sweat shop image worry about poisoned relations due to the Lockerbie bombers high profile release in their logo?   Right!  Would love to have read that letter from Mr. Phil Knight.

The release was wholly wrong and my suggestion is to boycott Scotland.  Tourism and whisky are two of the major economic ties to Scotland.  Each year more than 340,000 Americans visit Scotland – one out of every five – and in aggregate spend more than $425M per year.  Don’t motorcycle Scotland, read Robert Burns poetry, download music or golf the pristine courses.  And don’t purchase their whiskey.  There is a group called “Boycott Scotland” or you can email Mr. MacAskill HERE to directly voice your concerns/outrage.

I don’t know if the absence of Americans on their golf courses will have any impact on the economy, but making noise which reflects the public sentiment has shown in a number of instances to make a difference.

Photo courtesy of Danny Lawson, AFP/Getty.  Full Disclosure: I’m Irish, have no sources at Nike and Pendleton Whiskey is my new friend.

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